DRAPED IN VELVET ALBUMS OF THE YEAR 2008
1. LCD Sound System - Sound of Silver
Quelle Surprise! It’s been overstated on many occasions by finer fellows than I just how good this record is so I I’ll try and keep it simple: It has the Hallmark of a classic album whereby on every listen you discover something new to appreciate and as each track plays you think “this is the best song” until the next track kicks in. It also has the quality so that friends who wouldn’t normally listen to music of this ilk, or don’t necessarily have the best taste enquire as to what album your playing as opposed to the unimpressed “what the fook is this shite you’re listening to?” of which I become accustomed.
2. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
Having by-passed their previous recordings, I fell head over heels in love with this record on about the second or third listen. (Knowing I now have their impressive back catalogue to work my way through is a genuinely exciting prospect).
Such a refreshing way of producing music has left me elated and depressed at the same time. I unequivocally apologise to my friends who recommended The Animal Collective to me over the past 4 years. You were right.
3. Caribou - Andorra
Psych soaked sun drenched west coast retro pop bliss doused with a the right amount of melancholy and bolstered by sublime layers of melodic instrumentation.
4. The Shins - Wincing The Night Away
Sophisticated guitar pop that sufficiently and surprisingly outshines their previous offering ‘Chutes Too Narrow’. Songwriter’s James Mercer’s trademark intelligent lyrics and complex melodies ensured that repeated listening produced further appreciation.
5. Nina Nistasia and Jim White - You Follow Me
Simply put; this is an album of hair raising and fragile beauty.
6. Dinosaur Jr - Beyond
Screw Led Zepplin, Take That and all those other cunts who have reformed their waste of fucking time bands - this is THE reformation that all other reformations shall now be judged! Make no mistake this isn't an album for thirty somethings wishing to a take a trip down memory lane, this is the real deal. Fucking Ace!
7. The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
This album wasn’t released in the UK until Jan 07, which after reading the Stateside hullabaloo was an awful long time to have to wait. First listens didn't impress me and I put it to one side, however after catching their live act I went back to it and got passed my initial Bruce Springsteen reservations. I drove my neighbours mad with the incessant repetition of 'Chill Out Tent'
8. Euros Childs - Bore Da
As well as being possibly the most underated songwriter of his generation, Euros Childs is extremely prolific in his out put. Unlike his other offering this year, Bore Da is a collection of stripped down piano and guitar led folk tinged pop sung entirely in Child’s native tongue. Brilliantly bonkers and beautiful in equal measure.
9. Thee More Shallows - Book of Bad Beats
Despite me mispronouncing the band’s name as ‘Three more Swallows’ for several months this record was a permanent fixture on my turntable throughout the summer. Blending beats with soft vocals and a plethora of different instruments. Think early Beta Band meets Califone.
10. Wooden Shjips - Eponymous
This came highly recommended by the chaps in my local record shop and it didn’t disappoint. It’s got the heaviest and dirtiest bass I’ve heard for an eon and it doesn’t sound a million miles unlike a Fall 45rpm record being played at 33rpm.
11. Besnard Lakes- The Besnard Lakes are the Dark Horse
A collection of tender and rawkass songs to sooth the soul.
12. The Twilight Sad - Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters
After a mesmerising performance in supporting Micah P Hinson in a strange little Art Gallery in Liverpool I eagerly awaited the release of their debut album. The layers of Kevin Sheild styled guitars accompanied with ferocious drumming set the backdrop for singer James Alexander Graham's heartfelt vocals.
13. The Battles - Mirrors
Math rock pioneers bring us a cleverly quirky collection of off beat instrumentals.
14. Menomena - Friend or Foe
Richly textured pop prog- a slightly less wacky Flaming Lips. On tour in the Uk and Europe in 2008!
15. The Kings of Leon - Because of the Times
Tight trousered Southern gentleman rock it like it was 1973 with their finest album yet.
Albums that didn't quite make it for various reasons; however I feel they deserve a round of applause for entertaining me anyhow.
Bill Callaghan - Woke on a Whaleheart (Great album, but sadly not a patch on his last two releases)
Buck 65 - Situation (Not as interesting as his last few releases unfortunately)
Okkervil River - Stage Names (More listens required)
Blitzen Trapper - Wild Mountain Nation (as above)
Super Furry Animals - Hey Venus! (Good but not great)
CSS -CSS (I tired of this album quickly...though it was fun whilst it lasted)
Bat for Lashes - Fur and Gold (Great album with just one too many so-so songs on it)
The Cold War Kids - Robbers & Cowards (Playing it yesterday it didn't sound as good as it did in my head)
The White Stripes -Icky Thump (Actually I'm not sure why I didn't put this in the 15...apologies)
Jamie T - Panic Stations (I loved this when I got it but with the exception of the singles I got bored too quickly)
Panda Bear - Person Pitch (More listens required)
The Field - From Here we go Sublime (Much more listens required)
Beriut - The Flying Club Cup (I know I'll like this more in about 2 months time)