40 Best Country Albums of 2016

Miranda Lambert, Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price and more of the year's best

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Courtney Marie Andrews, 'Honest Life'

36. Courtney Marie Andrews, 'Honest Life'

On her sixth album Honest Life, Courtney Marie Andrews, a songwriter and touring musician since her teenage years, is interested in the subtleties of human emotion that only appear offline. Joni Mitchell is the logical comparison to the soft howl and deep-Canyon vibrato of her vocals, but there are echoes of the Indigo Girls and even Ryan Adams' Gold too since her songs are anchored by smart lyricism that seems more like an intimate conversation than a fiery confessional. "Sometimes it just ain't easy to live an honest life," she admits on the title track, delivered with the conviction of someone who seems to really try. M.M.

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