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Best Music of 2008

2008 became a very difficult year to review in my opinion. It might have been that there was very little that caught my ear this year, however, I believe it has more to do with the subpar music that came out this year compared to 2007. Who knows, in a year I might be saying the exact opposite. Comparing this years top ten to last years, there would probably be 4 albums that match up to last years top albums, and two of those bands (Deerhunter and Of Montreal) were on last years list as well.


I guess I could offer a glimpse of last years music in a trance-laced podcast I put together of some of my favorite tracks. You can download it here.

2007 Podcast of Best New Music 

I have not figured out if I will do one this year or not. I planned to do it this weekend but fell ill.

10.   Beach House –Devotion  – Continuing on their ‘devotion’ to slowcore and shoegaze. Fans of ‘Low’ might appreciate their music tranquilized before they do the same to themselves.  

9.     Fuck Buttons – Street Horrrsing – For me this electronica album makes it for its uplifting premise.

8.     TV on the Radio – Dear Science – TV on the Radio is bringing funk back to rock and roll. This is on the edge like Prince was in the early 80s, with great guitars, dark landscapes and great vocals.

7.     Lou Reed – Berlin: Live at St. Ann’s Warehouse – While this is a live album, I really think that it finally makes “Berlin” right. This is one of my favorite Lou Reed albums, albeit not his happiest release ever.

6.     Vic Chestnutt, Elf Power and Amorphous Strums – Vic Chestnutts unique vocal talents and words matched with Elf Power’s music is worth the effort.

5.     R.E.M. – Accelerate – Surely not their best album but this is not half bad with some of the best tunes they have written in years.

4.     Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes offer that beautiful folk pop that will make groups like Simon and Garfunkel and the Mamas and Papas jealous.

3.     Deerhunter – Microcastle/Weird Era. Cont – I am not sure which of these albums is better but presently it would have to go to ‘Weird Era. Cont’ with its beautiful ‘Calvary Scars LI / Aux. Out’, a 10 minute droning guitar piece.

2.     Portishead – Third  – Sometimes when bands take long breaks, their reunions are a mess. That is not the case here. Portishead reinvents their trip-hop style making it feel current.

1.     Of Montreal – Skeletal Lamping – Kevin Barnes writes another masterpiece in my book with Skeletal Lamping. Probably not the type of album that you want your kids to listen to but definitely the most difficult album to get your hands around. While there are 15 tracks on the album, it’s actually closer to 150 as they piece together snippets of  20-40 second songs to form this album. Barnes continues on his 70s retro flair on this album, albeit there are plenty of pop moments throughout, just no singles!


My real #1 however, is R.E.M. – Murmurs Deluxe Edition. This album released on it’s 25th anniversary makes note that nothing even comes close in comparing the standard and quality this album had compared to the music today. Murmur was an album that changed music for the better. Included here on the second CD was a great live show from the era to give fans an idea of what R.E.M. sounded like live during that era compared to the album. There is not a bad note on this album. 

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