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    Top Ten Albums of '08 - Numbers 6, 5 and 4

    Well, I believe I've managed to achieve the slowest roll-out of a top ten list.  You know you're in bad shape when you start before everyone else and you're still on number 7 come Christmas.

    Therefore, we're going to speed this up a bit.  Here are my choices for numbers 6, 5, and 4.  (3, 2, and 1 to come)

    6. Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles

    It took me a while to warm up to these guys, but that's only because it's synth-dance music and it's not in my wheelhouse.  Mr. and Mrs. Prophet don't make it to many dance halls these days, I'm afraid to say. But this album is loaded with some awesome beeps, some cool-ass blips, and killer hooks throughout.  Note, in particular, the "duel" with Health on Crimewave and the punk attitude on Alice Practice.  It all works, well.

    I suppose I should note that these two got into some sort of controversy this past year with regard to sampled music.  Whatever.  As evidenced by my previous selection of Girl Talk, I'm going to take the listenable music whenever and however I can get it.  And, Crystal Castles is a fun listen. 

    Crimewave (Crystal Castles vs. Health)

    Top 5

    5. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago

    Even though released more for the Winter of '07-'08 than this one, there just seems something so right about this album as we close out this long, hard 12 month time period that we've all just endured.

    Recorded alone in a cabin in Wisconsin, Justin Vernon's debut as Bon Iver is "folk" at it's best.  Look, like everyone else, there's only so much Iron and Wine a person can take.  However, this album got me through this final drawn-out month of December.  And, when I'm drinking my Hennepin and wondering just why New Years hasn't come yet, this is what's in my Shure's.

    Please note, this was either Genghis' favorite album of the past year or it is about to become his new favorite album.  Book it.

    If you listen to only one track on this entire list, listen to Skinny Love.

    Skinny Love (there is no official video)

    4. TV on the Radio - Dear Science

    I was a big fan of their Young Liars EP, way back when, especially their a capella version of The Pixies' Mr. Grieves. I even saw them open - I think it was for the strokes - at Hammerstein Ballroom or one of those places in mid-town where, years later, Lily Allen performed the worst concert of the decade.

    They were good.  Loud, arty, cool. 

    Now, I know everyone loved Return to Cookie Mountain when it came out a couple years back, but I never got into it.  If anything has become clear from this list, it's that I do have a penchant for pop music and Cookie Mountain was an art album through and through.  So, when I read that their new album - Dear Science - was thought to be an intentional move towards mainstream success, I was psyched.

    Listen to Golden Age.  It starts like a track off of Thriller and then moves to a wonderful crescendo of violins, guitars, and who knows what else with a chorus about "the age of miracles, the age of sound, there's a golden age, comin' round."

    As was to be expected, I love eschatological pop music. 

    Golden Age

    Dancing Choose


    Bon Iver - Don't know the album. I'll give it a listen, but I advise against putting any money down on your prediction. I like Skinny Love, but I'm not seduced, at least not yet. Too mellow for my taste. There is a point at 2:30 where the song briefly comes alive with a flash anger before slipping back to the soft pleading. If there's more of that on the album, I could fall for it.

    TV on the Radio - I saw them years ago at a restaurant cum music hall at 1st & 1st. Starbright or something like that. I think it's closed now. There was no stage; the audience just circled around them. Yes, as you say, they are good. They are loud, arty, and cool. But they have have no soul. Their music is like a clever art installation that's fun to look at for a moment but fails to move you, so it passes by without lasting effect. To that point, the only thing I really remember from that show was the couple who were ejected from the venue after doing the old in-out-in-out (doggy style) on the dance floor. The vids are cool though.

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