The best of 2008


It’s that time of year again. The wrap. After a great deal of deliberation I have arrived at my Albums of the year and my best of 2008 CD.

You’ll not be surprised to see my usual heavy inclusion of female singer songwriters, although in percentage terms they are rather lower than usual – only about 25%. There’s more Rock ‘n ‘roll than previous years. Don’t know why. Just a good year for rock I suppose.

In no particular order my albums of the year were.

Dig Lazarus Dig!!! by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Reviewed here. A total classic that is full of cracking and totally unique songs. I absolutely adore this record.


Third by Portishead. Ten years in gestation it was worth every second of the wait. Eerie, disconcerting. Unique. I reviewed it here.


22 Dreams by Paul Weller. I’m not a fan usually, but this record is wonderful. Reviewed here.


The Very Best of Ethiopiques by various artists. What a wonderful discovery. In a classic year for world music, in particular african stuff this blew me away as I explained here.


Welcome to Mali by Amadou and Mariam. Just in. Just Wonderful. This Malian couple make stunning fresh pop music. Not had time to review it yet.


The Seldom Seen Kid by Elbow. Deserved winners of The Mercury Prize. This album came from nowhere and was a hot contender for my album of the year. I reviewed it here.


Only by the Night by Kings of Leon. They just keep getting better. This is a fine record with great grinding melodies.


Stay Positive by The Hold Steady. What a wonderful, opoetic record. The other big contender for album of the year. Reviewed here.


Glasvegas by Glasvegas. Yikes. Scotland’s best this year. Huge sound great lyrics and Geraldine is a gem of a song. Reviewed here.


A Piece of What You Need by Teddy Thomson. This is a great underground folky, rocky album by the son of Richard and Linda Thomson that has been on heavy rotation this year. I suspect Jeana would have it as her album of the year. Very good. Reviewed here.


Juno Soundtrack by Various Artists. One of the movies of the year and a cracking soundtrack to go with it. Another one that received heavy rotation in the spring and summer. Reviewed here.


Aman Iwan by Tinariwen. Last but certainly not least it was actually released in 2007 but it only came to my attention this year. The third of my much loved African albums on the list. Reviewed here.


I have to say in conclusion that Dig Lazarus Dig!!! wins my overall album of the year.

And so, to my best of the year CD…

As usual, if you want a copy you need only ask.

Probably the hardest decision of all was to leave off One day Like This by Elbow in favour of Starlings, but my rules only allow one song per artist.

Overall I thought 2008 was a vintage year and I think this might be my best ‘best of’ yet…

Here’s how it pans out.

1. Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
2. That’s not my name by The Ting Tings
3. Cler Achel by Tinariwen
4. The Rip by Portishead
5. Come On Over (Turn Me On) by Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan
6. Have You Made Up Your Mind by Paul Weller
7. Freeway by Aimee Mann
8. Family Tree by TV On The Radio
9. Lights Out by Santogold
10. In My Arms by Teddy Thompson
11. You Cheated Me by Martha Wainwright
12. Geraldine by Glasvegas
13. Starlings by Elbow
14. Daydreamer by Adele
15. The Age Of The Understatement by The Last Shadow Puppets
16. Crawl by Kings Of Leon
17. Lord, I’m Discouraged by The Hold Steady
18. 5 Years Time by Noah And The Whale
19. Sabali by Amadou and Mariam

So good was this year’s stock that I’m strongly considering a ‘B sides best of”.

What do you think?

The aforementioned One Day Like This would feature, as would a couple of tracks from the Very Best Of Ethiopiques, and a great Karine Polwart song called Sorry are among the contenders…

12 thoughts on “The best of 2008

  1. Whilst I enjoyed this year’s Cave it came nowhere near the sheer class of The Fall’s ‘Imperial Wax Solvent’ – my album of the year, closely followed by Girls Aloud – ‘Out Of Control’ – a blistering return to form.


  2. 5 great SINGLES from this year:
    Beyonce – If I Were A Boy
    Ting Tings – That’s Not My Name
    Duffy – Mercy
    Adelle – Chasing pavements
    Kings Of Leon – Sex On Fire


  3. Great to see someone else in the Highlands likes Nick Cave!!

    Dig! Lazarus! Dig! was much better than I expected – the title song suggested a mute (pun) album by contrast to the lovely raw power of Grinderman.

    However, it shows Cave is definitely on track.

    Been following him since Tender Prey, and we’ve had a few scares – can’t go near the Boatman – all the more reason to see him continuing to develop his form positively.



  4. Listening to it tonight in some company this mix (and the fantastic b-sides) went down a treat.

    Pure quality.

    Felt like I’d got something for nothing (again).

    Those that were in attendance tonight all thought the same thing: “What fuckin cool and eclectic TASTE there, Jimbo” –

    – I confessed – wasn’t my selection.

    They actually thought it was that of a geeky DJ/music buff in his 20s.

    “No, in fact, twas that of a bbig fat bald-headed gay poofy jealous mongoe old man with a sad sad life” –

    – “Good taste in music for a sad fat baldy old poofter”, they agreed.

    Cheers Mark and Merry Chrimbo – you rock – and the dissers? – they can suck donkey-dick.

    That is the best mix-album of 2008.


  5. Quality. Cheers mate. The dissenters are the daughters of Rob Morrice who keep coming back for a wee go every now and then. They don’t realise that
    a) I didn’t slag Rob off, merely gave him a platform for his POV
    b) It was the commenters that did. Not me. Oh well, that’s the life of a media mogul. You have to take the rough with the smooth. Enjoy the break wee man.



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