Keith Urban, 'Ripcord'
As he did on 2013's Fuse, Urban collaborated with a small army of producers, including, this time, Chic's Nile Rodgers. Amazingly, the finished product never feels disjointed or stitched together. From the sweaty club beats of opener "Gone Tomorrow (Here Today)" to the majestic Number One "Wasted Time," Ripcord is Urban's superstar album, making the case that he's the man to take country into the future. Even the Pitbull collaboration "Sun Don't Let Me Down," which could have been a disaster of Mr. Worldwide proportions, succeeds, thanks to the versatile Urban's commitment to creating music free of genres. Listen again to "John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16" on headphones and marvel at how the studio geek seamlessly marries country ethos with modernist beats to cut the most sonically satisfying single of the past two years.