Annal: 2005 Grammy Award for Best Country Album

Results of the Grammy Award in the year 2005.

Album:Lonely Runs Both Ways

Lonely Runs Both Ways

Alison Krauss, Union Station

Nobody makes somber sound more exquisite than Alison Krauss. She’s come an awfully long way from her days as a teenage fiddle prodigy, as her glamour gown on this CD’s cover suggests and the bittersweet maturity of the music confirms. Krauss exchanges her bluegrass fiddle for the chamber strains of viola on much of the material, including four songs by Robert Lee Castleman (whose “The Lucky One,” “Let Me Touch You for Awhile,” and “Forget About It” were previously popularized by Krauss). Castleman’s compositions showcase the emotional intimacy and interpretive…

Album:All Jacked Up

All Jacked Up

Gretchen Wilson

Here for the Party, this sassy, strong-singing Redneck Woman’s 2004 debut, was a giant smash, but All Jacked Up’s even better: diverse, rockin’, and topped by a sensuous, soulful surprise bonus-track version of Billie Holiday’s “Good Morning Heartache.” Wilson kick-starts this guitar-and-fiddle-fired CD with the title track—a whiskey-drinkin’ sequel to “Redneck”—and the ode to down-home women “California Girls.” “Skoal Ring” suggests that the couple that chaws together stays together, and “One Bud Wiser” is a crafty tongue-in-cheek weeper that pays…

Album:Fireflies

Fireflies

Faith Hill

It’s hard to imagine a more schizophrenic album than Fireflies, but Faith Hill, the comely pride of Star, Mississippi, had a lot of different factions to please. There’s the country set, furious about the L.A. excess of 2002’s Cry, as ravaged a pop album as ever made. Then there’s the club set, which actually mistook Cry for music, and wanted more. Finally, there’s Hill herself, still bruised from the critical drubbing the last album got, and obviously feeling the need to prove herself anew, going brunette to show her transformation. The bad…

Album:Jasper County

Jasper County

Trisha Yearwood

Four years after her last album, 2001’s Inside Out, Trisha Yearwood returns with a solid effort that reclaims her place on country radio, particularly with the evocative, bittersweet ballad “Georgia Rain,” on which her fiancé, Garth Brooks, contributes quiet harmony. Brooks isn’t the only notable guest on Jasper County—Ronnie Dunn drops by on “Try Me,” and Beth Nielsen Chapman (always one of Yearwood’s favorite tunesmiths) harmonizes on “Trying to Love You,” one of the album’s prettiest heartbreak songs. Yearwood varies her repertoire with such…

Album:Time Well Wasted

Time Well Wasted

Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley’s previous release, Mud on the Tires, was the sort of landmark album nearly every artist has difficulty topping. Not so this time. On Time Well Wasted, Paisley’s voice—never overwhelmed by overmixed instruments (a problem dogging many current vocalists)—remains keenly focused. There’s quality material in abundance, heavy on originals and delightfully quirky bonus tracks. The album’s first hit, Paisley’s self-penned “Alcohol,” has the potential to become a lasting anthem in a genre where booze songs long ago became an art form. Guy…

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