The Most Overrated and Underrated Albums of 2008



Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
I’m going to take a lot of heat on this one because so many people love this record, but it has to have the fan fare or I would not be able to consider it overrated in the first place. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t get it. The album is fine and has a few good tracks that make me smile, but in the end, it’s just a simple collection of pretentious songs. The only thing complex here is the choice to lay classic strings over African inspired indie rock. The lyrics remind me of high school poetry from that girl who never speaks in the back of the classroom. On first listen, they seem deep, but on further inspection the words add up to a big zero. The album doesn’t take any chances and remains predictable from track to track. Everything seems borrowed, including their music video for Oxford Comma, which is a huge Wes Anderson rip off. I think overly calculated bands should be able to garner fans, but have no room on my shelves for album of the year, a prize most bloggers have already awarded this wildly overrated record.


The French Kicks – Swimming

People seem to dig this album and I applaud them for their stellar taste. The first thing people have to realize is how amazing of a departure this album is from their other three. I never knew the garage band from New York City had such a beautiful album inside them. They won me over with their debut album One Time Bells and it’s lo-fi, almost stroke-ish sound. Then my faith in the band slowly melted away with less than impressive follow ups The Trial of the Century and Two Thousand. It had felt that the band peaked too soon and made the same mistakes on their sophomore and junior albums. Then out of nowhere, they release Swimming, an album that features perfect harmonies and lyrics that drip with emotion. The music does the exact opposite of Vampire Weekend in the sense that with each listen the album improved (where each VW listen made me spot the bullshit). If I had to make a metaphor it would be: Vampire Weekend put out an album like flashy fireworks…you’ve seen it a hundred times, but you just can’t look away, while Swimming is the homeless man basking under the bright exploding lights reciting Shakespeare alone in a dirty alley. I’m not sure if that works…but the point is, switch over from your ivy-league rock and turn to an amazingly underrated album: Swimming.


  1. The only people I know who are into Vampire Weekend are painfully boring preppy people who like to "feel" deep, and somehow VW does that for them. They make me want to ... yawn.....

  2. you sound like a total deush bag. congratulations.

  3. love your site, but i gotta disagree completely with your take on VW. my fav albums of 08: VW and Fleet Foxes.