December 15, 2008

Your Album of 2008

As is usual at this time of year

I find my face smacking into the reality of my having allowed the past twelve months’ albums, films, games, books, and giant cream cakes to pass me by with nary the emotional attachment of rogue Pritt Stick on a cardigan, betraying the wrapping of yuletide presents by the and I don’t know where this imagery is going so I’m ending the sentence!

Ahahah you are weak I win

As is also usual at this time of year

I have the Christmas holidays coming up (indeed we all do I MEAN DUH), and this is always a convenient time to pick out the very best of the last 12 (or more) months and enjoy it, leaving behind all the transitory ephemeral bobbins from – oh I don’t know – May-June-July, that people were high about at the time but now wouldn’t wee on to start a flood.

That’s where you come in. Post your album of the year.

I guess I’ll either listen to it, or sneer to myself while posting a polite lie in the comments to the effect of vague gratitude and a promise I have no intention of seeing through that I will “give it a listen”.

These are my actual headphones I am a Fisher Price smarty boy

SIMPLE SIMPLE SIMPLE.

And if you feel like making it two simples less simple, you can give reasons for your choice and gush your little mouth off as to the genius of whatever you’ve gone for.

I’ll start us off. Mine’s The Killers’ Day and Age.

I only really started caring about The Killers this time last year when I bought Guitar Hero III and rocked the bottom out of “When You Were Young”, then downloaded all their previous albums, loved them, heard “Human” and “Spaceman” from the 2008 album, loved them too, downloaded the full album and am – you guessed it – hating loving that as well. And if you want to tut-tut me for liking The Killers so much then, er, fair enough? I don’t know the etiquette there. So for me it’s Day and Age.

Santa Claus exists and he likes Guitar Hero, kids!

Oh I just realised that

MGMT’s Oracular Spectacular and Vampire Weekend’s self-titled debut both came out in 2008 so I guess either of those would beat Day and Age for me because I listened to them until the binary near wore off the discs, so greatly did I like the music contained therein.

Your more considered and better articulated opinion goes below. DO IT.


- 38 comments by 3 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. Mathew Mannion

    Hmm, it’s a toughie. For me, it’s between:

    (If you don’t have a Spotify account, email me at mat.mannion+spotify@gmail.com and I’ll send you one)

    And tenuously (since it came out on CD on January 1st, though if it’s allowed, it wins by a mile)

    • Radiohead – In Rainbows

    And some Spotify links to yours, Jim lad :)

    *

    15 Dec 2008, 09:27

  2. Jimbob

    • The Walkmen – You & Me

    Christ I listen to this album ALL THE TIME. Perfect accompaniment to late night wanderings and boozy singalongs or to anything at all.

    • Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid

    The best first four songs on any album I’ve heard this year, the rest ain’t too shabby either. Plus, they were used to soundtrack the Left 4 Dead trailer… how good is that?

    • Okkervil River – The Stand Ins

    This is great, whether you love the wordplay or a rollicking good pop song, this will float your boat in one way or both.

    • Cut Copy – Lights & Music

    I gave it five stars in the Boar – shock horror – what seems like ages ago, because it’s just so damn fun and unashamed of being blantantly so.

    (I don’t have a watchamacallit account… sorry)

    15 Dec 2008, 10:18

  3. James Miles

    Awesome contributions lads. I’m going to try to court further afield and see what else people have liked this year!

    15 Dec 2008, 15:42

  4. Greg

    My list is up here but M83’s Saturdays=Youth was my favourite of the year, and I’ve been bookmarking other peoples lists here if you like that kind of thing

    15 Dec 2008, 16:18

  5. Danny

    A bit vanilla, n’est-ce pas, lads? Anyways, not being a fan of boring indie music, my list would go something like:
    #The Bug, London Zoo
    #Dusk & Blackdown, Margins Music
    #Portishead, Third
    #Young Jeezy, The Recession
    #Rings, Black Habit

    With honorary mentions for albums/mixtapes/EPs/singles by: Lil Wayne, Cassetteboy, Skepta, Trim, Ricardo Villalobos, 2562, Giggs, Sparks, Zomby, Bertrand Bergalat & Robert Wyatt, Crystal Castles, Young Dot, Erykah Badu, and Tricky.

    Biggest disappointments: Ellen Allien, Islands, Radiohead, everything that Brian Eno did this year.

    15 Dec 2008, 19:31

  6. Arfie

    Hmm. Approximate top 20 (ordering’s a bit whack):

    20. Grails: Doomsayer’s Holiday
    19. Subtle: OughtAlmanac of AmassedFact Vol 1
    18. Grouper: Dragging a Dead Dear Up a Hill
    17. Nadja: Desire in Uneasiness
    16. Peter Broderick: Float
    15. Squarepusher: Just a Souvenir
    14. Goldmund: The Malady of Elegance
    13. BORIS: Smile
    12. Paavoharju: Laulu Laakson Kukista
    11. Xela: In Bocca Al Lupo
    10. 65daysofstatic: Dance Parties EP
    09. Machinefabriek: Dauw
    08. Islands: Arm’s Way
    07. Retribution Gospel Choir: Retribution Gospel Choir
    06. Aidan Baker & Tim Baker: Fantasma-Parastasie
    05. The Fun Years: Baby It’s Cold Inside
    04. Fuck Buttons: Street Horrrsing
    03. Wolf Parade: At Mount Zoomer
    02. Autechre: Quaristice
    01. Fennesz: Black Sea

    It’s been a great year.

    15 Dec 2008, 19:56

  7. Arfie

    Daggit, I knew I’d miss some significant ones out – Murcof’s Versailles Sessions should be somewhere in the top ten.

    Might be some other omissions. Who knows?

    15 Dec 2008, 20:10

  8. Simon Brent

    I’m going to be somewhat obscure here…

    In no particular order:

    Priscilla Ahn: A Good Day
    Joshua Radin: Simple Times
    Death Cab for Cutie: Narrow Stairs
    Jack’s Mannequin: The Glass Passenger
    Kris Drever, John McCusker and Roddy Woomble: Before the Ruin
    Radiohead: In Rainbows (if allowed)

    15 Dec 2008, 22:03

  9. Arfie

    I’d say In Rainbows shouldn’t be in this year’s best-of lists, no.

    Nor last year’s, frankly.

    16 Dec 2008, 21:41

  10. Mathew Mannion

    What’s with the Radiohead hate, guys? In Rainbows is clearly a masterpiece… too popular for you?

    16 Dec 2008, 21:41

  11. Danny

    Radiohead aren’t popular, their sales have been steadily dropping with each album. Hence the desperate marketing gimmick totally radical music-biz-destroying heroic move of giving their last album away in the Mail on Sunday or whatevs.

    I’m sorry, In Rainbows just sounds dull to me. And I liked their previous albums (even, especially, HTTT). But I never was enough of a fanboy that I’m in denial about what to me sound like just a collection of tossed-off B-sides by another group of rock dinosaurs (also, hi Sonic Youth, do you believe in rapture? Cause I do and it’s gonna be a no from me). But I’m willing to conced that maybe they put all the decent songs on disc 2 of the deluxe 400 quid discobox edition (yes, they ARE bringing it all down from the inside, aren’t they?), in which case, yes, they could be on this year’s list. But not last year’s.
    Or this year’s.

    16 Dec 2008, 23:18

  12. Arfie

    A masterpiece? It’s “clearly” one of their worst.

    Before that, I preferred each album to the last, so you’d think a HTTT clone would work for me, but since they seem to have taken four years just to file off the edges and replace them with a wee bit of tedium, somehow it did nothing for me. Yes, it’s still better than damn near every neo-Britpop album that came out this year, but thrush being preferable to AIDS doesn’t make it an appealing prospect either.

    17 Dec 2008, 08:33

  13. James Miles

    Lol this is great. I apologise to Mat for the conduct of my friends (I assure you they were invited) and I apologise to my friends for their inclusion in something in which they may at the moment not be feeling entirely fitting but I assure you I thoroughly appreciate your inputs and will be sure to check all of them out.

    THANK YOU EVERYONE!

    18 Dec 2008, 22:21

  14. Danny

    Haha, I don’t mean to be negative. As Arfie says, it’s been a great year, pop-wise and otherwise. I need to hear that Fennesz album! Also the new Britney would probably make my list if I’d heard it but I’ve been a bit busy getting muy burracho in BA.

    My conduct hasn’t been that bad, though! I just mentioned that it was disappointing. I was asked why comes all the Radiohead hate guys so I explained how come all the Radiohead hate guys. Stating that a decent art-rock cand have made a mediocre 7th album is hardly trolling p4edo flame wars, Jim.

    19 Dec 2008, 17:41

  15. James Miles

    Yeah, you’re right, obviously.

    19 Dec 2008, 18:00

  16. Danny

    ¡muy borracho, claro! It’s been a while since I read Under The Volcano.

    And Radiohead may have their faults, but in fairness could never be accused of being an ‘art-rock cand’. It’s been a while since I read the QWERTY keyboard.

    Friends again! You know who is conspicuously absent? Eleanor Fellows. I wonder what her favourite album of 2008 was?

    19 Dec 2008, 20:21

  17. Arfie

    Something shit and punky, probably.

    It’s ridiculous how everyone does their lists before the year is even out – it’s been an astounding month for music, but somehow it becomes part of next year. I can understand magazines doing it, with their lead-times, and I can understand shops doing it because it sells more albums in the runup to Christmas, but why the fuck do people insist on this shit now, forcing me to come up with a list before I’ve even heard the new KTL album?

    In short – if you accuse me of poor conduct, I will live up to it. Especially if it was unwarranted.

    20 Dec 2008, 23:07

  18. James Miles

    If you accuse me of poor conduct, I will live up to it. Especially if it was unwarranted.

    Epitaph-worthy.

    I don’t know where the “conduct” comment came from. It was unwarranted but there was also a certain amount of LOL to me that ALD regulars had come in with their albums and then you two were like ‘oh my days, jokerz in da house here’s what’s really coming’. Whatever that means. I just made it up.

    20 Dec 2008, 23:16

  19. James Miles

    Cut Copy – Lights & Music
    I gave it five stars in the Boar – shock horror – what seems like ages ago, because it’s just so damn fun and unashamed of being blantantly so.

    Should this be In Ghost Colours rather than “Lights & Music”? I’m starting to source all this stuff for an album binge over Christmas and the only album I could find was In Ghost Colours.

    My list is up here but M83’s Saturdays=Youth was my favourite of the year, and I’ve been bookmarking other peoples lists here if you like that kind of thing

    I missed it on the first run, but cheers, that’s useful.

    22 Dec 2008, 12:46

  20. Arfie

    Oh, turns out I forgot Troubles finally released Wolf this year, so my list should actually be:

    25. Leila: Blood, Looms and Blooms
    24. Destroyer: Trouble in Dreams
    23. Grails: Doomsayer’s Holiday
    22. Youthmovies: Good Nature
    21. Subtle: OughtAlmanac of AmassedFact Vol 1
    20. Grouper: Dragging a Dead Dear Up a Hill
    19. Nadja: Desire in Uneasiness
    18. Peter Broderick: Float
    17. Squarepusher: Just a Souvenir
    16. Goldmund: The Malady of Elegance
    15. BORIS: Smile
    14. Xela: In Bocca Al Lupo
    13. 65daysofstatic: Dance Parties EP
    12. Machinefabriek: Dauw
    11. Islands: Arm’s Way
    10. Retribution Gospel Choir: Retribution Gospel Choir
    09. Aidan Baker & Tim Baker: Fantasma-Parastasie
    08. The Fun Years: Baby It’s Cold Inside
    07. Paavoharju: Laulu Laakson Kukista
    06. Murcof: The Versailles Sessions
    05. Fuck Buttons: Street Horrrsing
    04. Wolf Parade: At Mount Zoomer
    03. Autechre: Quaristice
    02. Fennesz: Black Sea
    01. Troubles: Wolf

    Still probably wrong, but a lot less so than everyone else’s (with the probable exception of these ones)

    23 Dec 2008, 22:13

  21. Danny

    Jim: Hey dude, we’re all going to a free rave party on the beach this New Year’s it will be super fun times wanna come?
    Arfie: Okay, but I have to be back by 23:50 so I can finish the final, definitive draft of my end-of-year list in time for the ACTUAL end of the year.

    Did you buy the Wire? What did they have at the top? Save that copy so I can read it when I get back (their separate genre lists are usually pretty righteous). Those Boomkat lists are pretty good even if Modeselektor did vote for himself (but those Eraser remixes kick the crap out of In Rainbows, even the crappy Burial one (has anyone heard any of the In Rainbows remixes? I’d probably like them better than the album (but then I remember being REALLY annoyed by the whole "producers! remix our songs for free so that we can release them & keep all the publishing rights & also, through an obscure loophole, get us onto the _Billboard_ charts for the first time since 'Creep'! We're democratising music!" concept))).

    But seriously. Personal musical higlights of 08: Animal Collective @ ATP (though funnily enough I’ve sort of lost interest in ever hearing their records again);
    Scott Walker’s terrifying, bizarre, blackly comic, adjective adjective capital A astounding Art piece Tilting & Drifting @ Barbican Centre;

    The silver knives are flashing in that tired old café
    A ghost climbs on the table in a bridal negligée
    She says, ‘my body is the light, my body is the way’
    I raise my arm against it all, and catch the bride’s bouquet

    @ The O2 arena (I’m talking about unlikely current chart sensation and King Of The Jews the lord our god Leonard Cohen, obviously).

    26 Dec 2008, 21:36

  22. Danny

    “free rave party”

    26 Dec 2008, 21:36

  23. I would have to go with “Nostradamus” by Judas Priest. It is not one of their best albums ever (for me), but it marked the return of one of the best bands. I really like the fact that they are not afraid to experiment with their sound and I think it was about time for them to release a concept album.

    28 Dec 2008, 11:06

  24. Arfie

    I subscribe, Danny – I thought I mentioned? Finally bit the bullet and accepted what I am… So, they put London Zoo at #1, Sand at #2, Quaristice at #16, The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull at #29, Third at #38, and The Versailles Sessions at #43.

    There’s many more worth noting, but those clicked most with me. Oddly, they had Ryoji Ikeda at #12. Hmm. Also, Vampire Weekend at #35? I’ve shaved off my beard in disgust.

    Oh, and: http://www.boomkat.com/item.cfm?id=151433 – only a tiny wee sample, but isn’t that great?

    29 Dec 2008, 23:31

  25. Danny

    Makes Nude less boring, for sure. Re the Wire & baffling Vampire fucksake Weekend inclusion, did they also have Fleet Bastard Foxes and Dig! Dig!! Dig!!! Oh I Give Up Lazarus The Dead White Male… Remains Dead Actually No Resurrection Here But Let’s Pretend Stunning Return To Form If Any One Canon Can MOJO Magazine Elder Statesman Over The Hill Rock Blokes Get A Free Pass (Hello Mark E! Hello Brian & David! Hello Noel! Hello Thom! Dig Dig Dig!!!)? Cause every other bleedin’ list did.

    Boomkat seem to think Nah Und Fern counts as a 2008 release, in which case put it at number 6 on my list.

    Since we own this thread, tell me, what do you know about this? I had never heard of it before. It sounds like it could be disgusting Ali G-style “lol blacks” bullshit, but then again it could be a chilling, fun & relevant spin on the best music on the planet (a la London Zoo). Whaddaya know ?

    30 Dec 2008, 05:31

  26. Arfie

    No Fleet Foxes, but Nick Cave and The Fall. Though Kevin Drumm and Peter Rehberg, too. So that’s alright.

    Top 5 reissues, if we must:

    5. Burning Witch: Crippled Lucifer
    4. Lurker of Chalice: Lurker of Chalice
    3. Nadja: Truth Becomes Death
    2. Gas: Nah Und Fern
    1. BBC Radiophonic Music

    Had a listen to the most recent Carlton Killawatt Valley 10” on there. Doesn’t sound like Morris to me – I don’t like this whole ‘satire? must be Morris in disguise’ mindset, anyway. I’d have to hear more to come to some kind of conclusion.

    30 Dec 2008, 12:52

  27. James Miles

    Jim: Hey dude, we’re all going to a free rave party on the beach this New Year’s it will be super fun times wanna come?Arfie: Okay, but I have to be back by 23:50 so I can finish the final, definitive draft of my end-of-year list in time for the ACTUAL end of the year.

    LOL

    Makes Nude less boring, for sure. Re the Wire & baffling Vampire fucksake Weekend inclusion, did they also have Fleet Bastard Foxes and Dig! Dig!! Dig!!! Oh I Give Up Lazarus The Dead White Male… Remains Dead Actually No Resurrection Here But Let’s Pretend Stunning Return To Form If Any One Canon Can MOJO Magazine Elder Statesman Over The Hill Rock Blokes Get A Free Pass (Hello Mark E! Hello Brian & David! Hello Noel! Hello Thom! Dig Dig Dig!!!)? Cause every other bleedin’ list did.

    Genius. You should write on here, or start your own music blog or something and just fill it with weekly such caustic rants. You’d get, like, half the internet reading it.

    30 Dec 2008, 14:14

  28. Arfie

    My albums of 2009:

    1. Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavilion
    2. etc.

    01 Jan 2009, 00:02

  29. Moz

    Arfie’s list is the one I’d most agree with as I own the Boris, Nadja and Autechre albums. Not compiled my list as I own about 50 albums which came out this year and haven’t listened to some of them for ages, however the Top 10 would include Elbow, Ocean, Harvey Milk and US Christmas. And probably Mogwai and Cult Of Luna…

    01 Jan 2009, 13:41

  30. Danny

    I only rant because I care.

    Unfortunately Marcello Carlin doesn’t seem to have realised that 2008 is over. I think he’s using Arfie-style “you can’t do an end-of year list until mid-July when you’ve had a chance to listen to every single record that came out in 08” logic. The only list I was actually looking forward to reading, dammit!

    :’(

    05 Jan 2009, 23:41

  31. Eleanor Fellows

    Bravo on the wit there, Danny. This is what I get for not reading Jim’s blog often enough. And being lame.

    Anyhoo: was I being out of the loop or did this whole listing thing extending beyond actual publications happen quite suddenly? I’m not saying it should be restricted to ‘real journalists’ or ‘whatevs’, no indeed, but I find it slightly mysterious. Mind you, I’ve realised (for about the third time, admittedly – I keep forgetting) that talking about music just spoils it. So there.

    07 Jan 2009, 02:26

  32. Danny

    ‘Bravo on the wit there, Danny’.

    This is the only thing you ever need say to me.

    ‘talking about music only spoils it’

    WRITING ABOUT MUSIC IS LIKE DANCING ABOUT ARCHITECTURE

    i am drunk but that is beside the point. won’t tell you what the point is bcz that would be telling (what the point is). What was your fave LP of 2008, Fellows?

    ‘Something shit & punky probably’

    THROWDOWN

    WHY AM I STILL AWAKE

    07 Jan 2009, 04:59

  33. Danny

    Unfortunately, Arf, I cannot bring myself to listen to Marypoppins Pip Pavarotti because this business is the best thing I have ever seen on the Internet, their fans are all complete retards and I wouldn’t want to count myself among their number.

    Made my 2009, that did…

    07 Jan 2009, 19:37

  34. Eleanor Fellows

    I’m not even sure I’ve heard any albums that came out last year. If I did, they’re probably on the computer that broke and probably, come to think of it, were rubbish. We could play that game where people suggest albums I might have heard and then I say ‘no’ and feel silly. Will that make you happy? WILL IT?

    08 Jan 2009, 01:48

  35. James Miles

    Ell Oh Ell, El.

    10 Jan 2009, 15:44

  36. Arfie

    Danny, just because wankers like something, that doesn’t make you a wanker for liking it (the notable exception to this being masturbation). What put me off reading the Wire and listening to the sort of music it covers was exactly that fear, but then I realised I’m better than that. And yet, a fear of snobbery can make you a snob, but in the opposite direction. See most of the above.

    True story.

    12 Jan 2009, 08:18

  37. Danny

    Eleanor: you should try engaging with the present sometime. It’s OK.
    As regards non-professional listmania, it’s been around at least as long as this site, though, like festivals and award shows, there suddenly seem to be thousands of them (which obv takes all the fun, point &c out). Mr Blissblog has something to say on the phenom, but it’s all a bit rich coming from the man responsible for some of the most stultifying, exhaustive/exhausting lists around.
    Actually, that’s my main problem with that guy these days – everything he says, I find myself thinking ‘a bit rich coming from you’. It is fun watching him come up with ever more sophistical explanations for his increasingly conservative tastes (so Elvis Costello records have, like, so much studium that it actually kind of turns into punctum! Puh-leeze!), but I’m starting to think that you get to a certain age and you should maybe just shut up, stead of bangin on about how you strangely enough don’t like dance music as much as you did when you were 20 (nb I don’t really think this).

    But anyway, what’s a better lit-list, this one (more readable form here)
    or this one
    ?

    I choose DB’s, perhaps mainly cause I love him and I don’t really like AB, though the man clearly has great taste. At some point I may actually read the whole DB syllabus, assuming I can cheat on the “Beckett, complete works” bit. Predictably, I also love this one

    Morley being someone who has written about lists a fair amount, not to mention Words & Music, a book which nobody except me seemed to get at all, most people reading it as some sort of unquestioning, utopian celebration of the iPod age, when actually it should be read as the necessary companion piece to Nothing (according to PM he conceived it as being published on the same day & titled Everything but that may just be another story).

    He’s another one, though, he’s doing his best to convince us all that the only new music he listens to these days is jazz, folk & the latest Bob Dylan…

    It’s late.

    18 Jan 2009, 06:00

  38. Marcello Carlin

    Just to calm down poor Dan there: yes I am super-late with this year’s EoY list, the main reason being that my wife finally got her visa and flew over from Toronto just before Xmas to come and live with me in London so I have had to deal with, um, other and rather more important business over the last month or so (not to mention keeping my albums blog up to date)...anyway, the list has now been compiled and I just have to finish writing it up. Hopefully I will be able to post it sometime this weekend but if not it won’t be long coming. Have faith!

    All good,
    MC

    30 Jan 2009, 16:10


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