2008: Fleet Foxes, Adele, Coldplay and more

Big bands make big changes in their sound; debuts from Adele, Fleet Foxes, Vampire Weekend

Coldplay’s Viva La Vida LP was a big step forward in terms of creativity and scope from its predecessor X&Y, turning the band into a cinematic art-rock powerhouse. The Killers also changed their tune on 2008’s Day & Age, moving from the brooding “post-punk revival” of their previous efforts towards a larger scale arena rock style.

But without question, it was Fleet Foxes’ self-titled debut that stole the blogging spotlight. The Pacific-Northwest indie rockers released a record that sat on nearly 20 best of lists at the end of the year, furthering a movement that would go on to spawn the worldwide trend of neo-folk and folk pop.

Over in England, Adele was releasing her own debut 19. The album would win her a Best New Artist Grammy Award the following year, in addition to a Best Female Pop Vocal Performance award for lead single “Chasing Pavements.”

According to Rolling Stone, the year’s top three singles were MGMT’s psychedelic trip “Time to Pretend,” Santogold’s eclectic electro-pop “LES Artistes” and Beyonce’s global game-changer “Single Ladies.”

This only scratches the surface of 2008’s musical contributions – check out more bright spots below and let us know if it was the Greatest Year in Music by leaving a comment or starting a conversation on social media with #XPNGreatestYear.


Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends – Coldplay
Rockferry – Duffy
Death Magnetic – Metallica
Tha Carter III – Lil Wayne
A Mouthful – The Dø
Distortion – The Magnetic Fields
Oracular Spectacular – MGMT
19 – Adele
Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
We Brave Bee Stings and All – Thao and the Get Down Stay Down
Made in the Dark – Hot Chip
Lucky – Nada Surf
Sleep Through the Static – Jack Johnson
Do You Like Rock Music? – British Sea Power
Bring Me Your Love – City & Colour
Ice Cream Spiritual – Ponytail
Alight of Night – Crystal Stilts
Shallow Grave – The Tallest Man on Earth
Invisible Baby – Marco Benevento
Heretic Pride – The Mountain Goats
Hold on Now, Youngster… – Los Campesinos!
Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill – Grouper
Seventh Tree – Goldfrapp
Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Stay Positive – The Hold Steady
Los Angeles – Flying Lotus
The Airing of Grievances – Titus Andronicus
Vivian Girls – Vivian Girls
Microcastle / Weird Era Cont. – Deerhunter
Third – Portishead
You & Me – The Walkmen
Devotion – Beach House
New Amerykah Part One (4th World War) – Erykah Badu
Real Emotional Trash – Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks
Alopecia – Why?
The Odd Couple – Gnarls Barkley
Trouble in Dreams – Destroyer
Volume One – She & Him
Antidotes – Foals
Accelerate – REM
April – Sun Kil Moon
Mountain Battles – The Breeders
In Ghost Colours – Cut Copy
Saturdays = Youth – M83
Flight of the Conchords – Flight of the Conchords
Elephant Shell – Tokyo Police Club
Rising Down – The Roots
Santogold – Santogold
Nouns – No Age
Narrow Stairs – Death Cab for Cutie
Arm’s Way – Islands
Lay It Down – Al Green
Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
Weezer – Weezer
Evil Urges – My Morning Jacket
Nude with Boots – Melvins
At Mount Zoomer – Wolf Parade
Feed the Animals – Girl Talk
Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust – Sigur Rós
Last Days at the Lodge – Amos Lee
Modern Guilt – Beck
The Coral Sea – Patti Smith
Fate – Dr. Dog
Partie Traumatic – Black Kids
The Airborne Toxic Event – The Airborne Toxic Event
Conor Oberst – Conor Oberst
Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down – Noah and the Whale
Everything That Happens Will Happen Today – David Byrne and Brian Eno
Chemical Chords – Stereolab
The Fame – Lady Gaga
The Rhumb Line – Ra Ra Riot
Youth Novels – Lykke Li
One Kind Favor – BB King
The Stand Ins – Okkervil River
Censored Colors – Portugal. The Man
The Way I See It – Raphael Saadiq
Who Killed Amanda Palmer – Amanda Palmer
Dear Science – TV on the Radio
Acid Tongue – Jenny Lewis
The Hawk is Howling – Mogwai
Only by the Night – Kings of Leon
Red Letter Year – Ani DiFranco
Dig Out Your Soul – Oasis
Break Up the Concrete – The Pretenders
Elephants… Teeth Sinking Into Hearts – Rachael Yamagata
Skeletal Lamping – of Montreal
Gossip in the Grain – Ray LaMontagne
You Are My Sunshine – Copeland
Cardinology – Ryan Adams & the Cardinals
I Am… Sasha Fierce
Day & Age – The Killers

Category: 00s


Article by: Julie Miller