My 50 Favorite Albums of 2008: #50

Number 50

Though certainly taking a step back after Face the Truth, a record that packed a wallop of brilliant Malkmus songwriting, the indie maverick’s latest solo effort, Real Emotional Trash, still has enough firepower to be included on this year-end list of standout albums of 2008. With just ten tracks totaling damn near the one-hour mark, this time around it is clear that he and the Jicks are targeting an all-out jam session from beginning to end, and by the time the record comes full circle, it has done its job of entertaining, that’s for sure. What is unexpected about the album, though, is the tracks that shine brightest after many listens. For the most drawn-out and rocking album Malkmus has ever made, you’d figure that the 10-minute title track or the numerous other numbers that stretch over 5 to 6 would be the most memorable…but when it’s all said and done, the two shortest provide the biggest punch. “Gardenia” and “We Can’t Help You”, which if both combined wouldn’t even total what most of the tracks on the album clock in to, are among the best songs Malkmus has ever written, and they’re reason enough to not deny Real Emotional Trash a spot on this list.

1.Dragonfly Pie
2.Hopscotch Willie
3.Cold Son
4.Real Emotional Trash
5.Out of Reaches
6.Baltimore
7.Gardenia
8.Elmo Delmo
9.We Can’t Help You
10.Wicked Wanda

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2 Responses to “My 50 Favorite Albums of 2008: #50”

  1. Bob Bland Says:

    I’m kind of in the minority on this one, but I really think Malkmus peaked with his solo debut, and has progressively fallen off with each subsequent release. I like “Gardenia,” but have a hard time finding anything else on this album to enjoy. Of course, I’m the oddball who never really dug Pavement all that much, so my credibility on the matter is suspect, at best.

  2. Ferguson Says:

    I think Malkmus’s best solo effort is “Face the Truth”, and by far. I agree that this record is a bit of a letdown compared to the rest of his material, but I still found it in my heart to give it a spot on the list.

    Not loving Pavement probably does make a difference on your feelings about Malkmus’s solo material. I think their first two records are among the best indie recordings ever.

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