"ALBUM OF THE DECADE!! No contest - Alison's debut was so fantastic, that even SHE could hardly outdo it with her own follow up (though BOMB IN A BIRDCAGE is still a fine album in its own right). A pitch perfect blend of writing, epic orchestration, and stunning vocals - topped off with its generous 60-minute running time. Of my entire collection, this is the LAST album I would ever relinquish!"
"RUNNER UP: Abra's turning point came with this beautiful blend of catchy upbeat pop tunes, and more personal acoustic pieces. Her exploration of breakups, both with lovers and with family, are tear-inducing on such greats as "Family Affair," and "Pull Away." The album culminates in the beautifully wistful "Shining Star.""
"THIRD FAVORITE: One of the last albums of the decade is also one of the best! Dico's sound has evolved beautifully over the decade, and this album is a new pinnacle. A lush soundtrack of folk rock, vacillating between the upbeat sound of "REBELS" and the quieter "ALL I CAN SEE" - this is a true master work!"
"FOURTH FAVORITE: Though I literally discovered her in the last month of the decade, Kate has quickly climbed to the top of my favorites list. This, her third album, is her most accomplished to date. Excellent acoustic folk pop matched with a pitch-perfect vocal. Whether going solo, or singing duet on tracks like "Trying" and "Greatest Love," Kate shines as a bright light in the dark!"
"FIFTH FAVORITE: Gemma's sophomore album is also her best - excellent alternative rock with blissful melodies and hooks. The title track is one of my favorites of hers, as well as "Another For The Darkness," and "Nothing Can.""
"Beautiful Mindy with her achingly compelling acoustic country pop. While the orchestration is top notch, it's her stunning voice that draws me over and over - dusky in the best way, she reminds me of my favorite voice of the 90s - The Sunday's Harriet Wheeler."
"In a career spanning two decades, its hard to pick the best, but some of my favorite Hooverphonic tracks are on this CD, including "We All Float," "Wake Up," the title track, and the beautifully somber closer, "Ginger.""
"Lal Meri is a new project for Nancy Kaye (aka Rosey) - her third recorded album, and definitely her best, is electro-trance-pop infused with heavy middle eastern colors. The result is a wonderful sonic journey."
"Mindy's sophomore album veers further away from country, and excels far beyond her debut - a commanding performance from one of my favorite artists. The stunning title track, and the charming duet with Buddy Miller on "What If The World Stops Turning" are just two reasons to own this must-have album."
"An album that has been waiting four years for release finally comes to bear and proves this Australian artist is a top contender! Upbeat, energetic rock drives the album from start to finish - "They Say You Grow" is my favorite song of 2009!"
"The odd cover and artist photos inside don't do justice to the diverse complexity of the album. From the Gothic opener, to the more upbeat "Creationist" and "Beautiful Day," or the funky "Up Up Up," - there are many sides to this artist."
"Hooverphonic's most ambitious album is a concept piece, unfolding the story of the titular Jackie, a rising celebrity whose disturbed sister ultimately poisons her. The album's opening upbeat pieces chronicle her rise to fame, while the darker second half details her final moments. Interesting indeed . . ."
"The very essence of the young rock movement of today - this second album from the power rockers solidified their staying power. Excellent upbeat tracks like "That's What You Get," and "Miracle," alternate with power ballads such as "We Are Broken" and "When It Rains.""
"Leona's second album is her most upbeat effort to date - more pop/rock than the acoustic turn she has since taken. These are mostly fun, feel-good songs, highlighted by the title track, "Blue Eyed Baby," and "Hurricane," before settling into a nice, calm mood for the final three pieces."
"Debut from the Australian rocker blows the listener away from the first track through the last. There isn't a waste of space on the entire disc. While "Another White Dash," and "I Can't Make Me" are the hits, the album highlight is easily the Queen-esque "Never Leave Your Heart Alone.""
"Regina's first major release after several independent albums blended her trademark quirky indie sound with more radio-friendly pop touches. The result is one of the few perfect albums I've ever heard. The highlight here, aside from her dynamic voice, is her classically trained piano work."
"The sister act broke through with this debut - tight harmonies with quirky lyrics and irrestible piano pop hooks. It's hard to capture on disc the energy of a band like this that was born for live performances, but this album comes close."
"Fiona's third album was famously delayed by studio issues - while fans who heard the original recordings dismiss this released version, to my ears it is still her greatest work to date. Strong bluesy piano orchestration blend with her perfectly dusky voice. The showstopper is the penultimate "Not About Love," one of her best-ever tracks."
"Delta's second album is her finest to date - not as uneven as her debut, nor as popish as her third and most recent album. There is here a perfect blend of pop and rock melodies, perfectly performed with her powerful vocal talent. Her personal dealings with cancer bring an earnest to the writing and performance."
"Easily the finest album from the indie alternative rock band - Jenny's affinity for country folk begins here with tracks like "Does He Love You," and the title track, but there is plenty of driving rock as well with "Portions For Foxes" and "Love And War," - an album with many textures!"
"If you like sugar-sweet vocals, you'll find much beauty in Don and Karen Peris' expert acoustic folk music. Perfect music for a contemplative and quiet afternoon - this is the closet to pure folk I go."
"Charlotte's second full length album showcases her darker side, melding piano rock, electronica, and an operatically trained voice into a most delicious blend. Charlotte brings angst and emotion, yet still manages to end on a positive note."
"The final album from the band that ended their career WAY too early (though rumor tells of an upcoming reunion). Leigh's so-whispy-it-almost-get's-away vocals still manage to power through the excellent alternative rock melodies."
"Amid the collection of cool trance/hip-hop pieces such as "Slow Down," "Otherwise," and "Undress Me Now," lies the deliciously dark "Women Lose Weight," in which guest artist Slick Rick explains how he murdered his wife after she gained weight (trust me, it's funny when you hear it)."
"The deubt from the indie rock band is a masterpiece of acoustic folk rock. Jenny Lewis left an early attempt at acting to front the band - and what a great decision that turned out to be! My favorite is "Plane Crash In C" with it's horn-infused bridge."
"While Clare has recently formed the band Clare and the Reasons, I prefer her earlier solo work. Her crystal-clear voice is perfect for nostalgic acoustic folk tracks such as "Lose You," "Better Without You," and "Cactus Tree.""
"Miranda's debut at the beginning of the decade was a little more upbeat than her recent folksy follow-up. Her whispy voice is perfectly suited for dreamy tracks like "Right Now" and the swirling, John Lennon-esque "I Know What It's Like.""
"Shea's debut goes all the way back to the beginning of the decade - driving bluesy pop/rock with dirty beats and a gritty voice to match. It's a shame the entire decade went by without a follow-up to this excellent collection, though supposedly she is releasing again in 2010."