13) Kings of Leon – Only by the Night [RCA] Release Date 9/23/2008
I really felt that this 13th spot on my list could go to a lot of artists; however, after much thought I decided to give it to the quartet from Tennessee’s record “Only by the Night.” KOL’s fourth studio album is by far not their best effort, but Caleb’s vocals are outstanding and make the record.
12) Adele – 19 [XL] Release Date 1/28/2008
This might come as a surprise to some, as it was to me. I recently starting listening to Adele’s debut album, and I love it. The 20 year old British newcomer has an amazing, soulful voice that ceases to amaze my ears. A great debut, and one can only hope she can follow it up in the future.
11) Be Your Own Pet – Get Awkward [XL] Release Date 3/18/2008
The only punk rock record album on my list comes from the kids from Tennessee, Be Your Own Pet. Fast guitars and loud vocals define this album. One aspect I really enjoyed was Jemina Pearl’s lyrics which range from getting back at your ex-best friend, starting food fights, and zombies!
10) Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes [Sup Pop] Release Date 6/3/2008
Fleet Foxes debut album is outstanding work. It’s a beautiful folk record with impressive vocal harmonies. The Foxes have an older sound and have been compared to the likes of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Not bad company at all.
9) The Black Keys – Attack & Release [Nonesuch] Release Date 4/1/2008
The Ohio-based blues rock duo’s fifth LP is the #9 record on the list. Dan and Patrick really expanded their sound on Attack & Release featuring instruments such as the banjo, flute, and some synth parts. However, they haven’t strayed away from their usual soulful blues rock sound that they do so well.
8) Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago [Jagjaguwar] Release Date 2/19/2008
Vernon’s debut album under the name Bon Iver is a noteworthy record. The record has a very organic and minimalistic sound in my opinion. It is very easy to relax to and enjoy, as Vernon’s impressive vocal range carries you through the album.
7) Ratatat – LP3 [XL] Release Date 7/8/2008
With their 3rd LP, the NYC electro duo has proved once again why they are on top of the electronic scene in my opinion. The opening track “Shiller” is a spine-chilling piece that builds up to one of the best tracks on the album, “Falcon Jab.” A personal favorite on the album is the disco rocker, “Shempi.”
6) Girl Talk – Feed the Animals [Illegal Art] Release Date 6/19/2008
Greg Gillis 4th record to date is his best yet. “Play Your Part Pt. 1” begins the nonstop party that Feed the Animals is. For the next 50 minutes Gillis does what he does best; mix unlikely samples together to create a melting pot of pleasure for everyone’s ears. GT includes samples from Kelly Clarkson, Metallica, and many more.
5) of Montreal – Skeletal Lamping [Polyvinyl] Release Date 10/21/2008
Barnes and company had large shoes to fill after Hissing Fauna. It is difficult to tell if they succeeded, but one thing is for sure is that KBarnes has taken it to a whole new level lyrically. He has left nothing to the imagination anymore. All in all, Skeletal Lamping is one of the most fun albums I’ve heard in a long while and I cannot stop listening to it.
4) The Raconteurs – Consolers of the Lonely [Warner Bros] Release Date 3/25/2008
The Raconteurs is not just Jack White’s side-project anymore. Consolers has solidified them as a force to reckon with on their own. The rock never stops on this record and Jack really shines on guitar and sharing vocals with Brendon Benson.
3) MGMT – Oracular Spectacular [Sony] Release Date 1/22/2008
Whether or not MGMT’s debut effort should be counted as an 07 or 08 release seems to be a controversial topic, but I decided that it should be on this list. Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser channel the psychedelic gods throughout the whole record and managed to release one of the top albums of the year.
2) Sigur Rós – Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust [XL] Release Date 6/24/2008
Sigur Rós’ 5th studio release has the group evolving from their original sound that has attracted so many fans. They have received some criticism from fans for “selling out,” however, I feel they have made yet another beautiful album that flows easily from beginning to end.
1) My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges [ATO] Release Date 6/10/2008
I’m sure it comes as no surprise that MMJ’s 5th studio album has made the top my Best of 08 list. I really can’t say enough about this album. Jim James and co. has evolved once again and added a more R&B flavor to their southern rock sound. Although it has been hit hard by some critics, I feel this may be MMJ’s strongest effort to date and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for the Kentucky quintet. I really recommend everyone listen to this album.