Ah yes, the dreaded end-of-year lists have begun. Not being able to resist the call of annoying pop-culture end of year lists, we here at Wildy's World thought we'd tear our hair our trying to present you with the top 40 albums we've reviewed in 2008. The albums had to be released in 2007 or 2008 in order to be considered, and a total of 537 albums were in the mix. This means the forty albums we'll present over the next 10 days comprise the top 7.5% of submissions in 2008!
Each listing will give a very brief statement about the album, and the artist name/title will serve as a hyperlink to the original Wildy's World review, where you can also find links to the artists' website and links to purchase their CDs.
Today we are covering #'s 34-40. Without further ado...
#40 Katey Laurel - Upstairs, Downstairs
With a warm, unforgettable voice and an ability to connect with listeners that's a little unreal, Katey Laurel's debut album slips into the top 40 quietly at the end of the year, but once you hear this young lady you won't be able to put her CD down.
#39 Great Big Sea - Fortune's Favour
Great Big Sea's 9th album takes a more pop turn while preserving the strong New Foundland/Celtic influences that have made them fan favorites the world over. Producer Hawksley Workman takes what has always been a talented and exciting band and streamlines their sound in a way that is both sleek and exciting.
#38 Hot Buttered Rum - Live In The Northeast
Easily one of the finest live bluegrass albums I've ever heard. Hot Buttered Rum brings an energy and presence that could not only carry bluegrass back into the mainstream of country music, but of popular music in general.
#37 Anj - When Grey Blushes
One of the most darkly beautiful albums we reviewed this year, Anj brings her brand of orchestrated jazz into the twilight for your listening pleasure. It's an enthralling album, the sort you might listen to obsessively.
#36 Maria DeMaio - Maria DeMaio
With a sultry voice and a palpable vulnerability, DeMaio is everything you want in a Rock N Roll songstress. Her debut is fantastic!
#35 Wensday - Torch Rock
When your musical patron/mentor is Alice Cooper, you've got a pretty decent shot at success. When you have a voice and a presence like Wensday, it's practically guaranteed. On Torch Rock Wensday sings just about every style imaginable, and does it well. Perhaps a little too varied to be commercial, but I'll bet you won't be able to put it down.
#34 Olio - Living The Dream
Olio is like a super group made of people you've never heard of. Three top-notch musicians/composers come together to bend genres and styles around a classic rock core to create something dynamic and familiar yet refreshingly new. One of the most pleasant surprises of 2008.