Dec 15, 2008

TOP TENS ROLLING IN...get yours in now!

It isn't too late to submit your ten favorite albums from 2008. Email them to us now and you could win a $25 gift certificate to spend at Slowtrain.

Here is one of our latest entries:

Kevin - so thorough and interesting. Thanks for all the effort!!
1. Crystal Stilts – Alight the Night. Dig out those Flying Nun records and stack them against the Crystal Stilts. Brooklyn garage band creates a brilliant NZ lo-fi tribute.

2. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes. I didn’t feel the Sun Giant EP for whatever reason. However I have no problem joining the blog praise for the FF full length. Every cut is smoky and beautiful.

3. Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid. I was skeptical after devouring the more sugary Leaders of the Free World but this has been a real grower. Elbow are masters of sequencing their mini-epics.

4. Pete and the Pirates – Little Death. Those dreams where you yell for help and no one can hear you? I usually feel like that about one release every year and in 2008 it is Little Death. Power pop perfection.

5. Noah and the Whale – Gentle, the World Lays Me Down. Londoners finally invaded the U.S. this fall. Despite the Saturn car commercial, an imminently likeable album.

6. Delta Spirit – Ode to Sunshine. Bon Iver received most of this year’s attention for recording in a cabin. San Diego’s Delta Spirit did the same and produced a classic of Americana.

7. Boris – Smile. Although I was somewhat bitter to find single, “Messeeji,” was left off the Southern Lord pressing, I’m still in love with Smile, which frequently reminded me of Yo La Tengo.

8. Son Lux – At War with Walls and Mazes. Is it OK to use the words, “Trip Hop” again? Walls and Mazes starts with Ryan Lott’s genius musical vision and song arrangements that show it off.

9. British Sea Power – Do You Like Rock Music? Five years after The Decline of British Sea Power, I now feel compelled to defend BSP. The arena choruses of Rock Music stuck with me all year.

10. Shearwater – Rook. The vibrato doesn’t quite speak to me like Palo Santo, but Rook still hits a great stride when it jangles and howls. Regret that I missed them live.

Biggest disappointment

The Dears – Missiles. I may or may not have a mancrush on Murray Lightburn, but holy criminy this seemed flat to me.

Some cool songs I liked

Los Campesinos! - Death to Los Campesinos! The band everyone knows you’re SUPPOSED to love, Los Campesinos ends almost every song with an exclamation point! Also with a populist shouted chorus, which is why I can’t entirely get into them.

Jack Penate - Spit at Stars. The most insanely catchy song I have heard in many years.

Chatham County Line - Chip of a Star. The second most insanely catchy song I have heard in many years.

Cut Copy - Lights and Music

De Novo Dahl - Shout

Air France - No Excuses

Ron Sexsmith - One Last Round. Thanks to my new BFF at Slowtrain for the Ron Sexsmith recommend. Also responsible for the regrettably cloying Feist single Brandy Alexander.

Thao Nguyen - Bag of Hammers

The Stills - Snakecharming the Masses. Now that’s what I call drums

Neil Halstead - Queen Bee

West Indian Girl - To Die in LA. So sue me, I like a West Indian Girl song

Best Live show

Elbow – May 3 at The Depot. Not just my favorite performance of the year, one of the best shows I have ever seen.

Best EP

The Muslims – The Muslims EP

Best lyrics

Hayden “Damn this Feeling” – In Field and Town. A pitch-perfect cocktail of words, melody, and tone.

…I think I'm healing, damn this feeling
I have been reeling, since last season
It's the one thing I had left
from everything I'd kept
I'm going to miss how bad this has felt.

Women adored me for the sad look in my eyes
and now they ignore me for getting on with my life

…Leaves they are falling, just as I let go of you
winter is calling, and I have no memories to lose.

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