Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Top Songs of 2008 (40 to 31)

40. Charles Hamilton – “Brooklyn Girls” (Video)
“Only I can get away with something like this. Ya’ll know my name.” I had never once heard of Charles Hamilton before I listened to this song for the first time. That said I enjoy his tribute to the ladies of New York City’s most populous borough. Though I can’t say I can relate to it:

"I keep it real and my ladies do the same
High class chicks that be crazy in the brain
Style so mean swag is vicious
Smile O.D. as delicious
Stay gettin money no need for ebay
My heart is all world but I'm lovin BK"

39. The Killers – “Human” (Video)
Let’s get this out of the way, I’m an unabashed supporter of The Killers. In fact, I credit Hot Fuss (along with Green Day’s American Idiot and U2’s How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb) for waking me up, pulling me out of my aptly named “Disturbed days.”

After a public love affair with Sam’s Town, I was slightly disappointed when I heard first single from their new album. While “Human” was destined to conquer the hearts of clubbers everywhere with its dancy beat, it wasn’t the direction I was hoping. Nonetheless, it’s still a fun song and I can’t wait to see it live (fingers crossed).

Note: I could have easily slotted “Losing Touch” into this spot (or another spot) but I didn’t want the list to be too overloaded with the genius of Brandon Flowers).

38. Randy Newman – “A Few Words in Defense of Our Country” (Youtube)
Thank goodness the George Bush-era is over. Newman’s state-of-the-union ballad, in my humblest of opinions, really set a tone for the end of this unfortunate period. Technically, “A Few Words in Defense of Our Country” was released in 2007 but it didn’t appear on an album (Harps and Angels) last year. The New York Times actually published the lyrics as an op-ed piece (without the verse referring to our “tight-ass” Italian Supreme Court justices.”

“A Few Words…” probably stands out among its neighbors on my list (a hodgepodge collection of indie, pop, hip-hop and rock tracks) but I enjoy it. Let’s just hope our time at the top isn’t coming to an end.

37. Kanye West – “Heartless” (Video)
I have always enjoyed Kanye West but let me just say, 808s & Heartbreak is his worst album (sorry Kanye). His digitally-altered “singing” leaves something to be desired. It’s also chock-full of dreariness.

“The coldest story ever told/Somewhere far along this road he lost his soul … How could you be so heartless?”

Oof. What is this, a single from The Cure? Whatever happened to the “Good Life?” Bring back happy Kanye!

36. Hercules and Love Affair – “Blind” (Video)
For whatever the reason, in 2008 I listened to disproportionately high volume of dance music (I think I’ll blame Emily). “Blind” boasts quirky vocals, a sturdy rhythm and a rumbly baseline. The highlight though is the infections horn section. Who doesn’t love a bit of brass?

Bit of trivia: Apparently the lead singer is a cross-dresser. Zach, take notice (in reference to your Halloween costume).

35. Hot Chip – “Ready for the Floor” (Video)
Do you like multi-layered synthesizers? Have an affinity for British electro-pop? If you have an affinity for British electro-pop, Hot Chip is for you. What I happen to like about it is the way the quintet weaves several distinct hooks into one another. Yet all the while it remains very mellow. Want a quote for the CD jacket?

“Relaxed pop music at its frantic best”
– Jeff Schaible, Who Cares Digest.

34. The Ting Tings – “Shut Up and Let Me Go” (Video)
I know it’s probably not cool to include songs that were featured in iPod commercials (too commercial? too poppy?). Whatever. I’ve never claimed to be cool, only cooler than some. Consider yourself forewarned; there will be more from Steve Job’s playlist.

Did you know that “Shut Up and Let Me Go” is not about boy-girl breakup? Rather it was written for their former record label. File that little nugget away somewhere; it may win you 20 million rupees on Who Wants to be a Millionaire or something.

33. The All-American Rejects – “Gives You Hell” (Video)
I’m sure some of my friends would argue that this is on par with the junk I was listening to during my aforementioned Simple Plan phase. Well shut up jerks. I like it. The chorus gets stuck in my brain and I walk around annoying those around me. And what’s more, I like the video.

32. Bob Dylan – “Most Of The Time” (Listen)
I have had soft spot for this song since it was featured in High Fidelity (one of my top five or so favorite movies). The lamentation of a broken, lovesick man, “Most Of The Time” is simply a beautiful track. Dylan’s voice, the acoustic guitar and the harmonica are all perfectly orchestrated to deliver an emotional blow to the listener.

The Rolling Stone review of The Bootleg Series, Vol. 8: Bob Dylan, referred to the song as a “living soliloquy that cuts to the quick.” The only reason I didn’t put it higher is I thought since it was recorded in 1989 (for Oh Mercy), it’s deserves some sort of penalty.

31. Beyoncé – “Single Ladies (Put a Ring It)” (Video)
Again, I’m not out to win any cool points. Again, I’m going to borrow from Rolling Stone for this one: “The beat, courtesy of The-Dream and Tricky Stewart, is irresistible and exuberant, the vocal hook is stormy and virtuosic, and her lesson is blunt: Seal the deal. With a shiny ring. Or else.” Plus it made for a funny Paul Rudd/Justin Timberlake SNL skit.

And let the record show, in 2008 I did in fact put a ring on it.


  1. If this list isn't building towards Brittany Spears' Womanizer, you have ZERO music credibility.

  2. If Beyonce inspired our engagement, the wedding's off. ;)