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This is a TOUGH year to pick out 10 CDs for a Top 10 list. That's because there were too many good CDs to choose from. The ten CDs on this list are all so close that it was hard to pick the order (although #1 was easy to pick this year.)
These are CDs that I would recommend spending money on and I don't say that about just any CDs. BUT...before I get to the official Top 10 there are four other CDs that I really wanted on the list (in no particular order):
The Band Perry "Pioneers", Brett Eldredge "Bring You Back", Lee Brice "Hard 2 Love" and Thomas Rhett "It Goes Like This" - are ALL super great CDs too.
You might agree with me and you might not. And who knows? Maybe you'll find some new music you'll love too!
#10 - George Strait "Love is Everything" - Everything George Strait does is great. But this CD is some of the best music George Strait has put out in a couple years. He doesn't try to recreate who he is. He's George Strait. He doesn't need to.
#9 - Joe Nichols "Crickets" - It takes a lot of nerve to cover a Merle Haggard song but to do it as flawlessly as he does with "Footlights" is enough to get it on my Top 10 list. That and the other 15 (yes 15!) songs on this CD are all great. Just put it in and listen to him sing. I would never get tired of hearing him sing.
#8 - Randy Houser "How Country Feels" - no surprise that Randy got his first two Number One Singles with this CD. That's because all of the songs are GREAT. I think he could easily have another Number One and maybe even two more.
#7 - Chris Young "A.M." - I have said it before and I'll say it again, I think Chris Young has the best voice in country music today. His range is amazing and the guy can sing uptempo songs as well as he can sing a ballad. I put this CD in my car's CD player and didn't take it out for over a month.
#6 - Luke Bryan "Crash My Party" - This CD has two of my favorite singles put out this year on it, "That's My Kind of Night" and "Drink A Beer"...those songs are about as different as two songs could be and I think they really both spotlight just what this CD is all about. With all Luke's success, I'm sure he had a lot of pressure to deliver a great CD...and he did. :)
#5 - Kacey Musgraves "Same Trailer Different Park" - I love singer/songwriters. And this is a singer/songwriter CD. It feels very acoustic and very real without any over-the-top production to it. They CD is fantastic because of the lyrics that are smart, clever, funny and honest and the melodies are catchy, unique and amazing. This CD might not be for everyone because it's not in-your-face like a lot of music these days. But it's definitely for me!
#4 - Blake Shelton "Based On A True Story" - I have been a Blake fan since the beginning. It's funny now to think how I used to wonder why he wasn't a bigger star. That's not the case now. Blake's a superstar and you expect great CDs from people at his level. But what I didn't expect was for him to put out his best CD yet. I honestly think he did.
#3 - Charlie Worsham "Rubberband" - I call Charlie a triple threat. He's a great songwriter, singer and player. (In no particular order as he's equally good at all three!) And I think that's what makes this CD magic to me. And to think this is his FIRST CD...wow. It makes me super excited to think of what he'll put out in the future.
#2 - Keith Urban "Fuse" - I love Keith Urban. I've seen him on every tour for I think 12 years now. I love him. But I didn't love his last CD. So when I heard he was putting out a new one I was cautiously optimistic...and I loved this CD from the first listen. It's everything I want from Keith Urban...and then some.
#1 - Gary Allan "Set You Free" - this CD came out in January and I loved it so much that I compared every other CD to it the entire year. And nothing else could beat it for me. It's been my #1 CD of the year the ENTIRE year. I have been a Gary Allan fan for a long time - and I honestly think this is his best CD yet. And that's saying a lot.