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Livewire's Top 10

Here are the top 10 albums of 2008 as heard through
the discerning ears of Livewire's Andy Argyrakis.
Coldplay10 ) Coldplay - Viva La Vida
(Capitol)

Sure, the fact that Chris Martin and company are now at the commercial pinnacle of modern rock is annoying for those who supported them on the club level. But these stadium filling guitar surges are too contagious to shake, even for snobbish anti-radio elitists (just ask Joe Satriani).
Sam Phillips9) Sam Phillips - Don't Do Anything
(Nonesuch)

She may not have T Bone Burnett in her life anymore as a romantic interest or a producer, but the resilient tunesmith manages to steer the solo reigns with grace and innovation. This first ever self-produced CD finds Phillips at her most vulnerable and engaging of an already awe-inspiring career.
Phantom Planet8) Phantom Planet - Raise the Dead
(Fueled By Ramen)

With membership shifts reducing its celebrity count, Phantom Planet's slowly but surely earning artistic credibility. On this particular project, the guys turn to a retro British Invasion sound, introducing the glory days of The Kinks and The Zombies to a younger crowd.
James7) James - Hey Ma
(Decca/ Mercury)

Sometimes breaking up to make up can be the most productive path a band can take, and in the case of alt-rock icons James, it translates to a fresh coat of paint on its '90s roots. Infectious anthems and introspective ballads abound on this thought provoking return.
Liam Finn6) Liam Finn - I'll Be Lightening
(Yep Roc)

The son of Crowded House's Neil Finn more than forms his own identity with this rousing set of electronic outings. Marking his stake as a cross between Beck and Todd Rundgren, the programming powerhouse will likely stick around for the long haul.
Aimee Mann5) Aimee Mann - @#%&*! Smilers
(Superego)

Speaking of coming back from less than stellar collections, Mann more than made up for her sleepy holiday project with this return to the singer/songwriter side of her personality. But the troubadour also fleshes out her sound well beyond acoustic guitars, including beefed up production with unpredictable twists and turns.
Elbow4) Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid
(Geffen)

Possibly the world's closest band to Peter Gabriel's era of Genesis continues cranking out progressive tipped art rock with authority. The sweeping soundscapes and lush atmospheres are once again grand and glorious.
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds3) Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
(Anti-)

Stepping into his Grinderman alter ego last year clearly refreshed Nick Cave, who reconvened with the Bad Seeds for a down and dirty bluesy affair. Add in his remarkably vivid storytelling and that ominous vocal inflection reaching unparalleled passion levels, and this disc ranks amongst this troupe's all time best.
Oasis2) Oasis - Dig Out Your Soul
(Reprise)

Who cares if American audiences are loosing interest in Oasis when the British boys are still cranking out consistent collections? The Gallagher brothers continue in their tradition of rousing rockers and pub sing-a-longs for either side of the Atlantic.
R.E.M.1) R.E.M. - Accelerate
(Warner Bros.)

After a stale streak throughout the late '90s and early 2000s, R.E.M. didn't just rebound, but actually managed to recapture the magic of its heyday. At a lean thirty-some minutes, it's another action packed, jangle rock attack.


Top 10

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