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Department of Eagles' Top Ten of 2008

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Photo by Amelia Bauer via Department of Eagles' Myspace

December is list-making season. And for us music journalists, it is a time to look back on scores of albums, reflect upon the music and recapitulate our favorites. But this year, just like the last, we took this opportunity to flip that tradition upside down, asking the artists that influenced us what influenced them. The prompt was not limited to albums that came out in 2008.

Fred of Department of Eagles

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1. Shugo Tokumaru: Exit
Four or five years ago Daniel heard about this guy and introduced him to me and our mutual friend Ian, who now helps run a label called Startime International, which released this record, which I wrote the press release for. Full circle style. Aside from all the family connections, it's an amazing album. Weird sped-up clockwork psychedelia sung in Japanese. Bizarre and brilliant.

2. El Guincho: Alegranza!
Kinda took me by surprise at the end of the year, but I'm really into it. I think Dan likes this too.

3. Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes
A beautiful record. It's kind of awesome and insane that it's their first, considering how fully realized it is. I try not to express appreciation in terms of jealousy, but this record makes it hard not to.

Department of Eagles - "No One Does It Like You"