Best of 2008

It's that time of year when a young man's (or even slightly aging hipster's) fancy turns to thoughts of picking the best releases of the year. This list could change hourly, but here it is and I'm sticking with it.

1) What Made Milwaukee Famous / What Doesn’t Kill Us / Barsuk

Hook-laden and sometimes challenging, the sophomore release from the Austin band mixes New Wave and classic pop influences. It gets better upon repeated listening.

 

2) Paul Weller / 22 Dreams / Yep Roc

Weller’s most diverse solo album to date. A mix of songs and styles that most artists—and labels—wouldn’t dare to release.

 

3) Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings / 100 Days, 100 Nights / Dap Tone

A great ’70s style soul singer with one of the tightest backing bands around—an unforgettable mix

 

4) Richard Hawley / Lady’s Bridge / Mute

The Sheffield crooner is back with another can’t-miss collection of velvety ballads

 

5) Joe Jackson / Rain / Rykodisc

His voice has never sounded better and his trio is sparse but powerful

 

6) The Last Shadow Puppets / Age of the Understatement / Domino

When the Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner and The Rascals’ Miles Kane collaborate everything is cool—down to the CD jacket. Hopefully it will lead people to discover earlier arbiters of cool David Axelrod and Scott Walker whose vibes flow through the disc.

 

7) Matthew Sweet / Sunshine Lies / Shout Factory

It’s not quite Girlfriend, but it’s pretty damn close

 

8) Portishead / Third / Mercury

A great return that moves beyond the whole trip-hop trap.

 

9) Mgmt / Oracular Spectacular / Sony

Psychedelic indie pop that out Flaming Lips the Flaming Lips

 

10) Jim Noir / Jim Noir / Barsuk

Second album from worshipper of Brian Wilson. More electronic and experimental but just as melodic as his first.

 

 

10) Oasis / Dig Out Your Soul / Reprise

Oasis likes The Beatles. Who knew? The influence is there but with a new spin. And there’s even a sitar!

 

Also deserving attention: Billy Bragg / Mr. Love And Justice; Fleet Foxes / Fleet Foxes; Vampire Weekend / Vampire Weekend; David Ford / Songs For The Road; R.E.M / Accelerate; James / Hey Me; Duffy / Rockferry; Jeremy / Pop Explosion; Band of Horses / Cease to Exist; Glen Campbell / Meet Glen Campbell; Crosby Tyler / 10 Songs of America Today; Old 97s / Blame it On Gravity; Michael Carpenter & The Cuban Heels / EP

 

 

Best reissue: The Jesus And Mary Chain / The Power of Negative Thinking: B-Sides and Rarities

 

Best tribute CD: Beautiful Escape: The Songs of the Posies

Chris Fletcher

 

Best series: BBC live recordings

 

Categories:

Uncategorized
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google+ icon
Instagram icon
RSS icon
Vimeo icon