13 December 2008

Top 50 Albums of 2008

Obviously not copying this idea from any other recently released lists *ahem*. Here is my personal top fifty albums released this year, for your delectation/scrutiny....

  1. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend - Sound of the spring/summer/autumn/winter. They'll have a job bettering this.
  2. GlasvegasGlasvegas - Epic wall-of-sound debut from the Glaswegians, only improved by the Xmas mini album
  3. Foals - Antidotes - Who cares what Dave Sitek's mix sounded like when we got this classic instead?
  4. The Hold Steady – Stay Positive - Proving that age goes before beauty, their best album yet
  5. Friendly Fires – Friendly Fires - Note to all DJs: all you need is this...
  6. Bloc Party - Intimacy - ...and maybe Bloc Party's third too
  7. Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid - Totally worth the Mercury Prize. Guy Garvey is a totally underrated lyricist.
  8. Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip - Angles - Thou shalt buy this intelligent, catchy, dancey hip-hop album by any means possible. Thou shalt also not watch Hollyoaks.
  9. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago - If this is what breaking up a band, breaking up with your girlfriend and locking yourself away for a while produces, then the emo kids of today should produce some beautiful heartfelt albums in a few years.
  10. Los Campesinos! – Hold On Now, Youngster… -
  11. Pete And The Pirates – Little Death - A totally underrated band and album, cruelly over-looked by many critics, you'll find more hooks and bouncy indie-ness here than in the whole Kaiser Chiefs discography
  12. The CourteenersSt. Jude - The frontman may be called Liam and they may have the typical Manc swagger about them, but the Oasis comparisons end there. "St Jude" is easily better than virtually every Oasis record since 1997
  13. The Last Shadow Puppets – The Age Of The Understatement - Proves that it doesn't have to be all scuzzy guitars and observational lyrics these days. Also proves that Alex Turner is a genius
  14. Late Of The Pier – Fantasy Black Channel - What new-rave did next? Well it seems it got a hell of a lot better and a hell of a lot stranger.
  15. Noah And The Whale – Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down - Bringing folk to the mainstream, along with having the tune of the summer (although it is a little aggravating now).
  16. Oasis – Dig Out Your Soul - A return to form (although the Gallaghers may disagree). some may describe them as Luddites but they're thrilling as ever, and who could say no to that?
  17. The FutureheadsThis Is Not The World - The big self-released comeback from the Mackems. Free from major label restraints and full of anthemic shouting. Heading for the stadiums
  18. The Killers – Day & Age - As camp as camp can be, a perfect blend of their back catalogue.
  19. LadyhawkeLadyhawke - Who knew worshipping the 80s could create such an album, packed to the brim with choruses as big as Beth Ditto
  20. Lightspeed Champion – Falling Off The Lavender Bridge - From pioneering new-rave to this; a lush, countrified debut, with some "interesting lyrics"
  21. The Teenagers – Reality Check - Filthy, fun and French. Not much to ask for really.
  22. Laura Marling – Alas, I Can Not Swim - Once again taking folk to the mainstream. An incredible talent for someone only a year older than me. That's quite a scary thought
  23. The Streets – Everything Is Borrowed - Gone are the geezer-ish references to modern life, and in comes the more spiritual Mike Skinner. It may not be the best move ever, but it works for the most part.
  24. Alexis Blue – Hypothetical Situations - Not enough good things to say about AB and their debut. Bouncy indie pop thrills and dark, clever lyrics mix in the best way since The Smiths
  25. The Cool Kids – The Bake Sale - More than just mere 80's revivalists, they take down the image of hip-hop hardmen to rap about bike and Fruity Pebbles. Not exactly gangsta but still pretty great.
  26. Frank Turner – Love, Ire & Song - Hardcore punk frontman turns acoustic troubadour. Works brilliantly.
  27. The Rascals - Rascalize - Or Miles Kane's other band. They may not be as grandiose as the Puppets, but "Rascalize" is definitely worth checking for Kane's guitar work and dark-as-night lyrics alone.
  28. Mystery Jets – Twenty One - Dropping the dad proved a good move for the Jets; coming over all 80's and providing two big summer hits with "Young Love" and the inescapable "Two Doors Down"
  29. No Age – Nouns - An even bigger wall of sound than Glasvegas and about 10 times as experimental. A definite improvement on debut "Weirdo Rippers"
  30. Kings Of Leon – Only By The Night - So the move to stadiums and headlining spots hasn't exactly proved popular with most "proper" fans, but it's hard to argue with the quality of the first half of the album.
  31. SantogoldSantogold - The album may be overshadowed by "L.E.S. Artistes" but it's definitely worth checking out for genre shattering songs such as "Creator" and "Say Aha"
  32. Hot Chip – Made In The Dark - The Chip had a lot to live up to considering the praise bestowed upon "The Warning", but they came back even stronger, with more dancefloor-slaying tunes than you could shake a fist at.
  33. MGMT – Oracular Spectacular - Personally I can't see how this is deserving of the adulation most critics have given it. Without the three hits; "Kids", "Electric Feel" and "Time To Pretend", it wouldn't be nearly as good.
  34. Eugene McGuinness – Eugene McGuinness - Charming pop from the almost-nomadic singer, featuring his wonderful turn of phrase and sense of humour.
  35. Does It Offend You, Yeah? – You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into… - Silly band name aside, DIOYY have created an odd but surprisingly brilliant mix of Daft Punk, Klaxons, The Prodigy and a bit of the Killers too.
  36. Black Kids – Partie Traumatic - They might not have lived up to the mountain of hype, but "Partie Traumatic" still remains a fun, party album with some future classics
  37. Blood Red Shoes – Box Of Secrets - Angst-ridden, grungy rock hasn't been too popular for the last 15 years, but this duo could change that with shouty, ever-so-slightly angular rockers such as "It's getting boring by the Sea"
  38. Albert Hammond Jr – ¿Como Te Llama? - The Strokes' man's second album is just as good as his first, and even better than some of his own bands. This is either good or bad news for their new album next year
  39. Panic At The Disco – Pretty. Odd. - Well it's definitely odd. Panic drop the "!" and the bland emo for a psychedelic, Beatles-inspired second album which suits them perfectly. Wonder what the next reinvention will be....
  40. Those Dancing Days – In Our Space Hero Suits - Yet another Swedish indie-pop band. They must have the copyright to this kind of stuff. Like Pete And The Pirates, ignored by the masses, but deserving of all the praise they can get for their perfect pop nuggets
  41. Weezer – The Red Album - The third colour coded album from Weezer and just as good. Rivers Cuomo produces yet another classic chorus on "Pork And Beans" and the entire band collaborates for the highly strange yet oddly great "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived"
  42. Conor Oberst – Conor Oberst - The Bright Eyes leader breaks away for his first proper solo debut. Pretty similar to his main band in places, but with added glam influences and a bit of good ol' 50's rock 'n' roll thrown into the mix
  43. Johnny Foreigner – Waited Up ‘Til It Was Light - Suspiciously similar to Los Campesinos! in an achingly indie way at times, but they break out into their own style of jittery punk on their solid debut album.
  44. Wild Beasts – Limbo, Panto - Prettier and odder than "Pretty. Odd." itself, the Leeds band's debut is reminiscent of The Smiths in places, and has potential to go just as far.
  45. Kanye West – 808s & Heartbreak - It might not be the best direction he could have taken (let's face it, miserable hip-hop isn't the greatest idea) but it leaves the door open for Kanye to truly become the innovative genius he likes to think he is.
  46. Nick Cave – Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! - The godfather of post-punk and most things dark and gloomy returns with a garage rock album to blow the socks off most pretenders, showing he's lost none of his talent.
  47. Scarlett Johansson – Anywhere I Lay My Head - A Hollywood starlet making an album of Tom Waits covers. If that didn't seem surreal enough, add in David Bowie singing on some tracks and there you have it. Obviously it doesn't quite reach the heights of the originals, but still worth a listen.
  48. Snow Patrol A Hundred Million Suns - The bane of hipsters and most indie kids alike, they don't quite escape the shadow of "Chasing Cars" but it's a good enough effort, almost a return to their roots.
  49. Tokyo Police Club – Elephant Shell - aka if The Strokes were still young, fresh and actually making albums. May grate a little but deserving of further listens.
  50. Coldplay – Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends - Another love-to-hate band of the alternative set. The French revolutionary outfits may be trying to hard, but the album cemented them as one of the biggest bands of the modern era.
So congrats to Vampire Weekend. Pretty much the band of 2008 (not sure what everyone else is on about with MGMT...) but not without some tough competition. All in all, a pretty good year, bring on 2009!

2 comments:

N!N4 said...

Indeed :]
It has been a pretty good year.
I agree especially with the bring on 2009 part.

I actually will have to go out and buy that first album :P
Unfortunately, my short term memory fails so epicly that i've already forgotten what it's called.

Keep doing what you do, Quinnyfred :]

xxx

Diichan?! said...

Lol, no shirt and tie, and miss out on wearing so much TEAL? ARE YOU MAD? :P

Also, the guy on the stairs PURELY looks like you. Like exacto style.