Monday, December 22, 2008

The 50 Best Songs Of 2008: 30-21

21. Q-Tip – Getting Up
The breezy beat, the jazzy sample, and that singular flow: In case you’re wondering what hip-hop lost with Tribe’s breakup, this is your answer in three minutes and change.

22. Snow Patrol – Engines
The Irish foursome reteam with Jackknife Lee to create another sensitive slow-burner, with inventive production so massive it basically becomes the hook.

23. Bruce Springsteen – The Wrestler
Technically only an iTunes release, but few who’ve seen The Wrestler trailer can deny the power of its accompanying title song, Springsteen’s best stand-alone effort since “Streets Of Philadelphia.”

24. Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal
Fleet Foxes is one of those rare, singular albums meant to be heard in a complete listen, rather than crass, “single-size” chunks. Nevertheless, one couldn’t ask for a better introduction to their sound than this gorgeous, two-minute calling card.

25. Keane – Spiralling
Abandoning all pretensions of seriousness, Keane shoot for the candy-coated rafters. Easily the most fun this band has ever been.

26. Pink – Sober
Sure she’s “still a rock star,” but the darker Pink—ostensibly pop, but undercut with sorrow and vulnerability—remains my go-to diva of choice.

P!nk "Sober" Music Video

27. Kanye West featuring Dwele – Flashing Lights
The 3 A.M. electronica backing is menacing enough, but it has nothing on Kanye’s deeply twisted, possibly disturbed video. “Shock value” is a phrase often thrown around carelessly. Not in this case.

28. R.E.M. – Hollow Man
Aging Rocker Comeback #1: A two-and-a-half-minute blast of the kind of smart, driving rock that inspired a generation of indie bands.

REM - Hollowman

29. The Cure – The Only One
Aging Rocker Comeback #2: A sticky-sweet oddball ditty that would’ve fit comfortably on Side One of The Head On The Door.

The Cure - The Only One

30. Paramore – That's What You Get
Sure it’s pop-punk, but at least it’s good pop-punk, thanks in no small part to Hayley Williams, who has the pipes to be this generation’s Pat Benatar.

Paramore - Thats What You Get (Official Video)

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