25 Best Country and Americana Albums of 2017 So Far

From Lauren Alaina's wise beyond her years collection to Luke Combs' stellar Number One debut

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Luke Combs, 'The One's for You'

Luke Combs, 'The One's for You'

New artists' debut albums are rarely so cohesive, engaging and altogether satisfying. But Combs hits all those marks on This One's for You, a collection of 12 songs co-written by the North Carolina singer-songwriter. And lead single, the multi-week Number One "Hurricane," isn't even the best of the bunch. That honor falls to the stunning "I Got Away With You," perhaps the only country song to ever name-check both the Louvre and Alcatraz in its chorus. Yes, Combs hits some familiar notes – the redneckin' "Out There"; too-drunk-to-stand "Beer Can" – but This One's for You, with its mix of Nineties twang and contemporary swag, is undeniably refreshing. Not since Eric Church's Sinners Like Me has a debut LP so perfectly summed up the artist behind it. J.H.

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