Monday, December 15

The CDP's Top 25 Songs Of 2008.

The end of the year is approaching, which means that you'll soon be inundated with thousands of lists and end-of-the-year countdowns concerning all sorts of cultural achievements. Well, here at the CDP, it's no different, as today we count down the Top 25 Songs Of 2008.

As always, the list is compiled only of singles that I have purchased and were released in 2008. I am not a music critic, I am a music fan, and the list is personal preference and opinion only; not a chance to boast my hipster cred. Ready? Let's do this.

#25. 'Wanna Be In LA' - Eagles Of Death Metal
The world revolves around Jesse Hughes' mustache now. Sex Rock done right.

. 'Pork And Beans' - Weezer
The most Weezer-sounding Weezer song since Weezer stopped being Weezer. They lose points for shooting a music video that, in 5 years, will be 100% outdated and irrelevant.

. 'The '59 Sound' - The Gaslight Anthem
An impressive debut by a Side One Dummy band causing a lot of buzz. Bruce Springsteen-y with a touch of Against Me! for flavor.

. 'Death To Los Campesinos!' - Los Campesinos!
Twee is dead! Long live Twee!

. 'Success! Success! Success!' - IfIHadAHiFi
My favorite Wisconsin band is still going strong with geeked-out noise rock. I can't believe they're still tearing it up almost a decade later.

. 'Happy As Can Be' - Cut Off Your Hands
If Coldplay would have released this beautiful track, it would have won a Grammy. In fact, I expect Coldplay to rip this song off note-for-note once they finally get around to hearing it.

. ' M79' - Vampire Weekend
The best track on one of the most overrated albums of the last decade.

. 'Handshake Meet Pokerface' - Less Than Jake
Surviving is my best revenge. What hurts you once won't hurt you again. Welcome back, LTJ.

. 'Marvelous Design' - Pale Young Gentlemen
A group of well-dressed, Madison Chamber-Pop geniuses write a song about getting their freak on. I'll take it and enjoy it; thank you. I can't believe I haven't seen these guys live yet.

. 'Human' - The Killers
Say what you want about the Killers, but they know how to write a single. Possibly their best track since 'Mr. Brightside.' Epic, spacey and making almost no sense whatsoever.

. 'Use Somebody' - Kings Of Leon
I've never had anything positive to say about KOL until now. Selling out never sounded so good; this is their Monster Ballad for certain.

. 'After Hours' - We Are Scientists
Partying, drinking and begging you to stay just a minute longer. We Are Scientists write songs that play out like my most superficial and alcoholic inner thoughts.

. 'Constructive Summer' - The Hold Steady
Every single song The Hold Steady writes reminds me of my old hometown, which I suppose creates their brilliant mystique. This track more so than any other.

. 'The Boy Who Stole Your Heart' - Scott Reynolds
This is a fairly emo song coming from a guy that's married with two kids, yet it's also the prettiest and sweetest tune he's written in years.

. 'Lights & Music' - Cut Copy
Probably my favorite dance track of the year. Catchy, reeking of the 80's and so-bad-it's-freaking-awesome. It took me a few listens, but it grew on me.

. 'Mother Mary' - Foxboro Hot Tubs
Some chord progressions, melodic structures and song styles will always work. This is Exhibit A.

. 'Don't Stop' - Innerpartysystem
Frantic, driving, paranoid and dripping with sexual tension and pissy hatred. Just like me.

. 'Rocket' - POLYSICS
The Greatest Band On Earth does it again. If you haven't started listening to POLYSICS yet, you might want to start now, before they break your door down and murder you.

. 'Nrrrd Grrrl' - MC Chris
The rap song I've been trying to write for 14 years. Thanks, MC Chris.

. 'Stay Down' - Smoking Popes
An instant classic, ranking right next to 'Megan' and 'Pretty Pathetic' in the Smoking Popes Greatest Hits repertoire. See this band live, even if it means having to mortgage your home.

. 'Dark As Days' - Army Navy
Coming absolutely out of nowhere, this track reminds me of Teenage Fanclub, had they not completely lost the plot years ago. An amazing, must-hear single of 2008, bar none.

. 'Viva La Vida' - Coldplay
I don't care if they ripped off Joe Satriani or pretty much suck as a cohesive unit, I know a global hit when I hear it, and this had every reason to be the biggest mainstream single of 2008. I hope they send Arcade Fire a cut of the royalties, however.

. 'In Engager' - Of Montreal
The best Of Montreal song ever just happens to show up on their worst album ever, interesting. Just listen, shake your ass and spread the love. One of the most instantly-memorable choruses in the last...well, ever.

. 'Kim & Jessi' - M83
I typically have a problem with modern acts that attempt to capture an authentic 80's sound, because it has never been done perfectly...until this track was released. Unbelievably nostalgic, lyrically tender and purely beautiful in every way. Listen and be wowed by 'Kim & Jessi.'

. 'Ghost Under Rocks' - Ra Ra Riot
The closest song to perfection that I've heard all year. No regrets and no takebacks; this band is amazing, and 'Ghost Under Rocks' is my selection for my favorite song of 2008.

Before we mingle over to the Comments Section for wine and thinly-sliced cheeses, let's take a quick look back at previous choices for CDP Single Of The Year:

2003 - 'Such Great Heights' - The Postal Service
- 'Neighborhood #1' - Arcade Fire
- 'In This Home On Ice' - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!
- 'I Will Follow You Into The Dark' - Death Cab For Cutie
- 'Intervention' - Arcade Fire

Thanks for reading. Sound off in the comments section, start the argument, share your choices for Best Single Of 2008 and enjoy your day. The Top Albums Of 2008 starts tomorrow.

2008 was a year for the storytelling album. Most of the albums released worked best in tandem with the other songs, but of the songs I know on your list, they are ones that stand out. I hereby ratify this list.
Whew; I was concerned.

I also agree. I've told anyone who would listen that 2008 was the worst year for music since 2003, but we still had a few winners emerge.
I don't know 1/2 of the songs on that list.
I've only heard of The Killers and Coldplay. That's how much I don't know my music.
For your discovering and listening pleasure, each link goes to the song in question. Enjoy!
M83 is opening for The Killers on their upcoming tour. Human is probably the 4th best track on their new album.

Much like Mike, I've only heard of maybe six of the bands on that list. To each his own.
Nine. Nine of 25. Ouch.
I'm digging We Are Scientists. So much so that I threw together a haphazard post just to feature the video and thank you for pointing me in their direction.
Yeah...I am pretty out of it as far as current music goes. I have been listening to the same old cds and books on mp3 while I shovel and chip ice off the driveway.

I was telling my students about how much I am enjoying listening to a biography of Teddy Roosevelt. One of them blurted how boring I am. Whatever. I am old. Get over it.
I'm not going to brag about how many of the bands on that list I've heard of, because there are quite a few of the individual songs that I haven't heard. I've much catching up to do.

However, I am happy that your list looks almost nothing like mine, because I have an annual tradition of giving friends a mix CD full of my favorite cuts from the past year--and you, dear Ryan (and the Missus), are on my list this year. :)
I can guarantee that a biography of Teddy Roosevelt is more interesting than the majority of new music this year :)

Woohoo! Mix tape! Mix Tape! I heart Em!
For once I've acually HEARD of most of the bands on a CDP-compiled list. That pleases me.
MOE - The Killers sometimes get a bad rep for one reason or another, but they know how to write a freaking album. I unapologetically think they're a fantastic group, and their slight differences and evolution between albums is something I would have never expected when they first hit the airwaves.

JT - You're going to like We Are Scientists. They're friends with the guys that do all of those Digital Shorts on SNL, so pretty much every one of their videos are hilarious. Spend a few minutes on YouTube, you won't be disappointed.

HILBELINK - Remind me to stay off your lawn. Whaddareyou, 90? :)

EMILY - Whoo-hoo! That's a great idea, by the way; I should start burning CDs of my favorite tracks of the year, too.

HATHERY - Indeed; it's been a stupid year for music. A lot of these tracks wouldn't have gotten a second look from me if it were pretty much any other year since the CDP started.

DUFF - You'll appreciate the fact that I was inches away from including 'The Day That Never Comes' on this list.
Don't feel back, Nicole. He accuses me of being a senior citizen about 15 times per week. So what if I like yelling at kids in my driveway and going to bed at 8:30?
NPR's "All Songs Considered" had a good year-in-review podcast recently (I'm only a little biased because Stephen Thompson and I are friendly acquaintances, and also I love Carrie Brownstein).

They noted that they felt like it had been a less-than-stellar year for albums, but a good year for individual songs. Which seems to be the consensus here, too. Give it a listen, it's good stuff.
We can probably get used to that from now on. With the increasing popularity of iTunes and downloading, things are definitely going to go more in the single-song direction rather than full albums. Have we learned nothing from the 80's?!?
Have we learned nothing from the 80's?!?

Sadly, I suspect we've learned all the wrong things from that decade.

At least we actually include the bass clef in our music now, though.
It's a single-based music industry now. Even well-established bands like ASH and Smashing Pumpkins have stated that they will only be releasing singles from now on. We'll go back eventually, but that seems to be the forefront now, what with electronic music finally overtaking the top spot when it comes to music economy. I look forward to this brave new, old world.
Here's what I learned from the 80's:

I love skinny ties, the keytar, and cocaine.
There are some really interesting picks here - thanks for the thoughtful list.
'Kim & Jessie' also was like, #3 on the Pitchfork list, too. Makes me feel like I have even the slightest amount of hipster cred.
I love skinny ties, the keytar, and cocaine.

Don't forget axes and Huey Lewis & the News.

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