Best albums of 2008

This is a tough one. There were some great albums this year. Hot Chip released Made in the Dark at the start of the year (bet you’d forgotten about that one ). Their music is smart, funky, and is filled with addictive beats. It is the perfect mix of pop, dance, and rock.

Also it goes without saying that Bon Iver’s release For Emma, Forever Ago is heart meltingly beautiful, and of course Kings of Leon have taken over the radio waves with their latest release Only By The Night.

But the one album of the year which never fails to draw me in and amaze me has to be Lykke Li’s offering Youth Novels.

This is a pop album like no other. Sweden’s Lykke Li has created a beautifully mellow pop album which relies heavily on her soothing voice and bass. There is also heavy use of tinkling keyboard notes, gentle guitar sounds, and plenty of good hooks.

It’s all a bit cute and playful, from the opening track which is a narrative by Lykke Li where she repeats the phrase “love is the harmony and desire is the key” to the playful sounds of ‘Dance Dance Dance’, and the modern pop anthem of ‘I’m Good I’m Gone’ which wouldn’t be out of place on a modern Kylie album, it’s all good.

If you haven’t picked this little gem up yet get to it.

Worst

Without even thinking twice that has to go to Bloc Party’s Intimacy. This annoyed me mostly. Not an album to listen to when hungover. Greek and Roman gods the afterlife over must be annoyed that their names have been used in songs!

Most overrated

‘I like it, but I don’t love it,’ has mostly been my response to KOL’s new one. Yes I know I mentioned it in the Best Album part, and it’s good, but it could be better. The singles ‘Use Somebody’ and ‘Sex on Fire’ are good. I have no doubt they rocked the O2 at the weekend, but as a whole it’s just not brilliant.

Most underrated

A toss up between The Blizzards’ album Domino Effect and Death Cab For Cutie’s Narrow Stairs. The Blizzards have been getting a good bit of air play, but I have a feeling that a lot of people are dismissing them.

Fair enough they are from Mullingar, but their live gigs are sweaty, frenzied, and exhilarating, and unlike their debut album, songs from Domino Effect work as well on CD as they do live. (Public Display of Affection was considerably better live ).

Apart from ‘I Will Posses Your Heart’, Narrow Stairs hasn’t been getting the air play it deserves. Great album.

It is the perfect culmination of 10 years hard work, and was recorded entirely on two-inch tape. The result is an album that captures Death Cab’s live sound. 

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