5. Alphabeat - This is Alphabeat
Does anyone do power pop like the Danes? No. Maybe that country is not as bright and sparkly as its musical exports would have us believe. Nonetheless, if there were any justice, this band would rule the pop charts. I dare you to listen to "Fascination"and not want to dance. Ditto for almost every track on here.
5. Raphael Saadiq - The Way I See It
I cannot stress enough how much I love Raphael Saadiq. To me, he is the J Dilla of R&B. He has been behind like, 75% of the music that I love since I was I don't know, 10. Everything he touches turns to gold. This album was a departure from his prior "gospeldelic" records and instead was a straight up love letter to Motown. A Funk Brother on percussion? Check. Stevie Wonder playing harmonica on "Never Give You Up"? Double check. Snappy doo-wop steeped R&B? Triple check.
*Void outside the U.S. and in all 50 states.