The Ten Best Country Songs from the Past Ten Years
Not long ago, I wrote about the top 12 country songs of all time. When I wrote it, I mentioned that I wasn’t sure how many modern songs would make the list, and it turned out that the most recent entry on the list was from 1993.
I’ll admit that there are plenty of songs I love from the last few years of country music, and when I received the challenge to make a list, I found it was easier than I realized. You’ll notice that certain popular country hitmakers aren’t on this list, and that’s for a good reason. (I’ve made my feelings about Florida-Georgia Line and their ilk crystal clear for a long time.)
Here’s my list of the ten best country songs from the last ten years. Some of them were big hits, while others weren’t. I chose a couple of them to represent the total output of certain artists. I hope you’ll enjoy the list, and who knows? You might even discover some songs you didn’t know you loved.
10. “Need You Now,” Lady Antebellum (2010)
Ok, so maybe not all of us have been so desperate to speak to an ex so badly that we call that person after consuming a few drinks, but I’m sure we’ve all had the thought of reaching out to that love we lost. I think that’s what made “Need You Now” resonate with so many people.
Lady Antebellum had already carved out a niche of irresistible songs with nice, tight harmonies, so it wasn’t a surprise when “Need You Now” followed their other hit singles. And it was almost as if Lady Antebellum had perfected their formula (and I don’t mean that word as a negative) this time.
“Need You Now” hits the sweet spot of heartrending lyrics, a melody built for singing along, and the rich harmonies for which the trio had been cultivating a reputation. It’s country enough to not alienate fans, but it’s also pop enough to cross over – which it did, topping the adult contemporary as well as the country charts and hitting number two on the Hot 100. It also topped the charts in Israel and went top ten in five other countries. The trio also won four Grammy awards, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
That’s a ton of achievement without a drum machine beat or lyrics about getting in a truck. Take that, bro country!
9. “The House That Built Me,” Miranda Lambert (2010)
It doesn’t take much familiarity with country music to know that it’s loaded with sentiment, and so many country artists love to sing about growing up. It’s easy to see the appeal of singing about home: a simpler time, fewer cares, and more security. Miranda Lambert left her stamp on this country music theme with a song that gave her a number one and won her a Grammy.