American Songwriter Staff Picks for 2008

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Here are our individual lists for Top Ten Albums of 2008. It was a terrific year for breakthrough artists like Bon Iver, MGMT, Hayes Carll as well as tested veterans like George Strait, Brian Eno and David Byrne, and Randy Newman. Trimming down this year’s releases to ten albums wasn’t an easy task for each of us.

Here are our individual lists for Top Ten Albums of 2008. It was a terrific year for breakthrough artists like Bon Iver, MGMT, Hayes Carll as well as tested veterans like George Strait, Bryan Eno and David Byrne, and Randy Newman. Trimming down this year’s releases to ten albums wasn’t an easy task for each of us. We hope you enjoy checking out these lists as much as we’ve enjoyed putting the magazine together for you this year. Happy Holidays!

We’ll post the American Songwriter Top 25 Albums of the Year this week!

Matthew W. Shearon, Editor









1. MGMT, Oracular Spectacular
2. Guns N’ Roses, Chinese Democracy
3. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
4. Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson
5. Silver Jews, Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea
6. Destroyer, Trouble in Dreams
7. The Dodos, Visiter
8. Department of Eagles, In Ear Park
9. Hayes Carll, Trouble in Mind
10. Jamey Johnson, That Lonesome Song


Douglas Waterman, Editor-at-Large








1. Barton Carroll, The Lost One
2. Jamey Johnson, That Lonesome Song
3. Amos Lee, Last Days at the Lodge
4. Death Cab for Cutie, Narrow Stairs
5. Hayes Carll, Trouble in Mind
6. Ron Sexsmith, Exit Strategy of the Soul
7. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
8. George Strait, Troubadour
9. Ryan Adams & the Cardinals, Cardinology
10. Kenny Chesney, Lucky Old Sun


Rachel Briggs, Art Director









1. Damien Jurado, Caught in the Trees
2. Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
3. Shearwater, Rook
4. Sun Kil Moon, April
5. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Lie Down in the Light
7. Dr. Dog, Fate
6. Mount Eerie, Dawn
8. Lambchop, Oh (Ohio)
10. Cut Copy, In Ghost Colours
10. Black Mountain, In The Future


Robert Clement, VP Business Development/Publisher









1. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
2. Coldplay, Viva la Vida
3. Hayes Carll, Trouble In Mind
4. My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges
5. The SteelDrivers, The SteelDrivers
6. Justin Townes Earle, The Good Life
7. Jamey Johnson, That Lonesome Song
8. Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
9. Duffy, Rockferry
10. MGMT, Oracular Spectacular


Kayla Van Zyl, Operations Director









1. M83, Saturdays = Youth
2. Sigur Ros, Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust
3. Little Joy, Little Joy
4. Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
5. The Walkmen, You & Me
6. She & Him, Volume One
7. Spiritualized, Songs in A & E
8. Brian Wilson, That Lucky Old Sun
9. Katy Perry, One of the Boys
10. Taylor Swift, Fearless


Davis Inman, Online/Interactive Advertising









1. The SteelDrivers, The SteelDrivers
2. Justin Townes Earle, The Good Life
3. Sigur Ros, Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust
4. Waylon Jennings, Waylon Forever
5. Jonny Fritz, I’m Not Ready To Be A Daddy
6. Little Joy, Little Joy
7. Beck, Modern Guilt
8. Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Lie Down in the Light
9. Delta Spirit, Ode to Sunshine
10. Coldplay, Viva La Vida


Paul Zollo, Senior Editor








1. Randy Newman, Harps & Angels
2. Inara George & Van Dyke Parks, An Invitation
3. Walter Becker, Circus Money
4. Piper-Grey, Apples
5. Gnarls Barkley, The Odd Couple
6. Golden Smog, Stay Golden, Smog
7. Tony Joe White, Deep Cuts
8. Sonny Landreth, From The Reach
9. Brian Wilson, That Lucky Old Sun
10. David Byrne & Brian Eno, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today


Evan Schlansky, Contributing Editor









1. Miley Cyrus, Breakout
2. Wynton Marsalis, He and She
3. Clay Aiken, On My Way Here
4. Dem Franchize Boys, Our World, Our Way
5. Sixpence None the Richer, The Dawn of Grace
6. Boz Scaggs, Speak Low
7. Cyndi Lauper, Bring Ya To The Brink
8. Tom Jones, 24 Hours
9. Barenaked Ladies, Snacktime
10. My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges


Holly Gleason, Contributing Editor









1. Erykah Badu, New Amerykah: Part 1
2. Lee Ann Womack, Call Me Crazy
3. Kings of Leon, Only By the Night
4. Mudcrutch, Mudcrutch
5. The Raconteurs, Consolers of the Lonely
6. Rodney Crowell, Sex & Gasoline
7. AC/DC, Black Ice
8. Allison Moorer, Songbird
9. Randy Hauser, Everything Goes
10. Michael Stanley, Just Another Night



Howell O’ Rear, Legal Counsel









1. Kings of Leon, Only By the Night
2. Dr. Dog, Fate
3. Sun Kil Moon, April
4. My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges
5. Ryan Adams, Cardinology
6. Jessica Lea Mayfield, With Blasphemy So Heartfelt
7. Kelleigh Bannen, Radio Skies
8. Silas Bankhead, Cougar
9. Kathleen Edwards, Asking for Flowers
10. Brett Dennen, Hope for the Hopeless


5 Comments

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  1. Kudos to Evan for having the balls to name both Miley Cyrus and Clay Aiken on his list. Both of those are great albums, if you actually take the time to listen. My list would also include My Morning Jacket, Beck, Cyndi Lauper, Coldplay, Box Scaggs, The Racontuers, Randy Newman and REM.

  2. yes. mega kudos to evan. clay’s cd on my way here is a fantastic cd…and his producer kipper did a really great job in picking some amazing songs, and getting the best out of an already stellar voice! i highly recommend it also!

  3. I would love to have you come down and catch some crapie on some yo yo’s at lake Village Arkansas on our anual fishing trip. If you cant make it, I would love to have you sign a copy of my CD. I am 31 and love your music. I heard your music when I was 8 and I am 31 now. I used to listen to polksalad and finaly got to hear rainy night in Georgia when I was 16. My parents would not let me listen because it had pussy in it. Love your music it is great. Come catch some fish and play the “gitar” on the lake with us.

  4. 11 things that stood out in 2008

    -Working the Dead Confederate/All the Saints Tour
    -Driving from Brooklyn to Chicago in an Ice Cream Truck
    -DJing for WXYC
    -Deerhunter-Microcastle
    -Smokin’ From Shootin’/Touch Me Part 2
    -Discovering Arthur Russell, Keith Elliot Whitmore, Steve Reich, Philip Glass
    -Animal Collective Live/ The anticipation for MPP
    Jay Reatard, Fleet Foxes, and the Dutchess and the Duke, live at Local 506
    No Age in a Chicago basement
    CORNDAWG
    EDEN EXPRESS
    Megachills
    “Weekend Wars”

  5. Congratuations to Father & Son. I really like the new cd “Deep Cuts” which is captivating espc. the new version of “As the Crow Flies” & “Soul Francisco”. The long sets of melodies of music is sparking new interest & discovery of the younger generation in regards to what is Swamp Rock which leads to the Tony Joe white. Cheers!

    My video on Utube of “As the Crow Flies” was made in Tribute to Tony Joe White and the exploration of son into his father’s muses as to what is happening now music wise.

    click on:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuQAX0l4RqE – As the Crow Flies

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