Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Best of 2008: albums
1. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend Ever wonder what Paul Simon's Graceland would've sounded like if it was produced by Wes Anderson? Here you go. Really, there's not one clunker on this album, a winning mix of orchestral indie sensibilities and afro pop.
2. Frightened Rabbit - The Midnight Organ Fight Just a stunning album from start to finish. Highly recommended for fans of heartfelt music, casual cursing, and thick Scottish brogues.
3. Steve Poltz - Traveling/Unraveling This is sort of a cheat, since I'm counting both of his '08 albums as one. Each of the singer-songwriter's albums are great. Whittle them down to their best songs and you have a remarkable album.
4. She & Him - Volume One Albums by actresses-turned-singers usually end up to be huge messes, but Zooey Deschanel - with help from indie hero M. Ward - bucks the trend by keeping things simple and organic.
5. Mates of State - Re-Arrange Us This married duo gave their sound a little more intimacy by switching from organs to pianos, but luckily they still kept the wonderful, hooky melodies.
6. Neon Neon - Stainless Style This concept album about auto magnate John DeLorean (think Back to the Future) sounds uncannily like it was made in the 80s. Love it.
7. Los Campesinos! - Hold On Now, Youngster/We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed Another two album cheat, but I find this Welsh band's combination of indie pop, singalong choruses, and glockenspiel (!) to be utterly irresistible.
8. Hayes Carll - Trouble in Mind Though "She Left Me For Jesus" got all of the attention, the rest of his album holds up just as well, including his twangy cover of one of my favorite songs (Tom Waits' "I Don't Wanna Grow Up"). I wish more country music sounded like this.
9. Lenka - Lenka Unabashed pop fun. That is all.
10. My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges After years of writing them off simply because of their name (I thought they were a whiny emo band), this is my introduction to their music. Other reviews have stated that this album doesn't "sound" like MMJ. So, I guess my favorite MMJ album - which includes "Librarian," a lovely song about my fetish of choice - isn't a MMJ album, after all.
In a first for the Micah World Best Of, I'll post the rest of my rankings in the comment section, so as not to clutter up this post. Keep in mind that I excluded from consideration EPs, Christmas music, compilations, stand-up/spoken word discs, and albums that I feel that I didn't listen to enough to give an informed spot on the list.
Scarlett Johansson - Anywhere I Lay My Head At least try to sound interested, hon.
Disappointments from favorites:
Del the Funky Homosapien - Eleventh Hour
Dido - Safe Trip Home
The Fratellis - Here We Stand
Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue
Smoking Popes - Stay Down
Kanye West - 808s & Heartbreak
Welcome back, cutter:
The Cure - 4:13 Dream
Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago Boy dissolves band, breaks up with girl, and gets sick. Boy retreats to Wisconsin cabin for three months. Boy emerges with a very pretty album.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall "Dracula musical!"
So retro they're nowtro:
Raphael Saadiq - The Way I See It
Al Green - Lay It Down
Tom Jones - 24 Hours
Sharleen Spiteri - Melody
Screw you, music industry:
Paul Westerberg - 49:00 A full length album for only $.99! I just wish it wasn't one long track.
Michael Ian Black & Michael Showalter