Top albums lists are like as*holes: everyone’s got one. Um…that might, coincidentally, be because they are also like opinions. I’ve got my own set of favorite everythings..and that includes albums.
Below are my own top ten albums from 2008. Are there other great albums from the past year? Why certainly, diligent fan. But I’ve been asked to adjust my ears and pen my opinion, so here it is – in no particular order – because…well…that would be way too difficult.
It’s not an easy album, per se, but this legendarily trippy band stepped their own game up a notch for this album. It’s sorta airy and celestial, which is to be expected from the English group. Not only is it good, but it’s their first release in ten years, so my gratitude puts it on my top 10.
Sigur Ros, “Med sud I eyrum vid spilum endalaust”
If you haven’t gotten hip to Sigur Ros yet, I’d suggest you put your listening ears on and give this Icelandic music a fair shot. The band’s release this year is simply beautiful. It’s peaceful, emotional, and interesting. A pure work of art with substance.
Kanye West, “808s & Heartbreak”
Kanye West is the kinda dude I want to hate; don’t you want to hate him, too? But he makes it really hard to be a hater. His music is good and the fact that he’ll tell you, and everyone else in the world, that…well…it doesn’t really negate the fact that it’s good. His release this year is predictably catchy with predictably clever lyrics. This is album is good, but between you and me, I hope his next one sucks so we can all finally tell him he’s wrong about himself.
Portugal. The Man, “Censored Colors”
This still relatively underground (but gaining momentum!) band really did something out of the ordinary here with their most recent release. The Alaskan-turned-Portlanders have always been gifted-undoubtedly. But there is something especially Beatles-esque about this album. It’s jammy, but melodic. Success!
Elbow, “The Seldom Seen Kid”
I can’t help it. I’m a sucker for beautiful music that isn’t the least bit scene-centric, even if it does creepily remind me of Seal. I really think Elbow have got something going on and I love this album.
Colour Revolt, “Plunder, Beg, and Curse”
These Mississippi kids sure do know how to put together some sensually soulful spiritually sound songs, but they do it especially better than ever before on their fantastic release this year. Filled with passionate vocals, blues-driven riffs, and just the right amount of twang, you’re missing out if you don’t check out this album.
Radiohead, “In Rainbows”
Ok, ok, I know. It was released online in late 2007, but I’m putting this on the list because OFFICIALLY, it was not released til 2008…at least not in America. I feel as though I hardly even need to explain why a Radiohead album would make a cut for top album of the year. In fact, I won’t. Just listen to it if you haven’t heard it.
Experimental music is certainly not everyone’s thing. If you, however, have an open mind and an even remote interest in all that is musically envelope-pushing, then you know upon hearing just about any Ratatat album that they have mastered this art form. Their mastery was not left behind on this most recent release, to say the least.
I think it’s pretty hard not to like Ladytron to begin with. Their electronic beats are absolutely mesmerizing and just about anyone can find a well-suited place in their life for the kind of music these UK kids make. As musicians should, they stepped it all up a notch on this release.
Nine Inch Nails, “The Slip”
I’ve always thought Nine Inch Nails are relatively flawless and I’m not about to leave them out of any top albums list I make. The Slip is no exception to their astonishingly talent-filled album release history. They just keep getting better and better.
[Photo from: pinkworld.co.uk]