It is list time in pop culture! So, I thought I should join. This one is hard because I have 100 faves in 2008, but I chose to just write about 5 of my faves. It was hard to leave out Fleet Foxes and She & Him...but I digress........
ROBERT PLANT AND ALLISON KRAUSS- RAISING SAND
You have to look twice when you see these names together. Two legends from two completely different genres. But together they make beautiful Americana magic! I think it was probably released at the end of 2007, but I don’t care ! It is full of soulful and mellow, smoky harmonies and reverb. Light a candle and enjoy!
COLDPLAY-VIVA LA VIDA
I remember listening after anxiously opening the disc! Epic is the word I 1st used to describe it to Patrick in a text. I guess the actual full title — Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends — should have been a clue. The fellas have really pushed the boundaries of what we expect from a modern album. The attention to detail is incredible. And the songwriting is impeccable. The album is full of religious references, which add to the intrigue. The CD comes to life with a beautiful instrumental opener Life In Technicolour. It seems like it is just about to explode into sonic wonder…and then dies…leaving the rest of the disc to build to soaring climax! Every song is unique and wonderful….long live Coldplay!
DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE- NARROW STAIRS
Narrow Stairs, Death Cab's sixth DISC, is one of the darkest and STRONGEST in their discography. It's an album about growing and changing and becoming resigned to the fact that you'll never be truly content. Narrow Stairs starts along the California coast, where Gibbard retreated to write the album. "I descended a dusty gravel ridge," his bookish tenor begins, in clear but vivid language, on "Bixby Canyon Bridge". Gibbard has said the song is about trying to commune with Jack Kerouac, who stayed in the same cabin to write Big Sur. It is a different record for them, but If you love the band, you'll probably find enough reasons here to keep sticking with them .
JON FOREMAN- WINTER SPRING SUMMER FALL (SET)
I am not a huge fan of the CCM market. There are a few good songs here and there, but mostly it is plastic. I have always felt that Switchfoot was actually a good band, just victim of overplay and horrid marketing and management. This year their front man put out a set of stripped down and raw songs that is amazing. Don’t let the Switchfoot background scare you…this is amazing stuff. On his web site, Foreman says, "These are simple songs, but they're mine. There's blood and joy and anger and laughter in them. My reasons for living. My hopes and fears. And pain. These are my fight songs."
RADIOHEAD- IN RAINBOWS
I LOVE this album! It's true that we've come to expect a certain level of genius from this band, but when they actually exceed expectations, as they do here, it's a clear sign that Radiohead will continue to reinvent themselves and drop more jaws along the way. I could list the virtues of every song, but I’ll spare you that! It flows seamlessly along it sounds supremely confident, like a band who know they're at the height of their powers. And they are! I saw them live finally this year…and will never be the same ! I’ll stop now…it is AMAZING!