Rating: NNNNN1 ZERO 7 SIMPLE THINGS (Ultimate Dilemma/Quango) Twenty-first-century soul music with an ear for the epic. 2 ORLANDO "CACHAITO" LOPEZ (World.
1 ZERO 7 SIMPLE THINGS (Ultimate Dilemma/Quango) Twenty-first-century
soul music with an ear for the epic.
2 ORLANDO “CACHAITO” LOPEZ (World Circuit) The Buena Vista
Social Club bassist ditches Ry Cooder’s sentimentality and makes the first
Cuban dub album, mixing mambo with Mingus and bringing in a DJ to cut beats.
3 THE STROKES THE MODERN AGE EP (Rough Trade) Three songs, nine
minutes and a year of hype. With an opening salvo like this, why did they even
bother with a full album?
4 MANITOBA START BREAKING MY HEART (Leaf) Who knew the future of
heartwarming, pop- and folk-influenced electronic music was a math student from
5 THE AVALANCHES SINCE I MET YOU (XL) Australian pranksters mash up
house, jazz, hiphop and overheard club conversations into one thrilling,
constantly evolving summer soundscape. The most fun 60 minutes of the year.
6 THE DEARS ORCHESTRAL POP NOIR ROMANTIQUE (Shipbuilding) Montreal
drama pop sensations hit their stride with these four gauzy, string-drenched
songs. Still the best live band in Canada.
7 GOTAN PROJECT LA REVANCHA DEL TANGO (¡Ya Basta!) The future sound
of Buenos Aries. Gotan Project pull the rug out from under Brazil by making
Argentine tango South America’s funky dance-floor sound of the moment.
8 HERBERT BODILY FUNCTIONS (!K7) Lush, jazzy pop music from reclusive
producer Matthew Herbert that’s closer to cabaret jazz than to electronic
9 SUPER FURRY ANIMALS RINGS AROUND THE WORLD (Epic) The Welsh hams
have never been shy about ambition, and given a massive major-label budget,
it’s not surprising they’ve created an epic. The sheer accessibility of the
songs here is a shocker, though. Features Paul McCartney on celery-chomping.
10 JAY-Z THE BLUEPRINT (Roc-A-Fella) The most talented MC in hiphop
returns to the streets on his best set yet, rhyming about fame, cash and life
and demolishing Nas and Mobb Deep with the best battle rhyme in ages. IZZO is
the song of the year.