1. The Strokes:
‘Is This It?’
The debut from this New York City band has brought back the hope in the rock and rollers’ heart that the future of music is here. Surrounded by well deserved hype and supported by stand out tracks such as Barely Legal and the first single Last Nite, The Strokes bring back the raw power of old school rock and roll and punk with a fresh new twist.
2. Ryan Adams: ‘Gold’
For a couple of years, this North Carolina alt country rocker has been making classy albums fronting his former band Whiskeytown, but the release of this album finally brings him directly to a wider audience. With charisma, poetic lyrics and immeasurable musical aptitude, Adams captivates, impresses, and romances even the most cynical. Songs like New York, New York and Somehow, Someday provide folk rock smart enough for the mind, yet soft enough for the soul.
3. Bob Dylan:
‘Love and Theft’
4. Bjork: ‘Vespertine’
Another instant classic by music’s most daring female artist. An almost immaculate collection of songs that combine Bjork’s piercing vocals and unique electronic vision with a beautiful feel.
5. New Order:
It’s a general misconception that dance-electronic music cannot be smart and creative, and be fun at the same time. Old school New Wavers bring dance music for the thinking man.
6. Rufus Wainwright:
He has been described to Jeff Buckley on the piano, and this sophomore effort proves that the comparison is not too farfetched. Few current artists evoke so much profound emotion in most part due to a blessed operatic voice and biographical lyrics.
7. Stephen Malkmus:
8. Manu Chao Proxima :
On his own, the multi-lingual former frontman for Mano Negra, has been able to combine African and Caribbean reggae sounds with synthesizers and to make world music intelligent and accessible enough for everyone.
9. O Brother Where
The movie by the Coen Brothers single-handedly brought back the roots of popular music back to America. Legends like Stanley Brothers coupled with more contemporary singers like Allison Krauss and Emmylou Harris make bluegrass, gospel, hobo and folk music for a new, more patriotic nation.
10. Jimmy Eat World:
Runners up: Gorillaz Gorrilaz, Pete Yorn Musicforthemorningafter, White Stripes White Blood Cells, Tool Lateralus.