Critic's Pick: Frank Tortorici's Top 10 Albums Of 1998

This year we've asked some of our favorite writers and editors to tell us what albums

stood out in '98. Today, SonicNet's Frank Tortorici supplies his top 10.

1. Lucinda Williams, Car Wheels On A Gravel Road (PGD/Polygram): A

perfect album of perfect songs, expertly sung and played. She makes it look easy.

2. Hole, Celebrity Skin (Geffen): On which Ms. Love takes her Stevie

Nicks obsession and comes up with a great new sound.

3. Placebo, Without You I'm Nothing (Virgin): Androgynous pop-metal

returns. A great introduction to the best new band around.

4. Liz Phair, whitechocolatespaceegg (EMD/Capitol): A more mature,

less-raunchy Liz -- but the lyrics still are original, and the music is down-to-earth and

infectious.

5. Joni Mitchell, Taming the Tiger (Reprise): One of the greatest

songwriters doesn't quite match her best here, but she's more upbeat than she has been

in many years.

6. Box Sets -- Bruce Springsteen, Tracks (Columbia); Stevie Nicks,

Enchanted (Modern/Atlantic); John Lennon, Anthology (Capitol):

Fascinating summaries, etc., of three interesting careers.

7. Bob Dylan, The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4 (Columbia): Dylan documented

in peak form.

8. Alanis Morissette, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie (Warner Bros.):

Thank YOU, Alanis, for a new album of your angst-filled, pop-rock confections.

9. Tori Amos, From the Choirgirl Hotel (WEA/Atlantic): Trip-hop Tori goes

from incomprehensible to stirring in a few listens.

10. Barenaked Ladies, Stunt (Warner/Reprise): So what if they're silly,

they have a fresh sound -- not a common thing.

Honorable mentions: Duncan Sheik, Humming (Atlantic): Lush,

thoughtful pop/rock. Gillian Welch, Hell Among the Yearlings (Almo

Sounds): Old-style country/folk. Snowpony, The Slow-Motion World of

Snowpony (Radioactive): Disturbing, yet powerful rock from this new British

band.