sand is overrated

all songs posted are for evaluation only. if you hear something you like and would like to hear more, please go ahead and support the artists by buying their music--i will always include links for you to do so. copyright holders: if anything on my site needs to be taken down, please email me and it will be removed immediately.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 is overrated : tracks of the year (11-20)

click for tracks 1-10
click for tracks 21-30


11. "as tall as cliffs"
margot & the nuclear so and so's
from the lp animal! (epic)

they made the record they wanted to make. their label gave a cd release to the album they thought would sell, and a vinyl release to the original incarnation. thankfully, both releases contain the best song on either album, "as tall as cliffs".


12. "smokin from shootin"
my morning jacket
from the lp evil urges (ato records)

"highly suspicious" was the most controversial and talked-about song on evil urges, but "smokin from shootin" was easily the best. "who makes my decisions? / who reads all your thoughts? / what makes us how we are? / faith can't prove what science won't resolve / kumbaya my lord, c'mon row your boat ashore / the river's long, it is cold, it chills the body but not the soul" [more]


13. "you'd rather run"
jaymay
from the lp autumn fallin' (blue note records)

the standout track on jaymay's debut album is a rambling folk song full of fits and starts that to these ears could only be described as dylanesque. [more]


14. "milk thistle"
conor oberst
from the lp conor oberst (merge records)

"milk thistle" was a bit higher on my list until "breezy" knocked some of the sheen off my concept of what a beautiful conor oberst song sounded like. it's a beautiful song, though, with typically-poignant lyrics: "newspaper, newspaper, can't take no more / you're here every morning waiting at my door / i'm just trying to kiss you but you stab my eyes / make me blue forever like an island sky / but i'm not pretending that it's all okay / just let me have my coffee before you take away the day"


15. "opportunity to cry"
priscilla ahn
from the lp a good day (blue note records)

back in march, "opportunity to cry", priscilla ahn's cover of a willie nelson song, was my favorite vocal performance of the year at that point. i stand by that statement nine months later. [more]


16. "the twist"
frightened rabbit
from the lp the midnight organ fight (fat cat)

the midnight organ fight is the only album that i've picked two songs off of this year, and i could have easily picked three or four more ("the modern leper", "good arms vs. bad arms", "poke"...). there's just something about the honesty in scott hutchison's lyrics: "twist and whisper the wrong name / i don't care and nor do my ears / twist yourself around me / i need company, i need human heat"


17. "the new kid revival"
her space holiday
from the lp xoxo, panda and the new kid revival (mush)

xoxo, panda and the new kid revival marked a stylistic departure for marc bianchi, but he makes clear on the opening track, "the new kid revival", that he's not making any apologies for that fact: "so let's start the new kid revival / we'll make it up as we go along / and if they tell us that we're doing it wrong / we'll just turn up the sound of our song" [more]


18. "submarine symphonika"
the submarines
from the lp honeysuckle weeks (nettwerk records)

blake and john are still in love, and for the cynics out there, they make it known in their letimotif that they haven't given up on you either. [more]


19. "hearts on fire"
cut copy
from the lp in ghost colours (modular interscope)

i have a draft from june in my post list entitled 'cut copy', but like a lot of other albums this year, i never got around to writing about in ghost colours. it's still one of my favorite albums of the year though, for its ability to recall the synth-pop days of my 1980s youth.


20. "listen to the math"
tokyo police club
from the lp elephant shell (saddle creek)

i don't even really know what to say about elephant shell and tokyo police club. it was just a really, really fun record to listen to. quick-hitting, insanely-catchy, well-crafted pop songs that even make use of the word 'australopithecine'...what else is there to say?

2 Comments:

Blogger Charles said...

"Highly Suspicious" makes my soul hurt.

I gave up quickly on several of these albums (Conor Oberst and Margot... in particular). I'll have to reconsider, perhaps. At least give these tracks a few more listens.

December 28, 2008 at 9:02 PM  
Blogger tad said...

ha, i know you were *slightly* disappointed in evil urges, charles.

yeah give the conor album another chance. it kept getting better and better to me...

December 29, 2008 at 3:08 PM  

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all songs posted are for evaluation only. if you hear something you like and would like to hear more, please go ahead and support the artists by buying their music--i will always include links for you to do so. copyright holders: if anything on my site needs to be taken down, please email me and it will be removed immediately.

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