Ashley McBryde’s small-town concept album, Adeem the Artist’s revelatory songwriting, and Willie Nelson’s celebration of restless spirit are among the high points of a year in which country music was pushed further and further beyond its limits. is.
Flashback The consensus at this year’s CMA Awards, held in November, was one of the “more country” shows in recent memory. The same can be said for music coming out of Nashville, Texas, and in 2022 it’s somewhere in between. Kelsea Ballerini, Joshua Hedley, Rainie Wilson, Ashley McBride, Charlie Crockett, and Hayley Witters all brought elements of a bygone era to their albums. : Whether it’s the rugged ’70s, his golden ’80s, or his shiny ’90s. (Rainie Wilson wrote “Strawberry Wine” for this era in “Watermelon Moonshine.” bellbottom country albums.) But no matter how long ago or recently each album looked back, they managed to sound fresh and modern.
Of course, sometimes country music works best when you’re willing to take risks. Kane Brown released his LP containing both fiddle and trap sounds, Paul Cauthen created his collection of country funk for clubs, and Miranda Lambert resembled his ’70s rock with a bit of country. made a record (plus B-52s!).
Yet it’s the lyricism of country music and its Americana counterparts that continue to define the genre. In 2022, names like Zach Bryan, Adeem The Artist, Jimmy Allen and the ever-consistent Willie Nelson have added several new classics to the canon. Find them here in our list of the year’s best country albums.