Mary Chapin Carpenter is one of the most prolific singer-songwriters in country music. Beginning with her debut album in 1987, she has made album after album of music that swings between folk, Americana, country, rock and pop -- and no matter what genre she's leaning toward at the time, it's all top-notch.

From her stripped-down folk beginnings to her country renaissance, Carpenter has put out 12 defining studio albums (and has written all of the songs on most of them). Which one is her best, though? Here's how we'd rank them:

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