Best Albums Of 2008: An Answer To Your Call For More Britney Spears

Our brave columnist responds to the haters ... and to a few friendly comments as well.

Well, I asked for it.

In this week's [news id="1601427"]Best Albums of 2008 column[/news], I attempted to head off the "WHERE'S [artist id="501686"]BRITNEY[/artist]?!?!?" posse at the pass by asking them to explain to me just why Brit's Circus album deserved to be included in my list. Was it that good? Was I missing something? Seriously, please explain it to me.

Of course, no one ever did explain, but that doesn't mean that the story didn't generate plenty of other really great comments. OK, there were only about four "really great" ones, plus a bunch of ALL CAPS replies that could generously be described as "grammatically adventurous." And one dude just posted "Britney #1" 12 times.

Still, I asked for your feedback, and I got it. A lot of it. It seemed that many of you were angered by my top album picks, while others seemed confused by why certain albums didn't make the cut (and a few of you were actually complimentary too). So, in the interest of keeping the conversation going, I decided to answer some of your comments. Just consider it a little pre-holiday gift from yours truly. (Or another way to generate Web traffic. You know, whichever.)

"Where's [artist id="1098"]Madonna[/artist]'s Hard Candy???? Why MTV hates her so much??" — dirty_boy94

Well, to be honest, I didn't include Madonna's Hard Candy on my list because I didn't think it was that good. It wasn't because I hate Madonna (I only hate Britney ... I kid, I kid!), or because of some company-wide conspiracy, it just boiled down to my opinion. Aside from "4 Minutes" and "Give It 2 Me," I don't think there's much substance to the album — I mean, "Candy Shop" is cringe-worthy, IMHO — and, in fact, I'd go ahead and say it's probably my least favorite Maddy album since American Life. So, you know, agree to disagree, I guess.

"NO BEYONCE OR [artist id="1940303"]RIHANNA[/artist] OR BRITNEY OR EVEN [content id="1962774"]KATY PERRY[/content] HELL...WTF THIS IS ********. NO BEYONCE R U INSANE HER ALBUM IS THE BEST SINCE THRILLER HELL....STOP AND LISTEN TO IT" — Mizter[artist id="1236911"]Beyonce[/artist]Himself

Last week, I named Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" as the second-best song of 2008. Katy Perry had two songs on that list too, so I definitely gave both some shine. But, wow, I'll have to disagree with you about the Thriller thing. I don't think I Am ... Sasha Fierce is even the best Beyoncé album. It's too long and too convoluted. But "Single Ladies" is great. To be honest, I didn't even hear Katy Perry's entire album. Why would I need to?

"Huge props for having [artist id="1230523"]Kanye[/artist]'s 808s & Heartbreak higher than Tha Carter III, with 'Ye at 4 and Weezy at the bottom of the list. ...You have great taste, my friend. So many of those dumb hip-hop fans could grab a huge appreciation for pop music and said it was crap without really listening to it. ... 808s is my favorite of the year by far, and I'm glad it is one of yours too!" — Obama08

Thanks! And I voted for you, too! How about a cabinet position?

My personal favorite albums this year: I Am ... Sasha Fierce — Beyoncé, Tha Carter III — [artist id="510062"]Lil Wayne[/artist], Paper Trail — [artist id="1225081"]T.I.[/artist], E=MC2 — [artist id="976"]Mariah Carey[/artist], and Freedom — [artist id="1240040"]Akon[/artist]." — DjBaps

Some solid picks, especially the T.I. album. I got a ton of comments from readers asking why I left Paper Trail off my list and, like I said in my video response, it was basically because I liked a couple of other hip-hop albums more this year. [artist id="1243444"]Young Jeezy[/artist]'s The Recession, [artist id="775"]The Roots[/artist]' Rising Down and maybe even Nappy Roots' The Humdinger were better albums to me, and I would've put them on my list before I put Paper Trail on there. If I did a top 50, T.I. would definitely make the cut, though.

"Kanye Top 5, that crap was garbage. Where is The Odd Couple by [artist id="2122478"]Gnarls Barkley[/artist]? Brandy's Human? [artist id="2990655"]Santogold[/artist]? [artist id="3061469"]Lady Gaga[/artist]'s The Fame? — markmanuell18

Again, solid picks. Santo's album should've totally made my list (Estelle's Shine probably should've been on there too). I wasn't a huge fan of the Gnarls Barkley album (I just thought it was kind of boring), but I saw it pop up on some year-end lists, so maybe I should've given it more consideration. At the end of the day, this list basically boiled down to "What did I listen to the most this year?" And while I did try to factor in critical reception and cultural impact (just like my Best Songs column), in the end, the play count on my iPod was usually the deciding factor.


I am 47, so thank you!

"MTV please fire this guy. His opinion sucks. He does not even care about Britney Spears or Pink or Rihanna not even Taylor Swift! James u suck!!! Go die is a hole!" — TriniBrent

I named both Rihanna and Taylor Swift as Women of the Year earlier this week. Taylor was #3, so I do care about them. Deeply. Plus, Rihanna didn't put out a new album this year (just a reissue), so she couldn't have made the cut for the Best Albums of '08.

Great list, James. A very eclectic mix, really covered the floor. Had some records I hadn't really checked out that I'll be looking into soon (Deerhunter and TV on the Radio). I went ahead and made a top 10 list a few weeks ago. We had a lot of same records, but some I'd recommend for you to check out are Thrice's Alchemy Index, Vol. 3 & 4, Anthony Green's Avalon and City and Colour's Bring Me Your Love. — Christos

Thank you, yes, check out Deerhunter, they're sooo good. Also, I have a long and checkered past with Thrice. Seems like tons of people (especially those on really, really dig them. I've just never been able to get behind them. But I've heard some good things about their Alchemy Index series, so I'll give them one last chance, I suppose.

"Nice list but where is Duffy and Adele??? and Jack Johnson???" — BeatRock243

I could never get into that Duffy album, for a couple of reasons: One, when I was filming "FNMTV" this summer, she performed on an episode, and she was, uh, how do I put this? Lousy (I documented the whole incident in a column back in August). Two, she looks like my sister-in-law. To be fair, I haven't really listened to Adele's 19, though I saw in a piece on "CBS News Sunday Morning" that she just moved to my neighborhood in Brooklyn, so I probably owe it to her to check it out. Also, growing up in Florida — and being surrounded by braying Jack Johnson fans — let's just say I am diametrically opposed to the man.

"This James guy is really getting annoying, how about actually putting together a list based on sales and numbers, and then post it on MTV, not your own personal list that no one could careless [sic] about." — Miami20

I already did! I already did!

"James, why do you keep writing these articles and titling them under the assumption that these are MTV's picks?? Why not title as YOUR picks? YOUR picks do not mean that these are the 25 best albums of 2008. I thought you were a professional rock and roll journalist?? You should've titled 'My 25 album picks for 2008.' Not 'The best 25 of the year.' Again, these are YOUR personal picks. I don't even know some of these albums." — DKFAN

Well, OK, I ... [Loses will to live. Slams head against keyboard repeatedly. There is blood everywhere.]

Seriously, we do still want to hear from you. Share your favorite stories, albums and artists of 2008 by uploading a video to or leaving a comment below.