Monday, December 22, 2008

Top Ten Albums of 2008

Well here it is people my top ten list for 2008. Like I've said before it was a pretty good year for new quality releases. There are many that should have made the list but there was too much competition this year. As for the list itself, my first pick is the number one of the year, hands down. Albums 2 - 10 are not to be ranked in any particular order by myself. If any readers want to rank them they can be my guest. If anyone thinks my list left off someone, feel free to leave your choices in the comments. Well this is going to be a long one so I best get a move on.

#1 Nazareth - The Newz
After 40 years of rocking, Nazareth isn't content to sit back on their laurels and keep reissuing greatest hits packages like some bands do. Nazareth released their new album, The Newz, back in March and this is one fantastic slab of ear candy. The real newz is that this could possibly be the best Nazareth album ever released. I know what you're thinking, how could it possibly surpass the holy trinity of Razamanaz, Loud n' Proud and Hair of the Dog that are considered Nazareth's best albums. It's a massive hard rock/eclectic slab of Funk, Straight ahead Rock N Roll and with a couple ballads thrown in with their new release. Having been a Nazareth fan since 1974 I am happy as a pig in shit about "The Newz". The production is fantastic with just the right mix of instruments to vocals. The songs rock and rock extremely hard except for a few slower songs here and there. This needs to be heard because nothing even comes close this year.

A Day at the Beach
Buy It

#2 Presidents of the United States of America - These are the Good Times People
A long title for probably the most overlooked album on this list. In fact most people might not even have realized that these guys were still together. The most infectiously fun, hook laden, and can't get those songs out of your head album on the list. In fact your favorite song on the album is liable to change everytime you listen to it. This is an album I would like to post up every single song so more people could discover it and enjoy it as much as I have. This album hasn't left my mp3 player since it's release in March. If you haven't heard it then you're really missing out on something here. Of course if you don't "get" these guys then the whole album may be lost unto you.

More Bad Times
Buy It

#3 AC/DC - Black Ice

A lot of hype surrounded this album and for good reason. After an 8 year hiatus the boys sound like they never missed a beat. No messin' around with the formula that works for them. Where do Malcolm and Angus keep coming up with those monster riffs? Did they break new ground? Nope. Experimentation? Nope. Is it a great album? Hell Yes. It is what it is, an exquisitely crafted AC/DC album. Anything Goes may be the best tune since You Shook Me All Night Long but that's just me. No samples for this album as you should already own it and putting up a clip would be redundant.

#4 Great Big Sea - Fortune's Favour
great big sea
Fortune's Favour is the 9th studio album released by Canadian folk rock band Great Big Sea which came out in June of this year. Thirteen years after releasing their debut album Great Big Sea’s first track, “Love Me Tonight,” from their new CD, sounds just as fresh as when the band first appeared on the music scene. This is a band that has never become complacent, and never taken for granted the careers that they have. The real treasure of Newfoundland and Labrador is its people, and out of that earthy, gregarious, and fun loving people, sprang a rock band called Great Big Sea, who continue to charm music fans throughout the United States and Canada, with their own special brand of folktales. Fortune’s Favour just adds to the growing legend, of this outstanding group. The second track, “Walk On The Moon,” serves as the inspiration to keep our dreams alive. It is a song about taking your best shot at pursuing your dreams. It is about not being afraid to walk through that door or out on that limb. At a time when America is experiencing the most significant economic crisis in my lifetime, Canada and the United States are at war in Afghanistan and Iraq, this is the song of hope that we all need to hear. The album is chock full of easy songs to sing along with, because they have contagious melodies and they are fun songs that celebrate life, and anyone who knows Newfies will tell you they know how to do that in fine style.

Walk on the Moon
Love Me Tonight
Buy It

#5 Hayes Carll - Trouble in Mind
hayes carll
I have done several posts on this tremendously talented musician. I don't see the need to rehash again why this individual and this album are excellent. It just is. The 32-year-old Texan's songs blend some of the finest elements of folk, country and rock with brainy, quirky lyrics. For those who may have missed those posts check out the archive and I'll up another track right here.

Bad Liver and a Broken Heart
Buy It

#6 Hank Williams III - Damn Right, Rebel Proud

I just covered this fine album not too long ago. It's a winner folks

Candidate for Suicide
Buy It

#7 Tom Jones - 24 Hours
tom jones
The Welshman refuses to age gracefully, and more power to him. His Art of Noise collaboration on Prince's "Kiss" showed the way in '88. On his 1994 album The Lead and How to Swing It, Jones teams with Trevor Horn, Flood, Youth, Teddy Riley, and Jeff Lynne.He reinvented himself again. In November the icon returned with his first album of new material to be released in the United States in over 15 years. "24 Hours" represents another milestone for Tom Jones; from interpreting a classic Bruce Springsteen track to writing and working alongside the likes of Bono and The Edge. On this album Jones returns to doing what he does best, switching between sweaty Sixties R&B workouts and breezy, free-and-easy swingers. In fact this album sounds like it could have been released in the sixties. The ballads, however, are amazing. The key ballad here is "The Road", a blue-eyed, melancholy Bacharach-style schmaltzer that pays tribute and apologizes to Linda, his long-suffering wife of over 50 years for his extramarital adventures: "I know I caused you pain/Left you shattered on the ground". Tom Jones proves once again that he is indeed, da man.

I'm Alive
Buy It

#8 Def Leppard - Songs from the Sparkle Lounge
def leppard
This just may be their hardest rocking outing since Pyromania(ok Hysteria then). And the band is in top form. Joe sounds fantastic, as always. It's amazing that after all these years he hasn't lost his range. The guitar work from Phil and Vivian is great. There are some good, memorable riffs on nearly every track, which is something recent albums have been missing. The production value is great as well. This record has strong echos from their 80's past, while still being fresh for the times we know as of now. They prove that they can write and record great songs without their former legendary producer Mutt Lange. Good to have you back lads.

Buy It

#9 Sparks - Exotic Creatures of the Deep
How can I even begin to describe the Mael brothers most recent brilliant outing. I can't. Like I've always said you either love Sparks or hate them. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground. On Exotic Creatures of the Deep they nailed it on ALL levels: lyrics, music, and vocals.

Lighten Up, Morrissey
I Cant Believe You Would Fall For All The Crap In This Song
Buy It

#10 Nerf Herder - Nerf Herder IV

Chock full of pop culture references, witty and humourous lyrics abound and the music is great. I did a lengthy post about this album earlier in the year. Worth the purchase price for Garage Sale alone.

Garage Sale
Buy It

Honorable Mention Judas Priest - Nostradamus

You have to buy full albums to really get it. A superb concept album.

Wow there it is my top ten list. This is probably my last post of the year. I believe a holiday is due for all of us. If I chance to start again before the new year then so be it. If I don't I would like to extend the best holiday wishes to all my loyal readers out there, and remember not to be afraid to take that Walk on the Moon.

Funny Toon