3. Chris Young, "Lonely Eyes"
Young probably laments being pigeonholed as a balladeer, but his towering vocal performance on "Lonely Eyes" proves he should embrace it. Written by Johnny Bulford, Jason Matthews and Laura Veltz, the song is set in a bar where every eye is on the woman who walks in alone, drowning what's perceived to be a sea of sorrows in a glass of wine. The narrator wants to be her non-alcoholic remedy, but refrains from using any of the clichéd pickup lines that litter country radio. He's pining for her, she's pining for happiness and Young sets the scene memorably through both sets of eyes.