BEST SONGS OF 2008
Once again, I've humbly assembled my list of what I consider to be the Top 100 singles of the year.
You can listen to all 100 songs on the IMEEM player below.
For some songs, especially the lesser known ones, I also added links to download the song from Amazon DRM-free.
- "Time To Pretend" - MGMT
What's not to like about this song? The dirty fuzz perfectly complements those lyrics that mock my daily lifestyle: choking on vomit, shooting heroin, and divorcing models. Anthem of the year. Bonus points for being an American band, unlike the many Brits dominating this list.
- "Live Your Life" - T.I. feat. Rihanna
Why is T.I. dedicating this song to "all my soldiers over there in Iraq" and then singing about "fancy cars," which most Iraq War veterans clearly cannot afford? Most of the lyrics make no sense. What the hell is "the opposite of moderate"? Did he mean to say he's the opposite of "modest"? But I don't care. That monster hook is insane. I attribute 48% of the success of this song to Rihanna, 48% to Just Blaze, and 4% to T.I.
- "Hometown Glory" - Adele
- "A Milli (Remix)" - Lil Wayne feat. Jay-Z & Chris Brown
Does Lil Wayne really think that a menstrual bleed is a venereal disease? The ubiquitous Weezy might be tougher than Nigerian hair, but I prefer Jay-Z's verse, which references Phil Collins, Barack Obama, and the Outlawz.
- "Sometime Around Midnight" - The Airborne Toxic Event
- "Mercy" - Duffy
- "100 Yard Dash" - Raphael Saadiq
- "Another Day (That Time Forgot)" - Neil Diamond feat. Natalie Maines
- "American Boy" - Estelle feat. Kanye West
- "Gray Or Blue" - Jaymay
Best line from a song this year: "I can't keep staring at your mouth without wondering how it tastes." I'm predicting she's going to be a mainstay on VH1 in a year or two.
- "Bread And Water" - Ryan Bingham
I credit the Dixie Chicks' touring band for getting me turned on to the sound of the slide guitar. Alt-country singer Ryan Bingham makes great of use it in this monster song, complete with boot-stomping and hand-clapping.
- "Squeeze Me (Original Mix)" - Kraak & Smaak
Oh, the breaks. So tasty.
- "Damaged" - Danity Kane
I know I should be embarrassed for liking this song and putting it so high on this list. After all, the song uses auto-tuned nondescript vocalists (who were clearly sought more for their looks) + Puff Daddy pointlessly talking at the end of the song. But that hook eventually colonized my head and I've given up trying to hate it.
- "Great DJ" - The Ting Tings
- "Little Bit of Feel Good" - Jamie Lidell
- "Pumpkin Soup" - Kate Nash
- "Furr" - Blitzen Trapper
- "Don't Touch Me (Remix)" - Busta Rhymes feat. Reek Da Villian, Spliff Star, Lil Wayne, Nas, The Game & Big Daddy Kane
Big Daddy, Nasty Nas Escobar, and Lil' Weezy on the remix? Bonkers.
- "Wow" - Kylie Minogue
- "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You" - Black Kids
- "Numba 1 (Tide Is High)" - Kardinal Offishall feat. Rihanna
The future of Hip Hop: Canada?
- "Jai Ho" - AR Rahman, Sukhvinder Singh, Tanvi Shah & Mahalaxmi Iyer
- "Love In This Club" - Usher feat. Young Jeezy
In this song, Young Jeezy says "It's going down in Aisle 3 / I'll bag you like some groceries." What clubs now have numbered aisles? Or is he saying that he prefers to make love in the grocery store, instead of the club? I'll never hear "Clean up in aisle 3!" the same way.
- "Crazy Ever After (Acoustic Version)" - The Rescues
The most gorgeous harmonies of the year.
- "Magic Doors" - Portishead
- "Many Rivers to Cross (Idol Gives Back Performance)" - Annie Lennox
- "Should Have Known" - Robyn
- "Forever" - Chris Brown
- "Valerie Plame" - The Decemberists
- "Run To Your Grave" - The Mae Shi
- "A&E" - Goldfrapp
- "Pretty Please [Love Me]" - Estelle feat. Cee-Lo
- "Playas Get Lonely" - R. Kelly
This song lacks the usual R. Kelly lyrics that bring me in. There's nothing about exploring Uranus, buttering rolls, or midgets trapped in the closet. But it's an oddly honest midtempo number that reminds me that even R. Kelly can get lonely.
- "Guess Who Batman (Get Wit the Brogram)" - Lily Allen
- "Viva La Vida" - Coldplay
Regardless of whether Coldplay intentionally ripped off Joe Satriani in writing this tune, the strings do it for me.
- "Evil Urges" - My Morning Jacket
- "Duet" - Rachael Yamagata with Ray LaMontagne
- "Criminal" - The Roots feat. Truck North and Saigon
- "Spiralling" - Keane
- "Miss Invisible" - Marié Digby
This appeals to the shy high school freshman in me.
- "Gobbledigook" - Sigur Rós
- "4 Minutes" - Madonna feat. Justin Timberlake and Timbaland
- "Bring It On" - Goose
- "Another Day" - Jamie Lidell
- "Miss Independent" - Ne-Yo
- "O... Saya" - AR Rahman & M.I.A.
- "Circus" - Britney Spears
Admit it. That bridge is catchy.
- "Pork and Beans" - Weezer
If I were judging based on music videos, this song would rank much higher.
- "Ching-A-Ling" - Missy Elliot
- "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" - Vampire Weekend
- "Warwick Avenue" - Duffy
- "Always Where I Need To Be" - The Kooks
- "No Air (Acoustic)" - Jordin Sparks feat. Chris Brown
- "Round A Pole" - Ani DiFranco
- "Time For Some Action" - N*E*R*D
- "Universal Mind Control" - Common feat. Pharrell
- "Take Back The City" - Snow Patrol
- "Scare Easy" - Mudcrutch
Tom Petty in 2008!
- "Green Light" - John Legend feat. Andre 3000
- "Dawn Of The Dead" - Does It Offend You, Yeah?
- "T.V. Land" - Vast Aire
Big ups to Pandora.com, which introduced me to the only song to reference Parker Lewis Can't Lose, Cheese Nips, and I'm Gonna Git You Sucka.
- "You Are The Best Thing" - Ray LaMontagne
- "Single Ladies [Put A Ring On It]" - Beyonce
- "Bring It On" - Leon Jean Marie
- "It's Oh So Quiet" - Bell
I'm usually reluctant to put covers on year-end lists, but this one offers something original. Bjork needs more crazy piano runs in her tunes.
- "Gasoline" - Sheryl Crow
- "Move" - Q-Tip
- "Inner City Pressure" - Flight Of The Conchords
- "Headphones" - I'm From Barcelona
- "Action Figures" - The Cool Kids
- "Electric Feel (Justice Remix)" - MGMT
- "Human" - The Killers
It's about time somebody started asking whether we're human or we're dancer. (WTF?)
- "Handle Me" - Robyn
- "2Coleen" - The Heavy
- "High and Low" - Greg Laswell with the Edison String Section
- "Untouched" - The Veronicas
- "I Will Possess Your Heart" - Death Cab for Cutie
- "Closer" - Ne-Yo
- "Drivin' Down The Block (Remix)" - Kidz In The Hall feat. Pusha T, Bun B & The Cool Kids
- "Anyone Who Had A Heart" - Shelby Lynne
- "Baby" - LL Cool J feat. The-Dream
- "I Don't Care" - Fall Out Boy
- "A Brand New Song" - John Mellencamp
John Mellencamp in 2008!
- "Creator" - Santogold
I happen to think Santogold is overrated, but Switch and Freq Nasty do some sick production here.
- "Electro-Socket Blues" - Rogue Wave
- "Winter Takes All" - Common Market
- "Torch" - Alanis Morissette
- "Take A Bow" - Rihanna
- "Strange Times" - The Black Keys
- "Shawty Get Loose" - Lil Mama feat. Chris Brown & T-Pain
- "Woman" - Raheem DeVaughn
- "Turf Drop" - E-40 ft. Lil Jon
At last, there is a term now for the dance move I do where my butt scrapes the floor.
- "All Summer Long" - Kid Rock
When you remove the Skynyrd sample, there's not much left to this song. But when I hear this, sometimes I sing along and wish I could make love to that girl from Northern Michigan again.
- "The 1" - Janet Jackson feat. Missy Elliot
- "Nothing Ever Hurt Like You" - James Morrison
- "No Sex For Ben" - The Rapture
This tune doesn't rank among Timbaland's best producing efforts, but it's certainly one of The Rapture's best.
- "Addicted To Drugs" - Kaiser Chiefs
- "The Bomb" - Bitter:Sweet
- "Get Buck In Here" - DJ Felli Fel feat. Diddy, Akon, Ludacris & Lil' Jon
- "Ur So Gay" - Katy Perry
I've uploaded all 100 Mp3s to imeem for your listening pleasure: