Because I am such a whiny, pessimistic, ungrateful person, I am going to start out with the albums I found the most disappointing in 2008. However, when you, the reader, have gotten here, you will likely read this last. Mission accomplished.
7. Tom Gabel - Heart Burns
It's sort of hard to be disappointed by something for which you already have low expectations, but at least Tom sounds like he's having fun regardless of how far back he has set the punx.
6. Alkaline Trio - Agony and Irony
Again, expectations weren't super high, but Crimson was a good album. There were some good ones on this but I knew from the moment I saw the cover art that it was going to be mediocre. The Goddammit reissue that Asian Man put out is the better Alkaline Trio release this year and I've never really liked that album. They were also pretty bad live.
5. Margot & The Nuclear So and So's - Animal/Not Animal
I could not wait for these CDs. The Dust of Retreat was an incredible album and the seven demos I had for Animal were great too. Some of the songs are great, but I was expecting a lot better. I still feel bad for liking Not Animal more than Animal. So it goes
4. Kanye West - 808's and Heartbreak
3. Conor Oberst - Conor Oberst
It's a good thing this "isn't a Bright Eyes album." I think this CD has some of Conor's worst lyrics (see: "Eagle on a Pole"). I guess I'll have to stop writing music that is just a cheap knockoff of Conor Oberst if this is the direction he's headed.
2. Counting Crows - Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings
I got heavily into the Counting Crows in late 2007 and early 2008, which was convenient because they planned to release their first album in five years in March. While songs like "Cowboys," "1492," and "Come Around" were very good, "Los Angeles" and the great majority of the Sunday Mornings half kept it from coming close to "August and Everything After" or even "Hard Candy"
1. Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly - Searching for the Hows and Whys
Now that I think about it, Get Cape probably can't get any better than"The Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager," but back in February I was convinced that when this album came out, it would be my top of 2008 no question. Ten months later, it's my biggest disappointment. These songs can't touch "Chronicles;" there's just no contest. Maybe it's just something with English punks turned singer-songwriters this year, because Frank Turner's "Love, Ire, and Song" wasn't nearly as good as it should have been, either.