Travis

Ode to J Smith

Fontana International/Red Telephone Box

Nov 02, 2008 Music Year End 2008 - Best of 2008

These days being championed by Oasis doesn’t do anything for your musical career. But in the mid-’90s, when Travis first came on the scene, Noel Gallagher’s endorsement brought much public awareness to the young Scottish group. More

Spindrift

The West

Beat the World/World's Fair

Nov 02, 2008 Music Year End 2008 - Best of 2008

The West, a companion piece to the film The Legend of God’s Gun, sees Spindrift striking out on their own, and from under the protected wings of The Brian Jonestown Massacre. More

Nov 02, 2008 Music Year End 2008 - Best of 2008

If U2 taught us anything, it’s that one doesn’t become the biggest rock band in the world by running in place. Even U2 had to evolve—they’ve managed to do it successfully over the years, as have their successors, Coldplay, as heard on their latest, Viva la Vida. Snow Patrol hasn’t received this memo, and if they keep releasing albums like A Hundred Million Suns, which is the equivalent of listening to someone tread water for 60 minutes, people will lose interest because there is nothing new in Snow Patrol’s tired repertoire to keep them coming back. More

School of Seven Bells

Alpinisms

Ghostly International

Nov 02, 2008 Music Year End 2008 - Best of 2008

Painting the New York trio School of Seven Bells into a dream-pop corner would be a mistake as the band includes more than its fair share of electronics bells and whistles on debut Alpinisms. More

Nov 02, 2008 Music Year End 2008 - Best of 2008

Lou Reed’s 1973 studio album, Berlin, a follow-up to the widely acclaimed Transformer, failed to capture the same praise and accolades as that gender-and-music-bending endeavor. But 25 years on, Berlin is now recognized as one of Reed’s finest, most ambitious, and under-appreciated efforts. More

Nov 02, 2008 Music Year End 2008 - Best of 2008

This is The Pretenders’ first release since 2002’s Loose Screw, and the band’s second for an indie. Chrissie Hynde recruited a new band here, including famous session drummer Jim Keltner. More

Nov 02, 2008 Music Year End 2008 - Best of 2008

Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan’s first album-length collaboration, 2006’s Ballad of the Broken Seas, seemed almost too good to be true—a chance long-distance pairing of the ex-Belle & Sebastian siren and the grizzled Screaming Trees/Queens of the Stone age rocker, with a sound deeply reflective of Campbell’s old Lee Hazlewood/Nancy Sinatra records. More

Nov 02, 2008 Music Year End 2008 - Best of 2008

The Postmarks love paper-thin John Barry arrangements and this stop-gap covers album continues that trend. As the album’s title hints, Numbers’ track titles successively ascend. More

+/- {Plus/Minus}

Xs on Your Eyes

Absolutely Kosher

Nov 02, 2008 Music Year End 2008 - Best of 2008

Originally conceived as a solo vehicle for the songs of Versus guitarist James Baluyut, +/- has gradually evolved into a more cohesive band unit with each succeeding effort. More