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2008: The Honorable Mentions (or Another 40 Albums Worth Checking Out)

J. Klein
The list author says: "For the most part, I've focused on unrecognized or underappreciated albums for this list. Bon Iver, Portishead, and Sigur Ros were therefore excluded."
The Acrobats
The Acrobats
"These moody Built to Spill acolytes can tell you how Randy described eternity, but do it a little more rhythmically."
Long Gone and Nearly There
Long Gone and Nearly There
"Ex-Velocity Girl members make the best album of the year."
Carried to Dust
Carried to Dust
Lookout Mountain Lookout Sea
Lookout Mountain Lookout Sea
XOXO, Panda And The New Kid Revival
XOXO, Panda And The New Kid Revival
"Reminds me at times of Beulah, because if the singer's voice and the music's peppy feel."
Worried Well
Worried Well
"Rhythmically complex post-hardcore proggers add a solid dose of melody."
Army Navy
Army Navy
"Points off for being a partial compilation of their two prior EPs and new tracks.  Otherwise, this is one of the better power/indie pop albums of the year."
The New Year
The New Year
Moonbeams
Moonbeams
"Melodic lo-fi is alive and well."
Oracular Spectacular
Oracular Spectacular
"Points off, because the two best songs were released in 2005."
Shallow Grave
Shallow Grave
"Made a lot of end-of-year lists, so I checked it out.  Yeah, it's good."
The Seldom Seen Kid
The Seldom Seen Kid
"Radiohead's little brother stays the course with yet another worthwhile release."
Neptune
Neptune
"Fuzz, melody, and attitude."
The Wishes & The Glitch
The Wishes & The Glitch
"Say Hi rises above the weenie rock fray once again with solid songwriting and dreamy atmospherics."
We Are Beautiful We Are Doomed (CD/DVD)
We Are Beautiful We Are Doomed (CD/DVD)
"Their sound is starting to where a bit thin -- many of the songs here, good though they are, are indistinguishable from their other 2008 release."
The Old Days Feeling
The Old Days Feeling
"A bit hit or miss -- I like the return to Microphones/Elvrum  bliss, but a few of the songs go nowhere."
Save the Scene
Save the Scene
"Athens GA still produces catchy, 60's influenced music."
Summer Palace
Summer Palace
"New New Pornographers"
Alopecia
Alopecia
"Witty rapper goes indie rock."
Western Water Music Vol. 2
Western Water Music Vol. 2
"Trip hop"
Oh My Darling
Oh My Darling
"Half the songs are stellar."
Happy As Can Be Ep
Happy As Can Be Ep
"Consistently good EP from a New Zealand band on the rise."
The Rhumb Line
The Rhumb Line
"Cello + Franz Ferdinand + emotional indie rock"
The Beautiful Lie
The Beautiful Lie
"Ed gets a little too Rufus here, but he's still a great songwriter."
Receivers
Receivers
"Lacks the intensity of the previous album"
In Field & Town
In Field & Town
"Hayden is always good for wistful folk songs."
Self Taught Magic From a Book
Self Taught Magic From a Book
"Better than your average indie pop album"
After Summer
After Summer
"2008 was not a good year for true shoegazer.  Unless you count the Autumns, this is the best shoegazer album I heard this year."
Painted Birds Flying in the Orange Mirror Sun
Painted Birds Flying in the Orange Mirror Sun
"Great EP -- all five songs are good.  Another one that fits that description is Harlequin by La Scala, the band of Balthazar de Ley, formerly of Menthol."
High Five
High Five
"Ex-Teenage Fan Club drummer beats TFC at its own game.  Go figure."
Firecracker People
Firecracker People
"Ex-Ben Folds Five drummer releases a better 2008 album than Ben Folds.  Go figure."
Little Joy
Little Joy
"Ex-Strokes drummer makes an album that's half Strokes, half sunny quasi-bossanova."
The Age of the Understatement
The Age of the Understatement
"First Candie Payne and now these guys -- I'm loving the 60's MOR revival going on right now."
Gentleman Jesse and His Men
Gentleman Jesse and His Men
"Classic, late 70's-style power pop."
Moody Motorcycle
Moody Motorcycle
"Did I mention Wistful?  Guy from Islands might want to stick with this project."
Take Me to the Sea
Take Me to the Sea
"Includes 3 of the best songs I heard this year, with "My Organ Sounds Like . . ." being one of the top 3 of 2008."
Eight Golden Greats
Eight Golden Greats
"This wins for "cheesiest album cover on a quality album" in 2008."
Breakfast in Suburbia
Breakfast in Suburbia
"At this point I'm pretty burned out on most of what Rainbow Quartz has to offer, but the songwriting here is a cut above most of their labelmates."
Old Home Movies
Old Home Movies
"Second best SF band (after the Dodos, of course)?"
Talking Through Tin Cans
Talking Through Tin Cans
"Another Bay Area winner."