Sunday, December 21, 2008

Best Music of 2008: Part 1 (40-34)

40. The Baseball Project - Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails

Frozen Ropes and Dying QuailsBecause this list is mostly about the music that defined the year for me, this album earns the final spot over a couple that were equally as worthy musically. I called this the soundtrack to my baseball park trip in August, which was an important part of a year that started and ended well, but wasn't necessarily great in-between.

39. Malcolm Middleton - Sleight of Heart

Sleight of HeartI'm still waiting for another album that measures up to his 2005 release, Into the Woods. In the meantime, there's something about Middleton's Scottish brogue and his attitude that makes even his lesser material move me. This one is no exception.

38. Damien Jurado - Caught in the Trees

Caught in the TreesIn my Frequent Spins post that included this album, I said that it falls far short of the brilliance of 2005's And Now That I'm in Your Shadow. That record was actually released in 2006, and made my top ten that year. So, saying this one falls short is not a slight, as it's still a very satisfying follow up.

37. Jennifer O’ConnorHere With Me

Here With MeIn Frequent Spins, I said this was better than her last one, Over the Mountain, Across the Valley and Back to the Stars. I'm going to back off of that statement a little by saying it's at least as good. I may have been overly excited about the fact that I found a picture of her wearing a Giants t-shirt. Big Blue's Super Bowl upset of the 18-0 Patriots is certainly one of the highlights of my year.

36. Paul Westerberg - 49:00

49:00Westerberg's first release in four years--other than the 2006 soundtrack to the children's movie Open Season--proves that he's still going strong at age 49. It's just as ramshackle as his Grandpaboy efforts, which more than anything marked his return to form after a couple of mediocre post-Replacements solo albums.

35. Shelby Lynne - Just a Little Lovin'

Just a Little Lovin’I'm probably going to take a little heat from the music snobs for this one, but so what. Shelby's homage to Dusty Springfield made a big impression on me early in 2008 and, although I couldn't listen to it for a while, upon re-visiting it late in the year, I'm finding that I'm still enjoying its pleasingly romantic sounds.

34. DeVotchKa - A Mad & Faithful Telling

A Mad & Faithful TellingListening to indie rock that draws influence from Eastern European music is a strange experience. It kind of makes you wonder if you should be seeking out the real deal. Regardless, this eclectic quartet from Denver is quite impressive in their follow up to the grammy-nominated Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack.

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