Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Albums Albums Albums

The folks that made my fave record of the year look (and sound) like this. I'm as surprised as you are.

I make year end music lists every December, prolly because some compulsive aspect of my personality (reification!) makes me enjoy it a whole lot. It inevitably leads to me listening only to the music of the past year in December, which is odd, but, well, if we're gonna divide our lives into chunks of time we might as well divide our art into these chunks as well. Other people's year end lists always lead me to discovering something I missed and, though I can't imagine this will be too widely read, that's hopefully a small function of it. But won't lie and say that this list is anything other something I do for me, something to look back on (most likely in embarrassment) in the future, and something to think about for now.

The top three records on the list below could all easily have topped it. Jeezy put out a record full of super dramatic beats that perfectly complimented his hoarse rumblings, the best record of his career, and the best rap album in a year of pretty great big rap albums. Erykah Badu came back with an absolute classic, an album so full of interesting emotional and aural textures that I'm in awe every time I hear it. I certainly wasn't expecting anything remotely like neo-soul to pique my interest in 2008, but a masterpiece is a masterpiece. I prolly got the most fun this year from Los Campesinos!, a band who do messy, sugary, wordy indie-pop (another genre I wasn't quite checking for) better than maybe anyone I've ever heard. You know that anyone willing to take on one of my least favorite songs ever with a poptimist lyric like "four sweaty boys with guitars tell me nothing about my life!" get some bonus points for year.

But yeah, (like every year) it was a great year for music, and anyone that tells you otherwise probably shouldn't be trusted. Here's a bunch of albums I enjoyed, and I'll be back tomorrow with songs list (which I put a ton more effort into than this one, to be honest) and a gigantic playlist to boot.

Maciej's Top 25 Albums of the Year (okay so the-Dream was December '07 fucking sue me)

1. Los Campesinos! - Hold On Now, Youngster... (Wichita/Arts and Crafts International)
2. Young Jeezy - the Recession (Def Jam)
3. Erykah Badu - New Amerykah: Part One (4th World War) (Universal Motown)
4. the Bug - London Zoo (Ninja Tune)
5. Portishead - Third (Universal Island Records)
6. Hercules & Love Affair - Hercules & Love Affair (DFA)
7. the Mole - As High as the Sky (Wagon Repair)
8. The-Dream - Love/Hate (Island Def Jam)
9. Gang Gang Dance - St. Dymphna (Warp)
10. Of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping (Polyvinyl)
11. Bun B - II Trill (Rap-A-Lot Records)
12. Dave Aju - Open Wide (Circus Company)
13. Lil Wayne - The Carter III (Cash Money Records/Universal Motown)
14. Ne-yo - The Year of the Gentleman (Island Def Jam)
15. the Mountain Goats - Heretic Pride (4AD)
16. Shed - Shedding the Past (Ostgut Tonträger)
17. Deerhunter - Microcastle (Kranky)
18. Beyonce - I Am...Sasha Fierce (Columbia)
19. El Guincho - Alegranza! (XL Recordings)
20. Ponytail - Ice Cream Spiritual (We Are Free)
21. Vivian Girls - Vivian Girls (Mauled By Tigers/In the Red)
22. the Hold Steady - Stay Positive (Vagrant Records)
23. T.I. - Paper Trail (Grand Hustle/Atlantic)
24. Spiritualized - Songs in A&E (Sancturary Records)
25. Prosumer & Murat Tepeli - Serenity (Ostgut Tonträger)

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