So - did I purchase ANY albums released in 2008 (ish)? A few:
All I Intended to Be, Emmylou Harris
A quiet and very pretty album that I hasn't really hooked me yet.
Atonement, Dario Marinaelli
A gorgeous, piano-laden score. The scoring for the much-commented on single-shot scene at the beach is really just as accomplished as the shot it accompanies. This is rapidly leaping up my all-time favorite score list.
Enchanted (Soundtrack), Alan Menken
Fine Menken, but not great Menken.
Gypsy, Jule Styne
The new Patti LuPone production. Haven't given it a full listen yet, but LuPone is as good as you would guess. The part she was born to play.
I'm Not There (Soundtrack), Various Artists
A great collection of diverse Dylan covers. They're not all keepers, but there are some real gems in here.
Into the Wild (Soundtrack), Eddie Vedder
A beautiful, stirring collection of songs. I have zero Pearl Jam on my iPod, but this collection has created a new respect for Vedder in me. I'm usually dubious of the original song approach to film scoring, but he does wonders with it.
John Adams (Soundtrack), Joseph Vitarelli and Rob Lane
I confess to buying it for that stirring opening titles piece, but this is a great score, full of delicate pathos and stir-the-blood patriot stuff.
A fun listen, but one that yields rapidly diminishing returns on repeated listens.
Kill to Get Crimson, Mark Knopfler
Knopfler's best solo album, and one of the year's best. A gorgeous collection of melodic folk songs.
Life, Death, Love & Freedom, John Mellencamp
Mellencamp's best since The Lonesome Jubilee. A wholly unexpected gem of an album, the likes of which I had all but written off from Mellencamp. sobering, darkly questioning songs about mortality. The song "Mean" is one of the best he's ever written.
The Little Mermaid (Original Broadway Cast), Alan Menken
Not nearly as good as his expanded Beauty & the Beast work, but fun nonetheless.
Lost (Season 3 Soundtrack), Michael Giacchino
The best scoring being done on TV, period. I'll keep getting these as long as they keep releasing them.
Momofuku, Elvis Costello
A pleasingly low-fi collection of stripped-down Costello songs. He's still got it.
Only by the Night, Kings of Leon
Bought last night ($7.99 at iTunes). Listened to most this morning. First reaction? Good. Maybe very good.
Roar! (From Cloverfield), Michael Giacchino
A fun, old-school 12-minute piece from the credits.
The Simpsons: Testify!, Alf Clausen
More bits and pieces from the last several years of The Simpsons. I adore the Evita parody songs.
@%&% Smilers!, Aimee Mann
A solid collection of songs, but not a classic.
Sweeney Todd (Soundtrack), Sondheim
I am very, very happy to have a version of Sweeney Todd featuring such lush, big-movie orchestrations. And the lyric-less reworking of the opening "Ballad of Sweeney Todd" is just great stuff.
Tell Tale Signs, Bob Dylan
The best album of the year, and it;s a collection of outtakes, cut songs, and live versions from the past 15 or so years.
Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
Fun assured pop that reminds me of Paul Simon's Graceland.
WALL-E (Soundtrack), Thomas Newman
The score of the year, and maybe Newman's most beautiful.