Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Best of 2008: Albums Part 2

Now, there’s a lot of albums that have been released this year that we’ve yet to hear. Some of them we want to, and would probably have made this list if we had (Weezer for example). If there’s any that people feel have been criminally left out then please let us know.
And now to the countdown (Numbers 20-11)

20) The Cloud Room –
The Cloud Room

Originally released in America about three years ago, the UK finally got a new version of this brilliant indie record, complete with new songs. It’s a glimmering pop gem managing to sound huge and understated at the same time.

19) Elbow –
The Seldom Seen Kid

Elbow took their place at the top table with their fourth record, where the band create some amazing ethereal soundscapes using bog standard instruments, whilst Guy Garvey’s angelic vocals and brilliant lyrics enable crystal clear visualisations of Elbows world.

18) Girls Aloud –
Out Of Control

It may not be quiet as good as their previous album but that Girls Aloud have made it to album number five is somewhat extraordinary. It’s let down by one or two duff songs and it’s not as cohesive as it could have been, but the strength of its high points keep the girls in the top tier of bands in the country.

17) Fleet Foxes –
Fleet Foxes & Coldplay – Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends

Yes, we’ve put two albums on the same spot on our countdown. This is because to us both fulfil the same musical need we have, yet both do it in completely their own way. Fleet Foxes created one of the most sonically stunning records of the year, filled to the brim with beautiful exotic sounds and amazing vocal harmonies. Coldplay, on the other hand released possibly their most ambitious album to date, focusing on textures rather than on the stadium anthems they’re known for and achieving a glorious technicolour spectacle. We can’t believe we just wrote that. Sorry

16) The Futureheads –
This Is Not The World

Back to the full throttle of their debut, This Is Not The World rocks rather hard whilst also being filled to the brim with hooks. We’ve spent the year shouting along to these songs, and will continue to do so for many more years to come

15) Neon Neon –
Stainless Style

As well as putting out one of the best pop songs of the year, Gruff Rhys put out his best album since Super Furry Animals Phantom Power (2003). Blending together everything from indie to pop to hip-hop under a shiny ‘80s banner, this tribute to John DeLorian was the most surprising and varied records to reach a pop crowd this year. Oh, and there’s a Star Wars reference, which always earns major points here at KPL

14) Delays –
Everything’s The Rush

Delays treading water is still better than most bands can manage in their careers. Their third record is a superb blend of the dreamy indie of their debut and the dance pop of its 2006 follow up. Where bigger bands have stalled on the ‘difficult third album’ Delays have succeeded, and although it’s not even as good as we’re sure they can get.

13) Vampire Weekend –
Vampire Weekend

We didn’t want to like this record. ‘A-Punk’ just got in our heads and we couldn’t shake it. Then we fell for the charms of the rest of the album. For something so hip it draws on some rather un-hip influences, and overall comes across as pretty leftfield. Either way, aside from ‘One’ shite song, Vampire Weekend is a record that it’s so easy to love

12) Ida Maria –
Fortress Round My Heart

KPL would have loved this record no matter how old we were when it came out. Luckily it’s at a time when we’re able to appreciate how fully FUN this music is. There’s nothing overly complex about these pop-punk concoctions but couples with Ida’s weird voice and charisma we really fell for this album. That it’s catchy as hell and goes quietLOUDquietLOUD is also highly appreciated.

11) Those Dancing Days –
In Our Space Hero Suits & Thomas Tantrum – Thomas Tantrum

Two sides of the same coin, and we love them equally. Both fulfil the needs we have as pop lovers in making delightful, life-affirming pop music. Both are brilliantly talented bands fronted by ladies with amazing voices. Those Dancing Days are the Swedish teens who make Northern Soul influenced indiepop which tugs are the heartstrings. Thomas Tantrum on the other hand make jittery artpop that’s a much superior alternative to The Ting Tings. Plus they sit next to each other in our CD library.

Numbers 10 to 1 is to follow at some point in the next week


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