Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Top 10 Albums of 2008 - Thus Far

Well it is pretty much half way through the year and all the bloggers seem to be posting their "Best Of Thus Far" lists, and I don't see why I shouldn't hop on the ole bandwagon. So far 2008 has been pretty friendly to me in the realm of music. I've seen some exciting live shows and have experienced some pretty darn good albums. Today I'm going to focus on the albums, perhaps I'll touch upon the live shows later on in the year.

Tony's Top 10 Albums of 2008 Thus Far

10) Fuck Buttons - Street Horrrsing

Going into this album, I knew nothing of the artist, except that they were touring with Caribou (didn't make it to show anyway). I also have never really been into really noisy electronica that seems to be pretty non-objective. However, although I haven't experimented much from the album, I did really enjoy it. Oddly enough, I found it very relaxing when trying to focus. Perhaps the complexity of the sound countered the complexity of whatever I was doing. This is definitely a challenging listen if it isn't your style, but a rewarding one at that. Don't play it at a party unless you are into hardcore drugs or something, headphone material in my opinion.

9) The Roots - Rising Down

I have always admired these guys, and really appreciate them giving the hip hop scene some much needed credibility. Although this is the first of their catalog that I have listened to in the correct sequential order, it inspired me to grab their catalog, and I really dig all of it. This band is truly a class act, so much talent, and they always seem to feature the coolest artist or sample the sickest beat. The album is a great listen, some excellent headphone hip hop.

8) Wolf Parade - At Mt. Zoomer

Gotta give Krug and company a pat on the back for this one. I don't think they topped their previous excellent release Apologies to the Queen Mary, but they honestly didn't need to. Really glad they avoided the dreaded sophomore slump. Although this album lost a bit of bounce from their previous album, it still sounds excellent. To me, it seems like Krug got a bit more control, as it gives me some of the same vibes as a Sunset Rubdown record might. But I love that band, so it's all good. So, I'll recommend this one to all those Sunset Rubdown/Spencer Krug fans out there. And hate to say it, but if you ONLY liked wolf parade and none of the other reincarnations, you might be out of luck.

7) The Black Keys - Attack and Release

"Akron's Own", heh, you might have noticed that I play quite a bit from these guys. Ever since I saw them live, I've been somewhat of a super fan. This album is no exception. Although it may not be as raw and in-your-face as previous releases, it still has that bluesy soul that I can't get enough of. This could be due to the fact that it was produced by Danger Mouse. But, either way, I dig it. Although a bit different, it offers an enjoyable break between Rubber Factory on repeat. Oh yeah, check earlier posts, these guys are playing EVERYWHERE, go see them.

6) Animal Collective - Water Curses EP

I am really feeling the new direction Animal Collective is taking. This EP really pumps me up for the eventual full length. At only four songs, I'm still pretty sure it deserves this spot. I really love how this band continues to reinvent and completely step aside from the current music scene and consistently create unique jams. Check out some of their performances on youtube during this summers festival circuit. Can't wait to hear more.

5) British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music?

Yes. Yes I do. This is truly and epic album, only put to test by their even more epic live performance. I saw these guys at the Basement in Columbus, and at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC. I was completely blown away by both performances. Before seeing them live, I couldn't really get into the album all that much. However, afterwards, well, I have it at number five thus far. Be sure to check earlier posts for pictures and whatnot from the above mentioned shows. Oh and listen to this album loud, you'll thank me.

4) Frightened Rabbit - Midnight Organ Fight

This one took me a few listens, but paid off tremendously. I'm sure this band gets a crapload of comparisons to their scottish brohams, The Twilight Sad, and I can understand how. But, this album, in my opinion, puts the two bands on two different levels of play. After paying attention to the lyrics on probably the third or fourth listen, they are actually pretty funny. Sounds like the guy has had some recent problems with the ladies, or clue how these rabbits swing. So if you are feeling down or angry, this album will probably cheer you up a bit, and rock your face a bit too. As long as you don't mind a fairly strong accent.

3) The Helio Sequence - Keep Your Eyes Ahead

I actually came across this album through a recommendation from a friend. Somehow these guys have slipped under my radar completely. I would explain their sound as a fusion between Modest Mouse and Band Of Horses...both bands I enjoy tremendously. I can really get into every song on this album, and like I said, if you like either of the previously mentioned comparisons, I'm sure you will love these guys. On this album alone, they have made a dent in my charts. Now all I have to do is find the rest of their discography :)

2) Vampire Weekend - s/t

This is possibly the most upbeat and catchy album I've heard in some time. It just makes me generally feel good. So good that I can look past all the silly hype and just enjoy them for what they are. Unfortunately, I missed them when they rolled into Columbus. I totally underestimated the hype, as they sold out the Wex at least a week before the show. Really excited to see what these guys do next, extremely talented group. Great album for some summer relaxin and whatnot.

1) Evangelicals - The Evening Descends

Wow, I just love this album, I don't know what else to say. I love all the influences I hear when listening to it. They range from the psychedelic sounds of pink floyd to the power pop of elephant six associated groups. And at the same time, I feel as though they are just doing their own thing and having a ton of fun while doing it. Give this one a once over and I hope you fall in love with it as I did.

Your thoughts?

Keep it fresh, ya'll

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