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Here are our top ten picks (in alphabetical order) for 1999.

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Go to Top Ten Picks for 1998

CD gifGo to Top Ten Picks for 2000

Terry Allen, Salivation - Multi-media artist Terry Allen produces an inspired and critical look at life in the late 20th century, wrapped in a mix of country, roots, and rock that brings to mind Willie Nelson's idiosyncratic Texas acoustic sound

Chet AtkinsChet Atkins & Doc Watson, Reflections - Reissue from 1979 (with a pleasing 27-minute duration) ranks as one of the most accomplished folk/bluegrass albums of the year

Dionne WarwickThe Look of Love: The Burt Bacharach Collection - Three-disc set is outstanding retrospective from this 60s hitmaker.

Also see the
Greatest Hits collection from Dionne Warwick, for a one-disk set with the best from this pair

Vic ChesnuttVic Chesnutt, The Salesman and Bernadette - The idiosyncratic singer from Georgia serves up another helping of his exquisite songs about life, love, and redemption. Backed by the Nashville-based band, Lambchop, tracks like"Until the Led" are flat-out rockers, driven by a swinging horn session.

EelsEels, Electro-Shock Blues - Geek rocker Mark Oliver makes a giant leap forward with this concept album, which addresses the death of two loved ones

Colin HayColin Hay, Transcendental Highway - Former frontman for Men and Work delivers a smooth, sculpted sound that shows that contemporary rock hasn't disappeared in L.A. - it just went underground.

The HelpThe Help, The Help - Indiosyncratic band from NYC lands near the college rock territory once occupied by 10,000 Maniacs

JewelJewel, Spirit - On her sophomore album, Jewel serves up another winner. With a mature and bigger sound, the highlight is the lovely single, "Hands."

Eleni MandellEleni Mandell, Wishbone - Wishbone is a big debut from Los Angeles singer Eleni Mandell. With exotic, sultry tunes filled with images of late nights and sweet encounters, Mandell delivers a labor of love.

George MartinGeorge Martin, In My Life - On this idiosyncratic end to his recording career, Martin retires in style, recording a dozen Beatles' songs with what he describes as "Heros and Friends."

Band on the RunPaul McCartney & Wings, Band on the Run: 25th Anniversary Edition - Limited edition double-CD set features the original album, plus a second disk with previously unreleased acoustic versions, interviews, and live takes.

Chrissie HyndePretenders, Viva El Amor! - Chrissie Hynde and band return with a bang. Listen for the great single, "Human."

Robert SchimmelRobert Schimmel, If You Buy This CD, I Can Get This Car - Outrageous comedian Robert Schimmel returns with his candid observations about sex and the human condition. No stranger to controversy (listen up when Schimmel explains why his booking agency fired him), the new album delivers laughs in big gulps.

Steely DanSteely Dan, Can't Buy a Thrill - Remastered version of classic debut album sounds great, with such outstanding cuts as "Reelin' in the Years" and "Brooklyn (Owes the Charmer Under Me)."

- Randy Krbechek © 1999

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