This is part of Creative Loafing Tampa's new issue, The Year In Music. See and listen to the rest of our top albums here.
Mavis Staples, Livin’ On A High Note (Anti-) After some fine releases for which she partnered with Wilco wizard Jeff Tweedy, the finest gospel/soul/R&B singer alive partners with indie singer/songwriter/producer M. Ward to create another stunning album (which features local guy Benjamin Booker). Sparse, simple arrangements and production help bolster Mavis’s incredible, husky and powerful vocals and then move her pipes to the forefront. Staples, of legendary gospel singing family The Staple Singers, has been singing for the better part of 60 years, but on Livin' she sings with newfound energy and emotion en route to turning in one of her finest recordings in a long and storied career. —Gabe Echazabal