Friday, January 16, 2009

My Favorite Albums of 2008 (Part 2)

Dice's Favorite 10 Albums of 2008
(These are, in order, the 10 projects I enjoyed the most that I heard for the first time in 2008)

Making this list is probably the most difficult of all for me.  I am a song guy at heart.  It seems to me that the ranking favorite "albums" is quickly becoming like starting a "plus size" store and calling it "Fat Chicks".  You could do it, but your time might be better invested elsewhere.  Still, some groupings of songs did manage to snag my interest enough in 2008 to give them a listen to more than once all the way through.  These were they.

On to the Top 5!

5. Shine Through the Stars (Chasen) - From the first few bars of "Crazy Beautiful" I was hooked.  The music was somehow both familiar and modern and at the same time fresh and classic.  It's not as if Chasen has broken any sort of revolutionary ground with this album, but it feels like it.  Something about the passion, the writing, and the composition of these songs just feel better than every thing else that plays in this field.  Each song is a testament to artistic nuance and technical skill.

4. The End is Not the End (House of Heroes) - House of Heroes returns with another great album, as usual it's tight, tasty, and willing to take risks.  The fact that they somehow found radio success with a song like "In the Valley of the Dying Sun" is just one example of how this band continues to break stereotypes.  These guys write well, play well, and perform well and this album has been marinating in that amazing skill set.

3. Revelation (Third Day) - It's about time! I remember being blown away by Third Day's first album over a year ago and thinking about what an amazing career this band had ahead of them with such a solid rock vibe and a unique lead singer.  Well, they have had an amazing career, but it has been with a different sound than I had imagined.  Not bad, by any stretch of the imagination, just not with the voice and brand I had discovered in that first self titled gem, until now.  Revelation is easily my favorite Third Day album of all time and returns Mac Powell to a passionate rock vocalist fronting a killer sound.  This album may sell half the copies of the Praise and Worship stuff they did, but I will be forever thankful for a return to the Third Day I fell in love with many years ago.

2. Make Some Noise (Krystal Meyers) - You could call Krystal Meyers latest album a reinvention, but I think it's more likely a realization.  After two attempts at shoving a pop chick into a rock hole, I think everyone involved realized that K to the M fits much nicer in this vein.  Her voice is so perfectly suited to the zips and zaps of modern pop music, that it nearly melted my brain the first time through.  Bravo, Krystal, on finding your voice and I can't wait to hear more.

1. Maybe I'm Dreaming (Owl City) - Believe me, it's as completely out of left field for me as it is for you.  Maybe it's because the writing is so abstract, maybe it's that the instrumentals play with electronica, maybe it's the perfect match of the voice to the style, but whatever it is I found it to be the best collection of songs I listened to this year.  If you haven't heard Owl City, do yourself a favor and hit up the Myspace and check it out.  It usually takes me a while to warm to music like this, but Owl City's Maybe I'm Dreaming made me an instant fan.

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