The Breezeblog Best List 2008

Posted: December 13, 2008 in music

I’ve enjoyed some great music this year. Here’s my top ten and other favourites ….

1. Glasvegas (Glasvegas)

Intense, driving rock-pop from the Glasgow band accurately described as “every great Scottish band rolled into one”. The black humour of James Allan’s lyrics put them in a class of their own.
Favourite track: It’s My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry

22 Dreams (Paul Weller)

That someone my age is still producing fresh and relevant  music like this is astonishing. As good as anything he’s done since the breakup of The Jam, 22 Dreams distills every influence Weller has drawn on in his illustrious career from Motown to Folk via psycadelia. All this and the epic Weller At The BBC CD/DVD set too. A vintage year for Weller fans.
Favourite track: Have You Made Up Your Mind

3. Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!! (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds)

Another vintage rocker still doing remarkable work. I came late in life to the Cave canon and am working my way steadily through his back catalogue in which Dig will proudly take its place. The Sunday Times called it “a snarling, feral, self-deprecating, libidinous, hilarious work of genius”. Couldn’t have put it better.
Favourite track: We Call Upon The Author

4. Day & Age (The Killers)

The Eighties polished off and given a V8 thrust by Las Vegas’ finest. An extraordinary third album that’s part Bowie, part Roxy and part Pet Shop Boys but thrilling throughout.
Favourite track: Forget About What I Said

5. 19 (Adele)

To have as much talent as Adele has at 19 is frightening. Her “heartbroken soul” owes much to the greats and Alison Moyet but is none the worse for that. One of the most impressive debuts of the year.
Favourite track: Cold Shoulder

6. Rockferry (Duffy)

Great soulful songs and a voice to die for. The cute Welsh lass is going to go far.
Favourite track: Delayed Devotion

7. Youth Novels (Lykke Li)

Swedish pop is going through a golden era and Lykke Li Zachrison is one of the brightest new stars. Hypnotically eccentric performer of infectious and refreshingly unusual pop/dance music.
Favourite track: I’m Good, I’m Gone

8. Acid Tongue (Jenny Lewis)

The Rilo Kiley lead singer delivered a killer follow-up to her Rabbit Fur Coat that swings effortlessly from country to soul and gospel via the White Stripes. Wonderful from start to finish.
Favourite track: Acid Tongue

9. Viva La Vida (Coldplay)

I’ve not been a huge Coldplay fan in the past but this was a terrific collection of well-polished, if unthreatening, pop that seemed to get better every time I listened to it. And the iPod doesn’t lie: the title track was the most-played track of the year on our family car stereo. The deluxe edition released in December with Prospekt’s March only added to the lustre.
Favourite track: Viva La Vida

10. For Emma, Forever Ago (Bon Iver)

This would probably have ranked higher had I listened to it earlier in the year. Am only now just discovering why so many critics love this beautiful and haunting album, recorded deep in the Wisconsin woods one winter by a depressed Justin Vernon with a guitar. Favourite track (so far): Skinny Love.

Best Greatest Hits Compilation:
The Sound of the Smiths (The Smiths) – How mighty were Manchester’s finest. This definitive hits collection, curated by Morrissey and Johnny Marr, still has the capacity to awe more than 20 years later. Incredible to think they were only together barely four years. Do yourself a favour and download the deluxe 48-track version with extra live tracks, extended 12-inch mixes of How Soon Is Now and This Charming Man and video. Favourite track: How Soon Is Now.

Also in heavy iPod rotation this year:

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