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Nick’s Top 5 of 08 (so far)

June 29, 2008

Being about half through the year and all I thought it would be fun to compile a list of my favourite albums of the year so far. It was harder than I thought; in particular picking the last one but here they are presented in no particular order. Ranking them would be even harder; I might save that for the end of the year…

Why? – Alopecia
I have a really hard describing this band, indie hip hop rock? Maybe. Personal rhymes mixed with indie rock beats? Hmmm possibly. Either way Alopecia is a fantastic album full of interesting lyrics that are rapped or sung; there are also some great fantastic melodies and instrumentation. All this coupled with some of the best production I’ve heard this year, the sound scapes these guys are creating are sometimes breathtaking. While I initially thought some of the album was a bit weak it just continued to grow on me and become one of my favourites for this year.

Official Myspace

Wolf Parade – At Mount Zoomer
This album seems to have been described as average to ‘pretty good’ in almost every review I’ve looked at. I don’t understand. Coming off the back of the critically acclaimed Apologies to Queen Mary, must have a lot to do with it but I heard this album first and I think it’s fantastic. Psychedelic elements, with great melodies and indie rock guitar riffs are just some of what makes this a great album. ‘Call it a Ritual’ is one of the best songs of the year with its catchy piano hook and dreamy melodies. The whole album flows with hardly a weak moment. Neck up music press, this is fantastic.
Official Myspace

The Hold Steady – Stay Positive
I was so glad when listening to this album to find that Finn had finally shifted topics in his lyrics (at least partly). Songs about murder, intrigue, scene politics, along with his usual rants about parties, drinking and kicking arse, are all here and it’s so refreshing to see him take a different approach for the majority of songs. Not only has he changed it up but the rest of the band sounds tighter and more inventive, stepping out of their rock and roll mould for some interesting new tricks. Although if you’ve never liked The Hold Steady this isn’t going to change your mind but that doesn’t really matter as I think this is a fantastic rock record.
Official Myspace

The Tallest Man on Earth – Shallow Grave
I wasn’t sure if I was going to include this on the list so I decided to give it another listen and make up my mind then. It’s good. The thing I really like about Shallow Grave is the raw production; the songs all work because they sound so honest and unpretentious and you can imagine them being recorded on a back porch somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Folk songs about nature and similar themes are not something I would have thought I would be enjoying if you’d asked me a few years ago but the song writing on offer here is just so, for lack of a better word, natural and fantastic. The vocals are appealing and blend so well with the instrumentation, I also love the lack of drums throughout the whole album. Simply fantastic.
Official Myspace

Deerhunter – Microcastle
I’m a bit wary sticking this up here because I think what I’ve been listening too isn’t even the final version of the album but whatever it is, I really like it. I mentioned the other day I didn’t really like their last effort Cryptograms, but this is a lot different and frankly, a lot better. Ranging from dreamy pop songs to noise filled rock ones, this is an album I find really hard to classify outside of saying that it’s ‘rock’ album. Doesn’t really matter which genre it falls into as all you need to know if that it’s very good, with interesting and varied song writing. I’m really surprised I enjoyed this as much as I have so if you never liked Deerhunter’s earlier material then I still recommend checking this out. Also yeah, that’s not the real album art (obviously); it hasn’t been released yet.
Official Myspace

One Comment leave one →
  1. Philippe permalink
    July 1, 2008 1:06 am

    Nice list – will have to write one of these up soonish

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