As Greg Kot and I gear up for this weekend’s airing of our favorite episode of Sound Opinions all year—the annual Best-Of Recap—here is part two of my look at my Top 30, starting from the bottom and working toward No. 1.
Today: numbers 20 to 11. (See: Numbers 30-21)
20. Willis Earl Beal, Nobody Knows (XL Recordings)
This former bedroom artist may be a true eccentric and a real original, but that doesn’t mean his music isn’t accessible to the rest of us, especially now that he’s realized his vision in a proper studio with a crack band, making his search for true and meaningful connections in this instant-gratification world of digital emphemera all the more poignant and infectious.