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12.31.08 Top 25 Albums Of 2008

Top 25 Albums Of 2008

My own pointless thoughts.
1Bon Iver
For Emma, Forever Ago

Generic? I don't give a fuck. I hardly need to express just how good this album is as many others already have. All I will say is this: Far and away the best release of 2008, a truly magical album to listen to.
2Son Lux
At War With Walls and Mazes

What a tremendous album. Complex yet approachable, intelligent yet without pretention, this is one of the crowning releases of 2008. An album that must be heard by everyone.
3TV on The Radio
Dear Science

Perhaps no other record released this year represented, through sound, what America felt like in 2008. Tumultuous, shaken, and powrful, TV on The Radio have released what I believe to be the best album of their career.

It took me a long time to come to grips with this album. At first I really despised it, and then it simply was a grower after that. The sparse, yet pop like atmosphere works wonderfully here. I found myself wanting to hear more the more time I spent with this one.

A very soulful album, mixed with a bit of noise, and the best elements of Indie Rock, this record puts forth a wide range of feel and quality songs. One of the best of the year simply because I can keep noticing very small elements to the music that I couldn't hear with previous listens. Excellent release.
6No Age

The noise is there, the chaos is there, and most of the all, the songs are there. Another very simple album in concept, but this duo pulls it off with vast success.
7 Erykah Badu
New AmErykah, Pt. 1: 4th World War

There is no question that this woman has completely transformed Soul music for this century. This record very well may set the standard for many soul records that follow it, as it is a needed change to the relentlessly dull formula that R & B has been following for the past twenty years.
8Blue Sky Black Death
Late Night Cinema

Another instrumental hip hop album that takes you through a complete sonic journey. Wide range of mood, complex beats, and a thoroughly enjoyable album.
9The Flashbulb
Soundtrack To A Vacant Life

A true "album" in every sense of the word, it would be pointless to listen to this release split up. To appreciate the array of styles, emotions, and feeling that this album obtains, it must be a complete experience.
10Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes

Try ignoring those infectious vocal harmonies. These guys are harkoning back to a different time in Folk music and in turn coming up with something new and original in the modern day. One of the strongest albums of the year all the way through, there is hardly a weak track on here.

No one expected this. No one even entertained the thought that Portishead could return to the music scene with such a strong release. This album represents everything good about the band, and gives hope to seemingly hopeless comeback albums everywhere.
12 Alejandro Escovedo
Real Animal

The other Lou Reed ripoff on my list, few musicians in the modern era have a track record like Alejandro Escovedo in their careers. He's done it all, and just keeps going. Another straight ahead, rock oriented album, but again, one that doesn't lose speed midway through.
13 Parts & Labor

These guys dropped a lot of the noise that surrounded their previous two releases, and emerged with a more hook oriented sound. The noise and electronics are still there, but with a more approachable sound than ever before.
14 David Byrne and Brian Eno
Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

A different sound than either of these two have dabbled in before, this record is enjoyable to the very end. Very pure, and natural, yet it doesn't bore midway through.
15Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!

Okay, so Nick Cave is a huge Lou Reed ripoff, we all know that. Quite frankly it doesn't matter. This is how every ripoff should be done: shamelessly and holding nothing back. Literary lyrics and a raw, rocking sound make up the body of the album's sound, but it all works.
16Vivian Girls
Vivian Girls

I was shocked to read in the past few weeks, that this didn't make anyone's year end list. Atmospheric femal vocals over a post punk type of backing band, with short songs that get right to the point. It doesn't need to be longer than 22 minutes, it does its job with flying colors.
17Black Mountain
In The Future

An album with definite psychedelic energy, impossible to ignore. Sure, it may be a little repetetive, but I still loved it.
18Mount Eerie

Another "quiet" album that sports Phil Elvrum with just his voice and acoustic guitar. I got to this one rather late, but still was heavily impressed.
19 Blind Pilot
3 Rounds and A Sound

There was certainly a recurring theme in the sound that appeared out of those rempote Northwestern areas this year. Such is the case with Blind Pilot. Much of the instrumentation is drums and acoustic guitar, yet the songs themselves shine.
20The Roots
Rising Down

Sludgy beats, raps that spit pure fire, and an energy that shows the signs of the times, the Roots struck gold with Rising Down. I've gotten out of hip hop gradually over the past year, but I couldn't ignore this release.

Energetic Indie rockers with a touch of Neil Young and Crazy Horse thrown in. For how much this sound has been replicated, this was an extremely enjoyable listen for me.
22 Frightened Rabbit
The Midnight Organ Flight

Brash in their tone, but with the substance to back it up, these young Scots made one of the most fun records of the year. I look forward to seeing where their career takes them.

With all the downbeat (but still excellent) music we heard this year, this came as a welcome surprise. An energetic record with obvious Pop and Reggae influences that is enjoyable for a listen anytime day or night.
24Flying Lotus
Los Angeles

This was certainly the most defining year for instrumental hip hop that we've seen in quite some time. This record faired very well against its peers, but I still enjoyed some others in this style more. Still highly reccomended.
25Blitzen Trapper

The title track is one of my favorite songs this year, and the rest of the record shows some fun psychedelic pop songs combined with an energy sorely lacking in many current bands.
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