1. Life in Cartoon Motion – Mika
Pop is back and this time it’s actually fuckable. With a bunch of tunes that were catchier than crabs – ‘Grace Kelly’, ‘Big Girl’, ‘Happy Endings’, ‘Relax (Take It Easy)’, ‘Love Today’ – this was the finest album since Colour By Numbers (nothing if not over-stated around here), with not one dud track. And he could pull off the perfect skinny jean.
2. Overpowered – Roisin Murphy
It’s what Kylie’s album should have been: fun yet not silly, the right side of edgy and even the leaked b-sides that never made the album were rocking. Expect many of our favourite artists’ next albums to sound a lot like this. It’s like Goldfrapp all over again.
3. Blackout – Britney Spears
We’re typing this with stiffened, reluctant fingers but after a year of total meltdown – the sort of meltdown that made Amy Winehouse look like the perfect babysitter – it came and it weren’t damn bad. Obviously Britney herself had no input whatsoever (we reckon) and the record benefits.
4. The Joni Letters – Herbie Hancock
Obviously, we’re including this just to be smart but this real jazz album based on songs by the one, the only Joni Mitchell was delicious, had everyone from Tina Turner through Corinne Bailey Rae to Joni herself and bagged itself a well-deserved Grammy nomination. It’s a long way from ‘Rockit’, let’s just say that.
5. The Trick to Life – The Hoosiers
It sounds a bit like ELO, a bit like The Turtles, a bit like a lot of bands you might hear played down Guilty Pleasures and, added to the fact that these boys are sexually attractive AND funny, that’s plenty enough for us. What, you thought we were going to include Cascada?
And the worst…
X – Kylie Minogue
We went through serious illness with her, we went through the break-up with Olivier, we bought the perfumes (well, we smelled them in Superdrug), we even checked out her soiled panties at the V&A, and this is what we get for our trouble? Not. Good. Enough. Even for gays.