The Top 100 albums released between January 2000 and December 2009, as voted for by NME staff (past and present) plus a selection of musicians and industry figures that included Arctic Monkeys, Carl Barat, The Killers, Jarvis Cocker, Pete Doherty, Elbow, Johnny Marr, MGMT, Ian Brown, The Big Pink, Snoop Dogg, Alan McGee, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Michael Eavis and many, many more (see the full jury in NME magazine).

This list is taken from the ‘End Of The Decade’ issue of NME magazine (on sale November 18th) where each album included is reviewed again from a 2009 perspective, alongside brand new interviews and a look back at the defining musical moments of the past 10 years.

100 Oracular Spectacular

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99 Colour It In

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98 Demon Days

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97 Agaetis Byrjun

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96 Excellent

Read a biography of Shellac:

Shellac are an American group composed of Steve Albini (guitar and vocals), Bob Weston (bass guitar and vocals) and Todd Trainer (drums and vocals). Although they have been classified as noise rock and math rock, they describe themselves as a “minimalist rock trio.”

From Wikipedia

95 Vespertine

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Time, then, to put away childish things. Like any concession to earthly melody or conventional vocal phrasing. Any last vestige of song structure. Any lingering foothold in clubland. Pop’s last white witch has packed up her pop tent and stolen away, back to the magic kingdom of Björkonia.

94 Horse Of The Dog

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93 Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

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92 Lovers

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Sometimes those closest to you will play a trick so mean you wonder what you’ve done to deserve it. They’ll lead you down some strange, sunlit path, make you fall in love with them – lazy eye, sticky-out ears, six toes, whatever – then, before you’ve realised what’s happeningm, they’ve morphed into something completely different creature and disapeared, leaving you holding the still-warm husk of some creature that doesn’t even exist anymore. And sometimes it’s pop groups who just change.

91 Let’s Stay Friends

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90 Orchestra Of Wolves

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Yes, yes, ‘Orchestra Of Wolves’ has been out for ages. But since that day, fortune has smiled on Gallows in extreme ways. Their debut now amounts to a year zero for, if not music in general, then certainly British hardcore. Thing is, ‘Orchestra Of Wolves’ is increasingly beloved of people who would normally prefer a bout of scrofula than a date with that genre – their prejudices blown away by the sheer force of nature that this band whip up live.

89 The Midnight Organ Fight

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88 The Letting Go

Read a biography of Bonnie Prince Billy:

Will Oldham, a.k.a. ‘Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy (born 24 December 1970 in Louisville, Kentucky), is an American singer, songwriter, and actor. From 1993 to 1997 he performed and recorded under variations of the Palace’ name, including the Palace Brothers, Palace Songs, and Palace Music.

From Wikipedia

87 For Emma, Forever Ago

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86 Forget The Night Ahead

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Two years after their lauded debut, The Twilight Sad are attempting once more to inject real emotion and excitement into that sometimes clinical post-rock genre. So while they might seem to share U2’s fondness for heart-tugging, epic choruses, thankfully that’s where the comparisons to the grande dames of arena rock end.

85 Run Come Save Me

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84 Soviet Kitsch

Read a biography of Regina Spektor:

Regina Spektor (born February 18, 1980) is a Soviet-born American singer-songwriter and pianist. Her music is associated with the anti-folk scene centered on New York City’s East Village.

From Wikipedia

83 Alas, I Cannot Swim

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82 Mclusky Do Dallas

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81 Field Music

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Two brothers, one school friend and 12 brilliant songs. It’s a superfluous fact that Field Music guitarist/drummer Peter played drums in the original line-up of The Futureheads, as is it that’s younger brother, David, was at the helm for the recording of the ‘Heads’ debut single. However, inking in the dots on the Wearside rock family tree does illuminate the fact theat the brothers Brewis share the same allegiance to brilliant brainpop as their hometown buddies.

80 The Grey Album

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Some of the most striking modern popular culture has been born out of its creators imposing rediculous restrictions on themselves. The Coen Brothers tying themselves to the storyline of Homer’s Odyssey for O Brother Where Art Thou, the real-time straitjacket 24 has willingly slipped into for three series, Demetri Martin performing huge palindromes within his stand-up routines…all subject to baffling self-imposed restrictions, all fantastic.

79 Youth And Young Manhood

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78 Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant

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Two years since their last album of new material, and all the characteristic eccentricities that once made Belle & Sebastian such an interesting, mysterious and nobly intransigent musical/ cultural phenomenon have begun to wear thin. They offered a suitably shabby, second-hand blanket of anti-establishment isolationist sentiment and fuzzily melodic nostalgia, and the disaffected flocked to them like moths to a porchlight.

77 Ballad Of The Broken Seas

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76 Civil Disobedients

Read a biography of Capdown:

Capdown were a band from Milton Keynes, United Kingdom. Originally known as Soap, their songs have political themes as alluded to by their name, which is short for Capitalist Downfall. Mixing ska, punk, hardcore, dub and reggae, Capdown built a reputation around their independent releases and numerous tours.

From Wikipedia

75 Chutes Too Narrow

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74 The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me

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73 You Forgot It In People

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72 Kala

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71 Smile

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Has there ever been a more eagerly-anticipated album? Or a more hotly-debated one? This is it, folks, the holy grail of music geeks: The Beach Boys’ lost masterpiece ‘Smile’. Or at least, it almost is.

70 Glasvegas

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69 Puzzle

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Anyone who’s loved Biffy Clyro over the last few years will be no stranger to heartbreak. We valiantly cheered them on as they released album after album to the growing adulation of their small army of militant fans, but, unfortunately, the indifference of the wider public. They had great songs, sure, but true greatness always escaped their grasp. However, four albums into their career as rock’s best-kept secret, and it looks as if the underdogs have cracked it.

68 Primary Colours

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At first sight, you could easily have dismissed The Horrors as haircuts, scenesters, talentless art-school chancers. Sure, after listening to the brilliant, bilious racket of their debut ‘Strange House’, you might have struggled a bit more. But you’d still have managed it.

67 We Are The Romans

Read a biography of Botch:

Botch was a mathcore band from Tacoma, Washington, that formed in 1993 and disbanded in 2002.

From Wikipedia

66 The Hawk Is Howling

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65 Black Holes And Revelations

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64 Lesser Matters

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Some records wear the moniker ‘Critic’s Choice’ like a pungent, hastily-applied cologne. These records can usually be identified within seconds of pressing play (giveaways include gloomy synth intros, discernible melody, wispy vocals singing lyrics about nothing very much at all, the general 1983 ‘vibe’) and are almost universally of very little interest to anyone else at all.

63 Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven

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62 Rated R

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Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme was the genius behind one of the ’90s most unheard and influential bands, Californian ‘desert-rockers’ Kyuss. They famously rehearsed in the Palm Springs desert, made sprawling, drug-addled, psychedelic sex rock and spawned a whole genre – ‘stoner rock’ – without even meaning to.

61 Alligator

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60 American Idiot

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59 Boys And Girls In America

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58 Drum’s Not Dead

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Perhaps because there are so many musicians around who’d eat their own vomit if they thought it would get them nearer the zeitgeist, there’s something oddly heartening about Liars’ near-suicidal trajectory from the mainstream. On ‘Drum’s Not Dead’, these tranced-out New York art freaks slip into another plane entirely, hammering out PiL percussion-scapes that, for all their eerie distance, happen on some beautiful moments. Out there, sure- but this is the sort of experimentalism Radiohead scoop plaudits for.

Louis Pattison

57 Stankonia

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Why wait for the conclusion. Let’s cut to the chase. ‘Stankonia’ (pronounced Stank-O-nee-ya) is the best hip-hop album of the year so far. Take Mos Def’s willingness to experiment, Common’s intelligence and Kool Keith’s futuristic rhymes and thread it together with some southern fried Atlanta funk and some complex concepts on life, and you get a rather simplistic if passable description of what you might find on this album.

56 Z

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The whispers surrounding this, My Morning Jacket’s second major-label record, were perplexing. Kentucky’s hairiest, rootin’-tootin’ country dudes have gone a bit electro, you say?

55 Stars Of CCTV

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54 Songs Of Praise

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Sunderland foursome The Golden Virgins specialise in documenting the laborious cruelty human beings inflict on each other routinely in the name of love. Nothing groundbreaking there you might think, but it’s the panache with which they do so that proves to be so thrilling.

53 Panic Prevention

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Some people take immediate offence to Jamie T… hear him sing – all spittle-flecked excitement and cod-Jamaican pronunciation – and go “But he’s just a trustafarian from Wimbledon!”, like life might be more fun if all white kids from Wimbledon sung about tennis and shopping centres. Fact is, though, the best metropolitan records are part gutter reality, part romantic fantasy, and so it goes with ‘Panic Prevention’.

52 Poses

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Sweet but deadly, the world of Rufus Wainwright. Full of love that offers fleeting epiphanies and lasting aches. Chocolate that tastes beautiful, but makes you fat. Drugs that take you higher but fracture your mind. If he had a signature pose, it would be reclining on a couch, lost in a poetic, melodramatic swoon.

51 The Good, The Bad And The Queen

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50 Arular

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49 Absolution

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In our green, moneyed corner of Planet Earth, possibility is being pissed up the wall. For the vast majority of human beings, at the age of about 21, the sparkle in the eyes deadens just a little, reason overtakes wonder, and they become a citizen rather than a soul. As the prophet Ally Sheedy foretold in the third greatest film ever made, ‘The Breakfast Club’, ‘When you get old, your heart dies’.

48 Bows And Arrows

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Not that we want to encourage growing up, but some time around the age of 28, you stop being a ‘band’ in the sense that your record is basically a loss leader for all the shagging, drugging and hairdressing. Which is all good and great, but after some of those people die, some go rich, solo and shit, and some go into ‘short films’, the rest of them start making records rather than just being in bands.

47 Lapalco

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46 The Great Eastern

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After two LPs (‘Domestiques’ and ‘Peloton’) named after bicycling terminology, The Delgados have named their third album after a Glasgow dosshouse. Its stern facades keep watch over the inner sleeve, and the inhabitants’ troubled spirits pass like a shiver through the album’s darker tracks.

45 Since I Left You

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When The Avalanches were interviewed by NME a couple of weeks ago, they balked at suggestions they were the coolest band in the world. ‘Since I Left You’ is, after all, an album constructed from hundreds of snippets of obscure songs no-one’s ever heard of, a reflection of an adolescence spent trawling nerdishly through second-hand record stores, of endless evenings dedicated to listening to music rather than getting laid or shooting smack.

44 Speakerboxxx / The Love Below

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OK, let’s take this slowly. ‘Speakerboxxx/The Love Below’ is OutKast’s fifth album. Two CDs. 39 songs. 137 minutes of synapse-popping, gut-reorganising, breathtakingly adventurous music. As you’ve probably heard by now, OutKast’s two members – Big Boi and Andre 3000 – take a CD apiece. It’s a neat way to assert their differences, especially since Big Boi remains a major player in Atlanta’s rap scene, while Dre is given to announcing “hip-hop is dead”. But those nagging rumours of a complete split may be a little premature.

43 Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

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There’s love, there’s the war on terror, and for Wilco, both are a battlefield. ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’ sees the former country rockers streamlining their sound down to a painful bareness, and telling us how they hurt.
And, ouch, fingernails down the blackboard, it works brilliantly. In the songs of ex-Uncle Tupelo man Jeff Tweedy tall buildings shake, light is obscured behind the veil of tears, while Jim O’Rourke, the Zelig of alternative music, is on hand to pour sonic salt in the wounds.

42 Vampire Weekend

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The New Year deserves a new you. Now’s the perfect time to do a Gok Wan on your wardrobe; to finally peel off those skinny black jeans that have been bonded to your legs with cider since 2003; to bin the mascara (girls and boys); to donate the pointy shoes to a tramp and leave anything neon (so 2007) in a bundle outside the Sue Ryder shop.

41 Two Dancers

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40 Gold

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39 Crystal Castles

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“I like to piss people off,” Alice Glass told NME back in February. “We want people to feel nauseous.” It was a mission statement which Crystal Castles have fulfilled. And then some.

38 Silent Alarm

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It’s the most cringeworthy thing a new band can do and Bloc Party are the latest band to be guilty of it. “We’re unpigeonholeable!” they’ve squealed in recent interviews. Sheesh, fellas, frankly you’re not being helpful. I’ve got more than 1,000 words to write and I fully intend on finding you a cosy little pigeonhole to squeeze into – sit back, relax, this won’t hurt a bit…

I’ve heard Bloc Party are the new Franz Ferdinand: arty, ’80s indie-recalling, danceable, the hipster band of choice.

37 Silent Shout

Read a biography of The Knife:
The Knife are an electro pop duo from Sweden that formed in 1999. They consist of siblings Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer, who together also run their own record company, Rabid Records.
From Wikipedia

36 Let It Come Down

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There’s little doubt now that Spiritualized’s last studio album (1997’s

35 Down In Albion

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34 The Sophtware Slump

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33 Neon Bible

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After the funeral comes the wake. A celebration, a party; a bleary, teary toast to what’s gone before, its impact on those who were touched by it. And after Arcade Fire’s ‘Funeral’ – after all the grief, glory and emotional exorcisms that saw their debut album light up 2004 like an emperor’s pyre – what next?

32 Show Your Bones

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31 I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning

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Weirdness and America go hand in hand nowadays, but back in November something so peculiar happened that not even the most liberally-mediated conspiracy theorist could even have dreamed it would ever occur.

30 Asleep In The Back

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Hooray! Manchester has delivered its first great album of the millennium. Others will doubtless follow, but few will conjure up magic as brooding as Elbow have here.

29 Rings Around The World

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‘Rings Around The World’ wafts in on the kind of heavy duty industry hype normally reserved for underwhelming Oasis albums. However, it pains this reviewer greatly to report that it’s not, as has been signalled, Super Furries’ best album. It’s their worst.

28 The Man Comes Around

Read the original review from 2002 Johnny Cash could sing a pizza menu, or perhaps that Busted single, and make it sound like a chapter of revelations. Seldom has a voice been blessed with such resonance and doom. And seldom has a musical elder statesman made so many wise decisions in the twilight of his career. ‘The Man Comes Around’ is Cash’s fourth apocalyptic karaoke session produced by Rick Rubin. Predictably, the band is superb, including loads of Beck’s mates and Nick Cave.

27 Back To Black

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26 Boy in Da Corner

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In 2002, UK Garage’s bid for popularity crashed and burned. Acts like More Fire Crew turned out bullish garage-rap LPs with barrels of braggadocio but precious little substance. The likes of Romeo and Lisa Maffia learnt to assimilate or die, stealing into the Top 20 under the guise of nu-R&B. And the talent clung to the scene’s underside, hidden, like cockroaches terrified to skitter into the light.

25 Echoes

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In many ways, the beauty of music is its sheer unpredictability. That is, the reassuring unknown that no matter how uptight and Stereophonics things get, no matter how hard the mainstream media try to water down our musical experience, someone, somewhere will be writing weird songs, discovering lost albums and cross-breeding genres in, seemingly, nonsensical ways.

24 The Libertines

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In the summer of 2004, as the greatest British renaissance of music for over a decade gathers pace, two upstart bands have reached the attention of the broader public. There’s the slick tunefulness of Franz Ferdinand and the intoxicating grimy anthems of The Libertines, stripy shirts versus military jackets, ‘Take Me Out’ versus ‘Take Pete Out Of The Band’. It was The Libertines who first rode to the rescue of British music in 2002, but it’s Franz Ferdinand who’ve sold the most records.

23 Myths Of The Near Future

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22 The Blueprint

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The ruler’s back. You don’t have to take Jay-Z‘s word for it (although listening to ‘The Blueprint’ makes that tough). Check this week’s American chart for confirmation of the unique hat-trick he nets courtesy of ‘The Blueprint’. Three albums in three years: three Number Ones. There isn’t an artist in the world – rap or otherwise – who can match Shawn Carter’s profitable prolificacy.

21 The Coral

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20 Think Tank

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Due to some weird accident of timing, we’re currently getting a masterclass on how – and how not – to sustain a long career in pop. Jarvis is back under new (dis)guise Relaxed Muscle, Radiohead return with an album that disappointingly occupies the same musical space as the last two, Oasis bestride the world like an arthritic Colossus and then there’s Blur.

19 White Blood Cells

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As nu-metal bands proliferate at a rate that usually requires a visit from Rentokil, the unconverted could feel swamped by the tide of unhealthy mental filth rising up the charts. It’s an unprecedented cosmic kindness, then, that for every band squawking at their parents like ungainly chicks demanding worms, America should be producing an equal volume of excellent guitar bands who haven’t swapped their brains for a GameBoy Advance.

18 Elephant

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17 Illinois

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16 A Grand Don’t Come For Free

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15 Songs For The Deaf

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The myth is often so much better than the reality. It’s great to hear about the excess, but the hangovers are less often recorded. Great to hear about the drugs, but less to hear about the dependency. Brilliant to witness the amazing rock’n’roll, much less brilliant to be present at the soundcheck. The achievement of Queens Of The Stone Age is to do all three: be masters of the myth, deal with the reality, and be masters of their rock as well.

14 Kid A

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13 Wincing The Night Away

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The Shins’ singer and songwriter James Mercer recently confessed that this record’s rather strange title was down to the fact that he’d been struggling to sleep at night, so aware was he of the feverish anticipation around the album. No surprise there – the band’s obsessed fans are as freakily passionate as any emo tribe, while Natalie Portman telling Zach Braff that The Shins would “change your life” in the 2004 cult movie Garden State can’t have helped his blood pressure much in those long, lonely nights either.

12 Relationship Of Command

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11 Sound Of Silver

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Hey, ever heard the one about the indie band who incorporated a dance direction? Oh, you have? What, like, 1,875,328 times already? This week? Well, you’re not the only one. In fact, if NME has to listen to one more person telling us, “Dance music’s not dead, it just learnt to play guitar,” we might just be forced to gouge out our own eyes with a glowstick. That’s not good – as journalists we need our eyes. To watch Deal Or No Deal every day, obviously.

10 In Rainbows

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Let’s face it, Radiohead could have released the sound of Thom Yorke picking fluff out of his belly button (which they did actually sample and loop throughout the whole of ‘Amnesiac’, probably) and the world wouldn’t have noticed for several weeks, so intense was the media chatter surrounding their “new business model”.

9 Original Pirate Material

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Their features may remain the same, but over the years the streets – the unfriendly thoroughfares which are the touchstone for ‘authentic urban music’ in Britain – have had many different voices.

8 Turn On The Bright Lights

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When it comes to comebacks, only Elvis can match The Dark. If 2001 saw American bands tapping local heritage from Detroit to NYC, this year a grey-skinned British past is being dragged back the light. Dark angel Anglophiles Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have already made the journey and now come the half-British, New York-based Interpol to draw the curtains, dim the lights and tear into the bunker-reserves of paranoia, lust and fear that fuel this intriguing debut.

7 Funeral

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6 Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea

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Yeah, there are tight leather-wrapped symbolist poets sat on the roof by the water tank all night, watching junkies and rent boys and the boys are always called Johnny and fucked-up flotsam and jetsam go by. It’s a place of 24-hour noise, of re-invented realities, where punk rock intellectuals sleep in the gutters and dream of horses galloping far, far away.

5 Fever To Tell

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Things move fast in the world of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. When they first arrived in Britain a year ago, it seemed likely they’d make a debut album fixated on the simple art of fucking. Instead, ‘Fever To Tell’ is more complicated: seeking to explain love, sex and the remarkable, brittle, sometimes disturbing connections between the two. In 37 minutes.

4 Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not

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3 XTRMNTR

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Meet the new year, same as the old year. Radicalism doesn’t pay, complacency’s at an all-time high, so keep your head down, smile for the cameras, mind your language and stick to the Third Way. The music scene’s not so hot, either. That we could do with a fully plugged-in, turned-on, fucked-off Primal Scream at this point is hardly front-page news; for ‘Exterminator’ to pulverise the senses with quite such righteous, incendiary beauty most definitely is.

2 Up The Bracket

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1 Is This It

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