Top Alternative Rock Albums of 2008

In no particular order here is a list. Please feel free to throw in some names I'm always in the search of great new music.

No Age - Nouns (Dinosaur Jr meets Weezer)
The Raconteurs - Consolers of the Lonely
Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes (really folky but I dig it)
Beck - Modern Guilt
Sigur Rós - Með Suð Í Eyrum Við (possibly my favorite in 08)
Portishead - Third (took a couple listens but I get it now)

Albums I bought and was let down by:

TV On The Radio - Dear Science
I don't mind the album, it's just that Return to Cookie Mountain was so much better.

My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges
Just didn't sound like MMJ to me. After buying Fleet Foxes recently maybe I'll get into more.

The Black Keys - Attack and Release
A few good tunes, album has too many holes though

Album's I didn't buy or care to buy:

Coldplay - Viva La Vida
Bloc Party - Intimacy
Kings Of Leon - Only By The Night
Black Mountain-In The Future
Bon Iver-For Emma, Forever Ago
Thao With The Get Down Stay Down-We Brave Bee Stings And All
Although no albums in '08 you might wanna check out M. Ward-Post-War, Phosphorescent-Aw Come Aw Wry & Pride, Neutral Milk Hotel-In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, Built To Spill-Perfect From Now On, Ancient Melodies & Keep It Like A Secret, The Frogs-It's Only Right And Natural, My Daughter The Broad & Bananimals, The Microphones-The Glow Pt. 2 & The Shaggs-Philosophy Of The World.
Go to and check out their top 89.

MPR - The Current is my favorite radio stations to hear new music that never gets played other wise.
2 of the best,not only this year ,but among the best alternative rock album ever....

1.Grand Archives-self titled album.Truly Magnificent.Breathless....every music lover should own one IMO.

2.The Hours-Narcissus Road..Thoroughly enjoyable melodic roller coaster.British rock at its best.

Try these:

Burial - Untrue Great noctural sound--hypnotic like driving through an urban setting at 4:00 in the morning

Calexico - Carried to Dust Nice return to form from the best Tex-Mex Americana lo fi band

Cat Power - Jukebox Like a great record from 1970's Memphis with a killer sound in vinyl

Clutchy Hopkins - Walking backwards Laid back Space Jazz with mid 1990s Beastie Boy-like drums

Duffy - Rockferry Best and most interesting UK singer

Hot Chip - Made in the Dark Propulsive dance music
and the best live show in 2008

Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue Recalls the singer songwriter
movement in Laurel Canyon

Mason Jennings - In the Ever The next Jack Johnson

The Raveonettes - Lust Lust Lust Danish Modern meet Jesus and Mary Chain

Santogold - Santogold Straight out of Brooklyn--M.I.A. meets Ska

The Submarines - Honeysuckle Weeks Best new band in LA

Thievery Corp - Radio Retaliation Consistently well arranged and textured electronica

In Bongo You Can Trust
Beck - Modern Guilt
Blitzen Trapper - Furr
Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue
Has anyone compared the Jenny Lewis vinyl to CD?
Many fine releases this year, all on vinyl:

Dylan: Tell Tale Signs
Matthew Sweet: Shunshine Lies
Calexico: Carried to Dust
John Haitt: Same Old Man
Ray Davies: Workingman's Cafe
Radiohead: In Rainbows
Mercury Rev: Snowflake Midnight/Strange Attractor
Emmylou Harris: All I Intended to Be
Deerhunter: Microcastle
Gutter Twins: Saturnalia
Shearwater: Rook
Steven Malkmus: Real Emotional Trash
Alejandro Escovedo: Real Animal
Zooey Deschanel/M. Ward: She & Him
NIN: Ghosts
Lou Reed: Berlin Live at St. Anns Warehouse

Seeing the other lists made me wanna add The Gutter Twins and the Fleet Foxes albums to my list. I LOVE the Burial album but I wouldn't call it alternative rock or 2008.
does the sigur ros 2008 release really sound much better on vinyl. Not sure if the cd was compressed and from what I have heard in the past the sigur ros vinyl has not been well produced for vinyl
Check out this link to an awesome Fleet Foxes track. For fans of Panda Bear and Brian Wilson.
Hi Audiohifila,

On my system Sigur Ros sounds excellent, warm and open with layers. I do however only own the CD.
Radiohead "In Rainbows" from top to bottom, a classic

Duffy "Rocksteady" soulfull, hip, tunes with quality mastering. It sounds great.

Tommy Castro "Painkiller" It sounds better every time I play it.

I also became a fan of the Killers after catching a concert of theirs on cable. Purchased a couple of their most recent cd's and enjoyed them.
I'm going to double down on Synthfreek's suggestion(s):

Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago - Just saw them this week in Philly...2nd concert this year and they were great both shows.


Thoa - We Brave Bee Stings and All - no where near the revelation of Bon Iver but I really like this album...perhaps feel good album of the year for me.

Lastly, Radiohead - In Rainbows
Bongofury, thanks for the Calexico lead.
Mike 60

One of the better underground bands--vinyl is incredible sounding. A rich catalogue to mine real sonic gems.
Sounds like I gotta get the Calexico and Bon Iver albums and fleet foxes
No one for the Death cab's Narrow stairs?
Radiohead's in rainbows
The Black Keys- Attack and Release -awesome as always
Stereolab-chemical chords
Jenny Lewis- acid tongue
Kings of Leon-Only by the night
The Raconteurs - I thought both were great, consolers for lonely being better
Beck Modern guilt
Spritualized Songs in A&E
Coldplay was Okay-not great
Gutter twins - great surprise
Ryan adams cardinalogy
Overlooked one key record
Ra Ra riot - The Rhumb line
The 'Stolen Babies'- there be squabbles ahead.
Brilliant band live.
I would say the best thing I've found this year is The Sea in Cake's new album. It's the best thing I've heard since Sufjan Stevens "Illinois." You can listen to the whole album at their Facebook page. Accomplished musicians who play very well together. They've been around for a while, just never heard of them until their latest effort. I bought the previous album as well and it's strong too. The lastest one "Car Alarm" is strong through the middle and end as well. Nice complete album by the group.
Wireless200, as "Come On Feel The Illinoise" is the best album released in the last few years (IMO) I'm going to get a copy of "Car Alarm."
Well, listen to it first on their Myspace page before buying it. Let me know what you think.
Timrhu you should occasionally check out the roster on Sufjan's label Asthmatic Kitty. Sufjan just released an album by a band called The Welcome Wagon that might be up your alley. Sufjan pretty much does all the instrumentation and background vocals on the entire album.
I remembered another one...Santogold. Take the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Missing Persons and blend 'em up for this catchy little album.
I agree with the Fleet Foxes, it is a very god cd. I also enjoy the Drive By Truckers release "Brighter than Creation's Dark"
David Bowie Live in Santa Monica '72 was released this year. I went through every one of The WSJs top albums of the year and the Bowie one stood out. It makes a great case for "the don't do it like they used to." The performance is extraordinary. Mick Ronson is incredible on guitar.
here is my list

1. Black Mountain - Into the Future
Best Album of the year IMO. Goes from 70's prog rock to alt folk in single chord changes. Great dense analog recording as well

2. Guttertwins
- was neck and neck for album of the year as well. Superb dark, haunting slow buring rock albums from Mark Lanegan & Greg Dulli. Super recording that matches the musical mood.

3. Portishead - 3
Comeback of the year for sure - This album is another haunting electronic soundtrack of the year. IMO their best. Great dynamic recording

4. Fuck Buttons - Stree Horrssing
Noise does not get any better than this. Like one giant soundscape of noise over 2 LP's. Easily the most original album of the year - brilliant recording as well

5. Wire - Object 47
What a return to form from the original punkrsters from the 70's. Still creating great layed music now, only with a little less punk but still attitude. Rrecording good, EP tRead & Burn 3 hat comes with the LP version is fantastic.

6. Cyrstal Castles
Super debut full lengthg albuim from the Canadian duo. Pop, electronic, dance music - call it what you want it is great music. recording is dynamic and clear

7. The Presets - Apocalypso
Can't add too much but say go out and and buy this great Aussie 80's retro synth sounding band that together with Cut Copy this year made it very big globally. recording is compressed but is still listenable on a big system

8. NIN - The Slip
Trent has certainly been churning out music since he left the big music labels. this album is Trent back to his very best, only let down by a rather slow timid ending to the album. great recording

9. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
Great album that I really did not expect to like, but it is really is good in an electro folk sounding way. SWuper singles like "time to pretend". Recording is just terrible, bass is non existent - easily the worst sounding album I have bought this year and seemingly recorded only for MP3.

10. The Cure - 4.13 Dream
I had quite a few albums vying to bring home the top ten, however old favourite the Cure did it. Nothing new in this new LP, however it does imerse you in the gravy thick sonics and the music is emersing as well.

Honorable mentions
- TV on the Radio
- Oasis
- Kings Of Leaon
- Paul Weller
- Nick Cave
- Mogwai
I have one that is starting to grow on me: Elbow's new album from 2008. The vocalist has a similar-sounding voice as Peter Gabriel and the production is first rate. I just discovered it the other day.
Kings of Leon "Only by the Night" best rock album I have bought in years.
Here is some great underground indie bands in CA that are just bubbling up:

The bird and the bee
Darker My Love
The Donkeys
The Heavenly States
Anya Marina

Out of Boston:

Eli "Paperboy" Reed

Out of Australia:

The Wombats
The Presets
Nobody has mentioned Goldfrapp Seventh Tree. Saw them at Coachella and then bought the record, which became the heaviest rotation album of the year for me. Beautiful, heavily layered arrangements and incredibly well recorded.

The Bravery's Sun and Moon, produced by Brendan O'Brien, also got my attention. A considerable advancement in songwriting by them and, again, well recorded.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's BRMC came out last year, and they just keep making consistent, interesting albums. The best British band not actually from Britain.

The Charlatans released You Cross my Path to almost no notice in the US. Worth checking out for fans of the band (and others)

The Last Shadow Puppets. Arctic Monkey's front man's side project, but having little in common with his main band. Sounds like late 60's Burt Bachrach romantic orchestrated pop and James Bond theme music. And well done at that.

Are any of those available on Vinyl, and do you have suggestions on albums?

Thanks for the info!!
Brian Eno & David Byrne - Everything that happens will happen today.
Darker My Love - 2
Albert Hammond Jr.- ¿Cómo Te Llama?
Some are out on vinyl. The first posting above contains many titles in vinyl. I especially like the ones by Calexico and Burial.

The other groups referenced in my second and third postings can be "previewed" on digital sources like iTunes. I am really liking the songs I downloaded on the new albums by Loquat and Elbow.

I live in LA, so I am actually making a trip to Amoeba Records to hunt down the vinyl versions. I will let you know what I find.
Kooks - Konk

^^^ No one mentioned them yet? The first track on the album is a rocker.

This is from 2007 but they're one of my favorite bands...

Buffalo Tom - Three Easy Pieces
I just purchased 2 dozen compact discs and wanted to thank those who recommended the following:

Workingman's Cafe
Carried to Dust
The Seldom Seen Kid
Modern Guilt
Dear Science

Much thanks to all.
I agree on the above being great albums, I especially like Raconteurs and Kings of Leon, but would like to mention two other fantastic albums I liked most this year.
1. Johnossi - All They Ever Wanted
2. Takida - Bury the Lies
Here are some 2008 albums that are in heavy rotation in the house at the moment and also keepers:

The Dodos--try "Park Song"
Japanese Motors--try "Single fin"--Television meets Beach Boys!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Sea and Cake--try everything off Car Alarm
The Walkmen--try "Canadian Girl"--nocturnal NY at its best
Raphael Saadiq--everything off his superb new album--best Motown sounding album in 30 years