My 50 Favorite Albums of 2008: #48

Number 48

When Mat Brooke decided to depart from one of Sub Pop’s most rewarding groups, Band of Horses, at the very height of their rise after the Everything All The Time tour, it was a surprise to pretty much everyone. When the remaining member of that group, Ben Bidwell, put out the sophomore release with new members, it was obvious that what made the magic of their debut was missing, and although Cease To Begin was certainly a good record, it stood nowhere near the brilliance of Everything. So when Brooke emerged onto the scene for the first time in a while with his new group, Grand Archives, it would soon be known that he was in need of creating music with a lighter, more sunny side. This self-titled debut has spots of of a Band of Horses feel, but that’s only in the guitars and a bit of the melodies. As far as the songwriting goes, this is the happiest we’ve ever heard Brooke, and it’s a very inviting set. Inspired by a wide range of genres, from beginning to end this record switches from pop rock harmonies, to 60’s-induced flare, and so on. It’s definitely a solid debut, and I hope Brooke can stick with this project longer than he has with other groups, because if they can evolve from the promise of this sound (which is at its best on the middle of the record) then he could help the rest of the listening world know that Grand Archives should be every bit as recognized as Band of Horses.

1.Torn Foam Blue Couch
2.Miniature Birds
3.Swan Matches
4.Index Moon
5.George Kaminski
6.A Setting Sun
7.Breezy No Breezy
8.Sleepdriving
9.Louis Riel
10.Crime Window
11.Orange Juice


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