I’m in self-indulgent mode again, but now, this post is gonna be full-frontal music all the way, and I am on the verge of sharing my favourite albums of this year. It is already July, and there have been loads of philanthropically phenomenal music all year long, so here it is in no particular order:
Rave reviews? Check. Hype? Check. Buzz even before the album was out? Check. But boy oh boy, Vampire Weekend is surely one of the best albums of the year as the compilation of tracks prove to be a solid combination of musical bliss. My personal favourite track of this critically-acclaimed album is M-79, but in all honesty, all the songs are great listens with Walcott and Campus also proving heavyweights in their own respect. Vampire Weekend’s music is zangy and larger than life, but the only downside is that the album time is really short, leaving you wanting more after every swift listen.
She & Him – Volume One
Fun fact number one: the lovely voice behind the vocals is none other than Zooey Deschanel, the actress of The Happening fame. She & Him is a combo comprising of the sweet Deschanel and M. Ward, and boy, this combo is totally smashing hot. While this album might not be a mega hit, I can listen to the melodiously voice of Deschanel for hours as she somehow reminds me of a stripped down version of Feist and A Fine Frenzy with a tinge of 80’s diva vibe sound. M. Ward has done a wonderful job of getting the best out of Deschanel to craft a stupendously retro-sounding record with the stand-outs being Sentimental Heart and Why Do You Let Me Stay Here.
The Kooks – Konk
What can I say which has not already been said about The Kooks? They are just phenomenal, the epitome of British rock. Their 2006 debut album Inside In, Outside In received rave reviews, and much was expected of the quartet, and they have duly delivered with what I actually perceive to be a better effort than their earlier concoction. Always Where I Need To Be, the leading single, was given a lot of air time on MTV earlier in the year, but Shine On, Mr. Maker, and Do You Want To are examples of inch perfect rock and roll music.
The Do – A Mouthful
This album comes off as unorthodox, unique, and a little bit weird, but I still absolutely adore this effort by The Do, who comprise of only Dan Levy and Olivia Merilahti. Their sound is not confined by any genre as there is a little of everything on this record with my favourite pop song of the year so far Stay (Just A Little Bit More) leading the way. Ranging from soulful ballads to folk rock in a flash, The Do are a duo of musical revolutionaries as they courageously take you on a high-pitched bonanza of never-before heard sound which will leave you dazed after every listen. Heck, they even threw in a French song!
Mates of State – Re-Arrange Us
What can be sweeter than a husband-wife musician combo? The band comprising of Jason Hammell and Kori Gardner, active since 1997, is new to me, so I am still slugging it out with their earlier albums, so I cannot compare their previous efforts, but Re-Arrange Us, on its own, is a mammoth album of epic proportions as their combined vocals are nothing short of awesome. Mates of State remind me of another boy-girl harmonies band, one of my favourite bands Tilly and The Wall who themselves will have a new album out later in the year, but I cannot help feeling that the sound of Mates of State is more in your face if you know what I mean. Either way, a great listen with The Re-Arranger as the leading single with others such as Help Help notable mentions as well.
Other 2008 albums on my iPod since the start of the year:
The Ting Tings – We Started Nothing
Must Listen: Great DJ
Jamie Lidell – Jim
Must Listen: Another Day
Los Campesinos! – Hold On, Youngster…
Must Listen: Death to Los Campesinos!
Ladytron – Velocifero
Must Listen: Black Car
Mystery Jets – Twenty One
Must Listen: Young Love
One Night Only – Started a Fire
Must Listen: You and Me
Charlotte Sometimes – Waves and the Both of Us
Must Listen: How Could I Just Kill A Man
Hopefully, the second half of 2008 will provide even more scintillating on the music front as the first six months of this year has been anything but good music deprived.