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It turned out, on closer listening, that the tunes were as pretty as ever (Lucky, Karma Police, No Surprises), that Thom's vocals remained gorgeously honeyed, and Jonny Greenwood's guitar pyrotechnics as thrilling as they had ever been.What took this one to new realms, though, were all those tricksy bits that had at first seemed so daunting.
The Specials - The Specials (1979) The Specials' electrifying debut did more than just put Coventry on the musical map: it compressed the drawn-out birth-pangs of a multi-cultural UK into a single burst of healing energy.
Miles Davis - In a Silent Way (1969) Ever wondered what the call-waiting music on a customer care hot-line in heaven might sound like?
Davis's (right) sublimely sensual 1969 ambient space-jazz landmark has the answer.
Dizzee Rascal - Boy In Da Corner (2003) Dylan Mills' compellingly internal and melancholic Mercury Prize-winner provides an unforgettable guided tour of the inside of this precocious East London teenager's head.
Karen Dalton - It's So Hard To Tell Who's Going To Love You The Best (1969) Far from the brazen Billie Holliday copyist her cracked and languid vocals initially suggest, this ornery Greenwich Village folkie actually had a unique talent for setting up house inside other people's songs and inviting the listener to join her for tea.
Kraftwerk - Radioactivity (1975) Completed in a hurry after the success of 'Autobahn' had propelled them into the global pop fast-lane, Kraftwerk's nuclear concept album flopped on first release in 1975, but now this superbly eerie symphony of crackles and hisses feels like the sound of the atom splitting.
Our critics point the way Between imperiously funky pronouncements on political corruption and personal relationships, Nigeria's philosopher-prince of Afro-beat wields his impeccable horn-section like a jewelled mace.
Palace Brothers - Palace Brothers (1994) He still hadn't really learnt to sing or play the guitar.
It was some years before his later work as Bonnie 'Prince' Billy would become the object of approving critical consensus.
Gorky's Zygotic Mynci - Barafundle (1997)No one else was making records with crumhorns and jew's harps in 1997, and GZM's enchanting compendium of Welsh psychedelic whimsy knocks the current generation of pseudo-mediaeval acid-folk revivalists into the proverbial cocked wimple.
Various Artists - Never The Same (2005) Three of the most remarkable voices this country has produced (Lal Waterson, Dick Gaughan and Nic Jones) join in a joyously tear-sodden wake for Britain's unfulfilled hopes of a brighter yesterday. Radiohead - OK Computer (1997) The first time I heard this was on some very expensive hi-fi in the riverside apartment of one of Radiohead's managers and I remember thinking - well, not much, actually. Why all the washed-out anomie and the difficult atonality?
Prinzhorn Dance School - Prinzhorn Dance School (2007) Like a more humane Fall or a less bluesy White Stripes, Britain's most exciting new band bestride the blasted social landscape of 2007 like minimalist colossi. James Album (1996) Those lucky enough to get hold of an early copy of this 1996 chamber-techno landmark were rewarded with a little plastic sachet containing a lock of its creator's hair.