The Best Albums of 2008 (According To Me, Anyway!)

December 24, 2008

Time for the obligatory “Best of” list! Here’s mine (in no particular order)!

J’Davey – The Beauty In Distortion/Land of the Last: Jack Davey and Brooke D’Leau are on some “Prince and the Revolution” shit here, and I ain’t mad at ‘em! 

Portishead – Third: The simultaneous feelings of excitement and apprehension brought me to my knees when I heard Portishead was finally putting out a new album. While it doesn’t quite compare to the brilliance of Dummy, it’s still a remarkable effort for a band putting out their first album in eleven years. Beth Gibbons’ vocals are still as hauntingly beautiful as ever, complimenting elements of psychedelic rock, trip-hop and techno.

Supreme Beings Of Leisure – 11i: I’ll keep saying this until someone listens. . . .Get Geri Soriano-Lightwood to sing a Bond theme already! The third album from the L.A. duo is thankfully more reminiscent of their debut, back when they were still a quartet. Still, it’s nice to hear them try new things, taking their chill, electronica/lounge sound to a new level.


Fat Jon – Repaint Tomorrow: One of the best things I brought back from Japan (aside from a bottle of sake!), Repaint Tomorrow is just a fantastic musical journey; a mixture of instrumental hip-hop, jazz and funk, that stirs the emotions with every track.

A Big Yes And A Small No – Jesus That Looks Terrible On You: Delightfully silly from start to finish. There’s this innocence and bygone-era charm to the music and vocals, tinged with mean-spirited wit and sarcasm. The “poetry lounge in the 50s” vibe is surprisingly effective.

Black Milk – Tronic: Arguably, the best hip-hop album of the year (at least the best hip-hop album I’ve heard, anyway). Black’s ability to change his style of production from old-school soul samples to moody synth-pop inspired beats is nothing short of brilliant. Lyrically, he’s made huge steps, improving vastly from anything he had done on Popular Demand.

Zo! and Tigallo – Love The 80s: As Zo! And Tigallo, producer Lorenzo Ferguson and rapper/singer Phonte tackle some of our favorite 80s hits, and put their own unique twist on them. 

Invincible – Shapeshifters: I’m reminded of two things when I listen to this album; I never did pick up the Jean Grae/9th Wonder album, Jeanius, and the fact there just aren’t enough females in rap. There certainly aren’t enough capable of the level of lyricism showcased by Detroit emcee, Invincible. Her skills are razor-sharp, and her subject matter is mature and thought-provoking, speaking on politics, the ills of society, and what ultimately needs to change for people to move forward.

Maroon 5 – Call and Response; The Remix Album: The band collaborates with producers and artists from hip-hop, indie rock and techno, to create some pretty impressive remixes of songs from their two albums. What I found most interesting was the way the new music actually made me appreciate the original songs, and Maroon 5 as a band in general. Their music has always lent itself to the kind of versatility that’s being presented on Call and Response.

Janelle Monae – Metropolis; The Chase Suite: There’s really no way to categorize the music here, other than to say it’s damn good! 


Honorable Mentions: Raheem Devaughn – Love Behind The Melody, Kidz In The Hall – The In Crowd, Q-Tip: The Renaissance, Kardinal Offishall – Not 4 Sale


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