The Best Music of 2008

I’ve been trying to write this post for almost a week now, and just couldn’t decide how to pick my “favorite” albums of the year, since there are a bunch of them. But, iTunes has rescued me and taken any and all opinion out of it, and given me a way to empirically prove which albums I consider my favorites this year. How? I created a Smart Playlist in iTunes where Year was 2008 and then sorted by Play Count. I then picked the albums from the list with the songs with the most plays and ta-da, I’m done.
So, in order of plays, here are my favorite albums of 2008:
# Kensington Heights by The Constantines – This is their best album yet, solid throughout with two or three songs that are destined to be all-time classics (*New King* and Time Can Be Overcome in particular).
# Everything That Can Happen Will Happen Today by David Byrne and Brian Eno – This album is just plain gorgeous. In fact, I’ve already declared it the best album of the year. Of course, my formula has proven me wrong, but that’s OK.
# Accelerate by R.E.M. – I haven’t listened to it much in the past couple months, but it was on constant repeat for a while there, hence its position at the top of the list.
# Earth to the Dandy Warhols by The Dandy Warhols (duh) – I love this band without guilt or any shame at all. Yes, they’re kind of poppy and weird, but they’re also full of awesome. They fly all over the spectrum and their latest album is just more of it, but better. Love Song is my favorite track on the album, followed quickly by Talk Radio.
# Parallel Play by Sloan – A full-on rocker, there’s no guesswork involved in this album. It’s just good ass-kicking rock and roll.
# These are the Good Times People by The Presidents of the United States of America – This one sort of rocketed up the charts, seeing as I only bought it this week, but two songs are already on my empirical list. The playlist doesn’t lie, people. Sharpen Up Those Fangs may be a perfect pop song.
# The Odd Couple by Gnarls Barkley – Three songs put this album in the top ten: Going On, Run and Blind Mary
# Med sud I eyrum vid spilum endalaust by Sigur Ros – It’s not my favorite album by the band, but it’s more good stuff from them, and that’s fine with me.
# Parc Avenue by Plants and Animals – Another great band discovered through the CBC Radio 3 podcast.
# Anything by DJ Earworm – Really. He’s the best mashup artist around and doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Girl Talk gets all the press, but Earworm’s the real thing.
2008 was a great musical year. There are albums released last year that I listened to a lot this year are LP by Holy Fuck (yes, mom, that’s really their name), Challengers by The New Pornographers, Live from Austin, TX by The Polyphonic Spree, anything by The Shins and recently rediscovering The Wrens. Now that I work for a music company, I’m listening to a lot of stuff and always on the look out for new music to sink my ears into.
I can’t wait to see what comes out next year.

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