Top Albums of 2008

Originally Posted January 3rd, 2009 via

“Top Albums of 2008”

15. The Killers ” Day And Age”

– A huge part of me would have liked to place this album a lot higher on the list, but I just know this band is capable of much more. Many music critics bashed this album claiming that the Killers had no idea what sound they wanted and the album was unorganized, I really enjoy that the band goes to different extremes, it truly makes them who they are… just wish they had more consistency.

– Favorite Tracks: “A Dustland Fairytale” “Spaceman”

14. She & Him “Volume One”

– I became fascinated this year with Zoey Deschanel, much of that fascination came from this album. Great sound provided by M. Ward with Zoey’s old school voice gives a sound that is very classic and enjoyable to listen to. No one could have ever guessed that a small song in the movie “Elf” would lead to one of the better albums I have heard in a long time. Great album for anyone who thinks everything was better before the 70’s.

– Favortie Tracks: “This is Not a Test” ” I Was Made for You”

13. Lil’ Wayne “The Carter III”

– I was originally very hesitant about listening to this album because everyone was acting like it was the second coming of Christ…. But I eventually did, and it is fantastic. I loved Lil Wayne back in the day with his album “The Block is Hot” and always thought he had a lot of talent. In this new CD he blows my mind, so much hip hop nowadays is mindless dribble that doesn’t make sense. Lil Wayne is very intelligent and poetic with his words and many times made me laugh a little out of disbelief of what I was hearing.

– Favortie Tracks: “Mr. Carter” ” You Aint Got Nuthin”

12. My Morning Jacket “Evil Urges”

– This is such a great album from a band that should really be more popular than they have been. My Morning Jacket has always had an amazing sound combining different instruments with many different vocal sounds. This shows on this album when in different songs they change their tone completely, see the amazing track “Highly Suspicious” for reference to that. Definitely purchase this album and support this band.

– Favortie Tracks: “Touch Me I am Going to Scream, pt 1″ ” I’m Amazed”

11. Haste The Day “Dreamer”

– OMG OMG. This freaking album. I never thought that the band would be able to follow up “Pressure the Hinges”… did they ever. Too many great things about this CD to list. Catchy choruses, amazing guitar riffs, very poignant lyrics, and great vocals. I was glad to see this album up front in many stores like best buy and wal mart. Its always great to hear a great album from the Christian Alternative genre, specially when the secular alternative music this year was disappointing (Gun’s N Roses…..ugh..god awful).

– Favortie Tracks: “Haunting” ” An Adult Tree”

10. Lady Antebellum “Lady Antebellum”

– This simply fantastic country music trio came onto the scene with an amazing debut album. I never got tired of this album and I listened to it consistently thought the year. The male/female vocal duets on the songs by Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott are fantastic. It is great to see a resurgence in the popularity of country music lately with acts like Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood, and Lady Antebellum is helping out greatly as well….I really hope to see several more good albums from this band.

– Favortie Tracks: “I Run to You” ” Slowdown Sister”

9. Underoath “Lost in the Sound of Seperation”

– 4 years ago I would have never imagined an album like this could come out of the band on “Their Only Chasing Safety.” Every album Underoath has changed slightly into what I believe now is their true an honest form, and it works wonderfully. Every track on this album hits you hard, but is orchestrated in a way that seems natural. Every song also has brutally truthful lyrics such as “This is really my plan, To get out in one piece, Is this really your plan, To keep me lost and on my knees.” If you have never seen this band perform live, do that in 2009, one of my top 5 live bands…..insane.

– Favortie Tracks: “A Fault Line, A Fault of Mine” ” Coming Down is Calming Down”

8. Copeland “You Are My Sunshine”

– I truly believe that Aaron Marsh is part angel. His vocals on this album are fantastic. Every song is filled with intense melodic instrumentals to back up the great vocals. This year I used this album to get through days when life was a mess, any problem I had could be solved by lying on the couch and listening to “Good Morning Fire Eater.” It’s that good… it takes you out of yourself and into another place of mind.

– Favortie Tracks: “Chin Up” “Should You Return”

7. Ryan Adams & The Cardinals “Cardinology”

– Ryan Adams cannot fail in my book, I hope that he releases an album every year if they stay this consistent. The mixture of Adam’s folk sounding voice and the great music of The Cardinals is a perfect combination. Their sound reminds me of older folk/country music that I used to hear my dad play when I was younger. Ryan Adams continues to be one of my favorite acts this year and is also one everyone should go see, I saw him perform earlier in 08′ with the Cardinals and it was splendid.

– Favortie Tracks: “Fix it” “Evergreen”

6. Death Cab For Cutie “Narrow Stairs”

– No one writes and performs music like Death Cab, and it shows one again on this album. I would have liked this album to be on top of the list, but I always felt like it could have been that much better. There were fantastic songs such as “Grapevine Fires” and “Twin Sized Bed” that contained lyrics of vivid imagery that only Ben Gibbard could think up. Some of the simplicity the band used to have on albums like Photoalbum has been lost, which is what this album missed, only on songs like “Talking Bird” did I feel like I was listening to older DCFC. Still a fantastic band and another legendary album to their credit.

– Favortie Tracks: “Cath…” “The Ice is Getting Thinner”

5. Conor Oberst “Conor Oberst”

-For the first time since the late 90’s, Conor Oberst released an album without the band Bright Eyes, which he is known for and has blessed my life with. This self titled album is similar in some ways to “Cassadaga” from Bright Eyes, but definitely is a change, and one I really enjoyed. Albums like this and Josh Ritter’s “Historical Conquest’s…” truly make me believe in the great American singer/songwriter again. With a fantastic folk sound with help from the Mystic Valley Band, Conor Oberst sheds some light on his personal experiences and a sound that he seems really comfortable with. I truly love Bright Eyes, but a solo album was long overdue and I crave more.

– Favortie Tracks: “Sausalito” “Moab”

4. Jack’s Mannequin “The Glass Passenger”

-I was always a huge fan of Andrew McMahon’s voice and loved Something Corporate. I enjoyed Jack’s Mannequin’s first album, but always thought that they could have done much better. This time they released an album that is nearly dead on. Every song on this CD contains simple catchy piano rock with a unique sound that can only come from the mouth of Mr. McMahon. Glass Passenger once again proves that all good things come out of Orange County and I hope they continue on the path they are on with this record.

– Favortie Tracks: “Hammers and String( A Lullaby)” “Caves”

3. Snow Patrol “A Hundred Million Suns”

-It is hard to really explain my affection for this album. Upon first listen I didn’t really like it and tossed it to the side. Later in the year I decided to give it another chance and the record changed completely for me. Its like something clicked and every song spoke to me directly and I became infatuated with it. I now think it almost better than “Eyes Open”…which I thought was perfect. The lyrics on this album are incredible; no one puts poetry to song like Snow Patrol. There is so much energy and emotion to each track that portrays exactly what is meant to be heard and felt in the songs. This is another album that takes you into another place and paints a vivid image with the lyrics. Go get this album immediately please…

– Favortie Tracks: “Lifeboats” “If There is A Rocket Tie Me To It”

2. Joshua Radin “Simple Times”

-This album is a great example of how such simple songs can be so good. There is nothing extraordinary about the instruments, nor the lyrics that Joshua Radin sings. Its just perfectly orchestrated songs that are infectiously good. Joshua Radin has a superb voice and knows exactly how to use it. I was very surprised to hear this record for the first time and kept waiting for the next track on it to be bad and there were none to be found. It’s a shame that the media does not support music like this because it needs to be heard, this is how music should sound.

– Favortie Tracks: “I’d Rather Be With You” “Free of Me”

1. Augustana “Can’t Love, Can’t Hurt”

-I am often surprised by how much the band took over my life this year and how good they truly are. Most people only know this band for the ever popular song “Boston” featured on about every television drama in 2007. On this new album Augustana created for me a perfect image of what a modern American roots rock band should look like. The majority of my fondness of Augustana comes from seeing them live this year, one of my top 2 concerts of my life. With inspiration from folk music and classic rock, Augustana hits a chord with my musical tastes that few, if any, bands even come close to. I feel this band easily deserves the top spot of 2008 and anyone that doubts that should go see them live. Preferably when Dan Layus is sober…..

– Favortie Tracks: “Sweet and Low” “Meet You There”


~ by Nolan Browning on December 8, 2009.

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