The year has seen some very memorable single releases in the country genre. While it may be a little tough to select ten, that's what lists are for, right? So, here are The 615's picks for the ten best records you heard -- along with one you may have missed -- in alphabetical order.
|"Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not" | Thompson Square It has been a 2011 to remember for Keifer and Shawna Thompson, and this flirtatious first single paved the way for a lot of that success.|
| "Baggage Claim" | Miranda Lambert
The first single from "For The Record," the tune had a somewhat funky feel for the singer, who turned the sass on in what was one of the year's sexiest country recordings.
|"Cost of Livin'" | Ronnie Dunn One of the format's greatest singers with a tune that was about the pains of trying to stay afloat in today's troubled times. Simply, one for the ages.|
| "From a Table Away" | Sunny Sweeney
It was a song that broke the talented Texas artist through to the mainstream. It was also one that was one of the years' best produced records of the year, as well -- one you couldn't turn away from when it came on the radio.
| "Home" | Dierks Bentley
Maybe his strongest lyrical statement to date, the single reminds us of a late 70s Haggard track -- the ultimate compliment. The past few years have seen some of the best work of his career, and this is another example.
| "Honey Bee" | Blake Shelton
A deep and sobering musical statement? A song whose lyrics touched you or chilled you to the bone? Ok, so it's not that kind of classic. But, there was no song on country radio in 2011 that made one want to turn up the radio and sing along as loud! Plus, anyone who checks the name of Conway Twitty is fine with us!
"Red Solo Cup" | Toby Keith
While radio will eventually hold the verdict of whether this cut is too much, we have to hand it to Toby -- a song based on his feelings about a cup and its' ingredients? Maybe one of the most imaginative songs of his career.
|"Remind Me" | Brad Paisley & Carrie Underwood Two of the genre's top talents uniting for a song that had as much drama and passion as any other record on the airwaves this year!|
| "Teenage Daughters" | Martina McBride
For her Republic Nashville debut, the singer came up with a song that sounds like something that Loretta Lynn herself might have recorded alongside "Rated X" and "The Pill." A departure of sorts for McBride, but one that paid off!
| "You and Tequila" | Kenny Chesney & Grace Potter
Chesney has had some fine moments on record over the years, but it's quite possible he's never released a stronger single than "You and Tequila." Potter's presence gave this song a deep vulnerability that made it one of -- if not the musical highlight of 2011.
HONORABLE MENTION: "The Gospel According To Jones" | Eric Lee Beddingfield
Beddingfield is regarded as one of the fastest rising stars in the format, and his powerful tribute to the 'Possum' is proof that one can still have respect for the legends while plowing your own musical field! Hear It