Choice Cuts 2008: What Have You Cherry-Picked This Year?

Michaelangelo Matos | August 6, 2008 5:30 am

Every month Robert Christgau publishes the Consumer Guide for MSN Music, and every month he chooses a handful of songs off albums he otherwise isn’t interested in, labeling them “Choice Cuts.” (This month those honors go to a couple of Rough Guide collections, two Jason Mraz discs, and George Stanford.) That type of sorting through the stacks is something all critics do a little of, at least: certainly the MP3 makes it easier to do so than ever. So tell us–which albums so far this year have you found only a couple of remarkable songs on, and which ones are they? My own short list is after the jump.

The Black Angels, “The Return” (from Directions to See a Ghost, Light in the Attic). Since the Black Angels are the kind of neo-psychedelic band that sounds good when you first put them on but increasingly pointless over the length of an album, they’re kind of tailor-made for the designation.

9th Wonder and Buckshot ft. Swan, “Be Cool!” (from The Formula, Duck Down). The album tended to slide out of earshot for me, but 9th Wonder’s cut-up soul track always caught my attention.

Midnight Juggernauts, “Road to Recovery” (from Dystopia, Astralwerks) . The album’s mostly turgid, but this Justice-y disco track shines.

Zombie Zombie, “Psychic Harmonia 2” (from A Land for Renegades, Versatile); Black Devil Disco Club, “For Hoped” (from Eight Oh Eight, Lo); Eliot Lipp, “Beyond the City” (from The Outside, Mush). Uneven electronic-dance albums are a dime a dozen, but these three each has at least one gem worth snatching: driving Italo-electro from Zombie Zombie, laid-back Italo-disco from Black Devil, shimmering electro-electro from Lipp.

Jay-Z vs. Public Enemy, “Roc Boys (THOSE MFs Remix)” (from Classic Gangster, mixtape). Findable from the usual places, most of this A-B matchup of the most recent Jay-Z album and vintage hip-hop tracks doesn’t usually go beyond its source material. This track, pairing the album’s greatest song and the squallingest parts of Nation of Millions, is the exception that proves the rule.

Please tell us yours in the comments.