Things that we all need to navigate

Since I have real trouble with putting a ranking on stuff I've liked this year - what does it mean to be the 7th best album, etc? - for the last couple of years, I've elected to come up with arbitrary awards to honour stuff that I've liked. And thus begins the AYGH 2008 retrospective!

The "Where the fuck did THAT come from?" Award: British Sea Power 

Last time I checked, British Sea Power were a weird looking, ok-ish indie outfit that sang love songs about Dostoevsky and had stuffed animals and kestrels onstage with them. Not a bad band, but still one lodged firmly in the periphery. But this year, they put out 'Do You Like Rock Music?', an album that aimed big and really achieved something great, despite what one "hilarious" rating may imply. Whether singing about light pollution, the influx of eastern Europeans into Britain, or a trip out (that'll be 'A Trip Out'), the record just sounded harder and more focused than anything they'd put out before. I could've done without the extra intro and outro on album highlight 'Atom', but kudos to whoever transcribed the lyrics here, and managed to convey the noises at the end as "the sounds of a crying baby being spat on." Their live show was fun, too, though possibly more for them than us towards the end. But overall, the transition from also-rans to still also-rans but also-rans that appeared on Letterman (and got bleeped!) suited them very well.  


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