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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11. Randy Houser, "Like a Cowboy"

Not since Brooks & Dunn has an artist sounded so authentic singing about the cowboy way. Houser saddles up for this epic ballad, which juxtaposes the lonely gunslinger's life with that of the hard-touring musician. It's hardly a new analogy, but Houser's lyrics (co-written with Brice Long) are revelatory in their directness. And the under-recognized vocalist sings the shit out of it. It all adds up for a single as grand as Monument Valley, a song that helps a currently future-obsessed genre rediscover its Wild West past — and makes us curious to see what Houser has planned next.

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