• Best Albums of 2008

    Dez 16 2008, 8h11

    I should note that this isn’t a “best of” in the sense of albums that came out in 2008, but rather, albums that I discovered in the past year. So they can be from last year or thirty years ago for all I care… but if I heard it first this year, it’s going to remind me of this year, so there you go.

    10. Lupe Fiasco - Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor (2006)
    9. Porcupine Tree - Deadwing (2005)
    8. Nine Inch Nails - Ghosts I-IV (2008)
    7. Talib Kweli - Eardrum (2007)
    6. Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III (2008)

    5. The Hush Sound - Goodbye Blues (2008)

    The Hush Sound’s presence as the only indie rock band on my list is likely an indication of my particular difficulty with the genre… with so many awkward indie acts out there, it’s refreshing to hear a group that has a good, straightforward pop sound that isn’t buried under a ton of weird sound-effects or crazy sounding vocalists in a desperate effort to hide their relatively uninspired songs. Think Fiona Apple minus the “woe is me” lyrics, crossed with Spoon… a piano driven rock sound with some energy. I’ll be sure to check out their other albums.

    4. Metallica - Death Magnetic (2008)

    Two things can be said about Death Magnetic: a return to classic form, and shitty production/mastering (something like that). Intentional or not, the sound quality is a big downer… but fortunately, someone took the un-mastered individual tracks featured in Guitar Hero, remixed the album from those bits and pieces, and distributed it online… and it sounds fantastic! Not that I’m saying anything original here, but this is a spiritual successor to Master of Puppets, and really could have come right after …And Justice for All without notice.

    3. Coldplay - Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008)

    This is probably my favorite Coldplay album to date. Often written off as a poor-man’s Radiohead, or at the nicest a watered-down version, I will come to the defense of Coldplay and admit that they can pen some laid-back, enjoyable songs. Sorry, not everyone can be as pretentious as Radiohead (and this is coming from a fan of them). This album features as much, if not more, variety than A Rush of Blood to the Head, and makes up for their flat attempt to make “Clocks – The Album” with X & Y (though admittedly still an okay album).

    2. Porcupine Tree - Fear of a Blank Planet / Nil Recurring (2007)

    Fear of a Blank Planet, and its corresponding EP, Nil Recurring, are both listed here because combined they form a super-album… seriously. From what I gather the album is about parents ignoring their children and filling them up to the eyes with pills… blah blah, lyrically that’s the gist, but the compositions are what make this album shine. A little rock, metal, prog… the compositions are interesting and deliver from front to back.

    1. Lupe Fiasco - Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool (2007)

    Maybe you can call it a concept album, but if it is, it takes more than a casual listen to figure out what the hell it might be. Regardless, the album features a solid lineup of tracks, many of which are darker and generally more interesting than those featured on his debut album. Lupe continues to take shots at the uglier side of hip hop culture, while disseminating some interesting observations on this or that. Save for the unnecessarily pretentious opening track and the one that follows, the album features musically satisfying tracks and holds momentum from start to finish.