Monday, December 01, 2008

Eartaste Albums of the Year 2008

2008 has been an outstanding year for listening to new music.

This year I stopped trying to figure out which are indie labels and which aren’t. In the past I’d pick one indie label and one major release each month. Turns out the major labels have cool ways of making us believe some of these are indie releases. Most of them are pretty transparent, but not all. So, I simply made a list of the albums that play all the way through every single time. Not single cuts that sound great every single time – that’s what we specialize in here daily; but those few, really special complete albums that are fully worthy of your investment of time and $$$.

The statistics. Over 200 cds arrive here every month. Of those, I pick a song or two off 30 of them to feature on eartaste. About 2 a month (less than 1%) stay on my cd player a lot, months at a time, and are always within handy reach. There are many different styles – style isn’t important. These are chosen because there is not one clunker on the album, and most of the time the songs add depth to each other by playing straight through.

So, here we go, in no particular order, the 24 best albums of 2008 – planned to give 24 hours of amazing music to listen to any day of the year.

Echoes Therein Gale - Echoes Of Darkness
Jazz Side Of The Moon
Phil Keaggy - Phantasmagorical
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - 100 Days, 100 Nights
Ruthie Foster - Phenomenal
Heath Street – Heath Street
Songdog - Wretched Sinners Song
Dax Riggs - We Sing of Only Blood or Love
Soko - Not Sokute
Eli Paperboy Reed & The True Loves - Roll with You
REM – Accelerate
DigJelly – ParaNoize
Maggie Walters – Midwestern Hurricane
Bravo Johnson - The Crooked And The Straight
Batdorf & Rodney - Still Burnin'
The Foxboro Hot Tubs - Stop Drop And Roll
The Acorn Project - We'll Be Fine
John Mellencamp - Life Death Love and Freedom
Conor Oberst - Conor Oberst
Raphael Saadiq - The Way I See It
TV on the Radio - Dear Science
BB King – One Kind Favor
Susan Tedeschi – Back To the River
Marianne Faithfull – Easy Come, Easy Go

Edit: December 26: My daughter sprang this one on me at Christmas, so this one will be late, but it's definitely one of my top favorite albums of 2008:
Vampire Weekend

So now there's 25. Life goes on! It's worth staying up an extra hour each day just to hear these jokers!