The Best CDs of 2008 (So Far)

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  • "Skinny Love"
  • Album: For Emma, Forever Ago
  • Artist: Bon Iver
  • Released: 2007
 

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  • "Cath..."
  • Album: Narrow Stairs
  • Artist: Death Cab for Cutie
  • Label: Atlantic/WEA
  • Released: 2008
 
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  • "Touch Me I'm Going to Scream Pt. 2"
  • Album: Evil Urges
  • Artist: My Morning Jacket
  • Label: Red
  • Released: 2008
 
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  • "Mansard Roof"
  • Album: Vampire Weekend
  • Artist: Vampire Weekend
  • Released: 2007
 
Justin Vernon of Bon Iver makes slow, thoughtful music that builds quietly.

hide captionJustin Vernon of Bon Iver makes slow, thoughtful music that builds quietly.

Sarah Cass
Vampire Weekend enjoyed a speedy ascent from blog sensation to mainstream ubiquity.

hide captionVampire Weekend enjoyed a speedy ascent from blog sensation to mainstream ubiquity.

Tim Soter

Music reviewers generally wait until November and December to assess the year in music. But 2008's halfway point seems like a good place to stop and look back at the first half of a busy year full of critics' darlings, Internet sensations and even, in a grim commercial climate, commercial hits.

All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen recently initiated a listener poll — both on his show and in its blog — to get an early look at the year's best music. Polling isn't closed quite yet, but the early favorites are scattered among reliable favorites (Death Cab for Cutie, My Morning Jacket) and sensational rookies (Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Vampire Weekend).

Boilen notes that many of the popular newcomers, particularly Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes, play music that's thoughtful and slow-building, while the veterans often began as small-scale independent artists.

To vote in the poll, click here.

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Narrow Stairs

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  • Album: Narrow Stairs
  • Artist: Death Cab for Cutie
  • Label: Atlantic/WEA
  • Released: 2008
 

For Emma, Forever Ago

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  • Album: For Emma, Forever Ago
  • Artist: Bon Iver
  • Released: 2007
 

Evil Urges

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  • Album: Evil Urges
  • Artist: My Morning Jacket
  • Label: Red
  • Released: 2008
 

Vampire Weekend

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  • Album: Vampire Weekend
  • Artist: Vampire Weekend
  • Label: XL
  • Released: 2008
 

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