AllMusic 2016 Year In Review

Favorite Country Albums -

 Veteran and freshly-arrived country stars alike continued to push the genre's boundaries and delivered several impressive albums in 2016, headlined by the latest from Miranda Lambert, Loretta Lynn, Maren Morris, Margo Price, Sturgill Simpson and Aubrie Sellers.
New City Blues

Aubrie Sellers

New City Blues

Soulful, smart, unpredictable "garage country" debut from the singer/songwriter.

Big Day in a Small Town

Brandy Clark

Big Day in a Small Town

On her major-label debut, Brandy Clark's finely rendered intimate songs get a big, bold production.

Shine on Rainy Day

Brent Cobb

Shine on Rainy Day

A warmly crafted and poetic set rooted in the Deep South of the singer's native Georgia.

Pawn Shop

Brothers Osborne

Pawn Shop

On their appealing debut, the Brothers Osborne skillfully balance classic style with modern country sounds.

The Driver

Charles Kelley

The Driver

Charles Kelley steps away from Lady Antebellum to deliver a sharp, satisfiying solo debut.

Night Hawk

Charlie Daniels

Night Hawk

Charlie Daniels pays tribute to cowboys and the American West on Night Hawk.

Black

Dierks Bentley

Black

Slick, sultry collection of mature mood music from the country singer.

Pure & Simple

Dolly Parton

Pure & Simple

The definitive country girl returns with a low-key but heartfelt collection of songs about love.

El  Rio

Frankie Ballard

El Rio

Frankie Ballard goes full-on heartland rock on his third album.

Gunslinger

Garth Brooks

Gunslinger

A relaxed, cheerful, back to basics album from Garth Brooks.

It's About Time

Hank Williams, Jr.

It's About Time

A big, wild, and rowdy comeback from Hank Jr.

Love Remains

Hillary Scott & the Scott Family / Hillary Scott

Love Remains

A quiet, intimate, and heartfelt excursion into country gospel by the Lady Antebellum singer.

Midnight Motel

Jack Ingram

Midnight Motel

Jack Ingram goes indie with a weathered, rangy album.

Long Time Traveller

Jeb Loy Nichols

Long Time Traveller

The country-reggae singer reunites with Adrian Sherwood and On-U Sound on a remixed, expanded version of this rare 2010 album.

California Sunrise

Jon Pardi

California Sunrise

Two years after his debut, Jon Pardi returns with the sturdy, frills-free California Sunrise.

A  Very Kacey Christmas

Kacey Musgraves

A Very Kacey Christmas

The country singer goes mid-century modern with a wink on this swinging, clever Christmas album.

Ripcord

Keith Urban

Ripcord

The country singer dives headfirst into R&B inflections and electronic rhythms on the sleek, mature modern pop record.

Cosmic Hallelujah

Kenny Chesney

Cosmic Hallelujah

Kenny Chesney embraces the modern world on a shiny, savvy record featuring a duet with P!nk.

Full Circle

Loretta Lynn

Full Circle

A moving, intimate record that takes stock of the full scope of the country legend's musical life.

Hero

Maren Morris

Hero

An inventive, thoroughly modern, and tremendous debut from the country singer/songwriter.

Midwest Farmer's Daughter

Margo Price

Midwest Farmer's Daughter

A smart, soulful retro-country debut that feels caught between the country and the city, along with the head and the heart.

The  Weight of These Wings

Miranda Lambert

The Weight of These Wings

A moody, muddy, and audacious double album from Miranda Lambert.

Nothing Shines Like Neon

Randy Rogers Band

Nothing Shines Like Neon

The Randy Rogers Band return to an indie label and deliver their best record in years.

A Sailor's Guide to Earth

Sturgill Simpson

A Sailor's Guide to Earth

A sprawling concept album that expands the notion of what constitutes Cosmic American Music in the 21st century.

Southern Family

Various Artists

Southern Family

Producer Dave Cobb's multi-artist mosaic portrays the rich complexities of modern Southern music.

Down to My Last Bad Habit

Vince Gill

Down to My Last Bad Habit

Dispensing with an explicit concept, the masterful guitarist nevertheless comes close to making his own version of a soul album.

Vinyl

William Michael Morgan

Vinyl

The Mississippi singer turns his debut into a salute to the best of George Strait.

For the Good Times: A Tribute to Ray Price

Willie Nelson

For the Good Times: A Tribute to Ray Price

An affectionate and bittersweet tribute to Willie Nelson's lifelong friend Ray Price.