6. Andrew Combs, 'All These Dreams'
If the legendary Quonset Hut Studio, recording den for Simon & Garfunkel, Patsy Cline and others, never closed, Combs' All These Dreams is the kind of work that would be currently pouring out of it. But don't be mistaken — the sophomore LP from the Nashville-based singer-songwriter is no retro revival; it's just built in the spirit of an era where lush orchestrals and strong narrative songcraft were the keys to the castle, not Autotune or hip-hop infusions. Countrypolitan may have been a dirty word in its day, but this is its modern incarnation — layered, evocative arrangements over lyrics much more interested in telling stories than treating music as a confessional both. Holding it all together is Combs' stellar, gravelly-soul vocal, which can be perfectly delicate on songs like "Strange Bird" or as worn as a tarnished heart on "Month of Bad Habits." M.M.