50 Best Albums of 2017 So Far

Including Kendrick Lamar, Lorde, Ed Sheeran, Drake, Harry Styles, Roger Waters and more

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Colter Wall, 'Colter Wall'
Colter Wall, Colter Wall34/50

Colter Wall, 'Colter Wall'

It's a boom time for inspired renegade country acts, but this twentysomething from Saskatchewan is something else. Namechecking Jimmie Rodgers' "Blue Yodel #9" and a laundry list of abusable substances in a boomy baritone pitched between Johnny Cash and a smoke-cured Kris Kristofferson, he unspools vivid story-songs about "loners and no-account stoners," guided by little more than foot-stomp percussion and Travis-picked acoustic guitar. Producer Dave Cobb shows his mastery by mostly staying out of the path of this talented freight train.

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