And now we come to the best singles of 2008! :D
The Best Music of 2008
The 30 Best Singles of 2008
Catchy, memorable, and downright fantastic – that’s what makes a song one of the best singles of 2008!
1. “Love Is Noise” – The Verve Coming in at #1 is this comeback single from the recently reunited The Verve! This was my favorite single of the year because a) it features the fab Richard Ashcroft’s distinctive vocals, b) it is catchy as heck, and c) it’s a perfect mix of pop and rock that will get you moving. :)
2. “4 Minutes” – Madonna
You can love or hate Hard Candy, but you can’t deny that Madonna knows how to create a wicked single. The brass! The beats! The Timbaland! Madonna, Justin Timberlake, and Timbaland collaborated on this still uniquely Madonna track that I often find myself singing along with!
3. “Disturbia” – Rihanna
Lyrics that imply something dark and, yes, disturbing, are supported by simple but so effective dance production. Listen closely and you’ll hear a synthesized scream under the chorus. Who knew that mental distress could make such a hot song?
4. “Europa” – Mónica Naranjo
An ambitious, larger-than-life epic, “Europa” mixes the grand gestures of opera with the best of dance, pop, and rock music. Don’t speak Spanish? Doesn’t matter. Just let the awesome music do the talking. ;)
5. “Womanizer” – Britney Spears
You couldn’t escape this song this year – and why would you want to? It’s Britney, bitch, doing what she does best: making fabulous pop music! This energetic lead single was one of my most played tracks this year on my iPod. :)
6. “The Promise” – Girls Aloud
Inspired by the girl group sounds of the sixties but updated with fresh production, Girls Aloud heralded the release of their newest album with this catchy confection! It’s impossible to listen to this song and not feel happy.
7. “Not A Love Song” – Uh Huh Her
The coolest electro-pop song of the year, “Not A Love Song” is both melodic and danceable. Pretty vocals, zippy synths, and great bass made this the best debut single of the year. And what’s even better is that the album matches up to the promise shown by the lead single!
8. “Poker Face” – Lady GaGa
Lady GaGa’s media blitz this year kicked off with “Just Dance,” but it’s her lush electro ditty “Poker Face” that made me love the gal. Infectious beats, hard synths, and Lady GaGa’s fun vocals made “Poker Face” one of the most memorable songs of 2008. Check this tune, ‘cos it’s marvelous!
9. “Bamakom Hachi Namooch Be’e Tel Aviv” – Dana International
Dana knows how to bring it! In this electro-disco cover song, which translates to “In The Lowest Place Of Tel Aviv,” Dana delivers the lyrics with feeling as the beats rush on. This was a great summer song this year!
10. “Dégénération” – Mylène Farmer
Somehow, Mylène singing about comas managed to be… sexy! A chilly, minimal techno track is topped by Mylène’s ice queen vocals. Absolutely hypnotic.
11. “Mercy” – Duffy
Duffy had a great debut year thanks to this throwback that never devolves into pastiche thanks to great production. That bassline and the “yeah, yeah, yeah”s are cool enough on their own, but add Duffy’s rich vocals, and you’ve got something special! I had fun bopping around campus last spring listening to this on my iPod. :)
12. “Shut Up And Let Me Go” – The Ting Tings
Probably the most polarizing sensation of the year (you either love ’em or can’t stand ’em), The Ting Tings gained wide exposure when this song was used for an iTunes (or iPod, I forget which) ad. I love this punchy pop tune! It’s simple, but it works so well. The guitar licks will get stuck in your head, and the driving beat will get you up and dancing.
13. “Rock With U” – Janet Jackson
I had a hard time choosing between this and “Feedback” – on the one hand, “Rock With U” is a hazy, hypnotic disco track, but on the other, “Feedback” has the epic line where Janet claims she is “heavy like a first-day period.” Good taste won in the end. :)
14. “Up” – The Saturdays
The Saturdays followed in the fine tradition of Girls Aloud and other danceable girl groups by releasing this pure pop single. Though I wasn’t impressed by The Saturdays’ album, “Up” is so fantastic that I haven’t given up hope on them – they’ve got fab potential!
15. “Dancefloor” – Crystal Waters vs. Speakerbox
What a diva! Crystal Waters throws it down with this half-rapped, half-sung dance tune. Crystal extols the virtues of the dancefloor, a place where she can “throw my wig down and let the booty go.” I love this girl! :D
16. “Can’t Shake It” – Kate Miller-Heidke
Quirky but so very listenable, “Can’t Shake It” is about dancing, too – but in this case, the singer can’t dance! References to booties seem to have been popular this year: it turns out that with regards to being unable to dance, Kate notes that “the perpetrator lies between my back and my thighs.” :)
17. “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” – Beyonce
Taking on the moniker of one “Sasha Fierce” for some reason, Beyonce came out with this, well, fierce diss to a former lover. “If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it” she declares as waves of synths blare and beats bump. The former lover should now consider himself thoroughly pwned.
18. “Don’t Believe In Love” – Dido
A fine return to form after several years without a peep, this song reminded us how much the music scene lacks when Dido’s out of commission. Dido sings of love and independence in this beautiful, bass-heavy tune. Next time, don’t leave us waiting so long between releases! :)
19. “Love Lockdown” – Kanye West
Artfully auto-tuned vocals and really minimal production characterize this single from Kanye’s new album. Tribal beats come in at times to beef up the sound, but the beauty of this track is that it doesn’t try to be “big” – it just is.
20. “I Decided (Part 2)” – Solange
Beyonce’s little sister made a name for herself this year (luckily it wasn’t Sasha Fierce, or else Beyonce would’ve been mad!) with “I Decided,” a song equally at home in a 1960s lounge or on MTV. Part 2 is actually remixed by the Freemasons, who gave the song thicker production and heavier beats than the original Neptunes work. I like the original just fine, but there’s something really great about Part 2!
21. “Trains And Winter Rains” – Enya
Enya’s signature sound is in wonderful form on this magical little tune. After a couple of years without an Enya release, this song is very welcome indeed!
22. “Violet Hill” – Coldplay
I know, “Viva La Vida” was the big Colplay song this year. But I loved this song, with its banging piano and trudging beats. “If you love me, won’t you let me go” Chris Martin pleads at the end of the track, but you’d be hard pressed to let this gem of a tune go!
23. “American Boy (feat. Kanye West)” – Estelle
Estelle proved to be one of the most refreshing voices of the year with this playful ditty that features a fun rap by Kanye West. It’s a bit lounge-y and a bit dance-y – and completely great.
24. “Dita Dimone” – Pop Levi
Squelching synths and handclaps gave this song an infectious sound, and Pop Levi’s engaging, electric vocals made you want to sing along with him! Another great summer tune, this one. :)
25. “Under My Skin (T.S.O.B. Mix)” – Sarah Connor
Rather sexy and ultra-danceable, “Under My Skin” is what got me listening to Sarah Connor (even though I’m not exactly the dancing type! ;) ). What makes the song excellent is the grungy, dirty pop production.
26. “Save The Lies” – Gabriella Cilmi
Gabriella’s just a teenager, but she’s got a voice beyond her years. In this funky, 70s-sounding track, she demands that her man “save the lies… you better be good to me!” This girl is one to watch!!
27. “C’est La Vie” – HK119
HK119 (or HK 119, I’m not sure which way is correct!) is actually Heidi Kilpelainen, but the barcode-like “HK119” suits her eccentric, sci-fi-inspired electro sound perfectly. The song tells the story of HK119, sent to Earth to find out about… love! “You’ve got to be human” to understand it, HK119 concludes, amidst bleeps and squidgy synths and cool beats.
28. “The Tears” – Robots In Disguise
Deep piano strikes, frantic electric guitar, and a kicky beat underscore this distraught tale of red lights and “panic, terror, error!” My favorite song from their latest album. :)
29. “So What” – P!nk
P!nk puts on a tough front in this witty divorce anthem, but she lets her vulnerable side show through for a second when she sings “you weren’t there, you never were… you let me fall.” True to her self-confident form, though, P!nk gets right back to being fierce while that awesome guitar riff chugs along. Cool.
30. “L.E.S. Artistes” – Santogold
A steadily plucked bass (or guitar, whatever) keeps this nifty debut single rolling along. Atmospheric production and Santogold’s intriguing vocals gave this tune a really neat sound. Definitely an artist to keep track of!