Adventures In 2008: Top 40 Songs (#10-1)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Welly wells, it's now time for my Top 10 songs of 2008. All in all, 2008 has been yet another great year of music, if you knew where to listen. Sure there were some disappointments *cough* Mariah Carey*cough* and just plain awful moments, but most artists rose to the occasion and delivered the goods. I'm one of those Hopeful Heidi's that is itching to see what songs will dominate my 2009 and I wonder if some of the artists I've featured on this lengthy list project will make onto my list in the new year. Only time will tell! So "I'm ready go right now" and give ya my 10 favorite songs from 2008!

10. Lions, Tigers and Bears-Jazmine Sullivan: Jazmine Sullivan reminds me of a young Evelyn "Champagne" King...in the sense that at such a youthful age, she has a voice of a seasoned songstress who has over thirty years under her belt. Jazmine hit it out of the ballpark on this track for me as it's an ode about being unsure of falling in love and it's laced over a nice orchestral background. And the way she just sings this song is enchanting in it's own right.

9. Spiralling-Keane: This was possibly the best WTF? moment in music this year. Keane does an bright and energized…uptempo? And it sounds like the 80’s exploded in a box? Wha…? What happened to somber, tears and heart strings splattered on the piano? Who cares? This song kicks mega boo-tay! It's sharp and knocks you out flat with it's grinding guitars and it's overall BIG sound. Off of their semi-okey dokey, Perfect Symmetry, Keane decided (like The Killers) that 2008 was made to drink bottles of Sunshine Juice and be happy (even though the song says other wise). Keane should've done this ages ago.

8. Rock With You-Janet Jackson: Miss Jackson had a rough year, with this year’s Discipline flopping down hard on a bed of thorns, her drop from “If It Ain’t Rihanna, We Don’t Promote” label Def Jam, becoming mysteriously “ill” while on tour, cancelled performances, angry fans…oh, and recently those pregnancy rumors. Janet is probably waiting for 2008 to go away, but she shouldn’t forget this little gem, which deserved a better fate than it did. Janet goes back to her electro-funk roots and gives us one of the most underrated dance jams that was meant to make your pores sweat. I'll rock wit ya Jan.

7. A&E-Goldfrapp: Gorgeous. Just plain gorg. Goldfrapp took what I love about Kate Bush's ballads and made it into something for the 21st Century crowd to cherish. The subject matter of the song is a heavy one (it's about an attempted suicide...yipes), and so is the music as it has a folksy throb about it and it engulfs you at the first note. Goldfrapp always have a tendency to just drag you into a song even if you aren't interested at first listen and this happened to me with this song. Tragically beautiful.

6. So Beautiful-Musiq: Was it me or did 2008 lack some real male testosterone in the R&B market? Sorry, I don’t get off on Ne-Yo’s whining or Chris Brown’s paddy-cake nursery rhymes. After digging a little deeper…there were some soulful MEN in the year of change and one such MAN was Musiq Soulchild. Off of OnMyRadio, Musiq brings back what is timeless about soul music, and music in general, it's the sheer devotion and affection to one such person in words. “So Beautiful” embodies all of that and more. If a guy sung this to me, I’d melt into a puddle of goo.

5. Black and Gold-Sam Sparro: Creeping out of it's deep and dark underground lair, "Black and Gold" is a haunting throb of a pop/R&B track that certainly perked my ears up this year. The Aussie native literally unleashed quite an electrifying song. It has a real slick "Putting On The Ritz" type of vibe going on and Sam's brooding vocals layers it in pure mystery. A song that nobody really has any idea what it's about (is it about God? Creationism? A relationship? The colors?) clearly was one of the breakout hits this year. While in 2009, I try to figure out with this dazzling song means, I have to hand it to Sam for crafting a song that is fitted to become timeless.

4. Lights Out-Santogold: "L.E.S. Artistes" got the most attention this year from critics, possibly because no one really listened past that one song on the Philly native's monster debut. If you listened a little deeper, then you heard "Lights Out" which has a determined New Romantic bassline and gutted guitars. Horribly mis-used in Bud Light commercials, "Lights Out" shows Santogold's softer side not to mention her varying vocal trickery. No doubt was one of the songs I cherished over the summer and no doubt will warm up the winter months of 2009.

3. Electric Feel-MGMT: In all honesty, Justin Timberlake would’ve scratched out eyes for this because this is some white boy funk that him and Timbaland together couldn’t even craft even if they were conjoined at the hip. The New York duo expanded their fan base with their debut, Orcular Spectacular and this slinky and sensual bassy groove. This song made me, a light-skinned sista feel the need to sway and pile on skinny scarves and don Ray-Bans and become hipster for a millisecond.

2. Just Dance-Lady GaGa: Lady GaGa hasn’t gotten a break since she arrived shoulder pads and all. People were calling her a Roisin Murphy rip-off, not to mention the numerous catty remarks over her style and tunes. But I’m going to give it to Lady G, because she did have the best pop-dance record this year. When she had veterans who knew better copy her (Christina Aguliera anyone?) I knew Lady G was ready for stardom. “Just Dance” took awhile for folks to latch onto but once they did, it was a-okay da da-dum-do. Forget the specifics of production by Akon and a failed Colby O'Donis on board, Lady GaGa is the real star on this as she bounces and trounces her competition on this spunky electro disco number.

1. Green Light-John Legend ft. Andre 3000: Surprised? Well, this song gave me faith that dance music isn’t a dead commodity in the R&B/Hip-Hop community. Sorry, but I can’t get down to “A Milli” without feeling like a damn low-rider car. And Beyonce does not speak for my “single ladies” arse. This is more my flavor…a simple yet sparkling get-down-on-it track that clearly was the best song of the year, and it was sorely overlooked as such. Piano man John Ledge switches gears and enlists OutKast’s Andre 3000 for a sizzling electronic wave shaker that no doubt made my 2008 just a tad bit funkier. I’m ready to go right now into 2009 with this.

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