It took me a while to think up of a list. I wanted to keep it mainly mainstream-based (my excuse for not including alternative country/americana singles, those of which I really couldn’t list lol). I didn’t listen to a whole lot of mainstream country radio this year, as compared to past years, because of, of course, XM Radio and my iTunes/iPod. My list definitely includes, and excludes, singles that other sites have placed on their year-end lists. For my own, I was bent on making sure that the tracks considered were mostly 2008-played singles, and so I came up with these. Some of these are surprises and others maybe not so much.
Happy New Years to everyone and hopefully your 2009 is much better (I know the first half of my ’08 was much better than the second, but I am satisfied with the time I got the spend the time with my family over this time – and kinda crazy – but it’s been a great year). Btw, the pic above I chose because I was pretty green the whole year and I thought it looked nice, especially as a negative, as it is now)
Time to reveal my:
Top 16 Favorite Country Music Radio Singles of 2008:
- 16. “No Air” – Rissi Palmer:
- Call me surprised as well. When Rissi first came about, I supported her, but didn’t particularly care for her debut single (“Country Girl”). It wasn’t until I heard her “countrified” remake of Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown’s pop hit, “No Air” that I became really interested. Though Rissi’s version is still very poppy, I find myself lovin’ the heavy fiddle, mandolin, and steel production with the catchy vocals. Too bad it wasn’t a hit. Woulda been sorta cool if she maybe made this a duet with Keith Urban or something.
- 15. “Workin’ for a Livin’” – Garth Brooks & Huey Lewis:
- Hahaha, another remake, I say? Yes. I find this a very catchy track, and it’s classic Garth: full of bluesy harmonica and rockin’ fiddle. It’s like a hybrid of “Ain’t Goin’ Down (‘Til the Sun Comes Up)” and “Beer Run”. To be quite honest, before this, I didn’t really know who Huey Lewis was, but had heard of him. The music video is really cool and liking the NASCAR-theme. Definitely a fun number to listen to and the lyrics are totally true. I could do without the “working” female background vocals, however. They’re annoying lol.
- 14. “Sounds So Good” – Ashton Shepherd:
- The song title explains itself on how I feel about the track. I love her über-twangy accent (I used to hate when people used that term, but it’s fine if I do it) and it confirms how much she loves being at home in the country. Reminds me of the summer and of being out in the Arizona desert. It’s contemporary country with traditional country soul. I’m glad this song got played a decent amount, which was more than expected since radio kinda sucks.
- 13. “You and Me and Time” – George Jones & Georgette Jones:
- I don’t think this song went anywhere on the charts, and was one of the best songs of 2008, IMO. Georgette has such a beautiful voice and it’s very reminiscent of her mother, Tammy Wynette. The song is about her childhood relationship with her father, and his absence that shadowed those times, and now, they’ve got time to be closer than ever. It’s a sweet and pure country duet. In the chorus, I love the pause after “time” and before “finally got together“… awesome.
- 12. “Rocks In Your Shoes” – Emily West:
- Another one gone… newcomer Emily West really impressed me this one. Very poppy, but as proven, country-pop can be done well, and she did it. She got the title of the song from a phrase her grandfather used to say, if I’m not mistaken, and it took a big meaning. Her voice reminds me of a younger, playful Patty Loveless. One of the most catchiest songs of the year. Check out her EP.
- 11. “His Kind of Money (My Kind of Love)” – Eric Church:
- My favorite single from this guy. I’ve never been too big on him, but have always liked this singles. I really like the message of this song…money can’t buy everything, and you’ll realize that. It can’t replace real and good love.
- 10. “Long Cool Woman” – Clint Black:
- What’s up with some of the songs I be picking not having an actually album to be a part of? lol (stuck on an EP or as individual single downloads). Right from the start, with its groovy guitar-and-fiddle driven intro, you know this is gonna be good (one of my favorite songs to run with on my iPod!). I love the production on this remake of The Hollies’s 70′s rock hit, and Clint knows how to “countrify” about anything well – the sound is similar to his past songs, “Loosen Up My Strings” and “Money or Love”. The story is classic and you don’t get too many of these. She sure had it all with all that mystery. (Btw, I just looked and I guess the single is not available on iTunes anymore )= ).
- 09. “I Saw God Today” – George Strait:
- I think I preferred “You’ll Be There” slightly more, but you can’t deny this man can sing a great song, and this proves it. There seems to be a lack of God singles lately, and it’s nice to be reminded of the good things He places in our life everyday, ones that we don’t even think of. This one is particularly special because of the last verse and George’s daughter who he lost years ago.
- 08. “This Is Me You’re Talking To” – Trisha Yearwood:
- Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful is what describes this. I’m not usually keen on adult-contemporary country slow songs with lots of piano, but this is an exception. The piano, steel, and strings compliment Trisha’s exquisite and calming voice extremely well. She sings powerfully in the chorus about the awkwardness her and her ex feel when they run into one another, and you can feel it too. Kudos for the Grammy nomination!
- 07. “Good Time” – Alan Jackson:
- Some people love this song, and some people hate it. I used to not be crazy about it, but grew to love it. I really think it was the “G with an O, O with a D, T with an I, M and an E” line (and the too-cool music video) that did it. Just a great summer song and left me wanting to turn up loud, and line dance (well, if I had a line dance to join, I would). I like the shout-outs to “B&D: Kix and Dunn”… yeah, I need a good time!
- 06. “You Can Let Go” – Crystal Shawanda:
- Yes, the lyrics are kinda cliché, but it’s never been done like this. I may be biased because she’s Native like me lol, but there’s no doubting Crystal’s talent on this one. Completely distinct. Surprised this one was not bigger! I thought radio woulda ate this one up! (one of the few times they should have). I have yet to lose someone really close to me, but this is one emotional song, regardless, and one of the greatest debut singles from an artist, I think.
- 05. “Last Name” – Carrie Underwood:
- Like I told you before, I don’t listen to country radio too often (and especially when this one was a single in the spring because I was in school), so I didn’t hear the super overplays this song had. I think this is really the one that established to me that she’s not so bad. Clever lyrics, and fun performance. I like this even better than “Just a Dream” and I like how she steals her new husband’s Pinto lol (that’s what tequila will do to ya).
- 04. “Last Call” – Lee Ann Womack:
- Favorite line is the opening: “I recognized your number / It’s burned into my brain“, because I know how that is. Erase a number and when a certain someone calls or texts you later, you can tell it’s them because you got that number engraved into your memory. I think everything about this song is brilliant: the lyrics, the production, and of course, the stunning and aching vocal delivery. Lesson of the day: when drinking Johnnie Walker Red, don’t call your ex for a booty-call (it might have worked in “I May Hate Myself in the Morning”, but not this time! Well, that wasn’t an ex really, more like an old friend…)
- 03. “Another Try” – Josh Turner (with Trisha Yearwood):
- Can’t really go wrong with these two superb vocalists together in one impressive track (though, I really think Trisha really makes this song what it is). The dobro, strings, and fiddle are lovely. The conclusion of the song showcases both of their vocals the best and you don’t want it to end.
- 02. “They Call It Falling for a Reason” – Trisha Yearwood:
- Guess this is TY’s year for me! lol. Can’t say enough how much I love this song. The catchiness and tempo is a big motivation for when I run and just makes you feel good. Pop-country at its very best. This is proof that Trisha is still at the top of her game, and she can bring it, anyday. “It’s the tumblin’ rush, it’s a helpless kind of feeling” …
- 01. “Maybe She’ll Get Lonely” – Jack Ingram:
- Seeing from my Top Played iTunes list, you shouldn’t be surprised haha. I still can’t get enough of this song, and I’ll admit, it still gets me sad when I listen to it. I know the lyrics have been done time and time again, but they came at just the right time for me and I think Jack made the song different with his vocals. When he sang it here live at the Grizzly Rose last year, that was pretty special, and just as exciting as I thought it would be (though, I wish the keyboards were present lol). Here’s a live performance video from YouTube from another show (coincidentally he was wearing the same exact thing at ours lol). I’m angry that this song didn’t chart very well, but am kinda happy too, because it makes it a little more unique without all the attention (disappointing music video though – I wanted an actual acting one! lol). Hopefully, 2009 is a great year for Jack!
Keep on keeping on.
And no, I will not do a “Best Albums of 2008″ post, simply because I wouldn’t feel right making one because I lack some of the good ones haha (based on of some people’s lists). Still need to check out some…