[UPDATE: Looking for the top 2008 albums as selected by the Dutch music elite and published in OOR? Scroll on down!]

Well this was a hard one. List making is one of my absolute favourite things to do, but it simultaneously tortures me as I’m forever afraid of leaving something out. About a week ago I narrowed the 2008 harvest down to roughly 50 eligible albums. But then came the horrendous process of selecting the top 10. It was hard because only 3 or 4 albums knocked me off my socks this year, but many many great albums hover just beneath.

Well, let’s not dilly-dally, without further ado (each one is clickable for some youtube delight):

  1. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
  2. Blood Red Shoes – Box Of Secrets
  3. MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
  4. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
  5. Adele – 19
  6. Los Campesinos! – Hold On Now, Youngster…
  7. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
  8. Hot Chip – Made In The Dark
  9. The Helio Sequence – Keep Your Eyes Ahead
  10. Ra Ra Riot – The Rhumb Line

So there it is, the New York lads with the ludicrous name Vampire Weekend are responsible for my missing socks. I could explain myself in a lengthy analysis of their preppy short songs with Paul Simonesque African influences, but you can go to Wikipedia for all that. What it boils down to for me is that every single song on that album makes me want to get up and dance and sing along. That’s a rare quality.

Blood Red Shoes’ razor sharp album is probably the strictest top ten entry in rock terms, and together with MGMT‘s other worldy psychedelica it’s a varied and magnificent top three. Adele, Los Campesinos! and Hot Chip have been year long staples in my playlists (as can be traced back to previous blog posts) and I still haven’t tired of them.

Sadly I missed Bon Iver‘s reportedly spine tingling concert in Paradiso this year, but his album has slowly grown to be one of my understated gems of 2008. Relative new comers to the pack are Fleet Foxes with their beautiful self titled release that seems to have everyone gushing, Ra Ra Riot and The Helio Sequence. The latter two have just wormed their way into the top ten in the last few weeks quite unexpectedly, but what great albums to discover at the end of the year!

As opposed to last year, US artists lead the pack and New York is particularly well represented with three acts: Vampire Weekend, MGMT and Ra Ra Riot. I was lucky enough to see 7 of my top 10 bands live this year and all concerts have been very memorable indeed.

As I feel bad for all the albums that didn’t make it to my top 10 but are definitely well worth listening to, I’ll leave you with my not-so-short-shortlist. If you are convinced I unforgivably left an album out, please drop me a comment!

Black Kids – Partie Traumatic

Bloc Party – Intimacy

Calexico – Carried To Dust

Chad VanGaalen – Soft Airplane

Cold War Kids – Loyalty To Loyalty

Coldplay – Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends

Colin Meloy – Colin Meloy Sings Live!

Conor Oberst – Conor Oberst

Counting Crows – Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings

Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours

De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig – De Machine

Death Cab For Cutie – Narrow Stairs

dEUS – Vantage Point

The Dodos – Visiter

Does It Offend You, Yeah? – You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into

Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid

Flight Of The Conchords – Flight Of The Conchords

Foals – Antidotes

Friendly Fires – Friendly Fires

Get Well Soon – Rest Now, Weary Head! You Will Get Well Soon

Glasvegas – Glasvegas

Gnarls Barkley – The Odd Couple

Guillemots – Red

The Hold Steady – Stay Positive

Kanye West – 808s & Heartbreak

Keane – Perfect Symmetry

The Killers – Day & Age

Kings Of Leon – Only By The Night

The Last Shadow Puppets – The Age Of The Understatement

Late Of The Pier – Fantasy Black Channel

Laura Marling – Alas I Cannot Swim

Le Le – Flage

Lisa Hannigan – Sea Sew

Lykke Li – Youth Novels

Mystery Jets – Twenty One

R.E.M. – Accelerate

Ray LaMontagne – Gossip In The Grain

Santogold – Santogold

Sia – Some People Have Real Problems

Snow Patrol – A Hundred Million Suns

Supergrass – Diamond Hoo Ha

Travis – Ode To J. Smith

We Are Scientists – Brain Thrust Mastery

Weezer – Weezer (the red album)


UPDATE: OOR published the top 2008 albums according to the cream of the Dutch music media crop. Just like last year, here it is for your comparative pleasure:


1. TV On The Radio – Dear Science
2. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
3. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
4. MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
5. Portishead – Third
6. Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
7. The Last Shadow Puppets – The Age Of The Understatement
8. Bon Iver –  For Emma, Forever Ago
9. Santogold – Santogold
10. Voicst – A Tale Of Two Devils

Voicst? Really?? Sure they’re a great little band compared to most of our homegrown products, but top 10 of 2008? Oh well, maybe I need to be a bit more patriotic.