#5. This One Ends With An Atonement FanVid

(Today and tomorrow I’ll be finishing up the list of my 20 favorite albums of 2008. Obviously I didn’t hear every album that came out–although I did hear quite a lot of them–and obviously personal taste factors into this quite a bit, so I can tell you now that if you’re looking for gospel or metal recommendations this isn’t the list for you. But let’s not squabble, let’s just appreciate all the nice music that folks are making.  And yes, I will try to get them all done by tomorrow, even though I’m DJing the Dose Holiday Party tonight.  Wish me luck!)

5.
The Raveonettes
Lust Lust Lust
Vice Records

If you’re unfamiliar with The Raveonettes, the opening track of last winter’s Lust Lust Lust album might impress you with its intensity,  a barrage of glorious feedback that the Danish duo somehow manage to squeeze into their sexy pop songs.  But if you’re familiar with the group’s previous output, you might be surprised for another reason: the song is five minutes long.

On their first two releases, 2002’s Whip It On EP and the 2003 full-length Chain Gang of Love, not a song went over three minutes; each one was loud, catchy, and concise, stylishly gloomy and fun to dance to.  But by the time the Pretty In Black album came out in 2005, the songs were pushing four minutes.  Unfortunately, the longer songs seemed designed to make up for a lack of ideas, or something, because that album sounds like a band who got tired of their schtick; the feedbacky take on rockabilly sleaze wasn’t so novel anymore, and even a Ronnie Spector guest appearance couldn’t liven things up.

But after a three-year break, the pair is back with their best album yet.  They ditched the session musicians and now they sound alive again.  Plus the production is leaps and bounds better than on their previous album.  Expelled From Love sounds like a migraine, with metallic hammering punctuating the fuzz and Sune Rose Wagner’s gently effete vocals.  Dead Sound and Blush are the kinds of catchy singles that people dance to in trendy hangouts on the CW.  You Want The Candy is pop perfection, and Sad Transmission sounds like a tap number from a Jesus and Mary Chain musical.

Most people ignored this album, because that’s what people do with bands that were briefly trendy six years ago, regardless of quality.  Which is a shame, because Lust Lust Lust is the year’s best brooding slow-dance album.

Watch!  The Raveonettes, Dead Sound
The Raveonettes, Blush [OMG an Atonement fan video!!]

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