Top 20 Albums of 2008 (Charbarred)

By: Charbarred | in: Music |

2008 was a brilliantly diverse year. There were a lot of good albums yet it also lacked immortal classics. Looking at other lists, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who has committed to less than 20 albums. More so, it seems that there are no clear winners this year. As usual, I made a list of the albums I actually listened to rather than trying to convince myself that the Fleet Foxes was anything more than a nice album.

20   Ani DiFranco - Red Letter Year
Return to real shape for DiFranco. A rich and satisfying album.

Ani DiFranco - Red Letter Year

19    The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
Springsteen like rock with better stories. Their best effort to date.

The Hold Steady - Sequestered in Memphis

18    Tokyo Police Club - Elephant Shell
It’s not easy to come up with fast catchy tunes that don’t suck.

Tokyo Police Club - Tessellate

17    Why? – Alopecia
A fine marriage of hip hop and rock with a bedroom mentality.

Why? - Good Friday

16    MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
Almost as astounding as the fact that a major record label managed to sign a credible band in this day and age.

MGMT - Weekend Wars

15    Santogold – Santogold
Impressive, rich and most of all real.

Santogold -I’m a Lady

14    Stephen Malkmus - Real Emotional Trash
May seem like endless noodling to some, but Malkmus managed to finally bring a piece of himself into the mix.

Stephen Malkmus - Out of Reaches

13    Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid
They used to be one of my least favorite bands. The Seldom Seen Kid is a musical triumph for a band that finally settled on substance.

Elbow - Starlings

12    TV on the Radio - Dead Science
Guitars, disco, soul and attitude. A truly impressive album.

TV on the Radio - DLZ

11    Bon Iver - For Emma Forever Ago
Turns out that endlessly shoving something down one’s throat actually works. It may take some getting used to, but it’s a hell of an album.

Bon Iver - Skinny Love

10    Kathleen Edwards - asking for flowers
Much of the same from Edwards means a lot in this case.

Kathleen Edwards - Buffalo

9    Metallica – Death Magnetic
The band that hasn’t delivered anything good in 17 years makes up for it big time.

(song not included…you know why…)

8    Ghosty – Answers
Think Nada Surf but with better song writing. I dare you to find a finer collection of songs this year.

Ghosty - You are a Big Screen

7    Ladyhawk – Shots
Real rock n’ roll. Recorded in a barn in less than a week. Take that Axl Rose!

Ladyhawk - I don’t always know what you’re saying

6    The New Year - The New Year
Great songwriting and musicianship topped with delicious guitar work.

The New Year - The Company I Can Get

5    Bound Stems - The Family Afloat
Slacker math rock with excellent tunes.

Bound Stems - Happens To Us All Otherwise

4     Damien Jurado - Caught in the Trees
Satisfying melodies and a fitting production makes this Jurado’s best album to date.

Damien Jurado - Gillian was a Horse

3    Dr. Dog – Fate
Half Beach Boys tribute half Motown Soul. Forget The Fleet Foxes, Dr. Dog is where it’s at.

Dr. Dog - The Old Days

2     Mason Proper - Olly Oxen Free
A worthy contender offering diversity that is not often found in today’s bands.

Mason Proper - Point A to Point B

1 Trouble Books - The United Colors of Trouble Books

Haunting and beautiful. This may have been recorded in a bedroom using old school technology, but every emotion is exceptionally portrayed. Proves that all you need is the willingness to express yourself. The ultimate headphones album.

Trouble Books - CFHC

So what are your favourite albums of the year?

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Posted on December 13, 2008


12 Responses to “Top 20 Albums of 2008 (Charbarred)”

  1. Mr Surbade on December 16th, 2008 7:33 am

    “Metallica, the band that hasn’t delivered anything good in 17 years makes up for it big time.”

    I’m not the biggest fan of Metallica but you are an asshole. And your list sucks. Big time.


  2. Emon on December 16th, 2008 7:46 am

    If ‘In Rainbows’ is eligible for a rollover, then we have a winner in my books. If not: I liked GNR -Chinese Democracy, Death Magnetic, and Neil Diamond’s Home Before Dark. OneRepublic’s ‘Dreaming Out Loud’ was very good.

    Gee…can’t remember what else I liked from this year.

  3. The Plugg’s Top 20 Albums of 2008 | guitarkadia on December 16th, 2008 7:48 am

    [...] Head over to The Plugg and check out the list, including song samples. Share and Enjoy: [...]

  4. DThompson on December 17th, 2008 12:05 am

    Everything was going fine until I saw you put Metallica on your list.
    I can now only say that because you like an album by Metallica you are an asshole and your list sucks. Big time.
    And I say that even though I agree with every other choice you made on your list, and not just a little bit, I agree a LOT. I agree completely, why I couldn’t agree more if I wrote the list myself! I also stand by my negative assessment of your character even though I have known you for close to two years and find you an intelligent, respectful and thoroughly decent person.
    Too bad you had to totally blow it with that Metallica pick.

  5. Charbarred on December 17th, 2008 1:27 am

    Yeah, I know I’m an asshole.
    First, for saying that Metallica hasn’t released anything good in 17 years. The Black album wasn’t that great either. I guess since ‘and Justice for All was their last good offering’ you may correct it to 20 years.
    Second, for including Metallica in this list. I only did it so that “Mr. Surbade” will have something to bitch about (we know it’s you Lars, don’t you think it’s beneath you to leave spam comments on blogs?)
    Third, for taking the time and compiling a list of albums based on personal taste without trying to look cool or conform to other peoples’ opinion of what’s good this year.
    Yup, I’m an asshole!

  6. Itax on December 17th, 2008 9:55 am

    I have finally worked my way through your list and it is a very good list, I actually own 3 of the albums on your list and I have heard most of 2 more. There is some worthy music here to delve a little deeper into.

    I do not think you are an asshole, maybe after a pint or two you can be a little feisty but aren’t we all?

  7. DThompson on December 17th, 2008 10:47 am

    Don’t be so hard on yourself Charbarred, in retrospect, I think I was too rough on you. You’re probably merely an ass, and not a full blown assHOLE for daring to share your opinions on a public forum.

    Certainly Itax is a far more jejune example of the generis asshole than you, with or without alcoholic enhancement.
    And I speak from a lifetime of bitter experience.

  8. Rusty on December 17th, 2008 11:58 am

    Who’s talking shit about my brother!? :-)

    Truth is I didn’t even listen to the new Metallica, like itax I’m half way through working the list - my new favorites are Dr. Dog and Mason Proper which I can’t get enough of.
    If you don’t believe me, now you can spy on me

  9. Interview with Ohad Ezer of The Plugg | guitarkadia on December 21st, 2008 9:11 pm

    [...] [Update: Check out Ohad's Top 20 albums of 2008 post at The Plugg.] [...]

  10. Ivan on January 4th, 2009 7:29 pm

    first of all, GNR chinese democracy was absolutely horrible, over produced, over hyped, and overall bullshit. one republic is unoriginal and generic. i love this list. I love how when you brought up Fate you dissed the fleet foxes. my only complaint is that you completely missed what is easily the most important album of the year, In Rainbows. how could you desecrate the future generation’s idea of what we listened to when they look back on this list and don’t see radiohead.

  11. Charbarred on January 6th, 2009 9:38 am

    In Rainbows is a great album indeed and was number 6 on my list last year when it came out.

  12. Skeeter on January 17th, 2009 11:41 pm

    5. TV On The Radio - Dear Science
    4. Fleet Foxes - Self Titled
    3. Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer
    2. Sunset Rubdown - Random Spirit Lover
    1. Man Man - Rabbit Habits

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