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Top 100 Songs of 2008: #s 100-96

And so it begins. If you have followed The Blogulator for more than a year, you may be familiar with this annual tradition. The counting down of my favorite songs from the previous year used to be updated yearly on the short-lived Listulator, as well as Qualler's, but this is a new era and much prettier web space. Here we shall commence, with the first five of the list that I've spent many hours of the past first week of 2009 tabulating. If you're not sick of lists everywhere else, I appreciate and admire your support in following along with me as I update every day or so (around 4pm or so) until we reach #1. Check the links for YouTube or audio streaming action:

100 "Laydown"
Chikita Violenta
The Stars & Suns Sessions

"And it feels so high / breathing through your eyes."

We now have a Broken Social Scene to the north of us and a Broken Social Scene to the south of us. Sure this Mexican collective sounds almost exactly like their chillier counterparts, but they do all of it so perfectly that it's hard to fault them. It's hopeful, dirty, bombastic, and haphazard rock music for disenchanted yet eternally optimistic youth, and it feels like wrapping the earth and sky around your ears and arteries. The first time that pre-chorus comes with its falsetto "doo-doo"s and underwater guitar riff, chills will run down your spine, but it won't feel like fear; it will feel like a swift burst of cathartic freedom.

99 "Got Your Number"
Nadia Oh
Hot Like Wow
[Tiger Trax]

Moment @ 1:27

Mindless pop music has gone a long way in recent years. Either that or I'm just now finally able to let go of pretensions enough to enjoy the pure ecstacy that so many pop songs offer: flurries of synths and skitters of beats battling for attention over harshly processed vocals that grab your throat and force you to sing along. Especially when that song has a number of WTF moments (one-time production blips are the best) and a snarky-sexy European attitude that blows away all mainstream American pop artists with a single chorus. Yes, it's just a simple girl-meets-boy setup, but the way she threatens to call him (read: me) wracks the three minutes with digital tension that is too seductive to turn down.

98 "Black Heroes"

Moment @ 2:58

This duo that melds guitars into synthesizer-like instruments of the future is usually known for creating dance music with their signature sound, or at least music that you can bob your head to. Most of that went out the window with LP3, and all of it surely got dropped when ever so gently constructing this album closer. It's delicate, airy, and precious, and yet packs enough of an atmospheric whallop as it slowly builds into a hovering bed of wavering melodies atop trickling high notes and the steady warm piano that carries the song from beginning to end. Then the Beach Boys snare comes toppling in out of nowhere and you have no choice but to give in to the delicate madness of Ratatat: oh and that harpsichord strum! It's positively delicious.

97 "Anyway You Choose To Give It"
The Black Ghosts
The Black Ghosts

"If I could bottle what you got then life would be too perfect."

When I first heard this song, I wasn't sure if I loved or hated the intense verbosity of this cheesy dance act's lead singer during the song's unforgettable chorus. Almost every frenzied and insanely infectious beat is accompanied by a spat-out syllable and it's practically unrelenting. Due to the song's catchy nature, I of course kept putting it on repeat in the car, blasting it and shouting along until I knew every word, racing to the end of each refrain along with my fictional musical friends, thus eventually going with "love" at the end of the aforementioned internal debate. In addition, it's an unapologetically nerdy electro-dance number, complete with nasally delivery and ripping muted guitar underneath all the bubbling cacophony, but after letting it all crawl under the skin, it feels just as sexy as any voluptous chanteuse with a sweet tooth.

96 "My Organ Sounds Like..."
Jaguar Love
Take Me To The Sea

"But when I hear that music, all the world is holy."

There once was a band named Blood Brothers. They had a scarily devout fanbase and often played with some of my favorite bands, but to me, their music sounded like a thousand devil babies drowning in hellfire, and thus, I banned their music from my earwaves. Then they broke up and some of the members formed this band. Not knowing their lineage, I pressed play on this track and immediately fell in love. And even after uncovering their past sins, I am hearby absolving all of it because of this song. Yes, the vocals are shrill and even downright uncomfortable. Luckily there's a reverby 50s-pop melody underneath it all that makes it feel oh so joyous and celebratory, with naught an earsplitting note in sight. The dueling singers, and in the final half-tempo verse - the rumbling choral section, both delight in and expel their inner demons, thus making it an amazingly perfect romp for rockers and poppers.

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  1. Blogger Infra | 8:35 AM |  

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Blogger Dave | 8:59 AM |  


    Listened through the first few tracks this morning.

    I love you, Chris Polley.

    P.S. This has gotten to the point where I had a conversation yesterday about when the Chris Polley top 100 was going to come out. You're inching closer to music critic stardom every day.

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