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The Year in Pop

The story this year was fragmentation—few megahits, but lots of local gems like the Hold Steady and the incomparable TV on the Radio. Though his comeback album disappointed, Jay-Z gave us a night to remember, and Sonic Youth kept rocking in the free world.


10. Regina Spektor’s ‘Begin to Hope’
Proof that the downtown sensibility lives on, this Russian-born piano chanteuse dodges characterization: Her songs are playful and heartbreaking, literate and without guile. MTV took to her this year, but she still feels like one of ours.


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