When you were cultivating the perfect Pandora radio station or building your iTunes playlist back in 2008, what music were you listening to? Britney Spears? Kanye West? Beyoncé? Vampire Weekend? Taylor Swift? It might feel like a lifetime ago, but each of those artists have albums turning 10 in 2018. Maybe it's time to take these celebrated pop, rock, rap and indie albums out for a whirl. Despite how many years it's been, you'd be surprised by how many of them hold up and how many deserve to be taken out of playlist rotation for, well, forever.
To set the scene, let's go back to 2008. Back then, the Jonas Brothers were still putting out music together, Selena Gomez was still mostly known as a teen actor in Wizards of Waverley Place, and everyone was wearing leggings as pants. This was also the year when Adele entered the international stage with her debut studio album 19 and when Taylor Swift released the music video for "You Belong To Me." The video that won the 2009 MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video. A win that, in turn, led Kanye West to interrupt Swift's speech to argue that Beyoncé should have won. These were some wild times.
So, let's walk back to these 14 albums from 2008 that you ought to remember as well as you remember, "I'mma let you finish."
1. 808s and Heartbreak, Kanye West
West’s influential fourth studio album was considered to be a huge artistic departure for the rapper, who used electronic music and auto-tuned vocals to take his style in a new and influential direction.
2. 19, Adele
The debut album that gave the world Adele became an international sensation, partially thanks to the Grammy Award-winning single “Chasing Pavements.”
3. I Am...Sasha Fierce, Beyoncé
Beyoncé continued to rule over America's heart and radio stations with singles like "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)," "If I Were a Boy," and "Halo."
4. Tha Carter III, Lil Wayne
While there’s no doubting the commercial success of Lil Wayne’s sixth studio album, which has been certified triple-platinum, it also received plenty of critical accolades. Stand out tracks include “A Milli” and “Lollipop.”
5. Fearless, Taylor Swift
Swift was only 18 years old when she wrote this country-pop juggernaut, winning fellow teenagers' hearts with songs like “Love Story,” “You Belong To Me,” and “White Horse.”
6. Viva La Vida or Death and His Friends, Coldplay
When you think back on memories of yourself walking through a grocery store, grabbing dinner at a mall, or just hanging out in any public space in 2008, you should also remember vaguely hearing “Viva La Vida” playing in the background. It. Was. Everywhere.
7. Only by the Night, Kings of Leon
In 2008, Kings of Leon were arguably at the top of their alt-rock game with the success of this album, which featured singles “Sex on Fire” and “Use Somebody.”
8. Circus, Britney Spears
Spears' more light-heartened follow-up to 2007's Blackout included "Womanizer," "Circus," and "Radar."
9. Paper Trail, T.I.
10. Breakout, Miley Cyrus
Shedding her Hannah Montana alter ego, Cyrus set out to prove that she was more than her Disney character with this record.
11. A Little Bit Longer, Jonas Brothers
Riding high on Camp Rock fame, Joe, Nick, and Kevin were capturing pre-teen's hearts left and right. "Burnin' Up" was a bop, you have to admit.
12. Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
The indie folk band’s debut album was a critical darling and became a favorite among creative college students.
13. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
Vampire Weekend found quick success with their brand of indie pop. The thoughtful lyrics and easy-to-bop-to melodies earned them a visit to Saturday Night Live to play “A-Punk” and “M79” just months after their debut album was released.
14. Dear Science, TV on the Radio
It's wild how much music has changed in the last decade, and how many of the artists we listen to have remained the same, even if their particular sound hasn't. It really makes you wonder what 2028 in music will hold.