1 THE SADIES New Seasons(Outside)
Leaving long-time recording associate Steve Albini behind to work with a producer, namely Jayhawk Gary Louris, proved a very wise move. This career-best studio effort showcases everything the Sadies do well.
2 ABDOMINAL Escape From The Pigeon Hole (Do Right)
Consistently bangin’ beats and internationally known MC Abdominal’s lyrical onslaught, wit and concepts – these are a few of our favourite things about Escape From The Pigeon Hole. It’s the only rap album you’ll hear with a song about biking and a cameo by Mayor David Miller.
3 HOLY FUCK LP (Young Turks/Beggars)
Unlike their 2005 debut, this record sounds like Holy Fuck practised before recording it. It’s all brilliant dance-ready electro music, but it’s way more cohesive, focused and, frankly, entertaining than anything they’ve done before. Throw this on at the club, in the car or even as background music during an upbeat dinner.
4 ROBERT STRAUSS Mr. Feelings(BBE)
Strauss struts through a smooth and sexy disc of disco, funk and house. He references the past few decades of dance music without succumbing to the retro trap. No wonder his profile continues to rise internationally.
5 ANONYMOUS TWIST The Crucible (Soul on Rice/anonymoustwist.com)
Home production ace Anonymous Twist gets busy with Planet Asia, Oh No and Sean Price for the Internet-only Crucible, which earns the somewhat dubious distinction of being the year’s most unjustly slept-on Canuck hiphop recording.
6 BRUTAL KNIGHTS Feast Of Shame (Deranged)
With low-budget recording, subpar skill level and Rodney Dangerfield lyrics, Brutal Knights aim low but hit high on this heated punk rock debacle. There’s something wholly pure about music made with no other goal than to get a circle pit started.
7 BRASSMUNK The Fewturistic (Virgin)
Brassmunk warped hiphop into the next time zone with their second full-length. The addition of rapper Reign and producer Agile’s upgraded beats balanced the Scartown-spawned group’s sound beautifully and gave us a few nu-classics, including One Too Many Problems.
8 ELIZABETH SHEPHERD TRIO Besides (Do Right)
Shepherd’s jazz was already blessed with a generous portion of funk, but this disc of remixes and b-sides brings that side to the forefront, resulting in an album of supremely danceable beats.
9 RICHARD UNDERHILL Kensington Suite (Stubby)
Jazz Demon Underhill found inspiration in his own backyard for this coolly conceived disc. In his smooth-flowing, hot-stepping conceptual jazz ode to his Kensington Market ’hood, Underhill evokes the vibrancy of the Augusta and Baldwin intersection with a great Saturday-afternoon headphone backdrop.
10 KEVIN DREW Spirit If…(Arts & Crafts/EMI)
Love Broken Social Scene but could do without some of the sonic clutter? Check out Kevin Drew’s quasi-solo record. Sprit If still has everything that makes BSS good – complex arrangements, an indie pop interior, Brendan Canning – but it’s pared down just enough for fans to be able to really get at these infectious tunes.