2008 is overrated : albums of the year (6-10)
click here for tracks of the year 1-10
click here for tracks of the year 11-20
click here for tracks of the year 21-30
looking back on this list and this year, i think i could have easily stopped at five albums and been done with it. in recognition of that fact, i think this list deserves to be split into two parts. it's not that albums six through ten are not very good, it's just that my preference for the first five is so clearly apparent. anyway, here's the first part of the albums that i loved this year:
sub pop, june 3, 2008
"he doesn't know why"
"blue ridge mountains"
|maybe it's a bad sign that i have a hard time figuring out what to say about fleet foxes. i have yet to find any particular personal connection to any of the songs on a lyrical level and, save for one or two exceptions, i don't even know if i could identify by name most of the songs on the album. all i know is, i was immediately hooked on this album over the summer, put it down for a few months, and then got even more hooked when i picked it back up over the fall. i can think of nothing else in my recent library that sounds quite like fleet foxes, so i'll keep on listening and keep on loving this until it no longer sounds fresh. something tells me that won't happen any time soon.|
merge records, august 5, 2008
|it was tempting to dismiss conor oberst's first solo album in, oh, 15 years, as an album to be taken less seriously than a regular bright eyes release. but to miss conor oberst was to miss an album that stands up well to any bright eyes release, recent or past. oberst's evocative lyrics, though sometimes incomprehensible, shine through as always, but content-wise they seem to be an extension of cassadega's turn toward a calmer, seemingly more comfortable soul. oberst indulges some whims and even seems to have some fun on tracks like "i don't want to die (in the hospital)" and "nyc - gone, gone". but it's when he recalls his inner tom petty, on "moab", and then gets to his most introspective, on "milk thistle", that repeated listens pay off the biggest dividends. it seems strange to listen to a conor album without mike mogis, but in case there was any doubt, conor oberst makes clear that he has the talent to go it alone.|
nettwerk records, may 13, 2008
"you, me and the bourgeoisie"
|blake hazard and john dragonetti are in love, and they want to sing you songs about it. the follow-up to 2006's declare a new state!, honeysuckle weeks makes clear that blake and john's fairy tale lives on. if declare a new state! was the story of the pieces being irresistibly drawn back together, honeysuckle weeks is the story of those reassembled pieces being superglued together. if declare a new state! was a story that seemed too good to be true, honeysuckle weeks is the evidence that sometimes the fairy tale actually sticks. every song on the album is about love in some form or another, and only three of the ten songs fail to mention the word. it is clearly what is on their mind and in their hearts.|
in ghost colours
modular interscope, april 8, 2008
"hearts on fire"
|much like fleet foxes, i'm finding it a little difficult trying to figure out what to say about in ghost colours. maybe it's that the 80s synth-rock-pop dynamic is so different from most of what i listen to these days. maybe it's the lyrics, made to seem nearly overly earnest by the dancehall beats. maybe it's that this album takes me back to erasure, depeche mode, and growing up in the 80s. or maybe i need to stop trying to figure it out and just enjoy this immensely enjoyable record for what it is--a great listen.|
xoxo, panda and the new kid revival
her space holiday
mush records, october 7, 2008
"the new kid revival"
|given how undeniably poppy and catchy this album is, i wasn't quite sure how lasting an impact xoxo, panda and the new kid revival would have on me. but it's several months in and i still can't quite get enough of it. i love the melodies, i love the sometimes-kitschy lyrics, and i love the story behind the album's stylistic departure. who knows, this one may not last that long with me, but for now it's still all about what sounds good, and this still sounds really, really good.|