#20: Grizzly Bear Veckatimest

The Complex Co-Sign: These Brooklyn dwellers have been indie darlings for quite a while now, but there's no doubt that Veckatimest will be remembered as their breakthrough. Critically noted for its painstaking detail, it's hard to lump this record into one genre. For example, "Two Weeks" may be full of lush instrumentation, but it's more than ready for some rapper to spit a few bars over. We definitely rocked with this one, just like Jay-Z and Beyonce famously did at one of their shows over the summer.

Listen:
"Two Weeks"

[CLICK HERE TO BUY THE MP3 ALBUM FOR $7.99]
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#19: Lupe Fiasco Enemy Of The State: A Love Story

The Complex Co-Sign: Even if it was a mistake, we're happy MTV left Lupe off their hottest MCs list. The exclusion clearly ignited a spark under the rapper and led to the lyrical onslaught that is Enemy of the State. Wasalu rips beats old and new alike, making it hard to leave him off any more lists, even if it gets him inspired.

Listen:
"Turnt Up"

[CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE MIXTAPE FOR FREE]
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#18: Miike Snow Miike Snow

The Complex Co-Sign: The crew responsible for crafting pop classics like "Toxic" for Britney Spears, stepped out as artists of their own this year and the results were fantastic. You probably won't hear these songs on mainstream radio, but with catchy pop sensibilities for days, it's easy to see how their sound has landed other artists there.

Listen:
"Animal"

[CLICK HERE TO BUY THE MP3 ALBUM FOR $5.99]
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#17: DJ Quik & Kurupt BlaQKout

The Complex Co-Sign: These two West Coast legends joined forces to create a hip-hop album so focused and fresh that it puts all their over-30 peers to shame. The combination of Quik's creative samples and way-too-fonky drums with Kurupt's brash, rapid-fire lyricism made BlaQKout the perfect Beach soundtrack for the summer. Looking beyond the boundaries of traditional g-funk, the duo's explorations of reggae, middle eastern sounds and robotic electro-pop hint at greater experimentations to come.

Listen:
"Ohh!"

[CLICK HERE TO BUY THE MP3 ALBUM FOR $9.49]
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#16: Girls Album

The Complex Co-Sign: The story behind a band is often just as important as the music itself, and the tragedy-ridden bio of lead singer Christopher Owens is hard to match. Dude grew up in the Children of God cult, dealt with the death of a sibling, saw his mother prostituted, and succumbed to drug addiction, all before linking up with Chet White and forming Girls. We'd never wish those hardships on anyone, but they're clearly responsible for the raw emotion evoked on the band's 2009 debut, and that emotion is what makes Album one of the year's best.

Listen:
"Lust For Life"

[CLICK HERE TO BUY THE MP3 ALBUM FOR $7.99]
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HIT NEXT TO SEE THE REST OF THE COUNTDOWN! (ALBUM #15 - #11)

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