Best Songs of 08


25 Nov 2008, 22:44

10. Knock, Knock
This song is utterly sublime, full of gorgeous poppy hooks and sublime literate lyrics. The quirkiness of the instrumentation within the confines of a traditional song structure makes it even more alluring. To top it all off Lenka’s voice proves that she is definitely one of the most underrated artists in this country today.

9. Only Fooling Myself
A perfect representation of a genre I’ve grown so fond of, namely mature pop music with a singer songwriter vibe. The song maintains perfect balance between light and shade through the use of both electric and acoustic guitars as well as compelling percussion beats. The lyrics might seem straightforward teen pop, but it still packs an emotional wallop thanks to Voegele’s wonderful vocal delivery.

8. Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)
A remarkably late entry, but it deserves its place mainly because it is so darn fun and catchy. It is basically pure pop perfection, with one hell of a killer hook. I defy anyone who doesn’t start singing and dancing to this song once they hear it once. It is also highly addictive as my Last FM account can attest. Also check out the performance of the song at the American Music Awards, the woman can put on a show!

7. Phantom Other
This is a classic slow build of a song that has a mountain of subtlety to it. There are so many textures to this song that can be explored on repeated listens. I absolutely adore Daniel Rossen’s voice, with its unique quality and this is brought to the fore during the last third of song. It is almost like he’s crying out for help in such an impassioned and tender plea. A masterpiece.

6. His Love
I had to stick my muse in somewhere! She has done it again though. A musical accompaniment to Augustan Burroughs’s new book A Wolf at the Table, this song has a low-fi quality complete with drum machine and minimalist instrumentation. The lyrics are where the song really shines however. Even if you haven’t read the book (as I haven’t) you get the sense of emotional vulnerability that all of Tegan’s works convey so well. The song is proof that sometimes a simple song can contain the most profound of messages.

5. Decode
Yet another song based upon a book, this is on the soundtrack to the movie Twilight, which is based upon a series of immensely popular novels. The song can be summed up by one lyric ‘My thoughts you can’t decode’. Essentially this is Paramore’s forte: angst ridden punk that is highly melodic. This builds upon the formula that made their last album Riot a favourite of mine. It is all about the emotion the song creates, and of course the gorgeous voice of Hayley Williams.

4. Ion Square
Bloc Party’s latest album Intimacy is a crap fest, but even a flower can grow in amongst a pile of shit. Such is the case here. Wonderfully epic it is the basic definition of a modern stadium rocker that has become the band’s stock and trade. However Ion Square is so melodramatic that you can just sense the passionate subtext that is embedded within the song. Like with all good things it is all about interpretation, but the song can be about so many things, love, politics, music, or perhaps nothing at all. Upon hearing it for the first time I deemed this song to be an instant classic, and it is song that I think will define 2008 for me.

3. Pull Me Out Alive
Kaki’s known as an instrumentalist who puts on an amazing live show (which I wholeheartedly endorse), but it is always her lyrical content that I’m drawn to. So sparse yet so evocative this is one hell of a break up song with phenomenal melodies and wonderful guitar lines that leave me wanting so much more. What is most intriguing about it though is that sounds so straightforward, but so intricate. Listening to this you can understand why Kaki doesn’t get mainstream success and it is such a pity.

2. I've Heard Your Love Songs
Just beautiful and resplendent, this ballad is so sweet and gentle that it just makes me melt and go weak at the knees. The beauty of this song is that everyone can understand and empathise with the lyrical content, but it is the lush orchestration that sets this song apart. Many contradictions are present here sweetness and strength; light and shade, intimacy and detachment; small yet grand. These contradictions typify the majority of Marit’s work, which is unparalleled in today’s mainstream pop music.

1. Our Plans, Collapsing
One of the first songs I heard in 2008 is also the best song of the year. For me is all about the key change in the last third of the song. A song of heartache and sorrow turns musically joyful, and it is quite frankly orgasmic. I get shivers up my spine every time I hear it. Chris may not have the best voice in the world, but the melodies created within this song are astonishing. I remember on the first day I heard this song; I repeated it 108 times on a hot January night. I knew from that moment that it would be my song of the year. It creates a feeling inside of me that is unmatched by anything on Earth. Songs like this are the reason I get out of bed in the morning. They are timeless and will live with me forever.

You can download my top 25 favourite songs (complete with track list) by following this link.

They are stored in a zip file, if you have trouble downloading the file just let me know.


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