My Top 5 Albums of 2008: First, The Snubs

December 22, 2008 § Leave a comment

No one is more surprised than me that these three didn’t make the cut. All are artists who’ve made this list in the past, but for various reasons — the biggest one, I think, being solely that I searched out newer artists throughout the year — didn’t do it for me this year.

Death Cab for Cutie — Narrow Stairs: There’s only one word to describe this album, from a band I’ve adored since 2001, and that’s boring.

Jenny Lewis — Acid Tongue: Aside from the five-minute mini-song inside the eight-minute ‘Next Messiah,’ this album also left me cold. Ms. Lewis is approaching Ryan Adams levels of output, with diminishing returns — Rilo Kiley’s 2007 album was infinitely stronger than this solo effort (and I have big expectations for the new Rilo Kiley album that’s being released Dec. 23 **edit: I got bad intel: There was no new Rilo Kiley album released on 12/23).

REM — Accelerate: Maybe my expectations were too high — this was the band’s first album in years — but for me, it didn’t deliver. I can’t name a single track that jumped out at me, and none seemed to catch on with the local DC rock stations, either.

Albums I also considered, and enjoyed immensely, but that ultimately didn’t warrant a mention on the 2008 best-of list: Adele — 19; Atmosphere — When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold; Albert Hammond Jr — Como Te Llama?; Cold War Kids — Loyalty to Loyalty; Gnarls Barley — The Odd Couple; My Morning Jacket — Evil Urges; Ra Ra Riot — The Rhumb Line; Snow Patrol — A Hundred Million Suns; The Ting Tings — We Started Nothing. If nothing else, it’s been an incredibly rich year for me when it comes to music.

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