40 Best Country Albums of 2014

The greatest statements from the year's outsiders, small town heroes and American middle class

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Mary Gauthier, 'Trouble & Love'
40
29/40

29. Mary Gauthier, 'Trouble & Love'

These nine songs are well-crafted signposts along the path of a hard break-up. Trouble & Love winds from the stark goodbye of "When a Woman Goes Cold," to struggles with self-esteem in "Worthy" and finally suffering though the hard reality of "How You Learn to Live Alone." When Gauthier concludes "I'm moving on/Through the pain," the weathered reserve of her voice promises no happy endings. This is a songwriter who knows her titular subjects go together like a horse and carriage, and that the trouble doesn't subside when the love dies.

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