Why should bloggers, magazine publishers and a-hole rock critics have all the fun?
With year-end madness sweeping the nation, best-album and best-song lists are everywhere, but more often than not, we don't get to hear from the men and women who are on those lists: the artists themselves.
So MTV News decided to ask some of your favorite musicians — plus a celeb blogger whose tastemaking abilities have grown to legendary status and one rather prominent radio/TV personality — to name their favorite albums and songs of 2008. Some of them submitted simple lists, others felt the need to explain their picks, but all of them provide a rather fascinating glimpse at just what the people you were listening to were listening to themselves.
"We're all big fans of Coldplay, and their Viva la Vida is a great record. We got to meet Chris Martin recently, and it was amazing. Also,
"My favorite album of 2008 would have to be Estelle's Shine. She's one of my favorite artists. Yelle is probably my favorite artist this year. She's French, and it's kind of a bit avant-garde, but it's fun. I loved the Lenka album too. Oh, and the
"There was a song on the new H20 record, called Nothing to Prove, and the song is called 'Disconnected' — though that might just be the chorus [Editor's note: The song is called 'Static'] — and it really got me through a lot of hard times and gave me energy and confidence. I love that song, and I love that whole record."
Jeremy Davis, Paramore
"My favorite was The Alchemy Index by Thrice. They came out with basically four different EPs, and they're all amazing. Some of my favorite records of all time, to be honest."
"I don't think you can mention the year 2008 without mentioning Wayne. He had a fantastic year, and the cool thing is, Wayne has been dope for a really, really long time, and people are just starting to notice it. I knew Wayne was dope since the Hot Boyz. He's been dope for a really long time, and it's cool to see him getting the recognition he deserves.
"There's so many [albums] that were so good. I can't pick just one. I loved
» Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III: "How could you deny a rapper that eats other rappers and stays so thin?"
» Conor Oberst, Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band: "If Kanye's the voice of our generation, then Conor is the wordsmith."
Patrick Stump, Fall Out Boy
» Nadia Oh, "Hot Like Wow": "I heard this record in some fancy clothing store. I don't know anything about Nadia Oh, but the guy who produced all these tracks is some French house DJ who's absolutely amazing."
» Janelle Monae, Metropolis: The Chase Suite: "I've been a supporter of Janelle Monae's for a while. I first heard her on that Got Purp? compilation that Big Boi put out. Thus far she's been relegated to a sort of side-guest position, but she's finally come into her own with one of the riskiest, ballsiest R&B records I've ever heard. She's like if Prince and Andre 3000 were one woman."
» Kanye West, 808s & Heartbreak: " 'Paranoid' is one of my favorite songs this year. Just really good pop music with great chord changes and an awesome melody."
» Gojira, The Way of All Flesh: "I don't usually like metal. It's just not my speed. But every so often a metal record comes out that's so perfect and delivers exactly what I would want out of the genre. This record totally does that and more."
"The album that sticks out to me is Wire to Wire by
"I'm a huge fan of Kanye West's record. ... When he first came out this year with 'Love Lockdown,' I wasn't really sure, and I listened to it and said, 'Gosh, he's really going in a different direction.' But it's very kind of Phil Collins futuristic, and the deeper and deeper I got into the album, the more brilliant I thought it was. 'Coldest Winter' — I cried for hours when I heard that song. I've been listening to it on repeat. I really, really love
"One of my favorite records is the new John Legend album. It's funny, because we were simultaneously recording our albums at the same time earlier this year, so I heard a lot of the songs he was putting together way back. I love Lady Gaga. I think she's got her own thing going on. I think she's bringing that Euro techno vibe to the U.S. I love Adele. I love her 'Chasing Pavements' song."
"One of my favorite songs is 'Hot N Cold.' I love it. It's tough to have a second #1, but Katy did it. I like
"Favorite song of 2008? I haven't had the chance to listen to anything but my stuff ... so, um, 'Right Now.' Favorite Album? Freedom. In stores right now. Go get it. Artist? T-Pain. And Lady Gaga. She's like an underground phenomenon. She's real cool."
Gregg Gillis, Girl Talk
» Maino, "Hi Hater": "This beat, sampled from Jimmy Spicer's 'Money (Dollar Bills Y'all),' is refreshing and fun. I'm into Maino's playful but threatening style."
» Grand Buffet, "Cream Cheese Money": "I've known these guys since I was 16. I've always been a huge fan. They are one of my favorite live acts. This is the single from their latest album, King Vision. They exist in their own musical world."
» Lil Wayne, "A Milli": "Tha Carter III has been talked about so much. What else can I say? I was surprised and pumped to hear this on the radio. The beat is so minimal, and there's no real chorus. It's just Wayne getting crazy with it."
» Beyoncé, "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)": "She killed it with this one. The beat has insane energy, and Beyoncé keeps up perfectly. The synth part for the chorus is so intense. The stutter segments at the very end are a nice touch."
This is just their opinion — what's yours? Share your lists by uploading a video to YouRHere.MTV.com or leaving a comment below.