My 10 Favorite Deep Cuts From Albums Released In 2017
It's no secret 2017 was an amazing year for music. We got so many great new albums from our most beloved artists. (In case you missed it, here are my 5 favorite from this year.)
I absolutely love the songs we play on air but some of my favorite gems are ones that aren't released to country radio. I feel like there were more amazing deep cuts this year than ever before! I am anxious and excited to see what awaits us next year.
It was hard to narrow it down but here are my top 10 favorite deep cuts from this year in music.
Brett's 2017 self-titled album was definitely his most authentic and varied project yet. While the 12-track set is perfection from start to finish, one song sticks out among the rest. "Brother" is a deeply personal song about his relationship with his sibling. He leaves nothing out - from the name of the girl that broke his best friend's heart to the time they almost lost their father. It's Brett's best love letter yet, which is no easy feat.
When Kelsea Ballerini set out to make her second record, she wanted to put the focus on her songwriting and it shows. The opening track of her November release is her saddest, angriest and most unique song yet as she sings about a boy who broke her heart so bad it almost buried her. She's officially married now so I guess it's okay to give thanks to said heartbreaker for this one. (P.S. Her whole album is great, too.)
Lady A's latest album was worth the wait. Any song on the thing could be a huge radio hit but it's this slow-burning, devastating track that you can't quite shake. It's what happens after "Need You Now" when the alcohol wears off and things don't quite work out. It's a sprawling, four-minute work of art. Dare I say I have big love for it?
Lauren Alaina's huge voice was meant for a song like this. The best track on her stellar January 2017 release, she rips her heart out and details her long, grueling journey trying to make it in the music industry. Over simple production, she talks about all she's given up and missed over the years. Chasing dreams has never sounded so beautiful. Also, try not to cry when she sings the last line.
RaeLynn didn't stray away from any topic too uncomfortable on her WildHorse LP and it paid off big time. This song is the best example of a risk paying off. She sings the story of falling in love and losing in the end, likening it all to a forbidden fruit. The song's theme is common but the execution of this one is anything but.
What's a country song without the mention of whiskey? This song aches like her debut single and follows the same theme of heartbreak, love and loss but what makes this one a standout is the killer lyrics. She sings, "If my name was whiskey, maybe right now you'd miss me" and by the end of the song, you'll be mad you never thought of that one first.
Brett's latest single is his saddest release to radio yet but that one has nothing on his debut album closer. "Mercy" is a song full of pleas to a girl that broke his heart, asking her to go easy on him after a breakup. Accompanied only by a piano, you can hear the pain in his voice and the lyrics feel like a knife to your chest. This heartbreak sure left a mark on him and the song will leave a mark on you, too.
Where has this song been all my life? Off her third studio album, this track takes the unusual theme of outer space and twists it into a haunting love song. (Check out Maren Morris' version, too.) She sings about running out of air and hating the space she has to give to someone she loves. See what she does there? She's most famous for her awesome guitar skills but this song puts even those on the back burner.
Rhett's latest Grammy-nominated release is full of personal stories about success, love and new fatherhood. None more so than the title track. You learn so much about him from the very first line. He sings about his notebook full of "bad songs" that he thought no one would hear, the people that doubted his marriage and how he told his family he was going to be a dad. Nothing is more special than when an artist shows you who they really are.
This is a fun one like their debut single but this time they are taking names. The song is about their struggle to make a name for themselves in the country music business without "selling out" to make a paycheck. It's catchy and it's as country as it gets. Plus, who doesn't love someone taking on the haters once in awhile? (Oh, and Ken likes it too!)