One of my most diversified year-end lists yet -- rock, electronica, jamband, prog, pop, R&B. I didn't really think I'd even find 10 albums that could hold my attention start to finish, and believe me, I tried to listen to most of my fellow critics' top ten titles and could barely get through most of their selections top to bottom. Okay, so there may have been some overlapping, but very little. Here are my top tens of favorite CDs and singles in some kind of non-numerical order. (Well, actually, the number of plays on my iTunes player.)
1. Laura Mvula
: Sing to the Moon (Columbia)
A Mercury Prize music nominee in the U.K. and rightfully so. Slightly left of center, but accessible in a sweeping film noir soundtrack meets Nina Simone
kind of way. Joyous tone poems with gorgeous vocals (and ethereal background vocals) and Gil Evans
-inspired orchestral arrangements that leave you breathless.