|Top 30 Songs Of 2008|
It?s a bit tougher to separate and distinguish those songs that
truly towered above the rest in
2008, as it?s a hell of a lot easier to find a great song by an
otherwise sub par band than it is
to find an all-around great album. The below thirty are songs
that I felt towered over others
on their respective records, even when those records were
great, and also some songs that
blew up the charts without coming off like everything else on
radio nowadays. In order to
keep things simple, I limited it to one song per artist.
|1||Estelle feat. Kanye West|
This is not the deepest song on the list, nor is it the best song from the best album of the year, and it?s
hard to say whether it will stand the test of time. Nope, this is pure, well-crafted pop at its catchiest
song that bounces from a deceptively simple disco beat to Kanye?s effortlessly spot-on cameo and
very British, very sleek vocals. This is one song that deserved its success, the kind of song that restores
your faith (however temporarily) in the public?s taste, even if the album paled in comparison. Here?s to
Time To Pretend
The quintessential rock star song about models and drug habits with a fresh twist of techno-pop and a
memorable synth hook. It overshadowed most of the rest of Oracular Spectacular with its lyrical wit and
easily digestible melody, and that?s in no way a bad thing: the more people introduced to this band,
better. Technically an '07 song, but I'm going by album release date.
A song about having too much fun from Conor Oberst? I?m shocked, but the upbeat music and Oberst?
irrepressible joy coupled with the entertaining lyrics make for one of his most enjoyable songs. It
if Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band recorded this in a single take in some tropical beach resort?which
too far from what actually happened. Enjoy yourself more, Conor; it sounds great.
Most critics prefer the lilting ?60s folk melody of ?White Winter Hymnal? or the galloping beat of ?Quiet
Houses,? but for me the prize has to go to ?Ragged Wood,? a multi-movement masterpiece that begins
with a driving drum beat and an anthemic chorus by singer Robin Pecknold before shifting into
into a delicately fingerpicked acoustic groove and then ending dreamily with a soothing guitar line
somewhere atop a forested hill in West Virginia.
On an album filled with great, short pop songs, ?Oxford Comma? stands out with its uncomplicated
production, sing-a-long melody, and climactic chorus. A song that, strangely, always makes me want
Rebels in the Roses
Everest open up their debut record with this country-rock gem, the perfect blend of singer Russell
emotive pipes and a blazing guitar part that stays with you long after the song is over.
|7||She & Him|
Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?
Quirky ?60s pop made extraordinary by Zooey Deschanel?s charming country-tinged vocals and M.
classy arrangement: check out the slick guitar solo at 1:05. 3-minute-and-under pop at its best.
|8||The Roots feat. Truck North and Saigon|
The year?s best rap track is a hypnotic jam about the less-than-legal lives many urban youth are forced
accept, all spit out with venom and virtuosity by Black Thought and the excellent guest stars.
The Blue Route
A tough choice from a record filled with great ones, it?s the vintage sound of the instruments and the
exceptional drum work, not to mention Hamilton Leithauser?s unique yowl, that make this one for me.
The obvious highlight of a fairly excellent debut record and a song that owes its heart to singer
Vasquez?s inimitable howl.
|11||T.I. feat. Rihanna|
Live Your Life
Everyone knows the Numa Numa sample and Auto-Tuned Rihanna make this song, but it?s T.I.?s liquid
verses that truly elevate it.
Salute Your Solution
The frantic verses and the burning twin guitar solos (particularly the air-guitar-worthy second one at
make this one of the best straight-ahead rock singles of the year.
|13||The Duke Spirit|
The Step and the Walk
I first heard this song in an American Eagle store, and it ended up being the best thing I?ve ever gotten
from there. The album is uneven at times, but singer Leila Moss is distinctive and the band?s bluesy
swagger is very attractive.
|14||The Hold Steady|
Sequestered in Memphis
A drunken sing-a-long for those one-night stands that go terribly awry.
The 80s live again!
If You Seek Amy
Oh, Max Martin, you are so clever! Hopefully the censors will overlook the scandalous play on words to
this slice of delectable electro-pop onto the airwaves and get on with subverting our nation?s youth.
Will Sheff proves that intelligent, insightful lyrics mix well with mindless ?la la las? and a full-blown
|18||Ben Folds feat. Regina Spektor|
You Don't Know Me
Spektor makes any song shine, even when she?s barely used.
Six minutes of schizophrenic psych-folk. Yes, their drummer is amazing.
|20||Death Cab for Cutie|
Bixby Canyon Bridge
I don?t know why I like this song so much. Maybe it?s Gibbard?s simple, affecting lyrics or the epic,
sonic sludge of the ending. If I had to choose any one point where this song goes from merely cool to
ridiculously awesome, it?s 1:39 in when the atmospherics cut off and Death Cab ramps up the thudding
guitars and pounding drums.
A song so good it makes you fully appreciate the lost opportunities of the rest of the record.
Forget the dance floor; electronica diva should really spend more time writing incredibly addicting
about drug overdoses.
The ?Flashing Lights/No Diggity? mix combined with The Band over Yung Joc make for one of Girl Talk?
best tracks ever.
|24||The Helio Sequence|
Few songs this year have conveyed emotion as perfectly as this one; never has wanting to move on but
being unable to sounded so good.
|25||Mates of State|
Married indie-popsters find bliss in gently swelling strings, rollicking drums, multi-layered harmonies,
|26||Kevin Rudolf feat. Lil Wayne|
Let It Rock
The pump-up anthem of the year with one of Lil Wayne?s best cameos. Too bad Rudolf is terrible live.
|27||Tilly and the Wall|
Tap-dancing is awesome. So are boy/girl harmonies. And handclaps. And nonsensical lyrics. And?
Guilty as charged with the shallow country-pop.
|29||Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin|
Think I Wanna Die
Perfect power-pop that was criminally overlooked.
The definition of throwing everything and the kitchen sink into a song.