Top 50 Songs of the Year

In a few hours we're going to roll out the beginnings of our Top 50 Songs of the Year. It's not an exact science and you can be sure some mistakes will be made. But in this crazy cocktail of indie-pop, alternative rock, and electro-clash/smash/disco whatever, you've got something that looks like a Power Poll. These are the songs you want to go to war with, in order of strength; taking into consideration quality, pop-aesthetic, and emotional impact. We want to be lifted up or broken down and these 50 had a little something to do with both. A few things are immediately clear, so here are some observations and rules before we get started:

1) It was a hell of a year for music.

2) In order to qualify for the list, the song has to be from an album released in calender year 2008. This means that songs that came out in another form or leaked before 2008 are still eligible. Does this mean I'm late to the party on all this stuff? Absolutely not. Go back and check the record. So, I'll use their official release dates for ease and simplicity's sake - but when it comes to stuff like (oh ... I don't know) Vampire Weekend, yes, sadly, most people just got to know them in 2008. Making them eligible whether you like it or not. It also means that Radiohead is out. Official release dates for digital and physical releases of In Rainbows were both in 2007. This is just full disclosure.

3) This is not a list of singles. Songs don't have to have been released as individuals. Which means, I'm free to pick songs that never got the single treatment - even leaving off the true "single" from the record. Call The Stills and apologize now: "Being Here" didn't make the cut but something else did. Same goes for Bloc Party, Mates of State, Friendly Fires and a few others. The singles you put out weren't the best songs on your record. True story.

4) It was a hell of a year for music and this selection process was more than difficult. Now, let's rock and get to the bottom of what was the deepest year since 2004. Let the arguments begin ...

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