32. Warren Zevon, The Wind. Best song: “Keep Me in Your Heart” This album is held together by sadness not necessarily good songs. 31. Ben Lee, Hey You, Yes You. Best song: “No Room to Bleed” Ben has given up folk music for cold electronic pop. Once or twice he makes it work. 30. Guided By Voices, Earthquake Glue. Best song: “The Best of Jill Hives” Not their best of the year get their greatest hits instead. 29. Fountains of Wayne, Welcome Interstate Managers Best song: “Hey Julie” Working man’s rock for the masses, pay no attention to “Stacey’s Mom” 28. Richard Thompson, The Old Kit Bag. Best song: “Gethsemane” Former Fairport Convention’s frontman makes a great folk album. 27. Pretty Girls Make Graves, The New Romance. Best song: “This Is Our Emergency” Polished post punk? Yeah I guess it works. 26. Ben Cavanaugh, Demo 2003. Best song: “So Beautiful” Somewhere between Elton John and Schubert, Ben sits drinking a cosmo. 25. Matmos, The Civil War. Best song: “Pelt and Holler” An Electronic album using only samples of Civil War era instruments? Somehow it works. 24. Saturday Looks Good To Me, All Your Summer Songs. Best song: “The Sun Doesn’t Want To Shine” Really sweet and sad danceable album. 23. The Shins, Chutes Too Narrow. Best song: “Kissing the Lipless” A really solid second outing. Even if I don’t like it a lot, I know it is really good. 22. Cex, Being Ridden. Best song: “Not Working” White boy raps and creates great electronic beats with tight witty lyrics. 21. Grandaddy, Sumday. Best Song-“Stray Dog and the Chocolate Shake” Computer geeks never sounded so sweet, even better than Sophtware Slump 20. Cat Power, You Are Free. Best song: “Good Women” Beautifully fragile female singer songwriter creates beautifully fragile folk and pop songs. 19. Jay-Z, The Black Album. Best song: “99 Problems” I usually hate Jay-z, but this is a great farewell. 18. The Hidden Cameras, The Smell of Our Own. Best song: “Ban Marriage” A gay pop band creates great chamber pop. 17.Dave Matthews, Some Devil. Best song: “Up and Away” Best thing Dave has done since Before These Crowded Streets. 16. Mogwai, Happy Songs of Happy People. Best song: “Golden Porsche” Their best album ever. So many great melodies and crescendos. 15. Victoria Davitt, Still. Best song: “For Me” Great local folk artist, such an angelic voice. 14. Belle and Sebastian, Dear Catastrophe Waitress. Best song: “Piazza, New York Catcher” A new sound for these indie pop darlings. Guess what? It works. 13. Crooked Fingers, Red Devil Dawn. Best song: “You Threw A Spark” Indie Rock’s Neil Diamond. 12. Lyrics Born, Later That Day… Best song: “Stop Complaining” Intelligent rap from a man who knows what he’s talking about. 11. The Twilight Singers, Blackberry Belle. Best song: “Number Nine” Afghan Whigs’ lead singer shows what a grunge god can do when he grows up (unlike Grohl’s lukewarm top 40’s rock) 10. The Postal Service, Give Up. Best song: “Such Great Heights” DCFC and Dntel create indie dance perfection. 9. Radiohead, Hail to The Thief. Best song: “A Wolf at the Door” Sounds more OK Computer than Kid A, thank god. 8. Cursive, The Ugly Organ. Best song: “Butcher the Song” Concept album about making an album, genius! Second best use of cello on an indie album. 7. Steve Burns, Songs for Dust Mites. Best song: “Troposphere” Forget his TV show. He can write amazing songs. Think TMBG + Flaming Lips. 6. The Decemberists, Her Majesty… Best song: “I Was Meant For the Stage” They are going to be the biggest indie band someday, quote me on that. 5. The Wrens, The Meadowlands. Best song: “Everyone Choose Sides” Take an amazing pop rock album, put it in a blender and you have this sonic masterpiece. Some minor faults. 4. Outkast, Speakerboxxx/ The Love Below. Best song: “Hey Ya!” Big Boi and Dre are creating their own rap, come along for the ride. 3. Damien Rice, 0. Best song: “Eskimo” Best use of cello on indie album. Best use of Irish accent. 2. Matthew Ryan, Regret Over Wires. Best song: “I Can’t Steal You” Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits must be proud of their love child. 1. EELS, Shootenanny! Best song: “Dirty Girl” They put the saddest events into the happiest songs ever.