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Five of The Best Albums in Country Music in 2023
Country music made significant strides in 2023, and some pretty amazing albums came out of this past year.
Chris Stapleton said of his album Higher, which he released in November of 2023, “Whenever we’re releasing new music, we don’t have a specific ritual really, but I think there’s a little bit of apprehension, a little bit of excitement mixed together wondering how fans will react, really. I think that’s the main thing going on in our heads when we put something out is we hope whatever we’ve done will be something that people will gravitate to and enjoy.”
He said of the album’s title track, “‘Higher’ is a song that’s been around a long, long time. I wrote it in 2001 in the first few months of being a professional songwriter here in Nashville, and it was on the first demo session that I ever did here in Nashville. So, for it to come around 22 years later and wind up being the title track of an album is a pretty unique thing to me.”
HARDY released his the Mocking Bird & the Crow album in January of this year (2023). He said of the project after debuting at #4 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart, “It’s just beyond every expectation we ever had. To have the #1 album in both country and rock at the same time is so crazy and validating. I’m grateful to country and rock radio, our partners, and everyone for embracing these songs and this record. Most of all, thank you the fans for getting it and responding like this; it means the world to me.”
Albums were also released this year by Cody Johnson, Elle King, Dierks Bentley, Tim McGraw, Dan + Shay, and more.
Before we reveal our five picks for the best country album of 2023, I want to note that Lainey Wilson’s Bell Bottom Country was released in late 2022, or of course, that project would be on the list. In this journalist’s opinion, the Lainey album is one of the best country albums in the last five or maybe ten years. Now, on with our top five 2023 country albums list.