La Bodega

Tales and pictures from our little corner of the world.


2008 Favorites

It is that time of the year to share my favorites from the past year. I stress that these are simply my favorites and not necessarily the best of the year, as there are way too many albums released every year to keep up with everything. I'll start with albums I thoroughly enjoyed but didn't crack my top 20:

Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
The Walkmen – You and Me
Los Campesinos! – Hold on Now, Youngster
Los Campesinos! – We are Beautiful, We are Doomed
Nomo – Ghost Rock
Tokyo Police Club - Elephant Shell
Annuals – Such Fun
Devotchka – A Mad and Faithful Telling
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Real Emotional Trash
The War on Drugs – Wagonwheel Blues
Wolf Parade – At Mt. Zoomer

And now, I present, the most important top 20 list in the history of top lists!

20. Nine Inch Nails - The Slip
Trent pulled what has been dubbed “A Radiohead” by self-releasing this album online for free download. Another punch to the gut to the majors, and another quality release from NIN.

19. My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges
Not the breakout record most people were expecting and not as cohesive as It Still Moves and Z, but it still contains some tunes that show MMJ at their best.

18. Shearwater - Rook
Absolutely beautiful vocals from the former Okkervil River guitarist Jonathan Meiburg.

17. The Roots - Rising Down
Their most aggressive album yet. Black Thought is as good as ever, and it's always refreshing to hear Malik B join the Roots Crew for a few songs.

16. The Black Keys - Attack and Release
Hard to say it is better than Rubber Factory, but they definitely stretched the blues rock motif as far as they could with the help of Danger Mouse. ‘Strange Times’ has one of the best guitar riffs I heard this year.

15. Sons & Daughters - This Gift
Adele Bethel shows off her pipes on this rollicking and intense follow up to The Repulsion Box. It’s easy to tell the band had more to work with on this album.

14. Okkervil River - The Stand Ins
Something good must have happened to Will Scheff between the release of Black Sheep Boy and their 2007 release Stage Names. Similar to their last release, the extreme melodramatic tracks are few and far between. As good of a sister record to Stage Names as Black Sheep Boy Appendix is to Black Sheep Boy.

13. Parts and Labor - Receivers
Parts and Labor continue their move towards accessibility, however the jerky, squealing guitars are still the basis of this powerful progressive metal trio.

12. Phantom Planet - Raise the Dead
I’ll call it a guilty pleasure if I must, though I will never admit to feeling guilty for liking any music. ‘Geronimo’ is as bombastic of a song I heard all year.

11. TV on the Radio - Dear Science
It’s always difficult for me to describe any TV on the Radio release, which is a compliment to the band. Progressive, yet not difficult to listen to or enjoy. A prime example of a band that displays each member’s contributions wonderfully.

10. Sigur Ros - Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust
As stripped down as Sigur Ros has sounded since their debut. There are even songs that clock in less than 4 minutes! Gobbledigook is the most pop sensible, radio friendly song Sigur Ros has given us yet.

9. Secret Machines - Secret Machines
While they lost lead guitarist and founding member Ben Curtis, Secret Machines return with a full on progressive release following their failed attempt on arena rock. In stark comparison to Ten Silver Drops, the last three tracks are some of the most gratifying songs I’ve heard from yet and end the album on a high note.

8. Melvins - Nude With Boots
My favorite Melvins album since Stag. Buzzo’s vocals sound as powerful as ever, and the droney sludgeyness that have become a Melvins staple take a back seat to the guitar onslaught of The King. Big Business assist yet again on bass and join Dale Crover on drums for the dual drummer effect.

7. Dr. Dog - Fate
A summer festival band is there ever was one. The Beach Boys-esque harmonies, and simple pop sensibilities of early Beatles music. Not a band combination if you ask me.

6. Constantines - Kensington Heights
Not anything out of the ordinary from the Constantines. Good ole blue collar rock and roll, a la Bruce Springsteen. Just with more muscle.

5. School of Seven Bells - Alpinisms
Best debut album of the year. It gave me great relief to see such a poignant electro-pop record come out of these guys, as the lead guitarist, Ben Curtis, left one of my favorite bands, Secret Machines, to form this group.

4. The Dodos - Visiter
Folky, yet not even close to monotonous. Most of the songs jump out with energy. Fools is one of the best songs of the year in my opinion.

3. The Helio Sequence - Keep Your Eyes Ahead
As cohesive and melodic of a record this duo has released yet. They even strip it down on a few tracks to the roots.

2. British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music?
As a matter of fact, I do. Which is why I also enjoyed this album so much. Save for the last couple tracks, this album is a non stop, crank the volume to 11 good time.

1. The Raconteurs - Consolers of the Lonely
More rock centric than their debut album. Jack White and Brendan Benson flawless share lead vocal duties throughout the album. For me, this album is as enjoyable to listen to as any recent White Stripes album.


At 8:29 PM , Blogger FastKlane said...

Many Shades of Black. Beautiful. I totally agree on number 1.

At 6:44 AM , Blogger vintagedramas said...

jack? bah. ;-)


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