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Paul Tao

Written by: Paul Tao (11/29/08)
I won't lie - my taste in music is different than most on AP, and posting a list like this on a website like AP (home of "No Gaslight Anthem??? FAIL, not reading at all, this list sucks", except replace Gaslight Anthem with 3 or 4 other albums released this year that seem to be considered "classics" already by readers). In all honesty, I'm sure there are quite a few albums that get posted about a lot which I never gave the same chance I would have five years ago. This is not a one-stop-shop of the best albums released this year; these are the albums that I believe were the best, based on my personal listening habits. I didn't listen to every pop-punk album that came out this year, every hip-hop album, every dubstep album, so in all honesty there are probably quite a few albums missing that I would have put on here if I had listened to them. The thing is though - I didn't get a chance to listen to them, so they're not included.

This list is one of the ones on the site that I imagine is less about affirming what you think is your own superior taste in music and more about asking you to expand beyond your normal musical boundaries, which is why I made sure to link all of the artists' names to their myspaces so you can check out their music for yourself if you desire to.

Best Albums
25) M83 - Saturdays=Youth
24) The Mae Shi - HLLYH
23) Elvis Costello and the Imposters - Momofuku
22) Lykke Li - Youth Novels
21) Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III
20) Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
19) Kings of Leon - Only By The Night
18) The Bug - London Zoo
17) Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)
16) Fuck Buttons - Street Horrrsing
15) Friendly Fires - Friendly Fires
14) Sunny Day Sets Fire - Summer Palace
13) Ratatat - LP3
12) Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
11) Lindstr°m - Where You Go I Go Too
10) Why? - Alopecia
09) Of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping
08) Hot Chip - Made in the Dark
07) The Black Ghosts - The Black Ghosts
06) Sigur Rˇs - Me­ su­ Ý eyrum vi­ spilum endalaust
05) Gang Gang Dance - Saint Dymphna
04) Hercules and Love Affair - Hercules and Love Affair
03) El Guincho - Alegranza!
02) School of Seven Bells - Alpinisms
01) The Dodos - Visiter
CommentThere's a few albums which I would have put on this list but I ruled out because of technicalities: Bon Iver (actually released in 2007), Belle & Sebastian (their BBC Sessions album is really more just live recordings of old songs so I didn't include it in here, although I think it's amazing) and possibly MGMT (digitally released in 2007. Not sure if I'd put it in my top 25 even if it weren't, but I barely even considered it this year because of the digital release so who knows, I might have)

Honorable MentionsSpiritualized, Deadmau5, Little Joy, Adele, Portishead, Jamie Lidell, Grouper, Jack's Mannequin, Booka Shade, Ladyhawke

Best EPs
09) Rainbow Arabia - The Basta
08) Boat Club - Caught the Breeze
07) Lykke Li - Little Bit
06) Antony and the Johnsons - Another World
05) Passion Pit - Chunk of Change
04) Salem - Yes I Smoke Crack
03) Animal Collective - Water Curses
02) Little Boots - Arecibo
01) Air France - No Way Down

Best Mixtapes
05) Little Boots - Computer Fairyland Mixtape
04) Kode9 and the Spaceape - BBC Radio 1 Live Session
03) Wale - The Mixtape About Nothing
02) The Very Best - Esau Mwamwaya and Radioclit Are The Very Best
01) The Black Ghosts - Mixtape

Best Singles

17) The Sisters of Transistor - "The Don"
16) Estelle - "American Boy"
15) Lil Wayne - "A Milli"
14) Empire of the Sun - "Walking On A Dream"
13) Stricken City - "Lost Art"
12) Friendly Fires - "Jump In The Pool"
11) Hercules and Love Affair - "You Belong"
10) DJ Mujava - "Township Funk"
09) Fake Blood - "Mars"
08) Kings of Leon - "Sex On Fire"
07) The Dodos - "Fools"
06) The Big Pink - "Too Young To Love"
05) T.I. - "Whatever You Like"
04) Florence and the Machine - "Dog Days Are Over"
03) Telepathe - "Devil's Trident"
02) Hot Chip - "Ready For The Floor"
01) Little Boots - "Stuck On Repeat"
CommentQualifications for this category were just that it had to be a song released as a single, be it to radio or released as a CD and/or vinyl single.

Almost all of the singles can be heard on the artist's myspace page that is linked to.

Best Live Shows I Saw
10) El Guincho - The Echo - 11/20
09) Bane - Chain Reaction - 1/16
08) HEALTH - Knitting Factory Hollywood - 10/9
07) Sunny Day Sets Fire - Spaceland - 6/24
06) The Black Ghosts - Detroit Bar - 3/21
05) The Dodos - Natural History Museum of Los Angeles - 5/2
04) Hercules and Love Affair - The Echo - 7/23
03) Little Boots - FADER Fort CMJ - 10/25
02) Simian Mobile Disco - SXSW - 3/13
01) Florence and the Machine - SXSW - 3/14

Best Remix
07) Gang Gang Dance - House Jam (XXXchange Remix)
06) Metronomy - Heartbreaker (Discodeine Remix)
05) The Black Ghosts - Repetition Kills You (RAC Remix)
04) Friendly Fires - Paris (Aeroplane Remix feat Au Revoir Simone)
03) Little Boots - "Stuck On Repeat (Fake Blood Remix)"
02) Kid Cudi - "Day 'N' Nite (Crookers Remix)"
01) Grace Jones - "Williams' Blood (Aeroplane Remix)"

Albums That Were Critically Acclaimed But I Just Don't Get
03) TV On The Radio - Dear Science
02) The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
01) Deerhunter - Microcastle
CommentAll three of these have been told to me as ones that I must listen to and ones that would invalidate my taste in music if I didn't include on my Best Of lists eventually. If so, consider my taste in music invalidated, because I really don't get the appeal of any of these. Well, I can kind of get the appeal of The Hold Steady, but I can't get past Craig Finn's voice, it makes me cringe.

Albums From 2007 I Somehow Overlooked Last Year So Putting Down Here To Try And Make Up For It
03) Soulsavers - It's Not How Far You Fall, It's How Way You Land
02) Burial - Untrue
01) Kieran Hebden and Steve Reid - Tongues

Looking Forward To Their Albums In 2009 (No Particular Order)
00) Patrick Wolf
00) Florence and the Machine
00) Telepathe
00) Junior Boys
00) Animal Collective
00) Yeah Yeah Yeahs
00) Beirut
00) Lightning Bolt
00) Little Boots
00) The Avalanches (maybe???)
00) Fun
00) Hot Chip

Since I Created This List And Posted It, I've Just Finally Been Able To Listen To These Albums That Came Out This Year And Very Much Enjoy Them But I'm Probably Still In The "New Album Honeymoon Period" And Plus I'm Too Lazy To Re-Adjust My Entire Albums List Just To Contemplate Accommodating These; This Is What Happens When I Don't Pay Attention To Some Album Releases And Forget To Listen To Them Until The End Of The Year
XX) Women - Women
YY) Thievery Corporation - Radio Retaliation
ZZ) Duchess Says - L'Anthologie des 3 Perchoirs
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 29
04:07 PM on 11/29/08
#2
Paul Tao
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If you have any questions about my list, comments about why this album wasn't on there or why my taste in music sucks, please post them and I'll be glad to respond
11:38 PM on 12/04/08
#3
Garett Press
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Love the just didn't get section - I kind of want to add that to my list, but I feel like it would be 30 albums long. Don't get that Deerhunter record at all...
01:50 PM on 12/20/08
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Paul Tao
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Love the just didn't get section - I kind of want to add that to my list, but I feel like it would be 30 albums long. Don't get that Deerhunter record at all...
I also just added a couple of new sections to the bottom, haha. I'm guessing that pretty much everyone on staff wants to have that last section on theirs too...I'm just being honest!
12:05 AM on 12/29/08
#5
hockeyguitar99
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Where do you think the new Of Montreal album ranks among the rest of their catalog? I liked it a lot at first, but it didn't last very long for me.
12:10 AM on 12/29/08
#6
1moreandimfree
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Oh my god. The township funk. I love that jam.
01:06 AM on 12/29/08
#7
Paul Tao
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Where do you think the new Of Montreal album ranks among the rest of their catalog? I liked it a lot at first, but it didn't last very long for me.
Somewhere in the upper third and a really good album, but yes not technically their best. Still, they are a favorite of mine among currently active bands so that's still saying a lot.
Originally Posted by 1morenadimfree
Oh my god. The township funk. I love that jam.
Yeah. It's kind of mad and not that accessible...until you really get into it. Shame it never caught on in America.
01:55 AM on 12/29/08
#8
jimboj917
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best album list of any of the staff on this site, in my opinion.
03:01 AM on 12/29/08
#9
James Johnson
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no cut copy mr Tao?
03:11 AM on 12/29/08
bootsydan
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I'm halfway down reading the staff best of lists - and so far I give you the most points for most diverse list. Probably the best one I've read so far. If 'best' is a such thing.

I agree with you - Completely don't get Deerhunter or The Hold Steady. I also obviously 'don't get' all the pop punk tracks that are on all the other staff members lists.

On the other hand though - completely love TV On The Radio. But I won't hold that against you.
05:06 AM on 12/29/08
xglassjawx
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Burial=Win. This guy needs coverage on here.
08:20 AM on 12/29/08
blebbio
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I haven't heard about a lot of these albums, need to check them out.
09:50 AM on 12/29/08
Chalie22
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Well I guess we know who the hipster of AP is, solid picks for the most part. I'm surprise to see no Sun Kill Moon or Okkervil River
10:38 AM on 12/29/08
Paul Tao
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Well I guess we know who the hipster of AP is, solid picks for the most part. I'm surprise to see no Sun Kill Moon or Okkervil River
Honestly haven't had a chance to really listen to Sun Kil Moon yet, I need to get my hands on it. As for Okkervil...good but not great in my opinion. Not that spectacular, although I'll listen to it from time to time. Everyone keeps on saying that though, so perhaps I should give it a more thorough listen.
10:40 AM on 12/29/08
Paul Tao
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Seen them twice and listened to the album...just am not a big fan of the guy's voice.
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