Saturday, December 06, 2008

2008 Some favourite musics

A year of many good things, but hard to choose between any.

The critics promoted their favourites, and the many well-hyped acts like Last Shadow Puppets, Fleet Foxes, and Bon Iver, all of whom will no doubt feature highly in many end-of-year lists, but they didn't resonate with me. I can't select a single album to rank above all others this year, so I'm just selecting ten that all rank highly, in a kind of random order. And then a few more, not least because it's been a long year and I'd forgotten some of the great albums that appeared in the first few months.

Actually I'm not sure about this list, but I can't be bothered to think about Christmas and end-of-years and doing this properly at all. Guess I should try to listen to some of these some more...

But they're all gorgeous in their own way, and there have been countless others I simply haven't had the time to listen to.

The Great Park - The Great Park

We could have, we should have, we didn't was reviewed here and is probably my favourite album of the year, but it was only available in 100 copies and is near enough sold out, so instead I'll plump for the Great Park timezone CD which pulled together some of the best songs from the first five or so Woodland releases. All the usual themes of persecution, sadness, escape.

Buy it here

Okkervil River - the Stand Ins

A companion piece to last year's The Stage Names, and both were equal partners, full of the beautiful wordy poetic songsmithing we've come to love. Get it here

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Dig, Lazarus Dig

Made the Grinderman CD look like a cheap rehearsal; this was the main thing. A brilliant peak in a career of many peaks. Buy Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! !!!

Portishead - III

Another fine return, from a band we thought might have imploded. Buy Third

Shearwater - Rook

A bleak but moving delight of a record, from another side of Okervil River. Buy Rook

The Miserable Rich - 12 Ways to Count

A delightful album, mixing cynicism and romance in just the right measure. Buy Twelve Ways to Count because.

Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue

Another lovely does of alt country pop, and better than the Rilo Kiley day job. Get your Acid Tongue

King Khan and the Shrines - Supreme Genius of...

The Supreme Genius of King Khan & the Shrines is genius ! Enjoyable garage rock/soul. I see him more as James Brown than Iggy Pop, but regardless.

Bob Dylan - Tell Tale Signs

Tell Tale Signs: Rare and Unreleased 1989-2006 gets a mention as it is brilliant, in spite of the outrageous price tag for the 3 disc edition.

The Accidental - There were Wolves

Buy There Were Wolves, a wonderful slice of folk-pop.



Belle and Sebastian - BBC Sessions. Usual stuff, nice stuff. Get it here

Youth Movies - Good Nature
. I didn't think I'd like indie-prog, but I do. This was an excellent album. Buy it here

Mary Hampton - My Mother's Children.
I have no idea what planet she's on, but I like it. Buy it here

The Mountain Goats - Heretic Pride. A constantly interesting band, becoming almost Fall-like in their ability to churn out endless quantities of great songs in an inimitable style
. Find it here

Laura Marling - Alas I cannot Swim, a lovely collection of folk ballads from a powerful young songsmith. Find it here

A special mention for the self-produced, self-released in Australia The Middle East - The Recordings of the Middle East. Limited run, now sold out.

Neil Young - Sugar Mountain: Live at Canterbury House 1968, one of the earliest solo concerts and still sounding fresh after 40 years and shows Fleet Foxes how great crafted sugary-folk should be done

Blitzen Trapper - Furr, not as surprising as Wild Mountain Nation, but still full of joyful punk-folk anarchy


Boggs - Forts
. Mish mash mix of fun. Get it here



Woodland Recordings said...

Lovely mention Jon, and a great list - thanks very much for including The Great Park. In case anyone is interested we do still have copies of The Great Park 'We Could Have We Should Have We Didn't' to sell at and are quite keen to get rid of them actually. w/r/x

Anonymous said...

what do you think of Neko Case? She has a new record coming out in '09 called "Middle Cyclone".

It's going to be good.