Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Top Albums of 2008

So 2008 is ending and if I had to tell you how I spent it, I'd say listening to music. Here are the top 10 albums of this year.

Note - not every album on here was released this year. This is just a list of my favorite ones during 2008.

10. The Fall of Troy - Phantoms on the Horizon

Two-thousand and fucking eight. Five fucking years and they finally released Phantoms and gosh darn it, I couldn't be happier. The songs haven't changed much, but just hearing the little tweaks made during the five years really makes the songs a brand new experience.

9. Andrew Jackson Jihad - People That Can Eat People are the Luckiest People in the World

An upright bass, mandolin, acoustic gutar and melodic punk vocals put to folk music is an instant win for me. The lyrics are "deep" while not being insanely serious and the music matches it to a tee, oddly enough. This album is just plain fun and was pretty much used as a pick-me-up all year.

8. Bring me the Horizon - Suicide Season

This album is really what got me back into whatever kind of metal this is. The down-tuned guitars and brutal screams/growls give out so much energy, it was hard not to get pumped up while listening to this. These guys aren't doing anything new, but they're going everything right.

7. Minus the Bear - Highly Refined Pirates

I'm a sucker for technical guitar players and chilled, laid back music. Minus combines both of these and sings about everything from sex, to swimming, to driving, to food and does not bore. The guitar lines from Absinthe Party are about as memorable as the title and the vibes that the songs give out just put you in a totally different state of mind.

6. Paul Gilbert - Get Out of My Yard!

Gilbert has always been a huge influence on me and Get Out of My Yard is every reason why. From the insane arpeggios in the titular track to the ethereal vibes of The Echo Song, this album showcases Gilbert's skills as a guitar player and has definitely been my reason to practice even harder on guitar.

5. Protest the Hero - Fortress

Fortress starts of with the attention grabbing, time signature swapping intro of Bloodmeat and keeps your fucking attention until you faint from the sheer amazingness that is Protest the Hero. Every song has so much raw power and musical prowess, that it's hard not to love the shit out of this cd. I would love to say this is my favorite metal album every, but there is one that is a bit better.

4. Thrice - The Alchemy Index Volumes 1 & 2

This was an ambitious project for Thrice and they seemed to have achieved their goal. The first two discs, namely the Fire portion, have got to be the finest work Thrice has ever done. Thrice seems to have taken influence from different styles of music, which can be seen in songs like The Messenger and Backdraft. The Water disc provides a nice contrast to the energy riddled Fire disc, by providing an ambient electronic portion, which on its own is not that strong, but works well with Fire.

3. Death Cab for Cutie - Narrow Stairs

Ben Gibbard is a musical genious and this can be seen in every last second of Narrow Stairs. I'd be hard pressed to find a bad song on here. Narrow Stairs, at first, looks to be a return to form of Death Cab, but there is something that sets it apart from the others. You can really tell that the boys really poured their heart and soul into this album.

2. Sigur Ros - Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust

As much as I would like to put Heim/Hvarf on here, I can't stop listening to this cd. Með suð is a huge step forward in terms to sound for Sigur Ros, with a more percussive album and a song in English. Gobbldigook is more upbeat for the band, but it sets a nice tone for the rest of the album. When I'm not listeing to this album, I'm listeing to the next one on the list.

1. Between the Buried and Me - Colors

After my love/hate relationship with Alaska, Colors finally turned me on to this band. A 60+ minute opus with a mysterious story line marks the bands fourth release and it could very well be their best ever. Every song has the perfect measurements of melody and mayhem to the point of seeming like the boys sold their souls to write this album. The album opens with a dainty piano peice that quickly descends into chaos, with dualing guitar lines galore. The stand out tracks are the trio in the middle, Sun of Nothing, Ants of the Sky and Prequel to the Sequel and each have their own style without seeming out of place. There is not a goddamned thing wrong with this album.

Best of 2008

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