With blogging and the decline of printed publications, everyone is a music critic these days (including yours truly). What music is "the best" is completely subjective to the listener and their own personal tastes.
Having said that, here are albums that we couldn't stop spinning, albums that we liked because they were so foreign to what we normally listen to, and a few albums that contain great songs but had some suckage landmines buried in the tracklisting. In no particular order:
My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges - grower of an album that got even better after we watched them rock Berkeley. Awesome road trip record for driving on the 101 in Cali.
Mudcrutch - Mudcrutch - Best Tom Petty album in years. From the originals to the covers, the album is relaxed and unforced. I'm a bootleg flyer. Nuff said.
Raconteurs - Consolers of the Lonely - Great straight-up rock album. Throw it on, crank it up. Even the stranger songs like "The Switch and the Spur" are okay.
Drive By Truckers - Brighter Than Creations Dark - Even though it's too long by about 4 songs, a great rebirth for the band after Jason Isbell's departure. #2 best live show behind MMJ.
Gutter Twins - Saturnalia/Adorata - Moody, dark, & haunting. Awesome, long-awaited collaboration between Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan. Hello darkness my old friend...
Darker My Love - 2 - Loud LA scuzz rock with a pop edge. Great groove album. BRMC didn't put out a new album this year, but these guys more than filled the gap.
Lucinda Williams - Little Honey - She's happy, she's horny and that's just plain weird to hear on a Lucinda Williams record, but what a fun album to throw on the stereo. A great snapshot of how Williams and her backing band Buick 6 sound live.
Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes - This ethereal album makes me feel like I'm trapped in a cabin and it's snowing like mad outside, but in good way. Sometimes they sound too much like early MMJ, but still an album that continues to reveal itself with each listen.
Oasis - Dig Out Your Soul/The Verve - Forth - I'm combining these releases because both bands put albums out where half of it is awesome and the rest is just okay. Nice to have The Verve back in action. Brit Pop is alive and well in 2008.
Cold War Kids - Loyalty to Loyalty - underrated second album from this band. Yes, the dude's voice can get annoying but they make great minimalist blues punk to coincide with a shitty economic forecast.
Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago - Another log cabin album. Like the Fleet Foxes, this music can bug me out, but in a good way. A bummer record that doesn't leave you feeling completely bummed.
Everest - Ghost Notes
Beck - Modern Guilt
Gary Louris - Vagabonds
Spiritualized - Songs in A&E
Supergrass - Diamond Hoo Ha
Mudhoney - The Lucky Ones
Vetiver - Thing of the Past