Monday, December 29, 2008

Music Review: Best of 2008

Everyone loves lists. What follows is the list of my favorite music for 2008. Like my author/book list, I am including albums I heard for the first time this year, even if the album was released in a previous year.

The year in music started with Bruce Springsteen’s 2007 album, Magic, only three months old. And 2008 ends with the anticipation of another Springsteen CD hitting store shelves in January. Not a bad way to bookend the year.

In between my eclectic musical journey continued. The highlight was the official release of Stone of Sisyphus, Chicago’s lost musical treasure (my review). I had the album since 1995 but it was still good to have others exposed to some of the best music Chicago has ever recorded.

Here are some other albums, in no particular order, I enjoyed this past year. I noticed, in compiling this list, that I didn’t review much of the new-for-2008 music. I’ll fix that in 2009.

Vampire Weekend’s eponymous debut CD - One of the most enjoyable CDs in recent years.
Sheryl Crow - Detours
Coldplay - Viva la Vida
Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis - Two Men and the Blues (my review)
Alejandro Escovedo - Real Animal (my review)
Bill Champlin - No Place Left to Fall (my review)
Robert Lamm - The Bossa Project (my review)
Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha
Iron and Wine - The Shepherd’s Dog
The National - Boxer
The Shins - Wincing the Night Away
Gnarls Barkley - The Odd Couple
Brian Setzer Orchestra - Wolfgang’s Big Night Out (my review)
James Carter - Present Tense
The Dark Knight soundtrack - In the track “Why So Serious,” I’ve never heard the use of one note be so effective in evoking menace and dread.

And I just picked up Miles...From India, a tribute CD of the music of Miles Davis by Indian musicians. I’ve only heard a few snippets but, from what I’ve heard, this CD will likely be a favorite for 2009.


pattinase (abbott) said...

A nice broad list.

Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

Good choices - except for the Coldplay one.

Chris said...

I like the James Carter pick, though I haven't heard this one yet. I saw him once in Seattle - heck of a horn player, and then some! My favorite James Carter albums are Jurassic Classics and In Carterian Fashion. How does the new one rank for you against other Carter albums?

Scott D. Parker said...

Patti - Eclectic is the best word to describe my musical tastes. I like a little of everything.

Gary - While the new Coldplay isn't as good as the first two albums, I still enjoy the emotive, in-your-face quality of Viva la Vida.

Chris - I have only heard the record once but I really like it. I'll give it a few more listens and then post a review in a few weeks. I have In Carterian Fashion, Layin in the Cut, Chasin' the Gypsy, as well as the two lives CDs. Love that Carter breaks out the Bass Sax. The thing is monsterous!

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