75. Rivers Cuomo, Weezer
75. Rivers Cuomo, Weezer. The grand vizier of geek-rock has mellowed with age – and the world has come round to his way of thinking. In an age where a film about Facebook tops the box office, we are all geeks now. And the ecstatic reaction that greeted Weezer at Reading/Leeds this year suggests the band’s stock has never been higher.
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74. Lewis Bowman, Chapel Club
74. Lewis Bowman, Chapel Club. With a voice that’s more stern and passion-filled than Count von Count remonstrating with a parking warden, Bowman invests Chapel Club with boundless gravitas. Meanwhile, his band prove that the age-old formula of big tunes, long faces and Jesus & Mary Chain-style feedback never stops being awesome.
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73. Caitlin Rose
73. Caitlin Rose. Like a younger Lucinda Williams (much younger – she’s 23), Rose has a plangent quality to her voice that belies her age. And her lyrics are so clear-eyed. Take this couplet from ‘Shanghai Cigarettes’: “Trying to quit will make you wish you didn’t start / ‘Cos the pack is as empty as the hole in your heart”.
71. Bradford Cox, Deerhunter
71. Bradford Cox, Deerhunter. With yet another mind-expanding album under his belt in the form of ‘Halcyon Digest’, Bradford Cox has been so good for so long, we’re in danger of taking him for granted. Disagree with our picks? You can vote for the readers’ Cool List too.
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70. Soulja Boy
70. Soulja Boy. Even collaborating with pop goblin Justin Bieber on ‘Rich Girl’ hasn’t quite dented Soulja Boy’s aura. A man of ineffable swag, his upcoming album ‘The DeAndre Way’ (rumoured guest spots: Kanye, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg) looks likely to confirm him as hip-hop’s best-connected young star.
69. Matt Bellamy, Muse
69. Matt Bellamy, Muse. He goes out with a movie star (Kate Hudson) and plays guitar like a Jimi Hendrix for the Virgin Galactic age. Not even the fact that Muse contributed a song to that lame Twilight film can diminish our admiration for their outrageously gifted frontman.
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68. Nathan Williams, Wavves
68. Nathan Williams, Wavves. For a man who’s supposedly king of the new slackers, Williams gets up to his fair share of mayhem, whether it’s getting in a brawl with one of Black Lips or enduring a drug-induced meltdown onstage in Barcelona. He’s shambolic and unpredictable, and we like that.
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67. Avi Zahner-Isenberg, Avi Buffalo
67. Avi Zahner-Isenberg, Avi Buffalo. His Twitter feed suggests he’s the most upbeat man on earth, and while his song titles might be a little odd (‘Summer Cum’, ‘Five Little Sluts’), there’s nothing crude about the beautifully crafted songs that make up Avi Buffalo’s debut album.
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66. Cher Lloyd off X Factor
66. Cher Lloyd off X Factor. Why is she in the Cool List? Allow Jaimie Hodgson to explain.
65. Elizabeth Sankey, Summer Camp
65. Elizabeth Sankey, Summer Camp. Representing the UK wing of the new slacker movement, Summer Camp have been responsible for some of the year’s sweetest melodies, always delivered with heart-melting purity by the John Hughes-movie-obsessed Sankey.
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62. Glasser. She wears a mask on stage and takes her name from “a midnight vision of a figure hovering over water” – yes, Glasser (real name Cameron Mesirow) is one of those witchy post-Bat For Lashes acts (see also Zola Jesus), but there’s nothing remotely generic about her gorgeous, synth-drenched debut album.
61. Ryan Olson, Gayngs
61. Ryan Olson, Gayngs. What with covering Sade and occasionally sounding like Bruce Hornsby, it’s hard to know if Ryan Olson is being entirely sincere, but the mellifluous, nostalgic atmospheres he conjures with collaborator Justin Vernon are unquestionably very now.
59. Cee-Lo Green
59. Cee-Lo Green. Currently riding high on the strength of ‘Fuck You’, it’s wonderful to see helium-voiced soul man Cee-Lo escape the shadow of Gnarls Barkley. Disagree with our picks? You can vote for the readers’ Cool List too.
56. Gucci Mane
56. Gucci Mane. As all modern pop stars must, the man born Radric Davies understands the need to present his life as a soap opera. That’s why new album ‘The Appeal: Georgia’s Most Wanted’ deals with his numerous prison experiences. Sounds generic? It is a bit, but the man’s got just enough style to sneak into our list.
55. Rose Elinor Dougall
55. Rose Elinor Dougall. In a year of indie singers going solo, few pulled it off with as much panache as Dougall, who left The Pipettes behind to record the mesmerising ‘Without Why’. She also cropped up on Mark Ronson’s new album, ‘Record Collection’.
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54. Julian Casablancas
54. Julian Casablancas. Last year’s ‘Phrazes For The Young’ solo album seemed to give Julian a fresh jolt of enthusiasm for his craft, and at his solo shows in 2010 – especially at Glastonbury – he looked to be having the most fun he’d had on stage in years.
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50. Lady Gaga. People think she’s simply about the meat dresses and machine-gun tits. In fact, the key to her genius is that her songs are genius. Check out previous winners of the Cool List.
Akiko Matsuura, The Big Pink/Comanechi.
31. Akiko Matsuura, The Big Pink/Comanechi. There’s something almost too perfect about Akiko – smoking hot Japanese girl drummer with a tendency to play naked? She’s also really, ridiculously oh-my-god-I-want-to-be-your-friend super-lovely.
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Beth Cosentino, Best Coast.
4. Beth Cosentino, Best Coast. Bethany’s walking proof that weed needn’t completely curtail creativity. Ha! Take that, scientists and government advisors! Disagree with our picks? You can vote for the readers’ Cool List too.
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