Music of the Year

posted on December 17th, 2008 by Anthony

I haven’t actually posted about music on here all year. Not since my last annual round up in fact. Though, to be perfectly honest, I haven’t really posted much here full stop. I mostly blame Twitter.

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…

The Reviews

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.

Buy Vampire Weekend at Amazon for £6.87.

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!

Buy Death of the Revolution from Amazon for £9.97.

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.

Buy Everything Is Borrowed from Amazon for £8.98.

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.

But The Holy Pictures for £5.98 from Amazon.

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.

Buy The Renaissance from Amazon for £8.98.

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!

Buy Dear Science for £7.98 from Amazon.

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.

Buy Same As It Never Was from Amazon for £5.98.

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.

Buy Off With Their Heads from Amazon for £7.97.

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.

Buy Ninja Tuna for £10.88 from Amazon.

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.

Buy Dig Out Your Soul from Amazon for £6.98.

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.

Buy Knee-Deep in the North Sea from Amazon for £10.98

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.

Buy Alas I Cannot Swim from Amazon for just £4.98

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.

Buy Only By The Night for £8.98 from Amazon.

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!

Buy Slime and Reason for £7.98 from Amazon

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.

Buy Monkey: Journey to the West from Amazon for £8.98

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.

Buy Peaceful The World Lays Me Down from Amazon for just £4.98

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.

Buy Weezer (The Red Album) from Amazon for only £5.98

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.

Buy Fantasy Black Channel for just £4,97 from Amazon.

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…

Buy Here We Stand from Amazon for £5.87

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.

Buy You Can Do Anything from Amazon for just £4.97

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.

Buy We Started Nothing for £4.98 from Amazon

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.

Buy Angles for £9.98 from Amazon

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?

Buy The Age of the Understatement for £6.87 from Amazon

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.

Buy Replica Sun Machine for £6.98 from Amazon

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!

Buy Oracular Spectacular for just £4.98 from Amazon

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.

Buy You Have No Idea What Youre Getting Yourself Into for £4.98 from Amazon

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?

Buy Superabundance from Amazon for £8.98

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.

Buy Couples from Amazon for £9.98

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.

Buy Diamond Hoo Ha for £11.98 from Amazon

These New Puritans – Beat Pyramid

See below…

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.

Buy Beat Pyramid for £6.98 and Antidotes for £5.98 from Amazon

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.

Buy Made In The Dark from Amazon for £11.98

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.

Buy This Gift for £7.98 from Amazon

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).

Buy Box of Secrets from Amazon for £6.37

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.

Buy Do You Like Rock Music? fro £8.98 from Amazon

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!