Marrying the Mainstream

White men learned to dance, and the emoting was as thick as the eyeliner on the year's best pop-rock records

 Rogue Wave, Out of the Shadow (Sub Pop)
Rogue Wave, Out of the Shadow (Sub Pop)

10. Various Artists, Garden State Soundtrack (Epic). Even if you didn't see the movie -- a group hug to adrift, self-medicating 20-somethings -- you can still find transcendence in its tunes. A Big Chill soundtrack for the iPod generation, Garden State captures the humbling romantic desperation and frustrated ennui of post-college living. Classic folk ditties by Nick Drake and Simon and Garfunkel anchor more modern examples of poetic vulnerability: Iron & Wine deconstructs the Postal Service with breathy melancholia, Frou Frou trip-hops through a tribal electronica freefall, and -- oh, yes -- the Shins just might change your life with their coffeehouse strummer "New Slang."

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