I call myself a Professional Music Listener who likes just about every genre of music there is. Therefore I would usually find it difficult to answer this question. However, this questions was recently asked of me with followed by the statement "gun to the head, you have to give only one answer".
Well, if you put it that way, of course I'll have an answer, and that album is Patty Griffin "Living with Ghosts".
Amazing lyrics, incredible voice, simple production...near perfection. I'm honored to have this record in my collection.