The year isn’t even done and already I want to make ammendments to my list. For instance, no Air France. What gives? It’s not perfect, not even close, but hopefully the rest of the albums will please the ears. There’s a lot of obvious albums here which you don’t need me to tell you to listen to, but they have to be included because they’re amazing. If you missed the first half of the list, you can check it out here. Without further ado, I give you the conclusion of my Top 20 releases of 2008:
10 | Lykke Li – Youth Novels
Sweden’s newest indie starlet/semi-superstar, Lykke Li, starts off the top 10. I had a taste of how this album was going to be at the end of last year with the single “Little Bit” and she really delivered. Equal parts easy listening and indie dance, this album manages to be accessible pop and adventurous at the same time. This had to come from Sweden.
09 | Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours
In Ghost Colours is really just one extended dance track. The songs all mesh together, and each one is constantly evolving to incorporate infectious dance beats and electronic melodies that reach epic heights. Impossible to listen to without bobbing your head at very least. These guys must love New Order as much as I do.
08 | The Long Blondes – Couples & Singles
Couples wasn’t exactly the direction I had hoped The Long Blondes would take. Nonetheless, letting the glam dance that their debut hinted at take over makes for a worthwile listen, albeit with less guitars. But they had to make the top 10 with the release of Singles which compiles the pre-Someone to Drive You Home tracks. Really raw stuff!
07 | M83 – Saturdays = Youth
Electronic music’s most romantic album of the year. And what’s more, French musician Anthony Gonzalez has used more guitars than previous M83 efforts. Probably the best one man show around.
06 | Born Ruffians – Red, Yellow & Blue
The best Canadian release of the year! Born Ruffians managed to surpass expectations set from their outstanding debut EP. Weird vocals, fast-paced drums, edgy and melodic guitar and bass make this one of the most inventive and fun albums of the year. Can’t wait to hear what’s to come from these guys.
05 | MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
After reading Last.fm year end stats, I’ve discovered that the two hottest groups in the world are Coldplay (no big suprise there) and MGMT. That’s a pretty big achievement for a band that released their debut album this year, but it’s no surprise when you listen to that album. I dismissed it at first as product of the electronic era that brings us far too many remixes, but Oracular Spectacular is a real beauty that never loses its charm. The most epic album of the year.
04 | Deerhunter – Microcastle
Deerhunter’s Cryptograms was one of the most annoying releases of 2007 for me. It was on endless best of lists, which didn’t make any sense to me. Sure, they were experimenting wildly with guitars, but it wasn’t fun to listen to. I just didn’t think there was anything to get. Microcastle I get. It’s home to both sides of the indie spectrum, gentle instrospection and guitar induced schizophrenia. It remains so soft even with layers of distortion. Great rock album!
03 | Albert Hammond, Jr. – ¿Cómo Te Llama?
Albert Hammond, Jr. was the true genius of The Strokes. It’s been three years since First Impressions of Earth ended the band that had defined and inspired indie rock for a good five years and no other member has stepped up to claim the title but him. On his second album he continues his praise and devotion to the most holy of instruments, the guitar. Indie music seems to be heading in a new direction now, but its good to see artists making music they truly love, and I love too.
02 | The Radio Dept. – Freddie and the Trojan Horse EP
The one band in the world which I have no problem calling “Artists”. They always try new things and every release shows us a brand new sound. This EP and especially the title track find The Radio Dept. at what is possibly their highest point, combining indie influences like shoegaze, dream, and noise into one being which always obeys the boundaries and rules of pop. The follow-up album “Clinging to a Scheme” on Labrador is my most anticipated album of 2009.
01 | The Raveonettes – Lust, Lust, Lust
Absolutely gorgeous. The band with classic singles like “That Great Love Sound” and “Love in a Trashcan” finally has a classic album of their own. Lust, Lust, Lust is disgustingly pretty. It takes Beach Boys melodies and chainsaws them with endless pedal effects, distortion, and feedback. I’m not talking cutting down a tree chainsaw, I’m talking Leatherface chainsaw. This is the best release of 2008.