25 Best Country Songs of 2014

Little Big Town's shocker, Keith Urban's rocker and more of the songs stuck in our heads this year

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22. Jake Owen, "What We Ain't Got"

Owen had been gushing about this bare-bones ballad written by addiction survivor Travis Meadows since before he ever cut it. Its pull-no-punches message appealed to the Florida native, who was worried about being pigeonholed as the carefree "Beachin'" guy, thanks to a string of summery hits. Owen all but smashed that fear with "What We Ain't Got," a song as deep as "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" was frothy. In the process, he took a giant leap in establishing himself as a vocalist too, opting to record the song with only a piano supporting him. Most surprising? Radio is actually playing it.

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