Thom’s Top Albums of 2008

By on Wednesday, 31st December 2008 at 11:07 am

I did intend to do a full top ten, but seeing as I ran out of time I’m gonna list (in no particular order) the top albums of 2008.. I didn’t get time to cut down my shortlist either..

MGMT – Oracular Spectacular – This is the only album I ranked and I did so at Number One. A little cliched? Probably.. Predictable? Yes.. They’re topping loads of lists for this accolade (including the NME) and so perhaps this wasn’t the most shocking, but the truth is that I was praying for a 2008 release on this album (though strictly it was first released in 2007 the retail and UK versions fell in 2008). These physc-rockers have created the best album in a long while. It falls under no specific genre or style, yet is instantly listenable.

Highlights – Time To Pretend, Kids, The Youth


MGMT – Kids

The Metros – More Money, Less Grief – The most under rated debut of the year. If you could bottle London, muggings, sexual riots, ASBOs, depression, topshop and all, then press it on to a CD, it would sound like this. The South London based garage indie rockers have produced one of the best albums of the year, every track is brilliant and the signles released have been on par with the quality of the album as a whole. This definately deserves a listen.

Highlights – Talk About It, Last Of The Lookers, Education Pt.2, Sexual Riot


The Metros –  Education Pt. 2 (Live)

Bloc Party – Intimacy – The unexpected third album from Bloc Party was a pleasant surprise, and anyone lucky enough to see them live this year were lucky as they maintained top form through festivals and tours. The album was a digital adventure in to varying sounds, lead single ‘Mercury’ was a stark contrast to some of the other more mellow singles. It wasn’t low on energy either, ‘Trojan Horse’ amongst others going down a treat at live shows.

Highlights – Signs (whilst there are a load on this album, this track is a must listen


Bloc Party – Talons

Lil’ Wayne -Tha Carter III – The hip hop kingdom was lying pretty vacant, the young stars of recent years had graduated and joined the elites, and the scene was missing a fresh young talent who was backed by the mainstream and his fellow artists. Lil’ Wayne took the throne whilst everyone had turned the other way, and 2008 saw him rise to become one of the ‘elite’ players in the genre. Cross genre collaborations with everyone from Kevin Rudolf to Enrique Iglesias  have proved his versitality.

Highlights – A Milli, Lollipop, Get Money, Mrs. Officer, Let The Beat Build


Lil’ Wayne – Lollipop (Live @ House Of Blues)

Times New Viking – Rip It Off – These little known indie heroes released yet another quality record. Their glazed over vocals give the ‘your favourite song on the radio’ feel of The Strokes classic ‘Is This It?’ It’s a massive shame that more people don’t know about this band, (or a treasure depending on your view).

Highlights – Teen Drama, (My Head)


Times New Viking – Drop-Out (Live)

The Last Shadow Puppets – The Age Of The Understatement – Say what you want about Alex Turner but this project with Miles Kane of The Rascals was innovative and pushed boundaries. Further still it was successful as well as experimental, the orchestra through the album provided a breath of fresh air compared to what we’ve become to used to hearing. The performance at Reading & Leeds was cemented their place in this list.  A quality EP (The Age Of The Understatement EP) was also released, both are worth a check. Hopefully this project isn’t sidelined for too long.

Highlights – The Age Of The Understatement, My Mistakes Were Made For You, Meeting Place


The Last Shadow Pupets – Age Of The Understatement

JME – Famous? – Anyone familiar with the Boy Better Know mixtapes that this Norh London MC has been releasing will know the quality of his lyrical content. This album is long overdue and it didn’t dissapoint. It’s a  wittingly chrming satire on society as a whole. A brilliant find for new fans and a solid album as a whole.

Highlights – P, Standard, AWOH, Serious


JME – Serious

Cajun Dance Party – The Colourful Life – The North London five piece failed to draw a mainstream audience with this album, though it was no fault of thier own. The album brilliantly displays their versatility in terms of stlye and tempo. Their tour earlier this year was (I hear) brilliant. The bass through the album is well done and provides a firm backing from the drums. The interplay of the guitars combined with the keys is also well don, proving these youngsters know how to handle their instruments.

Highlights – No Joana, The Next Untouchable, The Firework, Amalyse


Cajun Dance Party – Amylase

Nelson – Revolving Doors – Post-punk outfit Nelson hail from France and the release of their album Revolving Doors was Horrors style garage synth at it’s best. Hopefully a big push in promotion in the new year will push this brilliant albums to new listeners.

Highlights -The (Over) Song, Slow Falling


Nelson – The (Over) Song

Clinc – Do It! -Album number five and this Liverpool band are as good as ever. Another case of under rated but if they keep producing such quality material, people are bound to take notice. In terms of sound it’s much of what we’ve come to expect, electronic garage often at varying tempos and sometimes complimented with indistinguishable vocals. It’s an odd mix but it works brilliantly.

Highlights – Tomorow, Emotions, Memories


Clinic – Tomorrow

Kanye West – 808s & Heartbreak – Perhaps the biggest srprise of the year. Kanye West may have hinted at electro through his ‘Stronger’ but this album as a brave leap in to the unknown for thr rapper. That being said he pulled it off brilliantly producing an instant hit. The album takes hip hop to new audiences and is an inter-genre inovation. easily one of the best albums of the year, though it does have a certain marmite quality.

Highlights – Love Lockdown, Amazing, See You In My Nightmares


Kanye West – Love Lockdwon (Live At EMAs)

Xiu Xiu – Women As Lovers – This band get better and better by the release. The experimental-indie outfit have produced another brilliant album and with a host of ‘iTunes exclusive’ tracks theres enough here to keep us going for a while. Musically the band take the listener on an adventure as they test instruments and tempos to produce a fine album.

Highlights – Under Pressure, F.T.W.


Xiu Xiu – Master Of The Bump

Kano – 140 Grime Street – 2008 saw Kano return to his grime roots and deliver a brilliant album. Typically the flows and lyrics were perfect and whilst the album didn’t share the commercial success enjoyed by Wiley or Dizzee Rascal, the conent was deinately on par. kano is back to what he does best – grime – giving a voice to the disgruntled youth as opposed to asking for a dance or rapping about a rolex, though Dizzee and Wiley had brilliant years, this was the grime album of the year.

Highlights – Anywhere We Go, Don’t Come Around Here, I Like It


Kano – I Like It (No official videos)

Late Of  The Pier – Fantasy Black Channel – Nu-rave is still alive and kicking as long as this band keep producing albums like this. While The Klaxons carry on with their follow up to the brilliant Myths Of A Near Future, this band take the elctro-rock throne for 2008. Keys and breakdowns are an admirable combination, perhaps best intertwined in the solo of ‘Heartbeat.’ Brilliant album – sure to go down well at a ‘rave’ be it new or old..

Highlights – Heartbeat, Broken


Late Of The Pier – Heartbeat

T.I. – Paper Trail – The south’s had a big year so far and whilst Ludacris’s ‘Theater Of The Mind’ was a good effort, this was easily the representation of the reigon on the list. it’s a commercial and musical success as recent hit singles prove. A host of features from the likes of Jay-Z, Rhianna, Lil’ Wayne and Kanye West amongst others aid the album well and help it to achieve the reception it has.

Highlights – Live Your Life, Swagga Like Us


T.I. – Live Your Life (ft. Rhianna)

Ahh well that’s it.. hopefully you found some new music or such, it’s been a great year for album and 2009 is  filled with masses of promise.. until ’09 it’s bye for now, happy new year!

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3 Responses

1:42 am
17th March 2009

Wayne aint no real blood

9:08 pm
21st March 2009

i love Lil Wayne!!

5:22 am
10th January 2010

Hello, I just thought I would drop you a line and inform you that your blogs layout is really screwed up on the Firefox browser. Seems to work fine in Internet Explorer though. Anyhow keep up the good work.

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