13.) The Dandy Warhols – …Earth to the Dandy Warhols… [Beat the World Records] Release Date 8/18/08
The Dandy Warhols certainly left the world wanting more in 2005 with their sub-par release Odditorium or Warlords of Mars, and finally, they return in much finer form. It’s certainly no Thirteen Tales but it shows that they’re really trying again, and that’s enough for a solid album if you’re The Dandy Warhols.
12.) Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours [Modular] Release Date 4/8/08
It took me a long time to listen to this album all the way through for two reasons. First, I hated their first album Bright Like Neon Love, and the first song off the album that I heard was the brilliant “Lights and Music”. When the rest of the album wasn’t exactly like that song, I was put off. After a few listens, this album really shines in an 80s new-wave sort of way.
11.) The Raconteurs – Consolers of the Lonely [Warner Bros.] Release Date 3/25/2008
I had low expectations for The Raconteurs after their debut, Broken Boy Soldiers, but luckily the band has gotten much tighter. Fortunately, Jack White also takes more from The White Stripes’ latest album than the previous Raconteurs album when it comes to his guitar sound. He mixes an obvious mastery of the instrument with strange experimentation with effects. Altogether, The Raconteurs managed to make a really solid rock album.
10.) The Kooks – Konk [Virgin Records] Release Date 4/15/08
The Kooks’ sophomore release takes its name from Ray Davies’ London recording studio, and the similarities between The Kinks and The Kooks are impossible to miss. Songs such as “Mr. Maker” are increbibly similar in musicality and lyricism. However, overall, The Kooks have a much more danceable beat. The production on the album, from sweeping string to sharp guitar tones, help create dense and rich soundscape.
9.) The Faint – Fasciinatiion [blank.wav] Release Date 8/5/08
I have no idea how music this nuts came out of Nebraska! Having said that, The Faint’s new record feels like a much more complete album than their last, Wet From Birth. This album may not have gems like the former, but it also has much less filler. The whole albums works together to make a real glitchy work of art.
8.) MGMT – Oracular Spectacular [Sony] Release Date 1/22/08
I don’t feel like much needs to be said about this album. MGMT crafted a spectacularly popular album and still managed to lace the whole thing with LSD. Many songs are reminiscent of 60s psychedelia, especially The Doors, but a few songs, like “Kids” or “Electric Feel”, make the album a huge hit at parties.
7. ) Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles [Last Gang Records] Release Date 3/18/08
Canadian electronic duo, Crystal Castles’ debut album feels like plugging your brain into a possessed Gameboy. Ethan Kath fires short bursts of synth over the muffled vocals of the incredibly versatile Alice Glass (my personal celebrity crush) who changes over the album from brutal screeching to moaning and crying softly. The album maintains an emotional sensitivity through the wide variance in vocals, while creating a flowing concept with its instrumental similarities.
6.) Ratatat – LP3 [XL Recordings] Release Date 7/8/08
Ratatat’s third studio album, appropriately named LP3, shows the band truly maturing and experimenting with many styles of music from around the globe. At the same time, the new album maintains that fantastic danceability their first two efforts provided.
5.) Girl Talk – Feed the Animals [Illegal Art] Release Date 6/19/08
I had high expectations for Gregg Gillis (a.k.a. Girl Talk) after his last album, Night Ripper, and they were all surpassed by his follow-up. Girl Talk’s special brand of mash-up-based music blends together samples from artists ranging from The Velvet Underground to Lil Wayne to Hot Chip and mixes with Gillis’ own fast-paced drum beats to create a cohesive, yet psychotic product.
4.) CSS (Cansei de Ser Sexy) – Donkey [Sub Pop] Release Date 7/21/08
I personally feel like CSS conceived their second album when they realized that there was a huge shortage of good music to get really wasted to in the world. Every song makes you feel like downing a fifth of vodka and making an ass of yourself in a public area. The album is much more polished than the first, but Lovefoxxx’s screaming is a constant reminder of just how wild these Brazilians can get.
3.) Ladytron – Velocifero [Nettwerk] Release Date 6/2/08
Ladytron’s fourth studio effort picks up where their third, Witching Hour, left off. Dismissing the glitchy electro-clash of their first two albums for a denser and darker sound, Velocifero has both heavy-hitting synth-rock tunes and hauntingly eerie ballads. Mira Aroyo and Helen Marnie are both at their best. Whether singing solo or duet, these two frontwomen can’t be matched in my book. The first six tracks will blow you away, but don’t let this frontloaded album discourage you from finishing the album.
2.) Be Your Own Pet – Get Awkward [XL Recordings] Release Date 3/18/08
“Breaking glass bottles is oh so fun. Let’s go and kill someone.” What can you say about this band? Their raw intensity captures you early on. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but its the perfect soundtrack for running over pedestrians or starting riots. The riffs in the album are not always as punk-inspired as one would think. In fact, the main guitar line in “Becky” is actually the melody of “The Loco-Motion”, but Jemina Pearl manages to make the whole song hardcore shrieking about teenage homicide.
1.) Does It Offend You, Yeah? – You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into [Virgin Records] Release Date 3/24/08
Take a little bit of Death From Above 1979, a little bit of Bloc Party, and a little bit of Justice and put it all in a garbage disposal. That’s probably the best way I can find to describe this British dance-punk band’s debut record. Three of the albums ten songs are simply instrumental electro-jams, while the rest alternate between majestic rock numbers and apocalyptic future-disco. Since hearing this album, I have been eagerly anticipating an opportunity to see the band live because their songs sound like they would transfer well into a concert setting and because I’ve been told they frequently cover “Beat It” live.