Wednesday, February 8, 2017

2016 Singles #20 to #11

20: Anderson .Paak "The Bird"
I got my patience and I'm making do
I learned my lessons from the ancient roots
I choose to follow what the greatest do
Paak was unknown to me prior to Malibu (his fourth album). The music unfolds in a really wonderful way on this song: instruments dance in and out, embracing a few genres but never committed to anything specific. It's got a groove you can't lose.




19: Mary J. Blige "Thick Of It"
What a hell of a year
If I make it through hell and I come out alive I got nothing to fear
Um, fuck yes.




18: Kanye West/Rihanna/Swizz Beatz "Famous"
I loved you better than your own kin did
From the very start
I don't blame you much for wanting to be free
I was surprised at how much The Life Of Pablo clicked with me. Kanye West makes some motherfucking music that I really like. He has for years. This song is as much about Swizz Beatz (who helped make "Ass On The Floor" the #33 single from 2010) and Rihanna (who, along with Kanye, was my #1 single for 2015) as Kanye. Rihanna's haunting vocals more than compensate for some pretty basic Kanye swagger/bragger lyrics. I’m indifferent on the Taylor Swift stuff, but it's worth remembering later.




17: Green Day "Still Breathing"
I'm like a soldier coming home for the first time
I dodged a bullet and I walked across a landmine
I was surprised at how much Revolution Radio clicked with me. Green Day and Red Hot Chili Peppers both put out really solid albums that don't break new ground for either band, but let them remind us all that they're still capable of making great music. It's entirely possible that a review of all these songs will yield some reflection on surviving the shittiness of 2016, but I'll leave that to y'all.




16: DNCE "Cake By The Ocean"
Talk to me, baby
I’m going blind from this sweet sweet craving, whoa-oh
Let's lose our minds and go fucking crazy
This song has very little today with cake, which is a bit of a shame. I like cake. Obviously.




15: The Head And The Heart "All We Ever Knew"
I know sometimes you get so caught in a dream
But now it's time to wake up from this
It's time to make up for it
This song sounds like unity to me. That's a weird thing to say, right? Especially in the context of the other shit I've been writing about these tracks. But it does.




14: The Avalanches "Because I'm Me"
If she don't love me, what can I do?
Just put on my best pair of shoes
Because I'm me
It's produced with the sonic equivalent of an Instagram retro filter, but just go with it. I'm sure the song's old school vibe can stand on its own, but with no way to confirm that, just go with it.




13: Electric Guest "Dear To Me"
But over time I come back and remember
The only thing that I know
Electric Guest seem to pop up on my radar every few years with such a distinctive sound (never the same as the last time). I need to give them some quality time, because it seems like there's some greatness to be discovered.




12: The Lumineers "Cleopatra"
But I was late for this, late for that, late for the love of my life
And when I die alone, when I die alone, when I die I'll be on time
The Lumineers make great pop music with compelling rhythms. If they keep doing that, you'll keep seeing them on my lists.




11: Radiohead "Burn The Witch"
This is a low flying panic attack
Fuck... we're at the dawn of the next Salem Witch Trials, aren't we?



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