The Top 30 (or 41) Albums of 2008

#31-41 in random order: The New Frontiers - Mending, The Mountain Goats - Heretic Pride, Lovedrug - The Sucker Punch Show, Kaki King - Dreaming of Revenge, The Helio Sequence - Keep Your Eyes Ahead, Of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping, The Dodos - Visiter, The Dears - Missiles, Coldplay - Viva La Vida..., Cloud Cult - Feel Good Ghosts, Brooke Waggoner - Heal for the Honey

30. Nada Surf - Lucky
29. Elbow - The Seldom-Seen Kid
28. Domingo - s/t
27. Ben Sollee - Learning to Bend
26. Mark Kozalek - Finally
25. Annuals - Fun
24. Department of Eagles - In Ear Park
23. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
22. Sam Sparro - s/t
21. +/- - Xs On Your Eyes
20. French Kicks - Swimming
19. The Hush Sound - Goodbye Blues
18. Beck - Modern Guilt
17. Fleet Foxes - s/t
16. Ray LaMontagne - Gossip in the Grain
15. Mates of State - Re-Arrange Us
14. Margot & the Nuclear So and So's - Animal!/Not Animal
13. Tokyo Police Club - Elephant Shell
12. Flight of the Conchords - s/t
11. Death Cab for Cutie - Narrow Stairs
10. The Streets - Everything Is Borrowed

"It's as if all of life has become new again...beautiful enough to bring tears, if you're in the right place, and it might just be enough to save us all." [10.7]
(best tracks: On the Edge of a Cliff, On the Flip of a Coin, Everything is Borrowed [mp3])

9. Chris Merritt - Pixie and the Bear

"making a double-album takes balls. A double-album is an auditory finger to anyone who was even thinking about taking just a cursory listen. At the same time, it's an artistic risk on par with the dreaded "concept album". If you can't deliver the goods, you're going down like the Hindenburg. Chris Merritt knows these things and he probably doesn't care. He knows he's got it. He knows he's going to lead off both discs with five-fingered-fists-of-melodic-fury and you'll be on the ropes. TKO, baby." [6.21]
(best tracks: The Long Road, Show Me What You're Made Of, Dr. Jerk)

8. Kings of Leon - Only By the Night

"...absolute mastery of the mid-tempo emotional rock song" [9.23]
(best tracks: Manhatten, Use Somebody, Notion)

7. Ra Ra Riot - The Rhumb Line

"Not that The Rhumb Line is another tired '80s rehash. Nay, this record is hip enough for the hipsters, but fresher than a head of lettuce. This is a band unspoiled by lavishing blogs and music mags, young and full of rosy-cheeked optimism." [11.7]
(best tracks: Too Too Fast, Run My Mouth, Can You Tell)

6. Copeland - You Are My Sunshine

..."as uplifting as a fizzy lifting drink, a needed shot of warmth in this early Fall season when the chill sometimes whisps in through the cracks in the windows and floors." [10.15]
(best tracks: Should You Return, The Day I Lost My Voice (Suitcase Song), Chin Up [mp3])

5. Empire of the Sun - s/t

"...make the '80s sound new again, despite the era being walked on by countless bands for the last 10 years. This is infinitely cooler than the Madonna-on-acid album the Killers just made. It's synthy without being annoying. The basslines are alive. They dress up like Michael Jackson and Snarf from Thundercats. The first five tracks are going to knock you on your ass." [11.23]
(best tracks: Walking on a Dream, We Are The People, Half Mast)

4. Q-Tip - the Renaissance

"...notice served on a genre that loses more luster every year removed from the golden days of old-school. With Kanye pursuing his auto-tune dreams, Kamaal the Abstract (a.k.a. Q-Tip) is dropping piano hooks like they are steaming hot, laying beats like asphalt, and bringing the old-school back to the new-school. Class is now in session. There will be a test." [11.7]
(best tracks: Gettin' Up, Johnny Is Dead, Official)

3. Jamie Lidell - Jim

"Soul is back, baby, but it ain't nothin' like it used to be...the ultimate example of blending the old with the new. Twisting staleness into freshy-freshness. Jamie owes a lot to Stevie, Al, Sam, and Marvin for this record, but I'm guessing they're just happy to be in the conversation again. In this one, your feet will do all the talking." [4.30]
(best tracks: Wait For Me, Green Light, Figured Me Out)

2. Shearwater - Rook

"Both band and album named after different birds, this recording has wings like few could ever hope to possess. It glides along on the updrafts effortlessly before diving thousands of feet towards earth, cutting off at the last moment, just because." [6.5]
(best tracks: Leviathan Bound, Rooks, The Snow Leopard)

1. Frightened Rabbit - The Midnight Organ Fight

"This is a record for the lost, the found, the dead, and the born again. The broken, the lonely, the human, the thirsty, the tired and trampled. This is your golden crown." [5.18]
(best tracks: The Modern Leper, Heads Roll Off, Keep Yourself Warm [mp3])

See Also:
Top Songs of 2008, 2007 and 2006.
Top Albums of 2007 and 2006


Blogger Jolson said...


That's all.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

it's funny, I've know of chris merritt's existence as a human for some time, but just this year I discovered how fantastic his music was! The streets as well, I had only heard of them a few weeks ago thanks to pandora, but the newest album a amazing I was addicted immediately. Awesome list!!

7:41 PM  

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