Interestingly enough, I think the closest thing to that sound today can be found in country music. We’ve changed dramatically in a very short period of time. The last 10 years have seen the twang and steel guitar give way to electric guitar riffs and even a little country rap. But, the main thing about country has never changed. We are a lyric driven format with some of the greatest songwriters in the world providing great songs every day on Music Row. Every song tells a story and every story relates to someone you know, maybe even yourself. What has changed the most over the past 10 years is the sound of the records. With that in mind, I offer the non-country fan a 3 CD collection you must have. These albums are not only the best we have to offer in this format, but really the first two changed the direction of the format and the 3rd is maybe the best album in our genre.
Tim McGraw-Everywhere released in June of 1997. This album changed his career. There were no less than 7 singles on it and I think 6 went to #1. On this album is Where The Green Grass Grows, It’s You Love w/Faith, Everywhere, Just to See You Smile and many others. Up until Live Like You Were Dying they all were his defining songs.
Keith Urban-Golden Road released in the summer of 2002. Simply the best country record of the decade. It sounded better than anything that came before it and many things that came after it. 5 #1 singles including You Look Good In My Shirt which was a later #1 since it was never released off the Golden Road CD. It was on a greatest hits album. There just aren’t very many better songs than “You’ll Think Of Me”
Eric Church-Chief released August of 2011. Go get it. The sound of country today and the next 10 years, everything that Golden Road was to last decade, this is for this decade. From Creapin to Over When It’s Over, it just doesn’t get better than this.
Next week I will talk about current singles and what makes them jump off the radio.