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Tipaklon’s Best Albums/Singles/Gig of 2008!

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What a year, hey!?

It has flown so fast and in the world of music even faster. The death of cd sales is coming closer and we have seen more festival’s pop up this year than ever. Kanye West’s head is getting bigger, and The Presets and Kings Of Leon have become so popular your little sister will know them. Yes that’s right, they made the latest So Fresh cd. Also it was the year of Metallica releasing Death Magnetic (doesn’t anyone else think he sounds like the singer from Nickelback these days) and we finally saw the new Guns n Roses album on a shelf, but who really gives a shit about them anymore?

We have also seen some pretty decent releases this year and here is my list (Nathan’s that is, Simon’s will be up soon!) with a quick summary on each. Albums from these artists that narrowly missed the cut were The Sun Blindness, Spiritualized, Mogwai, Mercy Arms, The Drones, No Age and Flying Lotus.

 

Albums

10. Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours

Cutters went mainstream with this electro/pop/disco opus and many years of constant touring paid off when this went number 1. Nearly all tracks of this could of been released as singles, demonstrating the overall quailty of album 2 for the Melbourne Lads.

 

9. King Khan & The Shrines – The Supreme Genius of…

If you haven’t heard of these guys then get of your ass and see the light. Vice records have made it easy for you all and released this best of compilation of the great showman/sex machine King Khan and his band of merry men. If you like your soul, 60’s era rolling stones and a touch of funk, then what are you waiting for?

 

8. Fleet Foxes – Self Titled

Those harmonies!

7. Friendly Fires 

If one more disco-punk band came out I was seriously going to cry. Way too many angular guitars, ESG basslines and terrible Van She haircuts, but then this came along! What the Klaxons should of sounded like and they have more funk than any white guys I know. If you want to boogie and get down, then purchase this and hit the dancefloor, pronto!

 

6.  Yeasayer – All Hour Cymbals

This album is quite a trip into some serious catchy psychedelic almost tribal music. So many influences on this album yet it is somehow so hard to find them. “2080” is a wonderful song that makes me so happy every time I hear it, but this an album that needs to be played in full, it truly is a great trip to be taken.

 

5. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago

Wow what a voice. Like Jeff Buckley reinacarnated into a hairy lumberjack looking man, this is a beautiful album that you must listen to. Gives me goosebumps every time this gets played, if you know what I mean.

 

4. Deerhunter – Microcastle

Mr Brandon Cox is truly the man. That voice of his when drenched in reverb is truly breathtaking and combine that with the truly underated rhythm section and the three way attack of shoegaze guitars. Cryptograms was very special, but this is almost a stripped down version of that and still sounds amazing.

3. Hercules & Love Affair – Self Titled

Holy Disco Batman! Who would of ever thought of combining the strange voice of Antony with disco beats! seriously this sooooo good. The two ladies otherside of him are fantastic as well and if it wasn’t for the outrageous price of Nevereverland and the thought of having to see The Presets and Cut Copy for the millionth time, then i would be there front row and getting my disco on like John Travolta pre-Qantas.

 

2. M83 – Saturdays=Youth

This really does sound like a John Hughes movie soundtrack, it just aint funny. It also reminds of a scene in The Neverending Story when Falcor is riding into the sky with that great big nose of his. Yes this album is that good.

 

1. TV on the Radio – Dear Science

No explanation for this is needed, but I will say one thing. Buy this album!

Ohhh and also I got tickets to see them, did you?

                                           

 

Singles

5. Neon Neon – Dream Cars

4. Tame Impala – Glass Half Full of Wine

3. Yacht – Summer song

2. The Juan Maclean – Happy House

1. MGMT – Kids

Has there been a bigger band this year?! Seriously they have been everywhere, from bond ads, to making it in every clothing shop accross Australia. They have been the definition of hype but the album is pretty damn good but this song i just cant ever remove from the side of my brain. “Indie” anthems and pysch indie pop gems, but “Kids” has rightly taken 2008 by the balls and made every person sing the opening beats to it, come on you know the one, doo doo doo doo doo dah dah dah do…….. do. Okay here it is

 

Most Disapointing Album of 2008

1. Kings Of Leon – Only by the night

What a bloated pile of shit of an album, overproduced and so many disgustingly bad power ballads. What happened to the rough and ready, southern indie hillbilly jams of the first album! This is what touring with U2 and Pearl Jam does to you. In the end teenage girls and Sony are loving every moment of it.

                                  

Gig of 2008 was The National. A truly special band and night, were you there?

Fleet Foxes – Self-Titled

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Fleet Foxes

Self Titled

Sub Pop

 

                                                      

 

 

In the last few years America has produced some terrific indie rock bands. Since the slow demise of “Post Punk” and “New Wave”, it has been surprisingly the genre “Soft Rock” that has spurned the new crop of great bands.

 

Bands such as Midlake, My Morning Jacket, Band Of Horses and Dr Dog are all artists that have taken influences from 60’s/Baroque pop, folk and 70’s soft rock, most notably bands such as America, Fleetwood Mac, Harvest-era Neil Young and The Zombies taken as key direct influences on their easy listening music.

 

Now you can add a 5 piece out of Seattle to this growing list.

 

The first thing you notice listening to Fleet Foxes, are the vocal harmonies that the young band produce. Reminiscent and no doubt bringing a smile to Brian Wilson’s face (if he still knows where he is) are the Beach Boy’s like soaring harmonies that the young members (all in their early twenties) bring. Using this as a main focus, you almost tend to forget that there are instruments playing, such is the beautiful melancholy. Robin Pecknold is the “lead” singer with a voice that can’t help you thinking that you have mistakenly put on an early My Morning Jacket album because of the close similarities of their amazingly stunning voices.

 

White Winter Hymnal is an instant classic, with all band members joining in harmony interplay after the initial intro by Pecknold.  The almost jam filled track of Ragged Wood is a joy, with it almost feeling like it was made specifically for driving towards an exotic location.

 

Tiger Mountain Peasant Song is again just Pecknold’s dreamy vocals and a gently strummed acoustic guitar, really bringing out the Neil Young influences. Heard Them Stirring opens with a gospel choir feel, with the vocals combining with a simple tribal sounding drumbeat. It could actually be classified as an instrumental, with no lyrics attached to the song, just the gorgeous soaring voices.

 

Your Protector has an epic feel with the heartfelt lyrics of  ‘…would you wait for me and be the one for me?’ and when the last track of Oliver James rings out, it brings a close to one of the best albums this year. By the end of this record, you’ll be ready to start playing it again, as this is a band that you’ll quickly fall in love with.

 

8.5/10