2008 was a fab year for music, with a shedload of quality albums to make you dance, laugh, cry and every emotion in between. Here’s our top ten, with a load of honourable mentions to follow…
1. Gotye – Like Drawing Blood
If you do nothing else, buy this album. A patchwork of samples stitched together by musical genius Wally de Becker, it runs the gamut of emotions and in Hearts A Mess also has one of the most touching singles of the year too. I interviewed Wally from his Aussie homestead back in August and found him touchingly modest about his creation, on which he plays drums, sings and samples to thunderous effect. Stick it on and crank up the volume…
2. Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
This came out early in the year but from the first time we heard it we knew it was special. It went on to win tthe Mercury Prize, finally delivering mainstream recognition for the band everyone had secretly loved all along.
3. The Ting Tings –We Started Nothing
Punk-pop at its finest, The Ting Tings were the hot tip for 2008 and they didn’t disappoint. Stomping choruses, in-yer-face attitude and pop hooks to die for, this sold by the bucketload all over the world.
4. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
Mixing up styles and influences, this US quartet conjured up a thing of beauty with their first album.
5. Duffy – Rockferry
She came, she saw, she conquered. The best-selling album of 2008 has some genuinely great moments on it and Duffy sang the lot with some aplomb. Remember her name.
6. Hercules And Love Affair – Hercules And Love Affair
A punk-disco project from the decks of New York, this lot featured Antony Hegarty on lead vocals on fantastic lead single Blind – an inspired collaboration.
7. Sigur Ros – Meo Suo I EyrumVio Spilum Endalaust
Icelandic purveyors of anthemic and ethereal rock, Sigur Ros came up trumps again this year with their fifth long-player.
8. Hot Chip – Made In The Dark
Dance-pop from the geek squad, this was Hot Chip’s best effort to date and it just got better at their live shows.
9. Santogold – Santogold
Fresh out of Philadelphia, Santi White grabbed 2008 by the collar and french-kissed it. Her 80s new wave vibe whipped up crowds nationwide and Santogold lapped up the applause. She deserved it.
10. k.d. lang – Watershed
Remember her? k.d.’s still got the voice and this album, her first for eight years saw her back to her best with some gorgeously laidback tunes that effortlessly pipe luxury into your day.
In 2008 I also liked…
Martha Wainwright – I Know You’re Married But I’ve Got Feelings Too
Keane – Perfect Symmetry
Kenna – Make Sure They See My Face
Portishead – Third
Liam Finn – I’ll Be Lightning
Laura Marling – Alas I Cannot Swim
Atmosphere – When Life Gives You Lemons You Paint That Shit Gold
Estelle – Shine
Girls Aloud – Out Of Control
Kings Of Leon – Only By The Night
The Killers – Day & Age
MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
The Zutons – You Can Do Anything
Take That – The Circus