telling minor stories to avoid a major one

Lists! 2008: Albums 30-21 by Barbecue Bros
January 6, 2009, 11:54 am
Filed under: lists | Tags: , ,

My top 50 albums of 2008 continues today with 30-21. Albums 20-11 will come tomorrow.

30. Blitzen Trapper – Furr (Sub Pop)
Last year’s Wild Mountain Nation 
came out of nowhere and very nearly landed in my top 20. Now that I was more aware of Blitzen Trapper, I made sure I sought out their Sub Pop debut and have definitely enjoyed their brand of lo-fi Americana further. Probably could have used more listens, to be honest.

29. Pop Levi – Never Never Love (Counter)
Pop Levi makes pop music like nothing I’ve really heard before. Though maybe this is because I haven’t really listened to T-Rex or a lot of glam.

28. Drive-By Truckers – Brighter Than Creation’s Dark (New West)
The latest from the Truckers starts off strongly (notably “Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife,” “3 Dimes Down,” and “The Righteous Path”) before it ends up dragging on a little too long at 19 tracks and nearly 70 minutes. Still, there are some great tracks here, and I just wish DBT had done a little self-editing (“Daddy Needs a Drink,” “Bob,” “You and Your Crystal Meth”).

27. Fleet Foxes – s/t (Sub Pop)
Initially, Fleet Foxes‘ self-titled debut seemed like My Morning Jacket lite or even Band of Horses lite (which I guess would kind of be My Morning Jacket zero). Repeated listens reveal that those similarities begin and mostly end with the voice of singer Robin Pecknold, and that the band takes more influence from folk and classic rock. Some of the prettiest indie rock you will hear all year (see “Winter White Hymnal”).

26. Langhorne Slim & the War Eagles – s/t (Kemado)
Folk singer Langhorne Slim‘s latest is in the vein of his last album (and only other of his that I’ve heard) When The Sun’s Gone Down. This one is a little more hit or miss for me than WTSGD, but still has some great songs – “Rebel Side of Heaven,” “Oh Honey” and “Tipping Point.”

25. Tapes N Tapes – Walk it Off (XL)
Initially I was turned off by the slick production of indie super producer David Fridmann, but the spirit of their lo-fi debut is still present here, just with a little more polish. 

24. Murder By Death – Red of Tooth and Claw (Vagrant)
While still not harking back to their debut as Little Joe Gould, Red of Tooth and Claw is a step in the right direction after the spotty In Bocca Al Lupo and Who Will Survive, and What Will Be Left of Them? in that its a more focused version of the gothic Americana they can (at times) do so well.

23. Malcolm Middleton – Sleight of Heart (Full Time Hobby)
The former Arab Strap-per’s latest album of plaintive, simple folk clocks in at around 30 minutes. “Love Comes in Waves” and “Hey You” end the album nicely.

22. Seagull – Goodbye Weather (Two Bright Lakes)
I randomly came across this album from the Australian folk-indie band Seagull on a music blog, and really just downloaded it because of the interesting album cover. It’s probably my find of the year, even though it didn’t quite make my top 20.

21. Santogold – s/t (Downtown)
You’ve probably heard Santi’s songs in commercials for iPod or Bud Light Lime, and she earns comparisons to M.I.A. because of her delivery at times and because producers Switch and Diplo worked on her album. The comparisons are somewhat valid, but neither that nor the awful album cover detracts in the least from Santogold‘s solid album of fun, danceable tunes.

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