Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Best Albums of '08 ... part deux!

If you missed it, Part 1.

11. Lil' Wayne (New Orleans, LO) Tha Carter III
I don't speak 'Homeboyeeze' so I'm not sure what to say about Lil' Wayne (Weezy?) other than he should stick to rapping and give up his blogging, because he can barely speak English, let alone write. Not that I'm professing to be God's gift to the field, but, I can write ... a sentence... and... words. And, in my opinion ESPN would be better off putting the money they're spending on editing his work into allowing us up north access to their streaming TV... I'm just saying...
Song: "A Milli"
Winner of: The Album that I'm Shocked that I like So Much.

1c. Ketch Harbour Wolves (Cambridge/Toronto, On) Dead Calm Horizon
Thanks to Ack at the Herohill for posting about these dudes, since, their album/EP was the nicest surprise for me all year. I kind of feel like this is the album that Fleet Foxes would've made if they had to deal with all the snow in SW Ontario... in that respect, I think the album art really says something about the album. Best of all, they've got the album up for free on their website.
Song: "So Long to the Ground" ... just love the stripped down beginning...
Winner of: Best Surprise of the Year
Also: Playing January 3rd at El Mocambo. Yay!

25. Brett Shady (Burbank, CA) Demo
He sounds almost exactly Paul Simon, which might be a problem if he didn't write songs like Paul Simon, but he does... so no big deal. He's in process of putting together an actual album, and when he does I suspect you'll hear about it... at least from me.
Song: "Red House Plea"
Winner of: Artist Most Likely to Write the Song "Me and Julio Down by the School Yard, part II"

10. Tokyo Police Club (Toronto, On) Elephant Shell
I might have been a little over the top the first time I commented on this album. I may, or may not have said that I was sure it'd be my favourite of the year... what can I say, I got a little excited. I think its good, probably better than any of the Death Cab or Decemberists albums ever were, and for me those bands are probably a fair point of comparison for these guys now.
Song: "Your English is Good"
Winner of: The Best Album by a Band I'm Unlikely to Listen Again

13. Wale (Washington, DC) the mixtape about nothing.
WA-lay's Seinfeld inspired mixtape is probably my favourite concept album since DangerMouse put out his Jay-z/Beatles mash-up CD, The Grey Album. Like most concept albums, I find its probably a little better in theory than it is in practice, but the high points "The Perfect Plan" "The Kramer" "The Vacation from Ourselves" etc. are, well, very high. Also, love the cameo from Julia Louise "Elaine" Dreyfus.
Song: "The Artistic Integrity"... You're not artistic, and you have no integrity...
Winner of: Best Concept Album

26. Q-Tip (NYC, NY) The Renaissance
Initially, this album wasn't on this list, and I'm pretty sure that I won't be listening to 'Tip next year, let alone a month from now, but it reminds me too much of discovering ATCQ along with other hip-hop (that wasn't 2Pac/Biggie/Snoop - which I never really got into) in high school. I mean, its not bad - to invoke ATCQ I don't think it could be - but its not going to change anyone's life... it actually kind of reminds me of all the albums that artists like Springsteen, Seger, Tom Petty, etc. have put out in the last few years... you're probably going to listen, and will give you a little taste of what they used to be like, but its never going to be like they were.
Song: "Gettin' Up"
Winner of: The Makes Rob Feel Like He's in High School Award

21. The Knux (Hollywood, CA) Remind Me In 3 Days...
If I were to be completely honest I'd tell you that I'm not sure that I've made it all the way to the end of this album once. But, I suppose the fact that I've included this album is a testament to how much I like the first half of the album from track 1 "The List" to track 6 "Daddy's Little Girl".
Song: "Cappuccino"
Winner of: Best Song about a Yuppy Drink Award

16. Raphael Saadiq (Hollywood, CA) The Way I See It
I wrote about this album a few weeks ago so no need to rehash what was, in all likelihood, a poorly written "review".
Song: "Staying in Love"
Winner of: The Foxy Cleopatra Throwback Award

22. Ra Ra Riot (Syracuse, NY) The Rhumb Line
I was really fired up about this album before it came out, but my expectations were probably a little high, and the album - for whatever reason - hasn't really struck me the same way that their EPs did. It also could be that I'm not really sure that there's a time/place when I ever go to an album like this... after a few times through it doesn't quite feel as .... sharp.
Song: "Oh, La"
Winner of: Album I Expected to Like A Lot More Than I Did

24. Adele (London, the real one) 19
Like Amy Winehouse except she's bigger, nicer and younger; so, the songs are predictably a lot more passive/less interesting... nonetheless she has an unbelievable set of pipes.
Song: I'm kind of sick of the single "Chasing Pavements" (it was good the first 50 times... so, "Daydreamer"
Winner of: Girl You Made Fun of in High School and is Now Rubbing Your Face in It Award

20. Entire Cities (Toronto, On) Deep River
A variety of people had talked about this band at the beginning of the year (including me), but all has been quiet on the "Entire Cities Front" for, I'd say, probably at least three or four months now. And, honestly, I probably would've forgot about them had I not created a word file on my desktop titled "Best of 2008" where I wrote "Entire Cities Deep River"... I went back and listened to it to make sure I'm not crazy, and I wasn't... I mean, I'm not... anyway, it still quite a good Psych/Folk/Country album...
Song: "Accountants Dream" ... for my parents (who, you guessed it, are accountants), but actually "Coffee" is my favourite.
Winner of: Album Most Likely to Convince Me to Attend a Hootenanny in 2009

12. Born Ruffians (Toronto, On) Red Yellow & Blue
I think "bouncy" is the best way to describe this album... its fun, as is/was their live show.
Song: ... the less bouncy "Little Garcon"
Winner of: Band that Reminds Me Most of an Excited Puppy Award

7. Frightened Rabbit (Selkirk, Sctlnd) Midnight Organ Fight
I normally don't like British Bands, see: Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand, U2, Interpol (I don't care how much you argue, they sound British), but there is something about Scott Hutchinson's Scottish drawl that is really charismatic (like Glen Hansard). I'm actually surprised this one hasn't shown up on more lists ... or maybe it has and I'm just not paying very close attention.
Songs: "Old Old Fashioned" "Good Arms vs. Bad Arms" "My Backwards Walk"

Winner of: Best Chorus, "Keep Yourself Warm" - It takes more than fucking someone you don't know to keep warm/You won't find love in a, you won't find love in a hole ... You stay classy San Diego

8. The Golden Hands Before God (Montreal, QC) Here EP
They are absolute rock stars... if you don't like this EP you are basically saying you hate Rock 'n' Roll.
Songs: ... after hearing it live "Girl Half My Age", but before that "Blood of November"
Winner of: The Stillwater Award for bringing back Rock 'n' Roll into the 00's

1a. KanYE West (everywhere) 808s & Heartbreaks
Yeah... you knew this was coming...

27b. M83 - Saturdays = Youth
27a. Provincial ParksIron Ponies EP
26. Q-TipThe Renaissance
25. Brett ShadyDemo EP
24. Adele - 19
23. Flight of the ConchordsFlight of the Conchords
22. Ra Ra RiotThe Rhumb Line
21. The KnuxRemind Me in 3 Days …
20. Entire CitiesDeep River
19. HaydenIn Field & Town
18. The Rural Alberta AdvantageHometowns
Lykke LiYouth Novels
16. Raphael SaadiqThe Way I See It
15. Why?Alopecia
14. The AcornHeron Act
13. Walethe mixtape about nothing
12. Born Ruffians Red, Yellow & Blue
11. Lil’ WayneTha Carter III
10. Tokyo Police ClubElephant Shell
9. Fleet FoxesFleet Foxes
8. The Golden Hands Before GodHere EP
7. Frightened RabbitMidnight Organ Fight
6. BowerbirdsHymns for a Dark Horse
5. Black Hat BrigadeBlack Hat Brigade EP
4. Bon IverFor Emma, Forever Ago
1c. Ketch Harbour Wolves -Dead Calm Horizon
1b. Chad VanGaalenSoft Airplane
1a. Kanye West808s and Heartbreaks


Quadb said...

Very well done and original list my friend. I like the way your top 3 are all tied for first place ... nicely played. Putting choices in any kind of order is one of the goofiest things that we music junkies do, but it's way too much fun to avoid.

Paul said...

Very nice! I'm definitely on board when it comes to Q-Tip and it's always great to see Entire Cities get more play!

Allan said...

Your non-linear list had me feeling trippy.