Better Late than never – Best albums of 2008

There’s a good reason why I didn’t do this earlier. Last year I lost my commute via public transportation. I didn’t give all the albums I got the same listen I used to. So I didn’t feel right judging them. After being laid off, I’ve had more time to ruminate. I know you’ve been waiting. The lack of A Rubber Door’s official recommendation is the one thing I can point to hurting the music industry this year.

I promise to make it up – the best of 2009 is coming within the week.

1

rarariotRa Ra Riot – The Rhumb Line

While everyone was talking about Vampire Weekend, Ra Ra Riot beat them at their own game.   Well layered, catchy without being light.

My Favorites: Dying is Fine, Can You Tell

2

how-to-walk-awayJuliana Hatfield – How to Walk Away

So bummed that I missed Ms. Hatfield when she came to Philly in September.   I didn’t realize how amazing this album was.

My Favorites: The Fact Remains, Such a Beautiful Girl

3

vampire_weekend_-_vampire_weekendVampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend

So amazingly catchy.   Perfect album for the summer with a couple of beers and burgers on the grill.

My Favorites: Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa, A-Punk

4

kathleen-edwards-asking-for-flowersKathleen Edwards – Asking For Flowers

I’ve said this many times – look back 20 years from now and Edward’s career will be the stuff of legend.   This album sneaks up on you.

My Favorites: Buffalo, Goodnight California

5

11977-modern-guiltBeck – Modern Guilt

I didn’t realize how much I liked this album until I sat down to write this list.   Best Beck album since Midnight Vultures.

My Favorites: Gamma Ray, Modern Guilt

6

cover_the-raconteurs_consolers-of-the-lonelyThe Raconteurs –Consolers of the Lonely

I love Brendan Benson and Jack White together.   Jack White and Alicia Keys on the other hand…

My Favorites: Consoler of the Lonely, You Don’t Understand Me

7

santogold-coverSantigold – Santigold

Santogold?   Santigold?   Whatever – it’s good.   Last year’s Gnarls Barkley.   Fun album mixing alternative, pop, and dance.

My Favorites: L.E.S Artistes, I’m a Lady

8

frightened-rabbit-the-midnight-orga-431681Frightened Rabbit – The Midnight Organ Fight

I think this deserved much more attention last year than it got.   Gorgeous album.

My Favorites: Good Arms vs. Bad Arms, Old Fashion

9

12522-army-navyArmy Navy – Army Navy

Another album where every song is great.   Put this in a mix with Vampire Weekend and Ra Ra Riot.

My favorites: Saints, Slight of Hand


10

cddeathcabDeath Cab for Cutie – Narrow Stairs

More of the same from Death Cab – but that’s not a bad thing.

My Favorites: Cath, Grapevine Fires

11

album-adele-19Adele – 19

Well deserved best new artist.   The new British soul’s best import – yeah, better than Amy Winehouse.

My Favorites: Chasing Pavements, Cold Shoulder

12

bon_iver-for_emma_forever_ago-newBon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago

Haunting.   You probably heard Iver on many a TV show soundtrack last year.   Used in the series finale of Life.

My Favorite: Flume, The Wolves (Act I and II)

13

seldomseenkid_coverElbow – The Seldom Seen Kid

I’m really sorry this is as low as 13.   I didn’t give it as much time as it deserved.   Still – it’s a great album, and I’ve been devoting more and more time to it.

My favorites: Mirrorball, Grounds for Divorce

14

Airborne Toxic EventThe Airborne Toxic Event – The Airborne Toxic Event

My Favorites: Wishing Well, Sometime Around Midnight

15

britishseapowerBritish Sea Power – Do You Like Rock Music?

My Favorites: No Lucifer, Atom

16

accelerateR.E.M. – Accelerate

Blistering set of songs.   No wasted movement – it’s like they decided not to suck anymore.

My Favorites: Living Well is the Best Revenge, Supernatural Superserious

17

sam_philllips-dont-do-anythingSam Phillips – Don’t Do Anything

She really can’t do wrong by me.   Not sweet – brooding.

My Favorites: Can’t Come Down, Under the Night

18

pe-she_and_him-volume_oneShe & Him – Volume One

Honestly without M. Ward – this may not make the list.   More Him, less She (Zoey Deschanel).   And he listened – a new M. Ward album this year.   (OK – I just relistened to You Really Got a Hold On Me –   maybe it was the right amount of She)

My Favorites: Why Do You Let Me Stay Here, You Really Got a Hold On Me

19

thewhigs-album1The Whigs – Mission Control

My Favorites: Like A Vibration, I Got Ideas

Here’s an iTunes iMix of My Favorites songs from the albums above:

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ARubberDoor.com Best Albums of 2008


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bestof2008

  • http://www.thewebpen.net/blog Howard

    Dang it. I’ll have to get that Hatfield album now afterall. :)

  • Spencer

    Oh man – it’s really good. It reminds me of her mid to late 90′s work.

  • http://kellys-alter-ego.blogspot.com Kelly

    I like your list. There are some albums I need to checkout as some of these didn’t pop up on my radar last year. Check out Ra Ra Riot’s live concert on NPR’s “Live Concerts from All Things Considered” podcast. Great stuff.

  • Spencer

    @Kelly – I’d love to hear which ones you missed. Thanks for coming by – I’ll definitely be checking out that podcast.