Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Not Top Ten List

Update:  This post suffered a Google take down and so I am reposting without the mp3 files.

Why this should not be considered a real top ten list of the year.

  • I only started this blog midway through the year and it was only then that I was really trying to stay connected to what was happening out there musically and so this could, at best be considered a top ten list from the second half of 2008.
  • I don't even want to compete with the so many others out there who are so much more informed than me.
  • I actually kind of hate these lists and find them a bit pretentious.
  • I have conflicted feelings about list making.
  • I have more than 10 albums on the list.
  • And really, it isn't like I was scanning the entire, or even a majority, of the music world so it could only be a top ten list of my limited perspective and that really isn't a top ten list, is it?

And so that really is what this is--my limited take on the music world for 2008. And not really a ranking, but rather a recounting of the albums that I enjoyed enough to recommend to others and to you dear readers. So here are samples from each album not arranged in a hierarchical order with pithy commentary, but rather in the order I might put them if I were making a mix disc for a friend to let them decide what they thought since obviously as the maker of the mix, my feelings are fairly well known. Some of these I have posted before (although I will spare you all the self-referential links), but many are new offerings from these discs. A few more thoughts follow the playlist.

Flume / Bon Iver
Crook of My Good Arm / Pale Young Gentlemen
Love Me Tenderly / Felice Brothers
Honor Among Thieves / These United States
Man Sized Wreath / REM
Four Provinces / The Walkmen
Modern Guilt / Beck
Harps and Angels / Randy Newman
20/20 Vision / Charlie Haden
If I Die Sudden / John Mellencamp
Real Love / Lucinda Williams
My Two Feet / Old 97's
It Won't Be Long / Corey Chisel
Re: Stacks / Bon Iver

Regarding Bon Iver: you will notice that the list opens with tracks from that album (the actual opening and closing tracks from that album) and yes you can assume that it means that were I forced to pick an album of the year (which for me means that it will be listened to the most in the future), it would be this one from Justin Vernon.

A few comments about omissions. There are a few like Fleet Foxes who made many others' lists, but aren't here by choice (for whatever reason they just didn't resonate with me as they did with so many others). However, many omissions are due to lack of time rather than a matter of opinion--albums like this year's releases by Connor Oberst, The Pretenders, the Raconteurs and so many others just didn't make it into the little listening time I have.

I should also note that there are a couple tunes in the list that are pretty new to me and I haven't really written about yet much although I have been enjoying the discs a lot this December (and I shall take care of the writing about them in the new year).

And finally, the list is obviously focused just on rock/alt-country/indie tunes, but obviously there were some great albums in other genres that deserve attention. Unfortunately, I just didn't keep The Room as eclectic as I first intended and so I have focused on just this group this year (can you smell that New Year's Resolution coming?).

So there you have it. Thanks for all who stopped by this year as I tried to get this little blog going. I didn’t put "Buy Album" links by every song, but please support the artists.

Happy New Year to all and Bon Iver!

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