My Top 10 Albums of 2008

December 23, 2008

I’ve seen all the lists come out recently and I thought I’d throw my own 2 cents in.  I do like music and I know this list reflects what many other sites have shown.  So – some empirical evidence is required.  In my case, said evidence is the play count of each album in my itunes library.  Simple and indicative.  I also included my picks for best tack and best set of lyrics from the album.  I’m no audiophile, so I am damned to listen to the lyrics. Here is my top ten in that particular order:

#10

Flight of the Conchords

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Great TV show and an album that’s fun.  This probably won’t get listened to much more because once you’ve heard the jokes, there are only so many times you can re-laugh.  Favourite track: “Foux Du Fafa”.  Best Lyric: “Baguette!” and “Binary Solo: 0000001, 00000011, 000000111, 00001111”.

What does that mean in computer language? Affirmative?

#9

Blind Pilot

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The empirical measuring tool I have employed seems to have failed already (only the second album!).  This is a great album and a new favourite of mine.  But…I just got it a week ago from listening to an NPR podcast so the stats are skewed.  Beautiful songs and great singing.  Favourite Track: “The Story I Heard”.  Best Lyric:

oh ’cause the story I heard
is the people are bored
and the measures you take
to wrestle with your lord
all the money you take
all the memories you spill
will he measure your tongue
will he measure your will
oh now

#8

Department of Eagles – In Ear Park

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Nothing to say, just good music and solid song-writing. Favourite Track: “No one Does it Like You”.  Best Lyric: “I laughed so hard I fell down”. The only times I laugh so hard i fall down are when I’m drunk. (my moment of realization) He was drunk!

#7

Juno OST

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A cute movie with a cute soundtrack. I’m somewhat ashamed, but the play-count does not lie!  I really think Kimya Dawson makes the album – I probably should’a just bought hers. But, Belle & Sebastian steal the show. Favourite Song: “Piazza New York Catcher – Belle & Sebastian”. Best Lyric:

The catcher hits for .318 and catches every day
The pitcher puts religion first and rests on holidays
He goes into cathedrals and lies prostrate on the floor
He knows the drink affects his speed, he’s praying for a doorway 
Back into the life he wants and the confession of the bench
Life outside the diamond is a wrench

For the record: I’m pretty sure that Piazza is gay.  The handlebar mustache and the crouched position are dead giveaways.

#6

Los Campesinos – Hold on Now Youngster

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How dare a band from Wales call themselves ‘Los Campesinos’. Though, apparantly they have books and other interesting stuff in Cardiff. Best Song: “Death to Los Campesinos!”. Best Lyric:

If you catch me with my hands in the till

I promise, sugar, I wasn’t trying to steal

I’m just swimming in copper

to smell and pretend

like a robot!

I’d like to see that excuse accepted.  Then again…

#5

Port O’Brien – All We Could Do Was Sing

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Some random Austrian girl told me about this band. I was embarrassed that I hadn’t heard of them since they hail from the Pacific Northwest.  But she was right, they are ‘massively’ good. Favourite Song: “I Woke Up Today”.  Best Lyric: “In the morning all I could do was sing”.

#4

Fleet Foxes

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I was a late-comer to this album.  I got it when it first came out, listened a few times, and then put it away.  It wasn’t until I saw the Take Away Show video of them performing in Paris that I really ‘got’ it.  Since then it has become something of an obsession – I can’t stop listening to this one song.  Favourite Track: “White Winter Hymnal”.  Best Lyric:

And, Michael, you would fall
and turn the white snow red as strawberries
in the summertime… 

Beautiful imagery. That dumb klutz Michael just can’t help shedding blood. Michael’s Personal Ad:

Male, Gangly, Hypochondriac, Enjoys long walks outdoors. Anyone interested?

#3

Vampire Weekend

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I don’t care what anybody says. I love this record.  The lyrics can let you down at times, but the songs are just so full of energy and that ivy league swagger. Favourite Track: “A-Punk”.  Best Lyric: “Peter Gabriel too”. And the Peter Gabriel version of “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” is absolutely terrible except for one line by Mr. Peter (why can’t he say ‘fuck’?). Best Lyric from the cover: “And it feels so unnatural to sing your own name”. Yeah – I’m sure it does. But it’s even more unnatural to cover a song that mentions your own name.  Singing in the 3 rd person is the first sign of insanity. Everything is so unnatural…ahhh!

#2

MGMT – Oracular Spectacular

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Fun fun fun.  Favourite Track: “Time to Pretend”. Best Lyric (Best of 2008)!:

We’ll choke on our vomit and that will be the end.
We were fated to pretend.

#1

Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago

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I just checked my itunes playcount and it’s disturbing that I listened to one particular record so many times in one year. My playcount is at 47 – for the album as a whole.  Wow, even I’m shocked. Beautiful breakup record – could anyone pen a better one? Don’t think so. Best Song (It changes everyday): “re: stacks”. Best Lyric:

There’s a black crow sitting across from me; his wiry legs are crossed

And he’s dangling my keys he even fakes a toss

Whatever could it be

That has brought me to this loss?

Any song that mentions crows is good. A song that mentions crows being intelligent is excellent.  Crows faking throws: absolutely brilliant! These lyrics will never be surpassed.

 

And that’s it. What? You didn’t enjoy it? Blame Peter Gabriel. It’s happened before. So it goes…

 

 

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