Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Best Records of 2008 (Part Two)

11. Justin Townes Earle - The Good Life

A breezy mix of swing, shuffles, style and energy. See 'Hank Williams Senior' related artists.

12. Jonny Greenwood - There Will Be Blood (OST)

This unearthly, beautiful score adopts a personal language and in the process creates an entirely new dimension of the film experience.

13. Silver Jews - Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea

Other than a couple of tracks, this is my first 'real' exposure to David Berman's Silver Jews. Vocally, he reminds me a little of Johnny Cash but that's where it ends. As a lyricist, he may be one of the best going.

14. Calexico - Carried To Dust

While not quite as good as previous efforts, Calexico find themselves re-exploring and expanding older ideas.

15. Brent Cash - How Will I Know If I'm Awake

Impeccably arranged, this slice of 'Bacharach-esqe' sunshine pop sounds like it could've been cut four decades ago. Should Brent's lyrics ever catch up to his ear for sonics, he could end up seated alongside the greats in the pantheon of pop wizardry.

16. Sun Kil Moon - April

More than a few good songs here, but nothing startlingly different. Overall, a little long for my tastes.

17. Army Navy - Army Navy

Oh sweet jangle, it's Davy Jones fronting a watered down version of Teenage Fanclub. More than a few 'highly' infectious melodies.

18. The Botticelli's - Old Home Movies

The debut release from San Francisco's Botticelli's is an easy to listen to, 60's flavored, California in the summer, pop record.

19. Benoit Pioulard - Temper

While a thematic connection is lost in the process, I do connect with his unique musical language that's part finger-picking, part noise and space, part lonesome frontier folk.

20. She and Him - Volume One

Zooey Deschanel (vocalist/songwriter) teams up with M. Ward to create a smart, nostalgic record full of classic pop & country melodies. While there's nothing new or original here, the record wreaks of charm. Bring on Volume two.

Records of Note :
Chad van Gaalen - Soft Airplane
The Felice Brothers - The Felice Brothers
The Broken West - Now or Heaven
Catfish Haven – Devastator
Black Mountain - In The Future
Lenine – Labiata
My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges
Beck - Modern Guilt
Todd Snider - Peace Queer
Will Quinlan & The Diviners - Navasota
Prima Donna - After Hours

Props to :
Bob Dylan - Tell Tale Signs - The Bootleg Series Vol.8
Neil Young - Sugar Mountain (live at Canterbury House)

Biggest Disappointment of 2008 :

Marah – Angels of Destruction

Anytime Marah releases a new record, it's a cause for celebration. That's how big a fan I am. What we have here are a couple of good songs and a barely enormous, merely huge, disapppointment.


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