After having a discussion over on Redgage and then having a debate at work about the best songs from the last year, I decided to put together a list of my own. Here are twenty songs that I felt stood out in 2008:
20. Cold Play’s Lost from the album Viva La Vida: “Every river that I tried to cross. Every door I ever tried was locked. Oh and I’m just waiting ’til the shine wears off.” I’m not a huge Coldplay fan because most of their material sounds the same but for some reason this song reached out and grabbed my attention. I like the simplicity of it and the way it slowly builds to it’s conclusion. 2008 was a rough year for a lot of people and this song perfectly portrays that sense of desperation.
19. Billy Idol’s John Wayne from the album Idolize Yourself: 80’s star Idol released this single on his latest greatest hits collection. The track utilizes it’s epic guitar line giving it a eighties rock feel but in typical Idol fashion it utilizes a power ballad chorus that you can’t help but sing along to. “I am not afraid. I won’t go down in fate. Nothings gonna be the same.”
18. Innerpartysystem’s Don’t Stop from the album Innerpartysystem: One of the best dance songs this year, this one stands out for it’s unique instrumentation. The song goes back and forth between slow melodies to non-stop electronic beats. “The road I walk is paved in gold to glorify by platinum soul.”
17. Dark Lotus’ Withered from the album Opaque Brotherhood: “Like a velvet red sunset, a cloud formation. It takes away your breath. You’re frozen in the moment till nothings left.” Dark Lotus manages to slow things down for the most poignant track of their career. The poetic lyrics and slow fading bass line make the song one you won’t easily forget.
16. Janet Jackson’s Rock With U from the album Discipline: “Let’s converse. Talk with your body. Don’t say anything at all.” A slamming dance song that you can’t help but move to. The lyrics are simple and to the point.
15. Papa Roach’s Hollywood Whore from their upcoming still untitled cd: Papa Roach ended the year on a high note with their latest single, a critique on the showbiz world and the heavy partying. The song has some great guitar work and a rocking beat. “The cameras are gone and nobody screams. She couldn’t survive her 15 minutes of fame.”
14. Boondox’s Death of a Hater from the album Krimson Creek: “Ya had your chance to keep the sun and now you’re in the rain. I be the Scarecrow but you the one who missin brains.” Boondox had one of the few hip hop cds this year worth listening to and this track was one of many highlights. A nice revenge song.
13. ABK’s Grind 2 The Flow from the album Mudface: I actually didn’t like this song when I first heard it but it quickly grew on me and the video for the song was great. It has a throwback sound to early hip hop days. The life that you live is it real or are you faking?
12. Offspring’s Your Gonna Go Far, Kid from the album Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace: Nice to see Offspring finally make a return to the airwaves. “Another clever word sets off an unsuspecting herd. And as you step back into line a mob jumps to their feet.” The song moves across a number of different genres with a killer beat.
11. Kardinal Offishall’s Dangerous from the album Not 4 Sale: A killer club track with another standout Akon chorus. “If I was the last man on Earth I would only take that girl, end of search.”
10. Apocalyptica’s I Don’t Care from the album World’s Collide: Apocalyptica is known for their unique instrumental metal and this song doesn’t disappoint with it’s cello work and thrash sound. I love the song’s initial buildup and slow fade. “If you were dead or still alive. I don’t care, I don’t care.”
9. Mindless Self Indulgence’s Never Wanted To Dance from the album If: MSI came into their own on this album and this was the standout track. The song has MSI’s trademark mix of electronica, punk, metal and hip hop. “There is nothing you can do that I have not already done to myself.”
8. Alice Cooper’s (In Touch With)Your Feminine Side from the album Along Came A Spider: Cooper finally returned to his shock rock roots on this album and created the story of serial killer Spider who ends up falling for his final victim. This track in particular stands out because of it’s old school rock feel and heavy guitar work. “It’s your world but it’s my street.”
7. Cyndi Lauper’s Lay Me Down from the album Bring Ya To The Brink: Unfortunately this album got overlooked but you should definitely check it out. It’s easily one of the best dance cds in years. This track has a great chorus and a great bass line that fades in and out throughout the song. It’s one of those songs that you can’t help but move to. “Passion’s fist against a wall. A crush of a kiss. The rise and fall.”
6. Disturbed’s Inside the Fire from the album Indestructible: “Devon lies beyond this portal. Take the word of one immortal.” Killer song, killer video, killer lyrics. What more can be said?
5. Guns N’ Roses’ Sorry from the album Chinese Democracy: “To hell with the pressure I’m not caving in.” The long awaited cd had a number of gems including this track, which is another classic ballad. No one has a more unique voice than Axl Rose and he uses it to full effect on this beauty.
4. Pink’s Sober from the album Funhouse: Pink’s one of the few credible pop singers left and her musical talents continue to change and grow with each album she releases. This single about being the only one sober at a party does a great job of conveying the seriousness of the subject matter and Pink’s voice builds the song to a spectacular finish. “No pain inside, you’re like perfection. But how do I feel this good sober?”
3. Metallica’s The Day That Never Comes from the album Death Magnetic: “Push you cross that line. Just stay down this time.” A great track that shines a light on the soldiers fighting in Iraq. The song has a little bit of everything: a melodic chorus, great guitar and drum work and a head banging portion that rocks.
2. Madonna’s Miles Away from the album Hard Candy: The only slow moment on her new cd, Madonna uses the song to shed light on what would be the end of her marriage. The song does a great job of exploring long distance love. “You always have the biggest heart when we’re six thousand miles apart.”
1. Slipknot’s Psychosocial from the album All Hope Is Gone: The hard rock song of the year and every mosher’s dream. This one is highlighted by it’s move from heavy metal head banging to the melodic chorus and back again. “And the rain will kill us all. If we throw ourselves against the wall.”