Livin' It Up
Label: Atlantic Records
One of 2015's breakout artists, Michael Ray has already hit the upper reaches of the country charts with "Kiss You in the Morning." He took a lot of heat for the "generic" sound of that single, but frankly, there's a whole lot worse on radio these days. (In fact, the Florida singer would sound a lot more bro-country were it not for his deep, rich voice.) "Real Men Love Jesus" is an anthemic ode to the God-fearing, blue-collar cowboy -- and while it checks off all the usual lyrical boxes, Ray sounds like he believes every word. Elsewhere, the rocking "Livin' It Up" is pure escapism.