Friday, January 16, 2009

Finally......The Best Of 2008

I found at least 20 reasons to still love music in 2008 and here they are!

#1 - Kings Of Leon - Only By The Night



No surprise here. For the second year in a row, KOL deliver the best album of the year! Building on last years Because Of The Times, The Kings continue to deliver their own brand of the south, this time with extra added stadium delivery. The Kings haven't sold out kiddies, they've just gotten better at songwriting and playing and if you can't handle it, go listen to Lynyrd Skynyrd or the lame Bloc Party album or something...

#2 - Glasvegas



I'm quite positive Geraldine is the single of the year and if it weren't for KOL, this would have been my #1 album of the year. Glasvegas' debut is really nothing new, but it delivers a set of very memorable songs set to The Jesus And Mary Chain by way of The Shondells with a thicker Scottish accent. No one has done 3 chords this good in a dogs age.

#3 - Mystery Jets - Twenty One



Another record that could have easily come in at number one or two. The Jets got poppier, discovered the eighties, and wrote some of the catchiest pop tunes around. Two Doors Down was one of the best singles of the year and their videos, brilliant. Probably what The Killers wished their record sounded like!

#4 - Primal Scream - Beautiful Future



After another straight ahead rock and roll record, the Scream went back and mixed it up again with one of their best albums in years. If the title track had been a single, it might have been my number one. There's plenty here to get excited about. Your new Saturday night record for sure.

#5 - Neon Neon - Stainless Style



With the Super Furry Animals taking yet another year off, Gruff managed to pull off an 80's concept album with his pal Boom Bip and turned out to be one of the best of the year. It's a shame then that it looks like this is a one off so cherish it while it lasts. And this record will last a long long time.

#6 - The Ting Tings - We Started Nothing



Big surprise this year. The Ting Tings debut was full of hooks and charm and they put on one of the best live shows I saw in 2008. I look forward to see what their next move will be.

#7 - Phantom Planet - Raise The Dead



An absolute shame that Phantom Planet played their last show mere weeks ago. It was a long worthwhile wait for this album, and it seems that no one listened. Leader and Too Much Too Often were a couple of the best songs of the year, and you're too late to make a difference now!

#8 - The Kills - Midnight Boom



I admit I didn't know much about The Kills till I saw them doing Last Day Of Magic live on TV and was blown away. This album is full of magic. Yeah Yeah Yeahs have got alot to answer for now!

#9 - Pretenders - Break Up The Concrete



One of my fave bands of all time. Chrissie came back with a new line up and a record of low-fi tunes that if you closed your eyes long enough, you'd swear it was 1981 all over again. Plus they gave the bloody thing away for free. FREE! Can you believe it!

#10 - The Courteeners - St. Jude



I thought I knew it all until The Courteeners appeared on the cover of NME and I was like, who the fuck is that? Oasis and Roses inspired, this record is hard to get tired of. I think we've only heard the early potential here of what could turn into a long career for these lads. Plus they name check The La's in one of their tunes.

#11 - The Killers - Day & Age



I always want to hate The Killers and they always win me over in the end. I'm not sure of the lasting effects Day & Age will have, but it is kinda fun and dosn't take itself too seriously. Spaceman was one of my favourite tracks too this year.

#12 - Stereo MC's - Double Bubble



I didn't even know they had a record coming out so this was quite a surprise and a fantastic Saturday night album it is.

#13 - The Clash - Live At Shea Stadium



O.K...so this is actually from 1982 I think, but it came out in 2008 and fits along side everything else quite nice, apart from the fact that no other band on this list will ever come close to what The Clash achieved. Cracking versions here.

#14 - The Futureheads - This Is Not The World



Three's a charm. Much better than their last effort and the first on their own label. The F-Heads return to why we loved them in the first place. Jerky strange New Wave with killer pop songs and more rocking than Grandma's chair. I don't really know what that means.

#15 - Razorlight - Slipway Fires



A little more mellow than the last one but not short on hooks or charm. Burberry Blue Eyes and You and The Rest are fantastic songs and unlikely single Wire To Wire is a real grower.

#16 - Sparks - Exotic Creatures Of The Night



A landmark year for Sparks which saw them release their 22nd album and perform everyone of them for a stint in May. The guitars are back, but the wit and odd songs are still right where you want them to be. And who else could do a song called Lighten Up Morrissey. One of my favourite bands of all time.

#17 - Peter, Bjorn & John - Seaside Rock



I guess their proper album is coming out soon but this interesting mostly instrumental release sounds like field recordings with strange airport voiceovers. It's very strange and mellow and I actually loved it.

#18 - The Kooks - Konk



More of the same from The Kooks on album number two but you can't deny how good this lot are. A big Shout out to the last track on this record as well as one of the best singles of the year, Always Where I Need To Be. Best Do Do Do's of the year by far.

#19 - The Peth - The Golden Mile



Anything Furries related is usually good. SFA's Drummer and bassist teamed up with actor Rhys what's his name and made a record that sounds a hell of alot like Fuzzy Logic era Furries and that's why I liked it. Furries come back!

#20 - Supergrass - Diamond Hoo Ha



It's bloody Supergrass ya'll. Still cooking.


Honorable Mentions....

Albert Hammond Jr., Beck, Bauhaus, MGMT, Goldfrapp, Spiritualized, The Last Shadow Puppets, Black Kids, Ratatat, Stereolab....you all made good records this year too!


Best Singles Of 2008






















Best Gigs Of 2008

#1 - AC/DC - Vancouver
#2 - The Ting Tings - Vancouver
#3 - Kings Of Leon - Seattle
#4 - The Long Blondes - Vancouver
#5 - Maximo Park - Vancouver

2009 Hopefulls: So far the new Morrissey and Franz Ferdinand records should be contenders for next years list. Have a great year.

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