25 Best Albums of 2013

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Country music absolutely thrived this year, and that doesn't include what the mainstream regurgitated out to the masses. No, there will be no Bro-Country records in this "Best Of" piece. In fact, what many of this list's artists are doing is what the mainstream should be doing. When it comes to remarkable storytellers and vocalists, you have to look a lot further than corporate-held radio to get a firm grip on compelling stories of love, loss, heartache and even happiness.

While I enjoy plenty of what the mainstream has to offer, I find myself peering deeper within the genre's roots to fulfill my musical appetite. You probably won't recognize most of the names on this list, but I assure you, this collection has truly moved me (sometimes, to tears) over the past 12 months. I strongly urge you to take a listen, if you haven't already.

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