Friday, January 2, 2009

BEST OF 08: Fav songs 20-11

Well, another year down, another list up!

The last year had some great tunes. And some horrible ones. The historic election had a lot of groups flinging politics like monkey dung, while the Disney kids made way for a barrage of teen sugar pop, some of which wasn't half bad actually. And of course, we can all thank Cher and her 90's hit "Believe" for inspiring T-Pain to inspire every other hip-hop/R&B artist to use the robot pitch-tuning device. UGH! Even the good singers are using it to dumb up their voices, and it pisses me right off. I wish I could go back in time and assassinate Cher. Well... maybe just T-Pain. Less'n he be willin' to buy ME a drank.

Anyway, I have been without an iPod for the last 6 months or so, (the infernal thing broke, of course) and I was surprised to realize how much I really used the thing. So, my music intake was altered some with the combination of stopping my run at the music shop. I found my ways though.

My parameters for these lists are simply the stuff I purchased that had an 08 release date. My goal is just to share the goodness. Other than that, these were the songs I just flat out could not get enough of this year. There were others of course, but 20 is good enough. And not one with pitch-tuning! So on with it!

(You can click the link and stream the song if you have Quicktime. Might take a sec, but keep trying. Or, just right click and download! If yer having trouble let me know. And remember...these are always best played LOUD!)

by Love Psychedelico

I actually first heard this a few years ago, but I never did own it. So, when my favorite Japanese group finally released a collection of their stuff stateside this nugget was included. I did purchase the song via iTunes, and since that counts as an 08 release, it graces the list! A great alt-rock ditty from one o' my fav bands in the world. Spread the Love!

by The World Ends With You

Another Japanese one! Here's a first... this is actually featured on the soundtrack to one of my favorite video games this year, The World Ends With You (Nintendo DS). The whole soundtrack is seriously fantastic, but this one is an immediately gratifying highlight. The production is surprisingly slick and it reminds me of something The Go! Team would do. One more reason to enjoy video games, kids!

by Tv On the Radio

Lookit these guys! Kype Malone (dude on the left with only his eyes showing ) Prince-ifies his way through this beautifully groovy number complete with plenty of synths and SASS. He sings right along side the beat about hope around the corner, and when he says, "The age of miracles/the age of sound/Well there's a golden age/comin' round, comin' round" everything converges into a glorious uproar. Its a gospel spiritual of the future! Age of sound indeed.

by Coldplay

Just when you think you might be sick of Coldplay, they hook ya again. And again. This song was instant for me because of its distinctly Japanese sound in the guitar and drums. Its the soundtrack to "the perfect day," probably in Japan. ("People moving all the time/inside a perfect straight line,"... sure sounds like Japan to me.) Definitely a unique turn for the group.

by ???

Lets play a little game, shall we? If yer like me, some of you may need some convincing before you admit these guys are good stuff. At first, I refused to admit this was good simply because of who performed it. Now I can't get enough. So, I am gonna attempt to create an unbiased experience by not telling you who this is yet. For now, let me just say this is a fabulous pop gem that is shamelessly Beatle-esque and all the better for it. The orchestral instrumentation that flows through the song while guitarist/songwriter takes a spin at the vocals is pop bliss. So, take an unbiased listen, and those of you who already know who this is...SSH! Otherwise, I shall reveal the secret in the Top Ten!

by Vampire Weekend

I'm actually surprised at the abundance of instant gratification this year. This song is no exception of course. Just TRY to listen to this and not bounce on command! My initial reaction was Franz Ferdinand meets Sufjan Stevens. But, now its just Vampire Weekend, pure and simple. Great on first listen, and still great a year after first hearing it. The sign of a perfect pop song. This song also wins the award for Favorite Video of the Year. Check it out!

by Metallica

Oh yeah. Nobody knows their way around a perfectly riffed song better than Metallica. This song fuses the fury of the 80's with the blues infused post-Black Album sound perfectly in my opinion. With a group that's rocked this hard this long, its a great anthem for a group rocking beyond their youth. With fists in the air exclaiming "We die hard," its great to hear the kings still rockin' strong to some of the best riffs they've ever assembled.

by Monkey: Journey to the West

This delightful treat is actually two consecutive tracks off the soundtrack to the Chinese opera project of Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz). It does a brilliant job of putting you smack dab in the middle of this playful pop fantasy. Brilliant, I tell ya! Never figured a Chinese song would out pace a Japanese one on these here lists, but it does so with flying colors. (Best if listened to consecutively, like its one song)

Godan Daginn
by Sigur Ros

Its really not possible for these guys to do wrong in my book. This song is a good representation of the overall “down to Earth” nature of the new album. Its a great elven campfire tune! Anyone else just love the sound of a bass playing chords? I keep thinking this song should be higher on this list, but ya can’t fit more than ten songs in a top ten I guess. (The title sounds like something you’d say after stubbing your toe. “Godan daginn!”)

The Rip
by Portishead

Something about this tune reminds me of an alien computer game I used to play as a kid that scared the hell out of me. Even though it gave me the willies, I kept on playing it. Similarly, I keep coming back to this disorienting slice of genius like an addiction. I absolutely love when that synthesizer creeps its way in as Beth Gibbons extends her longing voice through the darkness. A brilliant, haunting masterpiece.

Well, I shall continue the Top Ten soon! For now, I hope you enjoy these. If there are any problems with the links or whatever, blame the machines. But, let me know.

1 comment:

Brendo2008 said...

I'm happy to see that you like the new Metallica. And it made your list. They need to be in the rock and roll hall of fame.