Thoughts on 2008: Exclaim! Contributor Daniel Sylvester

Thoughts on 2008: Exclaim! Contributor Daniel Sylvester
To tide us over while we indulge in the holiday spirit gorging on stuffing and egg nog, we asked a bunch of our contributors to tell us their thoughts on 2008, as well as their favourite records that helped make it a memorable year. Daniel Sylvester told us why he thought the year belonged to Crystal Castles:

If I had to pick an "artist of the year" for 2008, it would be Toronto's Crystal Castles. Not because I think that the duo's debut was groundbreaking, or even noteworthy for that matter. They receive my nod because they represent perhaps the most significant shift in underground music this year.

In the last six or seven years there has been a slew of artists releasing records complete with a pre-packaged image or attitude, usually veering on "ironic" or "bratty." The reality that bands like Crystal Castles, with a manufactured dislike for the press and "too cool for school" visage failed to connect with fans and critics was even more accented by the overwhelming fanfare gimmick-free LPs by Fleet Foxes, Elliott Brood and Portishead. If 2007 was the year of the song, 2008 was the year of the songwriter.

Here are the albums I considered to be the strongest of 2008.

1. Vampire Weekend Vampire Weekend (XL)
2. Deerhunter Microcastle/Weird Era Cont. (Kranky)
3. TV On The Radio Dear Science (Interscope)
4. Fleet Foxes Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop)
5. Cut Copy In Ghost Colours (Modular)
6. Lil Wayne Tha Carter III (Cash Money)
7. Plants and Animals Parc Avenue (Secret City)
8. Santogold Santogold (Downtown)
9. Portishead Third (Island)
10. Gang Gang Dance Saint Dymphna (Social Registry)