The Best Albums of 2008 (50-26)

50. Los Campesinos! - We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed

The number 50 spot was between the two albums that Wales' Los Campesinos! released this year. Ultimately the most recent won out, maybe because it's more fresh in my mind, but really because it's a much stronger overall album than Hold On Now, Youngster.

Best Song: 'We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed'

49. Sun Kil Moon - April

This one would have made it a lot further down the list if it hadn't been a bit too long. Nothing could top Sun Kil Moon's classic Ghosts of the Great Highway, but this one comes as close as they may ever come again.

Best Song: Moorestown

48. I'm From Barcelona - Who Killed Harry Houdini?

This is a really mellow release in comparison to last years Let Me Introduce My Friends which was a little over the top at times. Although the songs aren't as catchy on this sophomore follow-up, the songwriting is definitely maturing.

Best Song: 'Paper Planes'

47. She & Him - Volume One

M. Ward's project with Zooey Deschanel is certainly getting plenty of praise (it was named Paste's Album of the Year). It's a throw back to the sounds of 60's and 70's AM radio and although it isn't as challenging as I like my music to be, it certainly goes down smoothly.

Best Song: 'Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?'

46. Vivian Girls - Vivian Girls

The only thing that keeps me from absolutely loving this album, is it just sounds way under-produced. I know that's sort-of the point, but it really keeps me from enjoying this Beach Boys/Phil Spector influenced album as much as I should.

Best Song: 'Where Do You Run'

45. Frightened Rabbit - The Midnight Organ Fight

Scotland's Frightened Rabbit have put out a solid indie-folk rock album that continues my obsession with listening to singers with Scottish accents (last year was The Twilight Sad).

Best Song: 'Old Old Fashioned'

44. Love Is All - A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night

Once again, this is definitely a step-up maturity and songwriting wise for the sophomore effort of Love Is All. The songs aren't as catchy, but they are must more rewarding after repeat listens.

Best Song: 'Last Choice'

43. Calexico - Carried To Dust

After spinning Calexico's newest album a couple of times, I thought this was gonna be the first miss-step in Calexico's long career. Turns out this is just one album that needs repeat listens to seep into your subconscious.

Best Song: 'The News About William'

42. Dungen - 4

Swedish psych-garage rockers Dungen have released what appears to be their most accessible album to date. This albums is a bit all over the place with piano laced jazz jams which are a new edition into Dungen's repertoire.

Best Song: 'Det Tar Did'

41. David Byrne & Brian Eno - Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

Any pairing between two geniuses of music like David Byrne and Brian Eno would have to be absolute crap not to make it on a list here. Just like you'd expect this record just feels like a sweater you've owned for a decade, it feels like "home".

Best Song: 'Strange Overtones'

40. Jay Reatard - Matador Singles '08

So, this album isn't a proper album but more so a collection of various singles that Jay released on his label, Matador. The fact that there isn't a week song on this collection of pop-punk hits will allow me to overlook that whole "not an actual album" thing.

Best Song: 'Always Wanting More'

39. Little Joy - Little Joy

Little Joy is the perfect Sunday Morning record. There isn't a whole lot challenging here but it's an easy album to take in. The albums influences touch everywhere from Brazilian to Calypso, and almost everything in between. This will definitely do until the next Strokes album.

Best Song: 'The Next Time Around'

38. Why? - Alopecia

Who knew that anyone from the Anticon camp would become a solid indie-rock artist. Although there are traces of that Anticon weirdness that I came to know and love over the past 15 years left around, Why?'s doing his own thing right now and it appears to be hitting the right chords with music fans.

Best Song: 'The Vowels Pt. 2'

37. Evangelicals - The Evening Descends

Norman, Oklahoma's Evangelicals are definitely cut from the same cloth as fellow Oklahomans The Flaming Lips and Starlight Mints, meaning that they are a little weird. If you think the cover looks like a still frame from a 70's B-movie horror flick, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find that much of the album sounds like the soundtrack from a horror flick.

Best Songs: 'Skeleton Man' 'Midnight Vingette'

36. Constantines - Kensington Heights

Canada's answer to DBT & The Hold Steady have done better. This may be Constantines' worst album out of their four full-lengths is still the 36th best album of 2008....now what does that say about their first three albums?

Best Songs: 'Hard Feelings' 'Our Age'

35. Parts & Labor - Receivers

Brooklyn, New York pops out quality bands faster than Canada. This is definitely one that would have slipped past me if my compadre Kevin hadn't given me a copy. Although their previous albums have hung them with the noise-rock genre tag, the songs contained on Receivers are quite melodic and tune-full.

Best Song: 'Nowheres Nigh'

34. Lykke Li - Youth Novels

Another Swedish pop star. Lykke Li has had her fair share of hype from many blogs and music critics but she is one musician that in my opinion, has lived up to the hype. Crafting perfect and sweet pop tunes, Lykke Li's debut shows as much promise as any other debut albums we heard this year.

Best Songs: 'Dance Dance Dance' 'I'm Good, I'm Gone'

33. Black Mountain - In The Future

As much as we liked Black Mountain's debut album, this is definitely the direction I was hoping they'd go. The album is as dark and heavy as the Sabbath influenced debut, and this time they even wrote a ballad. They are a don't miss live band as well if you have the opportunity to see them.

Best Songs: 'Stormy High' 'Stay Free'

32. Chairlift - Does You Inspire You

If you take away the out of place and over-played 'Bruises' (made famous thanks to it's placement in an iPod commercial) you have a near-perfect dark synth masterpiece. There is some much to love on this album I kept coming back and it kept moving up and up my albums of the year list.

Best Songs: 'Planet Health' 'Evident Utensil'

31. Clinic - Do It!

Liverpool band Clinic are another one that have never allowed people to pin them down to one style or genre. Their most recent effort finds them doing the garage rock thing and finds them doing it as well as anyone else is.

Best Song: 'The Witch'

30. British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music?

I always had a hard time really liking this band until now. Their debut showed flashes of post-rock brilliance where their sophomore effort was over-produced and above-average at best. They decided to go the route of Arcade Fire and (long before them) U2 and play epic and sweeping rock tunes. This is by far their most consistent and greatest album to date.

Best Song: 'Waiving Flags'

29. Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III

I wanted to hate this album. Whenever Pitchfork and hipsters get behind a hip-hop artist that seems out of their wheelhouse, I can be a little skeptical (see Clipse a few years ago). The first time I listened to this album I was extremely underwhelmed and couldn't believe how many people were talking about this record. After coming back to it a month later, I've realized that Lil Wayne is pretty brilliant and this record is solid (but not as GREAT as everyone else is saying).

Best Songs: 'A Milli' 'Mr. Carter'

28. My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges

It absolutely kills me to have to put a My Morning Jacket record this low on my list. Probably my favorite band around these days, this is by far their worst album ever. There are three or four great songs, but the rest of it fails to do much for me. Those three or four great tunes can stand with the rest of their catalog, but the rest of this album misses the mark.

Best Songs: 'Touch Me I'm Going To Scream pt. 2' 'Highly Suspicious'

27. Fucked Up - The Chemistry of Common Life

One of our favorite albums covers and titles of the year. Although the cover and album may be quite beautiful, the music is just the opposite. Canada's Fucked Up may be the best hardcore band i've heard in years and although the music may be abrasive, there is a melodic nature to it that you almost never find with hardcore.

Best Songs: 'Son the Father' 'Magic Word'

26. Drive-By Truckers - Brighter Than Creation's Dark

I had the sinking feeling that one of my previous favorite bands, Drive-By Truckers, has lost that thing I loved with the loss of guitarist/songwriter Jason Isbell and the release of the extremely mediocre A Blessing and A Curse. Turns out I may not miss Isbell as much as I thought because Brighter Than Creation's Dark contains plenty of what DBT does best...the most honest and powerful storytelling in rock music today.

Best Song: 'Two Daughters and A Beautiful Wife'

Stay tuned for albums 25-1...


1 comment:

Bang Potential said...

Just catching your list, thought it was very refreshing, been loving Passion Pit since my since my friend read your scoop on them back in Sept., should have added your blog to my Reader account sooner, the concert calendar is super