BEST ALBUMS OF LAST YEAR
So, hopefully this will be an ongoing series at the 'Choke. The plan is to do top ten lists from Newmo and I stemming back as far as we can go, year by year. We're going to start this thing off with the most recent year, 2008.
Here are the picks of 2008 by Jordan M.
1. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes - This Seattle-based quintet just make me really happy. The harmonies on the record are what really sell it for me. It's kind of a Frankenstein's Monster of indie, surf, folk, and jam rock that leaves you feeling whispy all day. Definitely my favorite record of the year.
Stand-out tracks: Oliver James, He Doesn't Know Why, Heard Them Stirring
2. Weezer - Weezer (Red) - Say what you will, but Weezer is still sticking it to the man in grand power pop style. It's no Pinkerton, but the Red Album is still a really fun romp with some old friends.
Stand-out tracks: The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn), Dreamin, Heart Songs
3. TV on the Radio - Dear Science - Dear Science is the third strong album, out of three, for TV on the Radio. Strange pop songs that somehow seem like they should be all over the radio. These songs are seriously infectious, I suggest you give them a listen.
Stand-out tracks: Dancing Choose, Golden Age
4. Neil Diamond - Home Before Dark - Neil became the oldest man to ever have an album reach number one with this record (beating out Dylan). I'm glad to see Rubin pick up with Diamond where he left off with Cash. Ever song on the album sounds like a funeral dirge. If you like Neil Diamond, and who the hell don't, you're in for a treat.
Stand-out tracks: Pretty Amazing Grace, Home Before Dark
5. My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges - Less progressive than some of their other albums, Evil Urges is rather straight forward and sometimes leans toward soft rock, but I'll be damned if I don't still enjoy it. It didn't earn as good reviews as their previous efforts, but this Kentucky outfit still has it.
Stand-out tracks: Touch Me I'm Going to Scream, Pt. 1, Smokin' from Shootin'
6. Counting Crows - Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings - I've always liked the Counting Crows. Adam Duritz somehow always was able to express what I wanted to say when I was a youth. Now I'm a little older, but I still have a fondness for the band. I'll admit that is pretty much the reason I dig this split release from the group, but I'm not ashamed of that.
Stand-out tracks: When I Dream of Michelangelo, 1492
7. Deerhunter - Microcastle / Weird Era Cont - After Microcastle leaked, Deerhunter decided to go ahead and release a second album for fans that patiently waited for Microcastle (that being Weird Era Cont). From lo-fi garage stuff to the occasional psychedilc freak out, it's on Microcastle and it's companion album Weird Era Cont.
Stand-out tracks: Operations, Cavalry Scars, Nothing Ever Happened
8. Metallica - Death Magnetic - I was priveleged enough to see Metallica break out some of the materail for Death Magnetic pre-release at the final Ozzfest in Dallas last year. The album took a good deal of growing on me, but it's pretty rocking and a nice return to form for the group. Obviously they won't ever be able to reach back and give us another Ride the Lightning, but this is an acceptible substitute.
Stand-out tracks: Cyanide, The Day That Never Comes, All Nightmare Long
9. Coldplay - Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends - Not the band's strongest effort, but a relatively good album and good enough to be the penultimate album on my list. The best tracks on it are the singles (which there are four of), and the rest is good filler.
Stand-out tracks: Viva La Vida, Violet Hill
10. Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III - I'm not a huge Lil Wayne fan, but I found myself able to get into this album pretty easily. Weezy has a good flow, and he's a talented rapper, but I could do without all the synthesizing on his voice. Overall though, That Carter III is a very solid rap album.
Stand-out tracks - A Milli, Mrs. Officer
This list was pretty tough for me, as I came to the realization I didn't listen to a lot of new music last year. I still haven't heard the Portishead record. Anyway, that's all I got. To be honest with you, I doubt that the bottom four or so listings would've made it if I had listened to more music.
- Jordan M.
Sulphur Springs, TX