By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
Tom Gabel, Against Me!: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, "More News from Nowhere"
"The closing track off of Cave's Dig Lazarus, Dig!!!, a record which, in my opinion, is the best album of 2008. It's no wonder that Cave did such an incredible job on the movie The Proposition. Instead of using his songs to make soundtracks for movies, you could easily write movies around his songs."
Al Barr, Dropkick Murphys: The Clash, "Career Opportunities"
"From their Live at Shea Stadium album—released this year! It is amazing how this song and this band hold up with music that was recorded well over 20 years ago. This is as important today as it was then—maybe even more. Long live the memory of Joe Strummer!"
Taylor Swift: Kellie Pickler, "Best Days of Your Life"
"I had so much fun writing this with my best friend, Kellie! The song really helped her get past an old relationship and helped me to get my first cut on another artist's album. It's a really important song for me as a writer."
Butch Walker: T-Pain, "Chopped N Skrewed"
"I will never be as talented—yet, at the same time, as ridiculous—as [T-Pain]. I wish I could allow myself the ability to just let go of being so serious or clever all the time and just say something retarded like, 'Shit's so hot, I gotta stick it in the fridge, stick it in the fridge, stick it in the fridge.' Actually, I just patented and trademarked that song as we speak, so don't any of you assholes try to jock it."