As most people are watching the Obamas dance at inaugural balls right now and most “top 10” lists for 2008 have long been completed, I decided to shorten to a more practical number and share my top 5 albums of 2008 with you. Again, these are top albums, not singles. Although we have become consumers of digital singles, I am still a huge fan of a complete album that is impressive from beginning to end. These are my 5 favorite from 2008, that I continue to listen to in 2009.
1. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
These guys are really as good as the critics are claiming. The closest thing I can find to Brian Wilson these days – and we all know I am always seeking Brian Wilson in music. It’s such a complex album that it’s almost simple. I hope you already own this one, but if not…
2. Everything That Happens Will Happen Today – David Byrne & Brian Eno
Byrne, of Talking Heads, and Eno, famous as a producer (notably of U2, in addition to Talking Heads), have created an album that I can listen to on repeat. While their 1981 collaboration, My Life In The Bush of Ghosts, is critically acclaimed, I think this one has more mass appeal. I caught Byrne at the Warner Theatre here in DC while touring in support of this album and he was absolutely amazing. The whole stage show, complete with weird dancers and arm chopping during “Once In A Lifetime,” was mesmerizing. The show was half Everything That Happens… and half Talking Heads Greatest Hits. I highly recommend!
Quality is bad, but this gives you an idea of his band…”One Fine Day” and “Life Is Long.”
And an interesting video for “Strange Overtones.”
3. Volume One – She & Him
The only way I have been able to describe this album is that I am sure my grandfather would probably have liked it as much as I do. And he would probably have liked Zooey Deschanel as much as I do. So yes, that’s really her singing in Elf. And yes, this was really recorded last year!
4. Acid Tongue – Jenny Lewis
If you didn’t buy her first album, Rabbit Fur Coat, with the Watson Twins, you are really missing out. Acid Tongue might not be quite as great as Rabbit Fur Coat, but it’s still amazing. And with guests such as Elvis Costello, Chris Robinson, Zooey Deschanel, M. Ward, and Jonathan Rice, you know it’s going to be special. Oh, and if you weren’t aware, Jenny Lewis also has a pretty popular band…called Rilo Kiley. And if she looks a little familiar, she was a child actress. Here are some of my favorites:
5. Flight of the Conchords – Flight of the Conchords
A great album from a great HBO series. These guys had an amazing US tour this summer, which I caught in LA. Absolutely hilarious! Try these: