2018 in Review: Top Albums

Red Marlow: “Country as Cornbread”


Red Marlow released Country as Cornbred just four months after making the Season 13 finals on The Voice

Red Marlow released Country as Cornbred just four months after making the Season 13 finals on The Voice.

If you’re looking for a classic country album, you can’t do much better than the one Red Marlow released just four months after finishing fourth on Season 13 of The Voice.

It’s called “Country as Cornbread,” and it’s a fitting title.

Red serves up what you’d expect on a country album, including a song about small towns (“That’s Where We Live”), a couple about religion (“My House in Heaven” and “If Every Day was Sunday”) and the obligatory drinking song (“Four Ounces at a Time”).

But he does it with a ridiculously catchy set of 10 songs and the same warm, sincere vocals that helped make him a favorite on The Voice.

Red co-wrote six of those songs, including the excellent album-closing “The Good Ones,” but said he didn’t shy away from recording songs written by others, like “Tomorrow’s Gone,” another album highlight.

After releasing three EPs before appearing on the show, the 40-year-old said the album was the result of a lesson learned on The Voice.

“Being on The Voice allowed me to find out for myself that it’s okay to just be who you are and sing the kind of music you love,” Red told Voice Views. “Blake Shelton always said ‘just be who you are’ — so that’s what this record is to me. It is who I am.”

Track down a CD version of the album and you’ll even find the Marlow family cornbread recipe on the insert. You don’t get more country than that.

Here are highlights from “Country as Cornbread.”

Editor’s Note: By my count, former contestants from The Voice released more than 70 albums or EPs, more than 90 music videos and more than 800 original songs in 2018.

This week, I’m featuring my favorites, spotlighting what I’m calling the Top 5 music videos, Top 20 songs and Top 5 albums/EPs.

I hesitate to call them the best because that’s very subjective. Besides, I easily could have made each of these lists five times as long and still omitted lots and lots of great music.

That’s why I grit my teeth when Marshmellow or Ann-Marie or even a coach or advisor winds up with a guest performance spot on The Voice. I’ll never understand why the show doesn’t do more to promote its alumni.

Ah, but this isn’t a time for griping. It’s time to celebrate the accomplishments of talented artists.

I’ve also posted a complete list of post-Voice singles, albums and EPs, with links for your listening pleasure. And a blog with all 90-plus music videos. Please, check them out. Find your own favorites.

And if I’ve missed anyone, let me know. Stage names change. Side projects are created. Tracking the output of 600 post-Voice artists … well, I’ll be shocked if I didn’t miss someone. Just let me know by commenting below or emailing [email protected]. In terms of singles, my goal is to list any where the former contestant is the primary vocalist.

Coming tomorrow: The Top 5 post-Voice albums of 2018.

Happy listening.

Top albums

1. Adam Wakefield, “Gods & Ghosts”
2. Jordy Searcy, “Dark in the City”
3. Jordan Smith, “Only Love”
4. 2Steel Girls, “The Real Thing”
5. Red Marlow, “Country as Cornbread”

Top songs (not ranked)

Adanna Duru, “Doll”
Amanda Brown, “Take a Pill”
Amy Vachal, “Wait”
Austin Jenckes, “In My Head”
Brian Nhira, “‘Til Death Do Us Part”

Cartelli, “Last Night’s Mascara”
Chloe Kohanski, “Come This Far”
Christiana Danielle, “Resignation”
Darby, “Save a Thought for Me”
Domo, “Currency”

D.R. King & Jackie Foster, “Love is a Drug”
Jamie Lono, “New Orleans”
Johnny Gates, “Brooklyn Nights”
Koryn Hawthorne, “Down Goes Rome”
Loren Allred, “Never Enough”

Matt McAndrew, “Game Over”
Natalie Stovall, “Making Out in Cars”
RaeLynn, “Queens Don’t”
Riley Biederer, “Heartbreak Back”
We McDonald, “Head Up High”

Top Videos

1. Faultlines (Ashley Morgan), “Rain”
2. Sawyer Fredericks, “Hide Your Ghost”
3. Darby, “Play Pretend”
4. Brian Nhira, “Is This Love?”
5. Dawson Coyle, “Saturn”

All 2018 music videos
All 2018 albums and EPs
All 2018 singles

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