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Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Eyewear's Albums of the Year

Long gone is the idea that any one critic can survey the entire mediascape, and determine what is truly "the best" of a period, in a genre. Instead, one can, at best, suggest what one encountered, and how its impact was received - still, an evaluation, but one admittedly provisional and problematic. I no longer even know why I try to put together such lists, but, since I find myself buying a lot of pop / rock / indie albums (I like such music, though less and less), and enjoy sharing the best of these with friends, I thought I'd put forward my not-definitive list of the albums of Eyewear's 2008.

In descending order, here are the ten albums that most delighted, moved, inspired, or thrilled me - as popular recorded music by a band or singer:

Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
Portishead - Third
Joe Jackson - Rain
The Verve - Forth
Keane - Perfect Symmetry
Foals - Antidotes
Glasvegas - Glasvegas
Lil' Wayne - Tha Carter III
Madonna - Hard Candy

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A few other albums were on my radar, and fill out the top 20, in no order:

Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
Kings of Leon - Only By The Night
AC/DC - Black Ice
The Ting Tings - We Started Nothing
Oasis - Dig Out Your Soul
TV On The Radio - Dear Science
Goldfrapp - Seventh Tree
Duffy - Rockferry
Black Kids - Partie Traumatic
Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid

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2008, to my mind, created no truly great album (I am sure readers of Eyewear will disagree) - something definitive (then again, I have yet to hear the new Britney Spears). Styles continue to splinter, veer back, pay homage. A few records were mostly disappointments, retreads, or flops, by The Cure, The Killers, Snow Patrol, Coldplay, REM, and Guns N' Roses. It seems a little odd to note that 2009's most-awaited album is by U2. But that will be an event, hopefully.
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