Thursday, December 18, 2008

Top 12 Albums of 2008

In honor of Pitchfork's top 50 albums of 2008, and in tradition with Floating Robot's yearly music critique, I will now choose my favorite 12 Albums of 2008 (I couldn't leave the list at just 10.) Coming next week will be my overall list of "Best Stuff of 2008." For now- feast your eyes and ears on this:

12. The Breeders- Mountain Battles
If you read this blog regularly, you'll know how excited I was when this album was released. A long time Kim Deal fan, I am obsessed with everything she put out so this one made it to my top ten list. While the album as a whole doesn't live up to the rest of her work (I have a freakin' Pixies tattoo on my ankle so I hold her to a very high standard) some of the tracks are truly brilliant. This is definitely a triumphant return from the Breeders' 6 year break since Title TK.
If you listen to just one song pick: Overglazed

11. Sinden- Fabriclive 43: Get Familiar
This fabulous club anthem inspired album mixed by Sinden will make you want to get on the floor and dance!! If you want to get the party started, put this album in the stereo, turn the volume way up, and let the rhythm move you. You can't buy this album on itunes, but you can download it for free here.
If you listen to just one song pick: It's all one track silly. But it's all worth your time!

10. The Dodos- Visiter

This folksy album has electronic undertones. When it's not busy soothing you with it's pleasant melodies, it will be rocking your socks off.
If you listen to just one song pick: Jodi

9. Atlas Sound- Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot FeelDeerhunter's Bradford Cox released this solo album under the name Atlas Sound, a name he's apparently been recording under since 6th Grade. (Hey Bradford! You've got nothing on my boyfriend who has been releasing albums with his band Iron Steeale since 4th grade!) Anyways, listening to this album makes you feel like you're drifting through a dream world- one that you won't want to leave anytime soon.
If you listen to just one song pick: River Card

8. The Kills- Midnight Boom
This is a straight up Indie Rock album with killer beats. These guys combine rocking guitar riffs with a vintage drum machine and the result is delightful. I can definitely hear some Pixies influence behind these tracks. Also, I think I might be in love Alison "VV" Mosshart, the female vocalist/guitarist.
If you listen to just one song pick: Tape Song

7. Crystal Castles- Crystal Castles
If you like dark, electronic music, this is the album for you. If not you'll probably hate it. It's kind of all over the place, but it's definitely been one of my favorite albums to listen to, especially on long subway journeys. Also, my brother just informed me that this kid I went to high school with named Mike Bell is now their drummer!
If you listen to just one song pick: Untrust Us

6. Beck- Modern Guilt
Ladies and gentleman, Beck has done it again. He has managed to put out yet another awesome album, while managing to keep his sound fresh and new. When some early tracks leaked from this album, I was happily surprised that they were not weird like Guero or Electronic like The Information. Rather, it's a new sort of mellow pop-rock that has a rainy-day sort of vibe. Some of the tracks have electronic beats, while some are somber and folksy like Sea Change. It all comes wrapped neatly in a 33 minute package.
If you listen to just one song pick: Chemtrails

5.Hot Chip- Made In the DarkHot Chip knows how to create the perfect mix of danceable beats, indie pop, and sad lyrics. (Underneath the burning tree/That is where she brought me/ That is where she bound me/ Nobody found me) Whether you want to sit in your room with the door closed and cry or start a dance party with your closest friends, this album has something to offer.
If you listen to just one song pick: Ready For The Floor

4. Flying Lotus- Los AngelesOh how I love this album so. I don't know whether to classify this as hip-hop, ambient or jungle, but whatever. It's just plan good. You definitely need to listen to the whole thing at once- it's an experience. If I ever need to concentrate and get a lot of work done, this is my go-to album. As an added bonus, Tim and Eric made a video for the song Parisian Goldfish. Be warned- it's wildly NOT suitable for work.
If you listen to just one song pick: Riot

3. The Walkmen- You & Me
You know sometimes how you like feeling sad? This new album by The Walkmen is the theme album for those times. Sad is what they do best. Like the beloved Everyone Who Pretended to Live Me Is Gone, You & Me will get you feeling melancholy and it feels oh-so-good.
If you listen to just one song pick: Postcards from Tiny Islands

2. Air France- No Way DownThe songs on Swedish group Air France's latest album are poppy and fantastical. You'll notice a lot of 80's sounding keyboards. Listening to this short album makes me feel like I'm spending a happy day on the beach of Santa Barbara while smoking a bowl after taking shitty Psychology final. In short- it's great. Collapsing at Your Doorstep is not only the best track on the album, but in my opinion, the best track of all of 2008. I've probably listened to it on repeat on my ipod like 80 times.
If you listen to just one song pick: Collapsing At Your Doorstep

1. Portishead - Third
When a band that is a pioneer of its genre takes 11 years off since its last album, one can expect the next album will either be mind-blowingly awesome or majorly shitty. I'm happy to report that Portishead's Third is the former. These guys paved the way for triphop and they didn't miss a beat since 1997's self-titled album. Beth Gibbon's voice is haunting and beautiful, the beats they use are modern and exciting, and every track on the album offers something special. Basically if you don't buy this album, you're an idiot.
If you listen to just one song pick: Machine Gun

Honorable Mention: (these didn't quite make the cut but they're still good and you should check them out)
  • Fuck Buttons- Street Horsing
  • The Bug- London Zoo
  • Grouper- Dragging a Dead Deer
  • Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend (yes, I know they're played out but the album is damn good!)
ps. Yes I own the new Fleet Foxes album (Pitchfork's #1) but it's just not my kind of music. I'll admit it's good- it's just not for me.

1 comment:

shibumi said...

guns 'n' roses, ac/dc, and metallica all released albums this year and you do not recognize any of them? bogus. however, portishead are also shibumi's favorite.