It wouldn’t really be Christmas without a round up of the years musical output, so here I am to give my jaded views on some of this years best (and mediocre) collections of tuneage.
Seeing as Twitter has taken up my blogging life so much this year it feels only right that I approach this task slightly differently this time around. So I am going to attempt each album review in the style of a Tweet – i.e. in 140 characters or less (not including the artist and title).
If you are familiar with my rambling stylings you will know that this will be a bit of a challenge for me…
Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
Out for 12 months and still one of the go to albums of the year. Every song is play it loud good. Still sounds fresh despite overexposure.
Pete and the Pirates – Little Death
People say they are nothing new. Does it matter when the tunes are this full of joy and soaring peaks? I think not! Glorious stuff!
Quantic – Presenta Flowering Inferno: Death of the Revolution
The Personification of Prolific releases another gem. This time it’s dubbed up salsa from Cuba via Jamaica. Your head will nod excessively!
The Streets – Everything is Borrowed
I misjudged Skinner and his faux chavish ways. He’s grown up. I admire his poetry. This album makes me want to reassess his discography.
David Holmes – The Holy Pictures
The master of the cool soundtrack soundtracks his own life. Awesomeness ensues. A quite brilliant album that even his singing can’t ruin.
Q-Tip – The Renaissance
There really isn’t enough hip hop like this. A proper groove and a rich seem of soul running through it. Pinned with chunky beats. Quality.
TV on the Radio – Dear Science
Under my radar, I’ve been slow to react, but everyone else bangs on about it. Honestly not yet lured by it’s charms, but will perservere!
Herbaliser – Same as it Never Was
Ever dependable, ever funky. A big album from Teba and the crew. Big in all senses of the word. Big, round, warm and lovely. Like Santa.
Kaiser Chiefs – Off With Their Heads
I know I shouldn’t like the Kaisers, but I have soft spot for their shoutiness. This album is quite shouty. I hoped Ronson would add more.
Mr Scruff – Ninja Tuna
Ahh Scruff, king of the beefy (fishy?) beat! A good solid album with top wobbly bass action. I have bought it on CD, download and USB stick.
Oasis – Dig Out Your Soul
Unavoidable. I’ve been force fed so much over the years it’s impossible to hate them. Its musical Stockholm Syndrome. The album is… OK.
Portico Quartet – Knee-Deep in the North Sea
My only gripe with this jazzy nugget is that I only discovered it via their Mercury nomination. If only more jazz was this open.
Laura Marling – Alas I cannot Swim
Again via the bleeding Mercurys. (I did give Burial my top album award LAST year!). This is a sweet album delivered by an evocative voice.
Kings of Leon – Only by the Night
The Kings’ sound used to be aged in oak bourbon barrels. Despite now seemingly coming from steel vats they still do a cracking album.
Roots Manuva – Slime & Reason
Oh Roots, how I yearn to like your music. Alas your flow and witty rhymes too often get stuck in a mud of Saying Something. Cut loose man!
Monkey: Journey to the West
I’d love to see the show. I really like the music, but it’s hard to know how to fit it in to everyday life.
Noah and the Whale – Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down
Annoying? Slightly… but it’s forgivable. Completely harmless stuff that is so inherently happy it’s almost impossible not to enjoy.
Weezer – Weezer (The Red Album)
It’s all about the Pork & Beans really innit? Turn it up to 11 and enjoy what is probablly, maybe, the single of the year.
Late of the Pier – Fantasy Black Channel
I was waiting for this for months. Erol Alkan helps produce the best of these dancey-cum-indie band albums to date. Klaxons take note.
The Fratellis – Here We Stand
I’m an unashamed Fartellis fan. They’re raw and fun. Up yours musicistas! Having said that, this album has kinda sunk with all souls lost…
The Zutons – You Can Do Anything
I’m also a massive Zutons fan. All though not their best they still haven’t released anything I don’t like. This one gets better with age.
The Ting Tings – We Started Nothig
A sound that’s been around for months, compounded by a total radio onslaught that has made a lot of tracks grating… yet still pretty OK.
Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip – Angels
I looked forward to this, I love what they do. Alas there is too much preaching and not enough dancing. When they’re good they’re brilliant.
Last Shadow Puppets – The Age of Understatement
In theory I like this album. Catchy tunes by two great singers. But the production gets in the way and leaves me cold. Recorded in a tunnel?
The Shortwave Set – Replica Sun Machine
Came out of nowhere and continues to suprise me when I look at the iPod to see what the tune is. An aptly named album.
MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
Yeah, you all know this. It has some great tunes, but as an album it hasn’t really grabbed me by the gonads and screamed LISTEN TO MEEEE!
Does It Offend You, Yeah? – You Have No Idea What You Are Getting Yourself Into
Flattered to decieve and, ultimately, shuffled away looking embarrased by the bands stupidly brazen name.
Young Knives – Superabundance
Underrated. Sums up everything about this band. This album is every bit as weird and wonderful as their first. A modern day Kinks?
The Long Blondes – Couples
The Long Blondes’ ‘Rumour’. The band’s couples split up, so they sing about it. Pretty solid all round, but not a classic by any means.
Supergrass – Diamond Hoo Ha
It’s hard not to like Supergrass. They are Brit Pop royalty who are sadly often overlooked. I prefer Road to Rouen, but this ain’t shabby.
These New Puritans – Beat Pyramid
Foals – Antidotes
Foals and These New Puritans. Both very similar sounding pieces of work. Both very good. Both not quite as enjoyable as Late of the Pier.
Hot Chip – Made in the Dark
I have a general feeling of meh-ness to the album, which is perhaps a little unfair. I think with more time invested it could be better.
Sons & Daughters – This Gift
They produced on of my favourite tunes in Johnny Cash. This album doesn’t have that, but it’s still a good solid indie workout.
Blood Red Shoes – Box of Secrets
Boy girl duo producing raw stipped down rock music. The British White Stipes? No. (But it still quite a good listen).
British Sea Power – Do You Like Rock Music?
I’ve forgotten what this album sounds like it was released so early. From what I remember it was really good, but I rarely go back for more.
There You Go
So that’s thirty six of 2008’s albums given a once over. It’s not a complete list. In fact it’s just a list of the albums I have got on my MacBook Pro’s iTunes library. I have probably missed some good ones, so I might do an update post… I’m also tempted to put them in some sort of order too.
Now there’s something to look forward too!