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'
25
16/25

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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