Miranda Lambert, Beck, YG and more
Sam Smith, “In the Lonely Hour”
Best track: “Good Thing”
Why it makes the list: This torch-y singer from England delivers emotional, gut wrenching ballads that are steeped in traditional song structure, but are produced in a thoroughly contemporary way and with enough of a hipness quotient to land on radio. In a voice that soars over the melodies and beats, Smith plumbs the depths of a disastrous love affair for our pleasure.