Saturday, December 27, 2008

The 50 Best Singles Of 2008

2008 has been an unexpectedly great year for pop music. The first time I compiled an end of year countdown in 2006, I struggled to find 40 songs that I really loved. This year, I started off with a short list of 200 fantastic tunes and over the past few weeks, whittled it down to 50. What made 2008 such a bumper year? Two things. The incorporation of dance and pop elements into urban music and the emergence of electropop into the mainstream. Both trends are reflected in the countdown along with my unquenchable thirst for trash. The numbers are pretty arbitrary - each and every song on the list is a masterpiece in my book. I tried to focus on commercially released singles but my countdown also contains unreleased material, album tracks and a demo. My only concession to common sense was the exclusion of tracks from albums that are still being mined for singles. Hence the omission of Soraya's amazing "Angel Caído" and Lady Gaga's "Boys, Boys, Boys" (for example). It's a bit of a mess but here come the 50 greatest pop trash anthems of 2008. Enjoy!

1. Boys - Ashlee Simpson

America, Album Track

Stop rolling your eyes! My beloved Trashlee might be a complete mess (naming your child Bronx Mowgli should constitute some form of abuse) but there's no denying that "Boys" is a brilliantly written, insanely catchy and crisply produced pop anthem. In my review of Ashlee's surprisingly great "Bittersweet World" album, I described the track as sounding like a wonderful cross between Kylie and Blondie. The comparison is still apt. "Boys" captured my imagination more than any other song released this year. It's a three and a half minute burst of irresistibly camp fun. Every pop trash addict needs this gem in their collection.

"Boys" is available from Aus iTunes. You can listen to the song here.

2. The One (Freemasons Remix) - Kylie

Australia, Single (#36 UK)

Some poor diva had to be the bridesmaid and this time the honour goes to Kylie. Now she knows how Dannii feels 365 days a year. Firstly, I'd just like to clarify that my second favourite pop song of 2008 isn't the original version of "The One" (which I consider overrated) but the 9 minute Freemasons remix. Those boys have made a career fixing stinkers - usually recorded by Beyoncé - but this time they had to remix something that was pretty spectacular to begin with. Their approach was simple. Stretch it out and speed it up. The result, however, was Kylie's first real club smash in years. I can't explain how fantastic it was to hear "The One" every time I went out in London and see the dancefloor explode into life each time. A future classic.

"The One (Freemasons Vocal Club Mix)" is available from Aus iTunes.

3. Break The Dawn - Michelle Williams

America, Single (#47 UK)

It's simply unfathomable that "Break The Dawn" managed to flop - EVERYWHERE. This is an irresistibly uplifting party anthem dripping in synths and heavy beats. "Break The Dawn" represents everything great about the current American music scene. It's catchy, irreverent and makes you want to move your feet. I have no doubt this gem would have been a #1 smash for Beyoncé or Rihanna. Hell, even banged up Kelly Rowland could have rode it in the top 10! I guess poor Michelle will always be known as the bad dancer from Destiny's Child. It's a shame because out of all the DC solo albums released this year, hers is arguably the most enjoyable.

"Break The Dawn" is available from Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

4. Tenía Tanto Que Darte - Nena Daconte

Spain, Single (#1 ESP)

This song, more than any other, reminds me of Spain. It was simply inescapable. I heard "Tenía Tanto Que Darte" every time I turned on the radio or watched TV. Thank fuck it's a great song! Needless to say, it was also something of a smash - remaining at #1 for weeks and weeks. So what's the appeal? "Tenía Tanto Que Darte" is just the catchiest thing I've heard all year. It grabs you from the first listen and refuses to let go. There's also something incredibly uplifting about the track. I feel happy every time I hear it, which is actually kind of ironic given the fact it's a break-up song (the title roughly translates as "I Could Have Given You So Much More").

"Tenía Tanto Que Darte" is sadly NOT available on Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

5. Kill The Boy - Isabel Guzman

Sweden, EP (Did not chart)

Isabel Guzman is THE pop diva to watch in 2009. The lovely Swede can do no wrong at the moment, whether it be tearing Pop Justice Live a new arsehole or dropping the year's best EP. Isabel has what so many of her countrywomen are lacking - charisma and an uncanny knack of connecting with the listener on an emotional level. All the songs on "Kill The Boy" are fabulous but the title track stands tall as the most seductive and original. This track is fragile, dark and so unexpectedly pretty. I hope Isabel explores this sound further on her sure to be amazing debut album.

"Kill The Boy" is available from Aus iTunes.

6. Into The Nightlife - Cyndi Lauper

America, Single (#82 Aus)

"Into The Nightlife" might not have set the charts on fire but it reminded everyone why we fell in love with Cyndi all those years ago and introduced her to a whole new army of (mostly gay) fans. This is searing, hands in the air pop of the highest calibre. "Into The Nightlife" is already something of an underground pop classic and I'm sure it will continue to find the appreciation it so richly deserves in the future. Chalk this up as the comeback of 2008.

"Into The Nightlife" is available from Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

7. Body Talk (Electro Remix) - Don Bennechi

Sweden, Single (Did Not Chart)

Now this is some serious TRASH! I've been meaning to write about Sweden's greatest living male singer for the past few months but I don't think even Pop Trash Addicts is ready for Don just yet. I'm afraid if I plumb those depths there will be nowhere left to go because this legend really does represent the bottom of the barrel. Don is a self-confessed household name in Sweden - not to mention a megastar in Asia - but I'm yet to find any evidence of him having had a hit. Anywhere. That's not to say he doesn't deserve one. In a perfect world, Don would be bigger than Michael Jackson in the 80s! He has the looks of a middle aged Adonis and a sleazy accent that drives me into frenzy. I have to type one handed when I think about Don singing "close your eyes and let me turn you on right from the start, feel the tip of my tongue celebrate your every part". Hold me back! The electro mix of "Bodytalk" is a Dontastic delight. Be warned - this is only for the hardcore trash lover!

"Bodytalk (Electro Remix)" is available from Aus iTunes.

8. Sandcastle Disco - Solange

America, Single (#165 UK)

"Sandcastle Disco" has to be the best #165 smash hit in the history of music. Well, at least until Dannii releases her next single. Solange was an absolute revelation in 2008. I thought "I Decided" would be impossible to top but "Sandcastle Disco" is an even richer musical journey into the sweet sounds of Motown. This gem is an exquisite nod to acts like The Supremes and Martha Reeves & The Vandellas without sounding like a cheap imitation. I'm so glad Matthew Knowles let my Sol-angel out of the basement long enough for her to show Beyoncé a couple of new tricks.

"Sandcastle Disco" is available from Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

9. Free Free - Ami Suzuki

Japan, Single (#32 JAP)

Ami Suzuki is my J-Pop obsession. Earlier this year, I described her as the Japanese Dannii due to her fabulous pop sound, trashy scandals and floptastic chart run but - in all honesty - Dannii hasn't released anything as good as "Free Free" for many a year. This scorching dance anthem boasts a glorious chorus and some seriously crazy sound effects. While the other J-Pop divas desperately strive for credibility, Ami continues to bring the fun. "Free Free" is the perfect summer party anthem. This gem really is worth hunting down. On a slightly different note, Ami recently released a new album but I'm still waiting for HMV Japan to deliver it. Expect to read more about this amazing pop tart in the near future.

"Free Free" is sadly NOT available from Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

10. Walking On A Dream - Empire Of The Sun

Australia, Single (#16 Aus)

Electropop took Australia by storm in 2008. The Presets, The Potbelleez and Van She all experienced success but my favourite slice of homegrown electronica came from Empire Of The Sun. Featuring two of Australia's greatest musicians (Nick Littlemore from Pnau and Luke Steele from The Sleepy Jackson), this band had a lot to live up to but "Walking On A Dream" more than delivered. This dreamy piece of electro was a breath of fresh air on the radio and made many of their contemporaries sound heavy handed and downright boring. Fingers crossed that "Walking On A Dream" takes off internationally in 2009.

"Walking On A Dream" is available from Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

11. Maria - Kelly Wilde

Australia, Single (Did Not Chart)

Stunning Kelly hails from the Shire (South Sydney) but she has become a fixture on London's gay scene with her amazing Hi-NRG cover versions. I managed to see Kelly live twice when I was in London - once at the Two Brewers and then again at the Black Cap with Jamie from Poplicious. We were so overwhelmed by Kelly's brilliance that we ended up storming the stage with a group of Lithuanian sex tourists. Don't ask. The highlight of both shows for me (apart from Kelly's amazing dance routines and bedazzled outfits) was her trashtastic rendition of Blondie's "Maria". This is good, old fashioned Hi-NRG brilliance. All hail, Queen Kelly!

"Maria" is available from Aus iTunes. Watch an amazing live performance of the song here.

12. Double Dutch - CC Martini

Australia, Single (Did Not Chart)

I positively ache for CC Martini. Her unique blend of hip hop beats and smutty pop turned my world upside down in 2008. CC is quite simply the most original diva to emerge from this country in many a year. "Double Dutch" is the perfect example of what this fabulous bitch does better than anyone else. It's a catchy cheerleader anthem in the mould of Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" - only CC advises school girls to rub jizz on their face. Class. CC is currently working with American producers in LA. I can't wait to hear what she comes up with next.

"Double Dutch" is available from Aus iTunes. Watch the video here. Read my interview with CC here.

13. Dancing On The Beach - Robb Cole Ft. Spagna

Italy, Single (Did Not Chart)

I have a soft spot for aging divas with plastic surgery addictions and Italy's Spagna more than fits the bill. Spagna had her last big international hit way back in 1987 with "Call Me" (what a song!) but the old bird never stopped churning out trashy Eurodance anthems in her homeland. And for that we thank her. "Dancing On The Beach" is a trash lover's wet dream. It's perhaps the most gloriously cheesy song on this entire countdown. I have to thank Deirdre Halliwell (a woman of truly exquisite taste) for putting me onto this masterpiece.

"Dancing On The Beach" is available from Aus iTunes.

14. The Truth - Jasmine Baird

Canada, Unreleased

Where the fuck is Jasmine Baird? Up until very recently, this Canadian songbird was best known as Nelly Furtado's back-up singer and the co-writer of Kylie's brilliant "Rippin' Up The Disco". That all appeared set to change when Jasmine signed with a prominent management company, swiftly recorded some of the finest pop tunes of 2008 and promoted them at several high profile showcases (one of which I was lucky enough to attend thanks to Robpop). I'm appalled by the rumours that Jasmine has decided to concentrate on songwriting. She has everything - good looks, a great voice and buckets of talent. It should be illegal to waste all that! I loved all the songs Jasmine performed at her showcase but "The Truth" really stood out for me and I've been obsessed with it ever since. It reminds me of Prince circa "Raspberry Beret" - it's just so catchy and funky. It horrifies me to think that it might end up being raped by some hideous German girlband.

"The Truth" remains unreleased. Watch a short documentary about Jasmine's London showcase here. You can hear "The Truth" on her Myspace.

15. Flower - Kylie

Australia, Unreleased

"Flower" was my highlight of Kylie's amazing X2008 tour. There's just something so moving and honest about this ballad. The lyrics are purposely ambiguous (to avoid being overly saccharine) but I interpret the song as an ode to the children Kylie will most likely never have. Lines like "Distant child, my flower. Are you blowing in the breeze? Can you feel me as I breathe life into you?" are particularly revealing. I swear you can hear Kylie's ovaries crying out for sperm if you listen closely. More importantly, "Flower" works on a completely different level - as a straightforward love ballad. It could just as easily be about the embryonic stage of a new relationship. Regardless of how you interpret it, "Flower" would have added a whole new dimension to "X". I just hope a studio version turns up eventually.

"Flower" remains unreleased.

16. Tell Me - The Wonder Girls

South Korea, Single (#1 KOR)

If only Whores Aloud were one tenth as entertaining as South Korea's Wonder Girls. "Tell Me" has been a favourite of mine all year. It's insanely catchy, has a brilliant sample (Stacey Q's "Two Of Hearts") and still makes me smile every time I hear it. Their latest Korean smash "So Hot" also has the pop trash seal of approval.

"Tell Me" is sadly NOT available on Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

17. Make It Stop - Chloe Lattanzi

Australia, Demo

Olivia Newton-John's crazy arse daughter had something of a breakthrough year in 2008. Her appearance on MTV's "Rock The Cradle" introduced her to an entirely new audience and her erratic behaviour made for some of the year's best car crash viewing. I'm just a little worried that Chloe's album is still unreleased. She has been working on it for almost 5 years and it's been delayed more times than La Toya's "Startin' Over". At the very least, we know it will be worth the wait. The tracks that Chloe occasionally post on Myspace have been uniformly brilliant. "Make It Stop" is another slice of genius. It's dark, strangely beautiful and very catchy. Dear Chloe, please have something to eat and release your fucking album!

Listen to "Make It Stop" on Chloe's Myspace.

18. Migrate - Mariah Carey

America, Album track

Not releasing "Migrate" was the single most stupid record company decision in 2008. End of.

"Migrate" is available from Aus iTunes.

19. Embrace - Pnau

Australia, Single (top 60 AUS)

Pnau scored a minor hit with the ultra annoying "Baby" but they more than made up for that stinker with the grandiose "Embrace". I'm still bitter that this managed to flop. It is my idea of the perfect electropop song - killer beats, catchy chorus and clinically precise production. Hell, it even features the vocals of New Zealand's Ladyhawke and was remixed by Australia's hottest DJs. Bastards! Check out the Sam La More remix - it's particularly brilliant.

"Embrace" is available from Aus iTunes. There is no video clip.

20. Hot N Cold - Katy Perry

America, Single (#4 AUS)

Katy Perry, the poster child for love and understanding, was probably the breakthrough act of 2008 along with Lady Gaga. "I Kissed A Girl" was genius in its own completely inoffensive right but "Hot N Cold" was even better. Pink wishes she had something this catchy on "Funhouse".

"Hot N Cold" is available from Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

21. I Decided (Freemasons Remix) - Solange

America, Single (#27 UK)

Everything I said about "Sandcastle Disco" is equally applicable to this gorgeous gem. The reason for the slightly lower ranking is the fact that the original album version of "I Decided" sounds a bit flat in comparison. It really did need the remix - unlike "Sandcastle Disco".

"I Decided" is available from Aus iTunes. Watch the vido here.

22. Naughty Girl - Mr G

Australia, Single (#8 Aus)

My friends sang this masterpiece loudly all the way from London to Brighton Pride. Lyrics like "she's a slut and she knows it, she wants to root all the boys" take on a whole new meaning in that context! Summer Heights High really was the best thing on Australian TV all year and it was only fitting that Mr G release one of 2008's finest pop tracks. A gay classic.

"Naughty Girl" is available from Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

23. Sola - Greta

Spain, Single (Did Not Chart)

"Sola" is another brilliant anthem I came across in Spain. I think it's the solo debut for the frontwoman of Greta y los Garbos (who have been described as Spain's answer to The Corrs - yuck!) but I'm not 100% sure because I can't find a lot of information about Greta in English. From my (poor) understanding of the lyrics, I also think it's another cheerful break up anthem. Why is everyone in Spain so happy when their relationships falls apart? One thing I am certain of, however, is the quality of "Sola". This is a beautiful slice of mid-tempo guitar pop that gets stuck in your head from the very first listen. I wasn't overwhelmed by the rest of her album but this is top notch pop.

"Sola" is available from Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

24. Just Dance - Lady Gaga

America, Single (Aus #1)

Lady Gaga brought electropop to the top of the Australian charts twice in 2008. For that alone, we should be building a statue in the fabulous tranny's honour.

"Just Dance" is available from Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

25. Because I Love You - September

Sweden, Single (#55 SWE)

Although "Cry For You" was September's big hit in 2008, I vastly prefer "Because I Love You". This was going to September's third single in Australia and local remixes had already been commissioned when Central Station closed down. I was lucky enough to hear a remix by KCB and they really did a fantastic job. Not that "Because I Love You" needed a lot of work. This is one of those incredibly simple three minute pop songs about nothing in particular. I just love the harmony and the sense of joy exuded in Petra's voice.

"Because I Love You" is available from Aus iTunes. Watch a live performance of the song here.

26. Wow - Kylie

Australia, Single (#11 AUS)

"Wow" was my favourite (unremixed) single from "X". Some fans and critics accused the song of being overly camp and lacking credibility. I would ask where they've all been for the last 20 years. Bless Kylie for bringing good, old trashy pop back to the mainstream.

"Wow" is available from Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

27. Fashion - Heidi Montag

America, Single (Did Not Chart)

Don't judge me! "Fashion" is poptastic in the extreme. Produced by RedOne - the powerhouse behind "Just Dance" - this stunning anthem is every bit as fabulous as Lady Gaga's #1 hit. What's not to love about Heidi's shrill voice mispronouncing French luxury items? I think the Heidi haters are just jealous of her perfect life as captured (completely unscripted, of course) on The Hills. At least she can console herself with Spencer's cock. Heidi's trashtastic "Overdosin'" is a worthy follow up to this gem.

"Fashion" is sadly NOT available from Aus iTunes. Listen to the song here.

28. Back Of The Van - Ladyhawke

New Zealand, Single (Did Not Chart)

Ladyhawke was on fire in 2008. "Paris Is Burning" and "My Delirium" received most of the accolades but my favourite single was the retrotastic "Back Of The Van". The first time I heard it, I had visions of Stevie Nicks and Pat Benatar. I love the 80s guitar sound and the subtle but effective chorus. Given the strength of her debut album, expect Ladyhawke to feature prominently on next year's countdown.

"Back Of The Van" is available from Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

29. Run To You - Jade Macrae

Australia, Album track

Jade Macrae's highly anticipated (by me, at least) second album came and sank without a trace in 2008. It was slightly uneven but at its best, "Get Me Home" rivals anything recorded by Beyoncé or Rihanna this year. My favourite track on the album is "Run To You" and I urge everyone to check it out. It's a synth heavy urban pop jam with a distinctly 80s flavour. I can't help but think the album would have stood a much better chance if the label went with this gem as the first single. It's bright, bouncy and so very now.

"Run To You" is available from Aus iTunes.

30. Walking On Air - Kerli

Estonia, Single (#1 EST)

Kerli is a creepy Estonian girl with a big label deal in America. Unfortunately, her kooky brand of gothic pop didn't really take off but "Walking On Air" remains a breathtakingly original pop tune. I love how uneasily the sinister verses sit with the uplifting chorus. It really shouldn't work but it does thanks to some very impressive production. If you like "Walking On Air", I highly recommend Kerli's other single "Love Is Dead".

"Walking On Air" is sadly NOT available on Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

31. Perfect (Album Version) - Vanessa Amorosi

Australia, Single (#4 AUS)

Despite my reservations about "Kiss Your Mama" (I still think it's dire), Vanessa really turned things around with "Perfect" - scoring her biggest hit since 2000's "Shine". The appeal of the song is pretty obvious. "Perfect" is an old school ballad that appeals to tragic gays and bored housewives in equal measure. Vanessa's voice is in fine form and the lyrics are endearingly inane - "you sway gently in the breeze inbetween my dreams". What? Avoid the single edit if you can. It's a complete hatchet job, trimming the song of almost a minute and a half of bad lyrics. The rudeness!

"Perfect" is available from iTunes. Watch the video here.

32. Forever - Chris Brown

America, Single (#7 AUS)

If you told me at the beginning of the year that Chris Brown would feature in my 2008 countdown, I probably would have slapped you with a Dannii CD. In fact, I don't think I was even aware of his existence before "Forever". Needless to say, the fabulousness of this trash caught me by surprise. "Forever" is like the male equivalent of Michelle Williams' "Break The Dawn" - only this was actually a hit. Both tracks share the same bouncy synths, upbeat chorus and fun lyrics. I hope the urban dance trend continues well into 2009.

"Forever" is available from Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

33. Fascination - Alphabeat

Denmark, Single (#6 UK)

"Fascination" is distilled happiness in a song. If this superb piece of pop doesn't put a smile on your face, you're probably an evil cunt like Cheryl Cole. Say the word!

"Fascination" is available from Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

34. Ya No Soy Moderna (Remix) - Silvina Magari

Spain, Single (Did Not Chart)

I'm going to devote a post to this Spanish siren in the near future. Of all divas I discovered in Spain, Silvina is probably the most unique. The best description I can come up with is a cross between Yelle and Roisin Murphy - without being a pretentious wank. She's quirky, super stylish and very, very talented. I wish I could understand the lyrics because I'm told they are witty but you don't need to speak Spanish to enjoy this fabulous dose of continental pop. I think this girl has real international potential.

"Ya No Soy Moderna (Remix) is available from Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

35. If I Were A Boy - Beyoncé

America, Single (#3 Aus)

I've written about my love for this track in several posts, so there's no need for me to repeat myself here. I'm aware that this is a cold, calculated attempt to cultivate a more mature image - stolen from some poor bitch, no less. But it works perfectly. So who, I ask, really cares?

"If I Were A Boy" is available from Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

36. Amor y Lujo - Monica Naranjo

Spain, Single (#1 ESP)

Oh lord. I'm seriously scared of Monica Naranjo. She looks like the kind of demented tranny that would cut your throat in a back alley and then draw pictures with your blood. It took Parker's 4 hour lecture and a month in Spain to overcome my fears but I can finally say that I'm a fan. As much as I love "Europa" (her first single), I find it difficult to cope with a 7 minute pop song. The follow up, "Amor y Lujo" ("Love and Luxury"), is much easier to digest. In fact, this is the closest thing to traditional pop on "Tarantula". I love the operatic chorus and Monica's dramatic vocal delivery. Everything about this song is so completely and ridiculously over the top. There is definitely some kind of scary tranny genius at play.

"Amor y Lujo" is sadly NOT available from Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

37. More More More (Winter Chill Mix) - Dannii

Australia, Album track

Chill out Dannii is an acquired taste. Personally, I can't get enough of it. If "Trip" and "Take Me Inside" appealed to you, then "More More More (Winter Chill Mix) should really push your buttons. It's a dreamy 6 minute journey that grows on me more each time I listen to it.

"More More More" is sadlly NOT available from Aus iTunes. Listen to the track here.

38. There Must Be Something - Isabel Guzman

Sweden, Unreleased

"There Must Be Something" is a tantalising taste of things to come from Isabel in 2009. From the moment I heard this, I fell in love with the vicious synths, sharp lyrics and brilliant chorus. This is pure quality. There really is no stopping this amazing woman.

"There Must Be Something" remains unreleased. Listen to a clip of the song here.

39. Allein, Allein - Polarkreis 18

Germany, Single (#8, GER)

"Allein Allein" was all over the radio when I was in Germany. I'm not surprised because the song really is quite epic. Polarkreis 18 are kind of like the German equivalent of MGMT with their unsual brand organic electronica. "Allein Allein" is something special. The English language verses build up to a truly anthemic German chorus. Throw in some pulsating beats and a children's choir and you're left with one of the year's most weird and wonderful pop songs.

"Allein Allein" is sadly NOT available on Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

40. The Winner Takes It All - Kylie & Dannii

Australia, Album track

My initial response to this was intense disappointment. I had been waiting for the Minogues to release a duet for so long that my expectations were completely unrealistic. "The Winner Takes It All" isn't perfect. I still don't think it's a great song choice for them and the production is fairly underwhelming but it is a hell of a lot of fun and the track has grown on me immensely. The best thing about "The Winner Takes It All"? It provides irrefutable proof of Dannii's superior vocal prowess. Fact!

"The Winner Takes It All" is NOT available from Aus iTunes. Listen to the song here.

41. Sigo Enamorada De Ti - Edurne

Spain, Single (Did Not Chart)

I love Edurne. Her latest megaflop album, "Premiere", is possibly the gayest thing I've heard all year. On it the Spanish diva destroys covers a bunch of camp showtunes - in Spanish and heavily accented English. It's tragifabulous on an epic scale! My favourite hatchet job interpretation on the album is Edurne's Spanish language cover of Olivia Newton-John's "Hopelessly Devoted To You". I worship Olivia and it warmed my heart to hear this when I was in Spain. It's actually quite lovely but I guess Edurne has had a lot of practice - she's playing Sandy in Spanish stage production of "Grease". If you like this, check out her amazing cover of "You're The One That I Want". Heavenly!

"Sigo Enamorada De Ti" is sadly NOT available from Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

42. I Kissed A Girl - Katy Perry

America, Single (#1 AUS)

I didn't kiss a girl in 2008 but I think I accidentally went down on a transvestite in Malaga. Does that count?

"I Kissed A Girl" is available from Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

43. Rollout - LaBelle

America, Single (Did Not Chart)

One of the greatest girlbands of the 1970s reunited in 2008 and no one seemed to give a shit. Well, it's your loss. "Rollout" is an absolute corker of a track. It boasts some amazing production (courtesy of Wyclef Jean), camp lyrics and three of the best voices in the music industry. This trashtastic slice of geriatic urban pop puts their much younger rivals to shame. Lay-deez!

"Rollout" is available from Aus iTunes. Listen to the song here.

44. Creatures Of Habit - Judith Owen

Wales, Single (Did Not Chart)

I'm such a whore for fierce cover art. I was mesmerised by Judith's naughty school marm get up and decided to give "Creatures Of Habit" a listen. This is one book you shouldn't judge by the cover. I'm not sure what I was expecting but it wasn't gently uplifting folk pop. Normally, I run screaming from this type of music but "Creatures Of Habit" is so sweet and pretty that it just kind of got under my skin. I love Judith's phrasing and the simplicity of the arrangement. This turned out to be a very pleasant surprise indeed.

"Creatures Of habit" is available from Aus iTunes.

45. MiMiracle - Adore Me/Show Me

Norway, Single (Did Not Chart)

MiMiracle is a busty beauty from Norway who rocked my world with her amazing Hi-NRG "hits" - "Show Me" and "Adore Me". They are both basically two versions of the one song, so I've combined them. It's hard to write about MiMiracle without mentioning her amazing video clips. This is one diva who really knows how to work her two greatest assets and I'm not talking about her voice! Not that there's anything wrong with her pipes - you just can't hear them under all those vocoder effects. Long live MiMiracle!

"Show Me" and "Adore Me" are available from Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

46. Rock With U - Janet

America, Single (#158 UK)

I'm starting to feel sorry for Janet. The poor bitch couldn't do a thing right in 2008. "Discipline" fell down the charts faster than Dannii's knickers at a dyke bar, Def Jam dumped her and she had to cancel most of her tour due to "vestibular migraines" - an interesting way of saying that she got fat. That's not even touching on the eternal torment of living in La Toya's shadow! Well, I'll throw this old dog a bone. "Discipline" was a complete stinker but there's no denying the genius of "Rock With U". It's a futuristic slut jam produced with absolute clinical precision. Janet hasn't sounded this sexy and cutting edge for years.

"Rock WIth U" is available from Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

47. Lovesick - EliZe

The Netherlands, Single (#15 NED)

I recently mentioned the Dutch Queen of Dance (DQD) in my tribute to Central Station. EliZe's debut album ("In Control") is one of my favourite pop albums of this decade, so it's an understatement to say that I was looking forward to her new material. "Lovesick" isn't quite as fabulous as "Automatic" or "Into Your System" but it still blows most of her contemporaries out of the water. It's cute, catchy and makes you want to dance - what more do can you ask from a pop song? I am slightly worried about EliZe's second album if her nasty cover of Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff" is any indication. Yikes! However, I will keep the faith. There's something special about this Dutch diva.

"Lovesick" is available from Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

48. The Show - Lenka

Australia, Single (#71 AUS)

Lenka's "The Show" walks the fine line between sweet and saccharine with the skill of an acrobat. Sometimes I think it's perhaps a little too cute for its own good but I'm usually too caught up in the wry lyrics and ruthlessly upbeat chorus to care. There were days in London when I listened to this on repeat - it brought some much needed sunshine into the gloom and for that reason alone "The Show" earns its place on my countdown.

"The Show" is available from Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

49. Work (Freemasons Remix) - Kelly Rowland

America, Single (#6 AUS)

2008 has been a banner year for ex-members of Destiny's Child. Beyoncé finally came good with "I Am... Sasha Fierce", Michelle Williams shocked everyone with the amazing "Break The Dawn" and Kelly Rowland scored an international solo hit with "Work". This was released almost a year ago but I'm still in love with it. The hypnotic Eastern loops combine perfectly with a fierce diva chorus to make one hell of a good pop song. Put it in!

"Work (Freemasons remix)" is available from Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.

50. I Want Your Love - Nick Skitz Featuring Melissa Tkautz

Australia, Single (#60 AUS)

I'm not sure if Transvision Vamp's "I Want Your Love" really needed to be covered for the 279th time but it's always a treat to hear something new from Australia's Queen of trash. Melissa can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned. She rocks out with the best of them on this and Nick does a great job transforming the track into a dance anthem. I hope they both find a new home after the closure of Central Station.

"I Want Your Love" is available from Aus iTunes. Watch the video here.



tommie said...

OMG @ Don and MiMiracle! I hope people download these two gems! I think you could've at least given the Juno Download link for MiMi though; she needs to cash!

PS. I hope everyone downloads Don Bennechi.

tommie said...

Whoops. I read your post wrong in my excitement. I guess I experienced a MiMiracle!

Paul said...

utterly amazing. i share some of your songs in my countdown that is getting more and more irrelevant the more that these more brilliant countdowns go on. And what? No Billiam?!

Justin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Justin said...

LOVE this list Mike! Glad to see some of my favorite bitches in pop featured. <3

Although I must admit the inclusion of Lady Caca and that vile Katy Perry disturbs me a bit.

Ro Ro said...

This is the most amazing 2008 music round up i've ever seen. I love how Dannii snuck something out. I bet she did it just to be added to this list! I can only imagine what 2009 has in store for us! Ashlee had such hit potential on her album it's such a shame only u and i will know lol.

Parker said...

Amazing post although is a bit shocker not to find any Soraya's track. Tenia Tanto Que Darte is still running high in here.
I'm a huge Greg Kurstin fan but I feel Wow was a bit weak. Carried Away, b-side to that is being the same type of song much better. And Kylie's best song of 2008, probably in years must be Cherry Bomb. An Flower and her Cherry Womb can go to hell.

Scarlett said...

What a fab list! I really love your choices. I haven't heard some of the entries, and that's why I love your lists - I always discover something new to listen to! :)

Peibols said...

Yeah, I'm gonna send this post to Soraya's Fan club (if there is any) so they can start insulting you and so on.

Anyway, Spain and Australia, as top 3rd Worls countries must have the same laws. And an australian gay should stay here without any green card.

Jamie_movietrip said...

Poor Janet, LOL. Feedback was good too, with its cheap and nasty video. Her mohawk hair-DON'T on her tour was pretty hot too.

I can only agree about Labelle, what is wrong with the gays of the world!!! It's a crime that it wasn't at least a well loved flop, nobody cared at all! Dear Patti, she gets no love. It did need some amazing remixes though, I guess there wasn't the budget LOL.

Not sure The One beats my song of the year, Wow, but anyway....

Cyndi deserved a proper hit this time. #83! What's all that about?

Wonderful choices as usual.

But, I have noticed... no Donna Summer? I would have thought the brilliance of Crayons would have revealed itself to you by now, Mike! Poor Donna. She could barely sing her new songs on her tour they were that processed and overproduced! Heavenly!

Mike said...

Tommie - I think you are Don's only other fan. He really is... in a league of his own.

Paul - Billiam just missed out. It was a toss up between "My Generation" and Melissa for #50. Mel won :(

Justin - Thanks for all your help with the blog this year. I understand but don't agree with the Katy Perry hateration but why is there so little blog love for Lady Gaga? Is it because she's actually successful?

Ro Ro - Trashlee's genius is our own little secret. I seriously think she drained Timbaland and The Neptunes of all their best tracks, leaving Madonna with all the leftovers for Shit Candy!

Parker & Pablo - Check my opening paragraph. Bloody Spanish bitches. Soraya is specifically excluded from the list because the tracks on her album could all be singles next year. Her only single (and therefore eligible song) "Sin Miedo" is perhaps the only song on her album that I don't really love. She will appear much higher on my best albums list!

Scarlett - You really need to check out Jade Macrae's album. I think you'd like it seeing you're into Beyonce, Solange, Janet etc.

Jamie - Patti is a goddess and the LaBelle reunion is a gift from sweet baby Jesus! I have to disagree about Donna though. I loathe "Crayons". It's abysmal. I like to pretend it never happened!

Justin said...

About Lady Caca, I think people are sick of the pretentiousness she exudes. Especially when she talks about making fun throw-away pop then she will go on to say she makes art and thinks it can be compared to David Bowie and Andy Warhol. All her songs could have been sung by Heidi Montag which is funny considering some of them were first recorded by her. It's not like she's even been that successful. Her album has only done well in Australia but flopped everywhere else including the US. Just Dance is selling but the album has yet to pass 300k worldwide. Then again I've never understood the love with her and I've always thought she was a dollar store disney knockoff of Grace Jones.

D'luv said...

THis list is pure class...and thankfully you included CC Martini, because if anyone deserves to have the rocket that is PTA launched up her snatch, it's her!

Kudos for including "Forever"/Chris Brown, my number one choice for the year.

I was a bit disappointed to see Heidi Montag's "Fashion," and not her true masterpiece, "Higher." At least you included a shot from the "Higher" video, though, with her lop-sided jugs swinging on the beach.

Happy holidays!!

Jay said...

I can't believe you have succumbed to the overhype of Slaggy CaCa! She has all the talent of Lisa FLOP-Lee, the personality of Ratshit STDvens, the dress sense of Xtina Uglieria circa Dirrrrrrrrrrrty and makes Rosin Murphy seem positively unpretentious!

And that Katy Perry can fuck right off back to whatever street corner she was found on as well - she is VILE!

However, great too see so many fabulous trashy Spanish gems in there and completely agree with your sentiments on Wow which is classic Kylie and what she does best. No video for MMM though? I'm shocked!

Aaron said...

Haha - FANTASTIC List!

Kinda surprised at No. 1 though.

Some random thoughts:

The One = Epic!
Yet to hear Michelle Willams.
Or Isabel Guzman - Can't wait for an album.
Into The Nightlife should have been bigger.
I quite like Walking On A Dream.
Dammit - I have to buy CC Martini's album.
Jasmine Baird sounds Great!
Never quite understood the love for Flower.
Chloe - Release your album!
Naughty Girl was just hilarious!
Poor Central Station...Because I love you would have been huge!
Yay for Kylie!
And (I never said this...) Heidi!
I love the album version of Perfect - much improved!
I thought The Winner Takes It All should have been higher...
I do have to get around to hearing Eliza.
Loving Work - Still!

John said...

Loving the list, and thanks for the comments on mine. Some of the stuff you have on your list ended up on my top dance tracks list, which will see the light of day this evening. And pay no mind to the GaGa or hate her, she's the breakthrough that those of us who love dance/pop on the charts have been waiting for. I think we're going to see a renaissance of the one-hit wonders that it seems Central Records fostered in the 90s.

Is that really the legit cover for "Boys"? That is freakin' trashtastic!

Mike said...

Hey John - thanks for dropping by!

Sadly that isn't the official cover of Boys but a Pop Trash Addicts original. Trashlee's record company is welcome to use it!

Jamie said...

Haha, I cant believe are seedy night out at the Black Cap got a mention. Seeing Kelly Wilde perform before doing my own performance on the stairs outside was one of the high (low) lights of my year!!!

As ever some great songs in your Top 50 although I fucking hate Lady GaGa!

lexy said...

sorry the late comment! wow this is easily the BEST music list of 08 so far! I'm glad that you remembered Ami! Her latest album "Supreme Show" (I think that's the one you ordered?) is amazing, you will enjoy it.

Wow at Ashlee being number 1 though, I seriously hope Jessica follows in her sisters route and stops doing CUNTry =/. Lastly I pray that Heidi releases a full album in 09!