This ‘Top 10 Albums of 2008′ list is coming a bit early, I didn’t post one of these last year. I will be posting the top 10 tracks of 2008 a week before New Years. This is more in accordance to Hype’s early deadline. The albums were mainly chosen in relation to the music posted in this blog, slightly. But it was good to set a limitation of genres for the albums while I was out listening, cause I would’ve never been able to decide which albums to put up. Some are more by their influence and some are just how much I liked them or both. I’m more worried about getting this post finished right now. It scares me a bit that the majority of these albums are from artists from Australia or area near. Big thanks to Tom from Cassette Culture for helping with the list.
##I will be adding playable tracks to this list, but that will happen later.##
10. Santogold – Santogold
Released: April 29, 2008
Genres: Dub, Punk Rock, Indie Rock, Electronic
This was definitely the album of the summer, I heard songs from this album all over mixtapes and radio stations. The album was very groovy punkish with a mix of electronic, which even though Santogold reminds me a lot of M.I.A., they couldn’t be more different. I guess it might be because of some tracks like Creator which sounds very reminiscent of M.I.A. L.E.S. Artistes, Say Aha, Lights Out, and I’m a Lady are definitely my favorite tracks out of this album. It was great listening to this in electro mixes because it was rather refreshing, there are a couple remixes of Santogold such as the Left/Right remix of L.E.S. Artistes, the MMMatthias remix of My Superman as well as a bunch of other ones which definitely made this year much better musically.
Santogold – L.E.S. Artistes
9. Empire of the Sun – Walking On A Dream
Released: October 4, 2008
Genre: Synthpop, Electronic, Rock
Was quite surprised by this album, although it definitely didn’t get as much attention as it should’ve. Listening to this album reminds me of 80′s artists like David Bowie. The vocalist of the duo, Luke Steele, definitely makes a good modern Bowie. Along with the great synth and rock feel to the music, it’s a mix of sounds. I enjoyed listening to this album. My favorite tracks from this album are probably Walking on a Dream, We Are the People and Tiger By My Side, which were the more upbeat electro songs out of the album. There were a couple slower pop songs which I consider their alter-ego. Van She did a fantastic remix of their song Walking On A Dream.
Empire of the Sun – We Are The People
Buy at iTunes
8. Mystery Jets – Twenty One
Released: March 24, 2008
Genre: Indie Rock
Alright, another indie rock band from UK. But they’re not just any band, they’re a good one. UK is popping out so many of these indie garage bands it’s like finding a needle in a haystack. Anyways, enough bashing the genre of the band I’m going to praise. Great album, a great thing this album had which other albums of the same genre kind of missed is that the songs are actually differentiable. I didn’t think I was just listening to one track the whole way through which is fantastic. The tracks really sounded like a mix between Wolf Parade and The Strokes or The Kooks. My favorite tracks would have to be Young Love, Veiled In Grey, Two Doors Down, Hand Me Down, 21. I was actually surprised when I heard some synth in Two Doors Down.
Mystery Jets – Two Doors Down
7. Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours
Released: April 8, 2008
Genre: Dance-Punk, Indie Rock, Electropop
Quite the nice mix between indie rock and synth-electro. It wasn’t really mixed in genre in the tracks, but more each track was either indie rock or synth-electro. A bit different anyways. The album started kind of indie rock modern and slowly progressed into 90′s synth-electro towards the last few tracks. Really liked the tracks Out There On The Ice, Lights and Music, So Haunted, Hearts on Fire and Far Away. The two last tracks I mentioned there are so retro 90′s I was taken aback. I heard a bunch of Hearts on Fire remixes, but I was surprised it sounded like this. It’s even got that “wow” sound effect that’s in so many 90′s one hit wonders. Loved the album.
Cut Copy – Hearts on Fire
6. Ladyhawke – Ladyhawke
Released: September 22, 2008
Genre: Electropop, New Wave, Electronic, Pop Rock
Possibly the most New Wave albums here, she really landed it. And I have a huge weakness for retro sounding songs. It’s like walking into the 80′s, if no one told me I totally would’ve though this album was twenty years old. I’m sure she got a lot of attention in NZ or Australia, but definitely not here. Among my favorite tracks were Magic, Better Than Sunday, Back Of The Van, Paris Is Burning, Dusk Till Dawn. If I had to choose a favorite though it’d have to be the oh so popular track from this album Paris Is Burning, which doesn’t really surprise me nor should it you. It’s a great song, many remixes of it. One of my favorites, the Cut Copy remix of Paris Is Burning as well as Fred Falk remix of Back Of The Van.
Ladyhawke – Paris is Burning
5. Minitel Rose – The French Machine
Released: June 17, 2008
Genre: Electro, House
Who are Minitel Rose? Ya, completely random choice for number 5. Well, you should definitely invest a bit of time into these guys. They’re second in command in the French electro-house scene, alright maybe fifth in command. I think if they were a bit earlier, they would’ve been in place of Justice, but that just isn’t the case. The album is quite short, seven tracks, but it’s got some gems. Elevator, Business Woman, Continue, When I Was Punk, are great tracks. I actually had a hard time choosing a favorite track, cause I kind of liked all of them. Almost a cross between Justice, MSTRKRFT, and Daft Punk with more French accents in English vocals.
Minitel Rose – Business Woman
4. Lykke Li – Youth Novels
Released: June 9, 2008
Genre: Pop, Indie, Alternative, Rock
No genres properly describe this album. When I first heard it I was amazingly skeptical, I asked myself “Who is this? Does she think she’s Bjork?” But this album truly grew on me. For sure it’s very different, and that’s what makes it amazingly refreshing. The album starts off with Melodies & Desires which is kind of a monologue, explains why I was a bit skeptical. But she gets right into things. My favorite tracks in this album would have to be Dance, Dance, Dance, I’m Good, I’m Gone, Little Bit and Breaking It Up. Something about these songs just blow my mind, though I couldn’t begin to tell you why.
Lykke Li – Breaking It Up
3. Coldplay – Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
Released: June 11, 2008
Genre: Alternative Rock
Yeah, not the most surprising for number 3. This album definitely gets enough attention alone, but I liked it way too much not to include it. Coldplay was definitely trying for something different this time around. Definitely one of my favorites on how the album starts out with Life in Technicolor. It’s a very soothing instrumental track. My favorite tracks would have to be Lost!, Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love, Viva la Vida, Violet Hill and Strawberry Swing. This album lasted me not only through the summer, but through the fall and winter as well. I’m not sure why they released it in the summer, cause it has a very cold winter feel to it. Read more about the review here.
Coldplay – Lost?
2. Justice – A Cross The Universe
Released: November 24, 2008
Genre: Electro, House
Yes, I did put a live album for number 2, it rather deserved it. Even though technically there really any new tracks in this album, the whole atmosphere behind it and the mix was great. Justice knows how to pull it off. The remake of Phantom Part 1, D.A.N.C.E., DVNO, Two Minutes to Midnight, and Stress were amazing. Longer version of this here, but in short, I was skeptical about the album at first but it grew on me.
Justice – Phantom Part 1.5
1. MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
Released: January 22, 2008
Genre: Indie Rock, Psychdelic, Electronica, Alternative
And finally, MGMT gets the place of number 1. This album did the same thing The Strokes First Impressions of Earth did to me. At first I brushed it off as nothing else. And then I listened to it a second time and instantly, I loved it. Goes to show that you can’t judge an album off a first impression. And not only did it completely change, but I liked almost every track off the album. Not only did they have this 80′s retro vibe mixed in with a very indie rock sound, all their songs had such variety. My favorite tracks are Electric Feel, Future Reflections, Kids, Of Moons, Birds & Monsters, Pieces of What, Time to Pretend and Weekend Wars. Ya, basically most of them. Surprisingly especially Pieces of What and Weekend Wars, surprising because they’re not the ones that got the most attention. Definitely deserving of number 1 on this list. There are so many remixes of their tracks, I guess I’ll mention the biggest one which was the Soulwax remix of Kids,
MGMT – Pieces of What