Lists are one of my favorite things to do when I don't want to work but yet can't stand to be busy getting depressed. And you know, the year is ending, and the temptation of making "best of" lists is growing. Ideally, I would like to wait for the end of the year, but given prospects for the end of the year (and most notably, the fact that the new Franz's album comes out only next year), I thought it was safe to do a list of my most favorite tracks of the year.
It wasn't an easy job and I had to exclude amazing tracks from acts that really impressed me during 2008 such as Metallica and Katy Perry. But the final result is a good summary of my preferences and you can see it below. Later I'll possibly do lists of best concerts and albums, but you can get some hints from below. In particular, it's not hard to imagine that MGMT will score pretty high in the other lists also. It's hard for me to describe how much I like their debut album. It's probably true that I listened to The Subways All or Nothing more this year, but MGMT touches me in a deeper sense. it's fun and danceable like other bands that I like, but it gave something new, that basically nobody else is doing, while The Subways album wasn't really a big surprise, given their debut album.
MGMT's only real competitor would be Franz Ferdinand's Tonight, but that comes out in January... so it's time to pretend MGMT is the biggest planet on earth! Enough bullshit (sarcasm?), let's get down to business!
And the best 10 songs of the year are:
10. Never Miss a Beat, Kaiser Chiefs:
No, this is not very deep, but Kaiser Chiefs never was and that's exactly the point. They are not the kind of band to be taken seriously and they know that. They also know that few bands are better to party and that's their strength. Plus, I keep thinking about the whole irony in taking a PHD and listening to a track that says "It's cool to know nothing". It's stupid and brilliant at the same time.
9. Discipline, Nine Inch Nails:
The weight behind Nine Inch Nails tracks always turned me on. And here they add to that weight a disco beat, something perfect for a fan of Metallica and Franz like me.
8. If You Seek Amy, Britney Spears:
After everybody tried to "kill" her and yet she's around, it became easier to like her. Plus this is surprisingly ambiguous (If you're sick of me?) and interesting. Everybody loves a comeback and I'm no exception to that rule.
7. Walcott, Vampire Weekend:
If you know me, you knew that I would put Vampire Weekend somewhere here. I just think it's so easy to like them. Like The Strokes, they are all about having fun with great pop tunes, but without being just another copycat... Why this track? Because they closed Popped Music Festival with that and it's fucking great live. A good summary of how good they are.
6. Great DJ, The Ting Tings:
They have so many hits that it was quite hard to choose which track to put here. I chose this one because it's more like the typical indie anthem, and because it was the the track that made me fall in love with them.
5. Alice Practice, Crystal Castles:
Being nice or not with fans, "stealing" or not music from other artists, nobody can deny that Crystal Castles have now their place in music history. As a sample of their greatness, this track is crazy live, it's like the world is falling apart, one of those feelings that it's hard to describe, you have to experience it yourself...
4. Time To Pretend, MGMT:
This is the kind of track that fits everywhere. In movies soundtracks, in dancefloors, at home. MGMT is the coolest band of the year and a good part of that is due to this amazing song.
3. Spaceman, The Killers:
The Killers are one of those bands that you either love or hate. I was always at the love side but the new album didn't impress me that much. However things are different with this song. The synthesizers are all over the place, the chorus is close to perfection... this is everything that puts Hot Fuss among my most favorite albums. I just wished the rest of Day & Age was nearly this good.
2. Shake! Shake!, The Subways:
This is the number one song in my last.fm. It combines the energy of their first album with, say, the balls of their sophomore cd. Something, to say the least, very impressive. For sometime this year, I could hardly listen to anything else.
1. Kids, MGMT:
From the best album of 2008, comes the best song of the year. Like most of their album, Kids is simply irresistible: It's danceable, fun, original (for this decade's standards...). It's a symbol of the year when New York (more specifically Brooklyn) was put definitely back in the map of indie rock. Whether this band will still be around 2 years from now, it's not clear, but in 2008 they were THE band!