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Laurence Station's Top 10 Albums of 2001

1. Roots Manuva: Run Come Save Me (Big Dada/Ninja Tune)
Cocksure and smart, Rodney Smith delivers on the promise of his impressive debut, Brand New Second Hand, and serves up the finest hip hop album to come out of the UK to date.
 
2. Ted Leo/Pharmacists: The Tyranny of Distance (Lookout)
Punk-fueled power pop that is as infectious as it is smart, well-crafted and immensely listenable. Leo has delivered a bona fide masterpiece.
3. Radiohead: Amnesiac (Capitol)
More than Kid B, an eclectic blend of songs that, while not thematically uniform, blend together surprisingly well.

 

 
4. Bob Dylan: Love and Theft (Columbia)
Dylan has finally reached an age that suits his hardscrabble voice, releasing an album that's an unabashed love letter to music that came out before he was even born. A great album.
5. The Dismemberment Plan: Change (Desoto)
Maturity suits the Plan well. A controlled, yet no less innovative, work from one of the most exciting groups performing today.
 
6. Unwound: Leaves Turn Inside You (Kill Rock Stars)
Sprawling without seeming unwieldy, the peak achievement of a band questing to find out just how highly it can evolve.
7. Gillian Welch: Time (The Revelator) (Acony)
Dark America, with salvation beckoning just beyond the next horizon. Welch and her partner, David Rawlings, sculpt music in a dense, ageless mold and the results are nothing less than outstanding.
 
8. Thalia Zedek: Been Here and Gone (Matador)
Gloom, love and loss. A cathartic downer, to be sure, but also one of the year's best crafted efforts. The sting of unrequited love tempered by the salvation of song.
9. Built To Spill: Ancient Melodies of the Future (Warner Bros.)
Doug Martsch and Co. reign in the indulgent jams, offering tight, wonderfully structured pop rock songs that never once overstay their welcome. Excellent stuff.
 
10. The White Stripes: White Blood Cells (Sympathy For The Record Industry)
In danger of remaining a derivative R&B/rock garage cover band, the Stripes find its voice and the results are definitely top notch.
 
Notable near misses:
 

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