Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Blazing Top 50 of 2008: 40 to 31 [Day 2]

Let's Keep It Rolling....

Horse Feathers
House With No Home
Kill Rock Stars [2008]

The duo of Justin Ringle and Peter Broderick create an atmosphere that is warm and cozy with their intricate string sets, haunting but pleasant vocals and almost choir like harmonies that take something so simple and turn it into something special for Horse Feathers sophomore record. It is the album this year that you put on and just let it play because it possesses an elegance to it that is always hard to find.

Horse Feathers Review [10/22/08] @ The Fire Note

Nada Surf
Barsuk Records [2008]

This record came out in February and at the time it was not necessarily on the Top 50 radar but the record never was removed from the office shuffle. Lucky definitely contains a more upbeat cheery side of the band that sounds not only relaxed but shows the band feeling very comfortable in their current indie status. What makes Nada Surf successful is that their songs contain killer hooks that bring you into their albums and back for more every time - Lucky was no different.

Nada Surf Review [2/6/08] @ The Fire Note

Vivian Girls
Vivian Girls
Mauled By Tigers/In The Red Records [2008]

10 songs in 21 minutes flashes by in an instance but the Vivian Girls rock out with their lo-fi garage style. The all girl trio from Brooklyn disguise their melodies under a fuzzy haze that sound classic and right out of the California 60's with their harmonizing while remaining completely modern with their speed and precise beats that gave their self-titled debut a special appeal.

Vivian Girls Review [11/19/08] @ The Fire Note

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
Lost Highway Records [2008]

finds Ryan Adams and his band The Cardinals completely relaxed and flexing their cohesion with sounds out of the CSY&N or The Band playbook. The groups layered harmonies, roots style and country elements injected into a classic rock pulse create an atmosphere where all of the songs simply get better with every spin and place Adams up there with some of the great songwriters in this decade.

Ryan Adams Review [10/28/08] @ The Fire Note

Jenny Lewis
Acid Tongue
Warner Bros. Records [2008]

Jenny Lewis's second solo record Acid Tongue was another winner from the Rilo Kiley frontwoman and totally is a look of what might be the future. Not only did Lewis get the opportunity to work with boyfriend Johnathan Rice, M Ward, Chris Robinson (of The Black Crowes), Benji Hughes, Zooey Deschanel (of She & Him) and Vanessa Corbala (of Whispertown 2000) and Elvis Costello she delivered an album that was so warm and friendly that had killer production and catchiness ultimately never letting you put it down.

Jenny Lewis Review [9/22/08] @ The Fire Note


Matador Records [2008]

Jonathan Meiburg’s vocals soar throughout Rook fronting a full band sound but on many occasions accomplished a more personal passionate approach to the delivery. This sincerity made Shearwater's record endering but also added instrumentation that made it feel bigger, more grandiose and sonic then anything they have released before. With harps, strings, organs, trumpets and beating drums, Rook is a solid piece of changing work!

Shearwater Review [5/29/08] @ The Fire Note


Modern Guilt
Interscope Records [2008]

Modern Guilt
is arguably one of the most mature and focused works Beck has released since Sea Change [2002], which abandoned all of his postmodern grooves. Modern Guilt of course brings them back and has the Beck vibe with an array of drum loops, splices, and guitars that comes in at 10 tracks and just over a half an hour with dense subject matter that may not of immediately appealed to fans but truly gets better with repeat spins.

Beck Review [7/10/08] @ The Fire Note


The Manhattan Love Suicides
Burnt Out Landscapes
Magic Marker Records [2008]

This record is actually a collection of 27 noise filled gems that includes all the tracks from The Manhattan Love Suicides three limited edition 7" singles, tracks from the now impossible to find limited edition Cloudberry 3" CD single, a few other rarities, fully remastered WOXY live radio session tracks recorded at SXSW in Austin Texas in 2007, and four brand new and exclusive recordings. It was somewhat questionable if we include Burnt Out Landscapes in the Top 50 because it rides the line of a compilation but it is so stellar we felt it had to make it!

The Manhattan Love Suicides Review [10/10/08] @ The Fire Note


Get Better
Asian Man Records [2008]

Lemuria reminded us of classic 90’s indie albums from The Breeders, Blake Babies and That Dog with their eager flair that rings in every melody and an approach that sounds as fresh today as it would 10 years ago or 10 years from now. Lemuria’s hooks on Get Better hold you song to song with seamless transitions that are fun, catchy and solid while keeping the package of this synergy to 12 songs in 28 minutes. This is a band to keep an eye on for their sophomore release because this debut was spectacular!

Lemuria Review [4/9/08] @ The Fire Note


Department Of Eagles
In Ear Park
4AD Records [2008]

Department Of Eagles is Daniel Rossen from Grizzy Bear and his old college roommate. In Ear Park was four years in the making and it is a completely musically and harmonic sprawling indie record that has a collage of guitars piano, banjo and horns. It is driven from a deeper substance which relate to Rossen's late father who passed away in 2007 but does not necessarily dwell on his death as it does the good times the two spent together in life. I am sure that In Ear Park is that album this year which surprised many and will land on many critics "best of" list, which it completely deserves!

Department Of Eagles Review [10/17/08] @ Fire Drills