Favorite Singles of 2008
10. “The Lovers Are Losing” by Keane
9. “Amazing” by Kanye West featuring Young Jeezy
“Standing at my podium, I’m trying to watch my sodium, got high blood pressure…”
8. “Sick” by Sam Sparro
“It’s a sick, sick world. I’ll be your medicine. Come and take me, take me. I’ll make you feel better.”
7. “Human” by The Killers
Great song notwithstanding the irritatingly nonsensical lyric “Are we human or are we dancer?”
6. “Turn To Stone” by Girls Aloud
Unfortunately, the rest of the Girls' album lacks the inspiration of a usually brilliant Xenomania-produced record.
5. “Damaged” by Danity Kane
I have never been a fan of this act in any way, but then I heard a snippet of this track. Totally manufactured, but it's great to run to (particularly along Ocean between San Vic and Cali). Be sure to edit the track so it stops around 2:58.56. The last minute and ten seconds has Diddy rambling and ruining an otherwise great pop song.
4. “Strength In Numbers” by The Music
“All the animals come out at night…”
3. “Hot Stuff vs. World Hold On” by Craig David vs. Bob Sinclair
Who else but Craig David could sing, “Girl, you’re making me hard, what a feeling!” without it sounding vulgar?
2. “Womanizer” by Britney Spears
1. “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay
Favorite Ballads of 2008
5. “Human” by Brandy
4. “Run” by Leona Lewis (Yes, Britain’s pride and joy covers the Snow Patrol original)
3. “Imagine” by David Archuleta
2. “The Ice Is Getting Thinner” by Death Cab For Cutie
1. “I Stay In Love” by Mariah Carey
Favorite Albums of 2008
10. Black Tide, “Light From Above”
This album, recorded by a band of four talented teenagers, shows great promise.
Standout Track: “Shockwave”
9. Oasis, “Dig Out Your Soul”
Standout Tracks: “Bag It Up,” “Falling Down,” “Waiting For The Rapture”
8. Mariah Carey, “E=MC2”
To steal Paul’s explanation for listening to radio programs, MC’s appearance on my top 10 list at this point is in no small part due to the sense of comfort I feel from listening to her music over the years. The current problem with MC’s music is best described by Stephen Thomas Erlewine, my favorite music reviewer: “Carey seems determined not to look back, to exist in some kind of eternal now, never acknowledging that she has a past, unless she's wielding her divorce from her ex-husband/ex-record label chief Tommy Mottola for some kind of sympathy, something she does once again here via vague allusions to naïveté and ‘violent times’ on ‘Side Effects.’ Mariah refers to that separation so often that it's hard not to think of it as something recent but it happened a long, long time ago -- well over a decade prior to the release of E=MC2, to be precise -- but as the separation was the pivot point for Carey's career, it's easy to see why she keeps returning to it, even if the emotional heft of her singing about the pain has long since diminished…[In the end, the album] becomes a wash of sound -- sound that is designed to be fashionable, but like so much fashion, it's tied to the time and dates quickly. Which is why it's misleading to judge Mariah based on her new record of possessing the most number one singles, as she's not about longevity, she's about being permanently transient, a characteristic E=MC2 captures all too well.”
7. Natasha Bedingfield, “Pocket Full Of Sunshine”
WARNING: Catchy pop music from a positive female role model can be contagious!
6. Nine Inch Nails, “The Slip”
5. Goldfrapp, “Seventh Tree”
Track with hard-to-hear lyrics: "Clowns"
4. Crystal Castles, “Crystal Castles”
Standout tracks: “Vanished” and “Untrust Us”
3. Britney Spears, “Circus”
A solid album but not as strong as 2007’s Blackout. Stephen Thomas Erlewine summarizes it best: “If Blackout was a producers' album, Circus is a handlers' album, intent on sweeping away any recent unpleasantness -- the only acknowledgement is that title -- and acting like nothing ever happened, imagining that this is still a world where Britney remains envied and desired, where she can be dolled up as a gauzy Farrah Fawcett pinup on her album cover, where she can sing a drippy ballad about ‘My Baby’ and have nobody raise an eyebrow...If she feels marginally more connected here than she did on Blackout, it's a Pyrrhic victory, as Circus never feels as sleek or addictive as its predecessor.”
2. Coldplay, “Viva La Vida”
If you can catch this band in concert, I recommend it. By far, the best concert I saw this year.
1. Robyn, “Robyn”
Sweden does it again! As time goes by, this album just keeps getting better. It was nice to see Interscope release 2005's “Robyn” this past April after resequencing it and adding some new tracks.
Favorite diss (probably because it was totally uncalled for): Christina Aguilera on Lady Gaga.
Favorite remix: “Up (Wideboys Remix Edit)” by The Saturdays