1. Radiohead: In Rainbows (radiohead.com). Melodic guitars and some of Thom Yorke's best vocals - especially when the falsetto kicks in - make this the most tuneful Radiohead listen since OK Computer.
2. Arcade Fire: Neon Bible (Merge). Big, colorful arrangements once again illuminate this band's mission.
3. The White Stripes: Icky Thump (Third Man/Warner Bros.). Jack White couldn't decide if he was Page or Plant, so he went for both on this dizbuster of an album.
4. Bruce Springsteen: Magic (Columbia). The Boss's best since Born in the U.S.A. is a fiery, heartfelt set of rockers. There was probably blood on his Telecaster.
5. Against Me!: New Wave (Sire/London/Rhino). These punks retain their gritty, ballsy bravado on this major-label debut.
6. Jay-Z: American Gangster (Rock-A-Fella). Well, some people do incredible work after retirement.
7. High on Fire: Death Is This Communion (Relapse). Guitarist/vocalist Matt Pike wages another mind-altering metal assault.
8. Robert Plant/Alison Krauss: Raising Sand (Rounder). Just imagine a whole album's worth of "The Battle of Evermore." Sort of. A spellbinding gem.
9. M.I.A.: Kala (XL/Interscope). Different, innovative, enjoyable. It doesn't get much better than this when it comes to . . . um . . . hip-hop? A warning against categorization.
10. Air: Pocket Symphony (Astralwerks). They're back, Air-y as ever - so stop talking about their debut and immerse yourself in this sonic wonder.