With best singles established, it's time for The 615 to shine a spotlight on 2013's best albums. This year featured a little bit of something for everyone, with some dazzling performances all around. At the end of the day -- or year -- we had a feeling it would come down to two unforgettable debut albums from two dynamic female vocalists, and as it turned out, we were on the mark.
"Life on a Rock" - Kenny Chesney
Sometimes, things aren't quite what you expect. When this album was announced, some of us thought it was simply to give Chesney a chance to indulge his passion in the songs of the islands. However, this set actually contained some of his most diverse and moving work, especially in the case of the gorgeous "Happy On The Hey Now."
"Rubberband" - Charlie Worsham
See Charlie write. See Charlie pick. See Charlie sing. I think that you get the idea. Worsham does so many things – and does them all with a sense of style. This album showcased each layer of what the Mississippi native brings to the table. We have a feeling this is just the beginning.
"Annie Up" - The Pistol Annies
The trio of Miranda Lambert, Angaleena Presley and Ashley Monroe rolled out their sophomore project, and to our ears, they actually outdid their 2011 debut. "Hush Hush" definitely charmed with its' irreverent lyrics, and "I Hope You're The End Of My Story" was as romantic as it gets.
"Off the Beaten Path" - Justin Moore
There are moments of Bryan / Aldean style attitude on Moore's third album, for sure, but what impressed us the most about this project is that the Arkansas native kept his career on a high note by keeping it very traditional based and twang-heavy.
"Feels Like Home" - Sheryl Crow
Some might have been a little skeptical about Crow releasing a country album, but it's amazing how in sync this is with some of her other work. The writing might be a little more first-person oriented, but a performance like "Shotgun" doesn't sound too removed from rockers like "Steve McQueen." Still, this set would have easily made the list if only for "Homecoming Queen" or the jaw-dropping "Waterproof Mascara." Welcome home, Ms. Crow. Stick around for awhile, because we like having you here!