Posts Tagged ‘Flobots’

Stuff We’re Loving: The Ten Best Songs of 2008

December 1, 2008

Remember that song that goes “Ela, Ela, Ela, eh, eh, eh, etc”? How about the one with that cool ink-blot video about the guy who didn’t know if he was crazy or not? Of course you do, because those songs will forever be identified with the year in which they were released, but what about this year? Which songs will you hear on the radio in a few months and say “that is sooooo ’08”?

Le Deuxième etape of the Flashlight’s Best Of series focuses on the songs that defined the year in which proximity to Russia qualified you to be Vice President, regardless of whether or not you could point out Australia on a map. Some of them were top 40 hits, others were underground successes, and one of them is about seven minutes long, but regardless of what genre of music you listen to, at least one of them is likely to remind you of the year 2008.

10)T.I.- Whatever You Like

About a month ago, I was in charge of the music at a friend’s house party. His iPod didn’t have much to choose from, so I wound up playing this song about eight times throughout the night, but nobody seemed to care. Every time it came on, people embraced each other and sang along, and five minutes after playing it, people would still come up to me and ask me to play it again (although that may be because they were pissed drunk and couldn’t remember that they had just heard it). Between this song and “Live Your Life (Feat. Rhianna)”, you couldn’t turn around without hearing T.I.’s southern drawl, and justifiably so. As I said before, his album “Paper Trail” is his best work to date, and one of the year’s best albums, so it’s only right that this song spent seven consecutive weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 100.

9) Kevin Rudolf (Feat. Lil’ Wayne)- Let It Rock

As soon as Producer/Singer/Guitarist Kevin Rudolf released this song, America embraced it. Upon being sent to New York’s own Z100 radio station the song quickly became the station’s most requested song, as well as the New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago markets. With no marketing or promotion, “Let It Rock” was featured by the NFL, the NBA, and Dancing With the Stars, until finally getting picked up by the Philadelphia Phillies, becoming the official song of the team’s World Series winning playoff run in 2008. Why did it become so successful? It could be the inclusion of feature-rapper-with-the-Midas-touch Lil’ Wayne, but it’s more likely that the song’s crossover appeal meant that it would be embraced by both hip hop and rock audiences. It has the swagger and production values of a rap song, but Rudolf’s subtle guitar licks and melodies denote a more danceable sound. Either way, this genre-defying track justly deserves it’s place amongst the year’s best songs.

8 ) Kings of Leon- Sex on Fire

This song went to number one in British, Australian and Irish charts. In fact, the only major English-speaking country it didn’t go to number one in was the band’s home, The United States. Nonetheless, it is still the Kings of Leon’s highest charting song in the U.S., and anyone who listens to K-Rock or any other alternative rock station has heard it at least once and fallen in love with it. Originally derided by both the band and the music press, the world embraced lead singer Caleb Followill’s vocals, and the song’s simplicity translated into a damn good pop song. Not bad for a bunch of boys raised by a Pentecostal minister.

7) Metallica- The Day That Never Comes

This album should be an honorable mention on our Best Albums list, as it is the best album the band’s put out since the Black Album, and this is the record’s finest moment. It may sound similar to “One” and “Fade to Black”, and it does have a similar structure, beginning as a slow-ballad before speeding up amid lead singer James Hetfield’s cries of “This I swear”, but it serves in reminding us of the band’s glory days, before the squabbles with Napster and the mediocrities that were their previous few albums. It serves in reminding us that this album is easily their best work in the last 17 years.

6) Estelle- American Boy

While Kanye spent the year whining about his problems through an auto-tune machine for his fourth album, he at least took the time to spit one decent verse in British singer Estelle’s immaculate “American Boy”. Produced by, who was also busy this year writing campaign songs for Barack Obama, the synth-heavy beat harks back to the days of the 1980’s, and there is nothing cooler than Estelle’s London accent giving shout-outs to every major American city, but what really makes this song is Kanye West’s rhyming skills, and it’s what made this song a hit. Shame his new album sucks.