1lee feldman The Man In A Jupiter Hat (Bonafide Records)A record nobody heard, but as good -- and knock-kneed and hairpinned -- as Ben Folds or Randy Newman, both obvious reference points for the NYC-based singer/pianist.
2VICTORIA WILLIAMS Water To Drink (Warner)The widely slept-on title track of Victoria Williams' latest album -- a scat-crazy update of Antonio Carlos Jobim's Agua De Beber -- could've been a huge dance floor smash with a bit of remix tweakery.
3THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS Letter From An Occupant (Mint)In a better world, this pounding new-wave throwback with Neko Case hollering like a robot would've been on radio day and night.
4nash kato Debutante (Will Records)It was more disappointing than surprising that the former Urge Overkill singer's solo collection promptly vanished. But Debutante has real moments, among them, a near-classic cover of Steely Dan's Dirty Work.
5TIM ALLON Ten Thousand Years From Now (Fierce Panda)If Belle & Sebastian joined the Elephant 6 clique, they still wouldn't have a thing on Tim Allon's orch-pop classic. Unfortunately, no one outside of his immediate family ever heard it.
6PAPAS FRITAS The Way You Walk (Minty Fresh)The perfect summer tune with a dumb chorus, acoustic guitar solo and tinkling triangle bit.
7ELENI MANDELL Red Chevelle (Zedtone)This supercharged rock 'n' roll basher on Eleni Mandell's exquisite Thrill album could cause dance floor havoc if ever dropped in a club.
8DWIGHT Yoakam I Want You To Want Me (Warner)Yoakam takes Cheap Trick to the honky tonk and it works far better than it should.
9GOLDFRAPP Lovely Head (Mute)The lead track on Goldfrapp's fab Felt Mountain debut is a little John Berry and a lot Portishead.
10shannon lyon Summer Blonde (Town & Country Records)All dusty back roads, lonely canteens and trips without destinations, Lyon's steel-juiced country opus bleeds warmth and desire. *
A record nobody heard, but as good -- and knock-kneed and hairpinned -- as Ben Folds or Randy Newman, both obvious reference points for the NYC-based singer/pianist.