40. Fljotavik – Sigur Ros
39. Taking the Farm – The War On Drugs
With what closely resembles the drum-machine tactics of Springsteen’s 80s, post-E-Street sound, ‘Taking the Farm’ springs to life in one of 2008’s best open road songs, building on waves of distortion and chugging along like an antique freight-train.
38. The Hungry Ghost – The Cure
37. Sink Ships – Ryan Adams & the Cardinals
36. Song to Bobby – Cat Power
“As my last witness, I call upon ‘Song To Bobby’, the only new Cat Power original on Jukebox, to stand and be recognized as the obvious stand-out on this disc. Its sentimentality and arrangement is more memorable than any rendition of Joni, Bob, or Hank. It’s simply the best song on this record, even if I’d never heard any incarnation of the covers featured here.
35. From Stardust to Sentience – High Places
As if the High Places’ debut suddenly shifts from grainy, TV antenna fuzz to smooth plasma quality, 'From Stardust to Sentience' closes the disc with a crystal-clear appropriation of their varied sounds. Its cluttering soundbites and jarring percussion become residents of a far sleeker tone, with an underlying keyboard turning their flippant ways into an awe-inspired finale.
34. Heretic Pride – The Mountain Goats
33. Hunter – Portishead
Ain’t no song on Third that captures the trio’s updated take on triphop better than, well, ‘Machine Gun’… but ‘Hunter’ is equally spellbinding and simply better in SCQ’s eyes. The ghosts of their old strengths haunt this song in its dark melodic corridors, creaking guitar strums and Gibbon’s echoed register, which are crudely interrupted by ancient electro codas. Unsettling yet obsessive, ‘Hunter’ makes up the best Third has to offer.
32. Spiders, Snakes – A Weather
31. The Rose March – The Smashing Pumpkins
As the story goes, it was Pete Townsend, guitar-windmillin’ Who legend, who convinced Corgan that 'The Rose March' needed to see the light of day. Shelved during the recording of Zeitgeist but wisely front and center on this year’s American Gothic EP, Townsend’s unexpected praise is spot-on. This is how the Pumpkins should be in 2008, missing half their original organs and operating on a ‘the-past-ten-years-never-happened’ whim. Billy should be playing his older, wiser self, Jimmy should be executing rapid-fire subtleties like the unprovoked military he is, and the result should feel this accomplished, this fresh, and confident enough to ignore what Smashing Pumpkins revivalists prefer to mosh to.