A lot of albums came through these halls throughout 2008. While the general consensus says that this was a poor showing for music, the fact we can easily give you the names of fifty awesome albums is more than good enough for us.
While the appearance of a low-key, atmospheric and touching folk-tinged album should come as no surprise, few can argue that it is not genuinely deserving of such an accolade. In line with its famous recording history, many bands have taken the lessons to heart. Vampire Weekend will record their next album in a volcano, Fleet Foxes are jetting off to Neptune and Hawthorne Heights are attempting to recapture their sound by recording on the banks of the River Styx.
We'll let the world's sanest man have the last word before we turn this article over to the top ten rundown. "Hello, 50 Cent here. People say my music is gratuitously violent and misogynistic - but what they don't realise is that I'm just talking about where I'm from. And where I'm from, everybody's a vile millionaire rapper and all woman are rubbish sluts.".
What other album could've graced our number one spot this year? Honestly? You all know the story behind this record by now so we'll save you from the overused "Recorded in a remote Wisconsin log cabin!" exposition but quite frankly, everyone who classes themselves under the category of Human Being should witness this record. The sound defies definition and the emotion is both raw, beautiful and driven by vocals that swap between angelic and pain stricken. It's quite simply one of the most special, unique albums to ever be released, period.
Hype is pretty much Satan himself when it comes to new bands and debut albums but the Foals stood hard against the wave of over excitement and managed to release one the most impressive records of the year. As Math as it is Indie and as technical as it is radio-friendly, Antidotes not only caught the attention of most of the UK but also showed unbelievable promise for the bands future.
If someone came up to you and asked if you like Frightened Rabbit last year, the response would likely be a furrowed brow and a question about your sanity. In 2008 though, the reply would almost certainly be "Oh you mean that brilliant Scottish band that make heart breakingly beautiful music whilst always sounding the right side of folk?". And that would be 100% correct.
It's not often you come across an album title that is so fitting. They may have allowed their lyrical prowess to wane a little, but DYLRM? goes where no other British Sea Power record has gone before, in creating a stadium-sized rock theme that permeates the LP. No wonder this album and its title picked up so many accolades. The answer is a resounding "yes"!
The British youth have found themselves a new voice representing them in the guise of Mr. Frank Turner. The former hardcore star goes folk and in turn brings his stunningly intelligent, observant and wit-filled voice to accompany the sound of that wooden guitar.
Deserving everything they got this year, Elbows 2008 LP The Seldom Seen Kid is a beautiful example of perfect musicianship and marked possibly their finest work to date (which considering their back catalogue is not a statement taken lightly). Winning the Mercury Prize and more than it's fair share of acclaim, this album is a shining example of how to make music.
Coming a full eleven years after their second self-titled LP, Third was one the most anticipated albums of the decade and depending on where you stand, was either a triumph or a let down. With some of the most haunting, electrical, sonically intense music to be released in about...eleven years, Strange Glue sits quite happily in the former of the two.
With one of the most questionable album covers we've ever seen, Islands latest album is a fusion of rock ideals with experimental under currents squashed together on one CD and distributed to the world. It impressed and wowed a fair sized audience, managing to gain a respectable amount of acclaim, all of which is fully deserved. Highly recommended stuff from one of Montreal's most promising bands.
It's perhaps a little unfair to categorise Santi White â€“ a.k.a Santogold as this year's M.I.A. But like her London counterpart, the Brooklynite was one of the few artists to really nail down a cross-genre record that captivated everyone from hair product manufacturers to Camden Town luddites. One listen to this album and you'll have it knocking around your head all day.
Featuring guest vocals from Ben Gibbard and Will Oldham, April is quite possibly Mark Kozelek's finest work to date. Each song is a breathless piece of beauty, and when added to the discography of his previous sixteen years, you get the feeling that Kozelek, no matter which guise he performs under, will go down in history as one of the finest songwriters of his generation.
11. Wilderness - (K)No(W)Here
12. Why? - Alopecia
13. Atlas Sound - Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel
14. TV On The Radio - Dear Science
15. Passion Pit - Chunk Of Change EP
16. Conor Oberst - Conor Oberst
17. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
18. Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles
19. Moving Mountains - Pnuema
20. The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound
21. Mahjongg - Kontpab
22. Envelopes - Here comes the wind
23. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
24. Hot Chip - Made In The Dark
25. M83 - Saturdays = Youth
26. The Photographic - Pictures of a Changing World
27. Wolf Parade - Mount zoomer
28. The Walkmen - You And Me
29. Death Cab For Cutie - Narrow Stairs
30. Human Bell - Human Bell
31. The Cast Before The Break - As Your Shoulders Turn On You
32. D Charles Speer And The Helix - After Hours
33. Lau Nau - Nukkuu
34. Los Campesinos - Hold On Now Youngster
35. The Kills - Midnight Boom
36. The Decemberists - Always The Bridesmaid EP(s)
37. Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours
38. Nada Surf - Lucky
39. 2562 - Aerial
40. Tokyo Police Club - Elephant Shell
41. The Dodos - Visiter
42. Pontiak - Sun On Sun
43. Moya - Die hard
44. Hush Arbors - Hush Arbors
45. Flying Lotus - Los Angeles
46. Sound of animals fighting - Ocean and sun
47. Mutyumu - Il y a
48. Steven R Smith - Owl
49. Fuck Buttons - Street Horrrsing
50. Zomes - Zomes