Top 20 Most Annoyingly Catchy Songs of 2008
Ah yes, we all know that there are lists upon lists upon lists in circulation across the internet as the year draws to a close. We even have our own NowPublic Best of 2008 channel - with its own lists aplenty.
But we still felt there was something...missing.
Although music critics and bloggers have picked the "Best Music of 2008" — what about all of the songs you heard in 2008 that were impossible to forget? As in, tunes, hooks, and choruses that were, literally, impossible to get out of your head.
With that in mind (and ear), here are the top 20 most amazingly and agonizingly catchy songs of the year, as chosen by NowPublic's editors.
And don't try and pretend like you don't know what we're talking about. We know you do.
You can listen to our mixtape of The Top 20 Earworms of 2008 — or click any song title to view the video.
Now, here's the...um...best of the worst of the best?
20. Chris Brown and/or any Chris Brown duet - "Forever" / "Superhuman" (with Keri Hilson) / "No Air" (with Jordin Sparks) / "Shawty Get Loose" (with Lil Mama & T-Pain)
Chris Brown can sing hits for Wrigley's gum or sing with any current pop star and make practically any song popular. Take your pick of his sickly-sweet ear candy.
19. Flo Rida - "Elevator" (Feat. Timbaland)
Like every other 'Flow-Ryda' song, this one is undeniably generic and would be entirely forgettable were it not for Timbaland chiming in on the chorus with a little "Ella-ella-vator" hook that sticks the moment it's heard. Is it biting Rihanna? Yep. Does it work? You know it do.
18. Estelle - "American Boy" (Feat. Kanye West)
Estelle's "take me away" chorus is supposed to be delightfuly catchy. Alas, it is not. Have fun whistling along. For the foreseeable future.
17. T.I. - "Whatever You Like" / "Live Your Life" (Feat. Rihanna)
As 50 Cent learned us, sing-song rapping is the new rapping. "Whatever You Like" is the kind of rap song kids can sing at their fifth birthday parties. And "Live Your Life" has Rihanna. And yodeling. And an "eh - eh / eh - eh" chorus. Done.
16. Pink - "So What"
"Nana-na / na na na / nana-na / na na" How is it that Pink can turn nursery rhyme melodies into pop songs? This song is infectious. In a bad way.
15. Pussycat Dolls - "When I Grow Up"
"Ha / ha / ha"? Yeah no. More like, "Argh! Argh! Argh!" When I grow up, I wanna be freed from the memory that this song has ever existed.
14. Lil Wayne - "A Milli" / "Lollipop"
No words can describe the ragged, rugged, rap mess that is "A Milli". But once you've heard it, it's there to stay — in all of its chaotic, incoherent, muddled enigmatic glory. Who or what is Lil' Wayne. Seriously. And if "Milli" confounds you, try "Lollipop" for a more sugary version of Weezy's madness. (Ed: thanks to Blue Crush for the reminder)
13. Rihanna - "Take A Bow" / "Rehab"
This ain't no "Um-ber-ella" (ella - ella / eh - eh), but it's still way too catchy for its own good. Of course, if we're talking about catchiness, we can't forget (no really, we can't) the Winehouse-title-biting pop slab o' "Rehab", which evidently required Justin Timberlake's writing skills (and backup vox) to make melodramatically memorable.
12. Santogold - "Les Artistes"
There's something about Santogold's glitter-spewing, borderline freakout annoying vocal style that, when paired with her uber-hipster Diplo collabs and mixtapes and nearly uniform blogospheric fawning, makes her impossible to ignore. And this tune, despite my deep misgivings, worms its infuriating way into my memory. And it won't leave.
11. Vampire Weekend - "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa"
I love Paul Simon!
10. Q-Tip - "Gettin' Up"
Q-Tip returns to form with a fun, lighthearted, throwback hip-hop album that includes this breezy, jazzy, and catchy tune that, remarkably, does not infuriate me. In fact, I actually like this one! (By the way, nice outfits, Tip.)
9. Flight of the Conchords - "Business Time" / "Think About It" / "Bret, You've Got It Going On" / "Hip-Hopopotamus vs. The Rhymenoceros"
2008 was the year New Zealand's "fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo" finally conquered America. Although their YouTube vids have been steadily gaining millions of views since last year, their self-titled album wasn't officially released in the U.S. until April. Nearly every song on the album is a classic. "Did Steve tell you that, perchance?"
8. Katy Perry - "I Kissed A Girl"
Religious groups hate it. Critics hate it. I hate it. And even you might hate it, but you know it's in your head. It's in there. Inside. And it's not going away. It will be there. Forever.
7. M.I.A. - "Paper Planes"
Thanks for reviving this one, Slumdog Millionaire. M.I.A.'s impossibly catchy sing-song flow, a gunshot-filled chorus, and the simple hook of kids singing "and take ya money" is the perfect way to make a soundtrack memorable — from the opening Clash sample you just know this is going to be an unforgettable banger. And it is.
6. MGMT - "Time to Pretend" / "Kids"
Paradoxically, "Time to Pretend" has become a mainstream hipster's anthem that, from the very first synthy notes of the intro melody, makes me feel like I will be forever trapped in an Urban Outfitters wearing shutter sunglasses and a keffiyeh with this song on repeat. Ok, maybe with two songs on repeat. "Kids" is the other one. Give this band their vowels back!
5. Britney Spears - "Womanizer"
I guess you can officially herald the comeback of Britney when her singles become catchy enough to make you want to stab freshly-sharpened pencils through both eardrums.
4. Kanye West - "Love Lockdown"
Of all the competing AutoTune'd songs of 2008, Kanye wrote the most memorable robot-pop tart of the year.
3. Lonely Island - "Jizz in My Pants"
Impossibly, SNL's Andy Samberg has penned a song that is even more outrageous, offensive, ridiculous, and catchy than "Dick in a Box". Indeed, the beat, the tune, the chorus, the video, the costumes, in all of its offensive glory, this song gets stuck in your brain after a single listen. Damn you, Samberg, damn you! (ps. can't wait for the album!)
2. Kardinal Offishall - "Dangerous" (Feat. Akon)
"Noticing me...noticing you..." — noticing that this song will never ever ever be erased from my memory.
1. Lady GaGa - "Poker Face" / "Just Dance"
"Can't read my / can't read my / no, he can't read my po-ker face" is the most bizarre, yet memorable, pop hook of 2008. Sorry Lil' Wayne. But it's true. That said, card playing and partying are, apparently, entirely musically interchangeable. See "Just Dance" for details.