I listened to a lot of music this year. It seems like no one really makes albums anymore. 2008 was the year of remixes and singles. I think most people said that about 2007. But with this great invention called the internet I was able to hear a lot more albums than I could have afforded to buy. But… uh… you should still go buy music. Click on the album to buy it on Amazon.
So unfortunately we start off with a tie. I couldn’t dismiss either album so I posted both. This ELO inspired dance-rock band was everywhere in 2008. Killing it at Coachella, getting remixed and remixing everyone under the sun, and making an album so good it got me laid. Australia is owning the dance-rock world right now.
Santogold owned 2008 as well. Not only did she release her much anticipated, much heralded debut album, she also worked on a sick mixtape with jack-of-all-trades Diplo. Everything she touched turned to gold, Santogold.
The first time I heard “Paris is Burning” on her Myspace I knew I had to pay attention to this chica. Yet another Aussie coming with some great music. Heavily inspired by Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac (my favorite rock band ever) every song is just as good as the one before it. Great full-length effort by someone I think is going to be huge in 2009.
Freaking real Hip-Hop… finally. Chicago is the only place making Hip-Hop; Kanye, Common, Kid Sister, Lupe, and more. Though technically an EP this album is better than almost every “LP” that came out this past year. With their throwback sound and style the Cool Kids had real Hip-Hop heads smiling.
It’s not really a full-length as much of a collection of songs they made over the past couple of years. If this album was full of original tracks recorded for this album, it very well might be #1. Next time CC. I’ll be up every night eagerly awaiting the Sophomore effort from Alice Glass and Ethan Katz.
This guy right here. This guy right here. What can I say? The only white guy that can give Justin Timberlake a run for his money. His third solo release has flashes of, dare I say, Prince and Al Green??? Blasphemy! But it’s so good. This is some real soul with a hint of electronica. I am really feeling Mr. Lidell.
To be honest I still haven’t heard the whole album. But that’s how good it is. 75% of this album beat 100% of almost every album I heard this year. It’s still on import so it costs a million dollars, but I’m sure its worth it. Yukimi Nagano of Koop spreads her wings on her own to make both the best electro-jazz and singer-songwriter album of the year.
If you haven’t heard of MGMT yet you must have been hiding in a cave all year. They played every festival and their songs were on every radio station and TV show. Such a great pop album from newcomers MGMT. Produced by Dave Friedmann (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev) this album was damn near perfect. I love every song. You can dance to it, make love to it, or play it on a rainy day. Trust me, go cop this immediately.
What do you know? Some more Hip-Hop. There was a huge push at the end of the year for some good mainstream Hip-Hop. Q-Tip released The Renaissance on Election Day in November. A few weeks later Kanye released his mediocre but unexpected album 808 and Heartbreaks and in December Common came with his Neptunes produced Universal Mind Control. Though I enjoyed all of them it was definitely Q-Tip’s third solo release that made the biggest impression in my mind. Every song is 4 or 5 out of 5 stars.
My boy Jeremy played this album for me at Coachella this past spring. I heard it and immediately really liked it. Then I got it and listened to it. And it knocked on my ass. So good, so strange, so dancey. It was a perfect mixture of every genre it covered, disco, electronica, experimental. Every year I hear an album that gave me something I wasn’t expecting. Last year it was Koop’s Island Blues. This year it was Hercules and Motherfucking Love Affair.
Let’s be honest Beth Gibbons could sing over waves crashing and I would put it at #1. You know what, that’s not a bad idea. But she didn’t need too because she returned after 11 YEARS!!! to join her former band mates and release Portishead’s third album, aptly titled Third. It took a while for it to grow on me, as I was hoping every song would sound like “Machine Gun.” But the more I listened to it the more I fell in love with it. And after seeing them perform the album live, I knew there could be no other #1 album of the year.