It’s been an incredible year for country music already, having seen new releases like Luke Bryan’s Crash My Party, Blake Shelton’s Based On A True Story…, Tim McGraw’s Two Lanes of Freedom and so many more. But the year isn’t over yet and there are some dynamic artists who are chomping at the bit to give country fans a taste at some new hits.
Could these future releases be contenders for album of the year? Definitely! Take a look at the list and put these release dates in your phone pronto.
Keith Urban - Fuse
Street date: September 10
Why you should buy it: Urban took a different approach to songwriting on the new album. Instead of opening a pad of paper and a pen, he would get his inspirations from hearing songs and using his Shazam app on his phone to identify beats he liked. Those rhythms, sounds, bridges all worked together to, in essence, fuse the album. In fact, Urban brought on producer Butch Walker because he had heard the record he produced with pop rock band Fall Out Boy, My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark. This album features a few tracks with familiar vocals from Miranda Lambert and Eric Church, “We Were Us” and “Raise ‘Em Up” respectively. He even had Church record a video bit so he could use him as backup vocals on the big screen during his tour.
This album features an array of music styles coming together with a mesh of country. Some songs he used as inspiration rang from Madonna’s “Don’t Tell Me” to Charley Pride’s “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone.” Overall, the album will be a pivotal one for Urban, who has taken a brand new way of songwriting and ran with it. You don’t want to miss what this eclectic album will offer.
Fun fact: the guy’s story in “Come Back To Me” from Urban’s new album is the same guy featured in “Stupid Boy,” after he figures out what he should be doing all along.
Billy Currington - We Are Tonight
Street date: September 17
Why you should buy it: Currington’s fifth studio album will release two-and-a-half years after his album Icon and unlike that album, he didn’t write any of the songs featured. Now fans might find that to be a little off putting but he assures fans that the sound is going to blow you away. It features three different producers, the first time the “Hey Girl” singer has had so many hands in the pot. ”This album is the first time that I have ever worked with three different producers,” the singer explains in a press release. ”It wasn’t planned, but just kind of happened that way. It was a great experience to be able to bring a different sound to this album and I hope the fans love it as much as I do.”
But don’t be alarmed, Currington still brings fun and happiness to the album with duets from Jack Johnson (“Banana Pancakes”) and Willie Nelson (“Hard To Be A Hippie”).
Chris Young - A.M.
Street date: September 17
Why you should buy it: Don’t expect any slow-tempo, ballads on Young’s latest project. A.M. features 11 tracks full of high energy excitement that mimic the overall energy of his live shows. His latest single “Aw Naw” already gives country listeners a glimpse into the type of sound they can expect from his highly anticipated follow up to Neon. Buy this album if you need a good soundtrack to your Friday night party.
Justin Moore - Off The Beaten Path
Street date: September 17
Why you should buy it: It features a new sound Moore fans haven’t heard before. In fact, he’s vying for a way to attract fans that he never had before with his 16-track release. The new album will also feature songs with guest vocals from Miranda Lambert and Charlie Daniels but he assures fans that the different path he’s going won’t freak out those who have followed his career thus far; “I’m not going pop or anything,” he assures.
Of the 16 songs, eight of them were written by Moore himself, with help from Rhett Akins, David Lee and Thomas Rhett.
Alan Jackson - The Bluegrass Album
Street date: September 24
Why you should buy it: It’s a bluegrass album! While current country fans are expressing their dismay with the amount of country albums going pop, Jackson decided to take his album back… way back, to the root of country music. This has been an album 15 years in the making and he assures fans it’s a tribute to his love for the bluegrass genre, one of the last music formats where it’s real songwriting, singers, and harmonies, and real players.
The album will feature eight original tracks from Jackson plus a handful of covers. No word on if it’s an album he will tour to promote, since he made it clear the album is for his fans, not for radio.
Cassadee Pope - Frame By Frame
Street date: October 8
Why you should buy it: This is Pope’s first country album in her career, where she previously fronted a punk/pop band called Hey Monday. She admits country music is what she grew up listening to and having a mentor like Blake Shelton can’t be bad for your career, that’s for sure. Her new album will feature a slew of country pop songs including her single “Wasting All These Tears”. The album will also feature many personal songs written by Pope, including the song “11″ which she wrote after her Mom and Dad split.
While The Voice winner is still young in her country career, having the debut album would be an asset to any collection. This album will give you a glimpse into the personal and sometimes difficult life of the songstress.
Scotty McCreery - See You Tonight
Street date: October 15
Why you should buy it: While McCreery has a few successful hits under his belt, this brand new album will be the first time he is writing, recording and releasing his own personal songs. The good news is the young singer won’t incorporate strict new country pop sounds. He assures his fans that the album will be the perfect balance between old country and new country. With the way country music is evolving, many fans are struggling with the more uptempo poppy sounds of country radio. Thankfully, McCreery is keeping the perfect mix of both.
“You will hear the contemporary country, but you will always hear the steel guitar and fiddle and those little nuances that make the older country what it was. I definitely am trying to stay true to my tastes as an artist on this album,” he says in a statement.
Thomas Rhett – It Goes Like This
Street date: October 29
Why you should buy it: An album two-and-a-half years in the making, “It Goes Like This” is a showcase to the changing sound and feel of Rhett’s life. Even the reveal of the album cover gave fans the most intimate view into the songwriter’s life; featuring pictures, videos and exclusive moments from the singer’s first day born to currently.
With the already successful singles “Something To Do With My Hands” and “Beer With Jesus,” Rhett’s debut album is sure not to disappoint. This singer’s career is only beginning and is destined for greatness. This album will have you saying ‘I was there when…’
Jake Owen - Days of Gold
Street date: December 3
Why you should buy it: If you’re in the mood for an uplifting song, Owen’s first single from the album “Days Of Gold” will give you chills. It impacted radio and was Owen’s most successful first week of his career. From day one, the singer has always been on eye level with his fans, keeping himself humble even through a highly successful career and his new album reflects on his fans, their lives and their memories. The feel good nature of “Days Of Gold” make people think back to the good times in ones life like sitting in the lawn at the Amphitheatre and rocking out to your favorite country act.