Wednesday, January 14, 2009

FOA's Favorite Music of 2008

Ok y'all. In the grand tradition of bloggers everywhere, halfway through Jan. 2009 I here present Fear of Arthropods' favorite albums released in 2008. A couple of the records included are re-issues of previous releases (self-released or independently released), and therefore questionably valid. Problem is, they're some of my favorites. Let's just gloss that over, shall we? In some semblance of the order I mean them to be in, and without any pesky pictures:

FOA's Favorite Albums of 2008:

1. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago (reissue)
(Really, I've talked about this band enough on this site to last a lifetime. It's beautiful, and they have a followup four-song EP called Blood Bank that releases on Jan. 20.)

2. Women - Women
(This was one of the most startlingly compelling records I heard this year. Difficult at first listen, I wasn't sure if I liked it yet, but was positive that I needed to keep on trying it. After the 10th or 15th spin, I was sure that it was one of the most creative, well-paced releases I'd heard in a very, very long time. Fuzzed-out, pop-influenced songs intersperse with ambient tracks creating almost a visible topography each listen. Though "Black Rice" has enjoyed more attention and radio play, "Shaking Hand" is, I think, song of the year.)

[MP3] Women - "Shaking Hand"

3. Bowerbirds - Hymns for a Dark Horse (reissue)
(Love this band, as previously mentioned.)

4. The Music Tapes - Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes
(Julian Koster and his Music Tapes have put forth a symphony of singing saws, banjos, toy pianos and other gloriousness. After seeing him play the Paste studio on his caroling tour, as well as seeing all the hilarious goodies that come with the vinyl purchase of the record, my loyalty was eternally his.)

5. Department of Eagles - In Ear Park
(More haunting goodness from the Grizzly Bear member and his college roommate.)

6. Okkervil River - The Stand Ins
(It's pretty difficult to sound happy and nostalgic at the same time, but Will Sheff manages it somehow.)

7. AU - Verbs
(SO. COOL. Coming to Atlanta Feb. 2. The record is like a carnival for the ears.)

8. Man Man - Rabbit Habbits

9. The Magnetic Fields - Distortion
(I know it's not as good as 69 Love Songs, but I still enjoyed the hell out of it.)

10. M83 - Saturdays=Youth
('80s ambiance at its best.)

11. Throw Me The Statue - Moonbeams
(Again, have already gushed too much.)

12. Wolf Parade - At Mt. Zoomer
(I reviewed this album back in June.)

13. Flight of the Conchords - Flight of the Conchords
(Comedic. Genius.)

Albums that are probably awesome, but haven't yet found their way into heavy enough rotation for me to pass judgment:

Deerhunter - Microcastle
(Very pleased with what I've heard. Makes me proud that Atlanta is exporting this music.)

Beach House - Devotion
(This band is hypnotic, but I don't know this new record much.)

The Dodos - Visitor
(Infectious! Need to get!)

Sigur Ros - Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
(What I have heard is gorgeous.)

Albums that I fully expected to love, that I wish for the life of me that I loved, but that, sadly, just don't stand up to scrutiny:

Of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping
(I cannot express how disappointed I am that I don't like this album. Let me rephrase: I hate it. In my mind (and I know there are scores of those who disagree), it's self-indulgent to the nth degree. Weird for the sake of being weird, rather than creative for the purpose of expressing something. Masturbatory (almost literally). And I'm a huge fan of theirs, so it pains me to say so.

Tapes 'n Tapes - Walk It Off
(Pales in comparison to their debut, which I love.)

TV on the Radio - Dear Science
(It was the song "Shout Me Out" that did it. Really boring, predictable songwriting from a band that previously was nothing if not avant-garde.)

Well, there you have it. FEEDBACK!!!!!!


bazookaluca said...

I fully agree about the Of Montreal album, save a couple of good songs, it was a disappointment.

And to solidify my old man status, I haven't listened to most of your picks yet. But it's a new year, so maybe I will....

Juliar said...

Luca, listen to Women. Listen to AU. Listen to the Music Tapes. :) You will love!!!

Amy said...

Ms. Gulia, good to have you back blogging again. We have one album in common on our lists! Hee. And I have a couple of the albums you mentioned, incl. Deerhunter and Dodos. But whatever, WE know our musical compatibility is Very High.

I haven't heard Of Montreal's latest but I can SO see them getting to the "weird for the sake of weirdness" point, and I hate that shit. Sorry to hear that.