I bought lots of music this year. Not an exceptional amount, but here's a quick review of some of my purchases.
TV on the Radio, Dear Science (2008)
Fucking awesome. Fantastic combination of layered and textured sounds, good lyrics, wide variety of songs - from full on rock & roll to orchestral ballads. Music that is absolutely of this time, absolutely a reflection of our world today. Not a misstep on this album. Crank and dance.
Elliott Brood, Mountain Meadows (2008)
Not an extreme departure from 2005's Ambassador, Mountain Meadows is a more mature, stronger album in that there's barely a weak track here. Foot-stomping, death-country from a band that got started in Windsor, Ontario. Love the organic quality of their songs--earthy toms and bass drums, layer upon layer of guitar, banjo, raspy vocals. You absolutely will sing along to "The Valley Town" and "Write it All Down for You." Please, please, please come to Halifax. Am dying to see you live.
Jolie Holland, The Living and the Dead (2008)
Not as good as her previous Springtime Can Kill You (2006) or Escondida (2004) or at least I haven't gotten into it as much. Sadly, some of the songs border on a Sheryl Crow quality which makes me think, despondently, that she's trying to appeal to some mini-van mom audience. But hell, who hasn't whored herself out to mini-van moms? They do buy things after all (I'd slap a pink purse on the cover of my book of short stories if it meant a publishing contract). So, the death-country, whistling quality is diminished. Good tracks here, like "Palmyra" and the title song, but they tend to get boring after multiple listens. Still doesn't diminish my mad girl-crush on Jolie (that voice! those tattoos!) and hope to see her when she heads to Halifax for the In the Dead of Winter festival in January.