Assuming you've been keeping up with this blog, then, yep, you've seen me counting down my favorite local record releases of 2008, one record a day, for the past week and a half or so.
Well, it all comes to an end right here, right now. Below, a recount of records No. 20 through No. 2. Then, after the jump, the victor shall be revealed. (Don't worry: It's a real album; not something corny like, "We're all winners" or something like that. I'm not that much of a jerk.)
The Top 20 Local Releases Of 2008
20. Collin Herring - Past Life Crashing
19. Stumptone - Gravity Suddenly Released
18. Dove Hunter - The Southern Unknown
17. Febrifuge - A Short Instance Of Separation
16. Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights - Hot Trottin'
15. Toadies - No Deliverance
14. Record Hop - Record Hop
13. The New Frontiers - Mending
12. Fight Bite - Emerald Eyes
11. Lil Wil - Dolla$, TX
10. Dem Southernfolkz - The Message
9. True Widow - True Widow
8. The Theater Fire - Matter and Light
7. Centro-matic/South San Gabriel - Dual Hawks
6. Sarah Jaffe - Even Born Again EP
5. Mount Righteous - When The Music Starts
4. Calhoun - Falter. Waver. Cultivate
3. Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Pt 1: 4th World War
2. Matthew and The Arrogant Sea -- Family Family Family Meets The Magic Christian
So who's No.1? Jump to find out.
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How do you make the best album of the year? It's simple, really: Just write the best, most satisfying songs of your career over a four-year period, and then put those songs out for public consumption. Or, at least, that's what the Kadane Brothers told Bob-O for the feature we ran on The New Year in this week's paper. You know, no big deal.
But how is this collection of songs the best of the year? What makes them so satisfying? Well, the fact that they stay true, pretty much, to the same Bedhead/The New Year formula of past albums, but up the ante on the songwriting end.
The New Year might not be the Kadane's poppiest record (not that any of them would be considered poppy at all), but it's certainly the band's catchiest, as the lead single from the disc demonstrates quite well.
It's an album that seems so perfectly, uh, Dallas-y, I guess: subtle and humble in its greatness; easily overlooked even though it shouldn't be; highly appreciated by those who've discovered it. To listen to The New Year is to take an intricately planned journey where you willingly relinquish the responsibilities of the passage to Matt and Bubba Kadane, stewards well-aware of and well-prepared for the hurdles lying ahead. It's a beautiful trip, too, filled with gorgeous, undulating mountain overlooks and stunningly flat countryside landscapes; the Kadanes take you to these sights, which may seem a little underwhelming at first, but, after they've really shown it to you, and after you've really soaked it in, you notice that your jaw is, in fact, already dropped. And that it has been for sometime.
And that's why this record is the best of the year. It sneaks up on you, follows you around for a bit, and, before you even know what's hit you, it's a part of you. And you're better for it. --Pete Freedman