rearviewmirror: music | 2008


28 déc. 2008, 11h31m

Hey everyone, it's coming close to the end of 2008 and (like many others), I'd like to share MY favorite albums that came out of this year:

TOP 30

1. For Emma, Forever Ago - Bon Iver
Key Tunes: Re: Stacks, Flume, Blindsided and the rest of the album


I think this album is just awesome from start to end. It is a conceptual album and the music is incredibly driven, soulful, raw, emotive, dark, haunting, desolate, and undeniably beautiful. Justin's lyrics are bizaare, poetic, abstract, deep and heartbreakingly intense in the best way imaginable - there's enough audible intention behind them.
I will admit, the very first time I heard him sing; I was a little thrown off by his style and use of falsetto - It took me about two listens before I was fully in love.
Despite of its loneliness atmosphere - surprisingly, it never leaves me feeling sad, somehow, almost always uplifted...

Re: Stacks
"there's a black crow sitting across from me; his wiry legs are crossed
and he's dangling my keys he even fakes a toss
whatever could it be
that has brought me to this loss?"

This music heals. I know that these songs are here to stay.

2. The Seldom Seen Kid - Elbow
Key Tunes: Mirrorball, The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver, One Day Like This

I’m so glad I discovered this band! This seldom seen kid is musically so colourful + Guy’s voice is just so incredibly gorgeous + my this year‘s holiday anthem, One Day Like This = perfectness.

"what made me
behave that way?
using words
I never say
I can only think
it must be love
oh, anyway
it's looking
like a beautiful day

so throw
those curtains wide
one day like this
a year'd see me right"

3. Virginia EP - The National
Key Tunes: Without Permission, Santa Clara, About Today (Live)

The DVD "A Skin, A Night" (which is included) is slightly pretentious (because it’s very artsy captured) when they are a band crying out for a simple live DVD. I just hope it will be soon…

4. Tabarly - Yann Tiersen
Key Tunes: La Longue Route, Au Dessous Du Volcan, 8 Mm

A minimalistic journey to another world, a better world. Yann never fails and this ablum only prove this statement. Trés bien monsieur Tiersen, merci encore une fois.

5. Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust - Sigur Rós
Key Tunes: Festival, Inní mér syngur vitleysingur, Fljótavík

Their most joyful record to date. Yes it is, and somehow, it still works. At least for me.

6. Modern Guilt - Beck
Key Tunes: Modern Guilt, Profanity Prayers, Chemtrails

The sound of this album is totally great, many genres are mixed up together which make this record even more revolutionary – meant not only for Beck ;)

7. Elephants...Teeth Sinking Into Heart - Rachael Yamagata
Key Tunes: Elephants, Sunday Afternoon, Sidedish Friend

I loved her first album very much until this record came out, it’s even better and she has just so amazing voice here…

8. Sleep Through The Static - Jack Johnson
Key Tunes: All At Once, What You Thought You Need, Go On

It is a quite different from previous albums but after a few listens I realized it’s a very good album in its own, special way. I still love On and On the most, though. Jack is just such a good guy and his eco-concerts are very inspirational, no doubt about it … From now on everybody should go green! :)

All At Once
"all at once,
the world can overwhelm me
there's almost nothing that you could tell me
that could ease my mind

we keep asking ourselves
are we really strong enough?
there's so many things
that we got too proud of"

9. Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends + Prospekt's March EP - Coldplay
Key Tunes: Glass of Water, Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love, Strawberry Swing


Yes, this album was/is maybe one of this years‘ big hype but it is made with sense of musical versatility, and it works very well – Eno‘s hands are very visible here. And who just doesn’t love the melody of Joe Satriani’s Viva La Vida? :D

Death and All His Friends
"all winter we got carried
away over on the rooftops
let's get married
all summer we just hurried
so come over, just be patient, and don't worry"

10. Ode to J. Smith - Travis
Key Tunes: Song To Self, Before You Were Young, Broken Mirror

It is maybe short record but who cares, they rock! Their best album since The Boy With No Name, for sure ;)

11. You & Me - The Walkmen
Key Tunes: In The New Year, Red Moon, I Lost You

Atmospherical, great song-writing. It’s just fair playing. Really worth a listen.

12. Rook - Shearwater
Key Tunes: On the Death of the Waters, The Snow Leopard, Home Life

Side project of some members of Okkervil River and I must say I like this even more…

13. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
Key Tunes: White Winter Hymnal, Blue Ridge Mountains, Tiger Mountain Peasant Song

…I was following the, I was following the, I was following the, I was following the, I was following the, I was following the, I was following the, I was following the, I was following the pack…

14. Gossip In The Grain - Ray LaMontagne
Key Tunes: I Still Care for You, A Falling Through, Gossip in the Grain

Ray‘s third album. I don’t like hearing of some gossips said about anyone but these gossips placed in the grain sound very good to me ;) Till The Sun Turns Black is still my favourite album, though.

15. This Will Destroy You - This Will Destroy You
Key Tunes: A Three Legged Workhorse, Threads, The Mighty Rio Grande

Quiet. Loud. Slow. Fast. = simple formula

16. Pass It Around - Donavon Frankenreiter
Key Tunes: Pass It Around, Your Heart, Sing A Song

In Donavon’s third album, he finally found himself. That means this is the chillest record this year for me. You can imagine yourself lying on the beach, drinking mojito and enjoying time with your friends during listening to this album. It always puts you in the good mood no matter what the weather is like ;)

Life, Love & Laughter
"I’m lookin for life, love and laughter
everything in between and what happens after
what happens after? "

17. Oracular Spectacular - MGMT
Key Tunes: Time to Pretend, Kids, The Youth

First half of this album is so good, the second isn’t just so much creative.

18. Accelerate - R.E.M.
Key Tunes: Hollow Man, Until the Day Is Done, Horse to Water

I didn’t expect such a good album! It rocks, it’s loaded with fresh energy and it’s short, haha! There’s no reason to not like this record.

19. Dig Out Your Soul - Oasis
Key Tunes: I'm Outta Time, Falling Down, The Shock of the Lightning

I didn’t dig out my soul after listening this record but I can say Gallaghers are still able to write some good songs and that’s good thing, you know J.

20. In The Ever - Mason Jennings
Key Tunes: I Love You And Buddha Too, How Deep Is That River, Soldier Boy

I Love You And Buddha Too is one of my favourite songs of 2008, it’s catchy, very simple tune with quite provocative lyrics but I really like it, maybe because I feel it in similar way like Mason along with Jack sings.

"why do some people say
that there is just one way
to love you, god, and come to you?
we are all a part of you

you are un-nameable
you are unknowable
all we have is metaphor
that‘s what time and space are for"

21. Glasvegas - Glasvegas
Key Tunes: Geraldine, Ice Cream Van, It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry

Superb debut album! They’re like more heavier and happier The Twilight Sad. Scottish accent for the win!

22. Here It Never Snowed Afterwards It Did EP - The Twilight Sad
Key Tunes: Some Things Last a Long Time, Here, It Never Snowed. Afterwards It Did., And She Would Darken The Memory (Alternate Version)

Alternate versions of their debut album + 2 "new" songs, Some Things Last A Long Time is really heartbreaking cover. Nice EP.

23. Oh! Mighty Engine - Neil Halstead
Key Tunes: A Gentle Heart, Little Twig, Elevenses

If you like Iron & Wine or Kings of Convenience, you’ll pobably love this CD. Great record to chill out to.

24. Third - Portishead
Key Tunes: The Rip, Deep Water, Small

I know you’ve already heard it. Solid return.

25. Dark Shades of Blue - Xavier Rudd
Key Tunes: Home, Shiver, GUKU

More heavier, atmospherical and psychedelic. It seems to me that Xavier wanted to capture his concert performances to this record and he did it very well.
Home is one of the best songs in 2008 according to my ears.

"places we roam and people we meet
some connections are strong and some a little weak
one or two or three or four or maybe five or six or more

I recognize my health
the things that I have been dealt
places that I've roamed
feelings I've had and things that I know
home, I'm home."

26. Seventh Three - Goldfrapp
Key Tunes: A&E, Little Bird, Caravan Girl

Pretty, dreamy, natural album full of nice spring melodies.

27. Consolers of the LonelyThe Raconteurs
Key Tunes: Many Shades of Black, Five on the Five, You Don't Understand Me

Jack White and his rock invasion, enough likeable to turn volume on the highest level.

28. Saturday = Youth - M83
Key Tunes: Skin of the Night, Couleurs, Kim & Jessie

It was just like that: good, good, hmm, solid, great!

29. Forth - The Verve
Key Tunes: Judas, Rather Be, Love Is Noise

Great comeback. Richard still has the magic in his voice.

30. Hello - Tristan Prettyman
Key Tunes: War Out Of Peace, Don't Work Yourself Up, Echo

Turning into making radio popfolk songs might not be the right thing but if you can do it with some clever and smart melodies and lyrics, why not? :)
She’s pretty, she has wonderful voice + her guitar and surfing skills. What a great combination! ;)

Top CZ/SK records:

Richard Müller a Milan Lasica - Müller spieva Lasicu, Lasica spieva Müllera, Lasica a Müller spievaju Filipa
Nej kusy: Život, Do batôžka, Noc

Rozhodně nejatmosferičtější letošní deska, kterou jsem slyšel. Co píseň, to perla. Riškův projev jsem tak nějak čekal – ten mě nezklame, ale u pana Lasici jsem se, jakožto herce, obával, že si s Müllerovými a Filipovými texty pěvecky neporadí. No mýlil jsem se, protože jeho vypravěčský, až šansonový projev u mě vyvolává, jako kdyby se pan Lasica živil spíše muzikou než herectvím.
Oprášené kvalitní texty co nezklamou a nový kabát hudby, který lahodí mlsným, náročným uším.

Jaromír Nohavica - Ikarus
Nej kusy: Prošel Jsem Hlubokým Lesem, Ikarus, Ty Ptáš Se Mě

Nejdřív jsem se zasmál tomu začátku, to když někdo z publika nějaký ožrala zařval Helé Jarek už jde! :D No, pak jsem se už moc nesmál a jen zasněně poslouchal… Rozhodně Ikarus patří k jeho lepším deskám, (tj. Divné století, Mikymauzoleum, Moje smutné srdce) jen pro mě osobně škoda, že vznikla na koncertě.

Mňága a Žďorp - Na stanici polární
Nej kusy: Cesty páně, Kafe, Kam se dožijem

Pro mě tak nějak klíčová česká kapela (aspoň v mých hudebních choutkách) a s tímhle albem u mě nic nezměnila. Prostě si kuci okolo Fialy na nic moc nehrajou a jen si tak hrajou. Když napadne někoho nějaký sólíčko, tak si ho tam prostě vystřihne, Fialu zas nějaký depresivní slovní podtón a dá ho tam. Na koncertech jim to šlape jak má, jen je pravda, že nám kuci trochu zešedivěli, no jo, když to taky tak dlouho trvalo než pochopili, že… A to se dozvíme až po poslechu tohoto alba :) (jen trochu naznačím, že to skončí happyendem)

Dan Bárta a Illustratosphere - Animage
Nej kusy: Dech, Jesus Online, Naokoland (Kalunga Nekuhameeke, Charly)

Klasický Bárta, příjemné míšení různých stylů, hraní si s hlasem a vzhledem k tomu, že to tu u nás takhle podobně dělá málokdo, tak to asi ještě dlouho bude fungovat.

Tata Bojs & Ahn Trio - Smetana
Nej kusy: Šťastnější, Kudu Aditsuh, Jaro

Ke smetaně nemám moc co psát, prostě to byl skvělý nápad, který se podařilo zrealizovat na jedničku. Takhle by se měly dělat bestofky.
"Yes, it was very nice I think."

Xindl X - Návod na čtení manuálu
Nej kusy: S lítostí vám oznamujeme, Dysgrafik, Anděl

Lepší je Baumaxa, no ale uvidíme, svůj projev má.

Bratři Ebenové - Chlebíčky
Nej kusy: Houston, Někdo klepe, Zprava dobrý

Opět vkusný pop-rock-folk, který se dobře poslouchá a stylový ebenovský humor.

"Máš občanku? - Mám. - Klíče? - Mám! - Slipy aspoň troje? - Počkej... Mám. - Nabíječku? - Mám. - Mobil? - Mám! - Zavolej, žes dojel! - Zavolám!"

Jan Budař & Eliščin Band - Proměna
Nej kusy: Dechovka na přání, Hajzlpapír, chleba a kola, Koňmo jako král

V životech lidí okolo Budaře se udála Proměna potom, co Uletěl orlovi. Přesto, že proměny nemusí být jen pozitivní, tohleto dopadlo dobře. Já jen radši zas někdy uletím orlovi.

Honorable Mentions:

Kings of Leon - Only by the Night
Key Tune: Notion

Zach Gill - Stuff
Key Tune: Watch Them Grow

Cat Power - Dark End of the Street EP
Key Tune: Fortunate Son

Matt Costa - Unfamiliar Faces
Key Tune: Vienna

Tommy Guerrero - Return of the Bastard
Key Tune: Never Forget To Remember

Taj Mahal - Maestro
Key Tune: Further Down The Road

Ben Folds - Way To Normal
Key Tune: You Don't Know Me (feat Regina Spektor)

G. Love and Special Sauce - Superhero Brother
Key Tune: Soft and Sweet

Andy Yorke - Simple
Key Tune: Simple

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
Key Tune: More News From Nowhere

Lenny Kravitz - It Is Time For A Love Revolution
Key Tune: If You Want It

Okkervil River - The Stand Ins
Key Tune: Blue Tulip

Michael Franti & Spearhead - All Rebel Rockers
Key Tune: Have A Little Faith

Vampire WeekendVampire Weekend
Key Tune: Oxford Comma

The Killers - Day & Age
Key Tune: I Can't Stay

Keane - Perfect Symmetry
Key Tune: Love Is the End

Cat Power - Jukebox
Key Tune: Naked If I Want To

The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound
Key Tune: Here's Looking At You, Kid

Albert Hammond, Jr. - Cómo Te Llama?
Key Tune: Spooky Couch

Death Cab for Cutie - Narrow Stairs
Key Tune: Grapevine Fires

Jason MrazWe Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things
Key Tune: Love For A Child

The Twilight Sad - Killed My Parents And Hit The Road
Key Tune: Untitled #28

TV on the Radio - Dear Science
Key Tune: Family Tree

Sarah Brightman - Symphony
Key Tune: Canto della terra (Duet with Andrea Bocelli)

Santogold - Santogold
Key Tune: L.E.S. Artistes

Weezer - Weezer (The Red Album)
Key Tune: The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn)

Frightened RabbitThe Midnight Organ Fight
Key Tune: The Modern Leper

Key Tune: New Born (HAARP)

TOP 3 gigs:

Jack Johnson, Mason Jennings, G. Love & Special Sauce – Live at Manchester M.E.N. Arena 07.07.08
Coldplay, Albert Hammond, Jr. – Live at O2 Aréna, Prague 22.09.08
Sigur Rós – Live at Aréna HC Sparta Praha, Prague 19.08.08

Best Video Award:

Goldfrapp - Caravan Girl

Simple but beautifully captured video and it fits the song very well I think. I like it a lot.

For me, it's been a great year for music!
Thanks for reading my list and belatedly, happy holidays everyone :)


  • miguel88

    great list! i see we share some favorites. glad to see my dear rachael here :D i didn't add the national because it mostly has songs that we already know, but i loved it. check out my list too :)

    3 jan. 2009, 21h09m
  • yoribrus

    wow really put some effort in huh? Nice job! It's a nice list...good to see Xavier Rudd being mentioned

    8 jan. 2009, 18h28m
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