Friday, January 02, 2009

(Another) Best of 2008 List

No big surprises here, most of these made their way onto many a “best of” list this year, I’m laying low and playing it safe.

(Alejandro Escovedo)

Alejandro Escovedo- "Real Animal"
I've been on a serious Alejandro Escovedo kick lately, been digging into his early punk days in the Nuns, Rank and File, and the True Believers. I missed out on seeing Alejandro twice this past year, I won’t let that happen again. This album proves just how good rock-n-roll can be.

The Black Keys- “Attack and Release”
Upon first listen I wasn’t sure about the almost too slick production by Danger Mouse. The thing I love about The Black Keys is their raw, bluesy sound, and this one is definitely more polished (as polished as greasy blues can get). While still not as good as “Rubber Factory”, this one did grow on me. The title track, “All You Ever Wanted” pretty much sums it up.

Delta Spirit- "Ode To Sunshine"
As I sit here typing this it is 7 degrees outside, listening to this album makes me feel like I am driving up the Pacific Coast Highway, with the top down, somewhere north of San Francisco, maybe Mendocino, but it’s summer for sure. I guess the title is spot on.

The Hold Steady- "Stay Positive"
Nothing really new here, and that is fine by me, still one of the best bar bands today. I would love to see them in a bar actually. Everyone has to have their guilty pleasures. That, and they name drop Joe Strummer in “Constructive Summer”.

Mudcrutch- "Mudcrutch"
From the fine cover of “Shady Grove”, to the roadhouse country of “Six Days on the Road”, this one from Tom Petty feels like a classic, and makes me want to take a road trip.

The Pretenders- "Break Up The Concrete”
Those of you who know me, know I have a thing for Chrissie Hynde. Rockabilly rhythms and outstanding percussion make this one a winner.

The Raconteurs- “Consolers Of The Lonely”
Brendan Benson and Jack White put down some raw and energetic rock, much better than their first attempt. The first couple of tracks start off sounding like they could easily fit on a White Stripes album, later tracks recall early bluesy southern rock, check out "Top Yourself".

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals- "Cardinology"
I lost track of how many albums Ryan Adams has put our that past few years, the last album I bought of his was the Dead inspired “Cold Roses” back in 2005. “Cardinology” didn’t fair well with many critics, but I am no critic. Well crafted songwriting and Neal Casal’s guitar playing always blows me away.

TV On The Radio- “Dear Science”
After seeing TVOTR in 2007, I will always be a fan. These guys can do no wrong in my book. Doses of punk, funk, jazz, soul, and world music thrown in make this one of the most original bands playing today.

Vampire Weekend- Vampire Weekend
Come on, how can you resist? Even my six year old daughter says “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” is her favorite song, and it has nothing to do with us living on Cape Cod. Catchy as hell lyrics, reggae beats, and David Byrne is a fan. What more can I say?

1 comment:

Rambling Canuck said...

Great list. Several I need to check out for myself.