1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Is Is (Interscope)
Five leg-humpingly amazing punk-rock songs about punk-rock lust, the kind that makes you see Jesus and tell him, "You know, you got a pretty car, I think I wanna drive it," and off you roll with Jesus riding shotgun and the apostles in the trunk and the Holy Spirit strapped to the roof. If you add the Spider-Man 3 track "Sealings" and the live showstopper "Dull Life," you get an album almost as sublime as LCD Soundsystem's. It's a¬gonna be a beautiful night.
Nick Cave turns into the goth-punk Kenny Rogers, slobbering all over his mustache in the pudenda-positive "No Pussy Blues" and "Get It On." The whole world seemed to hate this album, to which I can only say, "Sucks to be you, world!"
These Berlin-based art-twat noise pervs sound like they're actually attempting to write catchy rock & roll songs — and listening to them try is even funnier than watching Manny Ramirez chase pop-ups. For lovers only: "Leather Prowler."
Guy - Special Edition (Geffen)
A reissue flashing back to the summer of 1988: Harlem native Teddy Riley decides to reinvent baby-making soul for a hip-hop world and creates the sound of international pop radio ever since. On this concept album, the three concepts are "Groove me," "baby" and "tonight," and the moral of the story is "The party's not over." Nineteen years later, it still isn't. If you wonder why your mom still thinks Bobby Brown is hot, this album may help you understand where she's coming from.
5. Jarvis Cocker
Jarvis (Rough Trade)
The Pulp smoothie hasn't written such fluent tunes since the days of Different Class. On his first solo album, the Eurotrash love god who sang "Sheffield: Sex City" picks up true romance and drops it like it's hot — but in "Tonite," he resolves to hold on no matter what. This is hardcore.