60. Badly Drawn Boy, About A Boy (EMI, 2002)

Sometimes a soundtrack can make a movie worth seeing. As much as I enjoyed Hugh Grant's performance in this adaptation of Nick Hornby's second novel, the scenes that resonated with me the most usually featured music from this eccentric DIY-er, who's at his most focused and complete here. It's made up of instrumental cues, charming little throwaways, and the occasional full-bodied gem of a pop song like "Something To Talk About" or "A Minor Incident". Cohering as well as that Cat Stevens soundtrack for Harold and Maude that never materialized on disc, it peaks when the sweeping "I Love N.Y.E." segues into the sublime, aptly-titled "Silent Sigh".

61. Sam Phillips, Cruel Inventions (Virgin, 1991)

"If I told myself I believed in love, and that's enough / I'd be lying" is a key phrase from this former Contemporary Christian singer's second secular album. Following the juiced-up girl group pop of The Indescribable Wow (1988), this is a shade more introspective and acidic. Internal, ever-shifting puzzles like "Tripping Over Gravity" and the title track stimulate with their intricate, simmering set-ups, but their hooks, while embedded, are never obtuse or obscure. And when Phillips' distinct, near-androgynous, half twanging/half lilting voice is backed up by Van Dyke Parks' gorgeous string arrangement on "Where The Colors Don't Go", her playful, knowing sense of wonder is impossible to ignore.