We continue our countdown of our top 20 albums of the year with albums 9-5.
9: Mr. Saturday Night, Jon Pardi- Clocking in at number 9 on our countdown is Jon Pardi’s Mr. Saturday Night. Pardi’s traditional roots are front and center throughout an album that is incredibly sonically pleasing. Pardi continues to fly under the radar as one of country’s most underappreciated stars. Your Heart or Mine and Smokin’ A Doobie stick out as personal favorites on an album filled with toe-tapping fun.
8: Stereotype, Cole Swindell- With by far his best album to date, Cole Swindell marched back into the spotlight this year with the release of Stereotype. She Had Me At Heads Carolina quickly blew up on social media and rapidly flew up the charts, landing Swindell yet another number one hit. Beyond SHMAHC the rest of the album is filled with depth and emotive songwriting, leaving listeners hooked from top to bottom.
7: Where We Started, Thomas Rhett- A truly honest piece of art, Where We Started takes listeners on a journey of Thomas Rhett’s musical roots. Bass Pro Hat and Half of Me show off Rhett’s fun loving nature, while others like Slow Down Summer and Us Someday show off Rhett’s romantic side. The diverse nature of the project keeps listeners listening throughout as Rhett continues to be one of country’s premier stars.
6: SUBJECT TO CHANGE, Kelsea Ballerini- SUBJECT TO CHANGE is Kelsea Ballerini’s shining moment to date. Filled with clever songwriting and sonic innovation, Ballerini leans into her more traditionalist roots throughout a project that is a thoroughly enjoyable listen from top to bottom. As always Ballerini’s voice sounds simply spectacular throughout a project sure to leave listeners feeling some kind of way.
5: Palomino, Miranda Lambert- Miranda Lambert’s Palomino is one of the year’s most underappreciated projects. Lambert’s roots as a stripped back Texas storyteller take center stage and produce an outstanding project with a keen focus on incisive and innovative songwriting. Carousel sticks out as not only my favorite track on the project, but also one of my favorite songs of the year. Tourist takes listeners on a journey of lovesick wanderlust and longing, with Lambert delivering each and every lyric of the song and Palomino as a whole masterfully.