Annal: 2002 Grammy Award for Best Country Album

Results of the Grammy Award in the year 2002.

Album:Home (Dixie Chicks)

Home

Dixie Chicks

The Dixie Chicks aren’t old enough to remember when radio programmed pop records next to country, rock, folk, and beyond, but their Texas DNA tells them that’s the way music was meant to be heard. On Home, which they coproduced in Austin with Lloyd Maines, the father of lead singer Natalie Maines, they strip off the star-making gloss of Nashville and get down to the meat of the matter, turning out an acoustic record that gives a big Texas howdy to bluegrass. But that’s only the framework they use to salute all their influences, from the raggedy rock of…

Album:Drive

Drive

Alan Jackson

He sings straight, writes songs without a half dozen Music Row hacks pitching in their two cents, and keeps the music basic. On Drive, Jackson mixes wistful visions with satire, sorrow, and eloquence, using old cars—”Drive (For Daddy Gene)”—to explore growing up and, on “Work in Progress,” spoofing a woman obsessed with “improving” her man. As usual, he explores love’s joy (“When Love Comes Around”) and anguish (“The Sounds”). His flair for thoughtful, evocative expression reaches its zenith with his classic September 11 commentary “Where Were You (When…

Album:The Great Divide

The Great Divide

Willie Nelson

Though Willie Nelson has previously demonstrated that he can sing just about anything with just about anyone, The Great Divide shows there are some bridges even he shouldn’t cross. An incongruous array of duet partners join Nelson on this attempt to attract a younger and wider demographic. The project follows the formula that paid such commercial dividends for Carlos Santana, down to the collaboration with matchbox twenty’s Rob Thomas on the opening “Maria.” Nelson proceeds to engage Kid Rock in a transgenerational gunslingers’ duel on “Last Stand in Open…

Album:Halos & Horns

Halos & Horns

Dolly Parton

Like many musicians profoundly moved by the events of September 11, Dolly Parton reacted to the tragedy by going inward and forging a spiritual journey through songwriting. As usual, the subjects from which she draws the greatest strength are the ones that have buoyed her throughout her career—the Deity, to whom she talks directly in the searching “Hello, God,” and the mythology of the mountains, best exemplified in “These Old Bones,” a fascinating piece of backwoods lore, even as Parton’s impersonation of an ancient fortune teller turns grating. Yet the songs on…

Album:Man with a Memory

Man with a Memory

Joe Nichols

It’s not just that this Arkansas native’s leathery, edgy voice conjures up Haggard, Jackson, and Travis. Too many recent case histories demonstrate that such traditionalism won’t necessarily survive Music Row or radio’s dictatorial requirements. Joe Nichols provides a heartening exception to that depressing rule. The songs may cover predictable ground, yet their spicy ingenuity and Nichols’s hardy voice prove consistently satisfying. He tackles the philosophical tune “The Impossible” with understated finesse. The same applies to his spins on loneliness (“You…

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