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Top 40 Songs of 2008: #30-21

December 23, 2008

The countdown rolls on as Country Music Central brings out the top songs of 2008. This will complete the first half of the countdown, the second half will be revealed after the holidays so enjoy and Happy Holidays guys.



#30: “Cheater, Cheater” by Joey+Rory
The Life of a Song cover
When they were on CMT’s Can You Duet Joey Martin Feek and songwriter husband Rory Lee Feek became a country sensation. They approached the genre with a new feel for traditional country with respect to contemporary sounds which came together in their debut hit as a duo “Cheater, Cheater”. Despite the odds the single has become a top 40 hit and vaulted their debut album into the top 10 by showcasing not only the songwriting abilities this duo shares, but also their teamwork and the ability for lead vocalist Joey to dismiss her girl-next-door charm for a more ruthless persona.



#29: “Voices” by Chris Young
As the only winner of Nashville Star to retain a legitimate record deal, Chris Young continued his flawless combination of contemporary and traditional country sounds this year when he introduced his attempts at a sophomore album with his dedication to family values and teachings. Proving that he was worth every vote on the show, Young produced a feel good anthem that proved once a for all that he is one of the most deserving male artists the show ever had.



#28: “She Left Me For Jesus” by Hayes Carll
Trouble In Mind cover
It’s hard to take a topic like religion and turn it into a comical experience, especially one entertaining enough where it doesn’t fall short. Hayes Carll is a true talent among the talented as he takes the persona of a man who’s girl left him in favor of a more faith filled lifestyle rather than his rebellious one. Upon looking at this situation, Carll’s character begins to threaten Jesus as if he didn’t know him for taking his girl from him. This absence of awareness makes for a very entertaining listen as well as a serious one with the listener sooner or later realising there is a duality in this heartbroken man between a tortured soul and a silly, careless roughneck. 



#27: “I StilC'mon coverl Miss You” by Keith Anderson
After a hiatus Keith re-surfaced on the country scene this year bringing with him his first top 5 hit. On the surface Keith sings about a man who can’t forget an ex, but when you dig deeper you find a lot more pain as it not only focuses on breakups, but the general loss of a loved one in any situation, from death to separation. Keith managed to tackle one of the genre’s most delicate subjects, the inability to let go, with grace and precision.



#26: “TryiGreatest Hits/Every Mile a Memory 2003-2008 coverngTo Stop Your Leaving” by Dierks Bentley
There’s just something about Dierks Bentley’s voice that makes every song he sings worth its weight in gold. The only thing that ever takes away from his work is problems in writing or subject, problems that were avoided by this song as a man describes the difficulty of trying to convince the woman he loves to stay. The resulting combination of steel guitar, powerful and symbolic lyrics and an emotionally charged performance form Dierks makes this not only one of this year’s best, but one of Bentley’s very best.



#25: “SoundsSounds So Good cover So Good” by Ashton Shepherd
Ashton stood as a pioneer for future country women everywhere with her debut album and her new pure sound capable of giving even Dolly a run for her money. Last year she shined with her debut hit “Takin’ Off This Pain” and this year she shined again with her sophomore single “Sounds So Good”, a tribute to country life and enjoying every minute of it. Taking inspiration from every aspect of her own life, Ashton created not only a sound that was all her own but a song that stood as an anthem to all different people across the country music world by providing not only a breath of fresh, but also by relating to them more than any newcomer should be able to do.



#24: “You Can Let Go” by Crystal Shawanda
Dawn of a New Day cover
Crystal sparkled this year as one of the more talented new females to hit the scene, sounding more natural and pure than anyone expected. The Canadian singer took on a huge subject with her debut single “You Can Let Go” by exploring the father/daughter relationship from the most stressful parts of life for the father concerning his child. The emotion drawn from Shawanda mixed with the impressively effective writing of a typically cliche storyline made for an unforgettable debut hit.



#23: “White HorFearless coverse” by Taylor Swift
You can love her or hate her, but teen sensation Taylor Swift has her bright moments that actually showcase the reasons why she is where she it today, and “White Horse” is one of them. As the latest single from her huge sophomore project, “White Horse” reveals probably the best performance on a radio single Taylor has ever done and provides some interesting symbolism in its writing as Taylor’s character shoots down her prince charming for deciding to hop on that white horse and whisk her away a little to late while also coming to grips with the reality of love.



#22: “Last Call” by Lee Ann Womack
Call Me Crazy cover
Womack can take any song and turn it into a masterfully projected performance. Here she takes the story of a woman facing a call by her ex lover and denying him the privilege of talking to her again in his time of need and turns it into a personal and almost sadistic event that brings out so many emotions from her anger to her struggle with the love that still remains for the man she also hates. “Last Call” may be a rather slow and dreary song, but this only adds to its credit by making it one of the most haunting ballads from the past few years.



#21: Troubadour coverI Saw God Today” by George Strait
As this year’s ACM single of the year, George’s inspirational first single from his album Troubadour became his fifty-sixth #1 adding to a streak of already historical proportions. Although the song covered a relatively common subject matter, George made it his own and the simplistic manner in which the main character sees God in different aspects of his surrounding is enough to inspire any listener to sit back and realize that despite all the bad things in this world there is still a lot of beauty to be found.


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