Best of 2008

Better late than never. Maybe you’ll find something you dig. Tell me what I missed.

ALBUMS

zzzzMI00008047271. Fleet Foxes by Fleet Foxes
An easy choice. Just a special album. Soft, folky, a hodgepodge of influences that come across as fresh, romantic without being cloying.

 

 

MI00008175702. Una Dia by Juana Molina
Where the fuck did she come from? Former Argentine TV star, she’s got quite a few albums out, all have escaped me. So many sounds coming at you, it will sometimes overwhelm you, in a good way. There is a consistent rhythm running through the entire thing, goes in all kinds of different directions. Has a haunting quality to it.

 

MI00008066293. Med sud I eyrum vid spilum endalaust by Sigur Ros
This just feels like a watershed album. Far more dynamic and vibrant than anything they’ve done in the past. I’d like to thank whoever slipped them the happy pills they must have taken. It’s made them better.

 

 

MI00018684284. Lie Down in the Light by Bonnie Prince Billy
Two great albums in a row. Seems he’s best when collaborating.

 

 

 

MI00008199755. The Living and the Dead by Jolie Holland
Definitely a bit more rock n’ roll than her previous efforts. Sometimes I think I like it best, but probably not more than Escondida. Some real gems on this one.

 

 

MI00016682196. Third by Portishead
How surprising was this release? Feels like the same old Portishead, but they’ve clearly grown a bit, too.

 

 

 

MI00007598537. American Hearts by A.A. Bondy
Ryan Adams meets Steve Earle? He’s not quite as polished as either of them, but I really love this debut.

 

 

 

MI00022380558. The Silver City by Jeremy Messersmith
Hard not to think of Sufjan Stevens, but seems to be a bit more like Canadian songwriter Mike O’Neil.

 

 

 

MI00019700749. In Ghost Colours by Cut Copy
Probably the only tolerable 80s retro stuff I’ve heard. I almost hate that I like them for that reason, but they really seem to own it.

 

 

MI000082726010. Alpinisms by School of Seven Bells
Lots of interesting layers on this debut. Chants and funky beats flow through a big, full mass of sound.
 
 
 
 

IN THE ARGUMENT

– In Ear Park – Department of Eagles. Not quite an spin-off of Grizzly Bear, because it was started before that band launched an album. But you could certainly mistake them for one another.
– Carried to Dust – Calexico. Rocking out just a little more than past albums. This one’s a little bigger than their precedents. Not better, just different, and still very good.
– Everything That Happens Will Happen Today – David Byrne & Bryan Eno
– Modern Guilt – Beck
– Oh, Mighty Engine – Neil Halstead
– Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend. Overhyped, but it’s a quality pop album, no question.
– Santogold – Santogold

MOST OVERRATED

  • For Emma, Forever Ago – Bon Iver
  • Any of the 80s-retro bullshit that’s not Cut Copy