Monday, December 29, 2008

funfunfun's Favourite Albums Of 2008 (15-5)

Merry Christmas readers! Hope you had a pleasant and relaxing festive time. I know I did.
But it is now that time again when me and every other person in the world compiles a list of their favourite albums of the year so lets get on with it.
This year's been great for music. There's been so many interesting and original albums released and even those which steal others ideas have been great too. There's only going to be a mp3 attached with the album if there's one freely available, I don't want to get trouble with them record labels. I'm going to skip quickly past the first five on my list, mainly because I've left this quite late and also because it gives me more time to write about the better ones, so here it is:

15) Fleet Foxes - Fleet F
14) Hercules & Love Affair - Hercules & Love Affair
13) Johnny Flynn - A Larum
12) Neon Neon -
Stainless Style
11) Vampire Week
end - Vampire Weekend

10) TV On The Radio - Dear Science
I'd never really been into TV On The Radio before Dear Science. I enjoyed a couple of tracks but nothing really excited me about them. I think that helped me with Dear Science as for many it was a disappointment but for me, it was eye-opening. The opening kick of Halfway Home with its rumbling undertone and handclap percussion shook me awake, it made me understand the band. Sitek's production is crisp and sharp and contributes so much to TV On The Radio's sound. Its groove-ridden and funky and I love its laconic excitement.

Favourite Tracks - Crying, Golden Age
Video - Dancing Choose
Download - None Available

9) No Age - Nouns
Even though it sounds like they recorded Nouns in a tin shed on a tape recorder, its the lo-fi scuzziness of Dean Spunt's and Randy Randall's first proper full length that most appeals to me. It permeates from every song, from every instrument, from every lyric and creates the atmosphere of a hazy, late-summer evening with your best friends. The hooks and riffs are distorted and fuzzy and while the album lags a bit by the end, Nouns sounds like it was fun to make and it sure is a good listen.

Favourite Tracks - Eraser, Cappo
Video - Teen Creeps (live)
Download - Eraser

8) Mystery Jets - Twenty One
Twenty One was the first album of the year that I really got into. It's singles are some of the best pop songs of the year. Two Doors Down is immensely catchy, odd love song, Young Love is a classic duet with the impressively young and talented Laura Marling and Half In Love With Elizabeth contains one of my favourite lines of the year ("how can you put your trust in a man who always sleeps in his clothes"). The album benefits greatly from Erol Alkan's production which add synths and an 80s feel but the songwriting does really shine through. A great pop record.

Favourite Tracks - Half In Love With Elizabeth, Two Doors Down
Video - Young Love
Download - Half In Love With Elizabeth (Delorean Remix)

7) Pete & The Pirates - Little Death
I received this album free with a one month subscription to the Rough Trade Album club and so didn't give it much of an opportunity to begin with but over months Little Death started to seep into my musical consciousness. Its incredibly, infectious guitar riffs and melodies become grafted to your memory after a while and you'll be humming the intro to Mr Understanding for days. Even their slow songs are catchy. A loveable racket of an album.

Favourite Tracks - Come On Feet, Mr Understanding, Knots
Video - Knots
Download - Mr Understanding (live)

6) The Wave Pictures - Instant Coffee Baby
After years of obscurity and self-releasing CD-Rs, The Wave Pictures finally found a little bit of success this year. Instant Coffee Baby came out on Moshi Moshi in April and has happily settled into my playlist ever since. While the guitar riffs are playful and simple and the solos are frenzied and raw, it's Dave Tattersall's voice and lyrics that really make the band their own. The songs are so detailed, transporting stories about mundane happenings and things into extraordinary tales and sounds. I love it when the whole band join in singing, turning a witty turn of phrase into a chanted mantra of extreme importance, and Strange Fruit For David has the oddest chorus refrain of the year.

Favourite Track - Kiss Me, Just Like A Drummer, Leave The Scene Behind
Video - I Love You Like A Madman
Download - Avocado Baby (demo)


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