My Top 30 Albums+ Shows of the Year 2008

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21. Dez. 2009, 20:28

I just realized that I never posted this for last year so here it is. My top albums and concerts of the year 2008. 2009 edition to come shortly.

#30 Does It Offend You, Yeah? - You Have No Idea What You're Getting Yourself Into (UK)

Highlights: Let's Make Out, Dawn Of The Dead
Crazy album that's all over the place.

#29 No Age - Nouns (Los Angeles)

Highlights: Sleeper Hold, Eraser
Great indie/noise rock duo.

#28 Beck - Modern Guilt (Los Angeles)

Highlights: Chemtrails, Gamma Ray
Beck amazingly has reinvented his sound again. The album is great, although it is a little more dull than his previous works.

#27 The Stills - Oceans Will Rise (Montreal)

Highlights: Don't Talk Down, Panic
An unexpected comeback after their poor sophomore effort. This has a similar feel to 'Without Feathers'.

#26 Crystal Stilts - Alight of Night (New York)

Highlights: The Dazzled, Shattered Shine
Very dark, swoony album.

#25 Fuck Buttons - Street Horrrsing (UK)

Highlights: Sweet Love for Planet Earth, Bright Tomorrow
Crazy weird experimental/noise/electronic duo that shifts between beautifully twinkling and harshly abrasive.

#24. Foals - Antidotes (UK)

Highlights: Electric Bloom, Olympic Airways
Extremely British math rock band. I love their use of harmonics.

#23. The Kills - Midnight Boom (UK/US)

Highlights: Sour Cherry, Last Day of Magic
Ultra lo-fi garage/blues rock duo.

#22. ¡Forward, Russia! - Life Processes (UK)

Highlights: We Are Grey Matter, Welcome To The Moment (The Rest Of Your Life)
No more number-titled tracks, but this album is still great.

#21. Secret Machines - Secret Machines (New York)

Highlights: Underneath The Concrete, Atomic Heels
First album after the departure of lead guitarist Ben Curtis. Not as good as their first two, but still enjoyable.

#20 Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid (UK)

Highlights: A Friend Of Ours, One Day Like This
Fucking beautiful album.

#19 Cold War Kids - Loyalty to Loyalty (Whittier, CA)

Highlights: Against Privacy, I've Seen Enough
While not as solid as their debut, there's definitely a good number of great songs on here.

#18 Why? - Alopecia (Oakland, CA)

Highlights: The Vowels Pt. 2, Fatalist Palmistry
Really cool mix of indie and hip-hop. My favorite lyricist of the year.

#17 Tapes 'n Tapes - Walk it Off (Minneapolis)

Highlights: Le Ruse, The Dirty Dirty
They replaced the two-step grit of their debut with a whole lot of fuzz and it works surprisingly well.

#16 The Tallest Man on Earth - Shallow Grave (Sweden)

Highlights: The Gardener, I Won't Be Found
Absolutely amazing Dylan-esque folk album out of Sweden.

#15 Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend (New York)

Highlights: M79, Walcott
Worth all the hype? Probably not. That doesn't stop it from being a really great album though.

#14. The Raconteurs - Consolers of the Lonely (Detroit)

Highlights: Many Shades of Black, Consoler of the Lonely
A surprise release that surprisingly holds up to their debut.

#13. Plants and Animals - Parc Avenue (Montreal)

Highlights: Good Friend, Feedback in the Field
One of my favorite finds of the year. This Broken Social Scene-ish trio's debut doesn't have a single weak track.

#12. Wild Beasts - Limbo, Panto (UK)

Highlights: She Purred, While I Grrred, Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants
Weird, weird, weird album. Amazing.

#11. Hercules and Love Affair - Hercules and Love Affair (New York)

Highlights: Blind, Time Will
Sweet disco-ish album. Antony Hegarty's vocal guest spots make the entire album.

********


#10


Justice - † (France)

Highlights: Genesis, DVNO
While technically a 2007 album, this meant a lot to me in 2008. Loud printer-esque house duo out of France. Seeing them live changed my life. This album is straight epic.

#9


Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago (Wisconsin)

Highlights: Flume, Skinny Love
By now most everyone has heard the story behind this album. Justin Vernon, having lost his band and his girlfriend, went into 'hibernation' in a cabin in Wisconsin and this was the product. Incredibly subtle, beautiful indie-folk.

#8


My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges (Louisville, KY)

Highlights: Aluminum Park, Remnants
While they've lost their southern-rock feel a little bit, they've replaced it with an appreciation for the strange. This album is half good old rock, half experimental deviations. It'll be interesting to see where they go next.

#7


Man Man - Rabbit Habits (Philadelphia)

Highlights: Top Drawer, Poor Jackie
Man Man's third album is proudly just as strange as their first two, combining doo-wop, gypsy, jazz, punk rock, and just about everything else into one zany package. Ballad of Butterbeans has the best xylophone solo i've ever heard. Check this one out.

#6


M83 - Saturdays=Youth (France)

Highlights: Couleurs, Skin of the Night
The soundtrack to my summer.

#5


The Black Keys - Attack & Release (Akron, OH)

Highlights: Lies, Strange Times
The duo's fifth album is the first produced in a studio and it's immediately evident. While less garagey than their previous efforts, its nice to hear a band successfully evolve their sound into something bigger.

#4


Dr. Dog - Fate (Philadelphia)

Highlights: My Friend, Hang On
I hate comparing a band to the Beatles, but with Dr. Dog I have no choice. From the vocal harmonies to the psychedelic tendencies, Dr. Dog are indie rock's Beatles. This, their fifth album, is the best yet.

#3


Portishead - Third (UK)

Highlights: The Rip, Machine Gun, Silence
This was the first Portishead album I ever listened to and it blew me away. It combines elements of trip-hop with a Liars-esque take on noise rock to create something that is hauntingly beautiful. Not one poor track.

#2


MGMT - Oracular Spectacular (New York)

Highlights: The Handshake, Electric Feel, Weekend Wars, Pieces of What
I don't have much to say. This album is great, and, even though the first few songs got all the recognition, it's the last few that really complete the experience.

#1


Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer (Montreal)

Highlights: Soldier's Grin, Call It a Ritual, California Dreamer, Kissing the Beehive
Both Wolf Parade albums have been my #1 album of the year. I can't get enough of these guys. I wish they weren't so focused on their side projects, because this is the shit right here. Not as edgy as their first, but the songwriting is overall more solid.

EP of the Year: The Cool Kids - The Bake Sale (Chicago)

Highlights: Black Mags, What Up Man
At 10 tracks this is hardly an EP, but the debut should come out sometime soon. These guys are a refreshing breath of air into the crap-filled rap market.

Top 5 Concerts of the Year
1. Radiohead/Rage Against the Machine - Lollapalooza - 8/1&2
2. Wolf Parade - Fillmore - 7/17
3. Justice - Treasure Island Music Festival - 9/20
4. The Black Keys - Metro (Chicago) - 7/31
5. Cypress Hill/MSTRKRFT - Live 105's BFD - 6/7

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