2008: Best Albums & Disappointments

This was initially written 4/29/09… on Last.fm!

What a year it was. Are you ready for a killer, DEFINITIVE list (not). You can’t live without these albums. So read ’em and get ’em! These aren’t exactly in order, though the top few I probably wouldn’t ever shift for ’08. It looks like ’09’s going to win, it was hard getting 10 choices (2007 was better too).

10. The Mars Volta – The Bedlam in Goliath
This album was much better than “Amputechture,” and most of “Frances The Mute,” so that made me happy. I think Omar-Rodriguez Lopez released like 3 cd’s in ’08, so I’m glad he found time to make a sweet record with The Mars Volta.

9. The Sound of Animals Fighting – The Ocean And The Sun
This was a good album, akin to “Tiger & The Duke,” no where near as strange and “experimental” as “Lover, The Lord Has Left Us.” Needless, to say I’m disappointed. It was still a good album however, and I’m still entertained with the fact that I can’t stand Circa Survive, and Anthony Green’s voice is a big reason why, but I love this band. I wish they would’ve made another album like the last one. It wasn’t very popular but it was amazing.

8. Sigur Rós – Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
This album is a little more accessible and almost poppy at moments on this album. Overall, it isn’t as soothing as the old, it’s more upbeat and it’s just beautiful music.

7. Soulfly – Conquer
Though not as good as the other album Max was a part of in ’08, this was still awesome, and way better than other Soulfly albums I’ve heard. He had one incredible year.

6. Protest the Hero – Fortress
This came out so early in the year, I haven’t listened to it in months. Anyway, it was a good album and a great follow up to “Kezia.” It was more technical and more metal too. I am highly anticipating a new album.

5. Cynic – Traced In Air
What a comeback! THIS was the comeback of the year, forget Metallica!

4. Metallica – Death Magnetic
Metallica make a grand return, 10 awesome songs with awful sound quality. It’s so loud and disgusting, it’s really ashame, however it won’t stop me from enjoying these great songs.

3. Cavalera Conspiracy – Inflikted
It was over 10 years since Max and Igor Cavalera last talked to each other, then they put together a band and released an album for the first time since “Roots,” I think that was 13 years ago. They work incredibly well together, they just spewed out a bunch of awesome songs, I hope Max’s work stays this impressive in the future.

2. H2O – Nothing To Prove
After 7 years, H20 makes a return and is better than I ever would’ve expected. Some very familiar voices make appearances on this album as well, Sick Of It All’s vocalist, and Alkaline Trio’s vocalist to name a couple. This album is super catchy and well written, it’s actually my favorite H20 album.

1. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
Since I’ve discovered this band, I’ve heard them in quite a few movies, and have heard them on the radio maybe once or twice. I actually discovered them on MTV, I saw a video I thought was really cool (“A-Punk”), and I looked up the video and really liked the song, so I picked up the album and the rest is history. Best album of 2008 hands down, I don’t want to wait for more from them. I’m eager for it, but I’m also nervous. I think they’ve recorded a song since then that I wasn’t TOO fond of, but I have hope. I’m keeping my eye on this band, I can’t even find merch of theirs online. What the hell?!

Honorable Mentions:
Thrice – The Alchemy Index: Vols. III & IV
Testament – The Formation of Damnation
It was there first cd in about 8 years and they haven’t really been good since ’89 so my expectations were low. They’ve updated nicely, this certainly wouldn’t be my first recommendation for this band though.. or top 3.
In Flames – A Sense of Purpose
I didn’t expect it to top “Come Clarity.” I didn’t think it was possible, and I was sure right. I’m not sure if anyone could think it does. They could’ve done better, and should’ve. If it were another “Come Clarity” it’d be at the top of the list.

Biggest Disappointments… no order.

1. Melvins – Nude With Boots
There second album since their merger with Big Business and it’s so mediocre, it’s annoying. The first one, “(A) Senile Animal,” was great though.

2. Rise Against – Appeal to Reason
This album is just drowning in mediocrity. They need to step it back up. I wasn’t expecting another “Revolutions Per Minute,” but the last 2 were great as well. This one was just ehh.

3. The Offspring – Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace
I really liked “Splinter,” so for me this was a letdown. It’s also my least favorite Offspring album, after so many years! There’s still some great songs on it and it’s my closest contender for #10. I’d still recommend this album, unlike the other ones on this list.

4. Children of Bodom – Blooddrunk
With “Are You Dead Yet?” they took a turn in musical direction, and much like In Flames, made a great album followed up a stylistically similar album that’s just missing something. That something is very important.. great songs! It’s more of the same (from the last album), but not as impressive and that’s a shame.

5. Pennywise – Reason To Believe
Same old, same old. If it’s going to sound exactly the same, the songs need to be very well written. Since they have a knack for writing a few good songs here and there, and a few good albums, I won’t stop listening to them. However, I highly recommend “Pennywise,” “About Time,” and “Straight Ahead.”

6. Anti-Flag – The Bright Lights of America
Ohhh man! Eww! This album blew, I can’t stand when bands add instruments because they think it makes it sound fuller or better, or that they’re more talented for it. Anyone can hit a drum in time, or play root notes on a glockenspiel! Doing that is a musical abomination. This wasn’t just a disappointment, it was a mockery. THIS was the worst of 2008.

….Going through these I’ve realized how many great albums have come out in 2007, and this year already. 2008 was kind of a dud, this year, however, seems much more promising (Darkest HourSlayerAnthrax), and there’s already been some amazing albums released (Propagandhi!, NOFX). I also hope there will be something new from Mike Patton or Todd Smith, I want more Polkadot Cadaver! Well, that was a good time killer, peace.


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