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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Adam’s World Top 25 of 2008 Part IV of V
Wednesday, December 24, 2008

We have reached the top ten of 2008 and boy what a mix we have here. Two talented emcees, a rock band with a great sense of humor and songwriting ability, an Estonian pop singer and an artist that’s a little bit country make up albums 10-6 in this year’s top ten.

10) Kerli – Love Is Dead

If you’re looking to encapsulate Kerli in as few words as possible just imagine Bjork with more pop sensibilities. Of course, in reality Kerli is a lot more than that and her album, Love Is Dead, is a testament to that. Although an unabashedly pop album, topically Love Is Dead not all about love and sappiness, as one might be able to imagine from the title. There are darker elements, and more realistic elements, when it comes to Kerli’s lyrics, and musically there are a number of songs with a strong rock influence to them. These qualities put Love Is Dead head and shoulders above any other pop album released this year. Keri’s voice also has an addictive quality to it. Once it’s in your head you can’t help but want to hear more from her.

Song you need to hear: I Want Nothing

Website: kerlimusic.com

9) Levi Weaver – you are never close to home, you are never far from home

I’m going a little bit country with this selection as Levi Weaver has plenty of country, and even some folk, music influences on his sophomore effort you are never close to home, you are never far from home. The album blew me away the first time I listened to it and continues to impress on repeated plays. Weaver’s songwriting ability is absolutely incredible. He draws you in very quickly and you really want to hear how each song turns out. The best illustration of this talent is the fast past country romp “Family Feud,” which is reminiscent of The Charlie Daniels Band’s timeless classic “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” in both pace and storytelling ability (though not in plot!).

Song you need to hear: Family Feud

Website: leviweaver.com

8) Substantial - Sacrifice

When I first listened to Substantial’s latest effort, Sacrifice, the main thought that kept going through my mind is that this is what Hip-Hop made by, and for, folks 25 and up should sound like. There’s plenty of lyrical skill, the production is great, including what sounds like some tracks that were done with a band, and the topic matter is age appropriate. No silly dances, no gunplay or gangster mentality, just great Hip-Hop. To paraphrase one of the songs on the album, as an emcee Substantial is “That Damn Good.” His ode to the house party is an instant classic for those who still really enjoy getting together with friends and family in the comfort of their own home rather than a nightclub.

Song you need to hear: Resurrection of the House Party

Website: substantial-music.com

7) Vinnie Scullo – I Spit On Your Grave

As anyone who visits this site regularly knows, Vinnie Scullo has been a favorite of mine for a while now. With I Spit On Your Grave Vinnie shows yet another artistic growth spurt. Yes, he still spits venom at the music industry, but on ISOYG Vinnie also shows a more compassionate side, most notably on songs like “Digital Molly,” which he writes to his not-even-conceived daughter, and “Suicide,” where he pleads for those looking for the easy way out to press on. There’s a heaping of political talk on ISOYG, as well, including a song with a chorus that includes a shout out to gay marriage and another that mentions him doing, ahem, things to a stuffed bear he names after Osama Bin Laden. Even if you don’t agree with all his views Vinnie will definitely get you talking. (Note - I have learned that although the listening party for ISOYG was earlier this year the album's national release has been pushed to '09. Since it was completed and heard by an audience in '08, however, it qualifies for this list.)

Song you need to hear: Digital Molly

Website: myspace.com/vinnyscullo

6) Ludo – You’re Awful, I Love You

I first discovered Ludo earlier this year when they opened for The Presidents of the United States of America. After one song I was instantly hooked. They’re both extremely talented and downright hilarious. Their 2008 release, You’re Awful, I Love You, showcases this beautifully. The album starts with the line “Love me cancerously,” from the song “Love Me Dead,” and pretty much heads where one might expect it to from there. Other highlights include “Drunken Lament,” which is THE definitive breakup song of 2008, and “Lake Pontchartrain,” which is the story of a road trip gone terrible wrong in some very sick and twisted ways. You’re Awful, I Love You is for those times when you want to rock out, but have a little fun at the same time.

Song you need to hear: Lake Pontchartrain

Website: ludorock.com

Adam’s World Top 25 of 2008

Part I: Albums 25-21
Part II: Albums 20-16
Part III: Albums 15-11
Part IV: Albums 10-6
Part V: Albums 5-1
posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:33 AM  
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