It’s that time of year again when we share with you what didn’t suck about 2008. This list is a subjective list of favorites rather than some attempt to objectively detail the supposed “Best”. As an objective reviewer, I get bored so allow me to tell you about ten great records that will continue to get some play as we go into 2009. after which I’ll mention a few additional good records and some stinkers, too!
(Listed in alphabetical order.)
Beck – Modern Guilt
This one, I reviewed at length earlier this year. It is still one of my favorite Beck albums and a highlight of the year. Read the full review here: http://www.rowjimmy.com/archives/136
Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
This record slays me. Largely acoustic, it is passionate, smart, and heartbreaking. Recommended for rainy days in a window seat…
Deerhunter – Microcastle
I was aware of Deerhunter but had never heard their work until (I think it may have been) NPR’s All Songs Considered that turned me on to this album. Part of me thinks that this may be as close as we’ll ever get to a followup to My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless. The guitars wash in waves over the listener in just the right way. The songs fade and give way to one another in a mindful succession that insists (but does not require) a straight-through listen. When the title track, “Microcastle”, kicks in after two minutes, I challenge you to sit still and unaffected. The inclusion of an entire second album is a wonderful bonus.
Dr. Dog – Fate
Building on the late works of The Beatles and the early works of The Band, Dr. Dog has created a stunning album of ear-catching melodies and striking lyrics. Explorations of spirituality, romance, and the weight of time fill this record along with some terrific playing and singing. This is one of those records that I can listen to again and again and I have been doing exactly that since I first came across it.