50. Aimee Mann, Whatever (Imago, 1993)

Those who barely remembered this gal as that white-haired punky chick with the distinctive, dangling braid from Til Tuesday's "Voices Carry" video were blown away by her unexpectedly witty and mature first solo album. However, the few who heard her band's later, deeper, more nuanced work probably weren't surprised at all. The first of three rewarding collaborations with producer Jon Brion, Whatever is the most slick, simplest and brightest, and largely devoid of the record label woes that would lyrically drive subsequent efforts. "I Should've Known" should've been huge; "Stupid Thing" is a lovely antidote to Diane Warren power balladry, and it features a devastatingly eloquent guitar solo; "I've Had It" is the definitive autobiographical account of being in a band and how it profoundly changes you--yet it does so much more than that on a purely emotional level.