Eclectic Vibes: The Best Albums of 2008–So Far

Okay, so the year isn’t over, yet. But, if my math is correct–chances are, it isn’t–we have just over four months left. That’s a 100 or so days. So why not highlight the best albums of 2008 so far? I mean what else do I really have to look forward to in the fall? The Game? T.I.? Young Jeezy? Please. And just in case any of those albums deserve making the cut, I’ll go ahead and do another one at the top of the year. So without further waiting this is my list of the best albums of 2008–so far.

Honorable Mentions

“Unexpected” by Michelle Williams
“Bittersweet World” by Ashlee Simpson
“Top Ranking” by Santogold & Diplo
10. “Hard Candy” by Madonna.
Yeah, so of course it didn’t live up to the expectations. The album cover is horrid and a great example of bad photoshop skills. This paired with Tim’s lackluster production and the tracks Justin Timberlake and Madonna worked on with the “super-producer” seemed lazy at best. But, the Pharrell produced tracks bump. I mean, “Heartbeat” “She’s Not Me” “Incredible,” these are all fire joints. She should have just recorded with Pharrell, because Timbo didn’t exactly equal a huge hit. But, despite the blunders

9. “Sol-Angel and the Hadley Street Dreams” by Solange
Okay so who didn’t expect Solange’s new album to be dope? Raise your hand. It’s okay. Because it is. With production from Mark Ronson and appearances from Bilal and Q-Tip Solange creates a timeless sound mixing Supremes like old school tracks with a tinge electronica and dance. Check out “T.O.N.Y.” or “Would Have Been The One” or my personal favorite “Cosmic Journey.”

8. “The Carter III” by Lil’ Wayne
While most Hip-Hop heads will send me mad spam because Weezy is not at number one, I can justify this. The Carter III is not an album. It’s a mixtape. A bunch of good songs mixed with some sub-par songs thrown together at the last minute. Sure, the last half is amazing, but that can’t make up for the random first half. I agree it deserves to be recognized, but it’s not a amazing album, it’s a disc with two amazing songs and some just okay songs.

7. “Overpowered” by Roisin Murphy
Sure, most of you have never heard of her outside of her song “Ramalama (Bang, Bang)” being used for Dancing With The Stars. And plus this album came out at the end of 2007, but I’ve been playing it all through 2008 so I feel it should make the list. Roisin Murphy is dope. Her songs are crazy and she has a great voice and amazing production.

6. “LP3” by Ratatat
Ratatat’s album is amazing. If you haven’t heard it, you need to. Aspiring Emcees will be happy to know the album is all instrumental and filled with goodies to spit, sing, snarl, get high or whatever you want to do with.

5. “Seeing Sounds” by N.E.R.D
You so AntiDon’tNothingMatter! Pharrell can do no wrong in my eyes. And the latest N.E.R.D album is one of those reasons. Whether you’re partying or just chilling out this album has all emotions covered. And the production is top notch–of course it’s The Neptunes.

4. “Modern Guilt” by Beck
Beck’s new album caught me off guard. I wasn’t expecting it, but I was amazed with it. Produced by Danger Mouse, “Modern Guilt” is a musical about what happens to aging hipsters. Beck battles with growing up throughout the album, and if you’ve heard “Sea Change” you know Beck is like Mary J. Blige–an artist at their best when their sad.

3. “Third” by Portishead
Anything worth waiting for has to be good. And anything this good is worth waiting a decade for. Portishead’s album “Third” is amazing. If any group or artist is changing the sound of music it is definitely Portishead. Just listen to the intricate song patterns they choose. And if you haven’t heard the thumping “Machine Gun” or the thousand rap versions you at least need to hear that.

2. “Feed The Animals” by Girl Talk
I didn’t realize how dope Girl Talk was until I interviewed him for Art Nouveau Magazine a week or so ago. Hip-Hop ain’t dead. And anybody looking for where Hip-Hop is living right now, don’t look to the north or south, or east or west, or even Weezy. Hip-Hop lives in Girl Talk. Check out “Feed The Animals,” please. It’s the most pure ode to Hip-Hop without being annoying I’ve ever heard. And get this, it’s all samples. Take that RIAA.

1. “Santogold” by Santogold
If you’ve heard Santogold’s album you aren’t shocked at it being at #1. This is what an album should sound like. Songs that work together, never clashing, to create one seamless idea or thought. Santogold’s album works in that all the songs are distinct enough to stand alone, but work together to create a bigger body of work. From ska-punk to dub, she has it covered. And while some genre bending artists look a little faux, this comes off as authentic. Santogold’s album is the best album of the year. I encourage anyone to find something, anything better.

Other Stories I Find Extemely Funny:

  • Madonna kicked off her “Sticky & Sweet” Tour with a bang, by criticizing John McCain and basically stumping for Barack Obama. What’s funny is she compared McCain to Hitler? Really? I would compare Obama to Hitler first. I mean does Obama’s speech in Germany, quoting “NWO” to thousands of doe-eyed Germans ring a bell?
  • Michelle Obama played nice at the DNC opening night. I would have preferred to hear the REAL Michelle preaching her Wrightesque hate speeches though.
  • Ella, Ella, Ey, Ey? So, Rihanna may be broke? I kinda figured this. It took her a year to go platinum and she isn’t writing any of these hits.
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~ by Great Eclectic on August 27, 2008.

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