Monday 22 December 2008

Best albums of 2008

Here’s my list of the top 15 albums of 2008:

15. Death Cab for Cutie, Narrow Stairs
14. Female Tribute to Tom Waits (bootleg compilation)
13. She & Him, Volume One
12. Nine Inch Nails, Ghosts I-IV
11. Blind Pilot, 3 Rounds and a Sound
10. Welcome Wagon, Welcome to the Welcome Wagon
9. Sigur Rós, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
8. Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
7. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
6. Cat Power, Jukebox
5. Sun Kil Moon, April
4. TV on the Radio, Dear Science,
3. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
2. Bob Dylan, Tell Tale Signs

(Drumroll...) and the best album of the year is...

1. Juno: Music from the Motion Picture – a perfect album in every way; the true apotheosis of the soundtrack genre.


Carrie Allen said...

Wow. That's an awesome list.

Check out a video some Biola Students made about Koine Greek. We think you will enjoy it!

Carrie :)

Anonymous said...

you've been reading paste. bon iver is one of ours
(ok i guess dylan is too)

Anonymous said...

No Okkervil River, a serious oversight, but the Juno soundtrack is fabulous, even if the film isn't, I prefer the one where she's the avenger of the innocent.

Anonymous said...

I think U2's Joshua Tree should have been on your list. I know it has been like 21 years since its release, but still one of the better albums of every year since then.


mike d said...

The Juno soundtrack is really, really good. Movies built around Indie Music annoy me though sometimes. There's almost too much music in the movie. There's 2 minutes of movie then 4 minutes of a melancholy song; repeat.

Anonymous said...

Juno? Give me a break! Look I love Belle & Sebastian as much as any one (Did you know Stuart Murdoch is an active member of the Church of Scotland?) – But don’t you think they went just a bit over board on Kimya Dawson and the Moldy Peaches? If you want to experience “the true apotheosis of the soundtrack genre” check out any film by Wim Wenders (Until the end of the World, Wings of Desire ect.) or Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou-You have to love the Portuguese David Bowie covers)

Bonus Belle & Sebastia link:

…You talk of freedom don’t you see
.The only freedom that you’ll ever really know Is written in books from long ago. Give up your will to Him that loves you…

Anonymous said...

Very nice list. Just one big oversight: "Eventually Home" by Right Away, Great Captain.

Oh yeah, and Ghosts I-IV. Really? Good for Reznor making free music and all, but one of the best of the year?

Some advance warning. The 2009 album of the year will be Wilco's new one. God told me that in a dream after falling asleep listening to "One Wing" on YouTube.

thegreatswalmi said...


great list, thought you had some outstanding choices, till i hit number one! I absolutely love bon iver, think tvotr is amazing, and sigur ros, well, how can you go wrong? but Juno? If i have to hear "i took the polaroid down in my room" i'm going to stab pencils into my ears until they bleed emo.

but that's just me :) all the best,

Dave Belcher said...

Dude....Radiohead, In Rainbows isn't even on your list!! (released on January 1) This is by far my number 1...I did like Ghosts and The Slip though...good choice on Ghosts (some of that stuff is just masterful), and thank God someone else knows Sun Kil Moon -- he is so good.

Ben Myers said...

Hey Dave: for what it's worth, Radiohead's In Rainbows was absolutely (by a million miles) my favourite album this year. But since it was released online in 2007, I didn't include it on the list. You're right, though: it's an incomparable album, and if it was on the list, it would definitely be #1.

Ben Myers said...

Oh, and Mike: how dare you mention the words "emo" and "Juno" in the same breath!! There's nothing emo about the Juno soundtrack: in fact, the reason this album is so damn good is the fact that it completely refuses the typical posturing of "serious" music. It's absolutely unserious, completely gratuitous, sheer play — and that's why it's so perfect.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ben,

Yeah, I guess I had forgotten that the January 1 date was the "official" release -- and thus had no real "officiality" to it at all! (the online release was certainly the only "real" release) Every time I listen to that album, I am still amazed...not to mention that they're also a hell of a lot of fun to play guitar along with. If In Rainbows is an indication of where Radiohead's music is going, I can't wait to see what's next.

Anyway, have a happy Christmas. Peace.


Anonymous said...


Have you checked out the Hold Steady? Good album this year. Who's up for some Catholic rock n' roll?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I would put "Stay Positive" by The Hold Steady above a lot of those on this list. However, I would also highly recommend "A Mad and Faithful Telling" by Devotchka (that's the band who did the soundtrack for "Little Miss Sunshine" which, IMO, is better than Juno in pretty much every way... including in the soundtrack way).

Anonymous said...

I'll third the Okkervil River album. Another great album is the new Blitzen Trapper, but good list. I think the general consensus is that 2008 was fairly weak. This will probably prove especially true once January 20th rolls around and the new Andrew Bird and Animal Collective albums come out.

Anonymous said...

I love the list, especially loving that you've included Sun Kil Moon and She & Him in the list.

When I make my way down to (or up to) UTC I'll have to say hello.

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