Best 25 Albums of 2008 (with downloads)

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A unique Best Album list with some major surprises. I’m not giving in to the popular consensus or critical pressure. And I’ve heard the stuff the critics don’t even know exists. But what triumphs in the end is musicality and originality.  And sorry; no compilations, TV on the Radio, Vampire Weekend, or Mgmt here, despite how good they may or may not be. Chime in with your thoughts and favorites…

We’ll start with the lower half and work up to number one. The download links are to my favorite available track from that album.

25. Evil Nine – They Live  They Live

24. Paul Woolford presents Bobby Peru – The Truth  Erotic Discourse (Greg Wilson edit)

23. Meshuggah – obZen  Bleed

22. The Mars Volta – The Bedlam in Goliath  Wax Simulcra

21. Kiko – Slave of My Mind 

20. Beirut – The Flying Club Cup  Nantes

19. Red Snapper – Pale Blue Dot  Wanga Doll

18. Pendulum – In Silico  The Tempest

17. Lulu Rouge – Bless You  Sweeter than Sweet

16. Kings of Leon – Only by the Night  Sex on Fire

 Holy Pictures

15. David Holmes – The Holy Pictures  Holy Pictures

(File under: shoegaze, film-score rock) A personal and gorgeous album from the man responsible for all the Ocean’s 11-13 scores. He writes sweet electronic rock songs with a composer’s eye.

This Is It & I Am It & You Are It & So Is That & He Is It & She Is It & It Is It & That Is That

14. Marnie Stern – This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That  Transformer 

(File under: art-rock) If only every good-looking blonde could also be called ‘The Best Female Guitarist of All-time”, Marnie writes trip-tych lyrics (see the album name?) and has time-shifting rhythms to die for.

 Antidotes

13. Foals – Antidotes  Balloon

(File under: emotive dance-rock) With emotion and energy to burn, you can expect big things from this Oxford five-piece.

 Hysterics

12. Rolo Tomassi – Hysterics  Macabre Charade

(File under: hardcore-rave) Perfect balance of metal guitars and synthesizers. I’m amazed at the roar that comes out of that cute and petite singer’s frame. The above track shows their immense potential.

 

Microcastle

11. Deerhunter – Microcastle / Weird Era Cont.  Never Stops
(File under: ambient-punk) Ten amazing tracks on both of these discs. Influences change in each song and seem to embody their cross-dressing frontman.

 Un Dia

10. Juana Molina – Un Dia  Un Dia

(File under: Spanish folk-electronica) Minimalist folk vocals criss-cross and cast their spell on you. You can hardly detect an electronic presence.

  In Ghost Colours

9. Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours

(File under: disco-pop-rock) I’m not going to even post a link for this, because this is the most blogged about band ever, and I’ve been a part of that monster. I can’t deny this is indestructible stuff; cheery and predictable in the best way possible.

Versailles Sessions

8. Murcof – The Versailles Sessions  Louis XIV’s Demons 

(File under: ambient-classical) Murcof is part of the new generation of composers using technology as integral to the spectrum. Ambient crosses into classical crosses into opera crosses into electro-acoustic music. Every second is fascinating.

album

7. Datassette – Datassette LP 

(File under: intelligent-electro-tech) The blogosphere radar has yet to really discover this debut album that covers many of the electronic genre bases. Every song is a different planet, and you’re inner robot couldn’t be happier. ‘Remains’ is epic, like a welcoming party for the star race.

 More Than A Lot

6. Chase & Status – More Than Alot  Eastern Jam

(File under: drum n’ bass for the masses) Chase & Status have released one of the best dn’b albums of all time. Every song is different than the last. Rock, dub, soul, eastern, hip-hop, and more soul. Aimed to crack America.

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5. Buraka Som Sistema – Black Diamond  Sound of Kuduro 

(File under: kuduro-electro-ghettotech) Angola and Portugal in the house!! Ok, so I just wanted to say that, but these guys tear it up with the kuduro mixed with techno, dubstep, and electro. M.I.A. collaborates, and every track is All-Star.

 41kfirq2jzl__sl500_aa240_

4. Bohren & der Club of Gore – Dolores  Unkerich

(File under ambient-jazz) This is David Lynch jazz music, like drowning in alcohol in a detective film-noir. The rhythm is in limbo, floating in space. On a side note, ‘bohren’ means drilling, and club of gore means just that.

 61cvqsn9uql__sl500_aa240_

3. Crystal Castles – Self-titled  Vanished

(File under: Atari-punk) But it’s so much more than that. They show international finesse, poetic lyrics, and emotional range. Art school will never be the same.

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2. Clark – Turning Dragon  (album sampler)

(File under: ?-blitzkrieg-art-dance?) Clark has finally ascended the throne left by Aphex Twin. This album is in turns violent, grooving, artistic, and suddenly haunting and beautiful. Mad genius. Prepare to be throttled.

  41xhelmvqtl__sl500_aa240_

1. Guy J – Esperanza   (myspace only)

(File under: melodic techno) An epic 20 track album that doesn’t have one weak link, this is a spellbinding journey from Tel Aviv producer Guy J. Stunning melodies unfold out of state-of-the-art rhythms. Good enough for relaxing at home or banging in the car. In the same vein as Nathan Fake’s Drowning in a Sea of Love. And as you see above, completely off the blog radar.

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9 Responses to “Best 25 Albums of 2008 (with downloads)”

  1. katarokkar Says:

    you just turned me onto David Holmes. congrats! 🙂

    badass list btw

  2. neil Says:

    This list is fantastic. Nice to see some less obvious choices. Will be downloading a few later.

    Small moan though, could you not link directly to files I’m hosting. Its expensive hosting files and i’d rather not pay for other sites bandwidth. moan over

    merry xmas and all that

  3. uripides Says:

    NICE dude.. like the list. you can also get Guy J on iTunes as well as some of the others you listed.

    Here’s Guy J’s Link

  4. jeredunn Says:

    Neil: Thanks for the comments. And your list is looking mighty unfamiliar too. And don’t worry, I didn’t rehost the link to the mp3. The link goes directly to the whole article/page, which I’m assuming is cool?

  5. jeredunn Says:

    Thanx Kata and Uripides!

  6. music4videos Says:

    It will take me a while to listen through this selection, thank you for posting. I’ve posted various jazz music video clips on my blog, if you like to visit.

  7. jeredunn Says:

    Kool. Nice website btw. I’ll have to take some time to peruse through it, because it is refreshing to see classical, jazz, and world music covered.

  8. neil365 Says:

    oh christ well now I feel like an old whinge and foolish… pass me a slice of humble pie please!

    I’m off to check out Guy J’s myspace

  9. jeredunn Says:

    It’s all good. People should check out his Best of: http://www.musiclikedirt.com/

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