Iconic albums that turn 10 this year
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You’ve rushed home from school and signed into MSN, while Bebo is loading on Internet Explorer. The recession is happening, but it’s okay because we're all going to die when the scientists on the Swiss-French border recreate the big bang. Rawr means ‘I love you’ in dinosaur and huge fringes are everywhere.
It’s 2008 and what a time it is to be alive.
Despite declines in record sales, 2008 proved to be iconic for new releases. While the Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging Soundtrack is the undisputed album of the year, here’s a look back at some of the best (and most important) albums to be released a decade ago.
Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
Cited by Rolling Stone Magazine as having ‘inspired a wave of indie bands’, Vampire Weekend’s self titled debut is a modern classic. Lead single, 'A-Punk' has over 118 million spotify streams and remains a staple in indie playlists everywhere
Vampire Weekend also plays host to killer tracks such as 'Oxford Comma' and 'Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa'. Clean cut and catchy, Vampire weekend manage to seamlessly merge influences such as Afrobeat percussion and Baroque, all the while achieving a distinct sound we've grown to associate with the mid-noughties.
I Am… Sasha Fierce - Beyonce
Should I just post the track listing here and let that do the talking? Despite recieving mixed reviews from critics, I Am... Sasha Fierce boasted some of Beyonce's best singles to date. We may have been introduced us to Sasha Fierce, but Beyonce secured her legacy with tracks such as 'Single Ladies, If I Were a Boy' and 'Halo'.
The two disc collection presented listeners with differing listening experiences. The first disc, I Am... is comprised of mid-tempo ballads such as 'Broken Hearted Girl' and 'Ave Maria', whilst disc two provides us with Beyonce's on-stage alter ego, Sasha Fierce. Firey, electro-infused tracks such as 'Sweet Dreams' and 'Radio' have become somewhat modern classics.
Pretty. Odd. - Panic At The Disco
Panic At The Disco had dropped their exclamation mark, which caused panic in itself. Taking a very different route to previous Panic! offerings, Pretty. Odd. was a folksy, Beatles inspired, phsycadellic pop album that divided fans & critics alike.
The last Panic album to feature Ryan Ross, the album marked as the end of an era for many fans. Stand out tacks include 'Northern Downpour' and 'That Green Gentleman (Things Have Changed)', however it's worth listening to the album cover to cover to fully appreciate just what Panic At The Disco were trying to achieve.
While it may have not been their most successful album to date, it gave the world 'Nine in the Afternoon' and for that, we should be forever thankful.
St. Jude - The Courteeners
Even if you don’t know The Courteeners, you know The Courteenrs and it’s all thanks to their debut album. Despite luke-warm critic reviews, like many albums of the time, it became a cult classic.
'Not Nineteen Forever' is a coming of age classic and serves for the perfect marker for the end of your youth. 'What Took You So Long?' was the first song by the band to break the UK Top 40 and has been attributed as the catalyst to their mainstream success.
Want - 3OH!3
I strongly believe that 'Don't Touch Me's “Tell your boyfriend, if he says he’s got beef, that I’m a vegetarian and I ain’t fuckin’ scared of him” is the lyric that defined a generation. The ablum itself garnered pretty negative reviews, however the infectious affirmentioned single has seen over 3 million downloads & counting. A pre-Katy Perry 'Starstrukk' also featured on the album, indicative of what was to come from the Colarado duo.
While Want depended on low-production, and high-shock lyrics, it some how resonated. Whether that was because of true musical talent or people still trying to hold onto Myspace's glory days, I'll let you decide.
Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends - Coldplay
Love them or loathe them, it’s impossible to ignore them. The best selling album of 2008, it would be an injustice to not include this on the list of albums that shaped the year.
English quartet Coldplay took on a different direction with Viva la Vida. Translating to mean 'live the life', the album focuses of themes of life, death, love and revolution - which strongly links to their french-revolution themed astethic that ensued. Politically charged 'Violet Hill' and 'Death To All His Friends' saw Coldplay use their platform as a commentary of modern life. Lead track, 'Viva la Vida' is the bands most successful single to date.
We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. - Jason Mraz
We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. was a quiet, unassuming album, packed full to the brim with whispy melodies and cheerful tunes. It was an infectious album that transported you to tropical beaches and sunshine. It was rare to meet someone who didn't have 'I'm Yours' on their itunes.
As well as the afformentioned lead single, We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. also featured collaboration with Colbie Caillat (of Bubbly fame), Lucky. Mraz's combination of string instruments and grooves saw the production of some brilliant, yet underrated song tracks, 'Butterfly' being the most notable.
Only By The Night - Kings of Leon
The fourth studio album by the Nashville band propelled them into the mainstream and it briefly became the best-selling digital album of all time.
While 'Sex on Fire' was the most successful track off the album, it was a cover to cover success. 'Use Somebody', 'Notion' and 'Revelry' all charted incredibly high and saw the album recieve a Brit award for the Best International Album and even a Grammy nomination for the Record of the Year.
One Of The Boys - Katy Perry
Katy Perry released her debut album in 2008 and quickly become one of the most interesting stars of the time. Having been raised by a highly conservative Christian family, first single 'I Kissed a Girl' raised a few eyebrows. Controversy ensued, from both those with conservatives views and those of the LGBTQ+ community. Despite this, the song become an overnight success and in turn, saw one of the biggest selling albums of the year.
'Hot n Cold', 'Thinking of You' and 'Waking Up in Vegas' all came from the bubblegum pop tracklisting and secured Katy Perry to be a household name.
The Fame - Lady Gaga
While Katy Perry was causing controversy, a future LGBT Queen was born. The Fame saw the debut album of Stefani Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga. Like many albums of the time, it was heavily influenced by electro beats and recieved a high amount of critical praise.
Bringing you 'Just Dance' and 'Poker Face', her debut album cemented Lady Gaga into modern pop-culture. A commercial and critical success and paved the way for her further world domination.
Dig Out Your Soul - Oasis
While it may not have the same cult status as some of their earlier albums, Dig Out Your Soul is key to Oasis’ legacy, as it was their last studio album.
Despite taking a step back from their typically Oasis sound, there's something a little different about the last collaborative effort from the Gallagher brothers. Musically, it's more explorative whilst lyrically it's heart lies in it's roots. Lead single 'The Shock of the Lightning' was a critical and commericial success, yet failed to recieve the same level of success as some of their previous offerings. The highlight of the album comes in the form of 'I'm Outta Time', penned by Liam.
19 - Adele
It’s been a whole decade since we were officially introduced to Adele. From her cover of Bob Dylan’s 'Make You Feel My Love' to the anthem that is 'Hometown Glory', it was evident that she was going to be a big deal.
19 marked the start of something spectacular for the Essex singer. From an incredibly positive critical reception to commerical success, Adele went on to become one of the most influential artists of modern time. Her at times raspy yet still effortlessly smooth vocals allow for powerful ballads and sharper pop tunes, such as 'Cold Shoulder', alike.
Fearless - Taylor Swift
It may be her second studio album, but it’s probably what introduced you to the former country princess. Following the release of 'Love Story', Swift became a household name and, naturally, world domination followed.
A huge international success, it was adored by critics and fans alike. Tracks such as 'You Belong With Me' merged country music with mainstream melodies, acting as a breath of fresh air in a time when music was dominated by electronic beats and synths. 'Fifteen' showed both Swift's vulnerable side and her age - 18 at the time of the release.
Despite shaking off her country roots on her more recent releases, this was the sound that shaped her success.
808s & Heartbreaks - Kanye West
Despite critics predicting 808s & Heartbreaks to flop, it emerged to be one of the most influential albums of the year. Drake, Frank Ocean & The Weekend have all cited Kanye’s fourth studio album as an inspiration and Rolling Stone Magazine labelled it to be ‘ahead of it’s time.’
Wanting to create 'pop art', West created an immersive listening experience.
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