Best of 2008…?
Since it’s the end of 2018, it seems like the perfect time to revisit one of my favorite years in music: 2008! What?! I know, crazy, right! We mostly think about 2008 as the year of The Dark Knight, the start of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and President Obama, but here are 16 great albums that came out and deserve more recognition. 2008 offered us a lot in the way of music: band debuts, lots of fourth albums, and comeback albums, and I’m not talking about Vanilla Ice is Back or the eventual release of Chinese Democracy.
Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
January 29th, 2008
Don’t let this first entry fool you, because -sing it – one of these things is not like the other… I’m the first to admit that Vampire Weekend seems like a band that I would hate, but I’ve always really enjoyed the poppy yet baroque tone of the band. Everyone knows the “A-Punk” bop, but “Campus” is a great gem in the middle of this album. It really sets the stage for what their next few albums would sound like, plus just try to get that catchy guitar hook out of your head!
Does It Offend You, Yeah? – You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into
March 24th, 2008
If the debut outing of a British dance punk band named after a David Brent quote doesn’t get your head bobbing, I don’t know what will. You’ve probably heard their song “We Are Rockstars” in several movie and video game trailers. I’m quite partial to”With a Heavy Heart (I Regret to Inform You)” and “Being Bad Feels Pretty Good”, but I realize this band isn’t for everyone. They did make a second album in 2011, but failed to recapture the magic.
In Flames – A Sense of Purpose
April 1st, 2008
Sweden and Melodic Death Metal go together like meatballs and lingonberry soda. In Flames have been doing it since 1990 and continue to be one of best metal bands out there. Their ninth outing is no different. Although this has one of my least favorite songs (“The Chosen Pessimist”) it has three of my favorite: “The Mirror’s Truth”, “Disconnected”, and “Alias”; the last a gothic opera that begs to be played at full blast.
Kyle Dodson’s Best Albums of 2018 -no, sorry, 2008
Mindless Self Indulgence – if
April 29th, 2008
If is the fourth studio album by the electropunk outfit. It’s a tough pick, but on most days I’d say that this is my favorite MSI album. If you want to get your blood pumping, this is the record for you. It’s fun, tongue-in-cheek, and kicks ass the whole way through. “Prescription” and “Bomb This Track” are two songs worth checking out.
36 Crazyfists – The Tide and Its Takers
May 27th, 2008
When you think of metalcore, you don’t immediately think of a band from Alaska, but this last frontier band kills it. Produced by guitarist Steve Holt (Steve Holt!), this fourth album (again?!) is killer. My favorite and standout track, “Absent Are the Saints” is absolute metalcore heaven. Starting with pounding drums and a killer guitar riff followed by “Go!” it kicks into high gear before lulling you into a melodic and catchy chorus that gets stuck in your head for days.
Disturbed – Indestructible
June 3rd, 2008
Guess what number album… fourth! Seriously, what were they putting in the water in 2008? I LOVE this record and personally think it’s right on par with their debut album. If you even remotely enjoy Disturbed, you need to check this album out. There are too many good songs to name, but “Façade” just might be my favorite non-single! Seek out the bonus track “Parasite” too because it is too good and I can’t believe it’s not on the regular album. Ok enough gushing!
The Offspring – Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace
June 17th, 2008
This was somewhat of a comeback and return to form album for The Offspring. It sounds like late 90s/early 2000s Offspring! It got a lot of radioplay, despite receiving mixed reviews. I think it’s right up there with Smash, Americana, and Conspiracy of One. Besides the obvious singles, “Rise and Fall” is the killer track that closes out the record. If you haven’t listened to this in 10 years, pull it out and I think you’ll find that it’s aged really well.
Shinedown – The Sound of Madness
June 24th, 2008
Shinedown is the answer to the question: What if Nickelback were good? This third album is absolutely a 10 out of 10 top to bottom. It’s an all killer no filler balance of great treadmill tunes (“Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide”) and breakup ballads (“If You Only Knew”). If you like pop-infused Hard Alternative Rock check out this Shinedown record.
Nine Inch Nails – The Slip
July 22nd, 2008
What would a list from me be without my favorite band? In 2008, Trent Reznor subscribed to the Radiohead model by telling fans “this one’s on me.” Despite feeling cobbled together, I really like this NIN record. “1,000,000”, “Letting You”, “Discipline”, “Echoplex”, and “Head Down” are in regular rotation for me.
One Way Mirror – One Way Mirror
July 22nd, 2008
The debut album for this French metal band is a pretty great first outing. Their version of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Relax” is a fun metal/electronica fusion, but the lead off track, “Destination Device”, is the star of the album. Crunchy guitar, Manson-esque vocals, and a catchy, echoing chorus- this is how you start off an album! To this day, it’s a staple on most of my metal playlists.
A Life Echoed – The Boy Who Cried Truth
August 12th, 2008
As far as I know, this is the only album released by this band. There are a lot of great tracks here – “Can’t Wait” is one hell of a rock song that starts off the album. I’m a sucker when the band sings together and echoes one word during the chorus, so I obviously love this song. “Can You Feel It?” and “Party Girl (One Night)” are both fun pop rock songs. “What’s Your Story” has an electronic/metal flavor that showcases a different side of the band, which makes me sad that they never made a second album. Also, you can never go wrong with a cover/remix of Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up”…
and from Paula Abdul to Slipknot…
Slipknot – All Hope is Gone
August 20th, 2008
Another fourth studio album by a metal band?! I’m beginning to see a pattern here… Top to bottom I love this album, but I hardly ever hear people mention it. The single, “Psychosocial”, is undeniable and was my alarm all through college (somehow I never got sick of it). Sadly, it’s the last full album with bassist Paul Gray before his death.
Metallica – Death Magnetic
September 12th, 2008
This album gets a bad wrap for the sound engineering, but I love it. “The Day That Never Comes” and “Cyanide” (two different Cyanide songs in 2008?) are both amazing Metallica tracks!
Trivium – Shogun
September 30th, 2008
It’s hard to pick a favorite song from this amazing (and my personal favorite) Trivium album. For their fourth (yes) effort, the band and producer Nick Raskulinecz successfully meld the sounds that work on Ascendancy and The Crusade together. “Down From the Sky” and “Into the Mouth of Hell we March” are my two favorites – both rock on this semi-concept album.
Haste the Day – Dreamer
October 14th, 2008
Another fourth album! Metalcore band, Haste the Day, knocks it out of the park just one year after their (best) album Pressure the Hinges. Dreamer recreates a lot of the same sound and I could definitely see some of these songs being on the previous record. If push came to shove, “Mad Man” and “Resolve” would be my two favorites on this album, but you can’t really go wrong with any of the tracks.
Fall Out Boy – Folie à Deux
December 10th, 2008
To curb my constant disappointment, I consider this to be the last Fall Out Boy album ever recorded. Their fourth album (this is getting ridiculous) is pop punk at its best! “Coffee’s for Closers” and “Tiffany Blews” are two of the best Fall Out Boy Songs, period. You probably heard the overplayed single “I Don’t Care”, which is probably the weakest song on the record.
That’s it! Thanks for celebrating these albums that are over 10 years old now.
Here’s a Spotify playlist of the tracks I mentioned above:
Check out my thoughts on all of the Foo Fighters albums here:
Kyle Dodson is a writer, comedian, Rock Solid Podcast producer, Batman aficionado, facial hair connoisseur, and oxford comma supporter.