Best Albums of 2008: #1: Evangelicals: The Evening Descends
1. Evangelicals: The Evening Descends
This album has a very strong sense of identity and performs it with a delicacy that one would almost never expect from a band with such an aura of drama and enchantment. Enchanted is exactly what I am every time that I listen to The Evening Descends because of the fantastic scenes it evokes. It is glam in the dark, glitter that you know is there but doesn’t sparkle so much as reflect creepy-green light into a smoke-filled space in which even the sad kids’ eyes sparkle as they play the theramin. There are time-traveling interruptions, like an aural strobe light flashing between long shots, mise-en-scene alternating with montage. Time and space are out of joint, and that is precisely what it means to be present in the moment that the album creates.
It occurred to me a few months ago when seeing Evangelicals how much watching Josh Jones sing must feel like being at One-Eyed Jack’s. There is something obviously unsettling about it, but it is really beautiful nonetheless. That something so dark and curious can still manage to feel as if it belongs in the stack of CDs in my car, alongside a bunch of old, energetic punk rock albums, says something about the part of my mind that it appeals to—the part that needs drama and variation to maintain interest, but can absorb pure affect when it is done well. Luckily, it is done extraordinarily well here, though it is difficult to write about non-phenomenologically.
Anyways, that's the list. You can link to the rest below. I can't really believe it took me 2 months to do all of it, but I will say that I'm glad I took the time to do it and I'm doubly glad that most of my friends did not have Vampire Weekend on their lists.
Happy Valentine's Day to those who celebrate it!
Best of 2008: #2: The Magnetic Fields: Distortion
Best of 2008: #3: Deerhunter: Microcastle
Best of 2008: #4: The Walkmen: You & Me
Best of 2008: #5: Gentleman Jesse and His Men
Best of 2008: #6: Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes
Best of 2008: #7: Okkervil River: The Stand-ins
Best of 2008: #8: MGMT: Oracular Spectacular
Best of 2008: #9: Streetlight Manifesto: Somewhere in the Between
Best of 2008: #10: M83: Saturdays=Youth
Best of 2008: #11: TV On the Radio: Dear Science
Best of 2008: #12: Mount Eerie: Lost Wisdom
Best of 2008: #13: Cloud Cult: Feel Good Ghosts
Best of 2008: #14: Ratatat: LP3
Best of 2008: #15: The Submarines: Honeysuckle Weeks
Best of 2008: #16: Grand Archives: S/T
Best of 2008: #17: Yelle: Pop-up
Best of 2008: #18: Parenthetical Girls: Entanglements
Best of 2008: #19: The Gaslight Anthem- The '59 Sound
Best of 2008: #20: Billy Bragg- Mr. Love and Justice
Best of 2008: Intro