In the year John McCain let us down by releasing an inferior product (2008 campaign) only to remind us of his previous work (2000), he is not alone. This has been a year of other great artists releasing sub par work, such as Ben Folds (first time ever), Jenny Lewis (good but not transcendent), My Morning Jacket (solid, fun, light) and Coldplay (getting to be a habit). However, Frightened Rabbit stands tall.
Now, how do I know another better album will not be released this year?* I don't. But, I am sticking with this. It was released in April and has withstood the onslaught of great albums by TV on the Radio, Nick Cave, Okkervil River (perenial fave), Elbow, Devotchka, The Hold Steady, Gaslight Anthem and Firewater along with solid ones by The War on Drugs, The Walkmen, Vampire Weekend, Santogold, Plants and Animals, The Notwist, Cold War Kids, M83 and Shearwater.
I know, it is not the trendy pick. Trendy picks would be Ra Ra Riot, Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes, all of which released albums that could be #1 in most years (though not last year) but barely miss due to the fractured beauty of Frightened Rabbit's lyrics and passionate music. In fact, no album gets off the to the rousing start of The Modern Leper. In my year end poll, I will explain why this is the best album of the year. However, today I only give my endorsement and name my vote in light of the importance of the 2008 Election.
for once I am somewhat agreement with a Pitchfork review.
*Granted, I have not heard the latest Ryan Adams album... so I am risking it. I will just name Ryan Adams the Joe Biden of the year.