My Top 10 Albums For Year 2008


Fev 5 2009, 2h11

Hercules And Love Affair by Hercules and Love Affair

Anyone expecting more of I Am A Bird Now should be pleasantly surprised by Hegarty as a disco muse. It sounds here like a part he was born to play, and he plays it with distinction. It's not as radio or festival friendly as last year's LCD Soundsystem record Sound Of Silver, but Hercules And Love Affair's artsy vision explores noirish areas that record feared to go. If it doesn't scare you off, you're likely to love it and wonder what Butler will come up with next.
Recommended Tracks:

Time Will

Dear Science by TV on the Radio

They're definitely getting easier on the ear with every release, and by TVOTR standards, Dear Science - with its frequent forays into pop, funk and soul - is almost brazenly commercial. Compare it side-by-side with their first couple of EPs, for instance. They still had those influences, no doubt, but didn't let them bleed through to the forefront quite as gloriously as this; it's undeniably pop, but pop at its most complex and technically accomplished.
Recommended Tracks:

Golden Age
Dancing Choose
Family Tree

Vampire Weekend by Vampire Weekend

Hearing their wonderfully melodic fusion of purely white sentiments and positively black sensations gives one hope that, in spite of the roar of wrecking ball-welding cranes knocking down city history to make way for more condos to house culture-drowning denizens and the world-eating retail chains they frequent, good pop will overpower any din of corporate chaos, no matter how cacophonous it may be.
Recommended Tracks:

Oxford Comma
Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa

Microcastle by Deerhunter

Deerhunter creates intimate moments that swell into something that feels much larger. Rather than accentuate paranoia and confusion with rage, singer/wunderkind Bradford Cox bellows his appeals with a detachment that’s equal parts ennui and hopelessness. Cox has utilized a similarly ethereal, stream-of-consciousness delivery under his Atlas Sound moniker, burying soft melodies in a bedroom aesthetic of hazy tape loops and samples. The constant fluidity here makes the album’s unpredictability seem grounded and cohesive instead of erratic.
Recommended Tracks:

Never Stops
Nothing Ever Happened

Third by Portishead

The opening moments of the record feature a crackling sample of some character from an old Brazilian film, a speech which translate as advice to “Beware the rule of three”. This could have been a witty, self-deprecating disclaimer, warning of typical third album creative bankruptcy. Instead it provides fair warning that Third is the most stunning, stark and superb Portishead album yet.
Recommended Tracks:

The Rip

Seventh Tree by Goldfrapp

Contrary to other critiques befuddled by its simple sophistication, Seventh Tree hides its deeper beauties beneath a fine opaque shell. And if you are unwilling to look deeper than the shimmering surface, you will miss the sublime inner machinations where little movements work as cogs in a watch, where each diminutive orchestration contributing to a greater whole is fully expressed within the first instrument, the voice.
Recommended Tracks:


Hard Candy by Madonna

Madonna can still scoff at wanna-be's half her age because she's stayed so flexible with her sound. Even when she wrestles with Pharrell's abrupt stylistic changes or lets herself get absorbed in a Timberlake melody, Madonna still finds her way back on top. The atmospheric closing track, "Voices," poses the question "Who is the master, who is the slave?" before its operatic wind-down ends in a dramatic bell toll. The answer to both questions is still Madonna.
Recommended Tracks:

4 Minutes
Give It 2 Me

In Ghost Colours by Cut Copy

From start to finish this is an unexpected adventure through the crossover, leaving the door of the VIP bunker open for us all to sneak in. Save yourself the bother of learning to beat-match and throw this on all summer, then stand around like Justice pretending you’re doing something clever with all the buttons. In Ghost Colours is a triumph of craftsmanship rather than vision -- a synthesis and refinement of existing sounds rather than anything dramatically new and original -- but it is an unalloyed triumph nonetheless, and one of the finest albums of its kind.
Recommended Tracks:

Hearts On Fire
Feel the Love
Lights and Music

Fleet Foxes by Fleet Foxes

Themes of unity, togetherness and accord are scarcely found in music today. A lot of times albums are hashed and compiled as if they are a collection of songs. And ultimately, there is a lacking sense of harmony; so it’s just that much sweeter when a band is able to craft a cohesive, warm, gorgeous album from top to bottom — one that is stunning in every sense of the word. With their self-titled debut, Fleet Foxes have attained this and have delivered one of the best albums of the year.
Recommended Tracks:

White Winter Hymnal
Ragged Wood
Tiger Mountain Peasant Song

The Chemistry of Common Life by Fucked Up

Despite their obvious hardcore connections, though clearly they avoid fitting into any one scene, Fucked Up show us they can be just about any kind of band they want. Moody indie rockers on “Black Albino Bones”. Cinematic post-rock heroes on “Royal Swan”. Noise experimenters on “Golden Seal” and “Looking for God”. And, on hit-in-the-gut standouts like “Son the Father” and “Twice Born”, unstoppable anthem shouters. What allows them to try all these sounds and still keep the thread is the sheer amount of music played on this record.
Recommended Tracks:

Son The Father
Black Albino Bones
Royal Swan


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