Ben’s Year End List Extravaganza

Hello Interweb. I am Ben and I am going to be talking about music a lot on this blog so to start things off at the beginning of this year of 2009, here is my best of 2008 list for album of the year.

***Ben’s Top Ten Albums of the Year 2008***

1.Girl Talk – Feed The Animals

Ok, so I really didn’t want to make this my top album of 2008, however, this album is just way to enjoyable and way too well constructed for me to do anything else with it.

2.Hospital Bombers – Footnotes

This album is the debut from the Hospital Bombers who I am pretty sure got their name from the Mountain Goats song ‘The Best Ever Death Metal Band Out of Denton’. That said, the musical influence of the Mountain Goats on this album are very apparent. However, there is something very fresh and fun about this band that I think just about anyone could enjoy.

3.The Mars Volta – The Bedlam in Goliath

When this album came out I had somewhat small expectations for it given The Mars Volta’s previous two efforts which had quite a bit of substance but just as much ambient filler that defintately detracted from the experience. This album has none of that. This album will kick your ass. I absolutely LOVED this band’s debut album ‘De-Loused in the Comatorium’ and I have since become annoyed with their albums because it seemed they were going to use up all 80 min of a disc just out of principle. This album while being longwinded like their previous efforts, maintains a pace that can called nothing short of grueling. Thomas Prigden’s drumming on this cd is insanity and musically the band is just as sharp as ever.

4.Panic At The Disco – Pretty. Odd.

For some reason this band gets hated on. A lot. If there ever was a way for this band to pull themselves out from under the pop monstrosity of a shadow cast by their label buddies Fall Out Boy, I think that this album is it. Many of the poor reviews of this album took unfair shots at the band for trying to sound like The Beatles. Let me ask you this, what band in the last 30 years hasn’t been directly influenced by The Beatles? This album is extremely well produced and the songs are much stronger and more diverse (and less emo) than on their debut effort. Any of you FOB haters should not write this band off with out listening to this album. I assure you it sounds nothing like FOB.

5.Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend

I had briefly mentioned this band as a band to look out for in 2008 on my year end list for 2007, and rightfully so. I think that this band is one of the most interesting bands to come out of this year. Their unique blend of afro-pop guitar stylings and stripped down indie production values make this a very ejoyable listen. This album does have a couple week points but all in all this album showscases a band with quite a lot of potential.

6.People In Planes – Beyond The Horizon

If I have ever talked to you about music the odds are that I have mentioned this band. This is only their second album but I fell in love with their debut album. While Beyond the Horizon hasn’t quite resonated with me in the same way as its predecessor, It is still a damn solid album. The harmonies are still great and the guitar riffs are still great so there is very little to dislike about this album.

7.Mountain Goats – Heretic Pride

John Darnielle has come a long long way from the low-fi singer songwriter haphazardly throwing down acoustic tracks on his 4 track recorder. The production on this album is quite good and really makes for the most accessable Mountain Goats record to date. As usual Darnielle is writing amazing lyrics as can be found in the song ‘Autoclave’. Bottom line is: this cd = good

8.Gnarls Barkley – The Odd Couple

I will admit that I purchased the first Gnarls Barkley album on the strength of their pop sensation ‘Crazy’. Actually, I may have purchased their second album on the left over strength of ‘Crazy’ because while St. Elsewhere had some great songs most of the album was a wash for me. I am glad that I kept my faith in this ‘Odd Couple’ because their second album is more focused and more dark and a helluva good listen. The album was somewhat quickly forgotten in the mainstream because of the obvious lack of a breakout hit like ‘Crazy’, however that does not mean that this album is unworthy of closer inspection. Danger Mouse and C-Lo are bringing some really interesting and retro sounds to the forfront of popular music and should be commended.

9.Sigur Rós – Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust

I am not going to try to tell you how to pronounce the name of this album. When I listen to this band it is not for the lyrics, as they are in Icelandic, and I do not speak Icelandic. However, as they say, music trancends language barriers. I just appreciate this band for making some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard. Sigur ros albums are typically great for just turning off the lights and laying down and listening and relaxing. This album is a bit more Sigur Ros than we have seen in their previous efforts. There are some more upbeat tracks and there are some incredibly lush string arrangements that make this a bigger and in some ways better Sigur Ros experience.

10.The Hold Steady – Stay Positive

This band has yet to disappoint me. This album is great old fashoned arena rock. The lyrics tell crazy stories and the songs traverse all kinds of sonic territory. Good stuff.

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~ by mediametric on January 7, 2009.

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