Kristian Bush, "Trailer Hitch"
It's interesting to see Kristian at the front of the mic after all these years with Sugarland. A story about how we all need to relax and enjoy what we have since someday we won't have it anyway. It is an interesting topic with a great hook to boot. - zack97
Easton Corbin, "Clockwork"
With clever lyrics, a killer vocal performance, and a contemporary sound, it's a mystery to me as to why this song failed to strike a chord with radio. Nevertheless, this song is a great reason why we need traditional leaning guys like Easton around. - zack97
Keith Urban, "Cop Car"
Sure, it's an interesting composition to begin with, and it's certainly enjoyable from a sonic standpoint, but what really makes "Cop Car" shine is Urban's vocal. When Keith Urban is on his game, he wraps his voice around the lyric and places emphasis on certain syllables to make for an intriguing listen. That's exactly what he does here, making it his best single since "I Told You So". - Markus Meyer
Joe Nichols, "Yeah"
Some might call this song "bro" with its bro-like lyrics and subject and there is something to that argument. But what this song does do that most with similar subjects don't is have superb vocals from one of the genres best male voices and clever lyrics. "Then she played me some band on her iPod. Kind of hit me kind of hippie and I thought, No. But I said yeah, yeah, yeah". The production was spot on as well and "Yeah" ended up being one of the years biggest hits. - sabre14
Chris Young, "Lonely Eyes"
While Chris Young certainly knows how to execute a neo-traditional number, he also knows how to hold his own when doing pop-country. Case in point, "Lonely Eyes". "Lonely Eyes" is a story about a bar room hookup, with vivid details painted throughout, backed by a restrained pop-tinged arrangement and a killer vocal from Young, making it one his best singles to date, and one of the best of 2014. - MM
Kacey Musgraves, "Keep It to Yourself"
This was the final release from Kacey's critically acclaimed Same Trailer, Different Park album. It was also probably the most radio friendly track on the disc but don't let that make you think this wasn't a great song. I love the production and arrangement and Kacey's vocals are easy on the ears and makes you want to hit that repeat button. - sabre14
Tim Hicks, "She Don't Drink Whiskey Anymore"
Hands down the best single from a Canadian artist in 2014. "She Don't Drink Whiskey Anymore" is an authentic, emotional song about the narrators' ex no longer feeling the pain of their breakup, and thus not drinking whiskey anymore. It's a tender mid-tempo ballad that recalls Jason Isbell at his most proficient. - MM
Dakota Bradley, "Won't Be Young Forever"
I know what most are thinking. Who the heck is Dakota Bradley and what is this song? That's because this did next to nothing on the singles charts. All you need to know about this song is the lyrics, the lyrics and more lyrics. Did I mention the great lyrics. This song is a great song to put in perspective for anybody of youth, which is don't waste it. - sabre14
Eric Paslay, "She Don't Love You"
Newcomer Eric Paslay executes this heart wrenching number with the wisdom and finesse of a seasoned veteran. "She Don't Love You" acts as a warning to the men who find themselves in a relationship with the woman in question, as she'll simply end up breaking their hearts, because she doesn't actually love them. Paslay's debut album was one of the best projects of the year, and "She Don't Love You" may have been its finest moment.
Luke Bryan, "Roller Coaster"
Even though Luke Bryan has to me put out questionable material lately, this song is definitely not among them. "Roller Coaster" might be Luke's best effort since his debut album and paints a nostalgic picture in the listeners mind. This is the Luke I enjoy. - sabre14
Brantley Gilbert, "One Hell of an Amen"
Brantley's gritty vocal and the edgy country-rock production adds the right amount of punch to a tear jerking lyric. Simply put, the best single of 2014. Oh, and it will also probably smash due to Brantley being one of the genres fastest rising stars. Major win for country music. - MM
Jake Owen, "What We Ain't Got"
Jake said he was going to start releasing more serious music in the future and boy did he mean it. This song is a perfect example of what country music was built on and he delivers the song with arguably the best vocal performance of his career. Jake wasn't afraid to release it, and was even the one who insisted it be released. This song proves Jake Owen is more than a beach bum. - zack97
Josh Turner, "Lay Low"
Like UMG head Mike Dungan said a few weeks ago when talking about Josh's upcoming music - "This is a guy our genre needs right now". "Lay Low" fits the perfect balance of traditional country music with modern style production that makes it fit wonderfully on country radio. This could be one to watch out for in 2015. - sabre14
Dierks Bentley, "Drunk On A Plane"
From his amazing Riser album, Dierks gives us a fun song that actually has meaning. The story of a man looking to drown his sorrows on a plane might not seem funny, however, it is. The man is having the time of his life even though his woman is gone. He is getting drunk for a reason, and there's no tailgate in sight! "Drunk on a Plane" is also Dierks' first platinum certified record. - zack97
Dierks Bentley, "Say You Do"
One of the strongest tracks of a masterful project, "Say You Do" is a dialed-back, melancholy, purely country tune that conveys heartfelt, bittersweet emotion. A fine lyric, a moody arrangement, and an excellent vocal makes "Say You Do" one of 2014's best moments. - MM
Craig Morgan, "We'll Come Back Around"
I've mentioned before to people that Craig needs to make it mandatory for him to record these songs on every project he puts out. This one has pretty much everything I need in a Craig ballad. Good production, great lyrics and one of his best vocal performances. - sabre14
Eli Young Band, "Dust"
Country and arena-rock mixed to perfection. "Dust" is an invigorating, exciting single that fins the perfect balance between an anthem, and a story, while Mike Eli's vocal brings life to the lyric. It all adds up to one hell of a single. - MM
Keith Urban, "Somewhere In My Car"
Keith's second car song from his Fuse album is one that tells the story of a man who is tortured by a lost love, and copes with it by revisiting fond memories. While it does go more in the pop direction, Keith makes sure to own the song and delivers the story with a passion that is found in many of his recordings. - zack97
Jon Pardi, "What I Can't Put Down"
With Jon Pardi comes a welcomed helping of the way country music in my opinion needs to go. Great genuine country instrumentation and relatable lyrics takes the listener back about 10 years back with this tune. - sabre14
Maddie & Tae, "Girl In a Country Song"
This is more than just a song. It's a stamp on the timeline of country music. These two young ladies created a song that slams the bros and gives power to females in country music. Many "bro country" songs are name dropped throught the song, however they are done so in a clever way that only bolsters the argument these ladies are trying to make. It is also the first country song by females in over two years, as well as the first debut song to hit #1 in over 10 years by a female not named Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, or Taylor Swift. This, ladies and gentlemen, is evolution to country music, not adding rap or R&B to your music. - zack97