The long list goodbye

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Time to do this list thing again. Even those who loathe it secretly love it. Just think, next year we get to do a round of "best of the decade" lists. Get ready!

15. Deerhunter


Bradford Cox's drug-addled despair sounds best with a little oomph behind it. Despite Cox's outsized persona, his bandmates bested him here; Lockett Pundt's "Agoraphobia" and Josh Fauver's "Nothing Ever Happened" are the standouts.

14. Abe Vigoda


The best thing to emerge from L.A.'s heralded Smell scene, Skeleton is the sound of High Places' prickly hallucinations snatched from the subconscious and manifested into a very real series of body blows.

13. Spiritualized

"Songs in A&E"

Sober doesn't mean clear-headed. Jason Pierce's gospel-tinged meditations on ache and ecstasy are just as haunting after the fog is wiped off the lens.

12. Titus Andronicus

"The Airing of Grievances"

Overeducated and underfed, these youngsters burst out of North Jersey breathing fire and pissing blood. Disenchantment has rarely sounded so triumphant.

11. Fleet Foxes

"Fleet Foxes"

The latest entry in the indie-rock canon comes courtesy of five Beach Boys-loving, woodsy types from Seattle.

10. Magic Lantern

"High Beams"

The sickest psych you'll hear this year is the sound of gargantuan death machines approaching and, rather than reigning destruction, throwing one hell of a kegger.

9. Ne-Yo

"Yearof the Gentleman"

With one of the most uniformly solid R&B records in years, Ne-Yo proved that just because you're smooth doesn't mean you can't have edge.

8. F---ed Up

"The Chemistry of Common Life"

Artsy window dressing could have neutered F---ed Up's fury. Instead it made their latest dose of sonic brutality into an event.

7. Lil Wayne

"Tha Carter III"

Whether blabbering over chopped and screwed brain-drain "A Milli" or the smooth, soaring strings of "Comfortable," 2008's weirdest star made the most of his moment.

6. Please Quiet Ourselves

"Please Quiet Ourselves"

Twee teens from Cali present the perfect throwback to '90s slapdash pop.

5. Love Is All

"A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night"

Sweden's finest throw another transcendent punk rock dance party.

4. Crystal Antlers


Seems like every band was playing psych in 2008 - and putting "Crystal" in its name - but Crystal Antlers stood out from both packs by unearthing its hippie-dippy bedrock and using it to angrily clobber onlookers.

3. Times New Viking

"Rip It Off"

Love it or hate it (love it!), this crackling racket defines Columbus in the national music consciousness.

2. Frightened Rabbit

"The Midnight Organ Fight"

In a perfect world, this band would be leading arena-sized sing-alongs of its earnest, profane pop-rock tunes. Frightened Rabbit is contagiously good, so that day may be coming.

1. Bon Iver

"For Emma, Forever Ago"

Technically, the best album of 2008 came out in 2007, but Justin Vernon's debut left its footprint on this year. For Emma got wide release last February and just kept building momentum as one listener after another succumbed to its beauty. Birthed in a wintry Wisconsin cabin, it transcends time, temperature or back story.

For more of the year's best music, click to the Sensory Overload blog at