Monday, December 22, 2008

My Top 10 Music Albums of 2008

This was my soundtrack for the year 2008. These were the musicians I was listening to in my car, while studying in my office, or when I needed some background noise while reading at home. I only included albums that I've personally purchased. While there were a number of great musicians I learned about this year (M83, Greg Laswell, Mates of State, The Weepies, She & Him, Goldfrapp), these are the full-length albums that keep coming up on my iTunes. (I've gotta give propss to Paste magazine for introducing me to a number of these artists.)

10. Rosie Thomas - A Very Rosie Christmas: "Why Can't It Be Christmastime All Year?" is one of the most fun original Christmas songs I've ever heard, and her version of "O Come O Come Emmanuel" is darkly comforting. She'll be working on a new album with Iron and Wine's Sam Beam next year!

9. My Brightest Diamond - A Thousand Shark's Teeth: Ethereal and slightly jazz-like, the appeal of My Brightest Diamond is primarily vocalist Shara Worden. She's got pipes.

8. Cloud Cult - Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornados): In the musical vein of The Arcade Fire and The Flaming Lips, Cloud Cult is a orchestral indie band with a tragic side. The album feels like a tribute to the lead singer's two-year-old son who passed away a few years ago.

7. The Whigs - Mission Control: The drumming groove on "Right Hand on My Heart" will rock your face right off, Raiders of the Lost Ark-style.

6. Coldplay - Viva la Vida: Despite seemingly ripping off Joe Satriani's guitar riffs, Coldplay's latest is still a great album. "Lovers in Japan" and "Strawberry Swing" were some of my summer favorites.

5. The Bridges - Limits of the Sky: Fun family-band piano pop. I'm a sucker for pianos and female vocals. 

4. Copeland - You Are My Sunshine: This band is a personal favorite of mine ever since I saw them live a few years back, and I've loved every one of their indie navel-gazing piano rock albums.

3. Death Cab for Cutie - Narrow Stairs: The Seattle band shows that they've still got a lot of creative sounds up their sleeves, including an 8-minute single. The drum groove for "Cath..." is one of my favorite from this year.

2. Jon Foreman - Fall Winter Spring Summer: The lead singer for Switchfoot released one EP for every season this past year. They're beautiful folk songs that have some deep spiritual truths woven into them. "Your Love is Strong" is one of the only songs I've heard that repeatedly makes me emotional.

1. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago: Recorded in a hunting cabin deep in the Wisconsin woods, Justin Vernon creates a nostalgic and wintery folk album that will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. The simple acoustic guitar melodies make me feel both sleepy and content.

What was your soundtrack for 2008?

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