Like clowns piling out of a Volvo, the Swedish onslaught did not let up, with excellent tunes from Love Is All, Peter Bjorn and John, Teddybears, and those lovable glamsters the Ark. At the Rolling Stones show at the Beacon, which could’ve been mistaken for The Muppet Show, Jack White saved the night with a sweet rendition of “Loving Cup.” Sisters Meg & Dia gave emo a much-needed makeover. M. Ward made the record Bob Dylan should’ve made. Songs we loved: “15 Step,” a Latin-tinged number that Radiohead has started playing live; Spoon’s “The Book I Write” from the Stranger Than Fiction soundtrack. Favorite local acts: Grizzly Bear, Harlem Shakes, Beirut, Matt & Kim, the Essex Green, Papoose, plus the reunited Chavez. Cat Power strong and sober at Town Hall. Lily Allen and Lady Sovereign picked up the scrappy Brit hip-hop girl torch from M.I.A. Forget Joanna Newsom’s Ys, The Drift by Scott Walker was the art-rock epic of the year. Scott Storch’s banging facsimile of Dre on The Game’s Doctor’s Advocate was so convincing that he should finish Detox. Arctic Monkeys: Remember them? Radio ignores Bush-bashing Dixie Chicks, but record buyers do not. Balladeer Nelly Furtado comes out of nowhere with the awesome party jam, “Promiscuous.” Lil’ Wayne, best rapper alive.
The Year in Pop