Keith Urban, 'Fuse' (9/10)
"The thing I was driven to try with this record was to fuse elements together," says the Australian country superstar. After recovering from a vocal-cord injury in 2011, he was itching to push past his usual sounds – so he teamed up with A-list producers like Mike Elizondo (who's worked with everyone from 50 Cent to Fiona Apple). The resulting LP has plenty of Urban's usual stadium-ready hooks, but it also has touches of electro, alt-rock and even industrial music. Says Urban, "I can keep making the same record – but I don't want to do that."