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Outkast's Speakerboxxx named album of the year

Story: Jack Foley

RAP duo Outkast could well be shouting ‘Hey Ya’ once again, after their latest album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, was named as the best album of 2003, according to UK music critics in a year-end ‘poll of polls’ compiled by retailer, HMV.

The US duo beat Mercury Music Prize winner, Dizzee Rascal, who came second, as well as the likes of The Darkness and The White Stripes, in the poll.

The list was compiled by HMV using the ‘best of’ round-ups of music magazines such as the NME, Q, Mixmag and Mojo, which all rated Outkast highly. The album has been a massive hit in America, where it is still number one, and has spawned the popular single, Hey Ya, in the UK, where the album has sold over 100,000 copies.

A two-CD set, it is best described as two solo albums by the duo's members, Big Boi and Andre 3000, and comprises several styles.

It beat the likes of the White Stripes' latest, Elephant, which came fourth, as well as The Darkness' Permission To Land (fifth), Radiohead's Hail To The Thief, The Strokes’ Room on Fire and Blur’s Think Tank, which did make the top ten.

Gennaro Castaldo, a spokesman for HMV, said: "OutKast's album is a real melting pot of styles and rightly deserves the praise which has been heaped on it.

"And the poll itself just goes to prove that there's life in the old dogs yet, as veterans such as Radiohead, Jane's Addiction and Blur all manage a respectable top 20 place each."

The poll of poll top five:

1. OutKast - Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
2. Dizzee Rascal - Boy In Da Corner
3. The Mars Volta - De-loused In The Comatorium
4. The White Stripes - Elephant
The Darkness - Permission To Land

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