Friday, January 23, 2009

The Top Releases of 2008

Since it's still January, I figure it's not too late for an obligatory "Best of 2008" lists blog. You know, since you've already read (and scoffed at) everyone else's, why not add another notch to your belt? This is Pazz + Jop week, so it's the perfect time. Specifically to me, this is the week when I learn that I was the only person to include Scott Hull's totally excellent tribute to power-violence comps, This Comp Kills Fascists, on my list. (Between Brutal Truth and Wasteoid, it was a shoe-in for me.) That's OK, I'll continue to biliously scream its praises. And don't get me started on how good the Hank III is (even if he has said he hates it.)

All in all, 2008 was a pretty weird year for music. M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" was voted song of the year on Pazz & Jop, even though it came out in 2007 and was part of the promo machine for a movie that the general public thought largely sucked. That's OK, because it made my list last year. (My pick this year, as I've said before is Be Your Own Pet's paean to teenage homicide, "Becky.") The pop and rock releases that were supposed to be big weren't (looking at you, Axl.) Big-box metal was more ubiquitous than ever and the much-touted indie-metal releases (ahem, Torche) weren't really that groundbreaking. As you can imagine, I had a really tough time making these lists—for the worst! Anyway, after months of work compiling these lists, the below represents what I liked most in 2008, critically speaking. And yes, TV on the Radio is as good as everyone says it is.

Top 10 Albums of 2008, Regardless of Genre

  1. Be Your Own Pet, Get Awkward
  2. Hank III, Damn Right, Rebel Proud
  3. Various Artists, This Comp Kills Fascists

  4. TV on the Radio, Dear Science
  5. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
  6. My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges
  7. Portishead, Third
  8. The Breeders, Mountain Battles

  9. Magnetic Fields, Distortion
  10. Gojira, The Way of All Flesh

Top Singles/Tracks of 2008

  1. Be Your Own Pet, "Becky"
  2. Music Go Music, "Light of Love"
  3. Lykke Li, "Little Bit"
  4. Katy Perry, "I Kissed a Girl"
  5. Lil Wayne, "A Milli"
  6. My Morning Jacket, "Highly Suspicious"
  7. Magnetic Fields, "California Girls"
  8. Metallica, "My Apocalypse" (Guitar Hero version)

  9. Estelle, "American Girl"
  10. Guns N' Roses, "Shackler's Revenge"

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