20. The Epochs "Thunder & Lightning" The Epochs Listen Yeasayer took the weirder, worldlier parts of Genesis to new heights in 2007. This year, The Epochs borrowed from the band's next era -- namely the stark, stadium styling of Phil Collins. This is a bombastic opener to a solid rock record.

19. Katy Perry "I Kissed a Girl" One of the Boys Listen I'm assuming that I adore Katy Perry the way my dad might've liked Joan Jett: a really hot chick who's kind of goofy but makes good records. Everyone heard this record, and everyone danced to it. Some, like me, even in public.

18. Beck "Orphans" Modern Guilt Listen Beck's more popular single, "Gamma Ray," will show up on more year-end lists. But this opener bears the hallmarks of the Danger Mouse production that made this record great and proves my favorite Scientologist shows no signs of slowing down.

17. The Hold Steady "Sequestered in Memphis" Stay Positive Listen As fun as it is to see The Boss, I wasn't there in the beginning and, thus, will never be able to fully appreciate what it means to sing along with "Born to Run." Instead, I have The Hold Steady. And that's fine with me.

16. The Kills "U.R.A. Fever" Midnight Boom Listen When The Velvet Underground tore into audiences with White Light/White Heat, the idea was to destroy popular romances of rock, sex, drugs and New York City. The Kills, on the other hand, make wearing skintight leather and being strung out sound kind of fun. Hats off to this duo for using a telephone ring as a beat and not sounding lame.

20. The Epochs "Thunder & Lightning" The Epochs Listen Yeasayer took the weirder, worldlier parts of Genesis to new heights in 2007. This year, The Epochs borrowed from the band's next era -- namely the stark, stadium styling of Phil Collins. This is a bombastic opener to a solid rock record.

19. Katy Perry “I Kissed a Girl” One of the Boys Listen I'm assuming that I adore Katy Perry the way my dad might've liked Joan Jett: a really hot chick who's kind of goofy but makes good records. Everyone heard this record, and everyone danced to it. Some, like me, even in public.

18. Beck "Orphans" Modern Guilt Listen Beck's more popular single, "Gamma Ray," will show up on more year-end lists. But this opener bears the hallmarks of the Danger Mouse production that made this record great and proves my favorite Scientologist shows no signs of slowing down.

17. The Hold Steady “Sequestered in Memphis” Stay Positive Listen As fun as it is to see The Boss, I wasn't there in the beginning and, thus, will never be able to fully appreciate what it means to sing along with "Born to Run." Instead, I have The Hold Steady. And that's fine with me.

16. The Kills “U.R.A. Fever” Midnight Boom Listen When The Velvet Underground tore into audiences with White Light/White Heat, the idea was to destroy popular romances of rock, sex, drugs and New York City. The Kills, on the other hand, make wearing skintight leather and being strung out sound kind of fun. Hats off to this duo for using a telephone ring as a beat and not sounding lame.

15. Gnarls Barkley “Going On” The Odd Couple Listen The most appropriate album title of the year speaks only to the serendipity that brought together Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo Green. It speaks nothing of how good they sound on this pulsing, electro-clash ballad.

14. Kings of Leon "Sex on Fire" Only by the Night Listen My Morning Jacket often gets all the credit for carrying the torch of thoughtful Southern rock. That's sad. They're good, but Kings have released another fantastic record about love, lost hope, desire and being alone in an Alabama dive bar when the staff is sweeping up.

13. Santogold "L.E.S. Artistes" Santogold Listen The cover of this record portrays Santi White spitting out gold, and that's exactly what we found inside this explosive debut. Equal parts M.I.A. and Karen O, White is fierce, passionate and savvy about what producers best fit her style.

12. Blitzen Trapper “Furr” Blitzen Trapper Listen Modern rock musicians often warp traditional folk music into something critics often call freak-folk, but this Portland band is fine to explore the clear, natural tones of acoustic guitar, harmonica and thumping drums. An easy road song for the ages.

11. Deerhunter “Nothing Ever Happened” Microcastle Listen The most straight-forward track from an album that takes at least a month to fully unpack. Frontman and songwriter Bradford Cox is a weird dude. And, like many weird dudes, he found music. Here his penchant for crushing experimental soundscapes and love of pop music meet in the middle for an immediately likeable song with plenty of twists.