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.

Comments

Unknown said…
'Long gone is the idea that any one critic can survey the entire mediascape...' excepting maybe William Hazlitt, on a good day!
Anonymous said…
Here's my list Todd - only one crossover with you:

1 Sigur Ros - Med Sud I Eyrum...
2 Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
3 Peter Broderick - Float*
4 Yeasayer - All Hour Cymbals**
5 Pictish Trail - Secret Soundz vol 1
6 Richard Skelton - Marking Time*
7 Nick Cave - Dig Lazarus Dig
8 Mogwai - The Hawk is Howling

*These are both fairly minimalist albums - the former prettier and the latter a little edgier.
**If you like the Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver albums, you'll like this also.

I've left 9 and 10 blank as I expect I would add the Johann Johannsson and Wolf Parade albums but haven't given them sufficient plays yet.

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