Paste’s Top 50 Of 2008

I’ll start by saying this: Paste’s Top 50 of 2008 offers surprises. To get a quick glean of what I mean, take a look at number 50, then close your eyes and peer at number one. What happened? Now go back and check out what is or isn’t happening in between. If you recall, last year they awarded the top spot to the National’s fourth album, Boxer. This year it goes to a debut. But not the debut you’re thinking. Give you a hint: You’re not going to guess it. In other news, it’s cool to see Torche in there even if they should be (way) higher. Now see for yourself.

50 TV On The Radio – Dear Science (Interscope)
49 Sandra McCracken – Red Balloon (Towhee)
48 REM – Accelerate (Warner Bros.)
47 Laura Marling – Alas, I Cannot Swim (Astralwerks)
46 Lykke Li – Youth Novels (LL)
45 M83 – Saturdays = Youth (Mute)
44 Kathleen Edwards – Asking For Flowers (Zoë)
43 Amanda Palmer – Who Killed Amanda Palmer (Roadrunner)
42 Thao Nguyen and the Get Down Stay Down – We Brave Bee Stings & All (KRS)
41 The Tallest Man On Earth – Shallow Grave (Gravitation)
40 Flight of the Conchords – Flight of the Conchords (Sub Pop)
39 The Dodos – Visiter (Frenchkiss)
38 Jamie Lidell – Jim (Warp)
37 Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit – A Larum (Lost Highway)
36 The Bridges – Limits of the Sky (Verve)
35 Colour Revolt – Plunder, Beg and Curse (Fat Possum)
34 Torche – Meanderthal (Hydra Head)
33 Santogold – Santogold (Downtown)
32 Silver Jews – Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea (Drag City)
31 The Walkmen – You & Me (Gigantic)
30 I’m From Barcelona – Who Killed Harry Houdini? (Mute)
29 Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III (Cash Money/Universal)
28 MGMT – Oracular Spectacular (Columbia)
27 Liam Finn – I’ll Be Lightning (Yep Roc)
26 Lee Ann Womack – Call Me Crazy (MCA Nashville)
25 Mugison – Mugiboogie (Ipecac)
24 Santogold & Diplo – Top Ranking? (Mad Decent)
23 Mates of State – Re-Arrange Us (Barsuk)
22 No Age – Nouns (Sub Pop)
21 The Raveonettes – Lust Lust Lust (Vice)
20 Hot Chip – Made In The Dark (Astralwerks)
19 Gentleman Jesse and His Men – Introducing Gentleman Jesse and His Men (Douchemaster)
18 Death Cab? for Cutie – Narrow Stairs? (Atlantic)
17 Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Lie Down In The Light (Drag City)
16 My Morning Jacket? – Evil Urges (ATO)
15 Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! (Mute)
14 Langhorne Slim – Langhorne Slim (Kemado)
13 Ida Maria – Fortress Round My Heart (Waterfall/RCA)
12 of Montreal – Skeletal Lamping (Polyvinyl)
11 The Hold Steady – Stay Positive (Vagrant)
10 Deerhunter – Microcastle (Kranky)
09 Lucinda Williams – Little Honey (Lost Highway)
08 Sun Kil Moon – April (Caldo Verde)
07 Girl Talk – Feed the Animals (Illegal Art)
06 Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop)
05 Okkervil River – The Stand Ins (Jagjaguwar)
04 Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar)
03 Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend (XL)
02 Sigur Rós – Med sud i eyrum vid spilum endalaust (XL)
01 She & Him – Volume One (Merge)

The reasoning behind She & Him:

Maybe it’s just a sweet little folk record — a tiny, flawless diamond. Or maybe it’s a pristine distillation of harmony and craft; 50 years of songwriting experience served up on a spinning silver platter. Either way, it’s our album of the year. Produced with touches of girl-group splendor and arranged with a dreamy, old-fashioned vibe, She & Him’s debut couldn’t be more adorable.

Adorable. It’s interesting to note that they’re not so into Brooklyn noise-pop a la Vivian Girls, Crystal Stilts. Or fellow Brooklynites High Places. Or, etc. You can read the rest of the write-ups at Paste.