6. Drive-By Truckers - The Big To-Do
Although I expanded the list beyond the top ten format back in 2005, I still consider the top ten to be a pretty big deal. In fact, due to my penchant for statistics, I keep track of things like consecutive years, consecutive releases, and overall number of releases—by artist—in the top ten. Drive-By Truckers are one of two bands this year to extend their streak of consecutive releases in the top ten to four. More on that a little later in this post. I'll find out pretty soon if they have the stuff to take it to a record-breaking five, as their next album, Go-Go Boots, is due out on February 15th.
7. Jónsi - Go
In Part 4, I mentioned that two artists in this year's top ten are there for the first time. Technically, Jónsi would be considered the third, but I didn't count him since he's appeared here twice as a member of his main band, Sigur Rós, in 2008 and 2005.
8. Cloud Cult - Light Chasers
Cloud Cult's 2007 effort, The Meaning of 8, topped my list that year. This year, they came the closest of all former #1 artists to becoming only the second band ever to reach the top spot twice. Light Chasers wasn't quite good enough for that honor, but "Running With the Wolves" was one of my three favorite songs of the year. The other two are on albums to be revealed in the top five.
9. Midlake - The Courage of Others
Midlake's The Trials of Van Occupanther was my #1 album of 2006. Although this year's effort generally received better reviews, I think it fell short of that record's brilliance. Still, two consecutive top ten albums make this band worthy of their Fab 40 status. Speaking of which, they also hold the distinction of being the highest ranked Fab 40 artist on this list.
10. The Hold Steady - Heaven is Whenever
From 1996 to 2000, Steve Earle released four albums, and all of them made my top ten. That's a record which has lasted for a decade. Along with the Drive-By Truckers, The Hold Steady are the second artist this year to match his impressive mark, although neither accomplished it in as short a period—five years—as Earle did. The Hold Steady, however, did it a little faster—six years—than the seven it took the Drive-By Truckers.
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