>MY TOP 10 FALL FAVES
1 PEARL JAM
One of the year’s best rock records, it’s everything you want from a PJ album: earnest, furious, tender, transcendent.
BEST TRACK: “Sirens”
2 JANELLE MONAE
The Electric Lady
After the shockadelic first half of this disc, it took me a while to appreciate the second half’s more subtle pleasures.
BEST TRACK: “Electric Lady.”
The 20/20 Experience—2 of 2
This hasn’t gotten the love that the first part of 20/20 did, but it’s another thrilling, twisting experience.
BEST TRACK: “Drink You Away”
4 PAUL MCCARTNEY
He may sweetly reflect on his “Early Days” on the achingly beautiful ballad, but Sir Paul shows that, at 71, he can still bless us with small miracles of song.
BEST TRACK: “New”
5 ELTON JOHN
The Diving Board
Like McCartney, this British pop god could have coasted on his oldies as a senior citizen. Instead, he plunged into the deep of his soul again.
BEST TRACK: “My Quicksand”
6 TOM ODELL
Long Way Down
A new English piano man does Sir Elton proud, making rainy-day dreaminess.
BEST TRACK: “Another Love”
7 KATY PERRY
A kaleidoscope of hits, this is the pop-diva blockbuster of the year so far. Your move, Gaga.
BEST TRACK: “Walking on Air”
8 ARCTIC MONKEYS
Britain’s raddest indie rockers get funky on their groovy fifth album.
BEST TRACK: “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?”
9 ALAN JACKSON
The Bluegrass Album
The country vet finds splendor in the bluegrass on a classic-sounding set.
BEST TRACK: “Blue Side of Heaven”
Nothing Was the Same
Though still not Drizzy’s best, its musical nuance and lyrical detail have grown on me.
BEST TRACK: “Too Much”