My Top 50 Singles Of 2008
#1) Gnarls Barkley, "Run"
Between an inevitable backlash (something I would have been happy to join in after the excessive accolades for St. Elsewhere) and a video that played the track off like "Hey Ya!, pt. II," my favorite single of 2008 by a country mile never really had a chance. Andre hid the fact that he was turning off his heart with a nonsense chorus and some cute come-ons in the coda. Cee-Lo sweats out images of global and self destruction while Dangermouse sucks all the complacency out of Mark Ronson's breakbeat-soul, placing a ball of confusion behind Cee-Lo like the boulder from Raiders Of The Lost Ark.
It's closer in spirit to Electric Six's "Rock'n'Roll Evacuation" than any pop smash, even if it sounds like an easy one. Too propulsive for dancing, but it's not meant to make you move from side to side. In 1968, it was "people...come together!" Today, it's an attack, it's falling from the sky, it's a bomb, it's a hurricane, it's a virus, it's an addiction, it's airborne, it's an economic meltdown, it's calling from inside the house, it's "people...RUN!"
#2) Fall Out Boy feat. John Mayer, "Beat It!"
Am I saying that emo boys can't do better than commit to trashy pop-metal and apply their melismatic passion to an '80s camp classic? Probably. Am I saying that singles don't come any greater? In 2008 - almost. I even love when the band slows down to watch John Mayer fuck a donkey.