25 Favorite CDs of 2008


Jan 20 2009, 5h17

2008 was another great year for music, and once again last.fm and all my music-loving friends introduced me to many memorable recordings. While few 2008 recordings grabbed and held my attention like last year's favorites (Andrew Bird, feist, and The National), there was a plentiful variety of quality albums that I've grown to appreciate over frequent listenings. From old stalwarts (Al Green, Bob Dylan, R.E.M., Aimee Mann, and Eno/Byrne (!)) to post-millennial faves ( Sigur Ros, Adem, Calexico, and Mates of State) to brand new discoveries (Lechner & Tsabropoulos, Jacaszek, Fredrik, Santogold, and 22-year old wunderkid Peter Broderick), this past year provided a collection of musical pleasures that I'll be returning to for a long time.

I plan on posting an addendum with more details on each of these records and the charm I discovered within ... until then, I look forward to hearing your feedback and recommendations on other records I may have missed!

1.Peter Broderick - Home and Float

2. Sigur Ros - Með Suð í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust

3. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever

4. Al Green - Lay It Down

5. Rem - Accelerate

6. Aimee Mann - @#%&*! Smilers

7. Mates of State - Re-Arrange Us

8. David Byrne and Brian Eno - Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

9. She & Him - Volume One

10. Charlie Haden - Charlie Haden Family & Friends - Rambling Boy

11. Bob Dylan - Tell Tale Signs: The Bootleg Series Vol. 8

12. Toumani Diabate - The Mande Variations

13. Department of Eagles - In Ear Park

14. Anja Lechner & Vassilis Tsabropoulos - Melos

15. Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue

16. Goldmund - The Malady Of Elegance

17. Calexico - Carried To Dust

18. Santogold - Santogold

19. Lykke Li - Youth Novels

20. Abigail Washburn - Abigail Washburn & The Sparrow Quartet

21. Fredrik - Na Na Ni

22. Dosh - Wolves and Wishes

23. Orchestra Baobab - Made in Dakar

24. Adem - Takes

25. Jacaszek - Treny


  • v11v11v

    Great list, thanks, quite a few names to check out. Interesting that you rate the Eno/Byrne, I bought it for my partner, but haven't yet warmed to it. I struggle with Byrne's latterday voice, though still adore his work on Fear of Music and Remain In Light.

    Jan 20 2009, 10h47
  • smbrannan

    Thanks for the great list Steve. You always come up with some intriguing finds. Kind of surprised that Juana Molina and Max Richter didn't make the cut. As you know, I was blown away by Un Dia; and 24 Postcards is pretty darn good too. Looking forward to your editorial comments on each pick.

    Jan 21 2009, 2h46
  • lgsunshine

    lots here that I haven't checked out - so I too will be looking for your comments. One album that I've enjoyed is Ben Sollee's Learning to Bend.

    Jan 26 2009, 3h14
  • sunhill67

    Hi, have to second Juana Molina - it's a very hypnotic album that I've found quite addictive. I hadn't heard of Peter Broderick but the Bella Union label can do little wrong for me so I'll check him out.

    Fev 10 2009, 10h05
  • mjcrbt

    Thanks for sharing Steve ! I love a lot that Toumani Diabaté album. I dont know much of those but I'm going to pay attention to some of them. Last year you made me discouver Andrew Bird, I'm just listening his last album, look similiar to last one. I also bought last Amadou e Mariam but didnt listen yet. I loved that Bob Dylan album that you recommended me. I should check last Juana Molina.

    Fev 14 2009, 16h27
  • IanAR

    An enlightening list, Steve! Lots of tasty looking things that I missed last year and will investigate. BTW: The Eno / Byrne combo are more generally known as Brian Eno & David Byrne (not sure what spelling the cover-art uses), thus the album's at [i]Everything That Happens Will Happen Today[/i]. Also, as I expect you know, Toumani's Toumani Diabaté w/ [i]The Mandé Variations[/i] (mostly streamable here - some mistagging around track four - w/ that spelling in the art-work). Are these labels that incompetent or does this misprint / mistagging madness benefit them? I pretty sure it don't benefit the artists or their fans! *growls* Please add this to the Brian Eno and David Byrne and World Music Network group journals. - Best, Ian

    Abr 12 2009, 15h29
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