Top 10 Country Albums of 2018

These are my top ten country music albums from this past year, which I think was a pretty great year overall. Yeah, there are some major problems in the industry right now, but it’s always important to remember that there’s a lot of great music getting made too, and I’m hoping it can help the pendulum swing back toward quality.

I probably won’t always time stamp my videos, but I made a VERY long video here, so if you want to click around, here you go! I also included links to the videos of albums I did solo reviews for:

10. Kenny Chesney – Song for the Saints (1:20)

9. Dierks Bentley – The Mountain (4:00)
Full review:

8. Jamie Lin Wilson – The Being Gone (7:07)

7. Cody Jinks – Lifers (9:36)

6. Brothers Osborne – Port Saint Joe (12:20)
Full review:

5. Eric Church – Desperate Man (15:14)
Full review:

4. Ashley McBryde – Girl Going Nowhere (17:33)
Full review: h

—-Honorable Mentions—- (20:06)
*Pistol Annies – Interstate Gospel
*John Prine – The Tree of Forgiveness
*Joshua Hedley – Mr. Jukebox
*Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour
*Various little mentions

3. Caitlyn Smith – Starfire (23:56)

2. American Aquarium – Things Change (27:08)

1. Lori McKenna – The Tree (29:49)
Full review:

Also — I say this in the video — THANK YOU for all the support on the “This Beat is Killing Country Music” video. It’s blown me away.



Scatt says:

You keep doing what you’re doing man. Loved the last video, I enjoyed this video, and you seem like a great guy. You’ll climb.

T.g.i.f says:


Just Rodeo says:

You should check out Ned LeDoux I highly recommend him

Nathan Hall says:

No Luke Combs or Thomas Rhett??

Cody Nickle says:

Although Kaceys album wasnt her best i still feel like it beats all other records or at least top 5 for country! She is one of the GOATs

Doug Blankenship says:

I can see it! Ya do look a little, no wait…. a lot like him.. Lol Ya know what they say: “Everybody has an #EvilTwin” lol

brayden way says:

Hey man idk if your into rap I’m new to your channel but you should check out Ryan upchurch he is a rapper “country rapper” a rock artist and a country artist he’s not your typical artist I think you’d like him

Brooke Lounsbury says:

You lowkey look like Dierks Bentley!!

bryan babcock says:

Anyone like Midlands?

Braxton Ziadie says:

You should check out Tyler Childers his stuff is great

Austin Smith says:

I have been I Kenny Chesney fan since 2003 but I will say his last couple albums haven’t been as good and they haven’t been bad. I do agree that this new album is the one of the best.

Will Kern says:

You should review Joyann Parker’s new album “Hard to Love.” It’s more blues than country, but it’s a great piece of work. She’s got one of the best voices around, trust me, you’ll love her. Here’s a cut.

TheShiresNo1Fan says:

You forget about Accidentally On Purpose by The Shires

Nic Dohrn says:

I’m very surprised he didn’t include Luke combs or Chris Stapleton both maintain a very good country root while still managing to be mainstream I think it’s people like Luke and Chris that are going to keep country music country as we go into the future.

Vanessa Lundberg says:

You should check out Cody Johnson. He has a very old time sound that makes you feel like the cowboy is coming back to country music in the best way possible

twostepcub says:

Awesome job, Grady. I know it takes a lot of work to put yourself out there (I’ve never got to the YouTube stage myself), but your passion for this music shows through. I guess I had the same leanings on country music, with women voice (the ones totally overlooked right now on the radio) are becoming the most relevant. Lori McKenna sure does give me the same warm thoughts that Nanci Griffiths does with being able to tell stories. I honestly have to check out American Aquarium, you’re the second person to suggest it and I’ll give it a whirl (one of the admitted benefits of streaming before i buy). I’m sure you got flak for Kacey, but i commend you for standing by your opinion (hey, you didn’t say it sucked). Out of these ten Ashley McBryde is my personal fave of the year. And keep on plugging.


ChannelX24 says:

Lori McKenna was a sound choice for number one. Anyone wanting to improve their songwriting should listen to The Tree.

Jonathan Cagle says:

Love your channel and love country music! Subscribed and excited to see you grow!

Kaleb VonMoose-Lemin says:

Grady Smith you should check out Justin Moore he is a good artist who released an album called kinda don’t care. the album has some excellent songs the album has been out since 2016 and I think that it was a little underrated

Jenny M says:

great video! I’m glad you reviewed Caitlyn Smith. she’s currently one of my favorites to listen to right now. she’s very underrated.
I know he isn’t country, but you should review Niall Horan’s album Flicker, I feel like you’d really enjoy it

Kelby Singhaus says:

You are very well articulated

Jamie Scherer says:

Love your content!!!

Justin Fox says:

Great stuff! You and I don’t agree on all artists but we are more aligned than not. A Reco: while not conventionally Country, John Hiatt has crafted something magnificently honest with The Eclipse Sessions. Definitely worthy of your ears!

•allstopblue • says:

Morgan Wallen? Honorable mention? Really? Yuck. Terrible “country” music. Love your channel though! Lol

countrygirl countrymusiclover says:

And just where the heck was comeback QUEEN Carrie underwood cry pretty CD??? She released that in 2018 and not even mentioned on here. That should of been mentioned over Kacey who was an honorable mention and it should of been on here over ashley.mcbryde Cody jinks lorrie mck (although I’ve heard lorries lyrics once from Tim humble and kind and before that I heard faith hill song fireflies off Faith’s fireflies cd. Lorrie is better at writing than vocals. I only go by vocals not the instrument sound or style

Tiff says:

I disagree straight up bc interstate gospel is number one and golden hour is number two not HM

Andrew Truckenmiller says:

Who do you like from.todays country?

Julien Melendez says:

I’m surprised Luke Combs didn’t make your mentions! Although I will say that his album takes away from who he is live…

Paul Winger says:

your favorite soap? GH or AMC

Pete Miller says:

The fact that Golden Hour was only an “honorable mention” and not Top 3, says a lot about the quality of your list.

countrygirl countrymusiclover says:

Have you been told you look like Dierks Bentley??? I *SWORE* that was him when I clicked on the video. He had his CD the mountain out in 2018 so I thought his picture was being used because he was probably on the list for one of the CDs from 2018 on this list

Bogar Cooks says:

We need a top 10 worst country albums.

Matt Gibson says:

I would love to see your reaction to Sam outlaw, I think you would be a big fan!

Sarah Verghese says:

So happy to see Dying Star get a shout out! Absolutely one of my favorite albums of 2018!

Glenn Morris says:

Thanks for including girl going nowhere by Ashley McBride … It’s my favourite album by far this year..saw her in the UK last year she’s amazing and what an album.

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