Monday, 22 December 2008

The Imaginary Review’s Albums of the Year

It’s been a great year for music, from Incontinent Stoat’s long-overdue retirement from the industry in January to David Bowie releasing a CD made of ice last month. It’s been a year of controversy; who could forget Tina Turner’s shocking episode in Rio during which she dangled a goldfish from her hotel balcony as terrified fans looked on below?

But to dwell on the scandals would do a great disservice to the music itself, so without further adieu, here are my albums of the year.

1: Cat Power – The Covers of Covers of My Songs Album
Having released two albums of covers in recent years (The Covers Album and Jukebox), Chan Marshall ran out of songs to re-interpret, so she got other musicians to cover her own compositions, and then covered these covers. The results are frequently astounding, with her cover of Arcade Fire’s cover of American Flag staying beautifully true to the intent of the Montreal band’s interpretation of the song. Another highlight is her version of Jimmy Eat World’s version of Nude as the News.

2: Tribulation – Death to the Masses
Hailed by the press upon its release as “the quietest heavy metal album ever,” Death to the Masses is the best rock CD of the year. The trio of Gunther (Triangle), Maximo (Glockenspiel) and Curly Jack (Vocals and cowbell), proved that guitars are not necessary for true bloodrushing, cockroaring RAWK. Tribulation are also a great live band, with Maximo’s Glockenspiel solos really creating a stir in the mosh pit.

3: John Folk – Songs I Wrote in a Field
The best folk album of the year came from one of the most controversial acts in the genre. But while many folk music fans were engrossed in the real beard/fake beard rumours, anyone overlooking the music itself was missing out. With gems like I did a Dance (and you did the Postman) and Nettles, Nettles for my Soup, this was the folk album of 2008.

4: The Websters – The Websters
The Websters are a band who are far too obscure and cool for you to have heard of. Don’t even bother looking for this record, you’ll never find it. You lowly music ignoramus.

5: Marcus Bragstaff – Genius: A Tribute to Marcus Bragstaff
It took some guts for this previously unknown singer/songwriter to write and record a tribute album to himself, but it works remarkably. With great singalong tracks like My Accomplishments are as Numerous as They are Impressive and All this and a Massive Cock, Too, this is a great album from an explosive new talent. And doesn’t he know it!

6: Poppy o’Tippett – Tha Wreckord
Fans and detractors alike scoffed at Sean ‘Puffy/Puff Daddy/P Diddy/Poppa Doodle’ Combs’ new look and name change, but he silenced all of them with this album of phat beats, kicking rhymes and other things that make me sound like an idiot when I write them down.

7: Johnny Triplet and the Doublets – Love Songs for Mary
8: Johnny Triplet and the Doublets – Songs of Hate for the Bitch who Cheated on me with Greg
What a great pair of releases by Johnny Triplet in 2008, both of which made my top ten! Who could forget such classic pieces of music as Your Eyes and Your Eyes (Stab Them! Redux)? And my song of the summer had to be Greg? Seriously? You Cheated on me With Greg? He has a Face Like a Stool Sample, For Crying Out Loud. Classic.

9: The Chucklefun Brigade – Enough Cuddles and Love to Kill a Donkey
While many people thought the Chucklefun Brigade were a super-sweet, saccharine pop band, I saw through their guise. This album is one of the darkest of 2008, and my dreams will be haunted by the visions of pure terror that emanate from songs like Let’s Be Friends Forever and Gosh, Aren’t Kittens Wonderful?

10: The Imaginary Reviewer – Songs for Swinging Reviewers
Of course I’m biased, but this was a truly fantastic album. Sure, the critics and buying public overlooked it, but what do they know? Nothing. I’m a professional toilet cleaner and a reviewer, and I think it’s ace. So there.


Clippy Mat said...

i've been looking everywhere for I.R's Songs for Swiinging Reviewers but it's nowhere to be found.
I think you just made that one up!!

Red said...

That Marcus Bragstaff really doesn't give himself enough credit.

Anonymous said...

I hope I get #10 for Christmas. Are you listening Santa?

Merry Christmas to you and future Mrs. Imaginary Reviewer~!

Feisty Democrat said...

I can't get Greg? Seriously? You Cheated on me With Greg? He has a Face Like a Stool Sample, For Crying Out Loud out of my head! The melody is just you know.

Some Guy said...

This list is gonna come in handy when I'm deciding what to use my iTunes gift card on.

Dale said...

This is the best year end list I've read yet, real or imagined. All this and a massive blog too! Impressive!

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Clippy Mat: It was also sadly overlooked by most major distributors. Sigh.

Red: I believe his next project is 'Ultimate Ruler of the Universe'. It's not a record, he really wants to be our leader.

Suze: Many thanks! And you!

Mathdude: Yeah, it's catchy, like herpes.

Some Guy: And the ones you don't buy, you can always download illegally! Huzzah for today!

Dale: Many thanks!

Chris said...

This list beats the hell out of VH1, Rolling Stone, or any other such lists. Tribulation's instruments was enough to make me weep with laughter.

BeckEye said...

Dude, so I was just chilling in Williamsburg last weekend and my friends and I randomly walked into this dive bar and ordered some Red Stripes, when this awesome band showed up out of nowhere and hit the stage. It was The Websters! Can you believe it? They have a great sound but there were a couple of songs that were frighteningly accessible, so I'm afraid that they might find mainstream approval and then just start totally sucking. Man, I hope that doesn't happen.

Oh, and I hooked up with the drummer.

BeckEye said...

By the way, The Chucklefun Brigade's songs sound an awful lot like the imaginary David Archuleta songs I "previewed" this year - "Oh Gosh," "Kittens Are Swell," and "Daddy Dearest." Hmmm. These two artists may have to collaborate at some point. If they have daddy issues, it will really be perfect.

Distributorcap said...

i was looking for this list!