News: USA Today and Entertainment Weekly Announce Best-of Music Lists

taylorswift-01-bigThe music critics at USA Today have announced their favorite singles and albums from the last year.  Brian Mansfield, the newspaper’s Nashville correspondent, named Jamey Johnson, Kathy Mattea and Taylor Swift on his ballot, with Mattea also garnering a mention from critic Ken Barnes.

Entertainment Weekly‘s Chris Willman has also weighed in with an all-genre albums list that included Lee Ann Womack and an underrated gem from Nashville resident Sheryl Crow.  Leah Greenblatt also lists her album choices, along with a slate of the top ten singles (Ashton Shepherd’s “Sounds So Good” ranks No. 9) and the five worst singles (No.5  is Jason Aldean’s “She’s Country”).


  1. That’s a little harsh for Aldean. I don’t think the song is bad enough to deserve that kind of put down…it’s actually quite a random choice for that list considering what has been offered this year.

  2. I like most of the Country artists these two publications recognized, but still, it is obvious that Country music is not their favorite kind of music.So few are included amoung their favorites..

    I don’t mean to sound overly dramatic, but I think it’s a sad commentary…a decline of the culture kind of thing, to see what kind of music is preferred amongst these publishers and editors over Country.

  3. Brian Mansfield’s statement about Taylor Swift “reshaping next-generation notions of country music” is what I think scares me the most..

  4. I think Blake mentioned that Sheryl was only a Nashville resident, not that she was “country”–a distinction that you correctly pointed out, though, Marc. Anyway, Sheryl’s album Detours clearly isn’t country, especially not with its socio-political content, which leans more to the left than the Nashville law will allow.

  5. Correct. Although I think that Crow would make a better country record than 95% of Nashville, Detours is not country. Crow’s music, in my mind, had taken a dip with 2005’s Wildflower, but this was a nice return to form.

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