Here is the top 10 list of "The Best CDs of 2003" according to Steve Morse of Boston.com
1. The White Stripes, "Elephant" (V2)
Singer/guitarist Jack White may not win any personality contests, but he doesn't have to as long as the music sounds this good. Students of rock history will love how he plucks so many familiar riffs and blends them in ways that make you appreciate the genre all over again.
2. Warren Zevon, "The Wind" (Artemis)
Rock's longtime iconoclast rushed to complete this before succumbing to cancer, yet it doesn't feel rushed at all. Instead, these 11 songs are both spiritually inspired and typically Zevon-esque, with barb-throwing asides.
3. Ben Harper, "Diamonds on the Inside" (Virgin)
Harper let his soul flag fly with this effort, a stunning masterwork of passionate soul-funk, reggae, and rock. Most impressively, he has stitched together a cohesive album rather than a bunch of demographic-seeking niche tunes.
4. Nelly Furtado, "Folklore" (DreamWorks)
Furtado grew up this year, and this sophomore album is a quantum leap forward from her debut. She mixes rock, folk, hip-hop, and world music into a glorious mosaic that also celebrates the positive side of her family's experience as Portuguese immigrants.
5. Metallica, "St. Anger" (Elektra)
Call it singer James Hetfield's "post-rehab" album, but give it credit for being a hard-hitting comeback disc that blows your speakers out as only Metallica can. Some diehard fans may disagree, but there's no denying that the band's full-throttle power remains.
6. Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros, "Streetcore" (Hellcat)
Strummer passed away this year, but not before finishing this sprawling, almost career-fusing album that incorporated some reggae-rock a la his early Clash days and some musical side adventures that showed how truly eclectic this definitive punker could be.
7. Britta Phillips & Dean Wareham, "L'Avventura" (Jetset)
Dream pop can put you to sleep, or take you on a transcendent journey, as this album does. Phillips and Wareham, known for their work in the hypnotic band Luna, transform a set of originals and gentle cover tunes into a magic carpet ride.
8. Radiohead, "Hail to the Thief" (Capitol)
Somebody had to push the edge this year -- and Radiohead was up to the task. The band's soundscapes, still arch and demanding, were an interstellar experiment that felt like an MIT term paper at times. But the rewards for sticking it out were many.
9. Mercy Brothers, "Strange Adventure" (Gibraltar)
Boston's Barrence Whitfield has been through beaucoup incarnations, none better than this joint effort with guitar slingers Michael Dinallo and Vidar Busk, a Norwegian who adds some flash to these high-stepping, roots-flavored tracks.
10. Akrobatik, "Balance" (Coup d'Etat)
The Boston rapper has an old-school flow that compels you to slow down and listen. Yet he has the showmanship to move you right out of your seat at will.