And here we are, finally. The #1 album of the year.
Before we get there, I just want to take a minute to thank everyone who put themselves out there to submit material to Wildy's World for review in 2008. Whether you are a new artist trying to find a foothold in the business or an established name, it can be nerve wracking to put the finished product of months or years of your life's work in the hands of a stranger for their honest opinion. Even a place like Wildy's World where we strive to find the positive qualities of a recording and won't write a review if we don't feel we have anything nice to say can ruin someone's day/week/month with the wrong turn of phrase, choice of words, or just a good honest opinion.
Performers are incredibly brave, incredibly strong and ultimately incredibly fragile people. They live and die with the applause. A great reaction is manna for the artist. Silence is starvation. Everything in between carries mixed emotions. The people on this Top-40 list are getting great reactions, but they aren't the only ones from this year who deserve them. There is a long list of albums who maybe didn't make the Top-40 but represented quality work from artists in 2008 that are documented in this blog. The reviews and lists here ultimately reflect my opinions, and they can change, but the Top-40 albums here are the ones that have really stuck with me throughout the year. Things I continue to listen to and enjoy and suspect I will for some time. So we'll strive to do the same thing in 2009, giving all of those brave enough to put themselves out there a platform and someone who's not a publicist to shout about you into the virtual world. Our growing readership indicates that people are listening.
On to #1...
#1 Marian Call - Vanilla
It was a big year for Alaska. Alaska's national profile has been semi-permanently bolstered by the political ascendance of Governor/VP Candidate Sarah Palin. She has perhaps topped Jewel as the biggest thing to come out of Alaska. Don't be surprised if in the long run both names are eclipsed by one Marian Call. The fiery redhead from Anchorage is Indie Music's pure heart. Her acoustic guitar-driven missals weave heartfelt and personal stories with irony and perhaps just a touch of mischief. Call creates magic whenever she picks up her guitar or opens her mouth to sing. Not much known away from Alaska before last year, Marian Call has started to play dates on the West Coast and is beginning to build a buzz. We were lucky enough to be one of the first to review Vanilla and we realized right away what a hidden gem we'd found. Aside from her overt talent, Marian Call has done a great deal to encourage a bustling local music scene in Anchorage, and creates music at a rate that is almost super-human. She publishes one song a month on her web-site, has put out two albums in the last 18 months or so and is working on a third.
I highly recommend you get to know Marian Call now. She's on the way up, and there's no telling how high this rocket will go. Marian Call is the real deal, and she epitomizes the heart and soul of what all the artists who have submitted material to us in the past year are striving to do. Create. Play. Excel. Live.
Congratulations to Marian Call for having the #1 CD on The Wildy's World Top-40 of 2008. It's well deserved. And congratulations to everyone who was listed here, and to all those who, thought they may not know it, didn't miss by all that much. You are all the lifeblood of the music industry. You keep the great music flowing. You keep making it, and we'll keep telling the world about it. Thanks for a great 2008!