10 Best Country Albums of 2013

The ladies took the lead in Nashville

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Kacey Musgraves, 'Same Trailer Different Park'
Courtesy of Mercury Nashville2/10

2. Kacey Musgraves, 'Same Trailer Different Park'

"Follow Your Arrow," a gem of Twitter pith and Music Row craft that advocates doing your thang, joint-rolling and same-sex kissin' included, was the talking point. But what's most charming about the album and its 25-year-old Texas-bred singer/co-songwriter is how matter-of-factly Musgraves made mainstream country feel artistically fertile again. Whether singing about friend-with-benefits-ship ("It Is What It Is") or more chronic afflictions ("I drink to feel/I smoke to breathe/Just look what love/has done to me" she sings in "Stupid"), she's ballsy, unsentimental, thoroughly pop and yet totally in the tradition. Don't call her the thinking woman's Taylor Swift; call her the gen-aught Loretta Lynn.

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