Another year of quantifying tastes, this time with more links and less prolix. Begin!

Autechre - Quaristice

48

Autechre

Quaristice

Warp

Pulled back the abstraction that made the last few releases schizophrenic to the point of becoming unlistenable.

Woven - Designer Codes

47

Woven

Designer Codes

Cat Toy Factory

Glitched-out indie rock that’s more interesting for its production than songwriting.

The Verve - Forth

A logical orchestral space rock continuation after an extended hiatus.

Meat Beat Manifesto - AutoimmΜne

Dub step and jazz samples.

This Will Destroy You - This Will Destroy You

44

This Will Destroy You

This Will Destroy You

Magic Bullet

Telefon Tel Aviv meets Mogwai.

Minus the Bear - Acoustics

43

Minus the Bear

Acoustics

Tigre Blanco

Previously-released heavy post-produced indie prog dance rock songs are pulled off with acoustic guitars and percussion.

Los Campesinos! - Hold On Now, Youngster...Los Campesinos! - We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed

42

Los Campesinos!

Hold On Now, Youngster… / We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed

Wichita

Is this what they call blog rock?

Filter - Anthems for the Damned

41

Filter

Anthems for the Damned

Pulse

More focused than the quickly forgotten Army of Anyone project.

Goldfrapp - Seventh Tree

40

Goldfrapp

Seventh Tree

Mute

Another stylistic shift: lush orchestrated electronic folk.

Death Cab For Cutie - Narrow Stairs

39

Death Cab For Cutie

Narrow Stairs

Barsuk

You emos write decent songs (yeah, that’s all I have.)

Portion Control - Slug

38

Portion Control

self-released

Grimy post-industrial techno/ambient.

Thursday & Envy SplitJesu & Envy SplitJesu & Battle of Mice Split

A is to B is to C and D can come too.

Intronaut - Prehistoricisms

36

Intronaut

Prehistoricisms

Century Media

Post-metal with jazzy fretless bass lines and insane drumming.

Nine Inch Nails - Ghosts I-IVNine Inch Nails - The Slip

35

Nine Inch Nails

Ghosts I-IV / The Slip

The Null Corporation

Sobriety may have made Trent a bit too productive for his own good.

Barry Adamson - Back to the Cat

34

Barry Adamson

Back to the Cat

Central Control

Genre-jumping noir jazz is likely the most playful dark albums in years.

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - Sunday at Devil Dirt

33

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan

Sunday at Devil Dirt

V2

Sweet innocent vs. broken down trials and tribulations? Is that what they’re going for here? My broner for Lanegan continues to grow.

Thrice - The Alchemy Index Vol. III & IV

32

Thrice

The Alchemy Index Vol. III: Air / The Alchemy Index Vol. IV: Earth

Vagrant

Step even further away from conventional rock radio with a focus on acoustic guitar for “Earth”.

The Walkmen - You & Me

Deliberate pacing showcases they’re not all about writing indie rock singles.

Earth - The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull

30

Earth

The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull

Southern Lord

Think Low and Sunn O))) with a sprinkle of jazz piano, transforming it into slow-moving instrumentals fit for a western desert run.

Russian Circles - Station

29

Russian Circles

Pelican with a more expressive drummer.

Suicide Squeeze

The Mars Volta - The Bedlam in Goliath

28

The Mars Volta

The Bedlam in Goliath

Gold Standard Laboratories

Fuck it, just throw a drum fill in there.

Wire - Object 47

27

Wire

Object 47

Pink Flag

Dirty post-punk brings in more melody.

Bitcrush - Epilogue in Waves

26

Bitcrush

Epilogue in Waves

n5MD

Sparse shoegaze with diminishing IDM elements.

The Constantines - Kensington Heights

25

The Constantines

Kensington Heights

Arts & Crafts

A downtempo album more in line with “Soon Enough” rather than “Working Full-Time” from predecessor Tournament of Hearts.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!

24

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!

Mute

Double entendres and completely direct innuendos are back via a rock sound invigorated by Grinderman.

Mogwai - Young Team [remastered]Mogwai - The Hawk is Howling

23

Mogwai

Young Team [remastered] / The Hawk is Howling

Rock Action

Cathartic instrumental rock with electronic touches that doesn’t depart too much from their revisited beginnings.

Firewater - The Golden Hour

22

Firewater

The Golden Hour

Bloodshot

Travelling around the world inspired a quality world music-tinged album.

Plants and Animals - Parc Avenue

Classic rock, prog, psychedelic, and folk thrown into each song are exercises in self-indulgent, but catchy, jamming.

The Fall of Troy - Phantom on the Horizon

20

The Fall of Troy

Phantom on the Horizon

Equal Vision

A five track EP that’s meant to play out as a continual drop-of-a-dime time signature changing journey? Are you The Mars Volta, but better?

The Gutter Twins - Saturnalia

19

The Gutter Twins

Saturnalia

Sub Pop

Afghan Twins and Mark Lanegan. And brooding.

These Arms Are Snakes - Tail Swallower and Dove

18

These Arms Are Snakes

Tail Swallower and Dove

Suicide Squeeze

Post-hardcore chops provided me a Botch fix.

Mercury Rev - Snowflake MidnightMercury Rev - Strange Attractor

17

Mercury Rev

Snowflake Midnight / Strange Attractor

http://www.v2music.com/”>V2

Another reinvention although the Flaming Lips and Radiohead comparisons won’t end.

Primal Scream - Beautiful Future

16

Primal Scream

Beautiful Future

B-Unique

Soulful, upbeat electro-rock where lead singer Bobby Gillespie still sounds drunk.

Anathema - Hindsight

15

Anathema

Hindsight

Kscope

Acoustic re-takes of the band’s strong backcatalogue.

Agalloch - The White EP

14

Agalloch

The White EP

Vendlus

Dark ambient folk and The Wicker Man

Candiria - Kiss the Lie

13

Candiria

Kiss the Lie

Rising Pulse

A lost album resurfaces by way of a record label digital release fuck up. Wait for the band’s direct vinyl + CD-R release next year where you can fully appreciate their transformed math rock cum modern metal stylings. Let’s just hope the end of their tenure doesn’t lead into the sort of fear that forms a Christian rock band. Oh, shite.

Telescreen - The Solar Sea EP

12

Telescreen

The Solar Sea EP

self-released

Codeseven space rock reincarnated.

John Murphy & Underworld - Sunshine

11

John Murphy & Underworld

Sunshine: Music from the Motion Picture

Fox Music Group

Beautiful tension-filled mix of string and subtle beats finally gets a 2008 release, even if it’s DRM-inflicted iTunes-only.

Cult of Luna - Eternal Kingdom

10

Cult of Luna

Eternal Kingdom

Earache

Post-hardcore dirge and massive riffage.

Með Suð í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust

9

Sigur Rós

Með Suð í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust

XL Recordings

A few short pop songs thrown into their usual ethereal and sublime compositions that let me get in touch with my inner yuppie, Stuff White People Like-style.

Black Mountain - In the Future

8

Black Mountain

In the Future

Jagjaguwar

Classic rock revival channels Sabbath, Zeppelin, and Santana that’s even better live.

Opeth - Watershed

7

Opeth

Watershed

Roadrunner

A change in membership didn’t diminish the collective’s prog-metal power and diversity.

Portishead - Third

6

Portishead

Third

Island

Ten year hiatus was just a blip in the creative RADAR, still darkly vibrant.

Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours

5

Cut Copy

In Ghost Colours

Modular Recordings

An Aussie New Order with discordant indie guitars.

TV On the Radio - Dear Science

4

TV On the Radio

Dear Science

Interscope

Overwhelmingly dense art rock that’s both political and sexy.

Cog - Sharing Space

3

Cog

Sharing Space

Difrnt Music

To get people’s attention you can’t just tap on the shoulder, you have to hit them with an Aussie prog rock sledgehammer.

Fleet Foxes - Fleet FoxesFleet Foxes - Sun Giant EP

2

Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes / Sun Giant EP

Sub Pop

Those reverb-heavy vocal harmonies will make you want to dust off stowed away Beach Boys and Neil Young vinyl.

Hey Rosetta! - Into Your Lungs

1

Hey Rosetta!

Into Your Lungs (And Around in Your Heart and on Through Your Blood)

Sonic

An eclectic Canadian east coast band not afraid to show their folk roots. Think Arcade Fire but without the pretension.