1. WHATEVER PEOPLE SAY I AM, THAT'S WHAT I'M NOT ARCTIC MONKEYS
THEY RIPPED OFF THE BEST BITS of Franz Ferdinand and the Strokes--speed, swagger and hooks upon hooks--but instead of hipster navel gazing, Arctic Monkeys' singer Alex Turner looked at the world with a working-class smirk and turned a number of memorable phrases. ("There's only music/ So that there's new ringtones.") The first rock album in ages that feels dangerously smart.
2. ST. ELSEWHERE GNARLS BARKLEY
IT'S A MYSTERY WHY CEE-LO, one of rap's most appealing personalities, never became famous on his own, but teamed with Danger Mouse, his caterwauling...