Full-length CDs still have their place, but the iPod revolution has seen to it that the song reigns supreme. Here's a mix of 21 of the year's best that can fit on one disc.
"1 2 3 4,"
. Canadian coffeehouse queen counts off the simple pleasures on her iPod ad and excellent
. Irresistibly airy synth-pop longing from Philadelphia band's
Modern Love & Death
"The Coolest Kid In School,"
. Kinks-y catchiness from these gleaming incisors, whose
You're My Lover Now
is the local indie-pop album of the year.
. Bloggers went bananas over these Afro-pop-flavored Ivy Leaguers, whose debut is due in January.
. Let the courts decide if this is a bald rip-off of the Rubinoos' "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend"; enjoy the meanness in the meantime.
"Potential Breakup Song,"
Aly & AJ
. Excellently titled tune by 'tween-pop sister act. You never know when you might need one.
The Sri Lankan sensation's
was inconsistent, but this shimmying Bollywood confection was one of a handful of brilliant singles.
. Kept us dry all summer.
. French dance duo uses a kiddie chorus to serve up hyperkinetic kicks.
Fujiya & Miyagi
. Brighton, England, electro-trance outfit excels at robot-funk.
"Roc Boys (And the winner is . . .),"
. Hip-hop heavy hitter gets his
groove on. Put your money away: Hova's got enough for everybody.
"Int'l Players Anthem (I Choose You),"
UGK featuring OutKast
. Houston duo, whose Pimp C. died this month, teams with Andre 3000 and Big Boi for rococo wedding song.
"A Hand to Take Hold of the Scene,"
. Literary-minded preciousness is staved off with bouncy beats.
"You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb,"
. Stalwart indie craftsmen marry minimalism to Motown.
. Fabulous Londoner gets in touch with his inner Freddy Mercury as he wishes he could be more like the late Princess of Monaco.
"Make It Wit Chu,"
Queens of the Stone Age
. Heavy rock dude Josh Homme shows off Princely make-out moves.
"A Case Of You,"
. The man himself demonstrates how it's done, on a gossamer Joni Mitchell cover better than anything on his 2007 album - or hers.
"Gone Baby Gone (Done Moved On),"
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
. Led Zep golden god and country fiddle princess make lovely dinner music together.
"You Know I'm No Good,"
. You can't say that the retro-soul rock star didn't warn you: "I told you I was trouble," she sings. "You know that I'm no good."
"Girls in Their Summer Clothes,"
. The Boss channels Brian Wilson on this
act, watching the parade pass by.
"Tonight the Streets Are Ours,"