Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Leftovers and a Look Ahead

As the holidays and 2008 come to a close, I thought I'd pull out a few other stand-outs that didn't make my top 20 albums list but were noteworthy nonetheless.

Friendly Fires - s/t
Van She - V

2008 seemed to be a big year for dance albums, from Cut Copy to Hercules & Love Affair, but the two albums above received very little fanfare and, to me, where the best of the bunch. I've been listening to the Van She album nonstop for the last month.

Death Cab for Cutie - Narrow Stairs
Coldplay - Viva La Vida

Both of these albums exceeded my expectations and were actually quite good. I just didn't listen to them very much.

From the U.K.:
Kaiser Chiefs - Off With Their Heads
The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age of the Understatement
Glasvegas - s/t
Noah and the Whale - Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down
The Week That Was - s/t

Kaiser Chiefs rebounded after a lackluster second album. Unfortunately, Bloc Party did not. The others are all solid debut albums and are worth checking out.

Hip Hop:
Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III

Trendy, sure, but there are some great tracks on here.

Black Mountain - In the Future
Tapes 'N Tapes - Walk It Off
Tokyo Police Club - Elephant Shell
Silver Jews - Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea
Sebastien Grainger & the Mountains - s/t
Grand Archives - s/t
Love as Laughter - Holy
Ryan Adams & the Cardinals - Cardinology
The War on Drugs - Wagonwheel Blues
Secret Machines - s/t
The Gutter Twins - Saturnalia
Ra Ra Riot - The Rhumb Line

Twelve albums that I think fell under the radar for the most part. All had some good to great songs but were ultimately a bit uneven.

Looking forward to 2009:
1.13 - Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
1.20 - John Frusciante - The Empyrean
1.27 - Franz Ferdinand - Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
1.27 - Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band - Working on a Dream
2.10 - Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) - Keep It Hid
2.17 - Trail of Dead - The Century of Self
3.10 - Handsome Furs - Face Control
3.24 - The Decemberists - Hazards of Love

Many others to look forward to in 2009 that don't yet have release dates including: Doves, Pearl Jam, Wilco, Mastodon, and New Pornographers to name a few.

Happy New Year everyone!

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