Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Chris: Top 10 Songs of 2008

In April, scientists at Umeå University discovered the oldest living tree located in Sweden. At 9,550 years old and 13 feet the tree has been able to sustain such a long life by continually cloning itself. When a root stem dies, the tree immediately replicates that stem. Unlike the "tree of life" featured in my last sentence many of the artists featured in 2008 had singles that were not replications of their earlier "incarnations". Wanting to transcend the past and stay relevant, many artists worked with different musicians and utilized unorthodox techniques to ensure longevity in their music.

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#10: My President is Black - Young Jeezy feat. Nas

Def Jam Recordings

Buy (Amazon.com)

Atlanta native Young Jeezy begins his Pro-Obama anthem with, "Yeah, this is the realest shit I never wrote." Referring to his ability of not writing down rhymes, and being able to do it "off the dome", Jeezy and guest artist Nas inadvertently predict the 2008 election. "Mr. Black President, yo Obama for real, they gotta put your face on the five-thousand dollar bill." All the while flowing their rhymes like the Tigris River on a summer day, to the sound of horns fit for a heroic protagonist in a Michael Bay film.

With its tone and intensity, hands down best single about the 2008 election.

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#9: "Nothing Ever Happened" - Deerhunter

Kranky

4AD

Buy (Amazon.com)

When I first heard this song I was reminded of Sonic Youth's "Hey Joni". It was the initial soft opening, which led to 6 minutes of pure rock & roll that did it. Its one of those songs where the music enhances the singing, not the other way around.

I'd buy this as an instrumental.

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8. "Nine In The Afternoon" - Panic at the Disco

Fueled by Ramen

Decaydance Records

Buy (Amazon.com)

"And we know that is could be, and we know that it should be, and you know that you feel it too." I did feel it Panic at the Disco! I also felt much respect for their wanting to distance themselves from the pop-synth of your last album. This song not only is a stark contrast to their previous macabre singles like, "Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off" and "The Only Difference Between Martydom and Suicide is Press Coverage", but much of this year's singles. Paying tribute to bands like the Beatles and Kinks only reinforces my respect.

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7. "I'm Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You" - Black Kids

Columbia Records

AlmostGoldRecordings

Buy (Amazon.com)

I got a thing for sing-a-long bubble-gum pop songs. From Miley Cyrus' "See You Again" to Tony Basil's "Mickey" these songs ensure a positive mentality when living life, and driving on our freeways. For me, the Black Kid's single ensured much singing in the shower and on the road. Its the, counting chorus and the "Dance, Dance, Dance" that does it. Fall Out Boy did it a few years ago, and with great success they're repeating the formula that makes a great pop song.

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6. "Go Hard" - DJ Khaled

Koch Records

Buy (Amazon.com)

The 1981 film Chariots of Fire introduced the single, "Chariots of Fire" which became a staple in the running world as a must when running with an iPOD. With the acidic kicks, vitriolic tongue of Kanye West, and auto-tuned chorus, "GO HARD", DJ Khaled has made a new anthem for runners and Rudy-types everywhere!

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5. "Everyone Nose" - N.E.R.D.

Star Trak Entertainment

Buy (Amazon.com)

I had the privilege of seeing the band perform this single live. N.E.R.D. was able to maintain the same funk and smoothness, featured in their recorded single, but magnified it times five. Its the funnest song about cocaine since Grandmaster Flash's "White Lines".

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4. "Love Lockdown" - Kanye West

Roc-A-Fella Records

Buy (Amazon.com)

I once thought to myself, "Is this the year of Kanye West ?" I quickly dismissed this thought after realizing that Kanye thinks every year, is the year of Kanye West. This was before he gave his award to Lil' Wayne. A month or so ago Stephen Colbert created "Operation Humble Kanye", and according to iTUNES the mission was a success. Kanye has a heart and he puts much of it into this single.

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3. "Jigsaw Falling Into Place" - Radiohead

TBD Records

Buy (Amazon.com)

"Before the night owl, before the animal noises, closed circuit cameras, before you're comatosed." I find this song to be haunting and beautiful at the same time. Sung with anyone else's voice, I'm sure that version would only be inferior to Yorke's. No one can drone like Yorke.

It's the high-hat cymbal too.

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2. "Lights Out" - Santogold

Downtown Records

Buy (Amazon.com)

Santogold's homage to 80s greats like Debbie Harry and New Wave in general, is gingerly executed in this song which is surely featured in every hipster's iTunes library. I can only think of one word to describe this song, "avant-garde".

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1. "Shut The Club Down" - Girl Talk

Illegal Art

Buy (Amazon.com)

Greg Gillis was at one point was a bio-medical engineer who saved lives and created hope for those within his community. Now Mr. Gillis is a DJ who goes by the name of Girl Talk, who electronically engineers creations like the single, "Shut The Club Down" which allows people to dance merrily to seventeen songs at one time! One Time!

He creates a concoction of 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s music, which defies the law and angers thousands--if not millions of other "musicians" with his brand of music. Did I fail to mention that it is damn good?

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I hope everyone enjoyed 2008. With its successes and failures anyway you think of it, its another year on Earth. Cherish it! Now let us move onto 2009.



2 comments:

  1. i concur on the panic, nice list chris

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your best article yet, yo. Keep yo shit up!

    ReplyDelete