Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Sloppy Dog's Best of 2008: Singles

Our countdown continues with the ten best singles of 2008, of which there’s a few surprise entries from bands we’ve been less than complimentary about in the past. But hey, a time for forgiveness and all that.

Just missing the cut are gems from Stereophonics, Duffy, Sia, Solange and We Are Scientists, as are guilty pleasures from Flo Rida, Miley Cyrus and Will.I.Am featuring HRH Queen Cheryl of Hearts. But we begin at Number Ten...

10. Kings of Leon – Sex on Fire
Deservedly claiming their first chart-topper with the greatest single of their career, it’s refreshing to see a chart position correlating with how good a song is (one would generally think a #1 is possible with any old shit sneezed out *cough*Rihanna*cough*). Sex on Fire was a potent, dynamic, thunderous rock anthem, fully equipped with violently fantastic melodies, and finally justified the mammoth Kings of Leon hypefest.

9. Estelle & Kanye West – American Boy
It was a blessed relief to see the comeback of Estelle, given her sorely underwhelming debut The 18th Day, but we’d have never expected she’d make quite the impact she did on her return. Teaming up with Kanye West at his finest, American Boy proved to be an immediate, exuberant and inventive airwave-hogger of a song.

8. Red Light Company – Meccano
A big, shouty treat that blessed our ears (but sadly, not the charts) back in August, Red Light Company couldn’t have introduced themselves to the world any better. Melding hard Britpop riffage with rounded terrace hollers, all peppered with the occasional sprinkle of twinkle, Meccano proved to be the calling card for a band worth getting very, very excited about.

7. Coldplay – Viva La Vida
Another shock entry, given (a) our general feelings towards Coldplay, and (b) the overkill this song suffered at the hands of Apple ads and patriotic Olympic montages. However, once lured by the direct hook, the lush string arrangements acted as an instantaneous spine-tingler, while the anthemic chants only added to the overall magnificence.

6. The Killers – Human
After a shockingly shit album in the form of the laughable Sam’s Town, it looked unlikely that the Killers would ever match the glory of Hot Fuss again. Then along comes Human, a rapturous amalgam of dancefloor and mosh pit that put them firmly back into our good books. Ironically, it went down like a lead balloon with pretty much everyone else...

5. VV Brown – Crying Blood
Yes, it was daft. Yes, it was throwaway. Yes, it sounded worryingly like the Monster Mash. Yes, only 0.00002% of music buyers even heard it. But the ridiculously superb Crying Blood was a refreshing, no-holds-barred, joyful slap in the chops from an artist who carries absolute masses of potential for 2009. We await the album with the itchiest of anticipation.

4. The Maccabees – Toothpaste Kisses
Only just making it into our list, having charted way back on January 7th (albeit at No. 70...), the Maccabees followed up the regimental indie charm of Precious Time with something entirely different in the shape of Toothpaste Kisses. The gentle strums and soothing vocals made for an understated lullaby, further highlighting the versatility and the greatness of the Maccabees.

3. One Night Only – Just For Tonight
Note to anyone planning to launch a music career in 2009 – this is the way to do a debut single (granted, the initial release of You & Me came out beforehand, but it bombed like a mofo, so we’ll graciously discount that). Big, soaring hooks atop a thumping beat made Just For Tonight an immediate, effortless classic. And although it was a shame that the album failed to match the splendour of the single, Just For Tonight was, on all levels, nothing less than flawless.

2. Little Jackie – The World Should Revolve Around Me
Having already been appointed the best album of the year, now claiming an additional silver medal with the second greatest track of 2008 are Little Jackie. Their quirky, breezy masterpiece The World Should Revolve Around Me was equal parts brazen and charming, infectious beyond words, and managed to combine elements of comedy with unrivalled musicianship. How this didn’t become the biggest-selling song of the year is anyone’s guess (oh, that’s right – we live in a country where people don’t ‘get’ anything that’s not Leona cunting Lewis).

1. Weezer – Pork & Beans
And finally, we reach our favourite single of the past 12 months. While most people will only be aware of the accompanying video showcasing the greatest hits of YouTube, there’s a great deal to be said for Pork & Beans as a song. The genius mind of Rivers Cuomo hoists a polite middle-finger as he cements his defiance to conform to an idea of visual perfection – a sort of alt-rock take on Slaguilera’s Beautiful, perhaps? Bursting with a blend of wit, magic, energy and melody that only Weezer could formulate, it’s yet another example of a band who physically cannot produce a bad song.

No comments:

Creative Commons Licence
The Sloppy Dog by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.