40 Best Country and Americana Albums of 2017

Kip Moore flipped off the industry, Willie Nelson taunted mortality, and Margo Price questioned the American dream

Thomas Rhett, 'Life Changes'
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40/40

40. Thomas Rhett, 'Life Changes'

Thomas Rhett doesn't cut the same brooding figure as fellow sonic experimenter Sam Hunt, but instead throws a party where fans of Alabama, Childish Gambino and Buddy Holly can all find some common ground. Shaped by the imminent arrival of his two daughters, Life Changes finds Rhett tinkering with strains of silky R&B, Chainsmokers-style EDM and effervescent pop for a series of head rush-inducing jams. The title track mixes late-Nineties alterna-pop with hyper-personal lyrics about success, marriage and fatherhood – topics he explores in many of the other tracks, like the thundering album closer "Grave." J.F.