Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008: Year In Review

Every critic from MTV to Rolling Stone has produced some sort of best of list for the year, so here's mine!

Best Songs of 2008



10. Bret Michaels - "Driven"

I love Bret's new solo album "Rock My World" and I would have bought it except half the songs are the same as one of his previous solo albums (which I have) called "Songs of Life". That's a great album too though. Anyway, this song is a return to a sexy style of rock 'n roll that's definitely missing amongst the Coldplays and Nickelbacks of the world.



9. Heidi Montag - "Fashion"

This song is absolutely ridiculous but somehow amazing. And that's all I can really say without embarrassing myself.



8. Seether - "Rise Above This"


Maybe an odd choice from me, but this song reminded me of an old favorite, "Memory" by Sugarcult, as well as long forgotten about bands like Orgy (who never got the recognition they deserved) and Chevelle (ok maybe no one remembers Chevelle for a reason). A solid rock song with far better than average lyrics and a strong emotional vocal.



7. Kid Rock - "All Summer Long"

This song was everywhere this summer and rightfully so. Kid Rock has reinvented his image many times over the years, but this is one song I heard on every type of station from hits formats to country stations. A classic summer song.



6. Toby Keith - "She Never Cried In Front Of Me"

This song reminds me of "Wedding Day" by Bon Jovi, largely for the similar story behind the lyrics than any musical similarity. A sad country song about a man who is watching a former love get married to another man. Toby Keith is extremely prolific, releasing an album about every year, but this is one of his strongest singles.



5. Garth Brooks - "More Than A Memory"

Another sad country song, this is one undoubtedly one of Garth Brooks' best. The lyrics are incredible; truly a song for any one who has ever had their heart broken.

Below embedded is a cover version by Lee Brice:



4. Taylor Swift - "Love Story"

A sweet and romantic song by Taylor, who has quickly become America's new sweetheart with two very successful albums (both in the Top 40 on the albums chart). Taylor's career is likely to be a long one due to the fact that she writes or co-writes all her music and appeals to both teenagers and adults. This ballad follows a Romeo-and-Juliet star-crossed couple from the beginning of their love to his proposal.



3. Hilary Duff - "Reach Out"

Although the Bermudez & Chico Remix is far superior to the album version, this song is undeniably catchy and a big upgrade from Hilary's earlier teenybopper songs like "Come Clean" and "So Yesterday". Hopefully Miley Cyrus will take a cue from Hilary when she reaches Hilary's age - largely avoiding the tabloids while managing to create great pop songs like this. I have a feeling that Miley will make racy videos like this one long before she is Hilary's age however. Unfortunately, Hilary's record label failed to allow her Greatest Hits CD to be downloaded on Itunes for a few months so this song never attained much chart success.

Original version:



Remix version:



2. Britney Spears - "If U Seek Amy"

This is one of the best songs Britney has done in years. This song finds her reuniting with her original producer Max Martin (who did "Baby One More Time", "You Drive Me Crazy", and "Oops I Did It Again") and recapturing some of her original sound. The lyrics are a clever pun that is in keeping with her new adult image however.



1. Kings of Leon - "Closer"

A haunting, harrowing song that is both beautiful and devastating. This song, and the album which it's from - Only By The Night - deserves more attention than it's getting. Hands down the best song of 2008.



Honorable Mentions:

Pop
Ashlee Simpson - "Little Miss Obsessive"
Katy Perry - "Use Your Love"
Miley Cyrus - "See You Again"
Jonas Brothers - "Burnin Up"
Leona Lewis - "Run"

R&B/Rap
Ne-Yo - "Closer"
Beyonce - "If I Were A Boy"
T.I. - "Whatever You Like"

Rock
Coldplay - "Viva La Vida"
Simple Plan - "Your Love Is A Lie"

Country
Montgomery Gentry - "Roll With Me"

Honorable Mention: All American Rejects - "Gives You Hell"

Even though I enjoy The Zoo's cover (www.myspace.com/cyberzoo) of this song more than the original, this is one of the funniest and catchiest songs of the year. If only it were getting more attention!