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Each Note Secure’s Top 21 Albums of 2008

Filed in Best Of 2008 and MP3s 12 comments

21. The Week That Was – S/T

Peter Brewis has always done interesting things with his band Field Music, but the leap forward he takes on this new project makes his other band pale in comparison. This group of 8 tracks from his project The Week That Was, which also features his brother David, and several others (TWTW is a 9 piece band) pushing the pop music envelope.

The Week That Was – Scratch The Surface

20. Deerhunter - Microcastle

I’m late to the Deerhunter party, but this album was an undeniable gem. While I have felt annoyed at times by their previous stuff, the early Sonic Youth qualities of this album and the absolute jam that is “Nothing Ever Happened” help it just make my list.

19. Lightspeed ChampionFalling Off the Lavender Bridge

Who knew anything this great could come out of Test Icicles, Devonte Hynes previous band. Dev has the vocal chords of an opera singer and looks like a video game junkie but manages to find a great balance on this debut solo album.

18. Blitzen Trapper

Somewhere in the great USA, Neil Young and Crazy Horse are jealous, because Blitzen Trapper just made an album that any southern rocker should be envious of. Their sophomore album brings them to full on roots rock status and I like it.

17. Hot ChipMade In The Dark

The crown for best electro dance pop band was up for grabs in 2008 and no surprise Hot Chip are the champs. It is really not just a couple great tunes, but a collection of dance party hits. And you know I love the hits. icon smile Each Note Secures Top 21 Albums of 2008

16. The Last Shadow PuppetsMy Mistakes Were Made For You

Alex Turner(Arctic Monkeys) and Miles Kane (The Rascals) don’t consider The Last Shadow Puppets anything more than a side venture at this point, but for my money, this album is as good as anything their main projects have released.

15. BeckModern Guilt

It’s not that I did not like The Information, but its more like I wish Beck had made an album more like this at that time. It took some help from Danger Mouse behind the decks, but Modern Guilt lives up to the hype and shows Beck is still at the top of his game.

14. Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson – S/T

Young, unpolished and unproven are all things that describe MBAR. Another description could be brilliant as his debut (which was released thanks to Kyp Malone of TVOTR and Chris Bear of Grizzly Bear) continues to leave me wanting more. His Dylanesque croon and heartfelt lyrics remind me why I love folk singers.

13. Thao NguyenWe Brave Bee Stings And All

I heard this record in January and knew it would land on my top 20 at the end of the year. Thao Ngyuen made an album that veteran contemporaries like Cat Power and Jenny Lewis should have made.

Thao Nguyen – Beat

12. The Notwist
The Devil, You + Me

It seems like forever since Neon Golden, the 2002 album from this German group and lots of times that leaves expectations unreasonably high. However, this slow burner of an album kept me interested and will stand the test of time.

11. Horse FeathersHouse With No Home

The Portland duo’s KRS debut and second album overall came out of nowhere in 2008. The hushed tones of Justin Ringle vocal over the delicate instrumention and strings of his band and these songs makes for an amazing listen in the morning, and even better listen on vinyl.

Horse Feathers – Curs In The Weeds

10. The DearsMissiles

This album had everything you could ask for if you wanted failure. A band in turmoil, the 3rd label in as many albums, and the sounds of their Brit-pop past withering. The result? My favorite Dears album to date, with 4 opening songs that might be the best out of the gate on this list.

9. The WalkmenYou & Me

After two listens to You & Me, I wondered what was wrong with me because I did not get it. For some reason I gave it two more passes and it just clicked. The batch of slow burning achy ballads makes it the best Walkmen album since their debut.

8. ElbowThe Seldom Seen Kid

Elbow usually comes across as a ‘singles’ band for me, which is fine, but The Seldom Seen Kid had way more staying power. The sheer beauty of songs like “Mirrorball” and “Someday Like This” combined with the foot stomping gem that is “Grounds For Divorce” make this a solid top 10 choice.

7. Sigur Ros
Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust

Their most upbeat and accessible album to date was the perfect progression for an already incredible band. The more upbeat stuff was great the long atmospheric side of the band was present as well on such epic tunes as “Festival”, which clocks in at a very Sigur Rosish 8 minutes plus.

6. M83Saturdays = Youth

Not at all what I was expecting form Anthony Gonzalez as he released an album so thick with 1980s nostalgia (album cover included) and I felt like part of the Breakfast Club after listening.

5. Fleet Foxes – S/T

For those My Morning Jacket fans that felt the band stepped away from their beginnings, Fleet Foxes was there to provide the appropriate safety net. Their soft and nearly flawless harmonies were an obvious winner for me and loads of others this year. Don’t be turned off by the massive amount of lists you see this album on this year, it’s warranted.

4. Bon IverFor Emma Forever Ago

Getting an official release this year makes it a no-brainer to give Justin Vernon top 5 billing in 2008. I just cannot stop listening to this record, no matter how hard I try to. For Emma is almost too simple at first but builds into a briliant piece of music from start to finish.

3. My Morning Jacket
Evil Urges

Count me as one of the early MMJ fans that stayed on board for this record which saw Jim James discovering his inner Prince. The full progression which we saw half of on Z was realized on Evil Urges and it made for an excellent all around album. I even loved tunes like “Highly Suspicious”, which raised lots of eyebrows.

2. FoalsAntidotes

Best debut album of the year and nearly the best album overall came from Foals, whos Sub Pop debut Antidotes caught me right away. However it was their energetic live show that put things over the top for me, as they took an early day side stage at Lollapalooza and turned it into an absolute party.

1. TV On The RadioDear Science

This will end up on the top of several top albums list this year and justifiably so, TV On The Radio have a sound that right now nobody can match and this album took me from casual fan to dedicated. The songs that are excellent are so many its hard to mention just a few, but “Golden Age” does it for me every time.

 Each Note Secures Top 21 Albums of 2008


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   @   17 December 2008 12 comments


Dec 17, 2008
3:00 pm
#1 Tart :

alright, darn it! you made me want to listen to Fleet Foxes and M83, grrrr

and I couldn’t agree more with you about Lightspeed Champion and Blitzen Trapper and I’m gonna have to give Beck another listen. Thanks! xoxo

Dec 17, 2008
11:58 pm
#2 Scott :

This is a pretty nice list, I think most of my favorite albums from the last year are there!

Dear Science, was my number 1 as well.

Dec 21, 2008
1:27 am
#3 J-Love :

Great list, Joe. This is why the holiday season is always a fantastic time to catch up on any solid music missed during the past year. No Frightened Rabbit? I know you share a penchant for loud Scottish rock…

Dec 22, 2008
7:56 pm
#4 Saget :

Many of our picks overlap, Joe. Well done. It was nice to see Elbow on a year-end list for once. Did you get a chance to listen to Delta Spirit’s Ode To Sunshine? If you haven’t, you should head over to Daytrotter to hear the live versions of Bleeding Bells and Trashcan: http://daytrotter.com/article/1240/delta-spirit

Author Dec 23, 2008
10:49 am
#5 Administrator :

Thanks man, I did enjoy Delta Spirit, it would go into a honorable mention category, as would Frightened Rabbit.

Dec 23, 2008
11:08 am
#6 uwmryan :

Solid! I need to revisit Thao and had I gotten to know Miles Benjamin…. I could see that making my list as well.


Jan 7, 2009
10:32 am
#7 Karl :

well maybe a good list if all you like is experimental electronica/rock kind of music. But this music says nothing to me about my life.
Not a huge fan but: Lykke Li will probably beat your drum more than any of these did last year.

Author Jan 7, 2009
10:49 am
#8 Administrator :

Karl, I would not expect this to say anything about your life, its my list. Thanks for stopping by though, and I am a fan of Lykke Li…

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