Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Honorable Mentions for Favorite Albums of 2008

So after what, 3 years of having this blog, I’ve finally figured out how to write and format it so it actually comes out the right way. The following will be my “Honorable Mention” albums of 2008 and tomorrow will be my Top 10’s….but just 6-10. Awaaaaay we gooo…


These are all albums I loved and had an affect on me throughout the year. I have silly reasons why I loved them and even sillier reasons why they didn’t make my top 10. But, I did love these albums and bands so yeah. Also, they’re in no order

I hate weed, but I love a lot of reggae. Like, real earthy reggae that isn’t just pot smoking music. Most people forget that reggae was the background music to revolution! I also love Michael Franti and think he’s one of the best, bravest and most sincere musical artists of our time. This album is all reggae and I love it. More importantly, my one year old daughter loves it and the album will always have a place in my mind as one of the first ones she danced to. And sang to. “Ah whoa whoa whoa whoa oh…” Ah, already I’m sentimental. Check out one of my favorite songs of ’08 below…and if you have a kid, play this song for them and dance your asses off:

TODD SNIDER “Peace Queer”
I really like this album and lord knows I LOVE Todd, but it’s just too….quick and dirty for my tastes. It’s a really sly protest album and it was recorded (apparently) in 24 hours by Todd with producer Don Was. And…it sounds like it was recorded in 24 hours. There’s some GREAT songs on here and I like it…but it’s just kind of “meh” overall.

DR. DOG “Fate”
I loves me some Dr. Dog and this is their most accomplished record yet. The band songs like 60’s era Beach Boys with Daniel Johnson singing only better and I think with less crazy. Their last 2 albums were really, really great because to me, they sounded kinda messy and screwy and fun. “Fate” is a really solid, well produced album. In fact, if my crappy descriptions have intrigued you about this band. I think “Fate” is a good place to hear them fresh.

KANYE WEST “808’s and Heartbreaks”
I frigging hate it when people do their year end music picks and throw in some arbitrary and token hip hop album. So, I debated about doing this entry. But I gotta say…”808’s and Heartbreaks” is on par with “Rubber Soul” or “Pet Sounds” or even Wilco’s “Being There.” Kanye can do whatever the hell he wants and rather than hire the latest R&B cat to chime in, what he’s done is something that’s a complete 180 from anything he’s done before. This album sounds like spacier Bjork or something. It's fucking odd. Throughout the album Kanye sings through one of those obnoxious voice modulators that always keeps you in key, but he uses that like an instrument in that it doesn’t always sound perfect. He kind of…jams with the modulator. This is just a weird album that I find myself going back to and listening to on “random” and enjoying it. Well, I enjoy the fact he stepped up as an “artist” and went against the grain. Here's a good example of what I'm talking about in regards to him mixing things up:
(you cannot embed this clip for whatever reason)

OLD 97’S “ “Blame it on Gravity”
One of my all-time favorite bands has gone back to their original sound and made a killer Old 97’s album. But, I kind of misplaced it for a while and then found it and forgot about it. Everytime I play it, I love it…but somethings missing for me. I dunno what it is. I love this album and it’s as good an Old 97’s album as you’ll find, but it just didn’t grab me. Odd and sad, but true.

Okkervil River is one of those bands that have been buzzed about, but I’ve always been resistant to for whatever reason. Yet, I grabbed their new one because a fellow filmmaker loves them and is doing a doc on them and damn, if Okkervil River isn’t a fine, insightful, mellow, witty, folky outfit. That being said, the only time I really listen to this album is when I’m on a flight somewhere. And as much as that happened lately, they just don’t seem to have any hold on me when I’m on the ground. Weird, huh? A great record though. Very soothing and interesting. I feel bad for not including them in my top 10. Sorry Okkervil River!

WEEZER “The Red Album”
As much as I loved this album for a solid month after it came out, it definitely wore out it’s welcome. It’s a great record and a fine Weezer album but as soon as the rock veneer wore off, I found myself constantly listening to the first two songs and the fast-forwarding to the cover song of The Bands “The Load” and then moving on. Although…best album cover of 2008 by far!

No comments: