Backtracking

Historically, I’ve been pretty shoddy with blogs. I create them and I obsess over them and I pour my soul into them and then I forget all about them and they vanish into the ether. Sometimes, along the way, some of my posts get unusually high levels of exposure, but then, as time wears on, they too fade away into obscurity. It’s a perennial problem that I’m hoping to dispel with this blog. Part of the reason for this wholesale new year’s resolution is the constant collaboration of Michael, who’s going to be manning the blog on an equal footing, which will hopefully up the stakes of competition and force me into being responsible about the upkeep of the blog, and my own article-count.

In the downtime since I forgot all about my previous blog, Interstellar Overdrive, I’ve occasionally been posting music-related ramblings and links on my Facebook profile, chief among them my Top 18 Albums of 2008 (because 18 is such an auspicious number). In the interests of giving my writings some sort of recent context, here, then, is a verbatim copy of that list:

  1. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
  2. TV On The Radio – Dear Science,
  3. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
  4. Hercules & Love Affair – Hercules & Love Affair
  5. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
  6. Deerhunter – Microcastle┬á
  7. Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
  8. Portishead – Third
  9. British Sea Power – Do You Like Rock Music?
  10. Calexico – Carried To Dust
  11. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
  12. Johnny Greenwood – There Will Be Blood
  13. Flying Lotus – Los Angeles
  14. The Last Shadow Puppets – The Age Of The Understatement
  15. Hot Chip - Made In The Dark
  16. Foals – Antidotes
  17. Santogold - Santogold

Honourable Mention: The Week That Was – The Week That Was

Now I realise that 17/18 is not really a typical number for such lists, but I actually think there was something of a paucity of good albums in 2008 – certainly not a vintage year like 2007. The albums listed are those that I rate not only for the quality of the songs, but also for the structure and composition of the album. For me, the year was characterised by several high-profile duds and one-hit wonders, without really delivering a large quantity of really special albums. That said, there are a few more albums given high praise by music reviewers which I have yet to hear, so I’m willing to accept that this list is far from definitive. Certainly at the tail end of my list, the albums become a little bit flawed, particularly Hot Chip, Foals and Santogold.
Finally, The Week That Was is the quasi-solo project from a member of one of favourite unheard-of bands, Field Music, who are currently on some sort of untruthful hiatus. Their 2007 album, Tones Of Town, really struck a chord with me, and I can’t think why they’ve never achieved the fame of their close friends Max├»mo Park and the Futureheads. Please have a listen to their material; it’s beautiful and uplifting.

As a little tack-on piece, here are the albums I’m most looking forward to in 2009:
Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
Franz Ferdinand – Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
Antony & The Johnsons – The Crying Light
The Decemberists – The Hazards Of Love
Patrick Wolf – Battle (now with added Tilda Swinton!)
Unnamed James Murphy side-project
Possible new Arctic Monkeys album

I’m sure there’s plenty more in store, but that’s all for now.

UPDATE: In the interests of not appearing to be a smug idiot, I have now included the Bon Iver record. In actual fact, it was first released in 2007 (as evidenced by its appearance on the Top 50 Albums of 2007 on Pitchfork) but I’m willing to accept that virtually everyone else, myself included, only heard it in 2008. So in it goes at number 11.

P.S. In the interests of competition, I would love for Michael to post his possible list of Top Albums from last year.

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