It has been a massive year for music and a year where I have listened to more albums then I thought possible. In the same vein as my Top 15 Albums of 2007 you will find below my subjective Top 25 Albums of 2008.
Top 25 Albums of 2008
25. Shameboy – Heartcore
Starting the countdown are Belgium electro thumpers Shameboy who I only became aware of after they played the set before Soulwax at the festival I visited in Belgium earlier in the year.
Definitely the most electronic act to make my list – this is true pounding electro music.
24. Fujiya and Miyagi – Transparent Things
I am desperate to see these guys live and rumours are they are coming to Australia around March. I only got into their first CD this year and although ‘Transparent Things’ was better then the first the fact that the sound was so similar to the iis why it is not further up the list.
As you might know from reading this blog I do not listen to one genre of music and I believe that you should have a range of good albums for all moods and situations. Goldfrapp’s ‘Seventh Tree’ managed a lot of listens from me this year due to the fact that it was perfect for all those situations where you do not feel like drowning in distortion. Due to a few reasons but mainly my stupidity on the night I missed them at Parklife – I am still hating myself for this.
22. Neon Neon – Stainless Style
This was probably one of the most diverse albums I heard all year and it really stood out at the time. The diversity of the album meant that there were tracks that hit me perfectly and tracks that failed to come close – an album that was able to hit me in all places would have scored much higher on my list.
21. These New Puritans – Beat Pyramid
I had actually almost forgotten about These New Puritans until I composed this list. I was heavily into their album at the start of the year but it really seemed to drop off my radar for whatever reason. If it was released in the last couple of months it would have climb much higher.
Ok I just went looking for the album so I could play a song and remember what they sounded like and realised that it is no longer in my library – must have been lost in the crash of my hard drive earlier in the year. Now that explains why I have forgotten about them.
20. Empire Of The Sun – Walking On A Dream
What a great year it was for the Aussies with 5 albums making my top 25 and I am sure at least a couple making just about everyone else’s. Empire Of The Sun were quite a surprise pack in the current year finding immediate commercial success with a few great productions. However the reason why they are so far down my list is that although there are a few tracks which would be in the top 10 of the year others are so far off that as a whole the album is not that great – similar to MGMT for me.
19. Friendly Fires – Friendly Fires
I really thought that Friendly Fires would land further up my list then this as I was anticipiating their album all year from listening to their EP’s however for some reason I just never got obsessed enough with it – I guess that from here the albums below start to really become ones I listened to heaps!!! – I would love to see these guys live so hopefully next year.
18. The Faint – Fascination
I must say it is a little disappointing to see The Faint this far down my top 25 as ‘Wet From Birth’ would have been in the top 5 if it had been released this year. Not a bad album by any means just far from my expectations. Their show at The Zoo this year was definitely one of the best I saw all year
17. Late Of The Pier – Fantasy Black Channel
Well it is a little disappointing that these boys are in the country at the moment but are not making it up to Brisbane. Erol made a slight habit this year of taking indie bands with energy and producing flawless albums. I am really looking forward to hearing what the young guys can do next.
Well in the resurgence of disco in 2008 there was one label DFA at the top of it all and one of their prodigies Hercules and Love Affaire showing everyone how to do it live. The production genius of Andy Butler teamed with what only could be described as some sort of mardi gra toured the world conquering venues and festivals all over with their blend of octave bass, horns, disco vibes and transvestites. I was lucky enough to come across this show twice in the year – once in Belgium and more recently at Modular’s Nevereverland festival with both times blowing me away with fun.
15. MGMT – Oracular Spectacular (Disqualified)
I had to go back to my original post to get the mp3 links for MGMT album when I saw that I had posted about them in February this year after first hearing their album. I then started to wonder if their album had actually even been released this year when a Google search enlightened me to the fact that it was released in October 2007. It seems that the mass hype about them over the last 6 months has made everyone including myself forget about how long this album has actually been out. MGMT you are disqualified from my top 25 of 2008 (half of the songs on the album are shit anyway).
14. Does It Offend You Yeah? – You Don’t Know What You’re Getting Your Self Into
DOIYY the electro rockers that I was sure would crack my top ten! Now why then did they only come in at number 14?? Unfortunately I think it has come down to something which was completely out of their control and had absolutely nothing to do with the quality of their album. After looking forward to seeing them live for months at Parklife this year I was disgustingly disappointed at the 30 min low volume set they delivered – Now I do believe that this was because of;
1. The bass player had broken his leg so they could not play all their tracks and
2. Sound restrictions on the shitty stage they were put on.
It is strange how a crap live performance can bring an album down in my ears but somethings are just unexplained (The Teenagers did not even make my top 25 after their pathetic excuse for a live performance).
13. The Cinematic Orchestra - Ma Fleur
The Cinematic Orchestra’s album, like Goldfrapp’s made it into my top 25 due to the fact that it is perfect for those occasions where something heavier is not needed. Its atmospheric sounds create a somewhat floating mood which is perfect for background music in those times where you are doing something else other than just listening to music. The vocal tracks on this album are amazing and it oozes emotion throughout. I know that this album will definitely be one that sticks with me next year.
12. Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours
Seeing Cut Copy kill it at Nevereverland a couple of weekends ago reminded me of why I like them so much. I know a lot of people will probably put this album much higher then number 12 but all the albums from here down were just so good that only the slightest things set them apart. I really love how well “In Ghost Colours” is mixed and I am not sure if you can put that down to DFA’s Tim Goldworthy, frontman Dan Whitford or both but the album flows perfectly from one track to the next which makes it hard not to listen to the complete album every time.
11. Grafton Primary – Eon
I ended up writing a review about Grafton Primary’s album and their live show for Time Off magazine but never posted about it on this blog. I think it just slipped away from me but I am glad I get to talk about it now. Grafton Primary was probably one of the first bands I really started supporting on this blog due to my immediate love for them after their EP last year. The release of their new album this year really excited me and rightfully deserves its place so far up my personal ladder. The two songs I have posted below are absolute dance floor destroyers and any DJ who wants to be slightly original should grab them and start throwing them into their sets and watch what happens….
It seems like so long ago that Hot Chip released ‘Made In The Dark’ but every time I play it I remember just how good these guys are. I saw them in Belgium this year and their set had improved 100% from the 2 other times I had seen them in Australia – this was mainly due to the fact that they were looking more like a band with front men rather then 5 geeks hiding behind keyboards. It was a great show and I am really looking forward to seeing them at The Big Day Out in January! – Welcome to my top 10.
9. Scenario Rock – Histrionics
I was so obsessed with Scenario Rock’s album at the start of the year that I thought it was a shoe in for my top 5 however I did not predict the quality of every album below to come after. I really enjoy albums that do not sound like everything else at the moment and Scenario Rock take their tracks and strip them back with amazing piano compositions which set the scene for track after track of witty pop brilliance. ‘Histrionics’ is one of my favourite tracks of the year – I have tried to push this track onto many people but noone I know yet seems to understand it – give it a go.
8. The Shortwave Set – Harmonica
The Shortwave Set’s ‘Harmonica’ is currently the album which I am listening to the most. I am reading the book ‘Shantaram’ and I have been enjoying listening to the album at the same time and now every time I hear it I think of India. The standout of ‘Harmonica’ is definitely the vocal arrangements and melodies which are ideally fitted to the soft rock and electronic backgrounds to make a dangerously catchy combination. I posted the ‘Aeroplane remix’ of ‘Now Til 69′ in my last Derogatory Playlist and because of the catchy lyrics it is one of my favourite remixes of the year.
7. The Presets – Apocalypso
Well I never posted about The Presets album when it came out because I believed that it would not really need to be spoken about – I was right and I still do not need to say anything but I will still say; Thank you presets for all the good times, I look forward to seeing you again.
6. Cazals – What Of Our Future
As some of you may have realised by now I love my indie rock and it has been a great year for it. I can always find a time to listen to ‘What Of Our Future’ as it is such a fun and easy album to listen to. Like any good indie band the bass and drums work in tight competition with each other keeping the rhythm for the addition of smart guitar and vocals. Along with the others in my top 10 I have not seen live yet, Cazals is definitely up there – please come to Australia in 2009!
Cazals – To Cut A Long Story Short
Cazals – Life Is Boring
5. Bloc Party – Intimacy
‘A Weekend in the City’ Managed to gain top spot in Derogatory’s prior years top 15 albums and I was thinking for a moment that Bloc Party could have done the double. After many listens I had to be honest to myself and admit that ‘Intimacy’ was not as good as its predecessors however another direction another fantastic fucking album. I am just so grateful that they decided to bring out ‘Intimacy’ this year as it meant an unforgettable performance at riverstage. I love you Bloc Party and I wait for what is next.
4. M83 – Saturdays = Youth
Layer and layer of perfection are smoothed gracefully over every part of M83’s sensational album ‘Saturdays = Youth’. Definitely the album after my ‘number 1’ I have listened to the most this year probably because of the fact it is able to suit so many moods from chill to dance at exactly the same time without even changing a beat. I recommend this album to everyone as I just can not understand how you could not like it.
M83 – Skin Of The Night
M83 – Graveyard Girl
3. Foals – Antidote
Foals are the band who I am absolutely dying to see live as I believe that their set will produce a type of energy for the duration which would be unmatched by any indie band I am currently into. Their unique brand of indie rock grabbed me on first listen and I was so amazed at how such a strange mixture and arrangement of sounds could be so catchy. Their tracks must be influenced by the dance circles in big way as their use of instruments creates an irresistible temptation to get up and move every part of your body in time to each beat.
Foals – The French Open
Foals – Cassius
2. Jackson Jackson – Tools For Survival
Now I am not sure if you could find Jackson Jackson’s album on any other Blogs top 10 let alone at number 2 but the only reason behind this is that none of the other blogs you may read have given it a listen. ‘All Alone’ has gained massive air play here in Australia on the radio station Triple J which was a big cause behind the success of their previous album which if you loved you would most probably find it difficult to like ‘Tool For Survival’.
There have been stages over the last couple of months where I was seriously contemplating giving this album the number 1 spot as track after track on the album continued to produce this original sounding delight that I just could not get enough of. These are pop songs made with the edge of originality which will never get them recognised as pop itself and will keep it in the alternative section at your record store. The use of fat synthesisers and effects behind emotional falsettos and choir’s fuse a sound together which is so powerful you will feel the butterflies flow through your body with every kick of the bass drum.
Get the album, listen to it until you love it and then enjoy loving it.
1. Mystery Jets – 21
Well other then a few late challenges from my top 5 Mystery Jets have really planted their foot in the number 1 spot for most of the year. I must say that I think Mr Erol Alkan and his production genius has something to do with it but there is no doubt that this band deserves everything that has come to it. I was unbelievably lucky to see them at an intimate gig in Ibiza this year and I think it is fitting that they will be the first band I see in the New Year on the 1st of January in Melbourne. Other then the connection of Erol producing their album and the big synth on Hideaway, Mystery Jets are quite a distance away from dance music however through remixes and the respect Erol oozes in the community they have been widely accepted and loved which have massively helped their success.
Mystery Jets – Hideaway
Mystery Jets – Young Love (Featuring Laura Marling)
Well that is it for another year but I must give an honourable mention (in no particular order) to the following albums that did not quite make the top 25 but which I thoroughly enjoyed over the year
Van She – V
Lindstrom – Where You Go I Go Too
TV On The Radio – Dear Science
Why? – Alopecia
Cold War Kids – Loyalty to Loyalty
The Teenagers (you fucked yourself with your live performance)
Hot Little Hands – Dynamite In Black And White
Kraak And Smaak – Plastic People
Ladytron – Velocifero
Lykke Li – Youth Novel
Metronomy – Nights Out
Morgan Geist – Doube Night Time
Primal Scream – Beautiful Future
The Kills – Midnight Bloom
The Whip – X Marks Destination
Pendulum – In Silico
Thanks to anyone and everyone who comes here and reads the content which I know can sometimes be a little strange. I hope I can continue to find time in the new year to dribble some shit and a lot of good music. If you disagree with any of my selections of the top 25 I would love to hear why and if you can suggest any other albums which did not get a mention I would love to listen to them if I have not already.
Buy the tracks from Itunes
Thanks again and have a good new year.