Top 10 albums of the year

2008 was a banner year for new music, especially independent rock. 

I'd suspect that I've purchased at least six dozen CDs and downloaded a few hundreds tracks via iTunes on the road to my 2008 top albums list. The 80's,90's and 70s are all back this year (again), and a few newcomers have me really excited about the future of music.  

When I say these are the top 10 albums, I mean that they are albums in the classic sense of the word. They are coherent collections of great songs that capture a place and time.  One good song or a few big singles doesn't mean it's one of the best 'albums' of the year for me.  

Top 10 albums of the year (in no ranking order): 
MGMT — Oracular Spectacular (Time To Pretend is an indie-anthem, every song soars.  The new band of the year.  Best debut since Killers' Hot Fuss.) 

Santagold (She's got M.I.A. swagger with a No Doubt sensibility.  She's the perfect dancehall meets 80s.)

Deathcab For Cutie — Narrow Stairs (The sound of the record is sooooo Deathcab delicious.  New Twin Size Bed is my pop song of the year.) 

My Morning Jacket — Evil Urges (This is a sonic journey, like Pink Floyd meets Neil Young.  They've grown into their shoes and provide this year's Wilco=like breakthrough album.) 

Killers — Day and Age (They are baaaack! The record tells a great story, and Human punctuates it's message early on.) 

Fleet Foxes (This is the best sounding record of the year. This Seattle band combines CSNY vocals with Shins like song-sensibility.  A record Brian Wilson would cherish.) 

Angus and Julia Stone — Book Like This (Got this as a gift from JB in Austin, WOW. Belle and Sebastian meet Rilo Kiley and Bright Eyes.  Great UK indie-pop.  Buy used via Amazon, or download the EP from iTunes. Big here next year.) 

Conor Oberst (The Bright Eyes frontman and brainchild makes a great solo record. He's got Bruce's soul, Jenny's wit and Bob's sense of rebellion.  And all the tracks are great too.) 

Portishead – Third (It took this UK trip hop collective years to make this, but it is well worth the wait. Classic torch meets hip hop.  Track 9 (Small) is the highlight of the downtempo year.) 

Black Mountain – In The Future (Think Zep, but with a gothic Southern bent. This indie-swamp-psyche band is the coolest thing since Monster Magnet.) 

New bands with much promise that almost made this list: