Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Songs Of 2008

This blog is out of date cos I'm into writing in my own language. But I'll post this list cos I want the ho to read it.

The Bubbling-Under:

20. "Like You'll Never See Me Again" by Alicia Keys/"Lamento" by Céu
Although the former sounds like a song played in any Felicity episode, it swayed my best and lonely soap-opera-ish moments. The later was one of my faves at the psycodelic moments and sunsets during the year.

19. "Wikked Lil' Grrrls" by Esthero
Esthero was one of the most scrumptious discovers of the year. This song, that blends Hip Hop and Jazz, had the charming Canadienne singing in so many different voices that she sounded like a whole girl band, but better harmonized.

18. "Nanny Nanny Boo Boo" by Le Tigre
I've had an
Electroklash momentum and Le Tigre is the best band for me. This song is deliciously poser joke about the cult of fame.

17. "Let Me Know" by Róisín Murphy
The most sensual woman from the [Dance] Electronica scene. LMK is one of the most romantic and sexy Pop songs and has one of the coolest videos I'd seen this year.

16. "Warwick Avenue" by Duffy
Yes, I prefer Duffy than Winehouse and this song comes on the peak of my drama-queenism.

15. "Rapture" by Blondie
Including one of the coolest raps from Pop Music history, "Rapture" is the opening song of my imaginary band.

14. "Let's Reggae All Night" by CSS
For months my moto was "if you want, my friend, we can drink in the afternoon". Result: after several alcoholic months, one day I ate a light sandwich and spent the night puking. Conclusion: keep junkie. Viva CSS!!

13. "Boyz" by M.I.A.
May it be "missing in action" or "missing in Acton",
these two terms aren't enough to summarize who owns this alias: Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam. "Boyz", from her second album Kala, is the aesthetic ideal blend of Dance, World Music [although this is a poor category to box M.I.A. in] and political lyrics.

12. "Like A Drug" by Kylie Minogue
Minogue is part of a group of artists that never lets me down. This sexy and suggestive track, from X, was the one that mostly reverberated this year.

11. "Modern Love [Mark Moore & Kinky Roland Vox 12" Mix]" by Kish Mauve
Mima makes me think of artsy divas like Edie Sedgewick or Twiggy. She has the cold sexiness and beauty that Ladyhawke forgot in New Zealand.

Top 10:

10. "Migrate" by Mariah Carey
Factum #1: I don't like Mariah Carey.

Factum #2: I'm never that rough when what she does at least amused me.

This year Carey released the sequel from her ultra-hype 2005 album, The Emancipation Of Mimi, the E=MC². It got mixed reviews and didn't please the fans so much; as for me, luved it!, perhaps cos in her attempt to show that she has the brains in her head and not in the boobs, playing with Einstein's
mass–energy equivalence, Mariah doesn't seem much like the annoying and boring Mariah we know.

"Migrate" has one of the nicest openings of 2008 Pop; besides it has Carey doing what she does best: self-celebratory lyrics that are actually fun.

09. "Black And Gold" by Sam Sparro
My favorite male discovery: Sparro is talented, hot, Aussie and gay! lol Not that the latter is a premise for me liking an artist, but it's way more real to fancy sexy with him than with Julian Casablancas, for instance. "Black And Gold", best track from his debut album, has ultra-romantic lyrics that always kills me and it was one of the best ElectroPop singles of the year; it also swayed my trip to Rome.

08. "American Boy" by Estelle
Spoken as 2008's Hip Hop revelation, Estelle was the first artist of the genre that i actually became fan. After her I opened myself to the wonderful land of Hip Hop.

Featuring Kanye West [gênio!], "American Boy" is one of those radio songs you're not afraid to admit you love, cos it's actually pretty good!

There I was at the backseat of my cousin's ex-husband's backseat, on my last night in Italy, beside my [cute] cousin's son listening to a "mix-tape" he made and I couldn't help feeling fuzzy inside when we sang it from top to bottom.

07. "Je Veux Te Voir" by Yelle
Finding Yelle was one of the most fun things of the year. Like every French girl, she's chic and glamourous, but it was her deprived and blasé features that got me hooked. Pure IndiePop fashion and naughty songstress, Yelle's music are exciting for its explicit lyrics, but above all, for the wonderful production worthy of any dancefloor.

06. "Electric Feel" by MGMT
Indiest moment of the year, MGMT was recived by me with some resistence. The hype around them irritated me at first because the psychodelic album Oracular Espectacular sounded like nothing more than a faux-modernization from 1970's Prog Rock. The way indie world copies the past and unashamedly call it retro always pissed me off, but in the end I lost cos the duo's music is actually pretty.

"Electric Feel" is about the shocks we feel when we see the creature we have a crush on... and Lord knows how much I'm addicted to them.

05. "Paparazzi" by Lady GaGa
This year's most recent addition is
Lady GaGa, my current Pop adoration object. "Paparazzi", according with Germanotta, is indeed a stalker song, but much more about our daily obsession with the celebrity life, perpetuated by the loved/hated paparazzi. For me it's romantic, dramatic and lovely to sing-along, like every Pop song should be.

04. "That's Not My Name" by The Ting Tings
Jules De Martino and Katie White, The Ting Tings, are the current personification of cool. Best ElectroPop release of the year they are posers, but talented - that's why I talked a lot about them during the year

"That's Not My Name" is a genius Electro song that always puts everyone rocking, plus it has fun lyrics about the contempt the industry has on artists that don't follow their patterns. The lyrics also synthesizes the duo bio, they were discarded by labels until they reached Britains pop-charts with this track.

03. "Womanizer" by Britney Spears
Yes, she's been one of the most trashed human beings of the past year, but in 2008 Britney Spears REALLY returned!!! Although she's not as complete as I wished, I can't deny how much she's evolved as an artist. Circus IS one of the best albums of the year and is the proof Spears are capable to do real good stuff. I had noticed with 2007's Blackout, but only when I wrote Circus's
review that I could express arguments about Spears's evolution: it's like she's finally lived and now has tales to tell.

Although nowadays Womanizer isn't my favorite track from "Circus", it was important as the mark of Britney's return to mainstream.
Britney's top 5:
a. Womanizer
b. Kill The Lights
c. If U Seek Amy
d. Phonography
e. Shattered Glass

02. "My Love Is Better" by Annie
I spent most of the year following Annie. When I read she was producing her sophomore album and that it'd be released this year, I revesited her discography, searched her references and craved for every track tht leaked. 2008 was the year that being an Annie fan became important for me, because I realized the underestimated maturity she has as an asrtist. Unfortunately Don't Stop [although being fully leaked on the web] will not be released this year and risks not seeing the daylight: Island Records did to Annie what Mercury Records did to White and De Martino. And now, labeless, she keeps writing and producing songs for her new album, that I really hope is released.

"My Love Is Better" [produced by
Xenomania] is an essentially Pop track, with catchy chorus, LSD-ish synths and Diva pose.

Annie's top 5:
a. My Love Is Better
b. I Know Ur Girlfriend Hates Me
c. I Can't Let Go
d. What Do You Want [Breakfast Song]
e. Marie Cherie

01. "Heartbeat" by Madonna
I was one of the people that trashed Hard Candy at first. Last week I read an article from the Washington Post that explained this weird relationship Madonna's fans X Madonna's new work: when Madonna releases a new album [and consequently a whole new artistic and imagetic proposal] most of the fans spend hours explaining why they hate the new album, to then have a change of heart and buzz at friends' ears saying why they now love it.

With me and "Hard Candy" was the very same thing. I coudln't understand how there could be a Madonna album in which she wasn't the one and only star. By working with mega-hyped producers and not with the Industry's underworld beings, she got out of her comfort zone and shared the spotlight. What mostly comforts me as a critical human being is that not only the fans but also the media didn't get that like many other, this was totally predicted move in her career.

In 2008 Madonna turned 50 and once again the world demanded a certain behaviour from her, and once again she refused to accept it. Months after the album's release, she started touring with her Sticky & Sweet Tour. It was when I heard the repertoire's musical reinventions and read about the show's concept that I finally understood that Madonna wasn't the same, thank G-d!

The concert was conceived as a musical patchwork quilt, like a Hip Hop album/show, using samples and various visual references. The self-celebration was more than comprehensible, after all, like a friend says "Madonna is a person that immortalize images"; and she is now in a moment of life [third age] in which not only a woman's image but everything about her is rejected by society. Still Madonna not only proved she has a lot to say and do, that she is stil able to drag our attention with exactly what is said to be disposable on a woman of 50: the image.

"Heartbeat" is for me the best track from HC. Pharrell showed it ready for Madonna, containing the vocals of one of the Pussycat Dolls's strippers ; Madonna loved, but she reworked on the lyrics that was like every other Pop/R&B song about love and sex, turning it into an ode to dance and music. In the beginning, Madonna wanted to be a dancer and with this track she explains why. "Heartbeat" is the best description of how music and dancing are capable of turning any mortal into gods, like Madonna herself.

I like to think this as a sequel to Michael Jackson's song Off The Wall, that has the same premise. What makes Heartbeat a better sequel is that it is simple and straightforward; somehow, this serves as a hymn to the nightlife and dancefloor lovers.

Madonna's top 5:
This year I also fulfilled my dream of seeing Madonna live. She finished S&S with five shows in Brasil; I was in both of her Rio de Janeiro dates. They were the most incredible experiences I had in life till now; much more important than getting into college or having sex. That because I saw in front of me and felt with all my body the reason I have Madonna as a main reference in life. Therefore, all of the
Sticky & Sweet's setlist could easily be on the list.

Honorable Mentions:

- "Echo" by Cyndi Lauper: it's my week's addiction and the song with potention of turning me into a Lauper admirer.

- "Off The Wall" by Michael Jackson: this year I became a Jacko's music lover. I always accepted him as King of Pop, comprehending his phenomena and acknowledging his importance to Pop Culture. But this year I stopped, sat my ass down, listend to his music and got up to dance. "Off The Wall", the album, is my favorite of his as a solo artist - I even think it's better than his greatest trademark, Thriller; the song remits me to a déjà vu that I love having when I hear a song: the one you simply feel and the more you try you can't find where it came from.

- "Déjà Vu" by Beyoncé: DI-VA!! Beyoncé is the true 21'st century Diva; a person that is born to a fan embedded to her hair couldn't be anything less! "Déjà Vu" Bey's song I mostly like to play - it's shrill, paranoid and terribly romantic. However what mostly attracts me to Beyoncé is her appeal: no matter how wrong her artistic choices seem, you can't help find yourself loving it; and it's not only on the superficial, her works' references and aesthetic quality have become each time more intereting. May come Sasha Fierce!!