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Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time [2022 Edition: #1]

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  • is thriller the highest mj album? it's prob my second fave of his, loses a mark for the girl is mine

    frank is another member of this forum number 1 album of all time

    love all for you but never really listen to it
    what's going on?

    Comment


    • I haven't visited since AUGUST?? You should have shamed me by now. Thankfully, you're moving very slow so I think i can catch up

      #79 As for the next albums since I was last here (looks like I left off was at Bruno 24K Magic), it's interesting how these acts have all come up in various ways across the board - Ghost Town comes from Adam's album 2nd album so not this one. But For Your Entertianment is also on my playlist; I heard it in a Spirit Halloween and realized it works well! It kind of angers me that he didn't perform better on the charts; I feel like American Idol was becoming disposable by then. That was the last season I was really invested in.

      #78 Circling back to Bruno now that the survivor has started, I'm really anxious to dig into his songs again. Without going back through the songs yet, I want to say this is my least favorite of the four albums, but that doesn't mean I didn't like it - Versace on the Floor, Chunky, Finesse are all great, but maybe I'll recalbirate once I've relistened to the songs.

      #76 I know I dismissed Rina's last album pretty out-of-hand. I think I hear a track or two and was disinterested, but maybe with this new album, it's worth going back to that one too.

      #74 - I don't think I realized until your write-up that the Carrie Underwood songs I've really enjoyed (though didn't chart) are form this album - Good Girl; 2 Black Cadillacs, and the title track.

      #73 - There was a survivor for Kacey a while back - can't remember who ran it now, but that was the first time I listened to her first album, and I really missed out - it's such a fun, typically Kacey album. Blowin' Smoke became one of my favorite songs by her as a result. I really feel kacey was at the forefront of a sea change in country music. At that time, it was easier for the country radio industry to hold tight the reins on content making it on air. Remember the hubbub when Girl Crush was released and they misunderstood the song, thinking it was promoting homosexuality, so it didn't get play at first until sanity-ish took over. But one of the positive things with streaming is that non-conventional country voices are making it through now, and helping me be more intereste din the genre than I ever was before.

      #72 - Awww Lover! THIS Is the album that turned me from casual fan to stan. After years of waffling - sometime I like her, sometimes I don't - this album made me see her artistry. That it came after some absolutely huge albums for her is strange, but I think maybe it's because this album felt more like an expression of her artistry without some sort of commercial force influencing the music.

      OK, I'll come back for more!

      Comment


      • Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post
        Yeah, I definitely do tie "Moonlight" to you. It was your love for it that made me revisit it when I'd initially felt it too tame for my liking.
        A strong contender for my proudest UKMIX accomplishment! As the DW opener, it made for a really lovely bridge from her first two albums (where that doo-wop/throwback style was more common) to the more modern, adult/explicit direction she was heading.
        • My hands are sore from all the applauding at this All For You review! Culminating in such high praise for "Doesn't Really Matter"?! It might be tricky for any of your remaining write-ups to make me THIS happy. "Doesn't Really Matter" holds an extra-special place in my heart for being the song (and video) that convinced me to start actively following Janet's career (which lead to AFY becoming my very first Janet album purchase). I do slightly diverge in that I'd probably still call The Velvet Rope my favorite Janet album, since that one really resonated with some deeper emotional struggles - but that discovery might never have happened if DRM and AFY hadn't impressed me the way they did. Speaking of mixes, I think of the P. Diddy Mix as the definitive version of "Son Of A Gun" (since that's the only version of the song I remember ever hearing on the radio or seeing on TV).
        last.fmPaulboard Top 30

        Comment


        • Originally posted by vinnie65 View Post
          Dangerous Woman and THRILLER are great!!
          They sure are!

          Originally posted by Plym View Post
          is thriller the highest mj album? it's prob my second fave of his, loses a mark for the girl is mine

          frank is another member of this forum number 1 album of all time

          love all for you but never really listen to it
          Maybe, maybe not.

          Shane's?

          Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
          I haven't visited since AUGUST?? You should have shamed me by now. Thankfully, you're moving very slow so I think i can catch up
          Yeah, this countdown is what inspired me to do two write-up-free ones, both of which I finished before getting to the midway point here (despite several months' head start).

          Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
          #79 As for the next albums since I was last here (looks like I left off was at Bruno 24K Magic), it's interesting how these acts have all come up in various ways across the board - Ghost Town comes from Adam's album 2nd album so not this one. But For Your Entertianment is also on my playlist; I heard it in a Spirit Halloween and realized it works well! It kind of angers me that he didn't perform better on the charts; I feel like American Idol was becoming disposable by then. That was the last season I was really invested in.
          He has done well for himself, though, especially with the touring with Queen experience he can add to his CV.

          Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
          #78 Circling back to Bruno now that the survivor has started, I'm really anxious to dig into his songs again. Without going back through the songs yet, I want to say this is my least favorite of the four albums, but that doesn't mean I didn't like it - Versace on the Floor, Chunky, Finesse are all great, but maybe I'll recalbirate once I've relistened to the songs.
          His standard is so high, though. He does a great job keeping his albums short but lethal.

          Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
          #76 I know I dismissed Rina's last album pretty out-of-hand. I think I hear a track or two and was disinterested, but maybe with this new album, it's worth going back to that one too.
          Yeah, her first album is so meaty, sonically, that I definitely think it's worth a full listen.

          Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
          #74 - I don't think I realized until your write-up that the Carrie Underwood songs I've really enjoyed (though didn't chart) are form this album - Good Girl; 2 Black Cadillacs, and the title track.
          Yeah, that was the album where she amped up the storytelling.

          Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
          #73 - There was a survivor for Kacey a while back - can't remember who ran it now, but that was the first time I listened to her first album, and I really missed out - it's such a fun, typically Kacey album. Blowin' Smoke became one of my favorite songs by her as a result. I really feel kacey was at the forefront of a sea change in country music. At that time, it was easier for the country radio industry to hold tight the reins on content making it on air. Remember the hubbub when Girl Crush was released and they misunderstood the song, thinking it was promoting homosexuality, so it didn't get play at first until sanity-ish took over. But one of the positive things with streaming is that non-conventional country voices are making it through now, and helping me be more intereste din the genre than I ever was before.
          That is true. Mickey Guyton might not have made a dent in a pre-2010 country music world.

          Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
          #72 - Awww Lover! THIS Is the album that turned me from casual fan to stan. After years of waffling - sometime I like her, sometimes I don't - this album made me see her artistry. That it came after some absolutely huge albums for her is strange, but I think maybe it's because this album felt more like an expression of her artistry without some sort of commercial force influencing the music.
          It pleases me to read this as 'Lover' feels very much like Taylor's forgotten gem.

          Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
          A strong contender for my proudest UKMIX accomplishment! As the DW opener, it made for a really lovely bridge from her first two albums (where that doo-wop/throwback style was more common) to the more modern, adult/explicit direction she was heading.
          Totes agree.

          Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
          My hands are sore from all the applauding at this All For You review! Culminating in such high praise for "Doesn't Really Matter"?! It might be tricky for any of your remaining write-ups to make me THIS happy. "Doesn't Really Matter" holds an extra-special place in my heart for being the song (and video) that convinced me to start actively following Janet's career (which lead to AFY becoming my very first Janet album purchase). I do slightly diverge in that I'd probably still call The Velvet Rope my favorite Janet album, since that one really resonated with some deeper emotional struggles - but that discovery might never have happened if DRM and AFY hadn't impressed me the way they did. Speaking of mixes, I think of the P. Diddy Mix as the definitive version of "Son Of A Gun" (since that's the only version of the song I remember ever hearing on the radio or seeing on TV).
          Pleased that we're in lockstep on this one!

          I feel like I have one that should top this, but we'll see!
          Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#1]
          Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2022: [#1]
          Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2022: [#1]
          Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2022: [#1]
          Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [#1]
          Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Kill Bill
          AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Sam Smith]

          "These gays, they're trying to murder me."

          Comment


          • 052. Whitney Houston - Whitney



            After her massive 'Whitney Houston' debut, the Newark-born superstar got to work with the same small crew from the first album and released two years later this follow-up LP. There were no creative points earned for the project's title, but she wouldn't need 'em.

            I don't mind repeating my opinion that Whitney Elizabeth Houston is the greatest singer who ever lived, but it is relevant to note that I think this album sees her in the best vocal form of her career. And that comes in handy as so much of the album's production sounds dated. But whether it's on the budget disco cut "Love Will Save the Day" or the upbeat dancefloor-ready bop "Love is a Contact Sport", Whitney's vocals are conviction-filled, take sure aim at their target, and bear a misses total summing to nil. Though some of the lyrics lack pull, the ballads are predictably a big selling point on the album. "Didn't We Almost Have It All" is classically styled and was actually her very first #1 on my daily chart. "So Emotional" features some of her finest vocal scaling and is one of the top production highlights as well, what with its rock edge. There is an iconic Drag Race moment that's elevated the song in my life and has pushed it ahead of the pack to be her longest-running #1 on my daily chart from this album. A not-oft-cited highlight is "You're Still My Man", a simple R&B cut that Whitney transforms into a truly special moment. As far as the top song on the LP, it's a pretty decisive selection with "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)". She channels all her youthful energy and verve in that one, and the result is delightful pop magic. If I ever get married (unlikely) and have a wedding (beyond unlikely), that one will be my first dance song.

            Sometimes when you start with a debut album that sells 22 million copies, there's only one way to go from there - down. And I suppose, from a lazy statistical perspective, that's what happened here as this sold *just* 20 million worldwide. (She'd eventually breeze past that 22 million total with another release). When "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" topped the US charts, she became the first act in music history to have seven consecutive US #1 hits. Had she and her team bothered to film a video for "Love Will Save the Day", she might've gotten an eighth one. "I Wanna Dance..." won the Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and the album was nominated for Album of the Year, ultimately losing to U2's 'Joshua Tree'. (It would be the second time she'd lose that big award, though she would clinch it on the third attempt).
            Code:
            Significance rating: 11/20
            No. 1s on my daily chart: So Emotional (x2); I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) (x1); Didn't We Almost Have It All (x1); You're Still My Man (x1)
            Best lyric: I like the animal way you move
            Best melody: I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)
            Best video: I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)
            Rank in 2010 countdown: NR
            Rank in 2011 countdown: 82
            Rank in 2012 countdown: 28
            Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#1]
            Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2022: [#1]
            Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2022: [#1]
            Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2022: [#1]
            Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [#1]
            Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Kill Bill
            AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Sam Smith]

            "These gays, they're trying to murder me."

            Comment


            • 051. Madonna - True Blue



              Following the massive success of her first two albums, Madonna and team would put out 'True Blue', her third album in three years, to cement her stake as the music queen of the 80s. Spoiler alert - it would work.

              It's interesting the similarities this has to 'Thriller'. Both projects had odd forerunner singles. Madge went with "Live to Tell", a conservative ballad, where she dressed the part in the music video. It might have been the influence of then-husband Sean Penn, who had a movie out at the time, for which this would soundtrack, but it's a bizarre choice that misrepresents the spirit of the album, which is fun, light, unabashed and earnest dance pop music. "Jimmy Jimmy" is a golden non-single with an elementary-school simplicity that only drives deeper its infectious, irresistible hook. It's one of the 'True Blue' songs that's aged best. The Latin flavour in "La Isla Bonita" is seductive in its poetic flow. Among her choruses, it's is certainly among her finest, and its video is actually by a comfortable margin her most-viewed clip on YouTube. Title track "True Blue" is saturated with a blind, youthful optimism, and that kind of doe-eyed perspective, matched with an almost fairytale-like narrative, makes it incredibly appealing to me. Much like "La Isla Bonita", its instrumental is this gentle, summer breeze of a cloud nine that serves to cradle the naiveté. The album's finest moment, though, is easily "Papa Don't Preach". Blending an instrumental highlighted by the cheerful effervescence that characterises the entire album, with the highly controversial topics of teenage pregnancy and abortion, "Papa Don't Preach" pairs that youthful optimism, pervasive throughout the LP with an extremely real and challenging choice. As powerful and serious as the subject matter is, it's impressive how it never sonically feels like a hot-seat track, which is a testament to just how insanely powerful the hook is. It's rich, lush, timeless, and memorable. Oh, and circling back to MJ/'Thriller' comparisons, the opening 'Watcha!' bit is so MJ-like!

              'True Blue' would peak at #1 in every major music market and would become Madonna's highest-selling non-greatest-hits release. The era would also be the first where Madge got some Grammy recognition, with "Papa Don't Preach" getting a nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, which she lost to Barbra Streisand (honestly, Madge should've taken it). I'm sure Madonna was particularly proud as this album saw her co-produce every track, in addition to being a songwriter on each song. In a crowded field of superheroines, 'True Blue' would be her ace, establishing her as the biggest woman in music that decade. It is also my favourite album from the undisputed queen of pop.
              Code:
              Significance rating: 11/20
              No. 1s on my daily chart: Papa Don't Preach (x3); La Isla Bonita (x2); True Blue (x1)
              Best lyric: Tropical the island breeze 
              Best melody: La Isla Bonita 
              Best video: Papa Don't Preach
              Rank in 2010 countdown: NR
              Rank in 2011 countdown: NR
              Rank in 2012 countdown: NR
              Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#1]
              Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2022: [#1]
              Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2022: [#1]
              Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2022: [#1]
              Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [#1]
              Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Kill Bill
              AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Sam Smith]

              "These gays, they're trying to murder me."

              Comment


              • 098. Taylor Swift - Folklore
                093. Bruno Mars - Doo-Wops & Hooligans
                089. Britney Spears - Circus
                086. Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour
                082. Alicia Keys - Here
                081. Carrie Underwood - Play On
                079. Adam Lambert - For Your Entertainment
                078. Bruno Mars - 24K Magic
                077. Miley Cyrus - Can't Be Tamed
                076. Rina Sawayama - Sawayama
                075. Christina Aguilera - Lotus
                074. Carrie Underwood - Blown Away
                072. Taylor Swift - Lover
                069. Lady Gaga - Joanne
                065. Katy Perry - PRISM
                062. Adele - 25
                057. Christina Aguilera - Bionic
                056. Ariana Grande - Dangerous Woman

                Super pleased seeing Folklore here, though I'm probably one of just a few people who enjoyed Evermore even more. But both are outstanding and somehow I feel like they deserved even more love from the public. I really hope Taylor's next era will have several more singles again, so they don't feel like being over too soon like it happened with Folklore.

                Circus was everything I needed in my teen years - also, I just realized now that even though I didn't come out yet at that time, it couldn't have been more obvious as I was bopping so hard to this album

                Can't Be Tamed didn't deserve the critics it got back then. So happy you're enjoying it that much! Two More Lonely People was my favorite back then <3

                Blown Away will always have a place in my heart simply just for its immaculate title track!

                Joanne was fantastic at its time but if one of her albums didn't age well, I would say this is the one. Still think Dancin' In Circles was such a wasted opportunity for another big hit. Oh, and speaking of wasted hits, Katy's Walking On Air and Legendary Lovers these were truly the times when sometimes us music fans would've been the much better producers and decision makers for these artists!

                Very strong first half for sure! There are a few albums in my mind that I think will surely be coming up at some point, so I'm looking forward to find out where they end up!

                This countdown makes me realize that there are so many albums my Madonna, Janet and Whitney that I still need to check out at some point!

                Comment


                • All the singles released from True Blue are pop perfection, there are not many albums that spawned 5 international number one hits!

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Tansike View Post
                    098. Taylor Swift - Folklore
                    093. Bruno Mars - Doo-Wops & Hooligans
                    089. Britney Spears - Circus
                    086. Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour
                    082. Alicia Keys - Here
                    081. Carrie Underwood - Play On
                    079. Adam Lambert - For Your Entertainment
                    078. Bruno Mars - 24K Magic
                    077. Miley Cyrus - Can't Be Tamed
                    076. Rina Sawayama - Sawayama
                    075. Christina Aguilera - Lotus
                    074. Carrie Underwood - Blown Away
                    072. Taylor Swift - Lover
                    069. Lady Gaga - Joanne
                    065. Katy Perry - PRISM
                    062. Adele - 25
                    057. Christina Aguilera - Bionic
                    056. Ariana Grande - Dangerous Woman
                    Ah, glad you like so many!

                    Originally posted by Tansike View Post
                    Super pleased seeing Folklore here, though I'm probably one of just a few people who enjoyed Evermore even more. But both are outstanding and somehow I feel like they deserved even more love from the public. I really hope Taylor's next era will have several more singles again, so they don't feel like being over too soon like it happened with Folklore.
                    I'm hoping for the same.

                    Originally posted by Tansike View Post
                    Circus was everything I needed in my teen years - also, I just realized now that even though I didn't come out yet at that time, it couldn't have been more obvious as I was bopping so hard to this album
                    Same. It was pretty well-known in high school that my favourite artist at the time was Britney Spears, so everyone had to have put two and two together.

                    Originally posted by Tansike View Post
                    Can't Be Tamed didn't deserve the critics it got back then. So happy you're enjoying it that much! Two More Lonely People was my favorite back then <3
                    Nice. After all these years, "Two More Lonely People" is still my favourite Miley song.

                    Originally posted by Tansike View Post
                    Blown Away will always have a place in my heart simply just for its immaculate title track!
                    Same. It was such a treat seeing her do that one live!

                    Originally posted by Tansike View Post
                    Joanne was fantastic at its time but if one of her albums didn't age well, I would say this is the one. Still think Dancin' In Circles was such a wasted opportunity for another big hit. Oh, and speaking of wasted hits, Katy's Walking On Air and Legendary Lovers these were truly the times when sometimes us music fans would've been the much better producers and decision makers for these artists!
                    That's still the case now!

                    Interesting to hear 'Joanne' is your least favourite Gaga album. Remind me to circle back to that.

                    Originally posted by Tansike View Post
                    Very strong first half for sure! There are a few albums in my mind that I think will surely be coming up at some point, so I'm looking forward to find out where they end up!
                    We'll see! My goal was to finish this before year-end countdown season and I'm well off the pace to do that, so hopefully I can wrap this up at least before 2023.

                    Originally posted by Tansike View Post
                    This countdown makes me realize that there are so many albums my Madonna, Janet and Whitney that I still need to check out at some point!
                    Indeed! I actually did tributes for each of those three divas years back and it was a revelatory joy how impressive their catalogues are.

                    Originally posted by Benny View Post
                    All the singles released from True Blue are pop perfection, there are not many albums that spawned 5 international number one hits!
                    Facts!
                    Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#1]
                    Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2022: [#1]
                    Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2022: [#1]
                    Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2022: [#1]
                    Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [#1]
                    Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Kill Bill
                    AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Sam Smith]

                    "These gays, they're trying to murder me."

                    Comment


                    • 050. Kylie Minogue - Light Years



                      After bursting onto the scene in the late 80s with two multiplatinum successes in succession, Kylie's career languished for most of the 90s. 1991's 'Let's Get to It' didn't even peak in the top 10 in her native Australia (still her only album after 34 years to not go top 10) and this album's predecessor 'Impossible Princess' failed to chart a UK or Australia top 10, also a first for the pop superstar. She needed to right the ship and with 'Light Years', a return to her foolproof brand of dance and disco-pop music, she managed to do so.

                      I always found it curious that the album is bookended by what I consider to be the weakest songs, but beyond those two, which are still decent enough, this album is wall to wall sexy and classy fun. Really and truly, any song could've been single-selected and done well, though there are some fantastic highlights worthy of mention. Lead single "Spinning Around", originally intended for Paula Abdul, saw her in confident synthpop surfer form. Its video showcases her unfathomable beauty, including some rear end shots for the ages. "Loveboat" harkens back to her bubblegum pop hits of the 80s that introduced her to the world. "Butterfly" shows off her gorgeous voice, which oftentimes doesn't get the credit it deserves. If you ask YouTube, "Kids" is more Robbie's song than Kylie's, but it's a fantastic duet between the pair, making good use of their respective talents. "On a Night Like This" has become one of her most iconic hits, deservedly so for its mysterious aura and Kylie's flawless cadence. However, one need only look at the no. 1 details below to get a sense of the margin by which "Your Disco Needs You" is my favourite song on the album. It was one of the first Kylie songs I loved and over the years has cemented itself as one of my favourite songs ever. It throws the kitchen sink at you - flawless melody, fun French inserts, unabashedly camp lyrics. For me, it captures the very best of Kylie and as such is my favourite song from the Aussie pop legend.

                      'Light Years' would become Kylie's first Australia #1 album. The era would produce five top 20 hits in Australia, including two #1s. 'Light Years' would set the stage perfectly for its follow-up, the most successful project of Kylie's career.
                      Code:
                      Significance rating: 11/20
                      No. 1s on my daily chart: Your Disco Needs You (x18); On a Night Like This (x1)
                      Best lyric: Did I forget to mention that I found a new direction and it leads back to me?
                      Best melody: Your Disco Needs You
                      Best video: Spinning Around 
                      Rank in 2010 countdown: NR
                      Rank in 2011 countdown: NR
                      Rank in 2012 countdown: NR
                      Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#1]
                      Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2022: [#1]
                      Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2022: [#1]
                      Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2022: [#1]
                      Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [#1]
                      Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Kill Bill
                      AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Sam Smith]

                      "These gays, they're trying to murder me."

                      Comment


                      • And it continues fantastic! Whitney and I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Madonna´s best album True Blue, and Kylie with her great song On A Night Like this! My favorite song from Kylie
                        https://www.ukmix.org/forum/chart-di...-first-edition

                        https://www.ukmix.org/forum/chart-di...-first-edition

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by vinnie65 View Post
                          And it continues fantastic! Whitney and I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Madonna´s best album True Blue, and Kylie with her great song On A Night Like this! My favorite song from Kylie
                          Good to know we have the same top Madonna album!
                          Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#1]
                          Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2022: [#1]
                          Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2022: [#1]
                          Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2022: [#1]
                          Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [#1]
                          Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Kill Bill
                          AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Sam Smith]

                          "These gays, they're trying to murder me."

                          Comment


                          • 049. Ariana Grande - Thank U, Next



                            Released less than six months after 'Sweetener', I thought, surely this has to be a mess, given the quick turnover. Little did I know it would be her best album to date.

                            Lyrically, Ariana doesn't have a better or more accessible LP than this one and it's such a cohesive project, just one damn good song that flows seamlessly to the next. "Imagine" makes for a great opener, with her whistle register at the centre stage. "Needy" and "NASA" are two sides of the same vulnerable coin, perfectly placed as adjoined tracks, where the former speaks to the need for proximity and intimacy and the other the desire for space. It's interesting how one can fluctuate from one need to the other on the flip of a dime (ah, that's the denomination of the coin!) but just as you're mulling that over, she drops "Bloodline" with its epic horns-based production and cool, confident delivery. "Fake Smile", to borrow a descriptor from CT, is "world-weary" as Ariana declares she doesn't have the phucks to keep up joyous appearances when they don't reflect her bona fide feelings. "Bad Idea" and "Make Up" are marked present. "Ghostin" is a memorable, atmospheric ballad. Then there's "In My Head", an early favourite of mine for its idealistic daydreaming. And then those last three tracks - what mic drops. "7 Rings" is Ari in her pop/trap bag, merging, sans rapper, two genres in brilliant fashion. I love that this feminises an approach that has been so traditionally male. It's braggadocios and still manages to fit within Ari's signature sound. And to interpolate "My Favourite Things" into the mix? Full marks from me. "Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored" features Ari's second-best video and yes, it is 100% because of Charles Melton and his jawline. The album's best track, though, is its title track and lead single, the highly memeable "Thank U, Next". It's perhaps her most mature track and is a perfect time-out track in this serial dating era.

                            Boasting a Metacritic score of 86, 'Thank U, Next' is the Nickelodeon graduate's most critically-acclaimed release to date and driven in large part by the success of its first two singles, which were streaming giants, this era has actually become her second-biggest, after 'My Everything'. It was during this era that Ariana set a Hot 100 record, when she became the first solo act and only the second overall (after the Beatles) to occupy the entire top three on the Hot 100, which she achieved with "7 Rings", "Break Up...", and "Thank U, Next" two weeks after the album's release. Rather impressively, two-thirds of the album went to #1 on my daily chart, which also makes this album the first on the countdown thus far to rack up as many as eight chart-toppers for me.
                            Code:
                            Significance rating: 12/20
                            No. 1s on my daily chart: Thank U, Next (x7); 7 Rings (x5); Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored (x3); In My Head (x3); Bloodline (x1); Fake Smile (x1); Imagine (x1); Needy (x1)
                            Best lyric: One taught me love, one taught me patience, and one taught me pain
                            Best melody: 7 Rings
                            Best video: Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored 
                            Rank in 2010 countdown: NR
                            Rank in 2011 countdown: NR
                            Rank in 2012 countdown: NR
                            Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#1]
                            Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2022: [#1]
                            Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2022: [#1]
                            Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2022: [#1]
                            Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [#1]
                            Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Kill Bill
                            AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Sam Smith]

                            "These gays, they're trying to murder me."

                            Comment


                            • I want to give these incredible albums (and their equally-incredible write-ups) the responses/reflections they deserve - but I don't want to fall much further behind!
                              • Definitely can't argue with "I Wanna Dance..." being Whitney's standout (though "So Emotional" is a not-too-distant second for me, and I can't NOT smile at the 80's cheese of "Love Is A Contact Sport")
                              • Not thrilled that "Open Your Heart" was completely omitted (too clingy/stalker-ish for you?), but my True Blue Top 3 is such a close call between that, the title track, and "Papa Don't Preach," I can understand you wanting to ensure those other two received sufficient focus. Really glad you drew attention to "Jimmy Jimmy" too (that album's closest sibling to "True Blue," sound/style-wise)
                              • My heart's growing like the Grinch's at the sight of all that Light Years praise! Earlier, we were talking about camp with regard to Gaga, and this album always felt so deliciously capital-C.A.M.P.! Would've been nice for "Please Stay" to get a name-drop, but I can't be too mad when you spend time showering "Your Disco Needs You" with compliments/accolades instead. Personally, I would've been fine with Robbie keeping "Kids" to himself, but I can't deny it was a savvy collab choice to keep Kylie's comeback momentum rolling
                              • Thank U, Next is a weird case where the title track is one of my absolute-favorites from Ari (catchy, clever, and more mature, like you said), while the other two singles are among my least favorites from her (as the lead artist, anyway). Thankfully, TUN has plenty of quality album tracks to help pick up the slack - especially "Ghostin" (definitely the most hard-hitting/gut-wrenching thing she's done so far, while still being incredibly gorgeous throughout)
                              last.fmPaulboard Top 30

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                                I want to give these incredible albums (and their equally-incredible write-ups) the responses/reflections they deserve - but I don't want to fall much further behind!
                                Always feel free to stop by with whatever you've got.

                                Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                                Definitely can't argue with "I Wanna Dance..." being Whitney's standout (though "So Emotional" is a not-too-distant second for me, and I can't NOT smile at the 80's cheese of "Love Is A Contact Sport")
                                I do love cheese. We don't get enough of it these days.

                                Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                                Not thrilled that "Open Your Heart" was completely omitted (too clingy/stalker-ish for you?), but my True Blue Top 3 is such a close call between that, the title track, and "Papa Don't Preach," I can understand you wanting to ensure those other two received sufficient focus. Really glad you drew attention to "Jimmy Jimmy" too (that album's closest sibling to "True Blue," sound/style-wise)
                                When I did my Madonna tribute five years back, I do believe "Open Your Heart" was the lowest-ranking 'True Blue' track and I don't feel any differently about it now. Honestly, it's a good track, but 'good' doesn't let you stand out on that album!

                                Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                                My heart's growing like the Grinch's at the sight of all that Light Years praise! Earlier, we were talking about camp with regard to Gaga, and this album always felt so deliciously capital-C.A.M.P.! Would've been nice for "Please Stay" to get a name-drop, but I can't be too mad when you spend time showering "Your Disco Needs You" with compliments/accolades instead. Personally, I would've been fine with Robbie keeping "Kids" to himself, but I can't deny it was a savvy collab choice to keep Kylie's comeback momentum rolling
                                I of course have you to thank for sharing "Your Disco Needs You" 11 years back!

                                Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                                Thank U, Next is a weird case where the title track is one of my absolute-favorites from Ari (catchy, clever, and more mature, like you said), while the other two singles are among my least favorites from her (as the lead artist, anyway). Thankfully, TUN has plenty of quality album tracks to help pick up the slack - especially "Ghostin" (definitely the most hard-hitting/gut-wrenching thing she's done so far, while still being incredibly gorgeous throughout)
                                Ah, it looks like 'TUN' is your least-played Ari album. Is it in fact your least-favourite as well?
                                Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#1]
                                Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2022: [#1]
                                Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2022: [#1]
                                Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2022: [#1]
                                Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [#1]
                                Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Kill Bill
                                AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Sam Smith]

                                "These gays, they're trying to murder me."

                                Comment


                                • 048. Lorde - Melodrama



                                  After a debut era that saw her immediately catapulted to the upper echelon of commercial success and critical acclaim, Lorde returned four years later with a markedly different image and sound. She traded moody social commentary for grown-up, regal pop excellence and I was very much here for it.

                                  While local New Zealander Joel Little was charged with core producing duties for 'Pure Heroine', Lorde enlisted the services of Jack Antonoff for executive producer on 'Melodrama', who had already had success working with female pop artists by this time (most notably Taylor Swift). I think that change was significant as Jack really gave Lorde more vibrant colours with which to illuminate her canvas and there was never any doubt as to Lorde's ability to song-write her ass off. There are a fair few highlights on 'Melodrama'. Lead single "Green Light" was the perfect forerunner, showcasing Lorde in a far more uninhibited, emotional form. It's such an enormous pop anthem and I love how it bursts at its seams with unfiltered frustration. "Homemade Dynamite" is well-written snark, which I adore both in its original, solo form as well as the remix featuring some other young phenoms - Khalid and SZA. (Post Malone is also on it). The album's twin highlights, though, are its "Sober" moments. I really do wish she would've placed them side by side on the tracklist because they complement each other so well. The frenetic highs, sonic bends, and beat warps of "Sober" are more appreciated when you subsequently experience the contrasting come-down of melancholy "Sober II (Melodrama)". I always tend to play those back-to-back anyway.

                                  'Melodrama' boasts a Metacritic score of 91 and was nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammys, losing out to another album that featured on this countdown, Bruno Mars's '24K Magic'. Though it did debut at #1 in the US, Lorde did, unfortunately, experience a sizeable sophomore slump, commercially, with this. Using MJD's CPSC formula to music consumption, 'Melodrama' didn't achieve one-third of the success 'Pure Heroine' did. If it was any consolation, though, Rolling Stone named it one of the 500 greatest albums of all-time in 2020.
                                  Code:
                                  Significance rating: 12/20
                                  No. 1s on my daily chart: Sober (x5); Green Light (x5); Sober II (Melodrama) (x3); Homemade Dynamite (x1); Supercut (x1)
                                  Best lyric: Let's let things come out of the woodwork, I'll give you my best side, tell you all my best lies, yeah, awesome, right?
                                  Best melody: Sober
                                  Best video: Green Light
                                  Rank in 2010 countdown: NR
                                  Rank in 2011 countdown: NR
                                  Rank in 2012 countdown: NR
                                  Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#1]
                                  Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2022: [#1]
                                  Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2022: [#1]
                                  Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2022: [#1]
                                  Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [#1]
                                  Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Kill Bill
                                  AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Sam Smith]

                                  "These gays, they're trying to murder me."

                                  Comment


                                  • 047. Lady Gaga - Born This Way



                                    After a massive (and extended) debut era, Lady Gaga announced at the 2010 VMAs, in her acceptance speech winning video of the year for "Bad Romance", donning a meat dress, and presented to her by Cher, the name of her upcoming album, even belting out the title track's chorus as a generous tidbit ahead of its upcoming releasing the following spring. Little Monsters salivated.

                                    During the early years of my career, a manager, with whom I hadn't always had the best relationship, told me that the safe bet is to underpromise and overdeliver. We didn't agree on much, but on that I believe her to have been right. Gaga, on the other hand - her excitement precluded her from such humble pre-drop speech. She proclaimed 'Born This Way' would be the anthem of this generation and that it was her best album to date. Her good pal Elton John promised that the lead single would get rid of "I Will Survive", saying "that was the gay anthem; this (Born This Way) is the new anthem." I think the pre-release hype for this was too much, which is why it felt underwhelming to many when it came out. Musically, it is pretty fantastic and I love some of its quirks and eccentricities. Nothing could've prepared me for that "ear condoms" lyric in "Judas", "Scheiße" is ridiculous fun with made-up German, and "Government Hooker", whilst not quite the social commentary on the ills of capitalism, had its own fun and satisfying unravelled meaning. And that's all just in the first half. "The Edge of Glory", the album's most accessible track, has grown on me quite a bit over the years thanks to the ever-important Drag Race effect. "Marry the Night" has an enormous, exorcist-esque climax that I love. The album's shining highlight, though, is indeed that title track. There were a number of gay teen suicides that made mainstream US news in 2010 and I thought it interesting that while every other big female pop artist indirectly looped that into their music, Gaga quite directly addressed the issue in the lead single to her single most important album of her career. "Born This Way" is pure pride: loud, daring, bold, beautiful, complete. I was reminded of just how significant this song is when I saw her perform it live two months back and seeing so many of her fans donning 'Born This Way' paraphernalia makes me think that this is her landmark release. Personally, it's endeared her to me forever.

                                    'Born This Way' debuted with more than a million sales its first week (granted, there was that controversial Amazon deal that fuelled most of those sales). It was nominated for three Grammys, but lost all. "Born This Way" won Best Female Video (I disagreed with this win) and Best Video with a Message (okay, maybe) at the VMAs. (She actually wouldn't get another VMA nomination for eight years). Gaga would get a lot of flak during this era and instead of retreating more to the centre of 'normal', she would drop 'ARTPOP' two years later. We'll circle back to how that went.
                                    Code:
                                    Significance rating: 12/20
                                    No. 1s on my daily chart: Born This Way (x8); The Edge of Glory (x3); Marry the Night (x2); Judas (x2); You and I (x1);  Hair(x1); Americano (x1)
                                    Best lyric: Put your paws up
                                    Best melody: Marry the Night
                                    Best video: Judas
                                    Rank in 2010 countdown: NR
                                    Rank in 2011 countdown: 30
                                    Rank in 2012 countdown: 68
                                    Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#1]
                                    Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2022: [#1]
                                    Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2022: [#1]
                                    Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2022: [#1]
                                    Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [#1]
                                    Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Kill Bill
                                    AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Sam Smith]

                                    "These gays, they're trying to murder me."

                                    Comment


                                    • Good album from Lady Gaga Born This Way and Edge Of Glory are the best song. But I like also Heavy Metal Lover
                                      https://www.ukmix.org/forum/chart-di...-first-edition

                                      https://www.ukmix.org/forum/chart-di...-first-edition

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                                      • Circling back to see if I can catch up before you finish this countdown, and I must say I like my odds.

                                        #71 - WHAT - it only took two weeks to be recorded??? B'Day is my least favorite of her albums, but seeing as I think she's pretty flawless, that's not saying much. Like saying the Mona Lisa is my least favorite Da Vinci. Of course before she dropped brilliance like Lemonade and self-titled, I thought this was amazing.

                                        #69 - I think Perfect Illusion did a lot to damped my enthusiasm. I think it was an awful choice when she has so many really great songs on that album. I wish Dancing in Circles had gotten its moment in the sun instead. The John Wayne video was a MOMENT to me when it was released, and then she followed up with The Cure, which was a stand-alone made me feel I was back on track with her. I'm happy Million Reasons got her a top ten form the album though.

                                        #66 - If being my favorite Janet track instantly qualifies the album for this list, but as you say the actual SONGS on the album are a whole mood. Her lead track is really solid, though it seems like an odd choice as a lead considering it's not as "in your face" as some of the other tracks.

                                        #65 - It's too bad she didn't go darker if that was the plan. Literally named Dark Horse, that songseems like that was the real engine of Prism once the Roar hype died down, and I think she would have done well to have more songs in that vein. I was pretty burned out on sunny-Katy-pop by that point, so Dark Horse was very refreshing. I have mostly dropped Katy like a hot potato like the rest of the GP after that release.

                                        #63 - I loved Kanye here. (Ugh I know he's Ye now, but it's so very Prince as a symbol, it's going to take time to switch to that.) And this was the album that made me love him. Diamonds From Sierra Leone was the song that really broke him through for me; it's nice to see the shout-out in your write-up.

                                        OK, we'll see how much more I can inch up when I return

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by vinnie65 View Post
                                          Good album from Lady Gaga Born This Way and Edge Of Glory are the best song. But I like also Heavy Metal Lover
                                          "Heavy Metal Lover" isn't bad!

                                          Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                          Circling back to see if I can catch up before you finish this countdown, and I must say I like my odds.
                                          I like your odds too!

                                          Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                          #71 - WHAT - it only took two weeks to be recorded??? B'Day is my least favorite of her albums, but seeing as I think she's pretty flawless, that's not saying much. Like saying the Mona Lisa is my least favorite Da Vinci. Of course before she dropped brilliance like Lemonade and self-titled, I thought this was amazing.
                                          You like 'Dangerously in Love' more?

                                          Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                          #69 - I think Perfect Illusion did a lot to damped my enthusiasm. I think it was an awful choice when she has so many really great songs on that album. I wish Dancing in Circles had gotten its moment in the sun instead. The John Wayne video was a MOMENT to me when it was released, and then she followed up with The Cure, which was a stand-alone made me feel I was back on track with her. I'm happy Million Reasons got her a top ten form the album though.
                                          Agreed. "Perfect Illusion" was an odd forerunner.

                                          Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                          #66 - If being my favorite Janet track instantly qualifies the album for this list, but as you say the actual SONGS on the album are a whole mood. Her lead track is really solid, though it seems like an odd choice as a lead considering it's not as "in your face" as some of the other tracks.
                                          Fair point. It might've made more sense as a third or fourth single.

                                          Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                          #65 - It's too bad she didn't go darker if that was the plan. Literally named Dark Horse, that songseems like that was the real engine of Prism once the Roar hype died down, and I think she would have done well to have more songs in that vein. I was pretty burned out on sunny-Katy-pop by that point, so Dark Horse was very refreshing. I have mostly dropped Katy like a hot potato like the rest of the GP after that release.
                                          Agreed.

                                          Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                          #63 - I loved Kanye here. (Ugh I know he's Ye now, but it's so very Prince as a symbol, it's going to take time to switch to that.) And this was the album that made me love him. Diamonds From Sierra Leone was the song that really broke him through for me; it's nice to see the shout-out in your write-up.
                                          I actually first started taking notice of him during his 'Graduation'. "Stronger" was what did it for me.

                                          Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                          OK, we'll see how much more I can inch up when I return
                                          Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#1]
                                          Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2022: [#1]
                                          Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2022: [#1]
                                          Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2022: [#1]
                                          Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [#1]
                                          Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Kill Bill
                                          AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Sam Smith]

                                          "These gays, they're trying to murder me."

                                          Comment


                                          • Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post
                                            You like 'Dangerously in Love' more?
                                            Oh I absolutely do! I love her debut! But to be clear, I love all her albums. Been buzzing around that hive from the get-go.

                                            Anyhow, I have some time to kill, so let's see what's next!

                                            #62 - Oh! Well, we're getting right to it with a stunner aren't we? What I love in retrospect about 25 was that it was such a cultural moment - it seemed like entire planet unified around loving Adele, and it was glorious. That 3MIL in a week is simply jaw-dropping, perhaps the biggest death rattle for album sales they could have gotten. I can't even wrap my mind around how that would translate in 2000 terms when all sales were peaking. As for the album itself, it has some songs from her that are among my favorites, particularly Million Years Ago, which criminally never got a release. But at the end of the day, I'd take 21 or 30 over it.

                                            #61 - I'll just comment here how much I love Toxic, so it elevates the whole album.

                                            #60 - I hadn't really delved into Velvet Rope beyond the singles until the survivor hun did this year, and while I've always kind of intuitively known it was a critical peak for her, it was nice to finally experience it and be able to corroborate everything that had been said. The title track is incredible, and the personal pain she weaved into amazing music is solid and triumphant.

                                            #57 - Ugh all you had to do was show the image of Bionic and I'm instantly pissed. The GP Is so frustrating sometimes. This was such a fantastic album, and I'll be forever perplexed why it missed on the charts and even in some reviews. Not Myself Tonight was an excellent lead single, and the music was as absolute as current as you could get maybe even forward of it. Christina couldn't do Big Band based bops forever, and was looking at other ways to stretch genres. Anyhow, now I am all worked up. Thanks a lot, Akini.

                                            #56 - Ah, I need to go back to this album. Greedy was incredible; I should have charted it on my own list the same way I should have charted Million Years Ago. I'll never understand why these people leave some of their best work locked away in album hell when they could go on to single greatness. Dangerous Woman had such a nice slow vibe, but Into You is the real workhorse of this album. THAT release they got right, and the GP is once again the most idiotic ever for not embracing this enough.

                                            I'm moving on up!

                                            Comment


                                            • 046. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy



                                              The third poll option to fall is the widely regarded magnum opus of hip/hop king, Ye. After the backlash stemming from his interruption of Taylor Swift's speech at the 2009 VMAs, an action that saw even then-POTUS Barack Obama calling him a "jackass", Ye retreated to Hawaii, where he would record the bulk of music's finest "backhanded apology".

                                              The roll call of A-list musicians with credits on this album is insane, but rather impressively, Ye manages to remain the centrepiece attraction through it all, with an extremely notable exception (we'll circle back to this). There's no shortage of highlights on this LP. Whether it's deluxe edition "See Me Now" featuring Beyoncé and the album's most sprightly melody, "Dark Fantasy" discussing the toxic side of fame, or "Gorgeous" featuring some of his career-best bars. "Lost in the World" is one of his most pop-leaning bops, with a punchy kind of delivery and an appealing intensity and emotion that Ye does best. "Runaway" has such a magical keyboard-led instrumentation that you sometimes forget it's nine minutes long. Then you move to the mega-highlights. "Monster" is a loaded track, given name value of acts alone, but Nicki Minaj absolutely scene-steals here, as she would make a habit of doing for the next decade. Her verse is still the best ever in hip/hop history for me. "All of the Lights" has such a grandiose and commanding production. I also love the shout-out to MJ - the way Ye went about it was the most Ye way possible. "Blame Game" features grade A storytelling, including double, triple, and perhaps even quadruple entendre lines. The Chris Rock inserts and outro are a brilliant touch as his pieces really drive home the message of how oftentimes the investments we make in others, the return/benefit of that investment is ultimately reaped by someone who isn't you. My favourite track, which is also my fave Ye track overall, is "Power". For far longer than he cared to be, Ye was pigeon-holed as a producer, but it's that special ear and vision he has in that role that makes him such a special emcee. A glorious amalgamation of rock and gospel music, seamlessly melded into this supreme, stadium-ready anthem, "Power" is a complete, crystallised masterpiece of a rap song that absolutely no one else could've delivered with an iota of the precision as Ye did. I've said before that this is Kanye West at his Kanye best and I doubt he'll ever top this. It's his signature song as it captures his essence and excellence better than any of his other creations.

                                              This "backhanded apology" was carved out to prove that as unpalatable as he could be that his music was too good for him to ever be truly cancelled and...well, the critics and charts agreed. It has a 94 rating on Metacritic and several publications called this the best album of the 2010s, including Billboard and Rolling Stone, with most deeming it the best album of 2010. The album debuted at no. 1 in the US, blocking Nicki Minaj's 'Pink Friday' from a no. 1 bow. This won Ye's fourth consecutive Best Rap Album Grammy, with "All of the Lights" taking home Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. By all marks, it was a runaway success.
                                              Code:
                                              Significance rating: 12/20
                                              No. 1s on my daily chart: Power (x4); Monster (x1); All of the Lights (x1); Blame Game (x1)
                                              Best lyric: Pull up in the monster, automobile gangsta, with a bad bitch that came from Sri Lanka, yeah, I'm in that Tonka, color of Willy Wonka, you could be the king but watch the Queen conquer, okay, first things first I'll eat your brains, then I'mma start rockin' gold teeth and fangs, 'cause that's what a motherf**kin' monster do, hairdresser from Milan, that's the monster 'do, monster Giuseppe heel, that's the monster shoe, Young Money is the roster and the monster crew, and I'm all up, all up, all up in the bank with the funny face, and if I'm fake, I ain't notice 'cause my money ain't, so let me get this straight, wait, I'm the rookie? But my features and my shows ten times your pay? Fifty K for a verse, no album out, yeah, my money's so tall that my Barbies gotta climb it, hotter than a Middle Eastern climate, violent, Tony Matterhorn, dutty wine it, wine it, Nicki on them titties when I sign it, that's how these niggas so one-track minded, but really, really I don't give a F-U-C-K, "Forget Barbie, f**k Nicki 'cause sh-she's fake", she on a diet, " but my pockets eatin' cheesecake, amdd I'll say bride of Chucky is child's play, just killed another career it's a mild day, besides, Ye, they can't stand besides me
                                              I think me, you and Amb' should ménage Friday, pink wig, thick ass, give 'em whiplash, I think big, get cash, make 'em blink fast, now look at what you just saw, this is what you live for, ah, I'm a mother****in' monster!
                                              Best melody: Power
                                              Best video: Monster 
                                              Rank in 2010 countdown: NR
                                              Rank in 2011 countdown: 55
                                              Rank in 2012 countdown: NR
                                              Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#1]
                                              Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2022: [#1]
                                              Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2022: [#1]
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                                              Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [#1]
                                              Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Kill Bill
                                              AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Sam Smith]

                                              "These gays, they're trying to murder me."

                                              Comment


                                              • Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                                Oh I absolutely do! I love her debut! But to be clear, I love all her albums. Been buzzing around that hive from the get-go.
                                                Impressive! Admittedly, it wasn't until '4' that I'd say I really joined the Hive. Prior to that, I was, to a significant extent, listening to her under duress.

                                                Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                                Anyhow, I have some time to kill, so let's see what's next!


                                                Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                                #62 - Oh! Well, we're getting right to it with a stunner aren't we? What I love in retrospect about 25 was that it was such a cultural moment - it seemed like entire planet unified around loving Adele, and it was glorious. That 3MIL in a week is simply jaw-dropping, perhaps the biggest death rattle for album sales they could have gotten. I can't even wrap my mind around how that would translate in 2000 terms when all sales were peaking. As for the album itself, it has some songs from her that are among my favorites, particularly Million Years Ago, which criminally never got a release. But at the end of the day, I'd take 21 or 30 over it.
                                                Probably 8M?

                                                Yeah, she did a crap job with the singles post-"Hello". "Million Years Ago" is one of the surest chart-toppers that never was. "River Lea" could've done well, too.

                                                Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                                #61 - I'll just comment here how much I love Toxic, so it elevates the whole album.
                                                Agreed.

                                                Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                                #60 - I hadn't really delved into Velvet Rope beyond the singles until the survivor hun did this year, and while I've always kind of intuitively known it was a critical peak for her, it was nice to finally experience it and be able to corroborate everything that had been said. The title track is incredible, and the personal pain she weaved into amazing music is solid and triumphant.
                                                Indeed.

                                                Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                                #57 - Ugh all you had to do was show the image of Bionic and I'm instantly pissed. The GP Is so frustrating sometimes. This was such a fantastic album, and I'll be forever perplexed why it missed on the charts and even in some reviews. Not Myself Tonight was an excellent lead single, and the music was as absolute as current as you could get maybe even forward of it. Christina couldn't do Big Band based bops forever, and was looking at other ways to stretch genres. Anyhow, now I am all worked up. Thanks a lot, Akini.
                                                Yeah, Christina hasn't generally gotten her due for the brilliance she's blessed us with over her career and 'Bionic' is the biggest oversight, imo.

                                                Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                                #56 - Ah, I need to go back to this album. Greedy was incredible; I should have charted it on my own list the same way I should have charted Million Years Ago. I'll never understand why these people leave some of their best work locked away in album hell when they could go on to single greatness. Dangerous Woman had such a nice slow vibe, but Into You is the real workhorse of this album. THAT release they got right, and the GP is once again the most idiotic ever for not embracing this enough.
                                                Yeah, I definitely would've thought "Into You" would've been her career highlight only for her to top it with her next era...twice!

                                                Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                                Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#1]
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                                                Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [#1]
                                                Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Kill Bill
                                                AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Sam Smith]

                                                "These gays, they're trying to murder me."

                                                Comment


                                                • 045. Bruno Mars - Unorthodox Jukebox



                                                  The third of Bruno Mars's three solo releases, which makes the Honolulu-born superstar three for three on this countdown, 'Unorthodox Jukebox' had a massive predecessor that set a near-impossible standard from which to attempt to avoid a sophomore slump. The Smeezingtons were equal to the task, though, and from those recording sessions sprouted Bruno's magnum opus.

                                                  Perhaps because 'Doo-Wops...' was so meticulously crafted for broad appeal and consumption, there was a concerted effort to go, within limits, in the opposite direction on 'Jukebox'. The result is his least cookie-cutter album, centred around my favourite Bruno song, "Gorilla". "Gorilla" was the first song recorded for the project, hence the ape getting the icon tag as mascot on the album. As for the song itself, "Gorilla" is sex music done right. It's raw, passionate, explicit, and uninhibited. Bruno doesn't mince words with his intentions, producing some pretty startling imagery with the song's titular lyric. He's done some stellar live performances to this track on his tours and at award shows. Its music video is also one of my favourites from him. It's such an atypical Bruno song that I perhaps love it even more for that, as it is by a considerable margin my most-played track from him. The other multi-day chart-topper, "Treasure", is very much the less cringe-worthy, less languid sister track to its predecessor "Just the Way You Are". The setting is largely the same - there's a beautiful, insecure girl, who Bruno's gonna convince through his entirely selfless, ulterior-lacking love is a "wonderful, flawless, sexy lady". The retro R&B stylings make you forgive this topical retread and just jam to the bop it undoubtedly is. I also love the hilarious and random "Baby squirrel..." opening lyric. "Natalie" also sees Bruno in a different suit - this time, he's incensed by a femme fatale's seduction and subsequent betrayal. I get why it might not have been the best/safest single choice, but the lyrics lay the groundwork for such a cinematic video that I wish he'd have rolled the dice with that one. "Moonshine", from which Bruno borrowed the title for the era-adjoining tour, is the most straightforward, pop-leaning cut, akin to the previous era's "Marry You". Admittedly, I'd long thought "When I Was Your Man" to be unspectacular, but its earnestness has grown on me over the years and I genuinely enjoy it now. Fun fact - "Locked Out of Heaven" did top my chart...but only the Glee Cast version, which I still prefer to Bruno's original. The first seven tracks are so insanely impressive that you really get the sense that he's going the whole nine yards, 'til he does an Atlanta Falcons fumble circa SuperBowl 2017 with the "Show Me" --> "If I Knew" stretch ending the LP on an okay, but not quite upper-Hall-of-Fame-echelon note.

                                                  'Unorthodox Jukebox' debuted at no. 2 in the US, eventually reaching #1 seven weeks later (still his only US #1 album, solo or otherwise), riding the wave of some aggressive promotional discounting, paired with January's historically depressed sales market. The album would win Best Pop Vocal Album at the Grammys and end the 2010s decade as his highest-charting album on Billboard's decade-end albums chart (at no. 15; '24K Magic' was just behind at no. 16). This was a significant sophomore swing for Señor Mars as not only did he avoid the sophomore slump, he also proved he could succeed, and in a big way, with some more hodgepodge baked into his blend of R&B/pop.
                                                  Code:
                                                  Significance rating: 12/20
                                                  No. 1s on my daily chart: Gorilla (x5); Treasure (x2); Natalie (x1); Moonshine (x1)
                                                  Best lyric: Daddy, it's yours
                                                  Best melody: Treasure
                                                  Best video: Gorilla
                                                  Rank in 2010 countdown: NR
                                                  Rank in 2011 countdown: NR
                                                  Rank in 2012 countdown: NR
                                                  Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#1]
                                                  Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2022: [#1]
                                                  Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2022: [#1]
                                                  Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2022: [#1]
                                                  Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [#1]
                                                  Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Kill Bill
                                                  AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Sam Smith]

                                                  "These gays, they're trying to murder me."

                                                  Comment


                                                  • 044. Mariah Carey - Me. I Am Mariah...The Elusive Chanteuse



                                                    We're more than halfway done with the countdown and just now getting to the first Mariah Carey entry. Could this be a sign of things to come...or not to come? At any rate, the title seems self-indulgent, but there's actually a cute story behind it. She only has one self-portrait, which she did at three and a half, and titled 'Me. I Am Mariah'. 'The Elusive Chanteuse' is the descriptor that others allegedly gave her (I'd bet good money that she gave herself this nickname) and she put the two together for this album, her return after her longest stretch between studio albums.

                                                    With a deluxe edition coming in at 17 full tracks, you'd think this would feel bloated, but honestly, each track feels essential. I'm not crazy about the motherhood ("Supernatural") or gospel ("Heavenly (No Ways Tired/Can't Give Up Now)") tracks and her cover of "One More Try" is perhaps the singular instance where the original is better than her interpretation, but the rest of this album stands supreme because she came armed with what has always been her most lethal weapon - that pen! First track "Cry" is an interesting tone-setter. I remember playing it the first time thinking, this is not what a happily married woman should be singing, only for news to break not too long after that she and then-husband Nick Cannon were separating. The song's so saturated with sadness that each line feels like a teardrop. It is certainly a go-to for emotional masochism. Another highlight is "The Art of Letting Go". Back in the fall of 2013, when I was in charge of reviews for the site, "The Art of Letting Go" was released as a promotional single and I gave it a tepid three out of five stars. My review didn't hold back: I called the first half of the track "unbearably slow", I said there were "potholes with the lyricism and shoddy phrasing"; I even called the "Press delete" lyric "cringe-worthy". And I don't feel differently about those criticisms now; I just connect so much with the lyrics and the emotion on this track that I no longer care about its flaws. What Mimi captures here is the frustration, disappointment, and sense of loss and betrayal that comes with a break-up, and the soaring climax at the end is worth all the bumps along the way. (Come through, vocal layering, for the win)! "Meteorite" is a big blast of positivity that I've had on my morning playlist for years. It's a great shower anthem to blare as you prepare to take on your day and the "-ite-ite" hook is far catchier than it looks on paper. "You Don't Know What to Do" with Wale is disc0-R&B done brilliantly and two other standout collabs, "It's a Wrap" with the queen of hip/hop soul Mary J and "Betcha Gon Know" featuring the Voldemort of R&B, just give the LP some more R&B cred and soul. My favourite song on the album is "Faded". I didn't take to it immediately, originally relegating "Faded" to 'okay' territory before another lamb convinced me to give it a few more plays and then the magic clicked. The way MC plants that "Always somewhere but you're not there for me" as an Easter egg throughout the track, only for the song to surge towards that lyric as its emotional apex towards the end was a brilliant move, but the general theme throughout of a lover not quite fulfilling his end of the relationship bargain definitely strikes a chord as, yet again, it's relatable subject matter. Oh, and she didn't have him originally on the track, but she felt that "You're Mine (Eternal)" needed a shirtless Trey Songz singing emotionally against a cheap photoshoot backdrop and I can't say she was wrong.

                                                    24 years into her career, 'The Elusive Chanteuse' was hardly ever gonna get the recognition it deserved, but it did at least debut at #3 in the US, continuing MC's impressive 15-album streak of top five studio albums at home. "#Beautiful" became her last (to date) top 20 (and top 40) non-Christmas hit worldwide, enjoying multiplatinum success in the US.
                                                    Code:
                                                    Significance rating: 12/20
                                                    No. 1s on my daily chart: Faded (x6); Meteorite (x3); You Don't Know What to Do (x2); The Art of Letting Go (x2); #Beautiful (x1); You're Mine (Eternal) (x1); Thirsty (x1)
                                                    Best lyric: So intangible, just like an echo
                                                    Best melody: You Don't Know What to Do
                                                    Best video: #Beautiful
                                                    Rank in 2010 countdown: NR
                                                    Rank in 2011 countdown: NR
                                                    Rank in 2012 countdown: NR
                                                    Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#1]
                                                    Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2022: [#1]
                                                    Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2022: [#1]
                                                    Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2022: [#1]
                                                    Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [#1]
                                                    Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Kill Bill
                                                    AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Sam Smith]

                                                    "These gays, they're trying to murder me."

                                                    Comment

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