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Sunday
Dec142008

AiMT 2008: Best Albums

Sebastien Tellier

Rather than promising a series of end-of-year feature lists, I'll just say that I'm "working on some." I have a nasty habit of promising content and not delivering, as you may have noticed. So yeah, not making any promises, but if all goes according to plan, there will be more to come. I would have preferred to save this particular list for the last of the bunch, but I'm submitting this to the '08 Music Blog Zeitgeist and few other polls, so it puts me under deadline to hurry along and get the albums list up first.

Also, I haven't forgotten about all the mixtapes, compilations and not-quite-albums. I'm saving those for another list.


Low Motion Disco - Keep It Slow #25
Low Motion Disco - Keep It Slow [Eskimo]
DOWNLOAD "LOVE LOVE LOVE" / IT ON THE HYPE MACHINE!

Keep It Slow is 2008's Eskimo artist album, and while it sticks with the balearic disco formula the imprint is known for, it's as much a downtempo record as it is a dance record. For further '08 Eskimo listening, check the Allez Allez Best of comp and the Cosmic Disco?! Cosmic Rock!!! DJ mix.


Padded Cell - Night Must Fall #24
Padded Cell - Night Must Fall [D.C.]
DOWNLOAD "WORD OF MOUTH" [FT. CHLOÉ BATTANT] / IT ON THE HYPE MACHINE!

Night Must Fall harks back to the golden age of no wave and sax-infused mutant disco, all beneath a dance-punk veil. Highly recommended to anyone having Output Recordings withdrawl.


Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours #23
Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours [Modular]
DOWNLOAD "LIGHTS & MUSIC" / IT ON THE HYPE MACHINE!

Sticking to Modular's formula of radio-friendly dance-pop, In Ghost Colours is almost too polished, but there's no denying the songs are there.


Mr. Oizo - Lambs Anger #22
Mr. Oizo - Lambs Anger [Ed Banger]
DOWNLOAD "TWO IT TAKES" [FT. CARMEN CASTRO] NSFW / IT ON THE HYPE MACHINE!

Lambs Anger is the French producer's third studio album, his first since the Ed Banger explosion. His jerky, epileptic electro, which pioneered a whole scene in France within the past few years, sounds more at home in 2008 than in the late '90s, which were his days of Levi's ad darlingdom.


Neon Neon - Stainless Style #21
Neon Neon - Stainless Style [Lex]
DOWNLOAD "TRICK FOR TREAT" [FT. SPANK ROCK & HAR MAR SUPERSTAR] NSFW /
IT ON THE HYPE MACHINE!

Gruff Rhys and Boom Bip may not be the likeliest candidates to record a solid romp into the '80s new wave aesthetic, but with Stainless Style, they achieved just that in addition to cashing in on the new school of party rap, as evidenced by "Trick for Treat," and other of-the-moment sounds.


Jamie Lidell - Jim #20
Jamie Lidell - Jim [Warp]
DOWNLOAD "ANOTHER DAY" / IT ON THE HYPE MACHINE!

The '60s soul revival is in full swing, and it has spawned a few great albums in recent years. So Jim may seem a bit unnecessary, but Lidell's knack for emulating this genre in its heyday can't be denied. On top of that, his songwriting chops have improved greatly since Multiply, and that's saying a lot.


Heartbreak - Lies #19
Heartbreak - Lies [Lex]
DOWNLOAD "DON'T LOSE MY TIME" / IT ON THE HYPE MACHINE!

This UK duo pays homage to the new wave aesthetic better than your average electro-pop act, but more importantly, they bring songwriting to the forefront unlike the majority of their competition. They have a strong vocal presence and don't rely on uppity synth washes and moustached snare claps to carry the record. Highly ambitious pop debut here.


Juvelen - 1 #18
Juvelen - 1 [Hybris]
DOWNLOAD "THEY DON'T LOVE YOU" / IT ON THE HYPE MACHINE!

Juvelen may as well be the next link in the Annie/Robyn/Yelle/Róisín/
Bertine bubblegum dance-pop chain. His Prince-biting falsetto and sassy production go into sissy-pop overload at times, but the handful of good songs on this album are really good.


Black Devil Disco Club - Eight Oh Eight #17
Black Devil Disco Club - Eight Oh Eight [Lo]
DOWNLOAD "OPEN THE NIGHT" / IT ON THE HYPE MACHINE!

This French (and probably fictitious) production duo continue their polished revival of library Italo-disco with this mini LP. There's not a sleeper to be found on Eight Oh Eight's seven tracks, but if you are growing tired of the whole disco throwback thing, you're allowed to sit this one out.


Crystal Castles - Self-Titled #16
Crystal Castles - S/T [Last Gang]
DOWNLOAD "THROUGH THE HOISERY" / IT ON THE HYPE MACHINE!

This charmingly playful record is one that I slept on most of the year. If the 8-bit-recalling chip sounds aren't enough to keep your interest for the entire 16 tracks, maybe the melodies will be. Not required listening in my book but a fun album nonetheless.


Windsurf - Coastlines #15
Windsurf - Coastlines [Internasjonal]
DOWNLOAD "LIGHT AS DAYLIGHT" / IT ON THE HYPE MACHINE!

San Francisco balearic disco newcommers Windsurf have been making their way around the blogs in the past few months. This has built up quite an anticipation for their debut, Coastlines, which was released just a few weeks ago. This guitar-heavy cosmic disco record isn't the best of its variety, but it's a pleasant listen through and through.


Morgan Geist - Double Night Time #14
Morgan Geist - Double Night Time [Environ]
DOWNLOAD "MOST OF ALL" [FT. JEREMY GREENSPAN] / IT ON THE HYPE MACHINE!

Many people were disappointed with Double Night Time, the long-awaited debut of tech-house don, Metro Area member and Environ founder Morgan Geist. The album certainly isn't the most innovative thing to drop on Environ in recent years, but considering its healthy guest roster and masterfully clear production, it's one of the better albums you'll hear in '08.


T.I. - Paper Trail #13
T.I. - Paper Trail [Atlantic]
DOWNLOAD "WHAT'S UP, WHAT'S HAAPNIN'" NSFW / IT ON THE HYPE MACHINE!

Good albums in the realm of major label rap generally don't happen anymore. Even the much-gushed-over Carter III was a huge letdown, but in the wake of Tip's arrest, he went pop and recorded the best album of his career. He traded his trademark trap rantings for such well behaved subject matter as girls, trickin' and "living one's life." We ain't mad.


Thomas Brinkmann - When Horses Die #12
Thomas Brinkmann - When Horses Die [Max Ernst]
DOWNLOAD "SOULS" / IT ON THE HYPE MACHINE!

At its least accessible, When Horses Die is the Jandek of techno-pop. At its most accessible, it's still somewhat likely to scare off your date. It's hard to pinpoint what keep me coming back to this album. Brinkmann's creepily throaty sing-speak doesn't always sit deservingly atop his warped pop constructions, but the oddity value of these songs cannot be denied. Call this one my token "weird" entry.


Ratatat - LP3 #11
Ratatat - LP3 [XL]
DOWNLOAD "FALCON JAB" / IT ON THE HYPE MACHINE!

This year Ratatat took a breather from the mixtape circuit and delivered a more subdued album. LP3 harnesses the same victory-guitars-plus-club-bump formula of the first two Ratatat records, but it takes the emphasis off the beat and allows the melodies to take center stage. The result is a proggier, more grownup affair that doesn't sacrifice the duo's quirk factor and sense of humor.


Quiet Village - Silent Movie #10
Quiet Village - Silent Movie [!K7]
DOWNLOAD "CAN'T BE BEAT" / IT ON THE HYPE MACHINE!

Quiet Village is a collaboration between Matt Edwards (aka Radio Slave) and Joel Martin, and Silent Village is half singles comp and half new material. This is the perfect album to play for that one friend of yours (me) who rips on downtempo and says it's a totally dead genre. Silent Movie will shut him/me up promptly.


D Lissvik - 7 Trx and Intermission #9
D. Lissvik - 7 Trx + Intermission [Information]
DOWNLOAD "B2" / IT ON THE HYPE MACHINE!

Dan Lissvik is one half of Swedish duo Studio. His debut solo venture brings a more minimal approach to Studio's sound with touches of '70s soft rock and Swedish prog. While 7 Trx doesn't quite reach the smoothed-over Euro-pop majesty of Studio's debut, West Coast, it definitely makes up for the lack of a proper Studio full length in 2008.


Lindstrom - Where You Go I Go Too #8
Lindstrøm - Where You Go I Go Too [Smalltown Supersound]
DOWNLOAD "THE LONG WAY HOME (EDIT)" / IT ON THE HYPE MACHINE!

Lindstrøm has been one of the most prolific electronic music producers in recent years, so it's odd to think about Where You Go being only his second album. It's a 55-minute record with only three tracks, so you can look forward to some lengthy, evolving pieces, which are a must for any fan of the headphone-friendly Italo-disco sound.


Buraka Som Sistema - Black Diamond #7
Buraka Som Sistema - Black Diamond [Enchufada]
DOWNLOAD "GENERAL" / IT ON THE HYPE MACHINE!

In 2008, Lisbon-based Buraka Som Sistema scored a collaboration with M.I.A., racked up a Euro VMA and introduced the majority of us to the previously little-known kuduro. All this, and they still had time to drop one of the year's best records, which is worth checking out even if you haven't exactly jumped on the kuduro bandwagon yet.


Kelley Polar - I Need You to Hold on While the Sky Is Falling #6
Kelley Polar - I Need You to Hold on While the Sky Is
Falling
[Environ]
(I CANNOT SHARE ANY OF MR. POLAR'S MUSIC WITH YOU BECAUSE HE HATES ME…)

While I Need You doesn't quite achieve the same level of symphonic headphone disco perfection achieved on Polar's 2005 debut, it's chock-full of great tracks, and, in typical Environ fashion, it will likely sound just as fresh in years to come. If you enjoyed Love Songs, I Need You is required listening—plain and simple.


Kleerup - Kleerup #5
Kleerup - S/T [EMI Sweden]
DOWNLOAD "UNTIL WE BLEED" FT. LYKKE LI / IT ON THE HYPE MACHINE!

With guest spots from Lykke Li, Robyn, Neneh Cherry, Titiyo and more, you'd think this Swedish producer's debut solo record would be one of the most-talked-about albums of '08, but it was strangely slept on. That's a shame because Kleerup is quite simply 2008's go-to saccharine dance-pop album.


G-Side - Starshipz and Rocketz #4
G-Side - Starshipz and Rocketz [Slow Motion]
DOWNLOAD "RUN THINGZ" NSFW / IT ON THE HYPE MACHINE!

The Fear and Loathing in Hunts Vegas tape hogged the Hunstville spotlight for most of 2008, but the Block Beataz-produced Starshipz and Rocketz is Alabama's '08 artist album of choice. Not just any clique can sample Enya and get away with it, but the Slow Motion kids sure the hell can.


Lykke Li - Youth Novels #3
Lykke Li - Youth Novels [LL]
DOWNLOAD "DANCE DANCE DANCE" / IT ON THE HYPE MACHINE!

Combining folksy chamber pop stylings with bubblegum-leaning dance-pop, Youth Novels is almost off-topic for AiMT, but it's simply too good to sleep on and leave out. The Swedish singer's soft-sung hooks are as addictive as anything T-Pain dished out in '08.


Sebastien Tellier - Sexuality #2
Sébastien Tellier - Sexuality [Record Makers]
DOWNLOAD "KILOMETER" / IT ON THE HYPE MACHINE!

With Sexuality, Tellier has finally taken a cue from his French contemporaries and recorded a full-on electronic album. It echoes Moroder and Paul Simon all at once, resulting in perfect retro-future pop, which will surely maintain a healthy shelf life and be heralded for years to come.


Hercules and Love Affair - Hercules and Love Affair #1
Hercules and Love AffairS/T [DFA]
DOWNLOAD "TIME WILL" [FT. ANTONY] / IT ON THE HYPE MACHINE!

More often than not, dance music is more about fun and less about sophistication. This debut full length is a glaring exception. If the mere thought of Antony Hegarty as a throwback disco-house diva isn't enough to entice, maybe the lush arrangements and overall immaculate production will be.


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Reader Comments (9)

this is missing lots of the good albums

December 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterflackin

Thanks, this is my kinda list.

December 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRace Whore

Thanks for giving Jamie Lidell some love.

I appreciate it.

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJolson

great post!kelley polar is an ass.no wonder why theres no track for downloading.my beauty in the moon was a great track though from his first album
take care!

December 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterunballlanced

thanks a lot dear, im very interesting for your article. im very impresing for this :)

forum

April 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterslowbos

1997 is possibly my favorite single year for music ever. For some reason or another many of the albums that I consider to be among the best albums ever recorded were released in 1997.

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulius

thank you.

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May 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergame online

The global music medium is now expanding its reach among the masses. Music has maintained the widest reach across the global boundaries and thus has complemented the way in which the music has seen ever. Music is now available in the market in all its standard formats however these are collected in a super collection called music album. These albums are now the craze among the masses since they allow the music lovers to get the greater feel of the music and bands.

July 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAna
Thanks for sharing nice information with us...
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