23 December 2008

The 10 Best Singles of 2008: Part 1

I've decided to split this into two because between me, my ramblings and the Youtube videos that should be accompanying all of these songs, it's gonna take up a lot of room just to do 5 on each post - the top 5 singles will be displayed tomorrow, but for the time being here's the countdown from 10 to 6:

10. Hot Chip - Ready For the Floor

For their first and dominating single from their third album "Made in the Dark", Hot Chip employed one of Daft Punk's best (and sometimes worst) qualities. Repetition. And repetition that would hang around like a bad rash until you scratched it so much that you just had to go out and buy the single. That's probably what makes this song work so well - it may be more accessible and simplistic in style than "One Pure Thought" or "Shake A Fist" but at the same time it allows you to dance. Oh, and that line about "You're my number one guy" isn't a homosexual comment - as Alexis Taylor's outfit might suggest, it's a line that the Joker says to Batman (I forget which one the line's in though, sorry.... I've failed you....)

9. Neon Neon - Belfast

These guys have practically released every song on their album as a single - which is good because I get to pick my favourite song (although maybe I could've plumped for "Raquel".... ho hum...) You do get a slight shock with how fast the song starts and how aggressive it sounds at the beginning and then there's this whole gothic vibe going on in the middle where it sounds like someone's going a bit bananas with a suped-up harpsichord but Gruff Rhys' delicate vocals turn this into a dark love song to the Northern Ireland capital.

8. Friendly Fires - Paris

First entry for Friendly Fires (we'll be seeing them later, mark my words) and it happens to be their first single, originally released late last year but then re-released after the success of their second single, slightly revamped and with a shiny new video to top it all off. There couldn't have been a more aspirational song this year as Ed McFarlane lovingly sang of running away to France as soon as he brought some money home to lead a better life, watch the stars and find love. Their passion for samba is not as prominent here, but the percussion manages to give the airy, dreamy synths a slightly serrated edge. I know a song is good when it goes by in a flash despite it being nearly 4 minutes long.... this one passes at the speed of light.
Video (I've chosen the old one because the sound is better):

7. Ladyhawke - Dusk Til Dawn

Inspired by a nightmare, sang like a dream (oh God, I think these cheesy things I write are getting worse). The video showed how our heroine Pip Brown was woken in the night by strange noises only to be attacked by strange men in masks. And one with a Rubik's Cube on his head. Lovely. Why everyone keeps saying that "Paris Is Burning" is her best single, I have no idea.... The fact is, "Dusk Til Dawn" showed us that you can make a great pop song without having to make it overly long... or even three minutes long, for that matter. It had a kind of swaggering simplicity that you wouldn't find from someone who is really so shy. We love you, Pip!

6. M.I.A. - Paper Planes

She re-released it. But the only reason it didn't score higher was because someone must have told her to fool around with the sound effects on the record because now everyone is playing the "censored" version. Now, she doesn't swear but they seem to think that she does, and the power is lost with the covering up of the chorus with some weedy sound effects. But for your pleasure I've tracked down the original version complete with video! It's the only version you need - take delight in this comment on working just to pay off debt, dead-end jobs and getting pushed into crime. If anything it condemns guns and violence, and as she nicely put it in a an interview earlier this year: "the intelligent 5% will now that it's ironic". Indeed.
Video (not the awful tampered one):

1 comment:

  1. hope you have a great new year mate

    and hope you ok, not heard from you for a while? x


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