Thursday, January 08, 2009

I Don't Wanna Go Until I'm Good and Ready

My music tastes are fluid, and what I love this week I may not love in a month, and what I am lukewarm about now may turn out to be my favorite album of the year.  I say this as a preface to my 2008 Albums of the Year list--Some albums that did not make the cut may have made the cut a month ago or if I were to wait a month to do my list, and the opposite is true with the ones that do make the list.

The point: I take this list with a grain of salt, knowing that it is entirely based on current whim.
Some albums that I really like but that did not quite make the cut today include releases from Moby, Of Montreal, The Ting Tings, Portishead, Brendan Canning, and Hot Chip.

My Favorite Albums of 2008
(Links are to my own reviews, which obviously I did not write for every album.)

13. Partie Traumatic -- Black Kids.  This album has some great tracks, with elements of indie rock, pop, and dance. 

12. Hercules and Love Affair -- Hercules and Love Affair.  A silly and strange dance music side project from Antony (of Antony and the Johnsons), this album features some great dancefloor numbers, many featuring jazzy horns and general oddness.  "Blind" and "Hercules Theme" are spectacular.

11. In Ghost Colours -- Cut Copy.  Some bands do retro dance 80s well and some don't. Cut Copy does.

10. Dynamo -- Faded Paper Figures. I discovered this band by accident, and I really like their intelligent pop and dance folk sound.

9. For Emma, Forever Ago -- Bon Iver. Beautiful, melodic, layered, rich.

8. Hey Ma -- James.  But for its late arrival on my musical doorstep, this album might be higher up.  James was one of my favorite bands from the 90s, but then they broke up.  I only recently found out they released a new album in 2008, and it is wonderful.  I will probably be writing more about it soon.

7. Vampire Weekend -- Vampire Weekend.  I recently rediscovered this album, and now I like it even more than I did before.  When I first liked this album, I basically liked the first half and did not really pay any attention to the second half.  I have told many friends that the album is half good.  But that was my mistake.  Second half standouts include "Walcott," "I Stand Corrected," and "The Kids Don't Stand a Chance."

6. Narrow Stairs -- Death Cab for Cutie.  Though this album has sort of fallen off my radar in the last few months, it still stands up well as a top-notch Death Cab album.

5. Day & Age -- The Killers. Pure fun.

4. Viva la Vida, or Death and All His Friends -- Coldplay.  I said in my review that this album just works, and I still think the same.  

3. Dear Science -- TV on the Radio. This fantastic album has gotten a lot of much-deserved praise, and I think it is a work of genius.  Every song falls into a different category or genre, yet the album meshes togther beautifully. From the crazy funk of "Golden Age" to the somber melodies of "Family Tree," this album has been a constant on my iPod since it came out.

2. Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust -- Sigur Rós. I stand by my initial liveblogged review, and I love this album even more now than I did then.

1. Accelerate -- R.E.M.  I know I am extraordinarily biased here.  R.E.M. is my favorite band of all time, so I have a hard time being impartial, but Accelerate is a fantastic album.  And it also represents an amazing return to form for a band that had lost its way a little.


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