NPR logo The Best CDs of 2008

The Best CDs of 2008

Below you can find the list of NPR Music's Best CDs of 2008. To print this list, choose the "Print Page" icon above. Click on the title of each list to hear the music.

Songs Of The Year: Best Music Of 2008
Recommended by NPR's Stephen Thompson

For Emma, Forever Ago, Bon Iver

Re-Arrange Us, Mates of State

3 Rounds and a Sound, Blind Pilot

Lose Big, Eef Barzelay

Rook, Shearwater

Narrow Stairs, Death Cab for Cutie

Only as the Day Is Long, Sera Cahoone

Lucky, Nada Surf

Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes

Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down, Noah and the Whale

The New Faces Of Classical Music
Recommended by WGUC's Robin Gehl

Tchaikovsky, Glazunov: Violin Concertos, Vadim Gluzman

Chopin - Ingrid Fliter, Ingrid Fliter

Antonio Bazzini: Virtuoso Works for Violin & Piano, Chloë Hanslip

Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven: Sonatas, Rafal Blechacz

Bach: Goldberg Variations, Matt Haimovitz, Jonathan Crow and Douglas McNabney

Schoenberg, Sibelius: Violin Concertos, Hilary Hahn

Chopin: The Piano Concertos, Lang Lang

Beethoven, Clement: Violin Concertos, Rachel Barton Pine

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3, Olli Mustonen

Souvenirs, Anna Netrebko

Take Five's Top 5 Jazz CDs Of 2008
Recommended by NPR's Lars Gotrich and Patrick Jarenwattananon

Earfood, The Roy Hargrove Quintet

Interoceans, I Heart Lung

Invisible Cinema, Aaron Parks

Kinsmen, Rudresh Mahanthappa

Pass It On, Dave Holland Sextet

The 10 Best Mixtapes Of The Year
Recommended by Andrew Noz

Da Beginning, Lil Boosie

Goodbye America, Playboy Tre and DJ Swatts

Sincerely Yours, Southside, 50 Cent and DJ Whoo Kid

The Mixtape About Nothing, Wale and DJ Nick Catchdubs

Starlito's Way 2, All Star

Crakk Muzik, Peedi Crakk and DJ E-Stacks

The Sunday Morning Massacre(s), Killer Mike

We Got It For Cheap Vol. 3, The Re-Up Gang and DJ Drama

Strictly Leakage, Atmosphere

The N——- Tape, Nas and DJ Green Lantern

WNYC's Genre Mix: Top 10 Albums Of 2008
Recommended by WNYC's John Schaefer

The Bairns, Rachel Unthank

Angles, Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip

Santogold, Santogold

In Rainbows, Radiohead

A Larum, Johnny Flynn

Stay Positive, The Hold Steady

Bartok: Les Violons du Roy, Various Artists

Glass Box, Philip Glass

Not For Piano, Francesco Tristano

The Mande Variations, Toumani Diabate

Bob Boilen Picks The Year's Best Music
Recommended by All Songs Considered's Bob Boilen

For Emma, Forever Ago, Bon Iver

Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes

Sugar Mountain: Live at Canterbury House 1968, Neil Young

Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust, Sigur Rós

Don't Do Anything, Sam Phillips

Mande Variations, Toumani Diabate

Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend

Dear Science, TV on the Radio

24 Postcards in Full Colour, Max Richter

Bloom, Brian Eno / Bloom for iPod / Bob Boilen

Top 10 Great Unknowns, From Second Stage
Recommended by NPR's Robin Hilton

At War with Walls & Mazes, Son Lux

Na Na Ni, Fredrik

Madam Owl, Jeff Hanson

A Love Extreme, Benji Hughes

Outside Our Gates, Liz Durrett

Mugiboogie, Mugison

Neighbor Singing, Brad Laner

Mt. Wilson Repeater, Mt. Wilson Repeater

3 Rounds And A Sound, Blind Pilot

Visiter, The Dodos

NPR Listeners Pick The Year's Best Music
Recommended by NPR Listeners

Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes

Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend

For Emma, Forever Ago, Bon Iver

Dear Science, TV on the Radio

Narrow Stairs, Death Cab for Cutie

Oracular Spectacular, MGMT

Flight of the Conchords, Flight of the Conchords

Evil Urges, My Morning Jacket

Viva la Vida, Coldplay

Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust, Sigur Rós

Volume One, She & Him

The Stand Ins, Okkervil River

Modern Guilt, Beck

Juno, Kimya Dawson and Antsy Pants

Consolers of the Lonely, The Raconteurs

Feed the Animals, Girl Talk

Attack & Release, The Black Keys

Only by the Night, Kings of Leon

Conor Oberst, Conor Oberst

Acid Tongue, Jenny Lewis

Stay Positive, The Hold Steady

Tell Tale Signs, Bob Dylan

Furr, Blitzen Trapper

Third, Portishead

Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, Brian Eno / David Byrne

The 10th Annual CD, Er, MP3 Gift Guide
Recommended by Weekend Edition's Ned Wharton

Car Alarm, The Sea and Cake

Better for the Metaphor, Cantinero

Asunción, Pacifika

Moss, Moss

Schumann: The Violin Sonatas, Carolin Widmann and Denes Varjon

Leucocyte, Esbjorn Svensson Trio

The Best African Music Of 2008
Recommended by Banning Eyre

In the 7th Moon, the Chief Turned Into a Swimming Fish and Ate the Head of His Enemy by Magic, Kasai Allstars

Rebel Woman, Chiwoniso

Seun Kuti, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80

Seprewa Kasa, Seprewa Kasa

Mande Variations, Toumani Diabate

Made in Dakar, Orchestra Baobab

WARchild, Emmanuel Jal

Soul Science, Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara

Francophonic, Franco et le Tpok Jazz

African Scream Contest, Various Artists

Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend

The Year On Vinyl: Dropping The Needle
Recommended by WFUV's Rita Houston

Just a Little Lovin', Shelby Lynne

In Rainbows, Radiohead

Acid Tongue, Jenny Lewis

Let's Get It On, Marvin Gaye

The Way I See It, Raphael Saadiq

Tell Tale Signs, Bob Dylan

Modern Guilt, Beck

Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes

Last Days at the Lodge, Amos Lee

Real Animal, Alejandro Escovedo

Living Your Life With 2008's Best In Jazz
Recommended by Jazz24's Nick Francis

Present Tense, James Carter

Holly Cole, Holly Cole

Day Trip, Pat Metheny Trio

Here and Gone, David Sanborn

New Crystal Silence, Chick Corea & Gary Burton

Earfood, Roy Hargrove Quintet

Loverly, Cassandra Wilson

Across the Crystal Sea, Danilo Perez

Cannon Re-Loaded, Tom Scott

Worrisome Heart, Melody Gardot

Invoking Improv: Best Classical CDs Of 2008
Recommended by APM's Fred Child

Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile

Invocation à la Nuit: Musica Notturna, Jordi Savall

In a State of Jazz, Marc-André Hamelin

X Over Trombone, James Pugh

Passport, Brooklyn Rider

Handel: Organ Concertos, Op. 4, Richard Egarr

Beethoven: Violin Concerto; Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 4; Horace Silver: Creepin' In, Nigel Kennedy

Romaria, John Potter

An American Journey, Eroica Trio

Revolutionary, Cameron Carpenter

The Top 11 Debut Albums Of 2008
Recommended by KEXP's Kevin Cole

Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes

Hercules & Love Affair, Hercules & Love Affair

Alpinisms, School of Seven Bells

Friendly Fires, Friendly Fires

Bake Sale, Cool Kids

Grand Archives, Grand Archives

Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down, Noah and the Whale

3 Rounds and a Sound, Blind Pilot

Santogold, Santogold

Don't Be a Stranger, The Moondoggies

Home, Joshua Morrison

Folk Alley's Favorite CDs Of 2008
Recommended by Folk Alley's Linda Fahey

Rattlin' Bones, Kasey Chambers/Shane Nicholson

Live at the Glenn Gould Studio, Harry Manx

Captured in Still Life, Kensington Prairie

To The Ground, Kerfuffle

Chameleon, Tim O'Brien

Still Crooked, Crooked Still

Lantana, Caroline Herring

Abigail Washburn, Abigail Washburn

Good Life, Justin Townes Earle

Through the Window of a Train, Blue Highway

My 'Album' Of The Year: A 2008 Mixtape
Recommended by The Current's Marc Wheat

For Emma, Forever Ago, Bon Iver

Sun Giant EP, Fleet Foxes

Alphabutt, Kimya Dawson

Feel Good Ghosts, Cloud Cult

Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust, Sigur Ros

Stay Positive, The Hold Steady

We Started Nothing, The Ting Tings

Great Vengeance and Furious Fire, The Heavy

When Life Gives You Lemons . . ., Atmosphere

Geniuses Collide In 2008's Best Jazz
Recommended by WDUQ's Shaunna Morrison Machosky

Invisible Cinema, Aaron Parks

Tragicomic, Vijay Iyer

Symphonica, Joe Lovano

Cirio: Live at the Blue Note, Francisco Mela

Earfood, The Roy Hargrove Quintet

Pass It On, Dave Holland Sextet

It's Magic, Ahmad Jamal

Seraphic Light, Saxophone Summit

The Traveler, Kenny Barron

Loverly, Cassandra Wilson

Not Art Rock: Top 10 'Smart Rock' Albums
Recommended by KUT's David Brown

The Stand Ins, Okkervil River

Stay Positive, The Hold Steady

Rook, Shearwater

Acid Tongue, Jenny Lewis

Conor Oberst, Conor Oberst

Evil Urges, My Morning Jacket

Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes

In Ear Park, Department of Eagles

Love and Harm, Leatherbag

Sound of the Smiths, The Smiths

Best Classical CDs: Music Crossing Boundaries
Recommended by WGBH's Brian McCreath

Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D, BWV 1050, Trevor Pinnock

Gunther Schuller: Journey into jazz, Boston Modern Orchestra Project

An American Journey, Eroica Trio

In a State of Jazz, Marc-André Hamelin

Francisco Javier: La Ruta de Oriente, Jordi Savall

Terry Riley: The Cusp of Magic, Kronos Quartet

A Flowering Tree, John Adams

Heavenly Harmonies, Stile Antico

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4, Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Terezín: Music from Theresienstadt, Anne Sofie von Otter

The Year in Music for Kids (And Moms, And Dads)
Recommended by WXPN's Cathy O'Connell

Big Round World, Trout Fishing in America>

Camp Lisa, Lisa Loeb

Pop Fly , Justin Roberts

I'm Growing, Gunnar Madsen

Songs With No Character, Scribblemonster & His Pals

Loquat Rooftop, Randy Kaplan

Pharm Phresh , Ham & Burger

Blue Moo, Sandra Boynton

Dragonfly Races, Ellis Paul

Let's Go Everywhere, Medeski, Martin & Wood

The Year in Jazz: Best CDs of 2008
Recommended by WBGO's Gary Walker

Diamondhead, David "Fathead" Newman

New Crystal Silence, Chick Corea/Gary Burton

Day Trip, Pat Metheny Trio

Rainbow People , Steve Turre

Monday Night Live at the Village Vanguard, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra

Notes from the Village, Anat Cohen

Pass it On, Dave Holland Sextet

Live 2008: 5th Annual Concert Tour , SF Jazz Collective

Scene, The Stryker/Slagle Band

Gratitude, Dick Oatts

'World Cafe' Picks 2008's Top 10 CDs
Recommended by WXPN's David Dye

Narrow Stairs, Death Cab for Cutie

Stay Positive, The Hold Steady

Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend

Dear Science, TV on the Radio

Only by the Night, Kings of Leon

The Felice Brothers, The Felice Brothers

Radio Retaliation, Thievery Corporation

You and Me, The Walkmen

Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes

The Way I See It, Raphael Saadiq

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