Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Songs of the Year, 2008

Let the lists begin.....

Keane: "Perfect Symmetry" Sweeping and soaring, the title song of Keane's third album, has a memorable keyboard riff, philosophical musings about humanity and is infectious in its melancholy epicness. When singer Tom Chaplin lets loose with the phrase "wrap yourself around me" at the song's middle eight, you can't help losing yourself in the music.

Coldplay: "Viva La Vida" Seemingly ubiquitous this summer, Coldplay's string riffed anthem is one of the band's best. About a fall from power and grace ("sweep the streets I used to own"), the song is gorgeous, melodic and as with the rest of the album, with a dash of the unexpected and surprising.

The Verve: "Judas" Continuing the theme of "melancholy epicness", this song from the Verve's reunion album contains the usual Richard Ashcroft theme of searching, "I keep seeking, cause I gotta know" and "For a dream to happen, you gotta let it go" amid a swirling soundscape that is pure Verve.

Vusi Mahlasela: "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" An exquisite cover of the U2 song. Stripping the song of bombast, the South African singer makes it his own and delivers a powerful reading of Bono's lament for his father.

Last Shadow Puppets: "Standing Next To You" The best track from Arctic Monkey Alex Turner's project with Miles Kane , is a seemingly lost song from the sixties, all strings and echoed vocals delivering more "epicness" but in just a little over two minutes.

Vampire Weekend: "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" The first song I heard from the Columbia grads terrific debut. Afro-pop meets preppy and musical magic is made.

The Fireman: "Sing The Changes" A fine moment from Sir Paul and Youth's side project which now comes with vocals. Soaring and anthemic and a perfect soundtrack to the Obama victory.

Will Young: "Let It Go" From the pop album of the year, this British singer comes into his own with the album and its title track, which yearns to let go of what we can't control while affirming that "I've only got one life/Heaven knows what I'm stressing for".

Honorable Mentions to:

Paul Weller: "Cold Moments"
REM: "Hollow Man" and "Supernatural Superserious"
Kathleen Edwards "Buffalo"
Elvis Costello "No Hiding Place"
Goldfrapp "A&E"
Lindsey Buckingham "Treason"
Billy Bragg "I Keep Faith"

Monday, December 22, 2008


Sorry for the lack of posts lately...but we shall return soon with a roundup of the best music of 2008 as well as some film, book and other tasty recommendations. You know how music fans just can't resist lists.

Until then have a joyous, peaceful and happy holiday.