2008 was a hell of a year for music. Checking my library, I listened to about 40 albums last year, which is quite a lot for me. Now comes the hardest part, when I narrow down those albums to my very favorite ten.
It certainly was a struggle to pick these ten, and I’d like to give a shout out to a few albums that almost made the list. There’s Death Cab for Cutie’s Narrow Stairs, which is probably my favorite album from that unfortunately named group. Also The Killers’ Day & Age, The Gaslight Anthem’s That ’59 Sound, Sigur Rós’ Med sud i eyrum vid spilum endalaust, and Songs in A&E by Spiritualized where quite good. Peter recently recommended Drive-By Truckers’ Brighter Than Creation’s Dark, and I certainly see the appeal there. Another album Peter recommended was Wolf Parade’s At Mount Zoomer, that’s good too.
Top 10 Albums 2008
10. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
One day Peter, John and I went to Silver Platters and Peter decided to just randomly buy some albums. One of them was that latest Mars Volta album, which may have reduced the number of pitches I can hear any more. I couldn’t handle that intensity, and I assumed Vampire Weekend would be just like that, so I put it to the back of my queue. Eventually, I gave the album a proper listen and I was all, “this is hella catchy.” I stand by that.
9. TV on the Radio – Dear Science
One night Peter was all “hey duder, TV on the Radio – Dear Science.” So I gave it the D/L and as usual, I tried to act as cool as possible, saying shit like “it’s fine.” Or something like that. But Dear Science is not simply fine, it’s great. Really, really great. Thank you Peter, for if it were not for you, I would not have downloaded this until I saw it on a bunch of other top ten lists. You saved me those months.
8. Kings of Leon – Only by the Night
This one doesn’t have to do with Peter. Like I said in my review, if this whole album could keep up what KoL have going in the first few tracks, this would be even high on the list. But don’t misunderestimate my tastes, I still like plenty of songs from both the front- and back-end of this album. It’s just, I was all about “Sex on Fire” and I was hella pumped to get my hands on the album. Hype’s a double-edged sword, am I right?
7. The Hold Steady – Stay Positive
Hey, did you know I found out about this album on Colin’s MySpace page? Yeah, I know, right? Like, who uses MySpace any more? And, you know, why didn’t Colin just tell me that there’s this awesome album out there called Stay Positive? Maybe I just ignored him and he did tell me about it. I don’t know anymore. Anyway, it rocks.
6. Los Campesinos! – Hold On Now, Youngster…
Awesome high energy rocking is the name of the game. Hold On Now, Youngester… is the name of the album. Los Campesinos! is the name of the band. I think they’re British though. They kind of sound British, but you know, it’s hard to tell when everyone’s singing. I guess I could look it up, but I don’t really want to. Is James Cromwell British? Might be… I don’t think so though. He could pull it off.
5. Murder by Death – Red of Tooth and Claw
I still haven’t gone back and listened to the other Murder by Death albums, but I don’t need to with this grande bastardo. Red of Tooth and Claw maintains a bad ass cowboy rock feel from beginning to end, something I never thought I’d get to write. Just about everything on this album is done ridiculously well, so pick it up!
4. Beck – Modern Guilt
For some reason I got the impression there was a lot of anti-Modern Guilt sentiment going around. I have no evidence, that’s just the feeling that I had. Beck’s latest album is definitely one of my favorites, with a shocking supply of catchy tracks. Make it your iPod’s new best friend.
3. Coldplay – Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
Colin already explained why this album kicks ass. You know, the risks, the more worldy sound, blah blah blah. I mean, when you’re the biggest band in the world, any move you make is going to piss some one off, so you might as well make it worth it. Coldplay pulled that off in 2008, and still are yet to disappoint me.
2. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
What a surprise this album was. It’s just really… mesmerizing. These guys put together one of the most pleasant albums I’ve ever heard, it’s just a joy from beginning to end. Plus, like two of the guys graduated from LW a year before we went there. Fleet Foxes has recieved a lot of praise and I’ll be damned if they don’t deserve it.
1. My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges
With this album, My Morning Jacket was all “screw you genres, label this!” And iTunes just labeled it “Alternative,” like they do for pretty much every album I buy there. Seriously, what are all these albums an alternative to? Anyway, Evil Urges was the album I kept coming back to this year. Colin says that by now MMJ are like the American Radiohead. That’s a little balls to the wall, but I’ll allow it. These guys just keep putting out fantastic albums and I keep enjoying it.
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