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

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  • 043. Adele - 21



    Following a moderately successful debut era in '19', where Adele sparked intrigue from critics regarding the young balladeer's potential and connected stateside with "Chasing Pavements", on a rather unassuming winter day in 2011 would come '21'.

    Inspired by the all-too-accessible breakup trope, Adele channeled that passion into her songwriting for '21'. Unlike her subsequent releases, which dilute incensed fury with trite things like maturity and understanding, I love how raw the pain and emotion comes across on this album. No more potent is the fury than on flagship anthem and lead single "Rolling in the Deep". It sets the album off to a fiery start, with an immaculate synchronicity of the backing vocals with the main vocal that really gives the protagonist a two-pronged outlet for expression. To this day, it remains the best thing she's ever done and her most-played song by me. Second single "Someone Like You" seemed to be the critics' and GP's fave - a beautiful piano ballad that is striking for its simplicity and honesty. Strike three was "Set Fire to the Rain", penned with poetic precision, but even its neat structure does little to belie Adele's anguish. Beyond the three chart-topping singles, "One and Only" is another highlight. I love it for its big vocals. Adele's approach gets earthy in parts and that does well to drive home the message of the lyrics.

    The chart performance of '21' is really something else. It is the best-performing album in Billboard history, topping the US chart for 24 weeks. At home, it spent 23 weeks at the British penthouse, a record for a female solo artist. This is a standout release as it was so different from what was popular at the time. People really connected with the lyrics and I think its timing was just right. It was quality soul-pop music, for which many didn't even realise they were yearning and Adele was the unlikely mouthpiece to croon a whole new generation's blues. Before '21', Adele got some Grammy love, winning two during her '19' era from five nominations, but since '21', Adele has won each of the 13 Grammys for which she's been nominated. Also interesting is that I rated this album 10 years ago and scored it the exact rating I blindly gave it today, suggesting, as a whole, I feel exactly about it now as I did a decade back.
    Code:
    Significance rating: 12/20
    No. 1s on my daily chart: Rolling in the Deep (x16); Someone Like You (x3); Set Fire to the Rain (x2); One and Only (x1)
    Best lyric: Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead
    Best melody: Rolling in the Deep
    Best video: Rolling in the Deep
    Rank in 2010 countdown: NR
    Rank in 2011 countdown: 34
    Rank in 2012 countdown: 17
    Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Flowers
    AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Ava Max]

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

    Comment


    • 042. Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer



      My champion album of 2018 (though not the top-ranking 2018 LP on the countdown), 'Dirty Computer' was the first time I'd fully delved into a Janelle Monáe project, previously only dabbling in singles recommended by acquaintances, and album tracks featured in survivors and games on the forum. The dual forerunners of the album were good enough to suggest that the album might be solid, but the final product was several notches above anything I would've forecasted from the Kansas City native.

      'Dirty Computer' is an experience best had with its accompanying emotion picture, which does a first-rate job of bringing to life the powerful lyrics and vibrant melodies. I spoke to the dual forerunners, which are contrasting gems - "Make Me Feel" with its Prince-inspired, tongue-clicking funk-R&B production and "Django Jane", deeply drawing from the rich well of hip/hop, with Janelle dropping bars on par with the contemporary emcees. One representing joy and sensuality, the other pride and purpose. Great stuff to launch the bat signal that awesomeness was on the horizon. Then there's "I Like That" - lush, smooth greatness. It's got such a chill vibe throughout most of the track, but the third verse sees Janelle break the steely demeanour for another spoken rap moment, where she has a brief emotional moment before reminding herself that she "was the shit" (and still is)! For me, "I Like That" is the album's most accessible moment...though not quite its best. That honour goes to "Americans". Like so many brilliant concept albums before it, Janelle explores the definition of an American throughout the project, dropping nuggets on different tracks before ultimately tying it all within this powerful, declarative anthem of a closer. Though the album has no shortage of big empowerment bops, the softer, more vulnerable moments like "So Afraid" and "Don't Judge Me" are major highlights for me as well. Also, after years of viewing the title track as too brief to be an official song and just thinking of it as an intro, I'm now embracing that full tracks can indeed be under two minutes and will spend more time spinning that one as I've slept on it a tad over the years.

      'Dirty Computer' debuted at no. 6 in the US becoming her third consecutive top 20 LP at home. It peaked at no. 8 in the UK, marking the first time she made the top 10 across the pond. The Grammy committee had the good sense to nominate it for Album of the Year, but that's where the sober decision-making ended as it lost to an inferior album (love ya, Kacey, but Janelle was better that year)! It's also one of the few albums on the countdown to have been (mostly) recorded in Atlanta, which gives it some brownie points.
      Code:
      Significance rating: 12/20
      No. 1s on my daily chart: Americans (x3); I Like That (x3); Make Me Feel (x2); Django Jane (x1); Crazy, Classic, Life (x1)
      Best lyric: I am not America's nightmare, I am the American dream
      Best melody: I Like That 
      Best video: Django Jane 
      Rank in 2010 countdown: NR
      Rank in 2011 countdown: NR
      Rank in 2012 countdown: NR
      Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Flowers
      AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Ava Max]

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

      Comment


      • 041. Carrie Underwood - Some Hearts



        After decimating the competition on S4 of American Idol - it would be revealed years later that she got the most votes each week on the singing contest and it wasn't even close - Carrie Underwood got to work recording what would be an all-time classic country record. With Dolly dabbling in folk-rock, Reba showing off her comedic chops on TV, and Shania with her hands full juggling recording music for 'Desperate Housewives' and dealing with a cheating husband, the country music scene seemed primed for a new female superstar and a certain Oklahoma native was ready to step into the spotlight.

        This album works as well as it does because, true to its country-western roots, the storytelling is tangible. Whether it's starting college ("Don't Forget to Remember Me"), the end of doe-eyed teenage romance ("The Night Before (Life Goes On)"), or good 'ol FOMO ("Wasted"), Carrie touches on themes we've all lived. As someone who grew up in a small town, the charm of "I Ain't in Checotah Anymore" is particularly potent. Small town livin' gets a bad rap for some of the ignorant and hateful folks that oftentimes get handed the loudspeakers to become avatars of rural culture, but there's intrinsic value to those humbler beginnings. "Jesus, Take the Wheel" earned her a lifetime seat in the front pew of the southern Baptist church of her choosing. I personally find it a perfect companion on long car rides. The big highlight, however, is most certainly "Before He Cheats". Originally intended for Gretchen Wilson, with a more playful approach in mind, once the song landed in Carrie's hands and she batted it with her full-throttle, earnest vocals, co-writer Chris Tompkins knew they had a hit on their hands. It would become Carrie's career-biggest hit and one of the 'cool' country songs that everyone loves belting at karaoke. And you haven't lived until you've been in an arena of 12,000-plus die-hard fans singing that chorus at the top of their lungs!

        During her tenure on American Idol, Simon Cowell infamously forecasted, after her legendary performance of Heart's "Alone" (Idol performances countdown forthcoming) in front of the live audience that not only would Carrie Underwood win the show, she would go on to sell more records than any previous winner before her and she stormed out of the gate from the word go to prove him right. Not only is 'Some Hearts' the best-selling Idol alum album domestically, it was the best-selling album in America in 2006 as well as the best-selling country album of the 2000s decade. In fact, since its release in 2005, only two albums have sold more copies in the US and they're both by Adele ('21' and '25'). The era would see Carrie nominated for three Grammys - Best New Artist and Best Country Vocal Performance twice, once for "Jesus, Take the Wheel" and the following year for "Before He Cheats". She would win all three. She would also win a slew of country music awards at those various genre-specific ceremonies - CMAs, ACMs, CMT Music Awards. Basically, if you were handing awards to country musicians in 2005 and 2006, you threw several Carrie's way. 'Some Hearts' would be the stunning start to Carrie's journey to being what I believe she undeniably is - the queen of country music.
        Code:
        Significance rating: 12/20
        No. 1s on my daily chart: Before He Cheats (x4); Jesus, Take the Wheel (x2); The Night Before (Life Goes On) (x2); I Ain't in Checotah Anymore (x1)
        Best lyric: My hotel in Manhattan holds more people than our town, and what I just paid for dinner would be a down payment on a house, I'd rather be tipping cows in Tulsa than hailing cabs here in New York
        Best melody: Before He Cheats
        Best video: Before He Cheats
        Rank in 2010 countdown: 22
        Rank in 2011 countdown: 42
        Rank in 2012 countdown: 12
        Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Flowers
        AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Ava Max]

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

        Comment


        • Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post
          Ah, it looks like 'TUN' is your least-played Ari album. Is it in fact your least-favourite as well?
          Chuffed that you've been checking my last.fm! My gut tells me to go with Sweetener due to the SUPER lame/half-baked filler on that one ("Borderline" is such a waste of Missy), and my adoration for "Thank U, Next" the song does a lot of heavy-lifting for its parent album, but it's basically a toss-up between those two.
          • The BTW hype really was something (if memory serves, it's one of the very very few albums where I caved and downloaded the entire leak in advance). As a whole, it was a jarring/tough album to swallow coming off The Fame Monster (where nearly every one of the re-release songs felt pop-radio-ready), but it turned out to have a ton of replay value for me. Such a bold, brash project that cost Gaga some goodwill with the GP (for a while, anyway), but really set her apart as an artist. I don't revisit the title track as much as several other BTW songs these days ("Judas," TEOG, "Hair," "Fashion Of His Love"), but I love the idea of it becoming an enduring, inter-generational queer anthem and cementing Gaga's legacy as an ally
          • I might be the only person to count "One More Try" among my favorite MIAM moments (it probably helped that I had only the vaguest awareness of George's original beforehand). I've always loved "Meteorite," and now it has the added bonus of being associated with you in the shower "You Don't Know What To Do" was criminally under-utilized as a single (not that it was ever going to add to her Hot 100 No. 1 tally, but no remixes? no video)?? I forgot that "#Beautiful" only managed a single day atop your chart! You barely acknowledged it here too - is that because it came out too far ahead of the album to truly feel like a part of the project, or has it always struck you as unremarkable? It does feel a bit like Miguel ft. Mariah with the way track-time is divided, but it's still one of my (possibly THE) favorite of her 2010's singles. After some very-underwhelming offerings during the early years of that decade, #B reassured me that she could still deliver something contemporary and phenomenal
          • Dirty Computer was my first Janelle album too, and WHAT an introduction! There's so much to admire about that LP (and your review of it), but I'm most excited to see that you've come around on the title track Those harmonies!
          Top 40 hype!
          last.fmPaulboard Top 30

          Comment


          • Fantastic album from Adele, with this great song Set Fire To The Rain. Good albums from Bruno Mars and Carrie Underwood
            https://www.ukmix.org/forum/chart-di...-first-edition

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

            Comment


            • Hello, I'm back doing The Jeffersons theme song!

              #55 - Well, I'm so glad Thriller comes up while it's still October, given how its title track gets all the glory this time of year (though I looked it up and they released PYT in September of 83, and then Thriller in November a week after Halloween! Really? You couldn't have reversed those releases?) Bu tin any case, every one of those songs is a classic - in a track-by-track basis, it's a really tough album to beat. Really employing the wuality not wuantity mantra. Drake could learn from him.

              #54 - As much as I love Amy, I don't think I've given a lot of ear time to Frank. What has struck me when listening to it is the difference in her voice between it and Back to Black. Her youth comes through a little clearer in Frank than in Back to Black, where her voice has more of a smokiness if that makes sense.

              #53 - It's really amazing how Janet stayed so current and relevant for two decades. I still feel she doesn't get the respect she deserves. People in the 90s knew what was up with her music though. I do think it was smart to switch gears and go sunnier after The Velvet Rope; I think people were really hungry for that side of Janet.

              #52 - The way I lit up when I saw Whitney next on your list. Even though My Love is Your You will always be THAT album, I agree that her 1980s releases are magical. The way you went through the tracks in your write-up, I just had a medley going through my head as I read each name. I feel like I Wanna Dance gets all the press from that release, but I've always really liked So Emotional, even without knowing that drag queen moment. I feel like this album did a good job of mixing ballads and dance pop.

              #51 - Oh we're on a run of the big 5 here, I see! I had no idea Madonna lost to Barbra Streisand, and had to look up and its the Grammy people being as fuddy-duddy as usual As you go through the tracks, I'm realizing it's really hard to pick a favorite track from the album, but I do love Papa Don't Preach and Jimmy Jimmy. Ugh but True Love has such a fun 50s vibe.

              Well. I've made it halfway through your list - can't wait to see what's next

              Comment


              • Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                Chuffed that you've been checking my last.fm! My gut tells me to go with Sweetener due to the SUPER lame/half-baked filler on that one ("Borderline" is such a waste of Missy), and my adoration for "Thank U, Next" the song does a lot of heavy-lifting for its parent album, but it's basically a toss-up between those two.
                Gotcha. It feels weird for it to be 'Sweetener' since that one has such killer singles, including my two most-played and favourite Ari songs to date, but the non-singles really let the overall project down.

                Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                The BTW hype really was something (if memory serves, it's one of the very very few albums where I caved and downloaded the entire leak in advance). As a whole, it was a jarring/tough album to swallow coming off The Fame Monster (where nearly every one of the re-release songs felt pop-radio-ready), but it turned out to have a ton of replay value for me. Such a bold, brash project that cost Gaga some goodwill with the GP (for a while, anyway), but really set her apart as an artist. I don't revisit the title track as much as several other BTW songs these days ("Judas," TEOG, "Hair," "Fashion Of His Love"), but I love the idea of it becoming an enduring, inter-generational queer anthem and cementing Gaga's legacy as an ally
                Indeed. I actually don't play "Fashion of His Love" often. Should spend some more time with that one.

                Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                I might be the only person to count "One More Try" among my favorite MIAM moments (it probably helped that I had only the vaguest awareness of George's original beforehand). I've always loved "Meteorite," and now it has the added bonus of being associated with you in the shower "You Don't Know What To Do" was criminally under-utilized as a single (not that it was ever going to add to her Hot 100 No. 1 tally, but no remixes? no video)?? I forgot that "#Beautiful" only managed a single day atop your chart! You barely acknowledged it here too - is that because it came out too far ahead of the album to truly feel like a part of the project, or has it always struck you as unremarkable? It does feel a bit like Miguel ft. Mariah with the way track-time is divided, but it's still one of my (possibly THE) favorite of her 2010's singles. After some very-underwhelming offerings during the early years of that decade, #B reassured me that she could still deliver something contemporary and phenomenal
                It's actually grown on me over the years, but it's certainly a track that the fanbase loves more than I do. I think I generally prefer pop Mariah to R&B Mariah anyway, but on such a strong album, "#Beautiful" sometimes gets lost in the pack. Also, and I think we discussed it before, but the hashtag felt try-hard to me, which is probably another reason I'm not crazy about it.

                Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                Dirty Computer was my first Janelle album too, and WHAT an introduction! There's so much to admire about that LP (and your review of it), but I'm most excited to see that you've come around on the title track Those harmonies!
                It is a gem indeed!

                Originally posted by vinnie65 View Post
                Fantastic album from Adele, with this great song Set Fire To The Rain. Good albums from Bruno Mars and Carrie Underwood
                Happy to see some Carrie appreciation.

                Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                #55 - Well, I'm so glad Thriller comes up while it's still October, given how its title track gets all the glory this time of year (though I looked it up and they released PYT in September of 83, and then Thriller in November a week after Halloween! Really? You couldn't have reversed those releases?) Bu tin any case, every one of those songs is a classic - in a track-by-track basis, it's a really tough album to beat. Really employing the wuality not wuantity mantra. Drake could learn from him.
                That would've made too much sense.

                Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                #54 - As much as I love Amy, I don't think I've given a lot of ear time to Frank. What has struck me when listening to it is the difference in her voice between it and Back to Black. Her youth comes through a little clearer in Frank than in Back to Black, where her voice has more of a smokiness if that makes sense.
                That's true, but she still sounds older than she actually is on 'Frank'.

                Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                #53 - It's really amazing how Janet stayed so current and relevant for two decades. I still feel she doesn't get the respect she deserves. People in the 90s knew what was up with her music though. I do think it was smart to switch gears and go sunnier after The Velvet Rope; I think people were really hungry for that side of Janet.
                I blame the SuperBowl for this, but thankfully she seems to have been getting some more recognition the last five years or so.

                Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                #52 - The way I lit up when I saw Whitney next on your list. Even though My Love is Your You will always be THAT album, I agree that her 1980s releases are magical. The way you went through the tracks in your write-up, I just had a medley going through my head as I read each name. I feel like I Wanna Dance gets all the press from that release, but I've always really liked So Emotional, even without knowing that drag queen moment. I feel like this album did a good job of mixing ballads and dance pop.
                It does. Interesting to know 'My Love is Your Love' is your top Whitney album.

                Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                #51 - Oh we're on a run of the big 5 here, I see! I had no idea Madonna lost to Barbra Streisand, and had to look up and its the Grammy people being as fuddy-duddy as usual As you go through the tracks, I'm realizing it's really hard to pick a favorite track from the album, but I do love Papa Don't Preach and Jimmy Jimmy. Ugh but True Love has such a fun 50s vibe.
                Yeah, the Grammys clearly have their favourites.

                Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                Well. I've made it halfway through your list - can't wait to see what's next
                The better half of the best!

                Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Flowers
                AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Ava Max]

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

                Comment


                • 040. Kelly Clarkson - All I Ever Wanted



                  After the underperformance of predecessor 'My December', which was attributed to the album's darker sound and lyricism, as well as conflicts with her label that led to several pushbacks of 'My December', 'All I Ever Wanted' came two years later with Kelly Clarkson very much returning to the easily digestible pop-rock anthems that made 'Breakaway' so successful. Invited back to the party were Max Martin and Dr. Luke, and for the first time she worked with Howard Benson (who'd previously worked with another Idol alum, Daughtry) and Ryan Tedder - these latter two would produce most of the LP.

                  I have great memories associated with 'All I Ever Wanted'. The lead single and top track "My Life Would Suck Without You" had that great bubblegum power pop chorus that was so addictive and the tone of the track was that 'too cool for feels' approach that so many pop-rock folks go for, but I've always felt KC does it best. I was so excited when "My Life..." broke that Hot 100 record for biggest jump to no. 1 (97 --> 1). I'm a bit removed from chart analysis, but I believe that record still stands to this day. She then followed that one up with "I Do Not Hook Up", which I think is the most Kelly song on the album, featuring a truly hilarious video. I recall critics not being too fond of that one, but third single, "Already Gone", was the one they'd fawn over. A lot has been made over the years of its similarities to "Halo", but I don't think the two are that similar and at any rate, "Already Gone" is so regal and majestic, it gives the album a touch of class and maturity that's very old school balladeer. The first three singles would each feature on my very first daily chart published on the forum. As for outstanding album tracks, "Whyyawannabringmedown" is wordy and rowdy, but I love its raucous energy; conversely, "If No One Will Listen" features zero bombast and is a great empathetic ballad. My fave non-single, though, is "Cry". I always thought it odd that so many of my favourite female artists have great songs titled "Cry" and none cared to release them as singles, but that one is the emotional apex of the project for me.

                  'All I Ever Wanted' brought KC back not only to the top of the US albums chart for the first time in six years, but also to the top of the Hot 100, as mentioned previously, and as one of the top radio acts of 2009, with sustained singles success. The album was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album at the Grammys losing to...brace yourself for it...the Black Eyed Peas.
                  Code:
                  Significance rating: 12/20
                  No. 1s on my daily chart: Already Gone (x2); Don't Let Me Stop You (x2); My Life Would Suck Without You (x1); All I Ever Wanted (x1)
                  Best lyric: If anyone asks, I'll tell them we both just moved on, when people all stare I'll pretend that I don't hear them talk, whenever I'll see you I'll swallow my pride and bite my tongue, pretend I'm okay with it all, act like there's nothing wrong
                  Best melody: Already Gone
                  Best video: I Do Not Hook Up
                  Rank in 2010 countdown: 17
                  Rank in 2011 countdown: 41
                  Rank in 2012 countdown: 5
                  Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Flowers
                  AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Ava Max]

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

                  Comment


                  • #49 - Given a choice, I'd probably take Sweetener over Thank U Next, but I definitely liked the singles from there and you reminded me of how much I enjoyed Bloodline. I do think Ari was really in her zone in 2018 - she had so much material to discuss and she was rendering it all so flawlessly. it's interesting you mention Ari getting the top three songs and I'm reading it now just as that record is about to get blown out of the water.

                    #47 - Hmm, your write-up tells me ARTPOP is ahead of Born This Way, but I have to say I played the hell out of this album, and it still is probably my most played album by her. I already told you she landed six top tens from it - the fake German song came with me to Germany; Edge of Glory was big for my summer playlist that year, and Born This Way - well, you said it best - everyone was still cloaking what they were saying to make it more universal instead of highlighting LGBT specifically, and it was an incredible feeling to see that kind of mainstream approval.

                    #46 - Kanye interrupting Taylor seems like the most mildest of sins now. Great album, but there's no artist out there that I've felt more betrayed by.

                    #45 - Considering that three of our final five songs in the current survivor are from this album, I'd say a lot of people here agree with you! I'd say his first two are pretty even for me. Honestly, doing the survivor, he's had almost all quality. 24K Magic is probably the one of the four I'd most readily toss, but even that has songs I really like.

                    #43 - Oh wow, how funny that I mentioned Born This Way on your personal chart thread as only being topped by 21 top-ten wise, and here they are so close to each other. I remember that as long as the album was in the top 10, I decided to keep releasing singles of my own, even after Rumour Has It started to fall off. I can't say I've had the level of obsession with an album like that since (though streaming has helped put a damper on that as well).

                    OK,that's five. Time to stop there. Maybe I can finally catch up with my next post.

                    Comment


                    • Nice to come in here to see Janelle for Halloween. Coincidentally, I just posted her costume for Halloween in Pop Talk last night

                      Would have liked to see this album much higher of course, but I'll comfort myself that it got a mention. I didn't realize it was recorded in Atlanta - she must have a connection to there I wasn't aware of. The songs you mention are indeed highlights - she spills so much truth in Americans, which really spoke to the Trump era. The 1-2 punch of Django Jane and Make Me Feel was really something. Django Jane never got its own chance to shine on my personal chart because Make Me Feel decimated everything in its path , and by the time I moved past it, I was checking the other tracks. But Django Jane is actually one of the strongest songs on the album. I don't think the glow of Make Me Feel will ever fade though - simply one of my favorites of all time.

                      It seems Janelle trumped to the top 40 by the same American Idol winners that interrupted Adele's run at #1 on my personal chart at this time last year. I am only aware of the singles from Carrie's debut, and I will confess that Jesus Take the Wheel immediately lost me with the title - I thought ok, she's going for the Bible Belt crew, so she's not going to be the artist for me. And while everyone was loving her up on American Idol, I was rooting for Bo Bice, so even AI wasn't enough to reel me in. However, Before He Cheats did bring me back - I know I've mentioned how much I love the Shania karaoke line in that song - it's such a good inside-joke dig since we know the singer she is, an we know the song itself became a karaoke staple.

                      This may or may not surprise you, but Kelly is one of the acts that has had the most top 10s on my personal chart - she's really racked them up over the years - I think she may even be in the top five (yes, ahead of Janelle!) "My Life..." was such a nice return to the fold though. I peaced out on the My December album, but that song brought me right back. Emo Kelly just doesn't work - I mean, look at her talk show. Can you imagine an emo Kelly hosting it?

                      Look at that! I'm all caught up!

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                        #49 - Given a choice, I'd probably take Sweetener over Thank U Next, but I definitely liked the singles from there and you reminded me of how much I enjoyed Bloodline. I do think Ari was really in her zone in 2018 - she had so much material to discuss and she was rendering it all so flawlessly. it's interesting you mention Ari getting the top three songs and I'm reading it now just as that record is about to get blown out of the water.
                        I'm so excited. Confirmation should be dropping any minute now.

                        Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                        #47 - Hmm, your write-up tells me ARTPOP is ahead of Born This Way, but I have to say I played the hell out of this album, and it still is probably my most played album by her. I already told you she landed six top tens from it - the fake German song came with me to Germany; Edge of Glory was big for my summer playlist that year, and Born This Way - well, you said it best - everyone was still cloaking what they were saying to make it more universal instead of highlighting LGBT specifically, and it was an incredible feeling to see that kind of mainstream approval.
                        Yeah, it's joked that Gaga sacrificed her career for the gays with that one, though I'm glad that didn't end up happening. Not sure I'd have ever forecasted 'A Star is Born' being the thing to reignite interest, but that just goes to show how talented she is and how many cards she has to play.

                        Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                        #46 - Kanye interrupting Taylor seems like the most mildest of sins now. Great album, but there's no artist out there that I've felt more betrayed by.
                        Ye's up there, though I think that title might still be held by Frank Ocean for me.

                        Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                        #45 - Considering that three of our final five songs in the current survivor are from this album, I'd say a lot of people here agree with you! I'd say his first two are pretty even for me. Honestly, doing the survivor, he's had almost all quality. 24K Magic is probably the one of the four I'd most readily toss, but even that has songs I really like.
                        Yeah, it's crazy to think that Bruno had just about 30 tracks total for the 2010s decade, versus someone like Chris Brown who has that sum on a single album, yet Bruno was one of the top artists of the decade. Quality over quantity for sure.

                        Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                        #43 - Oh wow, how funny that I mentioned Born This Way on your personal chart thread as only being topped by 21 top-ten wise, and here they are so close to each other. I remember that as long as the album was in the top 10, I decided to keep releasing singles of my own, even after Rumour Has It started to fall off. I can't say I've had the level of obsession with an album like that since (though streaming has helped put a damper on that as well).
                        I had recalled you mentioning '25' as the album you were most obsessed with, but do you go back and forth between that one and '21'?

                        Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                        Nice to come in here to see Janelle for Halloween. Coincidentally, I just posted her costume for Halloween in Pop Talk last night
                        Ah, yes. She had a nice one!

                        Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                        Would have liked to see this album much higher of course, but I'll comfort myself that it got a mention. I didn't realize it was recorded in Atlanta - she must have a connection to there I wasn't aware of. The songs you mention are indeed highlights - she spills so much truth in Americans, which really spoke to the Trump era. The 1-2 punch of Django Jane and Make Me Feel was really something. Django Jane never got its own chance to shine on my personal chart because Make Me Feel decimated everything in its path , and by the time I moved past it, I was checking the other tracks. But Django Jane is actually one of the strongest songs on the album. I don't think the glow of Make Me Feel will ever fade though - simply one of my favorites of all time.
                        I believe her home base (and studio) is in Atlanta. (A quick google search seems to confirm it).

                        Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                        It seems Janelle trumped to the top 40 by the same American Idol winners that interrupted Adele's run at #1 on my personal chart at this time last year. I am only aware of the singles from Carrie's debut, and I will confess that Jesus Take the Wheel immediately lost me with the title - I thought ok, she's going for the Bible Belt crew, so she's not going to be the artist for me. And while everyone was loving her up on American Idol, I was rooting for Bo Bice, so even AI wasn't enough to reel me in. However, Before He Cheats did bring me back - I know I've mentioned how much I love the Shania karaoke line in that song - it's such a good inside-joke dig since we know the singer she is, an we know the song itself became a karaoke staple.
                        I still attended church in 2005, though my attendance was always a mandatory sentence rather than a legitimate choice, and "Jesus, Take the Wheel" was done by quite a few church choirs back then. It was honestly a nice change of pace from the boring hymns.

                        Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                        This may or may not surprise you, but Kelly is one of the acts that has had the most top 10s on my personal chart - she's really racked them up over the years - I think she may even be in the top five (yes, ahead of Janelle!) "My Life..." was such a nice return to the fold though. I peaced out on the My December album, but that song brought me right back. Emo Kelly just doesn't work - I mean, look at her talk show. Can you imagine an emo Kelly hosting it?
                        I'm not so surprised. I think Kelly doesn't rank high up there in celebria, but she is possibly the most likeable of the pop stars we've had in the last 20 years. She was super high on the new millennium artists countdown I hosted, too.

                        'My December' holds a special place in my music library now, but, yeah, back then I couldn't get behind the bleakness of it all. Other than "Never Again", I didn't pick up any 'My December' tracks for ages!

                        Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                        Look at that! I'm all caught up!
                        Ah, many thanks for catching up! Guess that's my cue to move forward.
                        Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Flowers
                        AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Ava Max]

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

                        Comment


                        • 039. Céline Dion - Falling into You



                          After releasing 'Deux', the best-selling French album of all-time the year prior, Team Céline set out to replicate the feat in another language and got preciously closer than many might have forecasted.

                          There is literally no preamble on 'Falling into You' - with track one, she blasts you with the album's top stunner, a Jim Steinman ballad that clocks in at seven and a half minutes, where Céline shows off expert mastery of the art of balladeering - scaling the heights we knew she could, reigning in the bombast for the reflective, vulnerable, tender moments, and giving you everything between those two extremes. Next up to bat is the Diane-Warren-penned "Because You Loved Me", a song that 11 years later, a curly-haired superstar-to-be would audition with to eventually win the sixth season of American Idol. Title track "Falling into You" is the album's most R&B-leaning, soulful moment, where Céline slips into a more sensual delivery that works wonders. "All by Myself" is another big highlight, with that stunning, legendary vocal climax that I was fortunate enough to see Céline do in 2017 - it's insane how well she's maintained her voice over the years and that big "Anymore!!!" climax was the audience highlight that night. One not-oft-cited golden track is "I Don't Know". It's one of the best-written songs in Céline's catalogue, with a rather simple message, but presented in quite poetic fashion. Contrary to popular (unfounded) opinion, there's a fair bit of excitement and upbeat melody baked into the 'Falling into You' mix, one of my favourites being the gospel-fuelled "Declaration of Love", which is rousing fun. Over the years, "Call the Man" has become a favourite of mine. I've said it ad nauseum, but there's a magic in the titanic vocalists showing off their gentler tones to accomplish the mission of a softer kind of song and Madame Dion does that to great effect here. 'Falling into You' also boasts my favourite Olympic theme song ever in "The Power of the Dream".

                          So circling back to its sales, well, this sold disgustingly well. Some estimates have it at 32 million, which is the figure I'll be going with, but I've seen higher. Only three female artists can boast a better-selling album (interestingly enough, two of them are Canadian). The critics appreciated it, too - 'Falling into You' won Best Pop Vocal Album and, more significantly, Album of the Year at the 1997 Grammys.
                          Code:
                          Significance rating: 12/20
                          No. 1s on my daily chart: It's All Coming Back to Me Now (x1); I Don't Know (x1); Falling into You (x1)
                          Best lyric: A mountain of stone, a door of steel, can't stand in my way, I'd go on, brutal machines, unbending laws, can't slow me down, I'd go on, I've learned how to deal and when to fight, I know what's real, I know what's right, I'm not afraid, a wounded dove, I can be tender in a world so tough
                          Best melody: It's All Coming Back to Me Now
                          Best video: It's All Coming Back to Me Now
                          Rank in 2010 countdown: NR
                          Rank in 2011 countdown: 83
                          Rank in 2012 countdown: 9
                          Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Flowers
                          AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Ava Max]

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

                          Comment


                          • 'Falling into You' is a great album. It contains my favourite (English-language) Céline song, the epic 'It's All Coming Back to Me Now'.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Benny View Post
                              'Falling into You' is a great album. It contains my favourite (English-language) Céline song, the epic 'It's All Coming Back to Me Now'.
                              What's your fave French Céline song?
                              Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Flowers
                              AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Ava Max]

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

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post

                                What's your fave French Céline song?
                                Probably 'Pour que tu m'aimes encore', though 'Encore un soir' is a close second.

                                Comment


                                • 038. Lady Gaga - The Fame



                                  In 2008, a year that saw the height of the global financial crisis, the most severe since the Great Depression eight decades prior, and the historic election of the first African-American POTUS, pop music had its own little shake-up as an ambitious Italian-American girl from New York City started to make inroads in the pop scene with a sleeper club hit. She had a Gwen-Stefani-esque quirkiness, but her weirdness had its own individual slant. She seemed to have a singular mission in mind - make pop music weird and she would start building a haus (and empire) of queerness.

                                  The first song I loved from Lady Gaga was "LoveGame". Its insistent electropop production was firm and convincing, and once I hopped on the Germanotta Express off the back of that one, there was no getting off. I also loved the brash sexual nature of the track. My favourite track, though, is the glossy "Poker Face". It's the second-best thing RedOne's ever done for Gaga. Lead single "Just Dance", much like it was on the charts, was a massive slow burn for me. It took me years to really appreciate it for the pop classic it is. It actually even inspired my favourite poem I've ever written, which shares its title with the smash. "Paparazzi" came, and though a solid song in its own right, its main talking point would be its mini-film music video. Gaga had progressively gotten more outlandish with her videos and this would be the most impressive video of the era. "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)" was so summer-ready and breezy, it felt transported right from 1986's 'True Blue' to land on 'The Fame' more than 20 years later. The non-singles were no slouch either - title track "The Fame" was as alluring as its subject matter; "Boys Boys Boys" is a cheerleader-esque, playful bop, with a simple but effective refrain; "Money Honey" is one of the better-written synthpop bops on the album, primed for mass consumption if any of the starting six unexpectedly flopped; "Paper Gangsta" has some great R&B elements that presses brakes on the frenetic pace of this mostly party soundtrack; and "Brown Eyes" is the big ballad that showed Gaga had the vocal chops to pull one off. There's a swathe of greatness here - not potential, but actual realisation of a vision. Cohesive and ultimately influential, 'The Fame' is one of the finest debut efforts in music history.

                                  The album had a humble no. 17 debut, eventually climbing to a no. 2 peak (Gaga would never again have a solo studio album not peak at no. 1), but its longevity would span several hundred weeks on the chart. In fact, in 2015, Billboard ranked it no. 12 on the best-performing albums in Billboard 200 history. It's always a little frustrating discussing sales for 'The Fame' as some territories counted it as a separate project from 'The Fame Monster' and some markets combined the two. I think it's sufficient to say that 'The Fame' sold really well. At the Grammys, 'The Fame' would be nominated for Album of the Year (it would lose) and win Best Electronic/Dance Album. "Poker Face" would also take home Best Dance Recording (I personally think it should've also won its nominations for Song of the Year and Record of the Year).
                                  Code:
                                  Significance rating: 12/20
                                  No. 1s on my daily chart: Just Dance (x5); Poker Face (x3); LoveGame (x1); Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say) (x1)
                                  Best lyric: I wanna take a ride on your disco stick
                                  Best melody: LoveGame
                                  Best video: Paparazzi
                                  Rank in 2010 countdown: 10
                                  Rank in 2011 countdown: 29
                                  Rank in 2012 countdown: 46
                                  Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Flowers
                                  AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Ava Max]

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

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post
                                    Indeed. I actually don't play "Fashion of His Love" often. Should spend some more time with that one.
                                    I might be on my own for exalting that deep cut, but I really love its lighter poppy 80's vibes (a breath of fresh air amongst BTW's many heavier/industrial moments, though I do love a lot of those too).

                                    Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post
                                    It's actually grown on me over the years, but it's certainly a track that the fanbase loves more than I do. I think I generally prefer pop Mariah to R&B Mariah anyway, but on such a strong album, "#Beautiful" sometimes gets lost in the pack. Also, and I think we discussed it before, but the hashtag felt try-hard to me, which is probably another reason I'm not crazy about it.
                                    So petty, but so honest, I can't be too mad.
                                    • I'd thought that Dr. Luke was a larger looming presence over All I Ever Wanted, but if Wikipedia's credits are correct, he only had a hand in "My Life Would Suck Without You" (Katy Perry rejects played a bigger role in that album than he did). I wonder how close "Cry" came to single status before "Already Gone" became the ballad choice instead. I know Kelly wanted "Cry" over AG, and if you look at the official single covers from that era: "My Life Would Suck Without You" gives the SUCKer a shimmer/sparkle effect, "I Do Not Hook Up" gives the HOOKs on the front of Kelly's dress that same sparkle, and "Already Gone" has a sparkling tear (clearly much better suited to "Cry"). I know I sound a bit like an unhinged conspiracy theorist there Singles aside, I've always had soft spots for "Ready" and "I Want You" (especially the latter's throwback-pop vibes)
                                    • The Fame introduced us to one of the finest popstars of the 21st century, and I've got a LOT of love for its singles (it was also perfect being in college right when she was blowing up with these sexy party tracks, major nostalgia rush now). It looks like we're specifically talking about the album's pre-Monster form at No. 38? In that case, I always felt like there was a pretty major gulf in quality between the singles and album tracks on Gaga's debut (even my favorite non-singles, "Boys Boys Boys" and "I Like It Rough," feel worlds apart from the level of "Just Dance," "Poker Face," "Paparazzi," and "Eh, Eh"). TFM EP struck me as a much stronger step toward cohesive quality, and every subspequent Gaga album would have at least a track or two that I'd consider on-par with (or even superior options to) their official singles
                                    last.fmPaulboard Top 30

                                    Comment


                                    • Wow, three great albums in a row! Kelly Clarkson with Already Gone and her masterpiece My Life Would Suck Without You. Celine Dion´s best english album. Because You Loved Me, Falling Into You and All By Myself are my favorites from the album without a bad song. And last not least Lady Gaga with the fantastic The Fame. One hit after another, especially Poker Face!
                                      https://www.ukmix.org/forum/chart-di...-first-edition

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

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                                        I might be on my own for exalting that deep cut, but I really love its lighter poppy 80's vibes (a breath of fresh air amongst BTW's many heavier/industrial moments, though I do love a lot of those too).
                                        I'm actually more curious as to how "Judas" has ended up as your most-played 'Born This Way' track. Kept those ear condoms on all 2011?

                                        Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                                        So petty, but so honest, I can't be too mad.
                                        "Petty" is actually the next act's (new) legal (add-on) surname.

                                        Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                                        I'd thought that Dr. Luke was a larger looming presence over All I Ever Wanted, but if Wikipedia's credits are correct, he only had a hand in "My Life Would Suck Without You" (Katy Perry rejects played a bigger role in that album than he did). I wonder how close "Cry" came to single status before "Already Gone" became the ballad choice instead. I know Kelly wanted "Cry" over AG, and if you look at the official single covers from that era: "My Life Would Suck Without You" gives the SUCKer a shimmer/sparkle effect, "I Do Not Hook Up" gives the HOOKs on the front of Kelly's dress that same sparkle, and "Already Gone" has a sparkling tear (clearly much better suited to "Cry"). I know I sound a bit like an unhinged conspiracy theorist there Singles aside, I've always had soft spots for "Ready" and "I Want You" (especially the latter's throwback-pop vibes)
                                        Astute observation. Interestingly enough, back then I wanted "Cry" to be the single, but in hindsight "Already Gone" is the better song. Of course, the best-case scenario would have been replacing the title track as a single and pushing "Cry" instead, especially seeing as they didn't give an ounce of a phuck about "All I Ever Wanted" - it didn't even get a video.

                                        Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                                        The Fame introduced us to one of the finest popstars of the 21st century, and I've got a LOT of love for its singles (it was also perfect being in college right when she was blowing up with these sexy party tracks, major nostalgia rush now). It looks like we're specifically talking about the album's pre-Monster form at No. 38? In that case, I always felt like there was a pretty major gulf in quality between the singles and album tracks on Gaga's debut (even my favorite non-singles, "Boys Boys Boys" and "I Like It Rough," feel worlds apart from the level of "Just Dance," "Poker Face," "Paparazzi," and "Eh, Eh"). TFM EP struck me as a much stronger step toward cohesive quality, and every subspequent Gaga album would have at least a track or two that I'd consider on-par with (or even superior options to) their official singles
                                        Correct on the bolded question.

                                        In The Fame's defence, it had a much larger denominator to work with than The Fame Monster!

                                        Originally posted by vinnie65 View Post
                                        Wow, three great albums in a row! Kelly Clarkson with Already Gone and her masterpiece My Life Would Suck Without You. Celine Dion´s best english album. Because You Loved Me, Falling Into You and All By Myself are my favorites from the album without a bad song. And last not least Lady Gaga with the fantastic The Fame. One hit after another, especially Poker Face!
                                        Glad to read such high praise for the last three! I agree with everything.
                                        Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Flowers
                                        AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Ava Max]

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

                                        Comment


                                        • 037. Nicki Minaj - Queen



                                          The four years between 'Queen' and its predecessor album included some trying times for the emcee. Retrospectively, some fans have deemed that era as the 'Nicki Hate Train' era and it was pretty rough indeed. You had Remy Ma executing a thorough character assassination of Nicki Minaj on her "Shether" track and while Onika might've been able to shrug that off on "No Frauds" and lean into her immense commercial advantage over Remy, in would step Cardi B, who would rapidly scale heights in her debut era that not even Nicki had achieved during her decade-long run as the preeminent female rap star. She looked left, she looked right, and there seemed to be serious challengers coming from all sides. 'Queen' was her mic-drop to silence any doubts as to her status.

                                          While her previous albums generally had somewhat of a cohesive theme ('Roman Reloaded' being the glaring exception), I have read criticism for 'Queen' regarding that there isn't a central topic and to that I must say I disagree - as a (relatively) objective fan of Nicki's, I do think there's a singular message on the album - that she's the best. Her bars on this are the best they've ever been and some songs are literally just her flexing - the last 90 seconds of "Barbie Dreams" is a great example of this. "LLC" and "Chun Swae" are also fantastic flexes. She opens the album with a rather scathing, but perfectly curated thesis statement - "Ganja Burn". Its second verse is one of my favourite verses in hip/hop history. She articulately presents a clear fact, that the road to being the best is not a short or easy one. I don't know if Gen Z is to blame for this, but there's this premature 'GOAT' claim folks hand out to artists two seconds into their career for exhibiting any modicum of talent and "Ganja Burn" is a direct rebuke to that behaviour. She doubles down on this with "Majesty", where Eminem makes an interesting remark - "The queen and her husband". It's in reference to himself and Nicki, but I love it because he's centring her as a monarch and positioning his title as secondary to that, which is a fun role reversal in a notoriously misogynistic genre. Playing into the media branding her as "the bad guy", her "Chun-Li" response is brilliant. My favourite track, though, is "Good Form". So much of this album is her intentionally mowing down her competition, but "Good Form" proves that Nicki's at her best when she's just having fun - she never really needs to 'prove' it, because that's what naturally comes out when she's just riffing, playing around with flows and metaphors. To this day, "Good Form" might be her best solo song of her career.

                                          For as good an album as 'Queen' is, its rollout was an absolute mess. Originally slated for a June release, it was pushed back to 8/10. Then there was word that it would be pushed back to 8/17 as Nicki was trying to get a sample cleared. Then they abandoned the sample clearance process and brought the date back up to 8/10. Then the album wasn't released at midnight, but 12 hours later at noon. Then "Fefe" was a late add to the tracklisting to try to secure a no. 1 debut. Then it ended up debuting at no. 2, behind Travis Scott. See all those "then's"? This era deserved so much more! And I won't even begin to comment on the Grammy snubs 'cause I have no words for (or understanding of) them.
                                          Code:
                                          Significance rating: 12/20
                                          No. 1s on my daily chart: Good Form (x7); Ganja Burn (x3); Chun-Li (x3); Majesty (x1); Chun Swae (x1); Bed (x1); Thought I Knew You (x1)
                                          Best lyric: I'm buyin' buildings, we don't buy the blogs
                                          Best melody: Chun-Li
                                          Best video: Ganja Burn
                                          Rank in 2010 countdown: NR
                                          Rank in 2011 countdown: NR
                                          Rank in 2012 countdown: NR
                                          Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Flowers
                                          AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Ava Max]

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

                                          Comment


                                          • 036. Mariah Carey - Caution



                                            Four years after releasing the lengthiest album of her 'Elusive Chanteuse' career, Mariah Carey returned in 2018 with her most succinct.

                                            With "GTFO" pushed as the lead single, I must admit there was consternation on my end. It was a decent enough song, but it didn't have the memorable gut-punch I like in my MC forerunner tracks, so I tempered expectations and crossed my fingers. She assuaged my fears when she dropped "With You" a month later. It was a far more classic MC track - a tender, vulnerable ballad, where she narrates the tale of a relationship marked by doubt and insecurities, intense public scrutiny, imperfections, unforecasted storms and a litany of other uncertainties, and, highlighted by nostalgic lyrical references to Usher's 2004 'Confessions' and the star's own 1998 "Breakdown", the protagonist declares a singular, unshakable truth - her love and devotion to her partner. I always love it when MC the songwriter takes precedence to MC the vocalist and the storytelling on "With You" is simple, but powerful and effective. Having said all that, and despite it being my third-most-played Mariah song, it isn't quite the top 'Caution' track for me. That honour goes to the title track, a gem so immersive that Mariah even changed the title of the album from the originally intended 'Portrait' to 'Caution'. I think almost all lambs disagree with me on this, but I contend that it's the sexiest song of her career. The breathy whispers, the late night dalliance innuendos, the sultry melody and production - if the song had even half of a fair chance, it would've been a worldwide chart-topper. "Giving Me Life" is lush brilliance. The production is this rich, golden strain of prime steak R&B and Mimi’s lyrical prowess and emotive, patient vocal pacing just paint the canvas to a complete, artful finish. And even though "Portrait" got sidelined from being the title track in the end, it's still a highlight for me. The emotion is so palpable on it, I can't imagine how anyone comes away from it unaffected.

                                            'Caution' debuted at no. 5 in the US, giving the Songbird Supreme her 18th top 10 album at home. It did have an unfortunate 50-place drop in the second week, but her putting out an album that's sultry and smart, vulnerable and classy, contemporary without being try-hard 28 years deep into her career is worthy of all the applause. And if the GP wouldn't applaud, the lambs would be sure to do so, and loud enough for everyone, too.
                                            Code:
                                            Significance rating: 12/20
                                            No. 1s on my daily chart: With You (x9); Caution (x4); Giving Me Life (x3); Portrait (x3); A No No (x2); GTFO (x1)
                                            Best lyric: Giving me life and it's everything, thinkin' 'bout when we were seventeen, livin' like Babs 'cause it's evergreen, here in my arms is where you should be
                                            Best melody: Caution 
                                            Best video: With You
                                            Rank in 2010 countdown: NR
                                            Rank in 2011 countdown: NR
                                            Rank in 2012 countdown: NR
                                            Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Flowers
                                            AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Ava Max]

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

                                            Comment


                                            • Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post
                                              I'm actually more curious as to how "Judas" has ended up as your most-played 'Born This Way' track. Kept those ear condoms on all 2011?
                                              Oh, I still adore that one I know Gaga didn't invent this style, but it was one of my first exposures to a song with such hard-hitting, industrial, almost heavy-metal-sounding verses paired with a SUPER light/fluffy/bubblegum-pop-sounding chorus, and I thought that juxtaposition was just brilliant (similar to Rina's "STFU!" that came along much later). I also might take a teensy bit of pleasure in knowing that she ruffled Christian fundamentalists' feathers with the way she talks about Judas "in the most Biblical sense, I am beyond repentance..."

                                              Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post
                                              "Petty" is actually the next act's (new) legal (add-on) surname.
                                              Ha, too damn true. So she's where you get it from?

                                              Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post
                                              Astute observation. Interestingly enough, back then I wanted "Cry" to be the single, but in hindsight "Already Gone" is the better song. Of course, the best-case scenario would have been replacing the title track as a single and pushing "Cry" instead, especially seeing as they didn't give an ounce of a phuck about "All I Ever Wanted" - it didn't even get a video.
                                              Yeah, idk if that was just more Clive Davis nonsense or what, but it seemed SO odd to half-ass the 4th single after "Already Gone" out-performed "I Do Not Hook Up" and reinvigorated that era's momentum (at least in the US).

                                              Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post
                                              In The Fame's defence, it had a much larger denominator to work with than The Fame Monster!
                                              Fair, though that's partially what I admire about TFM: it's such a tightly/expertly-curated package (I even really enjoy a couple of the songs that got cut, like "Nothing On (But The Radio)" and "No Way").
                                              • I expected "With You" or "Giving Me Life" to take Top Track Honors, but I'm glad it went to "Caution" instead! At the time, I recall there being zero overlap in our five favorite Caution songs (for me: "GTFO," "The Distance," "A No No," "Runway," and "One Mo' Gen"), so is that still true in 2022? Also: was her original plan to call the album Portrait? I don't hate that, but it does feel more classic/typical Mariah, whereas Caution stands out more
                                              last.fmPaulboard Top 30

                                              Comment


                                              • Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                                                Oh, I still adore that one I know Gaga didn't invent this style, but it was one of my first exposures to a song with such hard-hitting, industrial, almost heavy-metal-sounding verses paired with a SUPER light/fluffy/bubblegum-pop-sounding chorus, and I thought that juxtaposition was just brilliant (similar to Rina's "STFU!" that came along much later). I also might take a teensy bit of pleasure in knowing that she ruffled Christian fundamentalists' feathers with the way she talks about Judas "in the most Biblical sense, I am beyond repentance..."
                                                That's the answer I was poking for.

                                                Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                                                Ha, too damn true. So she's where you get it from?
                                                Nah, it comes naturally.

                                                Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                                                Yeah, idk if that was just more Clive Davis nonsense or what, but it seemed SO odd to half-ass the 4th single after "Already Gone" out-performed "I Do Not Hook Up" and reinvigorated that era's momentum (at least in the US).
                                                Yeah, it is weird, but I'm glad the album brought KC back to mainstream radio after 'My December' fumbled on the charts. Admittedly, though, I have quite the soft spot for 'My December'.

                                                Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                                                Fair, though that's partially what I admire about TFM: it's such a tightly/expertly-curated package (I even really enjoy a couple of the songs that got cut, like "Nothing On (But The Radio)" and "No Way").
                                                Ah, yes. I loved "No Way"!

                                                Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                                                I expected "With You" or "Giving Me Life" to take Top Track Honors, but I'm glad it went to "Caution" instead! At the time, I recall there being zero overlap in our five favorite Caution songs (for me: "GTFO," "The Distance," "A No No," "Runway," and "One Mo' Gen"), so is that still true in 2022? Also: was her original plan to call the album Portrait? I don't hate that, but it does feel more classic/typical Mariah, whereas Caution stands out more
                                                Okay, I think we have "One Mo' Gen" in shared top fives. That one's a great one and actually taught me an alternative way of saying "again".

                                                Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Flowers
                                                AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Ava Max]

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

                                                Comment


                                                • 035. Britney Spears - Femme Fatale



                                                  Britney's last legendary era, 'Femme Fatale' was a project that drummed up a tonne of excitement. It ended up delivering quite a bit in the end, too.

                                                  Armed with a familiar group of heavyweight producers including, but not limited to, the likes of Max Martin, Dr. Luke, Benny Blanco, and Bloodshy (sans Avant), the classic Britney Spears sound is strong and consistent throughout. She would also invite will.i.am to the party, though fans would live to regret that the next era. At any rate, the single choices for this album were grade A. Lead single "Hold It Against Me" remains one of the most exciting pop tracks I've ever heard, with its sheeny chorus and unexpected dubstep bridge. It was one of several instances where Brit Brit was ahead of the curve in the music industry, as far as sound was concerned. Its accompanying, semi-autobiographical music video was one of the biggest events in pop music history, what with all the little teaser clips dropped beforehand. I was quite obsessed with the song and I don't use that term lightly - for 11 years "Hold It Against Me" was the longest-running chart-topper in the history of my daily chart. Second single "Till the World Ends" hasn't aged fantastically, but it was good at the time and featured a fun verse from Nicki Minaj on the remix. Third single "I Wanna Go" made it so that Britney had three big radio hits in a single era, a career-first for the resurgent pop princess. Its music video is also iconic and hilarious. "Criminal" was a fine fourth single to wrap everything in a tidy, classy, crotch-kicking bow. The album tracks weren't slouches either. I have fond memories of introducing a high school friend, who was a massive hip/hop head, to "Trouble for Me" and him loving its shameless flirtation. "Big Fat Bass" has it right there in its title and has, rather surprisingly, aged well over the decade-plus. Some critics might consider "(Drop Dead) Beautiful" as a cheap song, lyrically, but I personally love its one-line pickups. A Britney record doesn't feel balanced without some solid ballads thrown in the mix and the passionate and explosive "Inside Out" as well as the final-straw "He About to Lose Me" check that essential box. Also, I wasn't that into it back in 2011, but "Gasoline" is a low-key bop!

                                                  Her sixth (and likely final) US no. 1 album, 'Femme Fatale' was a solid commercial success on the US and international charts. On my personal chart, though? Well, its tracks spent a combined sum of 87 days at no. 1, a record that I suspect will stand forever.
                                                  Code:
                                                  Significance rating: 12/20
                                                  No. 1s on my daily chart: Hold It Against Me (x48); Till the World Ends (x15); I Wanna Go (x6); Criminal (x6); Trouble for Me (x4); (Drop Dead) Beautiful (x3); Inside Out (x2); He About to Lose Me (x1); Selfish (x1); Big Fat Bass (x1)
                                                  Best lyric: And yeah, your body looks so sick, I think I caught the flu
                                                  Best melody: Hold It Against Me
                                                  Best video: Hold It Against Me 
                                                  Rank in 2010 countdown: NR
                                                  Rank in 2011 countdown: 11
                                                  Rank in 2012 countdown: 24
                                                  Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Flowers
                                                  AlbumClash 2.0: [SZA vs. Ava Max]

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

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                                                  • I truly enjoyed 'Femme Fatale', all 4 singles from the album were great!

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