Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Favorite Tracks of 2008: #50-41

YES.  It's that time again.  When I distract myself from important exams and papers by spending hours compiling a list of my favorite songs of the year.  So today I locked my sick self in my friends' apartment armed with BOSE headphones, iTunes, and my trusted external harddrive (named "99 problems but a bitch ain't one"), and picked from hundreds of wonderful songs.  Here are 50-41.  Look out over the next couple of days for the rest of my list.

50. Chairlift - Bruises (mp3)
You'll probably recognize this track from the iPod nano commercial.  It's so cute and catchy, with lyrics like "I tried to do handstands for you, but every time I fell for you."

49. Mountain Goats - Thank You Mario But Our Princess is in Another Castle (mp3)
I'll let Pitchfork take this one...
... this song gives [Mountain Goat's John] Darnielle some of the warmest, most revealing production in his career, with his bare piano chords, [Kaki] King's gently jazzy drumming, and the Mountain Goats man's exposed, confident vocals.  When King's wispy voice comes in to join Darielle's at the climax, the two sing, "When you came in, I could breathe again," backed only by King's chiming glockenspiel.  "The Song is sung for the point of view of a Toad," Darnielle explains.  Any princess who could resist such charms has probably eaten too many mushrooms.

48. Baby Diamonds - Teenagers (mp3)
The first electro track on my list, this charmer features rough electronic stylings reminiscent of Justice and MSTRKRFT, with the lovely lyrics, "boy i'm not a slut just cause i always give a fuck.  girl i'm not a dick just cause i never give a shit."  Possibly an interesting commentary on gender relations amongst adolescents, possibly a borderline offensive display of stereotypical sex roles... definitely a great track for shakin yo booty.

47. Rihanna - Disturbia
You know this song.  You know it's great.  I love it.  Here is Rihanna performing it at the VMAs, hot faux hawk and all.

46. Crystal Castles - Crimewave (last.fm)
I don't know that I've heard anything like Crystal Castles.  Their songs seem complex, but their melodies are simple and their synth riffs are basic and clear.  This song is perfect for bobbing yr head and definitely worthy of a spot in my top 50.

45. The Killers - Human (mp3)
Oh my god, I love this song.  The rest of the album kind of sucked, but Human is so dope!  It'd be higher if the lyrics weren't so stupid, haha.  "Are we human or are we dancer?"  Anyway, the Killers get a little new-agey and embrace the synthesizer on this track.  There are good build ups, a great beat, and a catchy-as-fuck melody.  They even sort of break it down at one point.  What else could I ask for in a song?

44. Okkervil River - Calling and Not Calling My Ex (mp3)
Okkervil River is one of my favorite bands.  Their 2007 album, Stage Names, was in my top ten, and I caught them at Pearl Street for one of my favorite live shows in Northampton.  In the band's typical narrative form, this song is the first person account of a man watching his ex-girlfriend on television.  The music itself is great, as to be expected.  It's upbeat and has a very Christmasy feel, with bells and all, but maintains the borderline-whiny, dragging pull that Okkervil is notorious for.

43. Nas - Black President (mp3)
Produced by DJ Green Lantern, Black President was Nas' pre-election pro-Obama track.  DJ Green Lantern samples Tupac and Barack himself, while Nas offers solid lyrics and a healthy dose of hope.  I'm not going to lie...  I got choked up when I played this the day of the election.  At the end of the track, a voice says "It is my distinct honor and privilege to introduce to you the next president of the United States, Barack Obama." Listen to that and tell me you don't get chillz.

42. Robyn - Cobrastyle (mp3)
Cobrastyle has actually been around for a while.  Robyn dropped her self-titled album featuring this track in Sweden back in 2005.  I've been in love with her ever since.  You'd recognize her old pop anthem, Show Me Love, but this shit is wayyy better.  The song won critical acclaim three years ago in Sweden, but only recently gained a following in the US when she rereleased it internationally on an EP.  It counts as a 2008 release, because the US edition of Robyn came out here in April.  About fuckin time America.  Robyn is fierce and I can't get enough.

41. Natalie Portman's Shaved Head - Me + Yr Daughter (mp3)

VICE Magazine loves this band.  And they hate like everyone, so I think that says something.  Also, I love this band.  They don't take themselves too seriously, they make great electro dance pop, they spell "yr" the way i do, and put a big smile on my face.  This song has just enough disco to send you into a fit of dancing euphoria, and a banger beat to keep you grounded.  I went through a two-week period earlier in the semester when this track was legit constantly on repeat.  It became an anthem, as I thought of all the parents I could sing this to.
Me and yr daughter
Never been hotter
Rocking this party

Me and yr daughter
Touching my body
She is so lovely

#10-01 (coming soon)

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