Thursday, December 11, 2008

SCQ's TOP 50 SONGS OF 2008 #30-21

30. Couleurs – M83

29. Street Flash – Animal Collective

“‘Street Flash’ is undoubtedly the EP’s most important [song]; an impressive mood-piece that is comforting but never resting long, assuming gradual transformations that betray its continuous key melody. Its beauty finally proves itself insurmountable as Avey Tare’s platinum screams over a bed of noise only increase our sense of solace.”

28. Fix It – Ryan Adams & the Cardinals

27. Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love - Coldplay

Say what you will about where Coldplay has taken Britrock; all their peers and shadows might give their national scene a better rep if they could write a song like this. True, few songs from Viva La Vida that sound as indelible to the Coldplay template as ‘Lovers in Japan’, but for all their desperate yearning for importance, this is what they do best. Giant, open-ended piano melodies, swoon-worthy vocals - and then, with addendum ‘Reign of Love’ – soft gleams of subtle instruments, and dewy production courtesy of dew-God Brian Eno; that’s Coldplay, the emotional highs and lows, in under seven minutes, leaving little doubt that they’re the best at what they do.

26. We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed – Los Campesinos!

25. On the Water – The Walkmen

“‘On the Water’ establishes the first apex; a rumbling bass and drumline that rotates like well-oiled gears while Leithauser and guitars surge like waves to a cathartic crest."

24. Ether – Electric President

23. Never Stops – Deerhunter

22. Cath… - Death Cab for Cutie

21. Underneath the Stars – The Cure

An archaic drum-machine steps off into Disintegration-era windchimes and opens 4:13 Dream with its only Cure-styled epic; a misleading first impression, no doubt, but mesmerizing on two fronts. A. It’s downright gorgeous, with painstakingly patient Smith-arrangements and sumptuous vocals – often buried in effects but sporadically eruptive like shifting tectonic plates – that confirm the frontman’s ageless pipes. B. ‘Underneath the Stars’ is the bravest statement here, proving that the Cure don’t need keyboards (as Smith boasted following the departure of keyboardist Roger O’Donnell in 2005) to craft emotionally damaged, blown-out classics like this one.

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