Guys, Let’s Have A Heart-To-Blog About 2008

Album of the year by default? Maybe
Fleet Foxes / Photo by David Greenwald

I hate to say it, but ’08’s not so great so far. Last year I had most of my year-end favorites early on thanks to Rawkblog staples such as the National, Wilco, Elliott Smith and Jens Lekman, but most of my regulars have taken this year off. I’m still excited about Cut Copy, Fleet Foxes and the Hold Steady but outside of that, I don’t know how things are going to shake out — the Okkervil River album’s great, but it’s no Black Sheep Boy, Destroyer’s latest doesn’t shine like Rubies, etc. Same goes for Hayden and the Constantines. Even the Pas/Cal album, which I’ve been waiting for breathlessly for a half-decade, goes on too long.

As for this year’s semi-success stories — Vampire Weekend, No Age and the like — I like them, but let’s be honest: Neither Vampire Weekend or Nouns is in the same ballpark as Ys or Alligator or any number of classics from the last few years. They’re not even in the same league.

So I have to wonder: Is it me? Have I just not heard the right albums yet? I’ve cruised through my usual 150+, and while a few left-fielders have struck me, nothing sounds like a home run yet.

What do you think, fellas? You’ve been reading, you know what I like. Should I just keep listening to Lambchop until it sounds like the AOTY? At this rate, I may have to.

(On the flip side, it’s been a tremendous year for live shows: R.E.M., Hayden, the Constantines, Hold Steady and the Mountain Goats have all put on some of the best gigs I’ve ever seen, and it’s barely September.)

Fleet Foxes – “White Winter Hymnal”: mp3