19 December 2008

Seventh Best of 2008

Pitchfork is rounding out the year with a dynamic series of 'Best of' lists. My favorite album of the year, Vampire Weekend's self titled debut, made it to number 7 on The 50 Best Albums of 2008. Fleet Foxes took top spot. Good on ya.

'This record was officially released in January, but at this point it seems like we've had it-- and the hot-fuss backlash that accompanied it-- for years. Sure, VW's songs got a lot of praise quickly-- these things happen in the internet age, usually to far less deserving bands. They dress like the early Talking Heads or Wes Anderson characters, but few people display righteous anger toward the early Talking Heads or Wes Anderson characters. They went to an Ivy League school but is that actually a negative anywhere outside a Sarah Palin rally?

OK, there's a whiff of them being just your little brother's music-- more listenable than capital-I important-- but actually getting pissy over the existence of VW seems about as reasonable as getting out the torches and pitchforks over, say, a (superior version of) Squeeze or Madness or Supergrass. In a time when other populist groups like Spoon, Arcade Fire, and the Hold Steady-- potential radio staples at certain points in rock history-- have commercial ceilings somewhere between "an appearance on 'SNL'" and "gold record," I can't find myself rooting against Vampire Weekend's relative success. At the end of the day, all they've done is craft an album of crisp, endlessly replayable guitar pop songs with expressive, detail-heavy lyrics and charming music that serves as a welcome antidote to today's more overly compressed sounds. How dare they.'

--Scott Plagenhoef

Click HERE for Pitchfork's 50 Best Albums of 2008


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