telling minor stories to avoid a major one

Lists! 2008: Albums 50-41 by Barbecue Bros
January 5, 2009, 11:42 am
Filed under: lists | Tags: , ,

Going to do my top 50 albums countdown style this year, if I may be so bold. And here we go…

50. Constantines – Kensington Heights (Arts & Crafts)
This album was a bit of a letdown for me, as I was expecting it to kick my ass more along the lines of their album Shine A Light but it was full of midtempo, non-rocky songs. However, Constantines are still a live must-see for me if they ever make it down this way.

49. Spiritualized – Songs in A&E (Castle)
Songs in A&E may have been even more of a letdown than Kensington Heights for me, but there still manages to be some great moments on the record, namely “I Got A Fire.”

48. The Magnetic Fields – Distortion (Nonesuch)
This is a case where there is no hidden meaning to the album title, because the entire album is indeed filled with distortion and fuzz. The real gem on the album is the hilarious “Too Drunk to Dream” (opening lyrics, in chant: “Sober, life is a prison/Shitfaced, it is a blessing/Sober, nobody wants you/Shitfaced, they’re all undressing” ), but “Three-way” is a sunny Southern California pop song dressed up in fuzz and opens up the album nicely.

47. Brightblack Morning Light – Motion to Rejoin (Matador)
To me, this album sounds a lot like early, Pure Phase-era Spiritualized (noodly, drifting melodies) as opposed to the current sound of that band (fuzzed-out rock and/or stripped down gospel hymns), which is why it gets a few notches above an actual Spiritualized album.

46. Sebastien Grainger – Sebastien Grainger and the Mountains (Saddle Creek)
The former Death From Above 1979-er’s debut album is more or less the noisy rock you should expect, albeit with more hooks than DFA1979.

45. Glasvegas – s/t (Columbia)
Moments of this record from the Glasgow, Scotland band remind me of The Cure, which isn’t necesarily a bad thing. Had I not heard it so late in the year (partly because I am not a fan of the band name at all), it could have snuck into my top 20.

44. Calexico – Carried to Dust (Quarterstick)
‘s latest album isn’t all too dissimilar from their other albums I’ve heard so that means it has that distinctly southwestern sound, complete with mariachi horns.

43. Silver Jews – Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea (Drag City)
I was big on this record early on, but it may have suffered from some overplay on my part. Still, the usual great David Berman lyrics with some great humor on this album, particularly “San Francisco B.C.”

42. Okkervil River – The Stand Ins (Jagjaguwar)
The companion record to last years The Stage Names, and the record that I actually may prefer of the two. Okkervil River has been putting out consistently solid records the past few years, and The Stand Ins continues that streak.

41. Kings of Leon – Only By the Night (RCA)
Kings of Leon
ditch their southern rock drawl for a more arena-friendly sound, continuing in the same direction as they took with Because of the Times. “Sex on Fire” is a contender for the jam of the year, and not just because it was featured prominently on an episode of Gossip Girl.


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