Year End Music Countdowns #7: 2008

While I’m not totally disappointed with 2008, it was definitely no 2007. Next year looks awesome though.

Anyway, to the point.

The 25 Best Songs of 2008

25. From Heads Unworthy– Rise Against
24. Underneath the Stars– The Cure
23. Come Home– OneRepublic
22. Everyone Needs a Home– Chris Walla
21. Sixties Remake– Tokyo Police Club
20. Everything I Build– The Stills
19. Ulysses– Franz Ferdinand
18. The Cure for Pain– Jon Foreman
17. Electric Feel– MGMT
16. Where the Pain Begins– Earshot
15. Pornostartrek– USS
14. Life in Technicolor ii– Coldplay
13. Once Upon a Time– The Gaslight Anthem
12. Falling Down– Oasis
11. Goodnight, Travel Well– The Killers

And the top 10 get nice little stories saying why they’re so darn gosh good, yeah.

10. Love Lockdown- Kanye West

– Kanye’s foray away from hip-hop paid off, and after hearing this single I suddenly found his new album to be one of my most anticipated. Good job, Mr. West.

9. The Captive Mind- The Helio Sequence

– Like Modest Mouse with keyboards and loads of reverb, this band had two great songs from their album that could have been on this list, but I went with this one because it was a solid, concise piece of music.

8. Your New Twin Sized Bed- Death Cab for Cutie

– This is probably the best cut from their latest album. It is a little repetitive but Ben Gibbard’s blunt, honest lyrics make it a great entry in the Death Cab catalogue.

7. Waiting…- City & Colour

– Although it sounds more upbeat with its percussion section, the lyrics are far more depressing than anything Dallas Green has ever written. It’s a weird combination, but the melody is really strong and overall it shows that Canada still has a few true music stars left.

6. Sometime Around Midnight- The Airborne Toxic Event

– It’s a good song with a cool string part.

5. You Haven’t Told Me Anything- Keane

– If you thought Kanye’s experimentation was weird, wait until you hear this. No more piano ballads for Keane, who went very electronic (and very bleak) with their new album. This song is probably the furthest detached from their old sound, resembling Joy Division rather than the usual peer homage to Coldplay.

4. Dawn of the Dead- Does it Offend you, Yeah?

– Luckily, their sound is not as convoluted as their name. It’s a great electronic song that sounds like the Killers if they ditched the guitars completely.

3. Skin of the Night- M83

– A very good, atmospheric song from what might be the band’s best album to date.

2. Neon Tiger- The Killers

– It was really really hard to pick just one song from the new Killers album to put in the top 10 countdown, but ultimately Neon Tiger wins because of it’s relative simplicity. There are no over-produced keyboards or production tricks, allowing for a fairly stripped down song that puts focus on the melody.

The best song of the year award goes to…

1. We Want Guarantees, Not Hunger Pains- Closure In Moscow

– a band nobody’s ever heard of. But, they deserve it. Coming off like an Australian version of local band Protest the Hero, they play an explosive brand of post-hardcore, both dynamic and accessible at the same time. Two thumbs up, five stars, etc, etc.

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The worst…well, once again I had to branch out past mainstream rock to find truly terribad stuff. Here it is:

The Ten Worst Songs of 2008

10. The End- Andrew F

– I had to put this cheater on here. Paying off iTunes to keep his song on the charts deserves some recognition, after all. Appropriately enough, the #10 spot is where he managed to land most of the time, even with the payola. The song? It’s a terribly produced piece of garage emo-rock.

9. Gotta Be Somebody- Nickelback

– This sounds like a Shania Twain song.

8. Mercy- Duffy

– Amy Winehouse knockoff.

7. Sky is Over- Serj Tankian

– This is a “big baby” song, because it’s a big stupid rock song with a simple tune and a mid-tempo rhythm for thickheaded jocks that like to bang their heads in their big SUVs to this. I miss System of a Down.

6. Believe in Me- Sloan

– This is a tuneless, droning wreck. It sounds like the singer is straining because of stomach pain during the chorus. “Belieeeeeeeeeve in meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee”. What happened, Sloan?!

5. Shut up and let me go- The Ting Tings

– Another bratty, bad singing girl who thinks she’s all that because of an iTunes commercial. The bass is alright, but the singer just ruins everything.

4. Wild International- One Day as a Lion

– This just sounds like Rage Against the Machine, without Tom Morello! Who was the only decent part of that band.

3. Made of Stone- Spiral Beach

– Not only is it really cheesy overly indie, but it’s really poorly produced. They will probably be a local band forever.

2. Offend Maggie- Deerhoof

– Yecch! Not only did they offend Maggie with this, but they offended me as well. I think this band is allergic to making professional pieces of work. Their music is incomprehensible, and their videos look like they’ve been made by tenth graders who need to do a school project but left it to the last minute so they just shoot random things.

1. Nattura- Bjork and Thom Yorke

– Don’t believe me, go out and listen to this disaster of “music”. It is the absolute worst tendencies of each artist all rolled into one. It’s actually exactly what you expect from both of them. It’s a nonsensical mash-up of sound and a wild, flailing rhythm that evokes the image of Bjork thrashing about onstage in one of her trademark crazy costumes. Meanwhile Thom throws in his weird sweeping moans in the background and it all adds up to nothing more than an artsy, pretentious piece of noise.