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THE VT » Blog Archive » Fer’s Best Albums of 2008

Fer’s Best Albums of 2008


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So, this is my list of best albums of 2008 among other stuff. I originally planned to have this done by the 15 of January, but it took much more time than I expected. I hope that you not only don’t find it too tiring, but also have fun clicking links.
F


Albums of 2008:

1. Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve Ark 1

Why?: Old mostly unknown psychedelic rock songs updated by Erol Alkan and someone else (can’t remember his name). If you haven’t bought it then all you can do is hope Rough Trade makes more copies.
Best Tracks: Electric Bananas // Aglarsa Anam Aglar // Bubble Burst // Winter in June
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dxf-LeEc0uo

 

 

 

2. Devotchka - A Mad and Faithful Telling

I saw them live and they’re really good. The central theme of the album is God. I shiver when I listen to it for some reason.
Clockwise Witness // Transliterator // Blessing in Disguise // Undone
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvpJdVhTwhg

 

 

3. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes (Album) + Sun Giant (EP)

Appalachian Beach Boys. Get the EP then the album.
Drops in the River (EP) // Mykonos (EP) // White Winter Hymnal (album) // He Doesn’t Know Why (album) // Your Protector (album)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3r197bkkNo

 

 

 

4. Sonny J - Disastro


Really good stuff. Didn’t get the exposure it deserved.
Handsfree (If You Hold My Hand) // Can’t Stop Moving // Enfant Terrible
I love the video btw: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d4L4hiSHNw

 

 

4. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular

#

A bit camp and repetitive, but fun.
Kids // Electric Feel // Time to Pretend
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtUI5MC9tVM

 

 

 

 

 

 


Good albums that almost made it, but are still worth a listen:

 

Welcome Wagon - Welcome to the Welcome Wagon


If you’re still waiting for something by Sufjan Stevens, get this album (he’s producer and arranger). Listen to the covers first, then check out the rest of the stuff.
Half a Person (Smiths) // Jesus (Velvet Underground) // Up on a Mountain // Sold to the Nice Rich Man
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Tzudi_i94E

 

 


Santogold - Santogold

I was expecting M.I.A., instead got something more similar to the Pixies.
Lights Out // L.E.S. Artistes // Say Aha // I’m a Lady
Another great video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwNkuw-YTVo

 

 

Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago

Be patient, it gets better the more you listen to it, and it’s well worth the effort. Still reminds me of Ilkley Moor.
Skinny Love // For Emma // Creature Fear
Skinny Love w Jools Holland: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfAS6nwYc9g

 

 

Ladyhawke - Ladyhawke


Fun, catchy and cheesy.
Paris is Burning // Dusk Til’ Dawn // Back of the Van
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1HDZNR9cY4

 

 

 

El Guincho - Alegranza!


An easy introduction to the Animal Collective/Panda Bear style of music, only this has got Brazillian and African music in it as well. El Guincho sings in Spanish, but it took me dozens of listens to start understanding what he says. One last thing, he never mentions the words “amor” or “corazón.”
Prez Lagarto // Palmitos Park // Kalise // Antillas
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTJYj_uL1NQ

 

 

Mexican Institute of Sound - Piñata

I thought Mexicans were incapable of this level of creativity: the music is interesting (both samples of old stuff, and the stuff he adds), the lyrics are funny, and his videos are worth watching. I’m proud of this album.
Katia, Tania, Paulina y la Kim // Escríbeme Pronto // Belludita // El Micrófono
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fZX_3J_Ykk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cU4W8nWhjU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTBZICp5BFk

 

 

 

 


OK albums:

Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend


It’s good, I just don’t see myself listening to this in a few years time.
Walcott // Oxford Comma // Mansard Roof
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_i1xk07o4g

 

 

 

Shortwave Set - Replica Sun Machine


I like them, but I get tired after a while. Victorian Funk (the genre they claim to have invented) has got potential.
House of Lies // Glitches ‘n’ Bugs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbajDPo5JX8

 

 

Pacific! - Reveries

http://docs.google.com/File?id=dd5jw4mz_50f8q3c3fp_b
A time machine that takes you back to the camp sounds of the 80s.
Disappear // Break Your Social System // Sunset Blvd
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYNY1R-ZW9g

 

 

 

Pete and the Pirates - Little Death


This is the only Surf/Punk album I’ve listened to so far I think.
Knots // Mr Understanding  // Bright Lights
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfgmPqsJQj4

 

 

 

Belle and Sebastian - The BBC Sessions


It’s good, but I prefer the Live at the Barbican album, or Push Barman to Open Old Wounds; furthermore, Seeing Other People is missing. The new tracks are good, all of them.
Slow Graffiti // Here Comes the Sun (Beatles) // Legal Man // Lazy Jane // Like Dylan in the Movies // all the rest of the songs (I’m a HUGE B&S fan).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1PcYXT4wj4

 



Disappointments & meh:

 

 

Magnetic Fields - Distortion

I gave this album too many opportunities, and I just couldn’t learn to appreciate it. I love the Magnetic Fields, I like individual tracks such as Too Drunk to Dream and the Nun’s Litany, but I don’t like this album as a whole.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eH2YXIUOong

 

 

TV on the Radio - Dear Science

I don’t see what others see in this album. It’s not bad, but it’s not amazing.
Halfway Home // Shout Me Out // Red Dress
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4nBwwUufWE

 

Girl Talk - Feed the Animals

Good upon first listen, gets old from second consecutive listen onwards.
Like This (the Lil Mama - Lip Gloss & Metallica - One bit towards the end) // No Pause (the Missy Elliot bit)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQC_fHlXxQQ

 

 

————————————————————-

Best Tracks:

1.      Fleet Foxes - White Winter Hymnal 

It’s impossible to resist this song. It’s definitely track of the year.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrQRS40OKNE

 

2.      DeVotchKa - Blessing in Disguise

From beginning to end the violin, the singing and the rest of the instruments are amazing. I thought the lyrics were good too.
http://www.emusic.com/album/Devotchka-A-Mad-and-Faithful-Telling-MP3-Download/11189117.html

 

3.      Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve - Electric Bananas

I didn’t know the original song, but now I’m in love with this.

 

4.      Florence and the Machine - Kiss With a Fist

Fun song. I can’t wait for them to release an album.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpsDegqioVA

 

5.      MGMT - Kids

Impossible to get that tune out of your head once you’ve listened to it. By the way, I thought the Pet Shop Boys remix was ok-ish.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIEOZCcaXzE

 

6.      Bon Iver - For Emma

The best track in the album. Everyone prefers Skinny Love, but I think this track is much better.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0yaQ20dpWI

 

7.      The Shortwave Set - House of Lies

It’s fun to sing along to this sad and weird song. I like the bit where he goes “You can do what you want and when you do, I’ll act like I’m surprised”
http://www.emusic.com/album/The-Shortwave-Set-Replica-Sun-Machine-MP3-Download/11190897.html

 

8.      Islands - Creeper

Have you ever listened to Al Wilson’s The Snake ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_ZBqpEUbik )? Upon first listen you’d think they’re just metaphors, but then you realise that the song is actually about a snake, the animal. The same happened to me with this song, it’s just about someone who arrives home and gets stabbed in the chest.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEg7S7Z8VsU

 

9.      Be Your Own Pet - Becky

Great great song. Americans missed out for a while because it wasn’t included in their version of the album (violent lyrics apparently). They got the song in an EP after a few months.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQ0_1vGRRAw

 

10.  Let’s Wrestle - Let’s Wrestle

And then the crowd goes… LET’S WRESTLE LET’S FUCKING WRESTLE!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRAzHngcs68

 

 

 

 


It’s really hard to rank how much I like a particular song, so here’s a list of other tracks I considered and regret not including above:

Art Brut – Emily Kane

 Glam Chops – Are You Ready Eddie, Eddie Are You Ready?

Buraka Som Sistema - Sound of Kuduro

Ladyhawke – Paris Is Burning

Colin Meloy – The Engine Driver

Mexican Institute of Sound – Katia, Tania, Paulina Y La Kim

DeVotchKa – Undone

Noah and the Whale – 5 Years Time

DeVotchKa - The Clockwise Witness

Penguin Cafe Orchestra – Air A Danser

El Guincho – Palmitos Park

Pete and The Pirates – Knots

El Guincho – Prez Lagarto

Rox – My Baby Left Me

Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed & The True Loves – Am I Wasting My Time

Santogold – Lights Out

Estelle - No Substitute Love

Sonny J – Handsfree (If You Hold My Hand)

Fleet Foxes – Mykonos (alternate take)

The Voluntary Butler Scheme – Trading Things In

 

 



————————————————————-


Best Covers:

Lightspeed Champion should give up his serious career and instead do covers, for in my opinion his versions are actually better than the originals.  Vampire Weekend managed to keep the spirit of the original and add their own style. Finally, it’s not easy to cover the Smiths, but Welcome Wagon managed to do a weird version of Half a Person that gets better every time I listen to it.

·         Lightspeed Champion - Xanadu [Xanadu, musical]

·         Lightspeed Champion - Flesh Failures (Let the Sunshine In) [Hair, musical]

·         Vampire Weekend - Everywhere [Fleetwood Mac]

·         Welcome Wagon - Half a Person [The Smiths]

 

————————————————————-

Future:

I’m currently listening to

 

 

Buraka Som Sistema - Black Diamond
[It’s great!]

 


Dirty Edits Vol. 2 - Pilooski
[It’s ok]

 

 

Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion
[It’s weird]

 

 

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