In this edition, we see lunch time man, Adam Lewis, contributing his top 10 albums of 2008. Thanks Adam!
- The Drones – Havilah
I was suspicious about this record. All of their other records had been recorded before they became critical darlings of the Australian music scene, and the show I had seen with their new guitarist lacked the intensity and drive that had made them so endearing in the first place. So it was incredibly relieving to give an ear to Havilah. Gareth Liddiard’s storytelling is as incredible as it has ever been, and the other Drones perfectly complement it with a musical fury that emphasizes and drives the dark narratives within. The Drones are a uniquely Australian band, who are simultaneously exciting and familiar, and Havilah is yet another unstoppable record from them.
- Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Primary Colours
No-nonsense, punchy and a whole lot of fun. Eddy Current Suppression Ring bettered their self-titled debut with this sophomore album, a collection of songs that are almost as simple as they are addictive.
- Sun Kil Moon – April
Mark Kozelek is an incredible songwriter, and April is full of sprawling songs with an intimacy that few others can match.
- Grouper – Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill
Grouper’s sound is indie folk viewed from the bottom of the ocean, a murky, ethereal and beautiful record with hooks below the surface that keep you diving back in. One of the most gorgeous albums released this year.
- Ooga Boogas – Romance and Adventure
Romance and Adventure is a record that is perhaps underrated by the band themselves – released on vinyl only, with 500 copies pressed, making it already an inaccessible album. But for those lucky 500, they’ll find a charmingly loose garage rock album full of killer rocks and rhythms.
- Bonnie Prince Billy – Lie Down in the Light
Will Oldham’s best record so far is I See A Darkness, a bleak and sparse meditation on all that is fallen. Lie Down In The Light, however, shows his versatility as a songwriter – from the name, to the composition, to Oldham’s lyrics and delivery, Lie Down In The Light is an album of contentment, emanating light throughout. And the results are pretty damn close to the untouchable I See A Darkness.
- The Tallest Man On Earth – Shallow Grave
One of the great finds of 08, Shallow Grave is a collection of simple acoustic ballads with a sense of wordplay and playfulness that makes it much more engaging than the millions of “Dylanesque” singer songwriters it leaves in its trail.
- Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III
the highlight amongst a relatively slow year for hip-hop, tha carter III has weezy at the top of his game with some great beats and a swagger that nobody else has.
- Death Cab for Cutie – Narrow Stairs
After a pretty disappointing major label debut, Death Cab have managed to bust out a record that’s got an inspired edge to it, and has some massive hooks as well as some brooding ballads.
- Kanye West – 808s and Heartbreak
What the shit is going on with Kanye? The lyrics are cliché, the autotune is irritating, and his swagger is all but gone… but somehow he manages to make it work. 808s and Heartbreak is the sound of a popstar at his wit’s end, so confident in his own ability that he throws a massive curveball, one that is remarkably dark and disjointed. It’s not the Kanye that we’re used to, but repeated listens reveal a pop brilliance is still at work beneath its dysfunctional surface, making it one of the most strangely compelling albums in a long time.