Favorite Albums of 2008

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Sara Bareilles, Little Voice
Sounds like: Linda Rondstadt singing the writings of Gloria Steinem
Best Tracks: “Love Song,” “Bottle It Up,” “Come Round Soon,” “One Sweet Love”
Representative Lyrics: “There’ll be girls across the nation that’ll eat this up / babe, I know that it’s your soul but could you bottle it up”
Notes: Blending traditional pop hooks and melodies with her husky, bluesy voice and piano plaing ranging from honky-tonk to plaintive, Bareilles crafted a fun, interesting, and unique debut album.

HONORABLE MENTION

Keane, Perfect Symmetry
Sounds like:
Best Tracks: “Perfect Symmetry,” “Spiralling,” “Again and Again”
Representative Lyrics: “I choose this mortal life / lived in perfect symmetry / what I do / that will be done to me”
Notes: Keane’s third album takes the sound of synth pop and incisive, socially critical lyrics and creates and album worth more than the sum of its parts. With the “golden rule” as its moral center, “Perfect Symmetry” examines our historical moment with foresight and concern, building an argument in which everyone is encouraged to stop, consider, and foster change.


Adele, 19
Sounds like: Pre-heroin Amy Winehouse or Petula Clark on downers
Best Tracks: “Melt My Heart to Stone,” “Chasing Pavements,” “Best for Last,” “Cold Shoulder”
Representative Lyrics: “Then I hear your words that I made up / You say my name like there could be an ‘us’ / I best tidy up my head, I’m the only one / in love, I’m the only one in love” (“Melt My Heart to Stone”)
Notes: Adele is the clear standout in the retro-soul crowd of singers. While Winehouse may have a great (yet inconsistent) talent and Duffy a lot of promise, Adele has cornered the market on the melancholic.


Black Kids, Partie Traumatic
Sounds like: 80s synth pop + 21st Century irreverence + 1/2 Olivia Newton John + cheerleaders
Best Tracks: “Hit the Heartbrakes,” “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You,” “Hurricane Jane,” “Listen to Your Body Tonight”
Representative Lyrics: “Don’t be scared to fall in love because you don’t like heights / Listen to your body tonight; it’ll treat you right.”
Notes: This was one of the two best musical recommendations I’ve ever gotten from a friend. I liked the album instantly and thought it was fun and interesting and well-crafted pop.


Blake Lewis, Audio Day Dream
Sounds like: Wal-mart’s version of Justin Timberlake with a Fisher-Price drumkit
Best Tracks: “How Many Words,” “Hate 2 Love Her,” “End of the World,” “1000 Miles,” “I Got U”
Representative Lyrics: “I don’t know where this is / I don’t know what I’m in / I can’t see down the road / But it don’t matter long as I got you”
Notes: I accept the criticism that will come with including this on my list, but I will say he’s here partly for not sucking (as a few people on this list are as well). Lewis has a good voice (beat-box aside) and the songs are straightforward pop music without many surprises…except for the meshing of hip-hop and 80s new wave sounds.


The Bravery, The Sun and the Moon [Complete]
Sounds like: Joy Division on Prozac
Best Tracks: “This Is Not the End,” “Every Word Is a Knife in My Ear,” “Fistful of Sand,” “Angelina”
Representative Lyrics: “I can touch your skin but you aren’t there / Frustration burns in me, it’s more than I can bear / I want to take you in my fist and squeeze the life back into you / But there is nothing I can do; you are gone.”
Notes: The Bravery have done something respectfully ballsy by retooling their The Sun and the Moon release as a “complete” set that includes inspired “Moon” versions of the original album. The collection is a truly brilliant example of instrumentation’s impact on music–both albums are great: the original versions are frenetic rock-pop with strong guitar riffs and clear vocals; the “Moon” version inverts these songs and replaces guitars with synths and pulsing beats, gurgled vocals, transforming the “sunny” album into something much darker and more mysterious. They are also amazing live.


Britney Spears, Circus
Included after handicap scores were calculated
Sounds like: The drugs are wearing off!
Best Tracks: “Circus,” “Unusual You,” “If You Seek Amy,” “Kill the Lights”
Representative Lyrics: “Mr. Photographer / I think I’m ready for my close-up / (Tonight) / Make sure you catch me on my good side / (Pick one)
Notes: Almost a kind of revision of Blackout, Circus builds on a more mature sound for Spears, although I suspect producers aren’t totally comfortable giving her carte blanche to manufacture her own album just yet. Britney’s here because the album doesn’t suck. It’s not as good as many others on this list, but it is proof that reinvention is almost as important as creation.


Cut Copy, In Ghost Colours
Sounds like: (Depeche Mode – goth) + Apple computer + the gays
Best Tracks: “Out There on the Ice Again,” “Heart on Fire,” “Lights & Music”
Representative Lyrics: “You don’t know what to do / There’s a game now; who’ll be there for you?”
Notes: Cut Copy has a sound fit for a Macintosh computer ad–tricky beats, ethereal vocals with a slight foreign accent. (All that’s missing is Juliet Lewis.) This is another “fun” album of danceable rock music, which to me is the height of our civilization.


Fall Out Boy, Folie à Deux
Sounds like: Fall Out Boy’s last album
Best Tracks: “I Don’t Care,” “America’s Suitehearts,” “What a Catch, Donnie,” “She’s My Winona”
Representative Lyrics: “I’ve got troubled thoughts and self-esteem to match / What a catch, what a catch”
Notes: Pete Wentz’s confessional yet flippant lyrics sung through Patrick Stump’s bellowing, rangeless voice continue to be the traits separating Fall Out Boy from their guyliner peers. While this album isn’t much of a departure from the recent classic Infinity on High, it borrows from other traditions like ska, ZZ Top, and even–yes–a little hair metal.


Heloise and the Savoir Faire, Trash, Rats, and Microphones
Sounds like: Pat Benatar starring in a remake of Foxes
Best Tracks: “Members Only,” “Datsun 208z,” “Disco Heaven,” “Po’ T”
Representative Lyrics: “Purple plastic lipstick bitches / butting in line is flipping our switches / and we’re too too cool with our frozen margaritas / chewing the fat, pulling on our heaters”
Notes: Frontwoman Heloise Williams has a voice of equal snarl and sigh. Coupled with the disco-rock beats of the band and nostalgic 80s lyrics, the band produced an album both amnesiac and prescient. Although it owes a great debt to its New Wave and disco predecessors, the album is purely theirs: fun, aggressive, and chic.


Hercules and Love Affair, Hercules and Love Affair
Sounds like: Scissor Sisters circa 1974
Best Tracks: “Hercules Theme,” “You Belong,” “Blind,” “Raise Me Up”
Representative Lyrics: “Now that I’m older / the stars should light up my face / but when I find myself alone / I feel like I’m going blind”
Notes: Laying vocals by Antony of Antony and the Johnsons over looping, inane beats takes what would otherwise be cotton candy fluff and makes it both poignant and mature. Hercules and Love Affair have a haunting (and haunted) sound only made stronger by their otherwordly connection to disco’s past (and to the trauma and sadness disco sought to obscure or cure).


The Hush Sound, Goodbye Blues
Sounds like: Honky-tonk-rock-pop-soul-etc
Best Tracks: “Medicine Man,” “The Boys Are Too Refined,” “As You Cry”
Representative Lyrics: “As you cry / I don’t wanna lie / and say I love you so / even though I don’t / There’s no easy way to heal the pain”
Notes: A genre-bending band, The Hush Sound cross all sorts of instrumental and vocal boundaries, including snarling guitars, tickled pianos, a male vocalist, a female vocalist, and thumping drums in their path.


Jack’s Mannequin, The Glass Passenger
Sounds like: Coming Out of the Dark, leukemia version
Best Tracks: “Spinnin’,” “Swim,” “American Love,” “Bloodshot,” “The Resolution”
Representative Lyrics: “You gotta swim / Swim for your life / Swim for the music that saves you / When you’re not so sure you’ll survive”
Notes: I love Jack’s Mannequin. Andrew McMahon’s creative child has grown into its own since the dissolution of Something Corporate–and with good reason. McMahon is an excellent songwriter. This album lacks some of the aggressive piano and guitar of his last work, but the change is for the better. These songs are more complex, documenting his treatment for and ultimate survival over his illness.


Kate Nash, Made of Bricks
Sounds like: Lily Allen’s poorer cousin
Best Tracks: “Pumpkin Soup,” “Foundations,” “Mouthwash,” “Skeleton Song,” “We Get On,” “Nicest Thing”
Representative Lyrics: “Then I’ll use that voice / that you find annoying and say something like / ‘Yeah, intelligent input darling, why don’t you just have another beer, then’ / And then you’ll call me a bitch and everyone we’re with / will be embarrassed, but I won’t give a shit.”
Notes: This album resists categorization but would probably exist comfortably among your pop albums. Nash’s odd lyrics and song subjects often belie their depth, addressing abusive relationships, unmet expecatations, doomed crushes, or pure longing.


Natasha Bedingfield, Pocketful of Sunshine
Sounds like: Radio Disney in a string bikini
Best Tracks: “Put Your Arms Around Me,” “Pocketful of Sunshine,” “Piece of Your Heart,” “Angel”
Representative Lyrics: “Who doesn’t long for / someone to hold? / Who knows how to love you / without being told / Somebody tell me why I’m on my own / if there’s a soulmate for everyone?”
Notes: Skating on dangerously cheesy ice, Bedingfield departs from her adolescent girl- and single girl-anthems to deliver what would otherwise be a steaming pile of crap. In her voice, with its reedy vulnerability and smoky experience, though, they become something else, excusing the teenage diary lyrics, which are more often about being happy than they are about being heartbroken. Or anything else, for that matter.


Panic at the Disco, Pretty. Odd.
Sounds like: Somebody spent their summer listening to the Beatles, and wow!
Best Tracks: “Nine in the Afternoon,” “She’s a Handsome Woman,” “That Green Gentleman,” “Northern Downpour,” “Pas de Cheval”
Representative Lyrics: “I never said I’d leave the city / I never said I’d leave this town / A falling out we both tiptoe around”
Notes: Quite a turn away from their last effort, but Panic do their Beatles tribute album well enough, bringing another singer up to meet Brandon Urie’s lead vocals (or take them over from time to time). On the tour this summer, the four bandmates seemed more like satisfied elder statesmen than a band supporting their sophomore album. While it’s not as good as their last disc, I give them props for taking risks and trying something new.


Paramore, Riot!
Sounds like: Avril Lavigne singing with AFI
Best Tracks: “Crushcrushcrush,” “Misery Business,” “For a Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optmistic”
Representative Lyrics: “No sir, well I don’t want to be the blame, well not anymore”
Notes: Paramore have cultivated a really nice sound by combing Hayley Williams’s melodic voice with their dissident punk-inspired guitar riffs. It took me a while to get into this album and I do think Hayley and Avril have more than a passing vocal resemblance, but where Avril defers to pop, Hayley absorbs rock music. Paramore are a tougher, rougher approach to Avril’s sound.


Katy Perry, One of the Boys
Sounds like: A drag queen singing Liz Phair’s lyrics over Benatar riffs and beats
Best Tracks: “One of the Boys,” “Waking Up in Vegas,” “Hot N Cold,” “Self-Inflicted,” “I’m Still Breathing”
Representative Lyrics: “I saw a spider, I didn’t scream / And I can belch the alphabet, just double-dog dare me / And I chose guitar over ballet / And I’ll take these suckers down cuz they just get in my way.”
Notes: I regret we were introduced to Perry through “Ur So Gay” and “I Kissed a Girl.” Even with the latter, I can get behind this album, though I always skip “Gay.” Perry’s voice alternates between a masculine growl and a lighter, more delicate upper register, and much of her album finds her trying to reconcile the pressure/desire to be feminine with her natural inclination to act a little more butch than that. Even in person, she takes on the cultural figure of the drag queen–almost comically representing a hyper-feminine look that belies (or supports) her dangerous “masculine” sexuality. I’m hoping a little maturity in her next album will show her detractors that she’s more than just a fad.


Rihanna, Good Girl Gone Bad
Sounds like: An R&B hit-making robot with dancer’s thighs
Best Tracks: “Disturbia,” “Shut Up and Drive,” “Push Up on Me,” “Rehab,” “Umbrella,” “Good Girl Gone Bad”
Representative Lyrics: “It’s gettin later baby / I’m getting curious / My body’s lookin at ya / I feel delirious”
Notes: Was it possible to turn on your radio last year without hearing one of Rihanna’s unending string of singles from this album? The standout track is “Disturbia,” which I’ve seen a wide variety of people get into. When this album hits the mark, it knocks it out of the part, but for as many great tracks as it has, there are three or four real clunkers. But it’s not to say that Rihanna won’t continue to be one of the most influential pop musicians of the next several years, especially the way she works at a tireless, frenetic pace.


Santogold, Santogold
Sounds like: Gwen Stefani & Björk made a baby
Best Tracks: “L.E.S. Artistes,” “Say Aha,” “Creator,” “Lights Out,” “I’m a Lady”
Representative Lyrics: “Go ahead / I’ll be your junkie / I’ll be deplete you can heap all rubbish here / Go ahead, now dump it on me / if I go quiet will the itch go down with me”
Notes: One of the oddest albums this year, Santogold’s debut disc sounds like a sonic kitchen sink (thanks, Björk) with a firm pop sensibility (Gwen) that incorporates elements of punk, R&B, rock, dance, and even reggae. Often at the same time. One of the oddest tracks, and a favorite, is “Creator,” an aural assault that pulses with jungle beats and feline snarls. Fun stuff!


Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
Sounds like: Cape Cod meets Cape of Good Hope
Best Tracks: “Oxford Comma,” “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” “Campus,” “I Stand Corrected”
Representative Lyrics: “Why would you speak to me that way / Especially when I always said that I / haven’t got the words for you / all your diction dripping with disdain / Through the pain, I always tell the truth”
Notes: I’ve never heard music that sounded so much like it belonged at an Ivy League University in my life, but this is that album. Although it reeks of brick buildings and grassy malls, Vampire Weekend maintain an odd connection to work music sounds like reggae and African-inspired rhythms and chants. The end result is something oddly engaging (many people, including myself, asked other people why we liked this band even as we liked it) and utterly unique. Bonus points for writing a song about grammatical style (“Oxford Comma”) without seeming smarmy.


Various Artists, OMFGG: Original Music from Gossip Girl
Sounds like: Veronica Mars Soundtrack
Best Tracks: “Do You Wanna,” “One Week of Danger,” “Got Your Number,” “Crimewave,” “We Started Nothing,” “Glamorous [Constance Billard Girls Choir version]”
Representative Lyrics: “Is there something that you wanted from her? / I want her legs, her body and her cash / And was there something that you needed from her? No. And if she’s playing hard to get I’m out the door.”
Notes: I wonder if the thicknecked dudes at my gym realize that half of the songs playing on LA Fitness radio were featured on a TV show aimed at seventeen year old girls. Or that they’re also playing on my little iPod. I’m not usually a fan of soundtracks, but this one would serve as a great party backdrop. Most of these bands were new to me, except The Ting Tings and Phantom Planet, but almost all of the tracks are catchy and fun–especially the girls choir take on “Glamorous.” That’s pure genius.


The Veronicas, Hook Me Up
Sounds like: The Donnas, if they lived in our decade and were popular in their high school
Best Tracks: “Untouched,” “Hook Me Up,” “Take Me On the Floor,” “Revenge is Sweeter (Than You Ever Were),” “In Another Life”
Representative Lyrics: “Even if I leave you now / and it breaks my heart / even if I’m not around / I won’t give in / I can’t give up / on this love”
Notes: This album will probably always remind me of getting settled in DC since it was in heavy rotation on my Metro stranger repellent device (iPod). It’s unabashedly poppy, but the twin sisters who front the band dabble in a little bit of everything, which is the recipe for great pop. You can sing it in the shower, you can dance to it, and you can play it on your guitar at home–it doesn’t get better.

If You Seek Britney

“There’s only two types of people in the world,” Britney Spears opines on her new album, “the ones that entertain and the ones that observe.” From her perspective, I don’t doubt for a second that this is the truth, seeing as she’s one of the most oft observed people in American culture (or should I say surveilled?).

You knew it was only a matter of time before I wrote about Circus, her second release in twelve months. Like 2007’s Blackout, Britney’s playing again with “grown-up” rhythms and arrangements, toying with “adult-oriented” lyrics, and essentially doing a great impression of a mature person.

The album’s standouts include “Phonography,” which meditates on the joys and considerations of phone sex; “Kill the Lights,” addressed to the prying paparazzi; the syncopated “Trouble”; and even the dirty-dirty innuendo of “If You Seek Amy” is sort of fun (“All of the boys and all of the girls are begging to if you seek amy”–when you say it out loud it makes more sense). But for me, the best track is “Unusual You,” an ethereal, harmonized dance piece that evokes electronica wizzes like Imogen Heap. Simple, sparing, and with apparent unflinching honesty, the lyrics are well-suited to the music. The song’s so good it’s hard to believe it’s really a Britney Spears song.

As many wins as there are on the album, there are a bunch of missteps. The clunky, accusing “Womanizer,” aside from resurrecting a ridiculous term, sounds like a rewritten attempt at Blackout‘s “Ooh Ooh Baby,” which was about as exciting as you might expect by that title. “Mmm Papi,” while fun, feels like it would have suited Britney about five years ago, prior to making babies. The beat in “Shattered Glass” sounds so much like the song preceding it that it’s hard to tell they’re two unique tracks. Finally, “Lace and Leather” promises the Joan Jett side of Britney but delivers Elvira in her place.

We don’t turn on any of the Fox sitcoms expecting Chekov; we shouldn’t expect the sense of craft and styling from Britney that we would a singer-songwriter. It doesn’t mean that “depth” and “Britney Spears” are mutually exclusive, but there is a sense of authenticity lacking in this album. Aside from its moments approaching greatness, her producers are still reluctant to let Britney go all-out into Kylie Minogue’s territory, where pop music is fun, interesting, and irresistible.

The Katy Perry Problem

Having loved myself a little Jill Sobule back in the 90s, after homosexuality was titillating but before it was decriminalized in several states, I was a little miffed when Katy Perry (née Katy Hudson, former-next-superstar-of-Contemporary-Christian-Rock) appeared on the scene with her thumping, Benataresque tribute to lesbian tourism “I Kissed a Girl.” I found the video to be overly lubed with hyperfeminine stereotypes of straight-man-fantasty lipstick lesbians (or, in this case, Chapstik lesbians) and, well, kind of offensive, considering precisely how much trauma is actually wrapped up in many gays’ “applications for permanent visas” in gayland. (Where our mail goes.)

I poked around on iTunes and saw one of the songs on her album One of the Boys is called “Ur So Gay,” so I read the lyrics, which go a little something like this:

“You’re so sad maybe you should buy a happy meal
You’re so skinny you should really Super Size the deal
Secretly you’re so amused
That nobody understands you
I’m so mean cause I cannot get you outta your head
I’m so angry cause you’d rather MySpace instead
I can’t believe I fell in love with someone that wears more makeup than…

You’re so gay and you don’t even like boys
No you don’t even like
No you don’t even like
No you don’t even like boys”

I got more offended. The song relies entirely on some silly stereotypes that belong, in my opinion, more in the hipster realm than in gayland. After working at the Gap for a while, I can tell you I helped more straight guys into skinny girl jeans than gay guys. Not that the gays were asking for my help anyway.

So: moral of the story at this point is, Katy Perry, you are lame and a hatemonger.

But then “Hot N Cold” came out, and it’s a fun song, and it’s a little funny, and I started to listen to her, and then I downloaded her album. The rest of the songs aren’t as offensive, and I even came to love the joy-in-transgression of “I Kissed a Girl.” Although the video does draw questions about who “wins” when Perry kisses a girl (and who gets to watch the slumber party), I think the song itself is steeped more in experimentation–lesbian tourism–than in offense. Although Perry quickly follows up her admission with a reminder that she is, after all, in a straight relationship, there’s something to be said for allowing ourselves to encourage everyone to ride someone else’s bike for a while to see if maybe it’s right for them.

If, as a gay culture, we enforce a “you break it, you bought it” approach to sexual experimentation, we’re going to alienate people who are simply too afraid to try before they bi. And honestly, isn’t a return policy the core value of all American interactions?

I still struggle to accept “Ur So Gay,” even though I like the rest of the album (especially “I’m Still Breathing,” “Self-Inflicted,” and “Mannequin”). I will say I’m glad that in this context, “gay” means “homosexual” as opposed to “stupid, lame, or undesirable,” because that’s my second linguistic pet peeve (the first being confusing “anxious” and “eager,” as in “I’m anxious to go home”).

The tipping point for me was this article in Blender magazine, in which Perry essentially claims she is 60% drag queen and in love with every homosexual she meets. It might be clever damage control, but it’s not like Blender really has a huge queer following. If she’d had this interview with The Advocate, I’d be smelling publicist on her breath in a second.

What do my gays think?

OMFGG

Last week I downloaded OMFGG: Original Music from Gossip Girl. This is because during every episode I end up feeling like the music on the show feels exactly right for it, even when the choice is something unexpected. I think of a scene from an episode earlier this year when Blair, during an impromptu garden party she’s thrown, walks down the long, wood-paneled hall of a townhouse toward the library, where she’s about to find her ex-boyfriend and her current boyfriend’s stepmother in flagrante delicto. The song playing? Santogold’s “Creator,” a raucous, frenetic, and flat-out strange track that doesn’t exactly scream “potential heartache” at all. But what it does do is suit the character moreso than sensitive acoustic rock would under any circumstance. Blair is, after all, a hunter. The song does her justice.

Though “Creator” isn’t included on Volume 1 of OMFGG, there are plenty of other great songs here. Of the bands, only two (Phantom Planet and The Ting Tings) were known to me; the rest are delightful finds. The first half of the album pounds with steady rock beats and infectious pop hooks with songs like The Kills’ “Sour Cherry” (which asks, repeatedly, if you’re the “only sour cherry on the fruit stand”), The Kooks’ “Do You Wanna,” The Teenagers’ “Feeling Better,” and The Virgins’ “One Week of Danger.” Some fun electronic pieces take over, like Nadia Oh’s “Got Your Number” and “Crimewave” by Crystal Castles.

Because I’m a Gossip Girl nerd, I watched the DVD extra on the show’s music. I know the producers consider two factors when planning the soundtrack—that these kids would have access to (and would seek out the social cache of) obscure music, but would be obligated by their age and peer group to adhere to accepted musical standards of their generation. I think the album satisfactorily straddles both ends of the spectrum. It’s also fun to listen to on your iPod while walking to and from the subway (this I’ve tested).

Two fun inclusions on the bonus version: “Everytime,” by character Rufus Humphrey’s fictitous almost-famous 90s band Lincoln Hawk (which is purportedly written about fellow character Lily Van Der Wootsen, now Lily Bass—sorry, Rufus) and the girls prep school choir version of Fergie’s “Glamorous,” notable for encouraging children remember to not include the phantom “u” in their spelling of the word.

This Week in Modern Rock

I sort of reluctantly bought the new Keane album despite two overwhelmingly negative experiences:

1. Their last album was really disappointing, and
2. They got a poor review from Blender magazine, whose reviews I mostly trust.

But after sampling a few of the songs and knowing Keane were moving over toward the Killers-esque synth sounds of New Wave rock, I acquiesced.

Although the members of Keane are cuter than your average boy band, they’re smarter too. Perfect Symmetry, the new album, while deeply influenced by the synthesized rock of the early to mid-80s, is much more intelligent, has a greater sense of craft, and has–even–interesting lyrics.

The album has a bit of a bell curve so far in terms of quality. High points are “Spiralling,” “Perfect Symmetry,” and the manically maudlin (but hopeful?) “Pretend That You’re Alone,” which alleges:

We are just the monkeys who fell out of the trees
We are blisters on the earth
We are not the flowers, we’re the strangling weeds
In the meadow
And love is just our way of looking out for ourselves
When we don’t want to live alone

The keyword here is probably “catchy.” Keane’s music has always been interesting, but the new album has a pop sensibility absent from their previous efforts. The surrender to danceable rhythms is obviously what sold me as I am now and forever a devotee of disco’s exodus into rock music.

iTunes YTD

The race is on to be a part of my annual “favorite albums of the year poll,” so I thought I’d give you all a glimpse into the most-played tracks so far this year:

10.”Piece of Your Heart,” Natasha Bedingfield
9. “Skeleton Song,” Kate Nash
8. “Out There On the Ice,” Cut Copy
7. “Bad Sun,” The Bravery
6. “Bottle It Up,” Sara Bareilles
5. “Mouthwash,” Kate Nash
4. “A-Punk,” Vampire Weekend
3. “Foundations,” Kate Nash
2. “Pumpkin Soup,” Kate Nash
1. “Every Word Is a Knife In My Ear,” The Bravery

And for the record, that makes the most-played albums:

10. Pretty. Odd., Panic at the Disco
9. Audio Day Dream, Blake Lewis
8. 19, ADELE
7. Under the Blacklight, Rilo Kiley
6. Pocketful of Sunshine, Natasha Bedingfield
5. In Ghost Colours, Cut Copy
4. Little Voice, Sara Bareilles
3. Vampire Weekend,, Vampire Weekend
2. Made of Bricks, Kate Nash
1. The Sun and the Moon, The Bravery