I'm curious about people's calculus when compiling lists of favorite albums. As with any list of favorite things -- colors, poultry seasonings, what have you -- I'm guessing it's usually an intuitive thing; so with albums, the calculus would go something like "This one gives me better feelings than this one," or "I'd rather listen to this one than this one", or (maybe this is just me) "This one feels more alive and vibrant than this one". Which is all just different ways of stating preference, but preference is a surprisingly complicated thing. On Randy Montana, I'd rather listen to songs #2 and #3 than any songs on a couple of the albums yet to be named on this list, but I'd rather put on those entire albums than Mr. Montana's fine debut. But also, weirdly, I think I'd just as soon put on Jake Owen's clearly inferior #23 album Barefoot Blue Jean Night as this one, because its songs #3 and #4 totally slay me, and the rest is certainly listenable. As when you're deciding your fave Republican presidential candidate, a decision for fave album is a mix of the head and the heart -- but since Best Album isn't a decision of national consequence, I'm much more willing to err on the heart's side, and respond graciously to those who do likewise.
Chuck Eddy had intelligent things to say about this album! (And about another one yet to be listed, BUT I WON'T REVEAL WHERE.) Below, song #3. (LOVE the cadence of the line "the hell that I'm GOIN' thru" -- Randy tosses off the word "hell" like he can't bear to consider it.) Way better than Miranda Lambert's Four the Record, which wasn't bad.