Almost the Best of 2008

I have been feeling a little blogger’s remorse for a few records that I left off of my Top 10 of 2008 list.  I have a very difficult time ranking albums, movies, food, or whatever because I don’t really think in terms of “favorites.”  Different things affect me in different ways at different times, and I like them for different reasons and in different situations.  So, I have decided to create a little addition to my Top 10 of 2008 list by adding a few that just missed the top 10, in no particular order.  Because isn’t 10 really just an arbitrary number anyway?  15 is way better.  Don’t argue, just go with it.

Why? – Alopecia

It’s not quite hip hop, and it’s almost rock.  However, this genre-bending record is excellent, and the lyrics are about as honest, personal, gritty, and sometimes downright disgusting as any that I’ve heard.

Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend

Critics, bloggers, and fans alike gushed over this record, which, honestly, I added and removed from the top 10 a few times.  I finally decided to leave it out due to a few missteps, especially the song “One (Blake’s Got A New Face),” which in my opinion just does not work on any level.  The album does contain some of the most addictive songs of the year, though, such as “Oxford Comma,” “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” and the Police-influenced “A-Punk”.

Hercules and Love Affair – Hercules and Love Affair

I always intended to review this record on the site, but to be honest, I really struggled with what to say about it due to having really weak frames of reference in this genre.  Dance music has never really been my thing, and this record is pretty much a voyage through disco/pop/house history.  I am, however, a major fan of Antony Hegarty and his unique voice, which actually fits incredibly well with this type of music.  It even made a mopey indie kid like me wanna get up and shake my ass.  Not an easy thing to do.

The Tallest Man on Earth – Shallow Graves

The greatest Dylan album that Dylan had nothing to do with.  The mysterious Swedish artist Kristian Matsson has taken up the mantle of classic, finger pickin’ folk from Bob and made it into something entirely his own.  With cryptic, elemental lyrics that frequently touch on earth, wind, fire, and water, as well as religious symbolism and a gift for melody, The Tallest Man on Earth has arrived on the scene with an excellent album that reveals more depth with each listen.

Department of Eagles – In Ear Park

I was pretty late getting to this Grizzly Bear side project, and it did not make it in under the wire to be included on the top 10 list, but it might have inched in there if I had heard it just a few days earlier.  C’est la vie!  This is a hell of a record, though, and I’ll have to get to a proper review up soon.


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