2008 was a fabulous year in music. Which means it will also be a fabulous Christmas (or Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivous) for you if you know what to ask for. Here are the top 5 CDs I hope to find under my tree on Christmas morning…or, since it is 2008, the CDs I’ll buy with my iTunes gift card that’s in my Christmas stocking.
Kings of Leon- Only By the Night:
For me, this is the album of the year. I’ve always been a semi-fan of Kings of Leon, but it wasn’t until this most recent album that I became a super fan. I could listen to Only By the Night over and over and not get tired of it. And I probably will throughout the entirety of 2009. The other day, I got in my friend’s car and his radio was turned all the way up. “Having a party?” I asked. “Oh, ‘Sex on Fire’ was on the radio,” he replied. So yes, it was a party. And that about sums the album up.
Coldplay- Viva la Vida:
Every Coldplay album is a hit, so it should be no surprise that Viva la Vida is right up there with the rest of them. Though Chris Martin and the boys have threatened that this is their last album, I have a feeling they’ll keep going, especially after the huge success of this one. Coldplay does have some haters, but even those haters would have a difficult time denying the awesome-ness of the album’s title track. But to me, the standout song on Viva la Vida is “Lost.” It’s right up there with “The Scientist” and “Fix You.”
Girl Talk- Feed the Animals:
I had never heard of Girl Talk or Gregg Gillis until 2008 and now his new album, Feed the Animals, is in my top 5 of the year. The crazy thing is, he doesn’t even write/sing/play his own music. He just mixes (or “mashes”) the music. The album is filled with samples from pretty much every popular artist you’ve ever heard of. Feed the Animals contains clips from Jay-Z, Britney Spears, Rod Stewart, Kanye West, Radiohead, Ben Folds Five, Ace of Base, 50 Cent, and about a billion more. Oh, I almost forgot the best part. You can pay whatever you want for Feed the Animals if you go to Girl Talk’s website. Which also means you can pay nothing if you want. Santa likes that.
Jason Mraz- We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things:
Jason can do no wrong in my book. And his new album is proof that as he gets older, he gets even better. The album includes lots of typical, fun Jason with “Butterfly” and “Dynamo of Volition,” but also some more mellow, absolutely beautiful tunes, like “A Beautiful Mess” and “Details in the Fabric.” Not only should this album be under your tree this year, but you should also ask for concert tickets as well. Nobody puts on a better show than the Mraz.
Frightened Rabbit- The Midnight Organ Fight:
Frightened Rabbit is one of those bands you’ve never heard of, but when you do, you can’t believe you lived without them. The boys in the band have hot Scottish accents and their music is fairly mellow, but also has the kind of beat that will get you moving. Even when the boys in Frightened Rabbit swear (which they tend to do), it sounds endearing. After listening to “Keep Yourself Warm,” I promise you’ll be hooked.