8. Amy Winehouse, Back to Black
No one would claim that Amy Winehouse is a radical innovator, but her decision to dust off the girl-group / soul-diva song forms of the 60s and 70s is genius in its way. Call it homage or call it exploitation: either way, it turns out that a substantial amount of power still resides in those forms, and within the first thirty seconds or so of its opening track (the unavoidable "Rehab") this album has demonstrated that point swiftly, conclusively, and indelibly. The fact that the album maintains something close to that level of quality throughout its entire duration suggests that Winehouse may be a real talent to watch.
Listen: Amy Winehouse, "