Simon Price: The best Rock & Pop albums of 2008

'Glasvegas's astonishing debut set heartfelt stories to Spectoresque noise-pop'
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The Independent Culture

The best British album of the year would be a coin-flip between British Sea Power's stirringly epic 'Do You Like Rock Music?' and Glasvegas, whose astonishing debut set heartfelt stories to a backing of Spectoresque noise-pop.

New York's psych-soul mystics MGMT made the best American album of 2008 with the genre-bending 'Oracular Spectacular', while in the same city, Hercules and Love Affair and Heloise and the Savoir Faire ('Trash, Rats & Microphones') spearheaded an art-disco renaissance.

Swedish oddball Lykke Li ('Youth Novels') and New Zealand introvert Ladyhawke (with her Eighties-tastic debut) seemed kindred spirits, despite coming from opposite sides of the planet.

Cut Copy, Sam Sparro and Crystal Castles led the global electro-pop resurgence, but Welsh-American supergroup Neon Neon made the best synth-based record, 'Stainless Style'.

Duffy's delicious retro-soul debut 'Rockferry' sold by the truckload, and Hollywood starlets Zooey Deschanel (She & Him's 'Volume 1') and Scarlett Johansson ('Anywhere I Lay My Head') made surprisingly good stabs at artistic versatility. Kanye West ('808s & Heartbreak') and Nas ('Untitled') were among hip-hop's finest products, but our own Estelle ('Shine') made the R&B/pop album of the year.

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