Top 5 Albums of 2008

Elephant Shell by Tokyo Police Club
When Tokyo Police Club were making waves a few years ago with their debut EP, I vowed to purchase their first full length album upon its release(I just don’t do EPs). Lo and behold, when April 22nd rolled around, Elephant Shell was in my grasp. I’ve given the succinct, 27-minute gem easily over 100 spins since. An addictive, catchy album that never tires.

Fleet Foxes
For a while I thought that Fleet Foxes was my own private discovery. But that was while I was in Tanzania, and when I got back to the Western world I learned that the secret was out. Their debut album resounds as if sung through an empty forest, evoking a timeless, eerie connection to nature.

Go God Go by Fred
Yes, their name is ridiculous. Their music, on the other hand, is incredibly accessible. Spanning too many genres to count, these lovable Irishmen make delicious pop melodious. I read one review that compared them to “ABBA, if ABBA were an indie rock band from Ireland.” I couldn’t say it any better.

Viva La Vida by Coldplay
I’ll be honest, I was pretty disappointed by X&Y, and was downright sick of Coldplay a few years ago. But Viva la Vida banished my skepticism. In spite of their over-popularity, this album is just too good not to love. Abandoning the traditional verse-chorus-bridge formula, the songs on Viva escape on their own sonic journey across symphonic landscapes.

You & Me by the Walkmen

It’s generally a good sign when a band can win me over despite an initially unappealing vocalist (see Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Cold War Kids). The Walkmen did just that, and now I can’t get enough of frontman Hamilton Leithauser. Organs, whistles, and guitars that explode like fireworks carry these “hazy tales of reckless vacations.”

That’s So 2007:

Armchair Apocrypha by Andrew Bird
Andrew Bird has a new beast coming out in just two weeks, but I am still in love with his two-year-old. Bird brushes aside the silliness that flawed most of his previous efforts, taking himself seriously on Armchair Apocrypha. The result is a cohesive collection of his most beautiful and enduring songs that remain definitely Bird: layered violins, whistles and sampling.

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3 Responses

  1. You’ve piqued my interest in Go God Go, sealed my determination to get Fleet Foxes, and maybe even convinced me to give tired Coldplay another try.

  2. I felt the same about X&Y, but Viva La Vida was almost…perfect. I still love its seemlessness.

  3. The new Bird album is streaming here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98649962

    have you heard it? it’s good.

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