+top 10 albums of 2008+

I know it’s mid-February, and most people put out these lists somewhere around the end of December.  What can I say?  2008 was not a very inspiring year for me musically.  At first I thought that I was just getting old, and that’s why nothing sounded good enough to buy.  But after looking through the top albums of 2008 over at Rate Your Music, I don’t feel so bad. It’s a list riddled with lots of indie hipster nonsense and obscure death metal bands. The good news is that I’ve been reinvigorated by listening to Alt Nation on Sirius and have discovered some new music recently.  I’m also looking forward to huge releases from U2, Tori Amos, Manic Street Preachers, and Blue October this year. 2009 has already been excellent for me musically, but here still is a look back at my few favorites from 2008.


10.  Radiohead – In Rainbows

Yeah, yeah, most people downloaded this in 2007, but I bought my hard copy when it was released last January.  This is not my favorite Radiohead album by any means, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t have some amazing Radiohead tunes on it.
Favorite track:  All I Need
Other goodies: Videotape, Nude


9. Thievery Corporation – Radio Retaliation

Another solid release from some of the best American electronic musicians around. It doesn’t break any new ground in comparison with their previous records, but that’s not a problem for me. Thievery Corporation are good at what they do and have no reason to fix what’s not broken.
Favorite track: Sound the Alarm
Other goodies: Radio Retaliation, El Pueblo Unido, Blasting Through the City


8. Tiesto – In Search of Sunrise 7

2008 was very much a trance year for me. While other genres were failing to impress, there was so much exciting new trance music that it was hard to keep up with. I still need to listen to this double CD set a few more times, but I can tell you it is a solid addition to Tiesto’s In Search of Sunrise series.
Favorite track: Carl B – Just a Thought
Other goodies: Tiesto – Driving to Heaven (Mat Zo Remix); Cressida – 6AM (Kyau & Albert Remix); Allure feat. Christian Burns – Power of You


7. Armin Van Buuren – Imagine

Another enjoyable artist release from my favorite DJ, Armin Van Buuren. While I didn’t think it was as strong as Shivers track by track, I did find myself listening to the record on a regular basis and always liked hearing these songs on the radio. “Hold on to Me” also features a vocal performance by Audrey Gallagher, whose voice is perfect for trance.
Favorite track: Rain
Other goodies: In and Out of Love, Fine Without You, What If


6. Mr Sam – Opus Secundo

If you do not know how much I adore Mr Sam, then this must be your first visit to my blog. This French DJ is making some of the best original dance anthems and conquering dance floors everywhere with his mixes. I can forgive him for his bad Latin (technically, it should be opus secundum *cough*nerd*cough*) because this mix is so outstanding. For a full review of this double disc set, click here.
Favorite track: Mr Sam feat. ClAud9 – Cygnes
Other goodies: Mr Sam – Seven 7 Seven; Arnej – The Beauty That Lies Behind Those Green Eyes (Opus Outro Mix); Issues – Danderlions


5. The Thrillseekers – Nightmusic Volume 3

Now you know this has got to be a solid mix if it ranks above Opus Secundo. Steve Helstrip has done it again with his Nightmusic series, releasing another double CD set that should have trance and prog trance fans up and dancing. This set is so good simply on the power of each individual song being so good. You can find my full review of the set here.
Favorite track: Simon Patterson – Bulldozer
Other goodies: John O’Callaghan feat. Audrey Gallagher – Big Sky; The Thrillseekers feat. Gina Dootson – By Your Side (Mind One Remix); Markus Schulz feat. Dauby – Perfect (Agnelli & Nelson Remix); Simon Patterson – Smack; Nic Chagall – What You Need (Marco V Remix)


4. Stereophonics – Pull the Pin

This album didn’t technically come out in 2008. In fact, it never came out in the States at all, which is why it took me so long to get it finally. Many thanks to my boyfriend’s father in England who was able to procure me a copy and mail it over (along with some delicious crisps, but that’s beside the point). This record was worth the wait. I was desperate for some good, straightforward rock music last year, and Stereophonics delivered yet again. If you’re an American rock music fan and you’ve not yet checked these guys out, try to find a copy of this record. Kelly Jones is amazing on vocals and continues to tear it up on guitar while showing why he is one of the best storytellers in all of rock. And in comparison to their other records, this one has a darker side to it that seasoned ‘Phonics fans should find intriguing.
Favorite track: Stone
Other goodies: I Could Lose Ya, My Friends, It Means Nothing


3. Robyn – Robyn

I bought this album months ago, and it is still in my car’s CD player, at the ready, for whenever I need some power pop in my life. When I first posted the video to “Konichiwa Bitches” on my blog, people were freaking. Robyn? Rapping? You listen to this? Yeah, I do. Robyn’s record, while it does have a few songs I could live without, is filled with the catchiest, most clever pop music out there. I dare you to listen to it and not want to dance and sing along, especially to her cover of Cobrastyle.
Favorite track: Who’s That Girl
Other goodies: Konichiwa Bitches, Cobrastyle, With Every Heartbeat, Be Mine!


2. The Killers – Day & Age

The Killers, I must admit, have got to be one of my favorite bands right now. I loved their first two albums, and Day & Age is an excellent addition to their catalog. I loved it from first listen–the songs are catchy, the lyrics are artful, Brandon’s vocals are just right, and the music is that perfect mix of 80s synth and 00s rock that the Killers are making their trademark. Not to mention, songs about alien abduction rock my boat.
Favorite track: Spaceman
Other goodies: Human, I Can’t Stay, A Dustland Fairytale, This Is Your Life, Goodnight, Travel Well


1. People in Planes – Beyond the Horizon

I had a good feeling about this record from the moment I heard the first single, “Pretty Buildings.” People in Planes have only gotten better on this record, which is only their second. The music, especially the guitar playing, is second to none, the vocals are fantastic (some songs are performed by the vocalist, while a few others are by the lead guitarist), and the music shows a creativity not found enough these days in pure rock music. Just another reason why I love the Welsh. If you see this record sitting around at the shop, take it home with you. You’ll find yourself a new favorite band who can do it all, from beautiful ballads to rocking the fuck out.
Favorite track: Pretty Buildings
Other goodies: Know By Now, Tonight the Sun Will Rise, Get on the Flaw, Flesh and Blood


~ by Jennifer Cunningham on February 21, 2009.

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