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?
Posted on December 13, 2008