Country music gives a lot of itself every year, but 2017 was pretty special. That’s especially true when it comes to its albums. They were eclectic, and more than a few were just plain stellar. Here’s a look at our Top Five.
Chris Stapleton’s Traveller: Yes, it debuted in 2015. Its 2017 sales and widespread critical acclaim have landed it on this year’s list, however. The project has sold more than 1.1 million copies in the United States, and it topped Billboard‘s year-end Top Country Albums chart both this year and last. There are all those CMA, ACM, AMA and Grammy awards to consider, too. I mean, what more do we need?
Keith Urban’s Ripcord: Some call it Keith’s best album yet. It’s his ninth, and we’re not about to argue. It doesn’t hurt that Carrie Underwood, Pitbull and Nile Rodgers make appearances, either. And just check out those singles: “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16,” “Wasted Time,” “Blue Ain’t Your Color” and “The Fighter.” Boom.
Miranda Lambert’s The Weight Of These Wings: At 24 songs, Weight is one hell of an exercise in country music. Miranda has been handsomely awarded for it, too, with Album of the Year awards from both the CMA and ACM. The project debuted in late 2016, but pretty much defined the songwriting Texan through 2017. Can someone push play?
Chris Stapleton’s From A Room – Volume 1: So he’s two inside the Top Five? You’re darn right. This one sits on Billboard‘s year-end list, too. To date it’s sold around 600,000 copies. “Strikingly focused, sonically and thematically,” is the way Rolling Stone described it at its release. “Its characters are flawed; there’s much bad behavior, with heartbreak to pay.” Exactly.
Florida Georgia Line’s Dig Your Roots: Another late-2016 release, this third FGL album has so far produced five hit singles (two of them this year) and sold more than 430,000 copies. Reportedly called by the duo their “calm down” album, country fans the world over bought in in a big way. Country is lots of things to lots of people and FGL prove it with each album they give us.
Teddy McDonald is a fun-lovin’ country music fan man living in Nashville, Tennessee.