By Chris Moore:
The following artists are being recognized for their notable collaborations. Had they not worked together, their tracks and, in some cases, albums would not have been nearly as successfully rendered. Wanda Jackson and Jack White have to earn the top mention for the comeback release of the year. Jackson was once a hitmaker, a notable player in the rockabilly scene (dating Elvis Presley for a time), but I certainly hadn’t heard of her before this year. With White’s electric leads and the fitting arrangements that walk the line between classic and modern, The Party Ain’t Over makes good on the claim in its title.
Beyond this collaboration, the others on this list are more traditional. 8in8 was a cool idea: get together to write, record, and release eight tracks in eight hours as a way of showing just how much the music industry has changed in even the past several years. Gillian Welch’s role, dueting on the Decemberists’ The King is Dead, was a vital one, just as Norah Jones and Jack White added their vocals to a couple tracks and elevated the Rome soundtrack. I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out and praise the (brief) reunion of Ben Folds Five, just as much as if I didn’t note that some of the tracks on The King is Dead have a strongly R.E.M.-esque vibe to them at least in part because Peter Buck is playing on them.
1) Wanda Jackson and Jack White (The Party Ain’t Over)
2) Ben Folds, Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman, and Damian Kulash (8in8)
3) The Decemberists and Gillian Welch (various tracks on The King is Dead)
4) Danger Mouse, Daniele Luppi, Norah Jones, and Jack White (Rome: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
5) Ben Folds, Darren Jesse, and Robert Sledge (as Ben Folds Five for three new recordings)
6) Norah Jones and Hank Williams (“How Many Times Have You Broken My Heart”)
7) The Decemberists and Peter Buck (various tracks on The King is Dead)
8) Bob Dylan and Hank Williams (“The Love That Faded”)
9) Kevin Hearn and Garth Hudson (“The House of Invention”)
10) Lupe Fiasco and Matt Mahaffey (“State Run Radio”)