Yesterday I wrote about my favorite albums of 2008, so today I thought I’d blog about my favorite songs/tracks of 2008. I spent more time listening to music in 2008 than I have in other recent years, so I have a lot of music to choose from. At the end of the year I made a master playlist on my iPod and then slowly whittled it down to a more or less manageable number of 25 tracks.
I’ll go ahead and list them as a top-25 list, though I couldn’t really say that number 18 is more my favorite than number 19 or even number 25. I can say that the songs near the top of the list are definitely my top 10 or so.
1. Laura Marling’s “Cross Your Fingers/Crawled Out of the Sea.” This is actually two tracks, but Marling clearly conceives of them as a pair, so I’ve kept them together as my favorite track of 2008. I have no idea what this song means, but I love it, and the more I listen to it the more I love it.
2. Keane’s “The Lovers Are Losing.” This is my favorite track off of my favorite album of 2008. I especially love the chorus.
3. Duffy’s “Hanging on Too Long.” This is the perfect blend of heartbreak, longing, and the blues.
4. The Killers’ “Human.” This song is quintessential Killers. And I love the lines, “Close your eyes / Clear your heart / Cut the cord.”
5. Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance.” Brilliant dance song. And it’s the number 1 song in the U.S. right now.
6. Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours.” So many of my favorite songs this year seem to be about loss, goodbyes, and letting go. I’m glad that I also have a couple of pure love songs on the list. This is the best of the year.
7. Lucinda Williams’s “Knowing.” Another great love song, this one by one of my all-time favorite artists.
8. Jay Brannan’s “Can’t Have It All.” Sometimes Brannan’s music a little too earnest for me, but this song really works for me. I like its discontentment combined with getting fed up with oneself.
9. Keane’s “Spiralling.” The second song by Keane on my list is another one that’s less than happy. I like its sentiment that when we fall in love we’re just falling in love with ourselves.
10. Conor Oberst’s “Cape Canaveral.” Victory is sweet, even deep in the cheap seats.
11. Alanis Morissette’s “Giggling Again for No Reason.” Another kind of hopeful tune. I also like it in my workout mix.
12. Duffy’s “Stepping Stone.” Another great song by Duffy. This was my favorite Duffy track when I first heard the album, but my fondness waned a bit in the second half of the year. But it’s still great.
13. Beyonce’s “Smash into You.” I’ll be the first to admit that my tastes in music often run towards the cheesy. I’ll also admit that there’s nothing to this song but cheese. But I love it anyway (or maybe because of that). It’s a great, cheesy love song.
14. Jason Mraz’s “Butterfly.” The best heterosexual sex song of 2008! I’m not really into that personally, but I love the song nevertheless. Totally hot.
15. Adele’s “Chasing Pavements.” This song is bolstered by its great video, but I think it also works as just a simple love song. The more I listen to it the more I like it.
16. Ray LaMontagne’s “Let It Be Me.” Another simple love song.I guess there are more love songs on my list than I originally thought!
17. Lucinda Williams’s “Honey Bee.” A great rock song. Why are all the sex songs about insects?
18. Jennifer Hudson’s “If This Isn’t Love.” My favorite song off of JHud’s debut album.
19. Grace Jones’s “Williams Blood.” It’s difficult to single out one track from this album, but I like this song’s summing up of Jones’s career, life, and performativity.
20. B-52s’s “Pump.” A great pump it up dance song. It will have you jumping.
21. Cyndi Lauper’s “Into the Nightlife.” Cyndi’s back! A great dance track and my favorite song on the new album.
22. The Killers’ “Spaceman.” I don’t really know what this song is about, but I love it. The video’s great too.
23. Laura Marling’s “Ghosts.” We all have ghosts that we bring into new relationships, whether they broke our hearts or not.
24. Missy Higgins’s “Where I Stood.” I didn’t know where exactly to put this song on my list. Near the end of the year it became one of my favorites, but it was so late that I didn’t think I could legitimately put it at the top. I think it’s a great, great song that really resonated with me for a couple of weeks.
25. Tracy Chapman’s “Sing for You.” This quiet little song is my favorite track from Chapman’s new album. Another nice love song.
I’m not sure what this list says about me or my year, but they’re all songs that I’ve really enjoyed and that will sum up 2008 for me in the future.