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Best Albums Of 2008 – ENS Contributors

Filed in Best Of 2008, Live Reviews and Music News 1 comments

List week rolls on today with some great lists from our contributors. Each Note Secure got some great contributions this week from a handful of people, and a couple of those folks have been kind enough to provide their favorite albums of 2008 below. Enjoy!

dave Best Albums Of 2008   ENS Contributors***Dave’s Top 10 Albums of 2008

1. My Morning JacketEvil Urges

Jim James and company release their most diverse, eclectic bunch of songs yet, and are rewarded by having their best year, in terms of their ever-growing, cult fanbase and a spot at Madison Square Garden on New Year’s Eve. Wait, did I just say that? MMJ at MSG? On New Year’s? Wow.

2. TV on the RadioDear Science

A perfectly crafted, artful update of the funk and soul music that artists were so adept at creating in the late 70s, done right by a group of modern-day, Brooklyn-based musicians. At this point, TV on the Radio truly carries the torch for modern musical exploration and innovation.

3. The War on DrugsWagonwheel Blues

My favorite debut of the year comes not from Fleet Foxes or Vampire Weekend (both great in their own right), but this Philadelphia group. In a year where the influence of Dylan exploded onto the indie-scene, Wagonwheel Blues was the best combination of his Americana with grand musical soundscapes.

4. The Hold SteadyStay Positive

The Hold Steady produced another fist-pumping, beer-drinking collection of anthems. They truly have evolved into America’s new E Street Band, and with that elite company, how could these guys go wrong?

5. Girl TalkFeed The Animals

Everyone’s favorite party-starter offered a follow-up as phenomenal as his breakout. Pushing legal boundaries like no other artist, Gillis has created a second masterpiece of perfectly mashed popular music.

6. Blitzen TrapperFurr

The second of three Dylan revivalists in my Top 10, Blitzen Trapper’s Furr has flown unfortunately under the radar this year, but certainly was one of my most played records of the Fall. Adding eccentric quirks and curveballs to traditional folk music, this band deserves a much wider audience than the one to which they’re accustomed.

7. PortisheadThird

The much-heralded return of this British trio saw a musical leap forward, as the trip-hop days of the late 90s are now behind them. Beth Gibbons vocals are as haunting and gorgeous as they were a decade ago, and Geoff Barrow and Adrian Utley continue to push music to new heights and in directions we have yet to realize.

8. The WalkmenYou & Me

On You & Me, The Walkmen have grown completely comfortable with the space they occupy in the modern musical landscape. Hamilton Leithauser’s guttural vocals shine like never before established on record. This record was the grower of the year for me, with every repeated listen unfolding a new nuance or complexity.

9. Wolf ParadeAt Mount Zoomer

This is no Apologies to the Queen Mary, but At Mount Zoomer stands on its own as a wonderful piece of musical affluence. While not as cohesive as their past work, both Boeckner and Krug have grown more confident in their songwriting abilities, making this anything but a letdown of a sophomore effort.

10. BeckModern Guilt

After a slight misstep with 2006′s The Information, Beck reached out to Danger Mouse to co-produce this year’s experimental effort, with fantastic results. Underpinning influences of British psychedelia flow through the album, in no small part due to Danger Mouse’s British obsession, and Beck creates songs that fit perfectly into that format.

caitlin Best Albums Of 2008   ENS Contributors***Caitlin’s Top 10 Albums of 2008 (in no particular order)

Peter AdamsI Woke With Planets In My Face

Planets is a lush, beautiful album that channels the organic simplicity of Neutral Milk Hotel with the Eastern European sounds of Beirut. The only drawback to listening to the album may be the overwhelming jealousy when I remember that Peter single-handedly recorded every instrument on the album.

The DodosVisiter

I think I was drawn to this album after I heard “Fools” because it sounded like something off Animal Collective’s album, Sung Tongs. The rest of the album is equally interesting.. My favorite song changes every time I listen to the album (right now, I’m stuck on “Walking”).

Sigur RósMed Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust

A friend told me that the only time he ever cried listening to music was when he saw Sigur Rós live. As a firm believer in the philosophy that anything Sigur Rós creates is aural perfection, I think I just nodded empathetically.

Ra Ra RiotThe Rhumb Line

Ra Ra Riot’s allure is in a combination of elements that separate them from the other indie buzz bands: the fusion of chamber pop (the band includes a cellist and violinist) and indie, their endless energy at live shows, and Wes Miles’ distinctive voice.
On a side note, I think I was humming “Too Too Too Fast” for a straight month.

PomegranatesEverything Is Alive

Pomegranates’ full-length debut put the band in the spotlight they deserve. Their spastic energy from the Two Eyes EP is focused into a shoegaze-tinged indie pop album that reaffirms my confidence in the Cincinnati music scene.


If Ladytron recorded the soundtrack to a John Hughes film, it would most likely sound like Saturdays=Youth. It’s a major shift from M83’s previous albums, yet somehow the electronic meets new wave thing works without sounding like a novelty.

King Khan & The ShrinesThe Supreme Genius of…

I’m still beating myself up for missing King Khan at Pitchfork this summer. From what I’m told, the ridiculousness of his performance was rivaled only by Les Savy Fav.

The KillsMidnight Boom

Can indie rock be described as sexy?
I don’t care, I’m using it as anyway. Midnight Boom is sexy (see “Cheap and Cheerful”). Like Yeah Yeah Yeahs with a pulsing beat.

Ida Maria – Fortress Round My Heart

I found myself playing this album a lot over the summer…but only if I was in my car with the stereo up and the windows down. Ida Maria’s sweet growl and catchy hooks (“I like you so much better when you’re naked”? How could you not love this song?) made this a great summer driving album.

Fleet Foxes – S/T

An ideal winter album. Beautiful and subtle, with a chamber folk element that appeals to fans of Grizzly Bear and Bon Iver. I could listen to “Oliver James” over and over and never get tired of it.

 Best Albums Of 2008   ENS Contributors


Joe started ENS in 2003 after most people he wanted to talk to about music were worn thin by his ramblings. The outlet this site provided helped out, and somehow is still going 9 years later. After a four year stint as a WOXY DJ, Joe returned to Cincinnati and continues to pioneer ENS. In addition to the overall look and feel of the site, Joe provides regular reviews, and kinda makes sure this whole thing stays afloat.

Posted by Joe Long   @   11 December 2008 1 comments


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