Pretty good year! Let’s talk about NJ, shall we? Titus Andronicus made their worst album but it was still pretty great. The Gaslight Anthem created their biggest sounding record which ended up fitting their sound well (you knew since Sink or Swim they’d blow up). Steve Albini helmed the best sounding Screaming Females record, which also is their most experimental, longest, and possibly their best. And the two Vivian Girls from Ridgewood put out solid side project efforts (though only one made the list). Outside of the Garden State, Woods made a surprisingly gentle and balanced (and fantastic) record, Spiritualized returned in a big way, and Cloud Nothings going from power pop to In Utero was the right move (Albini again!). But the best record comes from Frank Ocean who not only made the best R&B record of this young decade but also maybe the best piece of artwork.