15 December 2008

Best of 2008 Round Up (part 1)

I'm not dead! Although my computer was for a while. Plus I'm busy with the festive season and I also got an Xbox recently! Anyway, here is part one of my round up for 2008. I listened to (and enjoyed) far more old music than new but it was still a good year I think. These are my choices for the 'Best Albums of 2008'. There will be more to follow, plus might have beens, top singles and other random tunes....

Kelley Polar - I Need You To Hold On While The Sky Is Falling

I thought this was amazing, listened to it so many times and never got bored of it. I loved his first album and so I was equally excited/nervous about how the second one would turn out. Much more weird and wonderful that his debut but it still sounds unique and so obviously Kelley Polar. Love it from the opening vocoder of 'A Feeling of the All-Thing' to the closing strings of 'In Paradisum' with so many great tracks and little moments in between.

Stream the album on Last.fm

Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours

Another I love from start to finish. A great mix of guitars, drums, synths, vocals and effects with catchy hooks, great melodies and spine tingling moments a-plenty. Numerous tracks slap a massive grin on my face with every listen. Stand-out tracks include 'Out There On The Ice', 'So Haunted', 'Far Away' and the best sax solo of 2008 award winning 'Hearts on Fire'.

Stream the album on Last.fm

Morgan Geist - Double Night Time

More synth based songs from the studio perfectionist Morgan Geist (of Metro Area) featuring vocals from Junior Boys' Jeremy Greenspan. Beautiful sounds, wonderfully arranged. Hard to pick highlights when all 9 tracks are great. Try the synth pop of 'The Shore', the disco of 'Most Of All', the lazy groove of 'Ruthless City' and the cosmic instrumental 'Palace Life'.

Stream the album on Last.fm

Lindstrom - Where You Go I Go Too

Epic. Progressive. Cosmic. Synth! WYGIGT sounds like nothing anybody else has put out recently. It probably has more in common with the music of old to be honest - the early synth pioneers, krautrock and the more electronic end of the disco spectrum. But Lindstrom takes these ideas and rather than ripping them off or poorly imitating them, he expands them; weaving their influences into his own unique style of music. The mid section of 'The Long Way Home' is just pure bliss.

Stream 'The Long Way Home (Prins Thomas Edit) on RCRD LBL

Sebastien Tellier - Sexuality

Yet more excellently produced synth-pop stuff. Sexy and sleazy; and often cheesey. I dare you not to love the thick synth funk of 'Kilometer'. Other highlights include the slow grind of 'Pomme' and 'Une Heure' and the epic layers of arpeggio's on 'Sexual Sportswear' and the almost annoyingly catchy 'Manty'.

Jamie Lidell - Jim
I enjoyed about half of his previous album but felt that it was spoilt by the inclusion of some really weak tracks. 'Jim' rectifies this with a whole album of goodness. The guy's got a great voice and a soulful sound that I really dig. How about this for a feel good album opener: 'Another Day' - if that doesn't put you in a good mood you must be dead inside! My other two favourite tracks are 'Figured Me Out', which makes me wanna dance across the room every time I hear it - funky beat, great chord progressions, a swinging chorus and even a sweet little synth solo! Things are a bit smoother on 'Green Light' but again, lovely chords and little melody hooks and a great vocal delivery.

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