Annually StevePrutz.com reviews some pop culture and ranks a best in categories like film, music and television. This year is expanded to include critiques. This.... is.... 2008!
Danger Mouse's beatnik vibe introduces Modern Guilt with this little tune about meeting your maker, complete with acoustic strums, piano twinkles, xylophone accents and ambient sounds. It's the only one on the disc that doesn't sound like an outtake or B-side.
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks: "Wicked Wanda"
Feedback fuzz, echo choruses and crawling guitar solos just work here. Combined with Malkmus' weirdo lyrics, they create an indie oasis that quenches a thirst for some beautiful noise. The intro makes me think I'm playing the opening of Metroid.
Nine Inch Nails: "Echoplex"
This is track is the centerpiece of an album thrown together, as an eventual means to put on one juggernaut of a tour. Sounds of an erratic 80's drum machine perfectly compliment Reznor's imagining of studio claustrophobia (and the industry's agoraphobia of free music). The instrumental outro (especially in concert) shows how plex these sounds can be.
TV on the Radio: "Stork and Owl"
What was lacking from TVOTR's Dear Science was the gloom and glum of their previous album. The industrial-strength coldness of Cookie Mountain showed the world how this Brooklyn band could channel solemn times in America. "Stork and Owl" comes closest to that high water mark, via quivering spoken lines and howls to the moon.
Coldplay: "Yes/Chinese Sleep Chant"
"Where's an Arabic violin break when you need one?" Will Hermes said it best when he compared this song's bridge to the rest of the bunch from the predictable Viva la Vida. The guitar and drums hypnotize in the verses, and the lyrics on consenting make the chorus internationally arousing. The hidden ending of a sleep chant is just cool... I don't know what's so Chinese about it.
***** 2008 BEST SONG *****
Guns N' Roses: "Catcher in the Rye"
Many people forget they've had to wait LONGER for albums to shape up: the music world had to wait 24 years for the Who to release an album; and Peter Gabriel's Big Blue Ball project took 15 years from recording to release. So, give Axl some slack. Maybe he was busy! I'd like to think that the last few years of the Chinese Democracy journey were spent crafting and executing this (relatively short for GNR) song about insanity and assassins. Of all the goodies on the album, this one symbolizes Axl's id and the current band (are they the same thing?)
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