Top 40 Songs of 2008: #40-31
Over the next week I will be revealing the best of the year for Country Music Central, starting with the top 40 country singles of 2008. These songs include any song released in 2008 or that reached its peak in 2008. The singles will be revealed, ten at a time, with explanations as to why they have been included in the list. Enjoy!!!
#40: “This Town Needs A Bar” by Jeremy McComb
Who could have guessed that Larry The Cable Guy’s tour manager could actually sing. He broke through this year with his take on the popular “Wagon Wheel”, but his major claim to fame was his original song “This Town Needs A Bar”, a ballad about a tortured man who is forced not only to deal with heartbreak, but also having no place to go to vent it away. Written by Liz Rose of Taylor Swift fame and Jimmy Yeary of Shenandoah fame, this song has helped Jeremy earn some well deserved credit for his magnificent portrayal of just how delicate a man can be when there’s nowhere to run.
#39: “All I Want To Do” by Sugarland
Sugarland has had a huge year in 2008 scoring their first #1 album and overtaking Brooks & Dunn as the most powerful duo in the genre. Before they scored big with Love On The Inside, the duo’s first single from the project hit #1. This was “All I Want To Do”, a catchy and fun song about living a careless life of love and enjoying one’s self with that special person. With an addictive chorus and a very catchy beat, the duo produced their own summertime anthem which was further supported by the video, featuring Nettles as a surfer babe, making it one of the summer’s most played hits.
#38: “Love This Song” by Marcel
As one of 2008’s more memorable songs, Marcel continued his line of tongue twister tunes with one of his own, appropriately called “I Love This Song”. It was his first and only single for Lyric Street Records. Providing a very sharp hook that will keep listeners playing it several times before moving on to something new, Marcel’s witty writing style, wordplay and energetic presentation make this single an instant winner and will have you saying “i love this song”.
#37: “Rocks In Your Shoes” by Emily West
Here’s a little fuel for thought, just deal with it. In a genre that is well known for taking the hardships of life and turning them into tear-jerking power ballads, Emily dared to be different. Instead of insisting that love, faith, hope and other cliches are the solution to life’s problems, she blatantly insists that these problems are unavoidable and that you don’t need all that help, you just need to suck it up and learn to tough it out, because that’s reality.
#36: “Fine Line” by Little Big Town
With a tint a classic rock charm mixed in Little Big Town welcomed their new label, Capital Records, with an upbeat and well produced top 40 hit from their third album. “Fine Line” explores just that, lyrically it explores the line between love and hopelessness and musically it explores the line between exceptional and average music. Little Big Town never cease to amaze, and this song was no different with Karen Fairchild leading the way with attitude and grace.
#35: “Down The Road” by Kenny Chesney and Mac McAnally
Originally a hit for Kenny’s singing partner Mac McAnally in the 1990’s, “Down The Road” showcases a personality and a significant feel behind Kenny’s voice that reminds his listeners of just how good he is. Then you add Mac into the mix and you get an unforgettable story and a surprising good country song. Although Chesney has produced quite a few mediocre tune in his career, it’s rare gems like this that prove once and for all that the reining entertainer of the year really has the quality and ability to live up to his title.
#34: “Space” by Sarah Buxton
It boggles my mind why Sarah has not become one of the most cherished new female voices in the genre. In an attempt to help her career get to where it should be she released a real gem of a song this year that shined not because of the lyrics or the subject matter, but because of her performance. Sarah takes the role of a woman who’s man is asking for a little space, and she gives it to him stating that if he wants space he’s got all the space he’ll ever need. In the process Sarah’s song becomes her most magnificent one to date.
#33: “Lookin’ For A Good Time” by Lady Antebellum
The sophomore single from the ACM New Artist Award winning trio introduced not only the vocal inclusion of Hillary Scott, but also showed a lot more entertainment quality and team effort from the three than their debut single. Featuring alternating parts between singers Charles Kelly and Scott as they plan a one-night stand, this single turned out to be a good time in itself and has provided the trio with their own unique sound and presentation that has made them the hottest new group in the genre.
#32: “Do You Believe Me Now” by Jimmy Wayne
Jimmy Wayne waited 5 years to re-emerge on the country scene and this year he finally did in a big way with his first #1 hit. “Do You Believe Me Now” is not only one of the most emotionally and instrumentally charged songs of the years, it’s one of the most unique, focusing on a man being tortured by losing his girl to another man, a man he knew was after her heart from the beginning. With that in mind Jimmy flawlessly suited up for the character and brought him to life in a way that made listeners actually feel for him by the end of the song.
#31: “Brothers” by Dean Brody
One of this year’s newcomers, Dean came to replace Craig Morgan at Broken Bow Records where he released a powerful debut hit as his dedication to brotherly love through the eyes of two brothers separated by war. Where one is a soldier the younger remains home and the bonds between them are tested by the distance and the ever-growing fear of death. Although he is new on the scene, Dean’s sentimental debut single sparked a lot of attention late this year and revealed an artist with not only a lot of potential, but who is willing to go places out of the norm in his singing and writing.