Monday, December 15, 2008

My Top Albums 2008

From the moment I heard Bon Iver's gorgeous, glimmering monument to winter and love lost, For Emma, Forever Ago, I knew Justin Vernon had me at hello. Picking my top albums this year wasn't as difficult as some years past, somewhat curiously. Maybe because I'm getting older and more nostalgic, it seems like some artists are nearly automatic when they release a record (or as Jarred put it Paul Westerberg could poop in a bag and you'd love it, however the joke's on you my friend because Paul did release a single-track 43 minute digital album called 49 which, while awesome of course, did not make the top 20) like The Hold Steady, Ryan Adams, Leona Naess, Damien Jurado and Matt Pryor. All those records are great but still not as great as Sigur Ros' sunny, glacial-defying breakthrough, Med sud I eyrum vid spilum endalaust. In fact, the hardest choice was whether or not to include Coldplay in the top ten or second-ten. I really did want to place Viva La Vida that high due to it bringing mildy risky and mostly totally brillaint to the mainstream, but I couldn't bring myself to place both The Killers and Coldplay in the top ten. So, even though I am currently wearing out Day and Age, Brandon Flowers had to end up below the fold. So, here it is, call me old and cranky but I very rarely buy singles.

1. Bon Iver :: For Emma, Forever Ago
2. Sigur Ros :: Med sud I eyrum vid spilum endalaust
3. The Hold Steady :: Stay Positive
4. Matthew Ryan :: Matthew Ryan Vs. The Silver State
5. The Gaslight Anthem :: The '59 Sound
6. Ryan Adams and The Cardinals :: Cardinology
7. Coldplay :: Viva La Vida or Death and all his friends
8. Leona Naess :: Thirteens
9. Matt Pryor :: Confidence Man
10. Death Cab for Cutie :: Narrow Stairs
10. Stars :: Sad Robot ep

Ten others worth mentioning.

Deerhoof :: Offend Maggie
Hammock :: Maybe They Will Sing For Us Tomorrow
The Killers :: Day and Age
Damien Jurado :: Caught In The Trees
Army Navy :: s/t
Brendan Canning :: Something For All of Us
Nada Surf :: Lucky
The Listening :: Transmission 1
Starflyer 59 :: Dial M
Joseph Arthur and the Lonely Astronauts :: Temporary People


Anonymous said...

i knew Bon iver would be your top album...good stuff, just a little to slow to be in my top 10 this year, but good nonetheless.

I will question your pick of Matt Pryor,because for me there was "nothing to write home about." Nothing really stuck out to me on that album, but then again this is a very tough music market to write something noteworthy and grab my attention deficit disorder. regardless I am looking forward to seeing what he can do with TGUK this next year.

Ryan Townsend said...

I'll admit that Confidence Man was underwhelming to me at first. But after a half dozen listens in the car and Amelia's seal of approval, the songs really grew on me over time and now I love the whole album.

"Baby I'm your confidence man!"