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YEAR IN REVIEW / 1996

The Consensus Top 10

December 29, 1996|Richard Cromelin

Beck is resoundingly where it's at, according to the 21 Times pop music contributors who submitted their lists of the year's best albums. The folkie/hip-hop alchemist's "Odelay" swamped the competition in the 16th annual balloting by an even wider margin than that of last year's winner, PJ Harvey, establishing a new record for margin of victory.

The Los Angeles musician spearheads a youth movement that finds eight major label debuts or sophomore efforts in the consensus Top 10 Only Ani DiFranco, who has released eight albums on her independent Righteous Babe label, and Steve Earle, with seven albums, qualify as veterans. The changing of the guard proceeds.

Here's the consensus Top 10. Albums are awarded 10 points for a first-place vote, nine points for second and so forth.

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Artist, Title (Label) Total No. of Points Ballots (Firsts) 1. Beck, "Odelay" (DGC) 104 13 (7) 2. Me'Shell Ndegeeocello, 40 8 "Peace Beyond Passion" (Maverick) 3. Wilco, "Being There" 36 4 (Reprise) (2) 4. DJ Shadow, 33 5 "Endtroducing" (Mowax/ffrr) (1) 5. Eels, "Beautiful Freak" 32 5 (DreamWorks) 6. Tricky, "Pre-Millennium 27 5 Tension" (Island) 7. Ani DiFranco, "Dilate" 24 4 (Righteous Babe) 8. Gillian Welch, "Revival" 23 4 (Almo Sounds) 9. The Fugees, "The Score" 24 4 (Ruff House/Columbia) 10. Steve Earle, 21 4 "I Feel Alright" (1) (E-Squared/Warner Bros.)

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The first-place votes: Terry Allen, "Human Remains" (Sugar Hill): Randy Lewis. Beck: Lorraine Ali, Richard Cromelin, Jerry Crowe, Robert Hilburn, Enrique Lopetegui, Natalie Nichols, Sara Scribner. Steve Earle: Mike McCall. Dave Matthews Band, "Crash" (RCA): Paul Grein. Maxwell, "Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite" (Columbia): Connie Johnson. Metallica, "Load" (Elektra): Sandy Masuo. Noa, "Calling" (Geffen): Elysa Gardner. Pulp, "Different Class" (Island): Dave Jennings. Ruby, "Salt Peter" (Work): Steve Hochman. DJ Shadow: D. James Romero. Sublime, "Sublime" (Gasoline Alley/MCA): Heidi Siegmund Cuda. 2Pac, "All Eyez on Me" (Death Row): Cheo Hodari Coker. Suzanne Vega, "Nine Objects of Desire" (A&M): Jean Rosenbluth. Wilco: Chuck Crisafulli, Mike Boehm.

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