Swear I'm not Paul: Best Albums of 2008: Countdown 50-41

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Best Albums of 2008: Countdown 50-41

And now continues our countdown of the 50 Most redundant Channel 4 Top 50 Countdowns...

50. Tindersticks - The Hungry Saw
2008 was the year where I finally got into the Tindersticks. I had heard people calling them boring before, and thus never really gave them a chance. Then I met a man who loved them more than life itself. He gave me this incredibly encapsulating album, and all has changed. I'm converted.

49. Nada Surf – Lucky
Lucky was one of those records that went under the radar. You listened it a lot when it was first released, and then left it on the shelf for a while. But those of us who returned to it found something to keep us coming back for more. Not their best record, but then again most bands don't have albums as good as Nada Surf.

48. Kings of Leon – Only By The Night
I loved the first Kings of Leon reocrd. I hated, and I mean hated, the next two. It was like they sold out. This band that I had embraced had been taken from me, and replaced with clean shaven stadium-friendly rockers. But on their fourth album, they combined their grittiness with the mass appeal, and made a superb return to form.

47. Conor Oberst – Conor Oberst
Bright Eyes made one of my favourite records of the last decade, then Conor came along and made one just as good to follow-up. Then he did something strange and went solo. But wasn't he more or less solo all along? Not exactly. These tunes are more stripped back than the Bright Eyes stuff, and show Oberst at his most raw. An engaging record, filled with clever lyrics and beautiful melodies

46. The Last Shadow Puppets – The Age of the Understatement
Everybody should have heard what the Last Shadow Puppets is: a collaboration between a Monkey and a Rascal. The Arctic Monkeys didn't release anything this year, and instead we received this record. There are a few tunes on it that should've been the Bond theme. But the main question that I find myself asking is: how can Miles Kane make an album this good when his own band are so, so rubbish?

45. Dan Tyminski – Wheels
<Had I gone too long without a country record? Dan Tyminski is perhaps best known, or maybe not know at all, for being the singing voice of George Clooney's Soggy Bottom Boy in O Brother, Where Art Thou?. He's been releasing great records for years with Union Station, and on Wheels, he really comes into his own. If you liked 'Man of Constant Sorrow', and who doesn't, then you'll love this record.

44. Coldplay – Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends
I won't lie, I liked X&Y, it was my first "hey this band are good" glimpse at Coldplay. I had come late to the party. But by that time the party had moved elsewhere (my anti-Kings of Leon). However, through the excellent production duties of Brian Eno, Coldplay have created their masterpiece. And the follow-up EP is pretty good too.

43. Shelby Lynne – Just a Little Lovin'
These songs are not new. They're Dusty Springfield covers. However, sometimes covers albums are better than new material. Expect for those Jesse Malin and Cat Power records this year! Shelby Lynne is a country singer who has been around for a couple of decades and has experienced enough heartache to bring a whole new dimension to these classic tunes.

42. Bloc Party – Intimacy
Another return to form album this one. It starts off shakily, but builds and builds into an excellent record, which is even better live. Kele is finally becoming a great frontman, and is now much more comfortable on stage, and also on this album. They should have a very interesting career. I can't wait to see what they do next.

41. Mark Pickerel & His Praying Hands – Cody's Dream
In addition to my love for country, I really love Americana. Perhaps even more. I never was the biggest Nick Cave fan, but the best way to describe Mark Pickerel would be as the "Americana Nick Cave". This is a wonderful album of stories fulling of stirring tales as well as haunting melodies. It'll be one to return to in fifty years and play to your grandkids. It has that timeless quality while remaining rooted deep in the heart of America.

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