Tuesday, December 16, 2008

P-fork 2k8 singles list breakdown

So, the complete Pitchfork best songs of 2008 list is out, and I have listened to all frickin' 100 of them (well except for the 2 or 3 not available for free download), even the damn electronica ones that last 12+ minutes. My inclination is to go negative in my list deconstruction, but I'm gonna try and keep things constructive. But first, I've gotta ask, wtf Pitchfork, bringing back 'Time to Pretend' and 'Flashing Lights' for encore appearances? Why not 'Paper Planes,' or 'Crazy' 2 years ago? Is there some wacky rule I'm missing here? I guess I'm cool with the return of 'Time to Pretend,' because its a kickass jam (my #2 favorite song from last year). However, 'Flashing Lights' isn't good enough to deserve a second go-round, let alone a top 20 showing. I mean, the beat is cool, but Kanye's raps are less then compelling.

Alright, with that off my chest, I'll narrate my personal tour from 100 to number 1. The first 15 or so don't do much for me, although many of them are electronic stuff that I've never listened to but kind of enjoy ('Paris' remix, Empire of the Sun song are highlights). At 83 we get to a song I've heard, the Titus Andronicus one with the long silly name, which I like a lot, and is my 2nd favorite from that album. Good pick. I'm a bit disappointed with the Love is All choice at 81, because I have other favorites that didn't make the list. I love the Ida Maria song at #79, which I'm hearing for the first time. I'll have to check her out (good video too). Nice Frightened Rabbit pick at #78, they should have had more songs on the list. 'Blue Ridge Mountains' was a good choice at 72, but as my favorite Foxes tune, I would have put it higher. I like the Max Tundra song at 65 (at this point i should say that if I don't mention the song, I dislike it or find it uninteresting). The Dodos bring it with 'Fools' (59), and I'm pleased to see Young Jeezy make a 2nd appearance on the list thanks to his sick verse on 'Love in this Club' (55). The first half ends on a high note with selection of TVotR banger 'Golden Age,' a song I plan to spend more time with in the future.

I have high hopes going into the second half. However, I'm mostly let down by the selections for 50-25. Of course I've got to give a shout out Nick Cave for 'Dig Lazarus' (42), and I must admit a growing apprectiation for Mr. West's work on 'Love Lockdown' (39). Nonetheless, 2 mediocre TI songs (neither of which contains the words 'You Can Have Whatever You Like' in its title), and the highest charting Vampire Weekend song is 'M79'. Whatabout 'Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa' or 'A-Punk'? The list probably hits its nadir with the lyrically retarded (but sonically awesome) 'Constructive Summer' at 25. I'm getting really depressed, but them I'm hit with 1-2 punch of Beyonce and Santogold at 23 and 22, and all of a sudden I've got reason to believe. I'm even digging on the Hercules Love Affair track at 21. Top 20, here we go.

Unfortunately, 20-10 prove somewhat disappointing. Not that these are bad songs, but they're not rocking my world. The Wiley and Mae Shi songs are pretty solid. I've got mixed emotions about 'A Milli' at 14, basically because I think it's slammin', but I think it should be top 5. The top 10 proves to be hit and miss. I've got a crush on Estelle, I actually really like the Deerhunter song, and Santogold once again comes up huge (little known fact, Santi White is a Wes-tech alum like yours truly. Along with MGMT, a good year for the Tech. We also had Obama do our graduation speech). However, I find myself more or less indifferent to the rest of 3-10. A little to disappointed to see 'White Winter Hymnal' at #2, but only because I'd called it at #1 (otherwise I was stoked). As usual, I was a little underwhelmed by the number one pick. Hercules Love Affair, you follow in the fine tradition of Justin Timberlake, Antony and the Johnsons, Annie, etc.

All in all, I must conclude that it was kind of a weak year for singles. I'll give Pitchfork a hand for not doing a terrible job. I don't think there were any egregious oversites this year (as in last year's 'Throw Some D's' debacle). But who knows, maybe these really are great songs, I just need to live with them a little. We shall see.

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