A few of my favorites put out new albums this year, but those didn't change the scene, they didn't change music, and they didn't top what they'd done previously... So, despite how many spins they got on my iPod, they still didn't make my list.
3OH!3 Want was one of the best, and most consequential, albums of the year. We claimed it resurrected Hip Hop. These boys are so damn adorable they resurrected something.
The Matches A Band in Hope was a) better than their last album which was already damn good, b) better than anything else in their genre all year long, and 3) enough to make a giant hunk of thugness get jiggy while driving his SUV. That's a good album.
Colour Revolt's Plunder, Beg, and Curse, The Bravery's The Sun and the Moon Complete, and Murder By Death's Red of Tooth and Claw were also some of the best albums of the year. These albums contributed to rock music in their own ways, whether it was proving that rock can translate to techno in an organic way and not just in the popular way club dj's are doing it... proving that beards and southern rock are just barely getting started with their comebacks... or proving that three guitars and a drumset are not the only formula for a breathtaking live show. 2008 is better off for having these albums and these bands around.
Fasciination by The Faint was lauded by inAllcaps as "amazing" and "mind-blowing". Thrice once again melted minds and limbs with the next installment in
The Alchemy Index, titled III and IV Air and Earth. And Death Cab for Cutie quietly and stealthily syncopated rhyme, rhythm, and reason with Narrow Stairs.
The Offspring, always one of my favorites, surpassed any of their previous albums combined in the ability to deliver that guitar that just makes my soul sing. Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace showed that they improve year by year and even though Splinter from 2003 was hard, smooth, and fuckyeah (yes it's an adjective), RaF,RaG was light years better. THANK YOU OFFSPRING. I fucking love you.
But the best album of 2008 was Nine Inch Nail's The Slip. How could it not be?
[Nine Inch Nails - 1,000,000]
Everything Trent Reznor puts out is impeccable. That is a lot to live up to. And there have been eight albums at my last count. He hasn't slipped once. He has never failed to take on new challenges or rise beyond them. The Slip was even made available for digital download, free of charge.
"Thank you for your continued and loyal support over the years -- this one's on me."
The official list from inALLcaps:
1. Nine Inch Nails: The Slip
2. 3OH!3: Want
3. Death Cab for Cutie: Narrow Stairs
4. Thrice: The Alchemy Index Vols III and IV Air and Earth
5. The Offspring: Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace
6. Colour Revolt: Plunder, Beg and Curse
7. The Matches: A Band in Hope
8. Murder by Death: Red of Tooth and Claw
9. The Faint: Fasciination
10.The Bravery: The Sun and Moon Complete