Completely open to the possibility that I know nothing about Country
  1. Don't Go Back To Rockville - REM
    I think the Country veneer allowed them to be more lyrically sincere and direct than they had been to that point.
  2. Range Life - Pavement
    For someone like me, who respected Pavement but didn't love them because they were too edgy, Range Life was proof that they could do songs for the likes of me; they just didn't care to.
  3. Gone for Good - The Shins
    Second album is a great time to do a country song. I am such a sucker for slide guitar.
  4. All of Sweetheart of the Rodeo - The Byrds
    This example is a bit different because this incarnation of The Byrds, with Gram Parsons, was basically a country band. Whatever. This album is amazing.
  5. Fire in the Canyon - Fountains of Wayne
    FOW can do no wrong melodically, in my book. Their lyrics are almost too sincere for country, it feels a little amateurish. But part of the charm of FOW is their sweet, smart teenager sincerity.