It took three months, 10 voters and 300 nominated albums, but we’ve finally made it to the top of the mountain. These areThe 9513’s Top 10 Country Albums of the Decade.
7.Tough All Over (2005) – Gary Allan
Before Rodney Atkins stormed country radio by sneaking through hell, Gary Allan crawled through the fire and lived to tell the tale. Just a year after Allan’s wife committed suicide, he released Tough All Over, an album laced with pain and disillusionment that was so personal it would have been a joyous example of country music at its finest had it not been so completely heartbreaking. The album’s only hit single was a deeply intimate cover of rock band Vertical Horizon’s “Best I Ever Had,” but “I Just Got Back From Hell” is one of country music’s bravest confessions; when Allan sings, “I’ve been mad at everyone, including God and you,” it’s a dose of truth that’s a hard pill to swallow. Allan pours his battered spirit into Tough All Over, and while it’s far from an uplifting listening experience it’s one that is fully worth the emotional wear. — Jim Malec