Top 40 Songs Of The Year

So when we thought making an albums of the year post was hard, this one proved to be even harder.  How do you take literally thousands of songs and narrow it down to the best 40 of the year?  Not too sure how to answer that question, but we tried.  Each of these songs scream 2008 in our ears.  As evident by this list, the year in music was quite a good one and we had some tough choices to make.  We’ve got some of the songs streaming for you or links to the song on youtube.  Follow the jump to see if your favorite tune of the year made the list.

40.  Ting Tings – Shut Up and Let Me Go [audio:]

39.  Dr. Dog – Hang On

38.  Richard Swift – Would You?  [audio:]

37.  Helio Sequence – Can’t Say No

36.  Colourmusic – You Can Call Me By My Name

35.  Deerhunter – Agoraphobia

34.  Little Joy – Keep Me in Mind  [audio:]

33.  South San Gabriel – Emma Jane  [audio:]

32.  Tokyo Police Club – Juno  [audio:]

31.  The Dears – Meltdown in A Major  [audio:]

30.  She and Him – Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?  [audio:]

29.  Santogold – Creator

28.  Magnetic Fields – Too Drunk to Dream

27.  Alkaline Trio – Help Me  [audio:]

26.  Lightspeed Champion – Galaxy of the Lost

25.  American Princes – Real Love  [audio:]

24.  Headlights – Cherry Tulips

23.  The Notwist – Good Lies  [audio:]

22.  Love is All – Wishing Well  [audio:]

21.  The Dutchess and the  Duke – Strangers

20.  Of Montreal – Triphallus, to Punctuate

19.  The Kills – Tape Song

18.  Ra Ra Riot – Ghost Under Rocks

17.  Chad VanGaalen – Willow Tree

16.  Mountain Goats – Sax Rhomer #1

15.  Blitzen Trapper – God and Suicide  [audio:]

14.  Gentleman Jesse and His Men – The Rest of My Days  [audio:]

13.  Jeremy Jay – Beautiful Rebel

12.  Destroyer – Foam Hands

11.  Department of Eagles – No One Does It Like You

10.  Silver Jews – Strange Victory, Strange Defeat  [audio:]

9.  Okkervil River – Lost Coastlines  [audio:]

8.  Human Highway – The Sound  [audio:]

7.  Jaguar Love – Highway of Gold  [audio:]

6.  Mystery Jets – Two Doors Down  [audio:]

5.  Islands – Creeper  [audio:]

4.  Glasvegas – Geraldine  [audio:]

3.  Spiritualized – Soul on Fire  [audio:]

2.  David Vandervelde – Someone Like You  [audio:]

1.  Albert Hammond Jr. – GfC  [audio:]

We figured we’d keep our mouths closed on this one and just let the songs do the talking.  We are hereby calling it quits on best of the year lists.  How’d we do?


  • I know, I know…you are no longer fans of KOL, but ‘Revelry’ has the classic makings of a timeless tune. My number one for the year, without a doubt.

    That said, Sax Rohmer #1, is a solid #2 overall as well. And Ting Tings, just squeakin’ in the top 40? I guess the originality of the tempo for the song is in question, but still a great tune from ’08 that I would put in the top 20.

  • “10. Silver Jews – Strange Victory, Strange Defeat”
    This song is a piece of shit! If it can even be called a song. Sounds like some redneck and his girlfriend made a home recording, in a basement in a Nashville suburb, with a 4 track he got for “a sweet deal, down at the pawn shop”. If you listen hard you can almost hear the baby crying in the background, or is that his lady friend holding down the off key harmony? Number 10, Ray?, Really?

    Besides that, Good list.

  • Nice list. “top songs” is a tough assignment, especially this year…

    I buy the idea that there is plenty of good music around this year, but you’d have to agree there isn’t a consensus pick for this topic.

    Not even a “song of the summer” to point back to.

    Is the single dead? are we back to getting complete albums from artists?

    I got through the top 6 without one puzzled look, then kind of hit and miss for me.

    Kyle speaks the truf about #10 methinks.

  • This no doubt took some time. Good work. As I’m reading through, I can’t help but think how glad I am not to be held responsible for such a list. Albums are one thing, but tracks of the year are tough.

    Glad to see Ra Ra Riot made the list. That album is full of songs worthy of the “single” title. Tokyo Police Club – Juno deserves a bump up the boards. I am, however, going to have to agree with the antisemitic viewpoints above. #10 probably shouldn’t be… #10.

    Brett has gone and provoked my thoughts. The concept of the single is inextricably tied to the music industry. Bands need hooks to get signed to a label. Labels need hooks to generate buzz about an album to get the almighty dollar. Is the single dead? Not quite yet…

  • Thats pretty messed up that you guys don’t like jews. I thought that kind of prejudice died a long time ago.

    I see what yall are saying about singles. Sad part is, probably the biggest song of the year “Paper Planes” didn’t even come out this year. Singles are by no means dead, but I do think the days of one song being identifiable by the masses are gone.

    I think it also has a lot to do with our age. In college, we went to college age oriented bars that played the same songs over and over again and those became our “songs of summer”. Now that we are older and wiser, we stray away from being identified with one thing and one group of people. Singles still exist, we just might now know what they are.

    However, I am the #1 supporter of albums making a resurgance like they are right now. I miss album listening parties that the hippies used to have.

  • The Dears are one of my favorite acts in music. So pure and talented, i loved their latest record. The Dears top 10 list of 2008 is also pretty cool too. i checked out their featured playlist on

  • “all the single ladies, all the single ladies,
    all the single ladies, all the single ladies…”

  • the ones i knew, i agreed with, the ones i didn’t, i’m listening to. good job. alkaline trio, stopped listening to/believing in them a few years ago, glad you pointed that one out.

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