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BBC Music's Best Albums of 2009

If you've aimed your eyes at any music magazine or website over the last couple of months, you'll have seen a best-of-2009 list or two. Not adverse to a little putting-stuff-we-like-in-an-arbitrary-order fun ourselves, here are BBC Music's own top albums of the year that's barely slipped from the rear view mirror.

These lists come courtesy of BBC Music's many contributors - over 50 writers submitted their favourite albums of 2009 - and were gently teased into shape over the course of several weeks. Hopefully we've highlighted a few of your own highlights of last year. If not, feel free to let us know what great albums we've missed here. You can leave your comment/s at the bottom of the article.

All quotes are taken from BBC Music reviews, with the exception of a handful of country releases that (inexplicably!) were never covered here. Apologies, country fans.

NB. Rock & Indie is a top 20, rather than a top 10, because more votes were received for albums in this category than any other, and frankly everything in the list deserves a double-thumbs-up for its awesomeness. Well done, Rock & Indie.

- - -

ROCK & INDIE

1: Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
"The combination of Beach Boys harmonies, post-minimal dynamics and psychedelic free fall which has won them such a cult reputation breaks free here and takes full flight."
Read the full review

Animal Collective - My Girls

2: The xx - xx
"Every song here is an enigmatic and moody blend of smoky crooning, nimble keyboard trickery and slippery treble-heavy riffs."
Read the full review

3: The Horrors - Primary Colours
"There's barely a bad moment here. You are left in awe that a) this is The Horrors and b) that it stands tall above so many other things. Genuinely, really, very, very good indeed."
Read the full review

4: Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
"There's no doubt Veckatimest is a truly world class record, a collection of dazzlingly complex, rich textures, dense and baroque."
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5: Wild Beasts - Two Dancers
"A very modern rock album with an ambitious appeal, yet unafraid to be a bit arty. Ladies and gentlemen, if you haven't twigged already, Wild Beasts are your new favourite band."
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6: The Flaming Lips - Embryonic
"Another wonderful album from the most consistently inventive and thrilling American band, R.E.M. included, of the last 25 years."
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7: Passion Pit - Manners
"They could be Arcade Fire reworked for ravers, or rabid evangelical Christians looking for a deluge of converts - so huge, inspiring and bright is their sound."
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8: Converge - Axe to Fall
"The foursome's most accomplished record, Axe to Fall is an album of almost strangulating intensity. Not for the faint-hearted, but you sense Converge won't ever have it any other way."
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9: Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
"Yale graduate David Longstreth, Dirty Projectors' lynchpin, brings all his dauntingly cerebral compositional versatility to bear on Bitte Orca. It's accessible, but boundary challenging stuff."
Read the full review

10: Manic Street Preachers - Journal for Plague Lovers
"Enigmatic, engulfed, enraged, both intensely perceptive and painfully confused, musically and lyrically fervent, and a lasting touchstone for all those who will experience the same."
Read the full review

11: P***** Jeans - King of Jeans
"Filthy, perverse, quite probably perfect: King of Jeans is surely 2009's most remarkably arresting rock album."
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12: The Antlers - Hospice
"Ultimately an exploration of sorrow and of guilt, but also a testament to the human spirit; its lasting impression is one of cathartic, hard-won transcendence."
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13: Mastodon - Crack the Skye
"A great leap forward for the Atlanta foursome which should be heard far beyond the Kerrang! readership. On this evidence, unlike their namesake, Mastodon won't be extinct soon."
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14: Sonic Youth - The Eternal
"Dissonance, rock action, hot sex and politics: all you need for great entertainment."
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15: Future of the Left - Travels With Myself and Another
"A work of near genius... It's difficult to pick highlights, as the album is flooded with them."
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16: Antony and the Johnsons - The Crying Light
"This is thoughtful, sumptuously crafted music that serves as evidence that Antony Hegarty's Mercury Prize victory was no fluke."
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17: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
"At its heart, It's Blitz! is great power pop, and a triumphant return for New York's finest."
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18: Do Make Say Think - Other Truths
"Each track complements the next, yet can be appreciated as a standalone work of utmost excellence and elegance."
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19: Micachu and the Shapes - Jewellery
"Fractured, unhinged music that blends several sources to end up sounding not much like anyone else currently out there."
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20: Dananananaykroyd - Hey Everyone!
"Full of energy and good humour, with a real sense of teenage lust and excitement pumping through every song."
Read the full review

- - -

POP & CHART

1: Pet Shop Boys - Yes
"This is their most vivacious, consistent and adorable album since 1993's Very, with the Boys on their old sure-footed, imperial form."
Read the full review

Pet Shop Boys - Love Etc

2: Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You
"Bigger, brighter and more danceable than predecessor Alright, Still, this autobiographical album is a piece of exquisitely produced, loveable pop."
Read the full review

3: Annie - Don't Stop
"A more 'of its time' record would be hard to find, but no matter: Don't Stop is 12 slices of sublime pop genius."
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4: Rihanna - Rated R
"Rihanna has achieved so much already, and this album suggests she will continue to do so in widescreen, and on her own terms."
Read the full review

5: Dizzee Rascal - Tongue N' Cheek
"A monstrously successful fourth album, Tongue N' Cheek is the release to officially crown Dizzee as UK dance/hip hop royalty."
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6: La Roux - La Roux
"Establishing themselves as one of our most exciting new pop acts, La Roux have mastered their debut. Never has something so tinny sounded so good."
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7: Empire of the Sun - Walking on a Dream
"Zany Aussies Steele and Littlemore may be mad as cheese, but it's eccentricity rather than mania. Their talent is undoubtable, and this album sounds like an instant classic."
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8: Lady Gaga - The Fame
"In these days where we're crying out for our pop stars to have a personality, Gaga's flamboyance is sure to cement her place in the list of pop idols."
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9: Jay-Z - The Blueprint 3
"Until an heir apparent steps up, The Blueprint 3 confirms Carter is clinging to his crown as king of New York hip hop."
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10: N-Dubz - Against All Odds
"This is an honest, authentic audio document of contemporary teenage Britain, and it's almost exclusively positive of message - if you can dream it, you could well achieve it."
Read the full review

- - -

HIP HOP, RnB & DANCEHALL

1: Mos Def - The Ecstatic
"The Ecstatic catches the MC back on top of his game, with a new confidence, scope and narrative thrust. 'Don't call it a comeback,' he chimes. But that's what it is."
Read the full review

Mos Def - Casa Bey

2: Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt II
"This more than lives up to the hype. Nobody else, not even his Wu-Tang companions, relates street stories with Raekwon's eloquence."
Read the full review

3: Toddla T - Skanky Skanky
"The Sheffield youngster delivers an invigorating debut, auspicious and appetite-whetting."
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4: Q-Tip - Kamaal the Abstract
"Q-Tip's songwriting chops impress: the handclap-driven Barely in Love evokes the Isley Brothers in their 70s prime, while Caring sounds like it slipped off an old Minnie Riperton LP."
Read the full review

5: Themselves - CrownsDown
"An enticing comeback album that propels the Oakland duo's Jackson Pollock approach to hip hop toward new levels of invention."
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6: Antipop Consortium - Fluorescent Black
"The reunited act resumes the metallic, righteous blaze they've been trailing since 1997, with old-school rapping concentrating its braggadocio on musical skills rather than gangsta fantasy."
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8: Major Lazer - Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do
"At its best Guns... is arrestingly addictive listening, and a sequel would be more than welcomed if its protagonists can find the time in their hectic schedules."
Read the full review

7: Brother Ali - Us
"There are tales of being unlucky in love, religion and living in poverty. He could be accused of ticking hip hop's cliché checklist, if he weren't an eyewitness."
Read the full review

9: Snoop Dogg - Malice N Wonderland
"His eyes have never been off the prize, and tenth album Malice... is a fine X to mark this spot in Snoops always interesting career."
Read the full review

10: Rakim - The Seventh Seal
"Rakim's mighty flow is as strong as ever. If, to the uninitiated, his style appears recognizable, that's simply because so many followers have hijacked his effortless linguistics."
Read the full review

- - -
DANCE & ELECTRONICA

1: F*** Buttons - Tarot Sport
"A noise band with tunes might sound like a contradiction in terms, but F*** Buttons have carved out a sound that owes more to personal inspiration that tradition, and it works like a dream."
Read the full review
Watch the video to Surf Solar

2: Fever Ray - Fever Ray
"A rewarding venture into territory that challenges and provokes, but one that might not make sense to play if you're prone to nightmares, as it's not for the squeamish."
Read the full review

Fever Ray - When I Grow Up

3: Clark - Totems Flare
"An abrasive, often disorientating hot plate of moody and sophisticated electronica."
Read the full review

4: Vitalic - Flashmob
"A genuinely colossal album that makes Vitalic beyond future-proof and ready to lead the way again."
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5: The Prodigy - Invaders Must Die
"Invaders Must Die then is the musical equivalent of a day spent on a bouncy castle: old-fashioned and loud, but damned good fun."
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6: Moderat - Moderat
"Moderat is promise realized, always catchy but never quite conventional."
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7: King Midas Sound - Waiting for You
"Heavy with urban dread but awake to the promise of a better life, Waiting for You feels like a hard-won victory - the kind that tastes all the sweeter."
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8: 2562 - Unbalance
"Unbalance sketches views of a cybernetic near-future that touches a number of bases, from dubstep and broken beat to the Detroit-tinged breakbeat sci-fi of Jacob's Optical Stairway."
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9: Hudson Mohawke - Butter
"An impressive showcase for a sound that remains impressively slippery, and is worth staying tuned to."
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10: Martyn - Great Lengths
"The brisk precision, razor-sharp syncopation and detailed soundscaping of Great Lengths may have you grinning inanely."
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- - -


CLASSIC POP & ROCK

1: Nirvana - Live at Reading
"Live at Reading delivers instead an opportunity to revisit a key moment in rock history, unedited and unadorned."
Read the full review

Nirvana - School (live at Reading Festival, 1992)

2: Leonard Cohen - Live in London
"It's enough to make you impatient to reach your 70s. Let's hope a few of us can remain this warm, good-humoured and still in love with life when we do."
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3: Madness - The Liberty of Norton Folgate
"Think psychedelic-era Beatles meet The Mighty Boosh and The Liberty Of Norton Folgate starts to come into focus."
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4: Bruce Springsteen - Working on a Dream
"Bruce still stands tall as both conscience and as a teller of tales."
Read the full review

5: Prefab Sprout - Let's Change the World with Music
"The songs and themes of this album unfurl with repeated hearing. A more romantic last bow is hard to imagine."
Read the full review

6: Tom Waits - Glitter & Doom Live
"That Tom Waits is a copper-bottomed, titanium-plated genius is undeniable."
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7: Bob Dylan - Together Through Life
"Together Through Life is a distinctly light-hearted affair, but Dylan still injects enough of himself to keep above genericism."
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8: David Sylvian - Manafon
"Manafon is a brave, disconcerting and terrible document. If only all so-called artists could display such courage."
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9: R.E.M. - Live at the Olympia
"Think of it as an apposite companion to both their Eponymous and In Time best-of collections."
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10: Rickie Lee Jones - Balm in Gilead
"Written over a period of 22 years, the 11 tracks on Balm in Gilead tie up loose ends, its title heavily implying healing at work."
Read the full review

- - -

FOLK

1: The Unthanks - Here's the Tender Coming
"As good as their 2007 Mercury Prize-nominated album, The Bairns, undoubtedly was, Here's the Tender Coming raises the standard higher still."
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The Unthanks - Here's the Tender Coming (live on Later...)

2: Jon Boden - Songs from the Floodplain
"A beautifully profound and dramatic record that has all the makings of a future classic."
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3: Alasdair Roberts - Spoils
"Something altogether curious, like a series of medieval musical fables with one foot in the industrialised 19th century and another in the ''makeshift'' present."
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4: Show of Hands - Arrogance, Ignorance and Greed
"The hardy English West Country duo of songwriting craftsman Steve Knightley and virtuoso multi-instrumentalist Phil Beer come out punching hard on this extraordinarily earthy effort."
Read the full review

5: Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More
"A mostly winning, if nigglingly naïve, debut that deserves an audience to match its impressive convictions."
Read the full review

6: Rachel McShane - No Man's Fool
"Within seconds of the yearning start to The Gardner, you know you're in the presence of something very special... And what a voice."
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7: Martin Simpson - True Stories
"A musician clearly at the top of his form and capable of weaving wonderfully evocative musical tapestries from apparently base materials."
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8: Espers - Espers III
"Recalls the acid folk medievalism of the Incredible String Band - all jaunty, circular melodies, plainsong-like harmonies and bucolic lyrics."
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9: Nancy Wallace - Old Stories
"Time will tell if she becomes one of the great British voices, but with the level of emotion she conveys, she certainly has every right to be talked about."
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10: Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Beware
"Beware is an intimate album, full of strong emotion and underlying hope."
Read the full review

- - -

EASY LISTENING, SOUNDTRACKS & MUSICALS

1: Dame Shirley Bassey - The Performance
"Bassey wraps herself around these songs with gusto, meaning that perhaps, for once, mum's Christmas present will find a place on the family stereo."
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Dame Shirley Bassey - The Girl From Tiger Bay (live at BBC Electric Proms, 2009)

2: Karen O & the Kids - Where the Wild Things Are OST
"Sparkle like no other movie music released this year. The overall effect: the sweetest, deepest escape."
Read the full review

3: Barbra Streisand - Love is the Answer
"By embracing a winning diversity and presenting its material in two different, but perfectly paired ways, this double album celebrates Streisand's enduring star quality."
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4: Michael Bublé - Crazy Love
"This wonderful album would surely have been voted 'ring-a-ding-ding' by Frank and Dean!"
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5: Various Artists - New Moon: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
"A fine cast, featuring critically acclaimed heavyweights from across the indie/rock spectrum. Kids, get exploring."
Read the full review

6: Nick Cave and Warren Ellis - White Lunar
"White Lunar is less demanding than any other work by these two seasoned players, but in places quite startling in its delicacy."
Read the full review

7: Sufjan Stevens - The BQE
"Stevens has recorded a classical/techno/indie epic about a bit of tarmac. And he's done it beautifully."
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8: Johnny Mercer - The Dream's On Me
"The producers have taken great care to offer a well-balanced and contrasted selection of Mercer lyrics. But just one CD could never be representative of all his work."
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9: Badly Drawn Boy - Is There Nothing We Could Do?
"If the music is this touching without pictures, the film is sure to triumph."
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10: Norah Jones - The Fall
"Jones' most interesting album, and her inherent languor has wrought marvels."
Read the full review

- - -

CLASSICAL

1: Alfred Brendel - The Farewell Concerts
"Clearly Brendel retired while still at the top of his game. He will be greatly missed by concert-goers; this release is a welcome coda to his towering recorded legacy."
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Alfred Brendel - Man & Mask (documentary, part one)

2: Dame Elizabeth Maconchy - The Sofa/The Departure
"Both operas work particularly well as recordings; their short length helps, but the credit really goes to Independent Opera's vibrant productions."
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3: Jean Sibelius - Symphonies Nos. 1-7 / Kullervo
"The LSO's consistent confidence and warmth can exhaust, but wrapped up in it is an unshakeable stamp of authority."
Read the full review

4: Benjamin Britten - Before Life & After
"It's an elegantly, beautifully and stirringly sung recital, satisfying on every level."
Read the full review

5: Henry Purcell - Ten Sonatas in Four Parts
"With a sound this satisfying and addictive, they've set the bar very high for future recordings. Bravo."
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6: Ludwig Van Beethoven - Piano Concertos 3, 4 & 5
"These studio readings exult in the vital spontaneity and alert reciprocity more typical of a live performance."
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7: Joseph Haydn - Die Schöpfung
"The peerless RIAS Chamber Choir displays immaculate diction and clean, full-bodied tone, the recording sharply focused."
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8: Verdi - Messa da Requiem
"The choral singing is full-blooded, well blended, and brilliantly articulated. What more can one say? Without a doubt, this will prove to be a seminal recording."
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9: Johannes Brahms - Symphony 3 / Choral Works
"Riveting, enlightening and enjoyable in equal measure."
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10: Kate Royal - Midsummer Night
"Her performance here is perfect. A disc to be revisited again and again. Even in the daytime."
Read the full review

- - -

DESI

1: A. R. Rahman - Slumdog Millionaire
"The alchemist has done it again. This is a mega-soundtrack to keep fans happy and draw in a new audience."
Read the full review

A. R. Rahman feat. M.I.A. - O... Saya (audio only)

2: Jaz Dhami - JD: Jaz Dhami
"An album that manages to capture the energy of the 80s while remaining relevant to a modern audience."
Read the full review

3: Swami - 53431
"Celebrates all of Swami's musical achievements to date, and provides the promise that they still have originality to offer."
Read the full review

4: Imran Khan - Unforgettable
"Khan has dared to be different by stepping out of the bhangra box, successfully creating a distinctive sound."
Read the full review

5: Outlandish - Sound of a Rebel
"They've injected addictive beats with affecting lyrics, which never stray far from their socially conscious and spiritual beliefs."
Read the full review

6: Punjabi by Nature - Homegrown
"It's a surefire bet that a large amount of its tracks are going to be blasting a dancefloor near you very soon."
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7: Pritam - Love Aaj Kal
"There is enough to enjoy on Love Aaj Kal to rescue Pritam from recent controversy and maintain his award-winning reputation."
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8: Moneyspinner - Poetry
"Poetry may only have eight tracks but they're guaranteed to get the most reluctant feet moving."
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9: Pritam - Dil Bole Hadippa!
"Peppered with familiar folk melodies, it will undoubtedly embed itself into the psyche of any Indian music lover."
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10: Jassi Sidhu - Jassi What Happened?
"If this encourages more Bhangra acts to play with proper bands (as opposed to PAs), it can only be a good thing."
Read the full review

- - -

JAZZ & BLUES

1: Keith Jarrett - Testament
"The music is truly exploratory, deeply felt and often very moving."
Read the full review

Keith Jarrett - Paris Part VII (audio only)

2: Allen Toussaint - The Bright Mississippi
"Toussaint's first solo album in over a decade sees this legendary writer paying tribute to the work of others. The result is both confident and relaxed."
Read the full review

3: Portico Quartet - Isla
"Their Balkan-infused melancholy, thrumming textures and skronking outbursts create a deeper, scarier world on their second album."
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4: Freddie Hubbard - Without a Song
"This generous set is a valuable exhumation of live material, drawn from concerts in London and Bristol and recorded in 1969."
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5: Jon Hassell - Last Night the Moon Came Dropping its Clothes in the Street
"Offers up an impeccable soundworld which gradually reveals a sense of deeply meditative interaction from a group of individuals listening intently to one another."
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6: Partisans - By Proxy
"Four albums into a career that has been ongoing since the mid-90s and Partisans have arguably never sounded better."
Read the full review

7: EST - Retrospective
"They made such an impact on the European jazz scene that they've left an unfilled gap that heightens the nostalgia for what they achieved over 17 years."
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8: Led Bib - Sensible Shoes
"When they let rip with their combination of twin alto saxophones, keyboards, bass and drums, Led Bib pack a formidable punch."
Read the full review

9: trioVD - Fill it Up With Ghosts
"The flow of brilliant and busy ideas is as unstoppable as its makers are breathtaking."
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10: Tyondai Braxton - Central Market
"A classically indebted by resolutely modern collection of ambitious arrangements."
Read the full review

- - -

SOUL & REGGAE

1: Tarrus Riley - Contagious
"Contagious is a work that resists categorisation, paying respects to reggae greats like Bob Marley and Black Uhuru while worshipping at the altar of the smoothest soul."
Read the full review

Tarrus Riley - Love's Contagious

2: Alicia Keys - The Element of Freedom
"Showcasing her willingness to experiment while ruminating on longing and falling for a wrong 'un, Alicia Keys' latest is the US diva album for those who can't abide US divas."
Read the full review

3: Mayer Hawthorne - A Strange Arrangement
"For those who are fed up with the new wave of soul and want the real thing, Hawthorne has stepped up with a cracker of a debut album."
Read the full review

4: Sizzla - Ghetto Youth-ology
"A more conventional-than-his-usual reggae album where Sizzla puts aside self-regard and sex for words with a community focus."
Read the full review

5: Beverly Knight - 100%
"In an age where soul music is often seen as being a weepy girl singing on a TV talent show, it's good that Beverly Knight is not only back but also brilliant."
Read the full review

6: Maxwell - BLACKsummer'snight
"This is not an album that sets out to please anyone but the artist himself; however, it's also one of the best things you'll hear all year."
Read the full review

7: Shafiq Husayn - Shafiq En'a-Freeka
"Risking a pretentious folly, Husayn instead delivers a potent, adventurous set that proves that drawing upon a rich history can inspire some of the wildest and most wonderful future-music."
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8: M. Nahadr - EclecticIsM
"The soul album of the year for its challenge to the genre itself."
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9: Lloyd Brown - For Your Consideration
"For Your Consideration is everything reggae lovers could hope for. Considered, and recommended without reservation."
Read the full review

10: Chezidek - I Grade
"This superlative dedicated project, recorded with the legendary Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, is one of the best releases in a fiercely competitive year."
Read the full review

- - -

COUNTRY

1: The Felice Brothers - Yonder is the Clock
"Happily unlike anything to come out of the States in recent years, the five-piece outfit boast a distinctively muscular, rough-hewn, dirt-under-the-fingernails sound."
Read the full review

The Felice Brothers - Penn Station (audio only)

2: Patty Loveless - Mountain Soul II
"Ricky Skaggs had his moment in the country mainstream then reverted to his first love of bluegrass. He never looked back, and neither should Loveless if she keeps turning out stuff like this."
Read the full review

3: Alison Brown - The Company You Keep
Review from Popmatters: "Think of her as the bluegrass equivalent of jazz guitarists. She has a lyrical style and the deftness to decorate the music while always being true to the basic structure."

4: Rosanne Cash - The List
"On The List, Rosanne Cash ventures wilfully and cheerfully into the formidable shadow cast by her late father."
Read the full review

5: Taylor Swift - Fearless
"A phenomenon in America, Swift's latest is now triple platinum across the Atlantic. The playing and arrangements, certainly, cannot be faulted."
Read the full review

6: Todd Snider - The Excitement Plan
Review from The Onion AV Club: "Beneath the disheveled exterior is an ace storyteller with a Raymond Carver-esque gift for mapping out the troubled contours of a character's life."

7: Levon Helm - Electric Dirt
Review from Rolling Stone: "He digs deepest on his first proper rock & roll record in a dog's age with his voice, which veers between soulful stoicism and boozy yowl."

8: Keith Urban - Defying Gravity
Review from Entertainment Weekly: "You don't begrudge the guy his euphoria. You may need to go strangle a bunny to get your edge back, but you don't begrudge him."

9: Lyle Lovett - Natural Forces
"Always more than a straight-ahead country artist, Lyle Lovett has dabbled with various genres, and Natural Forces is a treat from start to finish."
Read the full review

10: Miranda Lambert - Revolution
Review from Rolling Stone: "With her third record, Miranda Lambert remains country's most refreshing act."

- - -

WORLD

1: Staff Benda Bilili - Tres Tres Fort
"This is a remarkable debut that will no doubt earn Staff Benda Bilili much deserved attention and respect."
Read the full review

Staff Benda Bilili - Je t'aime (live on Store Studio)

2: Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba - I Speak Fula
"Intricate in play but endlessly listenable, I Speak Fula deserves to find its way out of the world music ghetto and onto the world stage."
Read the full review

3: Tinariwen - Imidiwan: Companions
"This 13-strong collection finds the Saharan seven-piece continuing to fire on musical cylinders souped up over the best part of three decades together."
Read the full review

4: Céu - Vagarosa
"It oozes class and is Brazilian to the core yet, surreptitiously and almost imperceptibly, guides it to a whole new place."
Read the full review

5: Various Artists - Ghana Special
"This is sweetly infectious dance music of the most democratic kind: there's always more than one rhythm to groove to, just take your pick."
Read the full review

6: Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu - Gurrumul
"The strength of his gently soaring vocals and the power of songs like Wiyathul, Marrandil and Gurrumul History (I Was Born Blind) make this a remarkable album."
Read the full review

7: Vieux Farka Touré - Fondo
"Ali Farka Touré's tutelage can be clearly heard and it's a beautifully touching aspect of what is one of the finest albums to come out of Africa this year."
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8: Oumou Sangare - Seya
"It's the best thing since her marvellous 1991 debut Moussoulou, which is one of the all time great treasures of Malian music."
Read the full review

9: Jimi Tenor and Tony Allen - Inspiration Information 4
"An unlikely pairing, but volume 4 is one of the most engaging and fully realised albums in the Inspiration Information series so far."
Read the full review

10: Gypsy Groovz Orchestra - Night Train for Lovers and Thieves
"This is the genuine article, an understated but exhilarating tour-de-force of soulful, rootsy, Balkan brass, and perhaps the year's best album of Gypsy music."
Read the full review

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