Listless Listlessness Averted

Appeal to Reason album cover
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The Recession
Image via Wikipedia

OK, I know this list thing is all a ruse to get people to buy as many records as possible before Christmas, it’s wrong to measure musical epochs in terms of years, and I  place no value whatsoever in an objective hierarchy of musical quality and so on. But to hell with it, it’s Friday, and here are my top 25 albums of the year, in as particular an order as possible.

1. 808s and Heartbreak – Kanye West
2. At Mount Zoomer – Wolf Parade
3. Untitled – Nas
4. Dear Science – TV on The Radio

5. All Rebel Rockers – Michael Franti and Spearhead

6. Acid Tongue – Jenny Lewis
7. Appeal to Reason – Rise Against
8. Evolver – John Legend
9. The 3rd World – Immortal Technique
10. Los de atrás vienen conmigo – Calle 13
11. In Ear Park – Department of Eagles
12. Red Letter Year – Ani DiFranco
13. The Recession – Young Jeezy
14. You & Me – The Walkmen
15. Harps and Angels – Randy Newman
16. Tha Carter III – Lil Wayne
17. Ladyhawke – Ladyhawke
18. Microcastle – Deerhunter
19. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
20. The Age of the Understatement – The Last Shadow Puppets
21. The Renaissance – Q-Tip
22. The Way I See It – Raphael Saadiq
23. The ’59 Sound – The Gaslight Anthem
24. Welcome to Mali – Amadou & Mariam
25. Koushik – Out My Window

Some notes: If you had told me immediately after my first listen that You & Me by The Walkmen would feature in my end of year list, I would have uttered a long and disbelieving p’shaw. And yet there it is. And had you told me that Fleet Foxes would be outside the top 10, I would have walloped you with the nearest fire extinguisher. No room for Neon Neon, probably kept off the list by Koushik’s sampling of the Free Design. Some angry stuff on there too at 3, 5, 7, 9, 13, and funny angry stuff at 15, though I would have expected to see some more, given current affairs.

Some notable disrecommendations:

* Bon Iver: dreary and brittle
* Glasvegas: wearing and grating. Only good thing about it is it gives you a reason to go back to Back to Mono.
* The Hold Steady: sluggish and boring.

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8 Responses to “Listless Listlessness Averted”

  1. 1 GerryOS December 12, 2008 at 10:14 pm


    Given that you became a father this year, how did you find the time to buy at least 25 albums, never mind listen to them long enough to form an opinion on them? Or indeed, rate them from 1-25?

    Of the 25 you list, I have heard of precisely four. I’m familiar with the music of only one. You can probably guess which one.

    After reading your post, I feel really old. 😦

  2. 2 Hugh Green December 12, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    Actually Gerry, it was precisely the fact of being a father that got me back into music again: I found I had a lot less time to read, but more time waiting up late to give bottles and so on. So I did a lot of downloading and listening to music while I was feeding. Also, I’m lucky in that I can listen to music while I’m working.

  3. 3 Longman Oz December 13, 2008 at 9:04 am

    Thanks for that first paragraph. It succinctly describes my issue with these things.

    Pretty eclectic tastes BTW! 🙂 Plus I like Bon Iver for exactly the reasons you dislike him for – although do not judge him entirely until you see him play live. Its a different experience again.

  4. 4 Hugh Green December 15, 2008 at 6:33 am

    I wouldn’t say I disliked him: it sounds nice enough, I suppose. The music just doesn’t seem to go anywhere, if that makes sense. It’s as if it was written as accompanying music for just staring out the window.

  5. 5 Longman Oz December 15, 2008 at 10:11 am

    written as accompanying music for just staring out the window

    Nowt wrong with that!

  6. 6 Katharine December 15, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    What about:

    Mamma Mia (Cast recording)


  7. 7 Hugh Green December 15, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    Nowt wrong with that!

    Oh, ok then. Actually, I gave it another close listen today in case I was wrong. And in fact I was right: it’s good for looking out the window to.

    Lambchop – don’t think I heard this year’s release
    Yeasayer – never heard of them
    Raconteurs – yes, this was good. Some rockin’ tunes there.
    Mgmt – got this last week, haven’t really listened to it that much, but fairly impressed
    Mogwai – haven’t heard it
    Battles – ditto
    Mamma Mia (Cast recording)- mamma mia indeed

  8. 8 Pat January 3, 2009 at 12:35 am

    far too much hippety hop for my liking.
    If you insist, The bake sale by the Cool Kids is very good and worth a listen. So is afterparty babies by Cadence Weapon. Oh, and Daft punk Alive 2007 (released in 2008) yadda yadda yadda

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