Marrying the Mainstream

White men learned to dance, and the emoting was as thick as the eyeliner on the year's best pop-rock records

10. Various Artists, Garden Statesoundtrack (Epic). Even if you didn't see the movie -- a group hug to adrift, self-medicating twentysomethings -- you can still find transcendence in its tunes. A Big Chill soundtrack for the iPod generation, Garden State captures the humbling romantic desperation and frustrated ennui of post-college living. Classic folk ditties by Nick Drake and Simon & Garfunkel anchor more modern examples of poetic vulnerability: Iron & Wine deconstructs the Postal Service with breathy melancholia, Frou Frou trip-hops through a tribal electronica freefall, and -- oh, yes -- the Shins just might change your life with their coffee-house strummer "New Slang."

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