Eddie's Best of 2008

Eddie Ugarte
Publisher & Founder

1 Robi Draco Rosa – Vino (Phantom Vox)
The former Menudo member records yet another album that will be ignored outside of Latino culture. This time there’s a reason though; it’s mostly in Spanish. That doesn’t take away from the intricate harmonies and glorious song structures though. Rosa just barely unleashes the animal inside. Can’t wait until we fully get him at his most feral.
2 TV On The Radio – Dear Science (Interscope)
So the boys from Brooklyn have come back, and come back HARD on their 2nd major label long-player. There are a lot more astounding melodies here than there were on Cookie Mountain and if O.G. was reviewing this he’d say TVOTR “Is the dope in the syringe that makes your head nod.” Shit is hotness!
3 Vast AireDueces Wild (One Records)
A busy artist in 2008, releasing a collaborative effort and then this, his solo album of dark tracks that I wouldn’t have believed the imposing figure of Vast Aire would have been capable of putting together. He comes at you with guns blazing; what they pop off are serious metaphors that would put even the most clever rappers to shame. Dueces are definitely wild here!
4 Saul Williams – Niggy Tardust (self-released)
The album that turned an industry on its head while at the same time spearing a motherfuckin’ musical revolution. Williams is known for his wordplay and Trent Reznor disemboweled sonics to provide a perfect backdrop to some blistering lyricism.
5 Jean Grae – Jeanius (Blacksmith Music)
The album title alone says it all: Jean Grae is a genius amongst men, the real deal alongside posuers, a lyrical giant standing above mumble mouthed rappers. Little Brother’s 9th Wonder handles the board here.
6 Mighty Joseph – Empire State (self-released)
Don’t be fooled with imitators, Vast Aire and Karniege join forces here to sing the troubled beast. Empire State will forever remain a hip hop classic. This joint is gritty and real without any braggadocio or gun play. Mighty Joseph; a giant among insects.
7 Y Society  – Travel At Your Own Pace (Tres)
It’s refreshing when you come across artists that don’t rep any coastline and just kill it on disc. Insight brings the lyrical flow and  Damu The Fudgemunk drops those beats. Dope melodies that are as catchy as School House Rock on a Saturday morning.
8 Atmosphere – When Life Gives You Lemons…(Rhymesayers)
I think this is like their 200th album and Ant & Slug really change things up. Stark and lone instrumentation pops up from time to time, usually making Slug’s vocals the focal point here. A lot different from Strictly Leakage but just as good.
9 Aterciopelados – Rio (Nacional)
Uno de los grupos mas popular de Columbia han hecho un disco lleno de canciones so friggin’ catchy that one is able to understand why they remain favorites with both fans and critics alike. Luckily the group doesn’t suffer from any negative rock stigmas many Latin American bands succumb to.
10 Nine Inch Nails – The Slip (The Null Corporation)
How old is Trent Reznor now anyway? You have to ask; should he still be making this kind of abrasive music? Hell yeah! I’m not far behind him and listening to the classic NIN tracks on The Slip. Put on your headphones, raise the volume and expect to fall into a heavenly bliss.
11 Prisonshake – Dirty Moons (Scat)
Fuckin’ a, fuckin’ a, Prisonshake returned here after too long a hiatus. I guess it worked out because they created a fuckin’ great album. Seems like this one should turn out to be a classic “rock” joint that none of you bitches are going to listen to. Just pick it up for the hot cover art then. But once you get it, listen to the songs…they’ll definitely turn you out!
12 Roots Manuva – Slime & Reason (Big Dada)
Once again, Mr. Smith is at it again. Mr. Manuva comes at you with no less than 14 tracks of bombastic tracks; joints that are sure to get the body moving. Now I’m sure you’d believe that because Roots Manuva is English Slime & Reason would stink of fish ‘n chips but that ain’t the case here. His West Indian roots is what would move my ass at an after party in Flatbush.
13 The Deaths – Centralia (gojohnnygo)
If your friend recommends his boy’s band to you, don’t be so quick to dismiss them. That happened with The Deaths, and now? Let’s just say they’re one of my favorite bands! Soaring vocals that go over the top, varied instrumentation and a clever use of dynamics. Find them online, steal this record, suck someone’s dick for it, but do whatever you can for it.
14 Dizzee Rascal – Maths & English (Definitive Jux)
In the grand scheme of things there hasn’t been a rapper from England that’s created an album that’s even hinteo at being “Gangsta” until now. Dizzee’s 3rd album is tight on beats while his unique delivery runs circles around them. Dizzee Rascal knows what he’s doing here.
15 Guns N Roses – Chinese Democracy (Geffen)
So the album has finally seen the light of day and yes, it’s fucking worth it. I’m sure many of you are scoffing at the notion of me having this album in constant rotation on my mp3 player but I’ll ask you this, how many of you didn’t think Appetite WASN’T a good album either? That’s what I thought. Figures