Tuesday, January 20, 2009

That's A Record! My Favorite Albums of 2008 vol. 2

Due to personal commitments, work and playing futbol 2 nights a week, I'm doing this in 2 installments. As I said before, these are not in any order because the climate in 2008 seemed to honor the collective good rather than a prevailing trend. It seems a bit lazy to word it like that, but hey, I'm writing this and you're not. :)

Here's the next 10:

Hauschka - Ferndorf

In my life, a lot of things have seemingly chose me under whatever the circumstances were at a given point in time. Through music I was listening to at the time and an obsessive desire to beat my friend in FIFA (one the N64 iteration), Liverpool became the team I would grow to love. The same has often been true when walking through a record shop. I saw this album on a shelf at Borders (it could've been somewhere else too - I don't remember at this point). It was all by itself almost asking someone to look at it like a dog in a pet store. Of course, the album wasn't preview-able at the store which put a happy spin on things, but I was bound and determinted to listen to the music within its package. Whether I was duped or not, I was absolutely absorbed into the piano work on this beautiful album. I don't know much about Hauschka, but in trying to find out, I learned of his 'prepared piano technique' where objects are placed between the strings and hammers and such. I always did that to the piano that my sister played when I was a kid. All I can really say without further relating via anecdotes and stupid stories is that this album is sublime. That's all that matters really.

Hercules and Love Affair - Hercules and Love Affair

Remember those commercials in the early 90s with falsely amped up 30-40 somethings optimistically musing about how disco was making a comeback? More than a decade later, we can finally be glad those crappy advertisements might've actually been on to something. Is this the disco of Donna Summer, The Village People or KC and the Sunshine Band? Is this the soundtrack to debaucherous, coke-laced celebrity shenanigans on the floor at Studio 54? No. It's better. Oh so much better. Hercules and Love Affair saturate their stellar debut to the brim with an unavoidably danceable mix of R&B, Krautrock and funk for days. While the immediate standouts may be sung by Antony Hegarty ("Raise Me Up," "Blind," "Hercules' Theme," etc.), there is no missable moment within this album. If THIS is the disco that's back, long may it live.

Now, I'm going to simply cut my losses and just list the rest because a) I've taken too long and b) It's ridiculously late to be adding a best of 2008 to a blog. If anyone actually reads this, I apologize and will try to get better about this in the future. Here's the rest of what I thought was great about 2008 from a music standpoint.

Hot Chip - Made in the Dark
No Age - Nouns
Portishead - Third
Ruby Suns - The Sea Lion
Stereolab - Chemical Chords
Times New Viking - Rip it Off
TV on the Radio - Dear Science,
Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer

It's a shame that I failed to get in gear on this. The final 8 contained some great albums that I sincerely recomend to anyone who likes music. If you're reading this and haven't heard any of these, do yourself a favor and give 'em a shot. You won't regret it.

Now, if you want the story as to why this entry took so long. That's my next entry. Till then, peace.