This week, we're counting down the top albums of 2009.
10. Shakira, “She Wolf” (Epic): A wild dance-pop ride into the delightfully loopy brain of Shakira, complete with talk of lycanthropy and actual howling at the moon, that shows how adventurous superstars can actually be. Awooooo!
9. Passion Pit, “Manners” (French Kiss): The Bostonians filter their synth-pop through world beat, British big beat and, seemingly, a blimpful of helium that makes New Order-ish dance numbers like "The Reeling" sound both uplifting and lighter than air.
8. Glasvegas, “Glasvegas” (Columbia): Glasvegas welds girl-group melodies to Jesus and Mary Chain atmospherics to lighten the mood and construct poignant anthems, such as "Daddy's Gone" and "Go Square Go."
7. Taking Back Sunday, “New Again” (Warner Bros.): The Rockville Centre-based rockers boldly experiment with new rhythms ("Sink Into Me") and new harmonies ("Carpathia") with great success, but it's the way they keep honing and improving their own brand of rock in "Where My Mouth Is" and the wrenching "Everything Must Go" that impresses even more.
6. Ida Maria, “Fortress ‘Round My Heart” (Island Def Jam): Norwegian pop that kicks you in the head or tries to charm your pants off -- often within the same song. ["Oh My God"]