Thursday, January 1, 2009

Albums Of The Year 2008: 10-1

10. The Raveonettes - Lust Lust Lust
Fantastic return to form from Danish feedback/girl group fans, with a dark, menacing collection of songs that mix Shangri-Las vocals and lyrical beauty/death obsession with chiming guitar and heavy distortion.  Lead-off track "Aly, Walk With Me" is a standout. They followed it up with no less than four EPs, one a month, through the end of the year.

9. Kings Of Leon - Only By The Night
I'd never paid this lot much attention before because they looked like Lynrd Skynrd and I'm not fucking having it, but Only By The Night is a great album, full of 70s-influenced American rock anthems. They'd cut their hair too, thank fuck, so I was able to listen to it. 
[Sex On Fire]

8. Goldfrapp - Seventh Tree
The dominatrix takes a holiday in a remote west country village and delivers an album of pastoral beauty, and, let's not deny it, billowy translucent dresses. Single "A&E" and opening track "Clowns" are standouts.

7. The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age Of The Understatement
Arguably more interesting than the second Arctic Monkeys album , and I've heard fuck all by The Rascals, Alex Turner and Miles Kane's side project resulted in a brilliant album of British indie through a widescreen 60s filter of dramatic orchestral flourishes - a Northern Scott Walker soundtracking a Len Deighton thriller while Christine Keeler peels her stockings off.
[The Age Of The Understatement]

6. M83 - Saturdays = Youth
Smells like clove cigarettes and cheap perfume. Flawlessly executed tribute to mid 80s synthpop and John Hughes/Savage Steve Holland movies. "Graveyard Girl" and "Kim & Jessie" are classics of the period, delivered 20 years later.
[Kim & Jessie]

5. Young Knives - Superabundance
With most of the recent postpunk revivalists failing to sustain the promise of their first or first couple of albums (Bloc Party, Futureheads), Ashby's Young Knives released a second album that was richer and more diverse than 2006's Voices of Animals and Men.  Witty, sarky and great fun - classic indie from a band that looks like a trio of John Hodgmans. Nice tweed jackets too.
[Terra Firma]

4. Toadies - No Deliverance
Long awaited return of Fort Worth's finest sees a return to the sound of their debut, Rubberneck, with a heavier dose of Texas bar band boogie. Exceeded expectations, and they were terrific in concert. Now, where's the Brutal Juice reunion album?
[No Deliverance]

3. The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound
Jersey punks channelling Springsteen through a Social Distortion/Against Me filter built blue collar character studies into gritty, romantic street anthems. Brilliant from start to finish, particularly the title track and closer "The Back Seat."

2. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
Party album of the year, MGMT's debut mixes electro, indie and dashes of funk. A stunning debut.
[Time To Pretend]

1. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
The Bad Seeds leave the piano at home but remember to bring Grinderman's guitars with them. Louder and brasher than the last couple of albums, Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! mixes street life, biblical allegory and a sexual braggadocio befitting the owner of the world's greatest moustache. Utterly essential.

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