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Strider's Top 10 Albums of 2008


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My Top 10 of 2008

So another year comes to a close and for once I have time to compile a top 10 list;

my entries have been missing the last few years. But instead of

spending the holidays in the usual hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, I find myself this

year writing from the frigid climes of Boise, Idaho, having come up to see family I have

not seen in years. Which also means that instead of galavanting nightly in LA, I am staying

warm indoors, which allows me plenty of time to spend on the computer.

So, here it is, my ten favourite pop/rock records of 2008:

1. Radiohead "In Rainbows"

2. Portishead "Third"

3. Bon Iver "For Emma, Forever Ago"

4. No Age "Nouns"

5. TV on the Radio "Dear Science"

6. Erykah Badu "New Amerykah: Part One(Fourth World War)

7. Stereolab "Chemical Chords"

8. Fuck Buttons "Street Horrrsing"

9. Aimee Mann "@#%&*! Smilers"

10. Marnie Stern "This is it and I am it and you are it and so is that

and he is it and she is it and it is it and that is that"

Honourable mention: Sigur Ros, Emmylou Harris, Mudcrutch, Beck, Deerhoof, Beach House, Gnarls Barkley.

Best of the old fogie reissies: Bob Dylan "Tell Tale Signs:Bootleg Series Vol. 8"; Neil Young

"Live at Canterbury House 1968" CD/DVD; and the Creedence Clearwater Revival catalogue reissues.

Radiohead and Portishead were both neck and neck for the number one slot; both were far

and away the new records I played most in the past year. And before you go off about how

Radiohead's "In Rainbows" was released in 2007, the actual physical cd release did not come

out until 2008. I've written before about my distaste for downloads and digital mp3's etc;

you can shove them where the sun don't shine as far as I am concerned. So I was not one

of those people downloading "In Rainbows" in 2007, actually preferring to wait for when the cd

would be released(as I figured it would) in higher quality sound.

"In Rainbows" did not disappoint; and I wasn't expecting it to, having heard most, if not all of

the "In Rainbows" tunes on the band's 2-night stand at the Greek Theatre in 2006. But, my lord,

how the hairs on the back of my neck stood up when I first heard "Reckoner"...goddam does that

Thom Yorke have an unearthly falsetto! No surprise that Gnarls Barkley was covering the song on

their summer tour, clips of which you can find on Youtube.

Then, there was Portishead's "Third"...I know I was not alone in wondering/worrying if the band

would still have it, or if their's would just be another flaccid comeback reunion. Quite frankly,

the whole trip-hop sound they practically invented has run its course, its impact diluted from

too many inferior copy-cats and overuse in hotel lounges and car commercials.

Needless to say, blown away is how you could describe the 1-2 punch impact of Portishead's

Coachella performance and release of "Third" three days later in April. I think I posted about

this album earlier this year, so I won't rehash over the details; I'll only say that whatever Beth

Gibbons has seen and/or lived through that gives her voice THAT haunting, frail quality is something

I don't think I want to know.

And "Magic Door" has one of the, if not THE, drumbeats of the year! And "Plastic"

isn't so bad, either.

As for the rest of the albums on my list, some have been written about extensively in the music press,

others maybe not so much, but if you were a regular reader of Mojo, Uncut, Paste, The Word, and a few

other magazines, you should know about most of them...hell, I found out about Bon Iver's "For Emma..."

because of the May 2008 issue of Mojo's review which they gave the designation "Album of the Month";

that was good enough for me to check the album out. Marnie Stern I had to get just for the sheer lunacy

of the title, which reminded me of Fiona's lengthy "When the pawn hits the...". Damn, this

girl can plain rip on guitar...and she's got the insane Zach Hill bashing away on drums, too!

I'm doing this mainly off the top of my head, so I might be forgetting someone, and it

is entirely possible that my list would be somewhat different if I did it another day or

in another frame of mind.

What I am positive of is that no matter what, the top 4 of my list is set in stone. Radiohead,

Portishead, Bon Iver and No Age are rock solid locks...some of the rest of the list I could see

being supplanted by someone from my honourable mention list, depending on how I

felt that day.

Happy New Year everyone!

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In Rainbows is a great album, and deserves all the praise it gets.

However, it came out in 2007.

Hello!?! Didn't I just explain that in my post...IMO it is a 2008 release as that is

when the cd was released in stores. Again, I DON'T DO DOWNLOADS!

Ninelives, Fleet Foxes has been on my "TO GET" list but I just haven't yet managed

to get around to checking them out...maybe when I get back to L.A. and use my

Amoeba Records gift certificate! :banana:

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Hello!?! Didn't I just explain that in my post...IMO it is a 2008 release as that is

when the cd was released in stores. Again, I DON'T DO DOWNLOADS!

Ninelives, Fleet Foxes has been on my "TO GET" list but I just haven't yet managed

to get around to checking them out...maybe when I get back to L.A. and use my

Amoeba Records gift certificate! :banana:

Excellent! I hope you enjoy it. I've been playing them constantly. Ahh - Amoeba Records - great store :D

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Not to start an argument, I'm just still not clear on the logic for calling In Rainbows a 2008 release. Yes, we all know it was widely released on physical copies in stores on January 1, but the point is it was officially released digitally in October 2007. Yes it was digital, but it was official, the band are the ones who put it there, not some random person who leaked it. Besides, if I remember correctly, I believe when it was first released there was the option of ordering some In Rainbows box set thingy for $80 and one would receive the physical copies by mail.

I mean hey, if you aren't into mp3s and downloading music you have that right to wait and pick up the cd version in 2008, I don't think that determines the release date however.

Back on topic -- pretty good list. I enjoyed most of your selections quite a bit myself.

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What's amusing me about all this is that back in 2006, I had Radiohead's

"new album" on my top 10 list for that year.

You see, having went to, and taped, both nights of Radiohead's stand at the

Greek Theatre, I had about 12 or so of the new songs that would they were

due to record in the studio following the tour for their new record.

I made a single tape of just the new songs from the 2 nights, and loved them

so much, I put it on my 2006 Top 10 list. Needless to say, some were not


So, it seems I can't win either way...it's either too early or too late, haha.

But all that gibberish aside, I'll just end by noting that Amazon, and most other

sites list "In Rainbows" release date as January 1, 2008, and that is the date

that will probably go down in the official record.

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