it’s that time again…

…for me to list my top albums of 2008!


it was a strange year, since a lot of my regular favorite artists released new albums last year, but very few of them are on this list. not that any of those albums were that bad, they just didn’t exceed what i thought they were capable of. instead this list consists of mostly new artists i got into (because, i suppose, there were no expectations), and there  were a bunch of them! because of this, i’m listing my top twenty this year instead of the usual ten (i just felt bad for leaving so many favorites out).  here we go!

  1. only by the night (kings of leon): maybe a little too over-produced for some people, but to me kings of leon finally fine tuned their sound and created their best album to date.
  2. dear science, (tv on the radio): i’m not sure tvotr can put out a bad album…
  3. with a buzz in your ears we play endlessly (eng translation) (sigur ros) : same goes for  sigur ros. if the second half of this album didn’t wind down so much, i would have made it my number one.
  4. the stand-ins (okkervil river): wasn’t overly impressed with their last album, but this one really sucked me in. and now i appreciate their last album more.
  5. vampire weekend (vampire weekend): took me a while to understand what all the fuss was about (as usual), but i get it now.
  6. consolers of the lonely (the raconteurs): yes, jack white sure knows how to make a great rock album, but i think brendan benson helps bring out the best in him.
  7. keep your eyes ahead (the helio sequence): so underrated, especially after listening to their previous albums. i read that brandon summers damaged his vocal chords so bad before releasing kyea that he had to essentially learn to sing all over again. it really worked in his favor i believe.
  8. narrow stairs (death cab for cutie): wasn’t sure about this one at first, but it slowly crept into my system where now i think it might just be one of their best.
  9. common reaction (uh huh her): okay- it’s poppy, but i love it. i can not get enough of these girls.
  10. at mount zoomer (wolf parade): i’m biased of course, because spencer krug is one of my favorite artists, but this was a fine follow-up to apologies, if not quite as good as that or sunset’s spirit lover.
  11. oracular spectacular (mgmt): the album title says it all. i have a feeling it might have “a current sound” to it when i go back to this in a couple years, but right now, it’s still awesome. i’m curious to hear what mgmt does for a follow-up.
  12. the glass passenger (jack’s mannequin): not my usual flavor of tea, but this album was so fun and melodically consistent that i couldn’t stop listening to it. always putting me in a good mood, it was one of my most played albums of the year.
  13. thirst for romance (cherry ghost): just… a good album. i don’t know what else to say.
  14. only as the day is long (sera cahoone): beautiful, beautiful sophomore release.
  15. fleet foxes (fleet foxes): you kinda had to figure they would be on this list somewhere. although i almost enjoyed their sun giant ep more than this full release.
  16. keep color (republic tigers): another underrated album of 2008. with keep color, this band accomplished what more experienced bands than them have failed to in recent years.
  17. heal for the honey (brooke waggoner): an excellent debut full-album following an equally excellent ep. plus i’m a sucker for female artists with a great voice and mad piano skillz.
  18. perfect symmetry (keane): for their third release, keane actually managed to put out an album that combined the best of their previous two releases creating a very accurately titled album. i kinda thought they might go the way of third-eye-blind, but perfect symmetry says otherwise.
  19. volume one (she and him): zooey and ward is possibly the best team-up since cookie dough and ice cream.
  20. a hundred million suns (snow patrol): i’m still a fan of this band, despite their incredibly over-played success. i just miss the days when they were just mine! million suns kinda plays toward their current popularity in a lot of ways, but lightbody and crew try just enough radio repelling experiments to keep original fans like myself happy. and i still love lightbody’s ever positive romantic lyricism.

i also need to mention two great ep’s came out last year as well:

  1. the sun never sets on the cool kids (mumford and sons): without a doubt my favorite new band of 2008. if they make a full-album this consistently awesome, i can already tell you it’s going to be placed number one that year.
  2. white lights (deas veil): why only five songs, deas veil?? i need more!


  1. Keath’s avatar

    Ha! On the day you post an insightful and thoughtful post about the best albums of 2008 so I can equip myself with quality listening, I’m instead blithely ignoring your advice and listening to Def Leppard’s album Hysteria :) Rocket! Yeah! (Satellite of love!) :P

    All Def Leppard lyrics end with an exclamation point :)

    1. mike’s avatar

      dude- hysteria was the best album of 1987. :D

    2. megan’s avatar

      Great list Mike! I think the song Med sud i eyrum (#6) alone is enough to put that album at number one for me. Luff it.
      I am predicting Neko Case’s “Middle Cyclone” as my top album of 2009… March 3rd!! Woo hoo

    3. Bryan B.’s avatar

      Great list. But the latest Carpark North album is missing!

    4. mike’s avatar

      megan- neko case is great! looking forward it.

      bryan- you and your crazy electro copenhagen rock…

    5. cbgb24’s avatar

      Hey man great list. give this record a listen.

      Little Joy-S/T

      This is a band made up of a brazilian singer/songwriter who has worked with devendra banhart and the drummer from the strokes Fab Moretti.


      1. mike’s avatar

        aw man! thanks!

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