We’ve already proffered our list of best albums of the year, but in many ways, we mark a year by the songs (not entire albums) we associate with certain events, people and places. Therefore, here are the songs that stuck in my head for 2008. These are the tunes that I never changed the station on when they came on the radio (yes, I still listen to the radio… it’s that little thing with numbers on your dashboard–no, not the odometer– that still provides free music and, despite severe problems, such as repetitiveness and overly tight playlists, can turn you on to some great tunes).
It was an okay year for singles, but if we’re to be totally honest, we admit that only a few of the songs on this list we imagine we’ll be listening to far into the future. Not a lot of evergreens among them. And therein lies a really big problem that we’re sure we’ll address more in the new year: If, in part because of iTune’s singles mentality, we have transitioned to a singles world instead of a CD world, what happens when the singles themselves aren’t very compelling anymore?
Regardless, there are a few reasons to be cheerful about this list, not least of which is that half of the songs are from acts’ breakthrough and/or debut albums. That means there are new artists who are cutting through the clutter and it gives us a reason to remain excited about what’s to come from these acts.
1. “Viva La Vida,” Coldplay
2. “Long Road to Ruin,” Foo Fighters
3. “Love Don’t Live Here,” Lady Antebellum
4. “I Will Possess Your Heart” Death Cab for Cutie
5. “Chasing Pavements” Adele
6. “Mercy,” Duffy
7. No Air,” Jordin Sparks w/ Chris Brown
8. “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” Beyonce
9. “Got Money,” Lil Wayne
10. “Time to Pretend,” MGMT