My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

J.R. Journey’s Top Albums of 2012

Here are my favorite albums from 2012, in no order. Click the links to listen on Spotify.

nashville soundtrackNashville Cast - The Music of Nashville: Season 1, Volume 1

The Tennesseean‘s Peter Cooper made a valid case about the music coming from the hit ABC drama being better than most mainstream country hits. I agree with him. While the TV show’s original songs haven’t yet shown much aptitude with traditional country sounds – leaning more toward Americana and pop-country – they’re leaps and bounds ahead of the current top 40 when it comes to content and substance.

Recommended tracks: “Wrong Song”, “If I Didn’t Know Better”, “No One Will Ever Love You”

Kellie Pickler100 Proof

A handful of barn-burning up-tempos, a few clever female-friendly medium tempos, and even more stone country tear-jerkers, served up with heaps of fiddle, pedal steel, and Kellie Pickler’s Carolina twang? Yes, please.

Recommended tracks: “Long As I Never See You Again”, “Where’s Tammy Wynette”, “The Letter (To Daddy)”

jameyjohnsonJamey Johnson – Living For a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran

Johnson’s tribute to Music Row pioneer and songwriting legend Hank Cochran features an all-star cast taking on some of Cochran’s big hits and a few well-chosen and lesser known gems.

Recommended tracks: “Make The World Go Away” (with Alison Krauss), “A-11″ (with Ronnie Dunn), “A Way To Survive” (with Leon Russell and Vince Gill)

Zac Brown BandUncaged

On their third album, the Zac Brown Band again combines country with bluegrass and the sounds of the islands and the songs this time out are again smart and to the point.

Recommended tracks: “Sweet Annie”, “Goodbye In Her Eyes”, “The Wind”

Alan JacksonThirty Miles West

Jackson’s first album for the EMI Nashville label follows his winning no frills neotraditional formula. Thirty Miles West is a set full of top-notch songs and performances. I can’t stop playing it.

Recommended tracks: “So You Don’t Have To Love Me Anymore”, “Look Her In The Eye and Lie”, “She Don’t Get High”

dwight yoakam - 3 pearsDwight Yoakam  – 3 Pears

Yoakam’s first album of all new material in seven years is as eclectic as the man himself. On 3 Pears, he shares production duties with punk-rock hero Beck and songwriting credit with Robert Richie (aka Kid Rock) and Ashley Monroe on respective tracks on a set that ably combines the sound of rock and roll’s golden AM era with his own distinctive country stamp.

Recommended tracks: “It’s Never Alright”, “Heart Like Mine”, “Long Way To Go”

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3 responses to “J.R. Journey’s Top Albums of 2012

  1. Occasional Hope December 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    I didn’t like the Dwight Yoakam album much, and I haven’t seen ‘Nashville’, but I like your other picks.

    • Razor X December 27, 2012 at 3:19 pm

      Same here. I haven’t heard the Nashville album but I was surprised by how much overlap there was between your list and mine. But you lost me with the Yoakam release; I was really disappointed in that one.

  2. Jordan Stacey December 28, 2012 at 9:41 am

    I have yet to pick up the Nashville soundtrack but what I’ve heard from it has been promising. I do love the rest though. Dwight’s took a little while to get used to but now I’m really liking it. I’ve been having a hard time deciding weather Kellie or Jamey would be my #1 album this year, both are going to be remembered years from now though that’s for sure.

    Also I wonder how many landmark albums Jamey will put out in his career, only his debut is forgettable, he’s only on album #4 and 3 of them are masterpieces.

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