1 Outkast Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (BMG) Sure, it's hugely successful, but the split vision of this dysfunctional duo delivers a half-soul, half-hiphop two-disc treat that's skank-tastic.
2 Neil Young Greendale (Reprise) Not ready to coast, Young pushes out a rock epic that's worth the challenge.
3 AL Green I Can't Stop (Blue Note) Sinfully delicious soulster Green puts the Lord on the back burner, works with old friends and delivers a new soul sensation that leaves the pretenders far behind.
4 The White Stripes Elephant (Arista) Fresh and greasy art rock that leans harder on the rock than the art.
5 CalExico Feast Of Wire (EMI) This eerie Arizona band keeps putting out moody, compelling mariachi-meets-Merle music that's as welcome as a warm desert wind on a cold night.
6 All Systems Go! Mon Chi Chi (Bad Taste) Ex-Doughboy John Kastner and his L.A.-based pals crank pop-powered punk with hooks and howls -- and a guest shot from Melissa Auf Der Maur.
7 Jay-z The Black Album (Universal) He claims he's quitting, but our guess is he'll go out like The Who. He's dropped another great hiphop album, and deserves extra points for his guest spot on Beyoncé's disc.
8 The Cinematic Orchestra Man With A Movie Camera (Ninja Tune) You don't need to know this was conceived to accompany a silent movie, because it's impossible not to see films in your head listening to this beefy, ambient trip.
9 Sam Roberts We Were Born In A Flame (Maple Music) Roberts's first full-length disc draws on an earlier, promising EP, and the full package announces a major new Canadian star.
10 Buck 65 Talkin' Honky Blues (Metaforensics) Smart flava from a Halifax smart-ass that's as much Tom Waits as hiphop.