As the new year approaches and the year end lists start multiplying, it's time for us at Two Day Old Shit to take a look at our iTunes' play count and decide which songs truly made '08 so musically great. You may find that many of these songs come from records featured on our top albums of the year lists, but since we are equal opportunists here at 2DOS, some of these picks were the solitary bright spots on otherwise disappointing and embarrassing records. That's just how we roll.
So, here are our Top 5 Songs of 2008; the jams that we played repeatedly, considered using as ring tones (but didn't because we didn't want the magic to wear off and wanted to pretend that we are adults) and listened to so much that they drove roommates, family and friends completely up the wall (my number one pick led my sister to call me "thirsty"). Enjoy! And please, let us know what your favorite songs from the past year were.
5. 88-Keys f. Bilal "M.I.L.F."Ben's picks:
My favorite part of Adam's saga, this second to last track on the brilliant Death of Adam (a "punani concept" album) has the magical and totally weird Bilal (I swear he is an alien) cooing about baby mama drama and the ins and outs of unplanned parenthood over twinkly piano. Getting baby trapped NEVER sounded this good before.
4. Erykah Badu "Honey"
The last song on her spectacular New Amerykah, Part One (4th World War), "Honey" doesn't exactly fit with the rest of the albums tone, but that's why it was placed last on the track list; it's a bouncy palette cleanser to a record heavy with politics, death and reflection. And the video is hilarious.
3. Jazmine Sullivan "Bust Your Windows"
This tangoish scorned woman lament is way more interesting once you consider that she admits to feeling worse after she destroyed her cheating man's shit. I like a little bit of emotional struggle in an angry relationship song. 'Cause let's be real: no one feels 110% great about spray painting their man's Basquiat painting.
2. Al Green f. Anthony Hamilton "You've Got the Love I Need Babe" All the elements of this tune are amazing on their own, and together, they make Southern soul greatness: Al Green. ?uestlove. James Poyser. Anthony Hamilton. Dap-Kings. Spanky Alford. The fluttering guitar arpeggios Spanky plays are just beautiful (especially the one that fades out at the song's end, where Green goes "won't you play that one more time?") and the punchy horn soaked chorus is so Hi Records.
1. Estelle f. Kanye West "American Boy" Holy shit, do I love this song. So catchy, so breezy, so R&B disco charming. It's the ONE thing Will.i.am did right all year (will the Brazilian consulate PLEASE take away this man's visa?). The sample for "American Boy" comes from Will.i.am's terrible song "Impatient" (which incidentally, makes me feel like I am shopping in a Zara in Ibizia) but with Estelle's sexy and coy vocals (and Kanye's amusing little rap) it got turned into one of the best club tracks ever.
5. Los Campesinos! “We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed”
This band’s first album (also released this year) was a much more fun release, but their best song lies in the second package of songs they gave us this year. The band coasts on Gareth Campesinos!’s verbal stops and starts until he goes into full-on, over-caffeinated threats: “You said he got his teeth fixed/I’m gonna break them.” The best part? He sounds fucking delighted at this prospect. This song gets extra points for featuring the ultra rare indie rock spoken breakdown.
4. Santogold “Say Aha”
Surf-techno-hip hop? Yes please.
3. Black Kids – "I’m Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You"
This song, all gawky synth lines and Robert Smith-aping vocals, boils down all the best synth pop tricks into one of those indie jams that you can’t tell if you’re supposed to dance to or not. I think you are. Too bad this is the only thing worth listening to by this band (so far).
2. MIA – "Paper Planes"
The best, most innovative, banging beat to come out all year. Kala (which actually dropped in 2007, though the “Paper Planes” single was released this February) is nowhere near as strong as 2005’s Arular, but this track stands as the greatest of MIA’s career thus far. “Straight to Hell” + MIA’s swagger = unfuckwithable jam.
1. Estelle f. Kanye West – “American Boy”
Looks like Isabelle and I are on the same page here. Much as I thought I’d be sick of this one, somehow I never tired of the grinding synth pulse of this new classic. Will.i.am, who I will go on record as saying I think is one of the best producers working today (though I concede this is only true half the time) takes one of the most terrible tracks from his truly awful solo record and makes lemonade.