Remember, these are the top albums from October 2010 through September 2011…
Check out the next five in as we make our way into the top 20.
Top Country Albums of 2011 Part 2
There are some interesting stories included in this section of the countdown. There are some countdown regulars and even a big new name.
20. Halfway To Heaven – Brantley Gilbert
This album makes it on the countdown by technicality. It’s a technicality because the album was re-purposed and re-released just a few weeks ago. Brantley Gilbert spent the last few years with the great folks over at Average Joe’s Entertainment. While there, Brantley saw his songs recorded by Jason Aldean and others. Brantley’s Halfway To Heaven first entered the charts in March of 2010. Two singles were released and failed to make the charts. The third single was released and didn’t chart either. It was about this time that Brantley was getting even more attention as a sought after songwriter. The Valory group picked him up from Average Joe’s and re-released the single Country Must Be Country Wide. The single slowly began making its way up the charts and is still going strong as it nears the top ten. Brantley is on the bleeding edge of a modern day hard rock-country movement. He’s the kind of artist that is completely different from what’s currently on the radio. He taps into a new country audience. The people that love their hard rock and their country can find both with Brantley Gilbert. I’m excited about the rest of 2011 and 2012 because I think there are some great singles that could be released from this album. And Brantley seems driven to really find stardom. Let’s see what he can do.
19. 1978 December – Sonia Leigh
I just had the chance to review this album. Sonia is another artist with a completely new sound in the country music genre. She’s teamed up with Zac Brown for her first official major label release. The result is a 10-track collection of songs that are about love, heartache, and all the pain that goes in between. This girl really has something unique to offer country fans. She has this old soul yet sounds fresh and new. People are really going to like this entire album. The songs have a cohesiveness. It’s a great introduction to Sonia Leigh and what she’s all about. This girl is from the South. She’s here to tell her story and she’s taking anybody along for the ride that’s willing to saddle up for 40 minutes. If you like rocking chicks with plenty of attitude you’re going to love this record. It’s truly one of the best of the year.
18. Tailgates & Tanlines – Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan is another one of these artists on the cusp of superstardom. Luke has had his share of success through two albums. His second record went gold and saw a few really big singles including the classic Rain Is A Good Thing – one of the top songs of 2010. Since then, Bryan has been busy out on the road and in the studio. I had the chance to see him last year in concert. He put on a great show. He had the crowd interested the entire time and this was pretty early on in the night; like 5pm or something like that. Today, Luke Bryan has a few more singles under his belt and he’s already seen the first single from Tailgates & Tanlines crack the top five. The second single is on its way up to follow. I’m sure it’ll hit the top five in no time. Luke Bryan is right on the edge of making it really big in this business. He could be on the same level as Jason Aldean. I think there are some tracks on this album that could take Luke Bryan to an even greater level. He’s got the talent. He’s got the charisma. And he seems to want to be the next big star in country music. Here’s hoping the guy with the southern sound can make a go of it.
17. The Incredible Machine – Sugarland
Last October, Sugarland released their fourth album to much fanfare. The album started selling immediately spurred by the hit lead off single Stuck On You. The song raised a little controversy because it was so different from everything else on radio at the time. The song was quirky. There was some island rap toward the end and it really had people wondering what was going on. The song was so catchy, though, that people couldn’t help but sing along when it came on the radio. People still love hearing this song on the radio over a year after its initial run on the charts. I don’t want to say the second and third singles from the album have been disappointing, but they have’t charted as high as other singles from previous Sugarland albums. I’m not sure why these second singles didn’t do as well. The album overall is really great. The popularity of the album is evident by the sales the album has been doing – well over a million copies pushed out over the world. Sugarland has some interesting times ahead of them. They should have a new album in the works and I’m sure they’re hard at working trying to make their best record yet. In the meantime, Sugarland fans can still enjoy one of the best albums of 2011.
16. Proud To Be Here – Trace Adkins
Trace Adkins switched over to Toby Keith’s record label last year. He released his first record for the label and things were pretty successful. Earlier this summer Trace released a brand new single for an upcoming album. Just Fishin’ because Trace’s first top ten single on Show Dog and it’s still climbing the charts. Just a few weeks ago, Trace released Proud To Be Here. The record is classic Trace Adkins with plenty of romantic songs and songs with attitude. On the other hand, there are some new things here as well. Trace took a few chances. There is nothing crazy going on. Trace fans will still recognize Trace, but there are few surprises. You’ll have to check it out for yourself, but this album could quietly churn out two more hit singles throughout the next year. Trace is one of those artists that isn’t held down by anything. The man has been shot twice, had his house burned down, and a few other issues in his life. He was meant to share his life’s experiences with the country world and his fans love him and relate to him. This is a great album with songs people are going to love. Check this one out for sure.
Download Each Album
- [easyazon-link asin=”B005KWLBB0″]Halfway To Heaven Deluxe[/easyazon-link]
- [easyazon-link asin=”B005DLWLSU”]1978 December[/easyazon-link]
- [easyazon-link asin=”B005D4SMZI”]Tailgates & Tanlines[/easyazon-link]
- [easyazon-link asin=”B00469KLIC”]The Incredible Machine[/easyazon-link]
- [easyazon-link asin=”B005DUJ79M”]Proud To Be Here[/easyazon-link]