Top 5 singles of 2008

by MV


So here, in fact, we are. Number five, number four, number three, number two, and number one. And then I move on, belatedly, to 2009, with a (kind of) new format. Enjoy!

5. La Roux – Quicksand
Buzz, buzz, buzz, but oh my god this is brilliant. This is, in many ways, a 2009 song, but thankfully it came out in December so I get to include it here. The quality comes as much, if not more, from the fact that there’s a proper, quality dance producer on board as from Elly’s vocals. My most looked forward to Thing in 2009 is hearing more from this fantastic duo.

Best moment: 1:52… gotta love those dropouts
Also check out:Fascination (despite slightly incongrous Monkey Dust based fanvid); Chateau Marmot Quicksand remix.

4. M.I.A. – Paper Planes
As much as La Roux is a 2009 song, this is a 2007 song. Its position suffers a little as a result of overfamiliarity. It’s still incredibly powerful though, and sounded fantastic in the all too brief summer of 2008. Anything that improves on one of the Clash’s best songs has my vote.

Best moment: 2:38, the cheery bit about murder!

3. Lykke Li – Little Bit
As it was her astonishingly good live performances that made her my favourite new artist of 2008, I’m not too annoyed that the offical video seems to have disappeared from Youtube. Subsequent singles may have been more fun, but none grabbed the attention quite as immediately as this weird, slightly creepy little ditty.

Best moment: “Best” is questionable, but the slightly disturbing lyrics from 1:30 made this more than a twee curiosity
Also check out…
Until We Bleed, with Kleerup; Breaking It Up; and of course Gifted, with fellow stars of 2008 Kanye West and Santogold. More on this track to follow I reckon…

2. Estelle ft. Kanye West – American Boy
Well, nobody will be surprised that this is there or thereabouts. There wasn’t really a better chorus in 2008, and it was a fantastic comeback from an artist who deserved more success first time around. Also marks the third and final entry for Kanye on this list. Good stuff.

Best bit: 0:25, Estelle’s vocals come in for the first time.
Also check out: No Substitute Love; Kanye’s awesome Flashing Lights.

and (very little suspense)

1. Santogold – L.E.S. Artistes
The sell*: It’s a song to some extent made by its (brilliant) video. It sounds fantastic though. Santi has plenty of great moments this year, but it’s this one that hit the spot. The chorus is spectacular, somehow managing to sound blustery and over the top while maintaining a little touch of the delicate and the understated. It sums up a lot of what was great about music in 2008.

Best bit: 0:42, obviously. The chorus kicks in. It’s always more powerful in your mind than in reality. That’s an achievement, though, I reckon…
Also check out: Lights Out; Creator; Starstruck (Diplo Remix)

*But… The apology: at the same time it reminds me that there hasn’t really been one standout for me this year. It’s number one for a reason, because it sounds massive etc etc, but I love all of my top 5 almost equally. Perhaps that’s a good thing? Happy 2009!

The rest:
All the Top 50 in one handy list
Numbers 50-11 in detail
Numbers 10-6 in detail