20) Alegranza by El Guincho
Thoughts on Alegranza: I liked this album when i first heard it, but i still ignored it for most of the year. I picked it up again in the past couple weeks, and was reminded how great it is. It’s so upbeat it’s hard to not be cheered up listening to it.
19) Youth Novels by Lykke Li
Thoughts on Youth Novels: Oh Lykke… I’ve been all about this album since i first saw the video for “Little Bit”. And then watched it over and over. This is Swedish pop at it’s finest. It hurts me Robyn couldn’t make this year’s list, but i like to think Lykke is reppin’ for her.
18) Just A Souvenir by Squarepusher
Thoughts on Just A Souvenir: I love when you can hear how amazing of a bass player Tom Jenkinson is in a Squarepusher album. Don’t get me wrong, i love “Come On My Selector” and “A Journey to Reedham” as much as the next guy, but Just A Souvenir is so relaxed and free-flowing. I have to say i’m really enjoying the strong reappearance of the playful Squarepusher in this album.
17) Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust by Sigur Rós
Thoughts on Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust: The best live show i’ve ever been to in my life was Sigur Rós at Symphony Hall here in Atlanta about 3 years ago. I’ll always be a big fan of theirs. Usually their albums will end up a lot higher on my lists, but the last 1/3 of this album looses my interest just a hair. However, my loyalty, and the greatness of the first 2/3 of this album can’t keep me from not loving it.
16) Detrimentalist by Venetian Snares
Thoughts on Detrimentalist: Sometimes you just need some glitchy electronic music. In my limited experience of listening to breakcore albums, this seems to be the best out there. Random side note: “Koonut-Kaliffee” is my ringtone on my phone right now.
15) No Way Down by Air France
Thoughts on No Way Down: ‘Post Rave Bliss’ is the phrase i believe these Swedes like to use to define their sound. Ever since i read that, when i listen to No Way Down i can’t help but imagine being out all night, heading home while the sun comes up and thinking about how good life is. And i never stay up that late.
14) Devotion by Beach House
Thoughts on Devotion: Victoria’s voice is about as soothing as it gets, but there’s still this hidden edginess i can’t put my finger on. All i know is it makes really enjoy this album. Now go watch this.
13) Tha Carter III by Lil’ Wanye
Thoughts on Tha Carter III: Best rapper alive.
12) Oh! Mighty Engine by Neil Halstead
Thoughts on Oh! Mighty Engine: Fucking Neil, dude. I loved his last solo album, and i’m a big Slowdive fan, and pretty big Mojave 3 fan, but for some reason i didn’t care at all about checking out this album. Thankfully a friend steered me straight, and now i know the joy that is Oh! Mighty Engine.
11) Saturdays = Youth by M83
Thoughts on Saturdays = Youth: It’s no Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost Ghosts, but it’s still pretty damn awesome.
10) This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That by Marnie Stern
Thoughts on This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That: This girl is CRAZY. Crazy in that she’s a self-taught guitar genius and crazy in that i question her mental stability. In any case, it makes for super interesting music.
9. Where You Go I Go Too by Lindstrøm
Thoughts on Where You Go I Go Too: Is it fair to say a three track album can be my 9th top album of the year? It’s a tough call. Is the merit of an album based on how many good tracks there are? Or on the percentage of goodness in the entire album? I say the latter. Especially since this album is still almost an hour long.
8) Third by Portishead
Thoughts on Third: I’ve said it before, but i anticipated this album like a lot of people anticipated Chinese Democracy. Of course, i didn’t even know it existed until a short time before it actually came out…..but still I had extremely high expectations. And I was not let down. At all.
7) Fucked Up Friends by Tobacco
Thoughts on Fucked Up Friends: This video is why i know this album exists. Aesthetics can highten my appreciation of an album for me pretty significantly. Some great videos along with an amazing album cover, and i’m sold. As long as the album still rules. Which it does.
6) In Ghost Colours by Cut Copy
Thoughts on In Ghost Colours: I’m pretty sure there isn’t a bad track on this album. When i was trying to figure out where to rank this one, i was trying to find weaknesses but there really isn’t any. I won’t say it’s perfect, but is very solid. Like cork. Light, but still solid…. yeah, rough analogy…..
5) Cystal Castles by Crystal Castles
Thoughts on Cystal Castles: This album is so good, even Timbaland had to steal samples from it (Compare CC’s “Courtship Dating” to 50 Cent’s “Ayo Technology”). The ability for this album to be so diverse, yet stay uniform (through is chiptune-ness) at the same time allows it to never be boring. It keeps your interest all the way through. I have rarely stop listening to this album without completing it.
4) Fleet Foxes by Fleet Foxes
Thoughts on Fleet Foxes: “White Winter Hymnal” caught my ear first, but it wasn’t long before the rest of the album because irresistable to me. I know everyone says they’re exactly the same as Band of Horses, but there’s on keep difference. I’m not sick of listening to Fleet Foxes, i’m sick of Band of Horses. Also Fleet Foxes aren’t rednecks. And they sing better harmony. Shall i go on?
3) Laulu Laakson Kukista by Paavoharju
Thoughts on Laulu Laakson Kukista: I bet you there isn’t a single top of the year list for 2008 in all of the internet that will have this album ANYWHERE NEAR the top 5. Here’s the bottom line: I’m obsessed with all things Finnish, Paavoharju is Finnish, and this is an amazing experimental album. How can i resist it? I listen to it while falling asleep, while i am asleep and dreaming, and while i’m awake. It’s engrained in my brain forever.
2) Microcastle by Deerhunter
Thoughts on Microcastle: I was at first a little scared to put this album so high on my list, because i’ve only been listening to it for a few weeks now. But it’s hard to deny that this album will be in heavy rotation for me for a long while. Funny side story: When i was in Finland last year, i found this amazing record store in downtown Helsinki tucked away in the corner of this underground shopping area. It was called Tunnelin Levy, and the guy that worked there was super nice. We struck up a coversation about music and eventually i found out he reads Pitchfork every day. I thought that was pretty neat. Later i told him i was from Atlanta. First words out of his mouth, “Oh! Deerhunter!”
1) Los Angeles by Flying Lotus
Thoughts on Los Angeles: Here it is. My number one. Not sure how this album actually ended up at the top of this list with so many amazing albums behind it. I guess it’s because Los Angeles is a combination of all that i love in music right now. Good beats, great melodies, a little unrefined, ‘Aphex Twin’iness (whatever that means), and an amazing album cover that reminds me Massive Attack’s Mezzanine. What more can i ask for?