The best country albums of 2022 have something in common: they were made with little regard for commercial success or record sales.
In some cases that’s because the artist didn’t have the infrastructure to run a song up to No. 1 on radio airplay charts. Three independent artists make this Top 10 list and a fourth album is the kind of album you’d expect from an indy. Only one artist found below notched a solo No. 1 country airplay hit this year.
Honorable mentions go to full length albums by Luke Combs and Thomas Rhett (EPs were not considered) but artists that valued creativity and a cohesive vision across nine, 11 or even 17 songs were rewarded with recognition. Lainey Wilson and Miranda Lambert are two hitmakers who did just that. Muscadine Bloodline and American Aquarium are two you may not have heard of that shaped country music in a big way this year.
The lesson is country fans need to look deeper for the most daring, creative music of 2022. Taste of Country’s list of the Best Country Albums of 2022 features 10 critically acclaimed albums, with only the slightest consideration given to sales success. A team of staff writers worked together to shape the list.
Best Country Albums of 2022 – Critic’s Picks
This list of country music’s best albums from 2022 separates artists who aim to make great albums from those simply looking to record great songs. Only one artist found below notched a solo No. 1 country airplay hit this year. Popularity doesn’t always equal quality.
The lesson is country fans need to look deeper for the most daring, creative music of 2022.
Top 22 Country Songs of 2022, Ranked