Fifteen Albums Turning Ten This Year
Ringo Is The Best Known Of The Artists Who Have Records Celebrating Birthday Number Ten
Several Debuts Appeared The Year Obama Was Voted In As President
Barak Obama was elected as the first African-American President of the United States in November of that year, when the folks in New England suffered a loss to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl but a few moths later celebrated their Celtics beating the Los Angeles Lakers for the NBA Championship. The year of 2008 had a hopeful theme of change, while also serving as a time of financial crisis and escalating school violence.
In the world of music, several female artists received due recognition at the Grammy Awards. Amy Winehouse was selected as best new artist, and Aretha Franklin was honored as the Person of the Year.
Among the titles nominated for Alternative Album of the Year were ones by veteran bands, the White Stripes and the Shins. While both were certainly worthy of that award, Jack White's Icky Thump ended up edging out James Mercer's Wincing the Night Away.
Many other albums could certainly have taken the award as well, and now each of them is turning ten years old. Here are the best fifteen records celebrating their first decade, including one by a member of The Beatles.
1. Off With Their Heads by the Kaiser Chiefs
After three excellent albums called Employment, Retirement, and Yours Truly Angry Mob, this British quintet sounds even better on this fourth record. Among the highlights are the single "Never Miss a Beat", You Want History" and "Like It Too Much."
2. Narrow Stairs by Death Cab For Cutie
Always impressive, Ben Gibbard's poetic songwriting might have reached its peak on this release. For proof, just listen to "I Will Possess Your Heart", "Cath" and "Twin Size Bed."
3. Blame It On Gravity by the Old 97s
Rhett Miller and his Texas band mates cross completely from alt-country to alternative rock on this disc, highlighted by "Dance With Me" and "My Two Feet."
4. Momofuko by Elvis Costello
It had been many years since his last rock album When I Was Cruel, so this reunion with the Attractions was welcomed pleasure to long time fans. "American Gangster Time" foreshadowed the divisive issue of respecting the flag, or as he sarcastically puts it, "saluting that sorry rag."
5. Evil Urges by My Morning Jacket
These Kentuckians had already released a breakthrough several years earlier, and this record reinforced that Jim James had certainly become a star of the indie rock genre. "I'm Amazed" and "Smokin' From Shootin'" are just two of the gems.
6. Self Titled by The Airborne Toxic Event
"Gasoline" is a fiery look back at a teenage relationship, and the rest of the tracks are nearly as hot on this underrated debut.
7. The Stand Ins by Okervill River
Will Sheff burst onto the scene as a talented songwriter with a baritone as rich as Morrissey's, which he uses to cleverly attack snobs in "Pop Song" and "Singer Songwriter."
8. Here We Stand by the Fratellis
The follow up to does not quite live up to the debut Costello Music, but the songs still have those contagious electric guitar riffs backing mostly light-hearted lyrics.
9. Rain by Joe Jackson
After a decade or so wandering deftly through several genres, Jackson here revisits the style that had made Night And Day his highest charting record.
10. Way To Normal by Ben Folds
Always wielding a sense of humor, Folds opens this disc with a parody of an Elton John classic. "Bennie Bangs His Head" was written about a stage mishap he experienced earlier, and many of the other tracks reinforce the humor with which he has become associated.
11. Liverpool 8 by Ringo Starr
Autobiography permeates the entire album, especially the title track. The best song overall, though, is Ringo's tribute called "Harry" to his dear friend Nilsson.
12. Acid Tongue by Jenny Lewis
Rilo Kelly had introduced Lewis to the world, and her solo work proved even better. It's most shining moment no doubt is "Carpetbaggers", her duet with Elvis Costello.
13. Modern Guilt by Beck
The eccentric artist would not get his Grammy until Morning Phase, but this album has plenty of tunes that have now become classics.
14. Self Titled by Conor Oberst
Bright Eyes, the earliest project of Oberst, was on hiatus. He decided to release under his own name, but the quality of the songs here sound very much like the band. That is not a bad thing at all.
15. Self Titled by Weezer
As often has been the case with this power pop quartet, the album gets referred to by its cover color. This one is the Red Album, and its most well-known single is "Pork And Beans."