Panasonic Youth

Best Albums of 2008

So, here are my top ten albums of 2008, just a bit late. All links go to the album on the Amazon MP3 store (if available) and they are affiliate links.

This album was on everyone’s top albums list of the year for good reason. Whether you like folk, pop, or country, this album has no filler and is great through and through. Pick up their Sun Giant EP as well to round it out.

I’m a Wisconsin native, so I may be a little biased in picking an album created in the Wisconsin north woods. Still, a superb album for cold winter nights and hot cocoa or coffee at your side.

Before the New Year, there was a Texan band named Bedhead in the 90s. Bedhead was quiet, contemplative, and perfect for those lonely hours between midnight and dawn. Since then, Bubba and Matt Kadane (real names, and real brothers) formed the New Year, got a little more accessible and upbeat, and released three albums. This third self-titled album is where slow-core and pop come together seamlessly. The Company I Can Get is the closest thing the Kadanes have done to a radio friendly single, while still jaw-dropping beautifully sad songs like The Idea of You.

Metalcore that doesn’t suck and tries new things. Not easy to find these days.

Mark Kozalek released an insane amount of music in 2008, both under his own name and Sun Kil Moon. April is the best of the bunch and will grow on you.

Catchy, quirky indie pop, producing a sound far bigger then any two humans should be capable of with only drums, guitar, and voice.

Epic post-metal. Recorded on the site of a demolished mental institution, with lyrics from the diary of a madman who was once a resident there. If you are a fan of metal, what else do you need to know?

Minimal techno is notoriously difficult to translate out of the club and into the living room. Beyer is a top techno producer and DJ, and this mix really captures the banging minimal techno that became so popular in 07/08. Avoid if your responses to techno include “wait, where are the lyrics?” or “is the CD skipping??”. If you can get into the Chemical Brothers, Underworld or even Paul Oakenfold, put this one on and give it some time. You may just find yourself nodding along and digging techno.

Sigur Ros finally gets a little less serious and overbearing and make a wonderfully fun album with some actual pop songs alongside the epic twelve minute compositions.

(This came out in Europe in 2007 and made it over here in 2008.) Two French post-hardcore/screamo bands in the vein of Page 99 or Envy (read: much heavier and harder then MTV emo) join for an album that is everything good about hardcore right now. Takes elements of post-rock and math-rock, yet still retain the passion and hooks that made screamo so captivating to begin with. You don’t need to understand French to rock out to this split.

Honorable Mention