So here are my selections for the Top 10 Albums released in 2008.
1. Atmosphere - When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold
Slug and Ant have always had a knack for creating a smooth blend of qaulity rhymesmanship over dope beats. On this one, they've made an instant classic. The pop is poppier, the bass thumpier, the lyrics deeper, and top it off with one of the great albums titles of all time. This one will stay in the rotation for years to come.
Stand-out Tracks: Like The Rest of Us, You
2. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
Rich syrupy layered vocals over soaring mountain pop, these kids sound like they took all their grandparents favorite records and played them all at once. A truly refreshing sound.
Stand-out Tracks: Sun It Rises, Blue Ridge Mountains
3. Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III
I guess all those mixtapes were just batting practice for Weezy. The practice paid off, because he released one hell of a rap record that was a big part of the soundtrack of the summer. It was also the #1 seller moving more than 2 1/2 million copies.
Stand-out Tracks: A Milli, Mr. Carter
4. Metallica - Death Magnetic
After steering more towards plain old heavy alternative for the last 10+ years, the boys are bringing back the metal. It harkens back to the Justice and Puppets era sound, and totally shreds. It still doesn't hold a candle to any of their pre-Black material, but really few albums can.
Stand-out Tracks: Cyanide, Broken Beaten & Scarred
5. The Knux - Remind Me in 3 Days...
These two N'Awlins-born LA transplants are dope enough to remind me of early Outkast or De La Soul, hipster enough to rap about cappuccino with a mocha twist, nerdy enough to bring back 80's style big beats, but cool enough to play their own instruments like a garage band. If you know me, you'll know exactly why I love this band.
Stand-out Tracks: Bang Bang, Cappuccino
6. TV on the Radio - Dear Science
Strangely captivating pop that feels both unusual and familiar. These guys can somehow dance all over the musical map and remain tuneful and catchy. Dig.
Stand-out Tracks: Halfway Home, Golden Age
7. Jack's Mannequin - The Glass Passenger
Something Corporate frontman Andrew McMahon wrote this record while on a touring break due to having been diagnosed with leukemia. The record is much more mature and emotional that his previous writing work with SC. It's a dandy little piano pop album.
Stand-out Trakcs: The Resolution, American Love
8. Deerhunter - Microcastle
This is probably the stangest album I've ever liked. That says a lot about how good it is.
Stand-out Tracks: Calvary Scars, Agoraphobia
9. Elzhi - The Preface
A talented MC and member of producer's crew Slum Village, Elzhi has contributed some of the more unheralded great works in recent hip hop. This release is his first major foray out on his own, and he can more than handle the spotlight.
Stand-out Tracks: The Leak, Brag Swag
10. Cool Kids - The Bake Sale
This is what 80's hip hop sounds like 20 years later. Fresh. Basic beats and rhymes about dope kicks. Takes me back to being a kid, and it's a fun trip.
Stand-out Tracks: 88, Black Mags
2007 coming soon...