Our Top 25 Albums of 2008

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Here’s the American Songwriter Top 25 Albums of 2008 List. There are dozens more incredible albums out there that didn’t make it onto our list; our excuse is the standard one, we had to stop somewhere and 25 felt just right.




Here’s the American Songwriter Top 25 Albums of 2008 List. There are dozens more incredible albums out there that didn’t make it onto our list; our excuse is the standard one, we had to stop somewhere and 25 felt just right. All-in-all, we felt 2008 dished up some jaw-dropping good music and fresh songwriting. We hope you enjoy these albums as much as we do (we enjoy them, obviously, a frickin’ lot). We wish all our readers a safe and joyous holiday season and the best of wishes for 2009!









1. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
Though probably one of the most buzzed about albums from early 2008, Justin Vernon’s album recorded in the icy wilderness of Wisconsin still resonates. For Emma, Forever Ago is nothing short of a masterpiece, a tour de force and a songwriting feat not be to forgotten as the clock strikes 2009; that’s why it’s our No. 1 album of 2008.








2. MGMT, Oracular Spectacular









3. Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes









4. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend









5. TV On the Radio, Dear Science









6. Sigur Ros, Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust









7. The SteelDrivers, The SteelDrivers









8. My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges









9. Jamey Johnson, That Lonesome Song









10. Coldplay, Viva La Vida









11. Death Cab for Cutie, Narrow Stairs









12. Hayes Carll, Trouble In Mind









13. The Dodos, Visiter









14. Silver Jews, Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea









15. The Walkmen, You & Me









16. She & Him, Volume One








17. Sun Kil Moon, April









18. Damien Jurado, Caught In The Trees









19. Guns N’ Roses, Chinese Democracy









20. Lambchop, OH (Ohio)








21. Justin Townes Earle, The Good Life









22. Kings of Leon, Only By the Night









23. The Felice Brothers, The Felice Brothers








24. Dr. Dog, Fate









25. M83, Saturdays = Youth


6 Comments

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  1. a list that leaves off steve earles “washington square” and “raising sand” by alison kraus and that led zep guy and Missy higgins and sarah slean and mavid stapes with ry cooder is biased towards only pretty and untalented wannabees under 30. i bought bon iver and fleet foxes and they are awful. god what do you guys listen to.

  2. I thought Ryan Adams Cardinology would have made the cut…I hate to say it but seems like a weak year for music…I have fleet foxes and it’s one of my favorite styles of music but I just don’t like it that much…Anyone have some very strong recommendations from 2008? I am open to checking anything out…

  3. The Steeldrivers (#7) and Jamey Johnson: That Lonesome Song (#9) are the two best albums I bought this year. Solid songwriting on both and musically, the Steeldrivers are astounding with their arrangements. I recommend both highly.
    In fact, you can check out The Steeldrivers on Michael Jonathan’s Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour (go to Archives and scroll until you find them). Now that I think about it, these two albums may be the best I’ve bought in the past 3-5 years – yes, they are that good!

    Another good album I bought was Metallica’s Death Magnetic – great “old school” Metallica hearkening back to the days of Puppets and Justice.

    And if you like renaissance music, I highly recommend Blackmore’s Night (Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple and Rainbow fame and his wife Candice Night). Their new album this year is Secret Voyage and is pretty fantastic. Even my 8-yr old son loves it!

    Well, that’s the best of what I bought this year. Hope that helps.

    Listening to Fleet Foxes right now on MySpace – not that impressive, but not terrible.
    Unlike Bon Iver – man, that was bad.
    -g-

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