Country album winners also deserve recognition
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
The Grammy Awards this year had many big moments that a lot of people have been talking about. While everyone has been focusing on the big winners this year, including Adele, Beyoncé, and David Bowie, there has not been a lot of attention on the winners in the country categories. The albums that won in these categories are hidden gems and you will enjoy them, even if you are not a fan of country music. You will likely recognize some of these singers because they recently performed on Saturday Night Live.
Maren Morris – Hero
Winner of the Grammy Award for Best Country Performance, the 26-year-old Arlington singer rocked the country music scene with her first major label album. Maren Morris is considered to be the next Taylor Swift in terms of music, except let’s hope that Morris will not end up like Swift, as far as public image. Also, Morris looks like Selena Gomez.
Hero has both pop and country songs.
The album begins with “Sugar,” which has the most country line in the album: “Like a Coca-Cola on Christmas Day.” The Grammy-winning song “My Church” talks about Morris’ type of church and the backing vocals sound like a gospel choir.
The track “I Could Use a Love Song” sounds like the Shania Twain song “Forever and for Always.” One of my favourite songs on Hero, “80s Mercedes,” sounds great and it has a lot of bass when played with great speakers.
The song “Just Another Thing” has all of the sounds you would expect from a pop song. Occasionally, Morris swears throughout the album, which is something that you would not expect in a country album, though I have heard Blake Shelton swear on his album Based on a True Story.
Hero is one of the reasons why Maren Morris is the next big country star.
Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
Sturgill Simpson provides a guide to getting around Earth by ship in his next album. The winning record for Best Country Album explores the world in a very interesting way. On the back of the album it says that the album has “to be played at maximum volume” or simply put, played loudly. This is because there are a lot of surrounding effects and interesting sounds throughout.
While this album is country, it sounds like a soul album because the Dap-Kings are involved in it. The first song, “Welcome to Earth,” sets the mood of the album, and midway through the song, it sounds like soul. In “Sea Stories,” Simpson mentions a lot of cities in Japan. When you listen to track five, you first think that he is singing a country song until you realize that he is doing a country-soul version of Nirvana’s first hit single “In Bloom.”
The hit single from A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, “Brace for Impact,” is so loud that it will cause the room to shake.
The album truly allows you to experience what it is like riding on a ship.