Michael Andrews’ Top 10 Albums Worth a Damn and Your Dollar in ’08

1. Ry CooderI, Flathead (Nonesuch) [image-1]

Does it have a song that makes you wanna cry? Yes. One that makes you wanna dance? Several. How’s about intertwining thematic elements that include the decline of country and western music, flirting with underground communism, and an unsatisfied traveling jones propelled by a well-worn Caddy with red interior? I, Flathead has all that and more, making it Cooder’s best “songwriter” album since the late ’70s.

2. Todd SniderPeace Queer (MRI Associated)

3. Kings of LeonOnly by the Night (RCA)

4. Lucinda WilliamsLittle Honey (Lost Highway)

5. Randall BramblettNow It’s Tomorrow (New West)

6. PavementBrighten The Corners: Nicene Creedence Edition (Matador)

7. Old Crow Medicine ShowTennessee Pusher (Nettwerk)

8. Bob DylanTell Tale Signs: Bootleg Series Vol. 8 (Columbia/Legacy)

9. Loudon Wainwright IIIRecovery (Yep Roc)

10. Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm2 Man Wrecking Crew (Delta Groove)

Michael Andrews is freelance writer and regular music contributor based in Jasper, Ga. His collection of rock, country, and roots music is a teetering phenomenon

Next critic’s “Best of 2008″ list: Andrea Warner.

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