I like what I like, I don't fit into a certain genre or favor one over the other. I know many will agree with my picks, as well as disagree, along with some good-natured jokes thrown in too, I'm sure. Regardless, here is my list for 2008. I don't buy the argument that such and such year was great for music or such and such year was mediocre for music, because you can always find a handful of albums that mean something to you, you just have to put in the effort. Anyways, this year I only made a top ten, because seriously, who cares what you rank between 11 and 30? Enjoy.
Drew Beringer's 10 Essential Albums of 2008
10. Fall Out Boy - Folie Ó Deux The last time Fall Out Boy made my top 10 list was in 2003 with Take This To Your Grave, and Folie Ó Deux is right up there. While lyrically and musically different, the heart and intensity is still there, only mixed in with more risk-taking. The best pop band in the mainstream, hands down.
9. Jacks Mannequin - The Glass Passenger This album is a definite step-up from Everything In Transit, it's lush, dark, and vibrant as it encompasses a variety of tempos throughout.
8. Coldplay - Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends The essential Coldplay album, as Chris Martin and company have created their masterpiece. It's a beautiful auditory journey, paced with synth, organs, static guitars, and booming drumming, as well as everything else you have come to love about Coldplay.
7. Los Campesinos! - Hold On Now, Youngster... This album came out of left field for me. Absolutely terrific, it's a group of indie kids on a never-ending sugar rush.
6. The Hold Steady - Stay Positive Is there a better story teller than Craig Finn? The Hold Steady continue their reign of domination with another album born for late nights and drinking.
5. Death Cab For Cutie - Narrow Stairs Guitarist Chris Walla promised an album that would polarize fans. Instead it was more of a mixture of the band's previous albums. Still fantastic as always, with Ben Gibbard's lyrics beautifully woven in with their fine-tuned sound.
4. Sigur Rˇs - Me su Ý eyrum vi spilum endalaust If you haven't noticed by now, you will soon. This is the Iceland quartet's best album to date. It is pristine and pure, as the experience of this album is nothing short of emotional.
3. City And Colour - Bring Me Your Love They always say the best albums are the ones that don't stay with you at first. I generally enjoyed this album when it first released in February, but as the year wore on, I kept playing this record more often, until I realized it had to be in my top three. Dallas Green vocals are stunning, and these songs are perfect for any time of season, but especially for those cold fall and winter days. Hauntingly beautiful.
2. The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound The personality and grit of this album really got to me. It's a blue-collar record that bleeds intensity, hard work, and heart. The '59 Sound is a record that sticks with you for a long time, and Brian Fallon's lyrics are a major reason why.
1. Underoath - Lost In The Sound Of Separation What more can I say about this album that I already haven't? This is not only my favorite of 2008, it is one of my all-time favorite records. Easily the best Underoath album to date, the music and lyrical content are stellar. Technical guitarwork, pummeling drumming, and unforgiving vocals that span over a variety of different techniques and styles, this is the must-have record of 2008.
The Best of the RestHere is the list of albums I found enjoyable in 2008. I know, I like a lot of music, but a lot of different styles hit me in different ways. All of these are worth checking out. (in no specific order)
Thrice - The Alchemy Index Vol. III+IV: Air & Earth
Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
Valencia - We All Need A Reason To Believe
Kanye West - 808s & Heartbreak
Copeland - You Are My Sunshine
Tokyo Police Club - Elephant Shell
Flight of the Conchords - Flight of the Conchords
Misery Signals - Controller
Forgive Durden - Razia's Shadow: A Musical
Bayside - Shudder
Nas - Untitled
TV On The Radio - Dear Science
Senses Fail - Life Is Not A Waiting Room
T.I. - Paper Trail
Panic At The Disco - Pretty. Odd.
Anberlin - New Surrender
She & Him - Volume One
Ludacris - Theater Of The Mind
N*E*R*D - Seeing Sounds
Bloc Party - Intimacy
The Hush Sound - Goodbye Blues
Black Kids - Partie Traumatic
Young Jeezy - The Recession
Astronautalis - Pomegranate
Have Heart - Songs To Scream At The Sun
Murder By Death - Red Of Tooth And Claw
Adele - 19
Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III
Anthony Green - Avalon
United Nations - United Nations
Beck - Modern Guilt
Lydia - Illuminate
Favorite EPs1. Asteria - Asteria EP
2. The Cool Kids - The Bake Sale
3. Straylight Run - Un Dos Mas
4. Cinematic Sunrise - A Coloring Storybook And Long Playing Record
5. Thursday/Envy - Spilt EP
Best New Band Vampire Weekend: Vampire Weekend released a nice blend of peppy indie with some afro-pop undertones and it stuck with me. This band created major buzz throughout the year, and I hope they are here to stay.
Most Disappointing Albums1. The Academy Is... - Fast Times At Barrington High
2. The All-American Rejects - When The World Comes Down
3. Gym Class Heroes - The Quilt
After all the progression TAI made on Santi, Fast Times... is about 5 steps backwards. Horrible lyrics and rehased musical structures makes a blah album. The new AAR is laughable, and GCH's The Quilt was unfocused.
Worst AlbumsThere were plenty of horrible albums this year: I Set My Friends On Fire, Plain White T's, The Maine and every other Fearless band, etc. I didn't make a list because why rank shit? If it's bad, it's bad, who cares how bad.
Best Lyrics Craig Finn of The Hold Steady wins this again for me. No one writes a better story or drunken singalong than Finn. His words are instantly relatable and highly enjoyable.
Best VocalsNo brainer here, it is definitely Dallas Green. His City and Colour work is absolutely breathtaking, and his vocals bring every song to life.
Favorite Label Vagrant: Vagrant released a lot of my favorite albums this year, such as The Hold Steady, City and Colour, and Thrice. Quality releases and a quality roster.
Best Movie The Dark Knight: Nothing even comes close. The acting is superb, the dialogue is great, and the action and camera work is some of the best I've seen this year. An all-time classic.
Best Television Series How I Met Your Mother: The show only gets stronger. A brilliant third season has been followed with an excellent fourth season. There is never a bad episode, especially when Jason Segal and Neil Patrick Harris are involved.
Best AP.net Forum Entertainment:The discussion about current films and television is great. A great place to interact with film buffs and TV fanatics, and a great resource to find favorite lines, scenes, etc.
Worst AP.net Forum Personal Life: If Metro Station were an internet forum, they would be personal life. So bad.
Next Big Thing Asteria: I still believe in Asteria, if they can get that one break, they'll be big. They write big, catchy hooks with a lot of substance. Hell, if ATL can do it, why not these guys?
Most Anticipated Of 2009Saves The Day
New Found Glory
Every Time I Die
A Day To Remember
Sufjan Stevens (?)
No specific order, I am just really excited for these releases, as well as others I cannot remember. Also if you are going to see one movie in 2009, make it Watchmen. If you are going to see two movies, make sure you see The Soloist as well.
30 Best Songs (in no specific order)
Fall Out Boy - The Shipped Gold Standard
Coldplay - Violet Hill
Jack's Mannequin - Caves
Los Campesinos! - Drop It Doe Eyes
Sigur Rˇs - Festival
The Hold Steady - Constructive Summer
The Gaslight Anthem - Miles Davis & The Cool
Underoath - Too Bright To See, Too Loud To Hear
City and Colour - Sleeping Sickness
Thrice - Daedalus
Copeland - To Be Happy Now
Kanye West - Street Lights
Nas - Hero
Ludacris - Last Of A Dying Breed
Death Cab For Cutie - Your New Twin Sized Bed
Black Kids - I'm Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You
Tokyo Police Club - Your English Is Good
Vampire Weekend - Campus
Valencia - All At Once
T.I. - What Up, What's Haapnin
Forgive Durden - The Spider And The Lamps
Gym Class Heroes - Don't Tell Me It's Over
Anthony Green - Babygirl
Adele - Hometown Glory
Young Jeezy - My President
Lydia - Stay Awake
Misery Signals - Reset
Have Heart - Bostons
Anberlin - The Resistance
Murder By Death - Spring Break 1899
Song Of The Year City & Colour - Sleeping Sickness: This song hit me so incredibly hard over the early winter of 2008 when it was first released. It's gripping, emotional, and Green bares his soul. I found it instantly relatable to everything I was going through in my life at the time, and I always go back to this song when things are down. It's beautiful.
Band Of The Year Fall Out Boy: I am sure a lot of you thought I was going to put Underoath here, but with the buzz Folie Ó Deux created and the reception to the album afterwards puts FOB just above Underoath for me this year. Fall Out Boy is one of the few bands in the mainstream that can be so creative with the entire package. From the viral movement to the pushed back release date to the actual album releasing, this band was at the forefront of a lot of big news throughout the fall and winter, and then released the album to back it up.
09:49 PM on 12/28/08
Personal Life: If Metro Station were an internet forum, they would be personal life. So bad."
12:11 AM on 12/29/08
The Protagonist of Loneliness
Love the EP list.
Also love Asteria.
12:29 AM on 12/29/08
Guns don't kill, Cedric & Omar do
kinda shocked you didnt put The Game's album on an Honorable Mention, coulda sworn you were diggin that album hard when it dropped. Just sayin'.
12:39 AM on 12/29/08
I agree with most of this post. Especially the part about Jason Segel and NPH.
12:41 AM on 12/29/08
Guns don't kill, Cedric & Omar do
Yeah, I can see that, but I thought it had more that Luda's album, which was still pretty good, but I thought Game brought it hard. It's all good.
12:48 AM on 12/29/08
Sweet list, I own all of the albums on your Top 10.
02:17 AM on 12/29/08
No love for Spitfire? Cult fiction is my favorite album of the year.
03:03 AM on 12/29/08
LOL @ Worst forum
And we entertainment kids are the best.
04:44 AM on 12/29/08
Hoping for new Sufjan right there with you and the rest of the world.
06:00 AM on 12/29/08
I don't know how anyone can call 'med sud i eyrum vid spilum endelaust ' Sigur Ros's best album, its great but in my opinion no where near their best.