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Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time [2022 Edition: #18]

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  • Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time [2022 Edition: #18]

    In January, I thought this year would be a good time to update my all-time favourite albums list and when I checked the archives and confirmed that 2012 was the last occasion I presented such a countdown, I figured a refresh after a decade was perfect timing. I'd previously done editions in 2010 and 2011, so it was interesting to see which LPs have stood the test of time to warrant inclusion across all four lists.

    Also interesting is the fact that some of my favourite acts are clearly album acts whereas others are singles acts. Some folks had their entire albums discography at least considered, whereas some didn't have even a singular submission. An exercise such as this one makes you appreciate the efforts that go into making a truly cohesive and timeless album.

    This will start soon, but see previewed in the poll at least 8% of the albums that will surely pop up between now and this countdown's conclusion. Which one do you think will win?

    9
    Back to Black
    0%
    0
    Blackout
    22.22%
    2
    Butterfly
    44.44%
    4
    Erotica
    0%
    0
    Lemonade
    11.11%
    1
    My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
    0%
    0
    Rated R
    22.22%
    2
    The Velvet Rope
    0%
    0
    Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2022: [90-86]
    Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2022: [Starting 12/19]
    Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2022: [Starting 12/26]
    Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#18]
    Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [55-51]
    Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Anti-Hero (4 weeks)
    AlbumClash 2.0: [Rosalía vs. Steve Lacy]

    History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes.

  • #2
    Ha, your comment/hint after "Andante, Andante" went to No. 1 recently had me thinking we were in for an ABBA countdown - but I'm even more excited for this!


    My own bias/wishful thinking nudged me toward Butterfly, but I pondered TVR pretty seriously too (it feels like non-singles from that album regularly pop up on your chart). I wouldn't mind most of these emerging as the winner, though. Hype!
    last.fmPaulboard Top 30

    Comment


    • #3
      I guess this will not include Greatest Hits but only studio albums?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
        Ha, your comment/hint after "Andante, Andante" went to No. 1 recently had me thinking we were in for an ABBA countdown - but I'm even more excited for this!

        My own bias/wishful thinking nudged me toward Butterfly, but I pondered TVR pretty seriously too (it feels like non-singles from that album regularly pop up on your chart). I wouldn't mind most of these emerging as the winner, though. Hype!
        Let's see!

        Originally posted by Benny View Post
        I guess this will not include Greatest Hits but only studio albums?
        Correct!
        Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2022: [90-86]
        Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2022: [Starting 12/19]
        Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2022: [Starting 12/26]
        Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#18]
        Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [55-51]
        Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Anti-Hero (4 weeks)
        AlbumClash 2.0: [Rosalía vs. Steve Lacy]

        History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes.

        Comment


        • #5
          100. Madonna - Bedtime Stories



          Following the 'Erotica' album and 'Sex' book, 'Bedtime Stories' was Madonna's compromise album to quell the GP's and critics' accusations that she was nothing more than a Harlem harlot masquerading as a pop star. The album featured her leaning more into R&B and hip/hop, the former of which was the dominant sound in the US at the time and the latter which was gaining popularity. For this, she was chastised once more, this time for chasing trends instead of creating them. She just couldn't win...or could she?

          Drilling into the album's sonic infrastructure, you find that it features more downtempo melodies than anything she'd done up to this point. Opening track "Survival" sees her in self-referential mode, harkening back to 'True Blue''s "Live to Tell". "Human Nature" features another self-reference, this time to a far poppier and more upbeat single than itself, 'Like a Prayer''s "Express Yourself". We hear first-time hip/hop elements on "I'd Rather Be Your Lover" featuring rapper Meshell Ndegéocello, which would be swiftly followed by "Don't Stop", a reassurance track to her fans that the pop queen was not yet dead. "Inside of Me" follows, showcasing that in the case of the shameless pop vixen, she, too, had feels. What feels like Madge's proudest moment from the project, "Human Nature" is the pop superstar in typical unapologetic fashion, featuring tight leather in its music video with equally tight choreo. She'd talk several eras later about "The Power of Goodbye", but "Human Nature" previewed the power of whispers, with many of the heaviest-hitting lyrics being ASMR'ed to us, before ASMR was ever a thing.

          The most experimental song on the record is title track "Bedtime Story", a collaborative effort with Bjork. Its sci-fi-esque video is one of the most interesting in Madge's catalogue and definitely goes a great way in painting a backdrop to the left-of-centre production. "Take a Bow" is the big sparkling hit of the era, a song to this day that still stands as her longest-reigning chart-topper in the US with seven weeks at #1 (and with 30 weeks overall on the US Hot 100, it's tied with "Borderline" as her longest-charting single in the US), but on this Grammy-nominated album, in my view, "Love Tried to Welcome Me" is the LP's greatest achievement. For some fans, this album is too safe and unadventurous, but if the result of those two qualities produced "Love Tried to Welcome Me", I'd say it was worth it. Poetic and heartfelt, it still stands as my favourite non-single ever from the pop queen. So, at least for me, 'Bedtime Stories' is Madonna winning, though not in quite the same way she ever had before.
          Code:
          Significance rating: 10/20
          No. 1s on my daily chart: Love Tried to Welcome Me [x4]
          Best lyric: And I must confess, instead of spring, it's always winter, and my heart has always been a lonely hunter
          Best melody: Take a Bow
          Best video: Bedtime Story
          Rank in 2010 countdown: NR
          Rank in 2011 countdown: NR
          Rank in 2012 countdown: NR
          Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2022: [90-86]
          Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2022: [Starting 12/19]
          Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2022: [Starting 12/26]
          Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#18]
          Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [55-51]
          Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Anti-Hero (4 weeks)
          AlbumClash 2.0: [Rosalía vs. Steve Lacy]

          History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'll try and check some of this out as your taste is (normally) impeccable. <3

            Comment


            • #7
              Your write-ups have always been on a level of their own, but it looks like you'll be setting a new standard for yourself here! Is the goal to reveal one album every day, or will the pace probably fluctuate based on what life throws your way?

              Fitting for its title, Bedtime Stories does soothe like a warm, plush blanket. Regarding the trend-chasing you mentioned, I think this was the first time she specifically sought out an established hit-making writer/producer (Babyface), but I'm definitely not one to turn up my nose up at mainstream sounds (as long as my ears like what they're hearing). Madonna's endlessly quotable, but the whispered "express yourself, don't repress yourself" you alluded to is really up there. As much as I enjoy "Take A Bow," I can't help wincing a bit at it being her biggest Stateside smash by multiple metrics (if Soundscan had been on the job in the 80's, I imagine it'd be a different story). I've probably mentioned it at some point before, but I've gotta give a shout-out to the Silky Soul Mix, which really amplifies the mid-90's radio-ready-R&B aspects. There's something rather heartbreaking about you connecting SO strongly to such a sad song about self-defeating tendencies like "Love Tried To Welcome Me," but I do love seeing unexpected/unconventional faves **Hug** BS is such a cohesive and consistent album (as much as I adore 80's Madonna, some of her earlier albums had pretty massive gulfs in quality between their singles and deep cuts), it's become one of my most-revisited in her catalog in my adult years.
              last.fmPaulboard Top 30

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes, I agree it's so odd that Take a Bow was her longest #1 - it feels so forgotten today compared to some of her other songs. I think she was backed into a corner to trend chase, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a solid effort. And Human Nature is still a giant middle finger to the GP who couldn't handle overt sexuality - for all we've evolved, I think the Sex Book would still be considered shocking today, though maybe not anger/backlash shocking.

                When I was doing the Madonna survivor, I read that Bjork at first thought a request from Madonna was ridiculous and she didn't feel they had commonalities, but then realized it would be a fun challenge to provide something for Madonna, and that she might never have a bigger mouthpiece for her words again.

                I am not sure what to vote on your poll; I'm still recovering from the fact that Taylor isn't represented as a choice. There's two I feel I can toss out as options straight away, but the rest are all solid and have had some very obvious Akini love, so I'll have to think about it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Spartan View Post
                  I'll try and check some of this out as your taste is (normally) impeccable. <3
                  There might be a few appearances only you can appreciate. <3

                  Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                  Your write-ups have always been on a level of their own, but it looks like you'll be setting a new standard for yourself here! Is the goal to reveal one album every day, or will the pace probably fluctuate based on what life throws your way?
                  Correct. The goal is one a day, but life may shift that pace. Appreciate your kind words! <3

                  Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                  Fitting for its title, Bedtime Stories does soothe like a warm, plush blanket. Regarding the trend-chasing you mentioned, I think this was the first time she specifically sought out an established hit-making writer/producer (Babyface), but I'm definitely not one to turn up my nose up at mainstream sounds (as long as my ears like what they're hearing). Madonna's endlessly quotable, but the whispered "express yourself, don't repress yourself" you alluded to is really up there. As much as I enjoy "Take A Bow," I can't help wincing a bit at it being her biggest Stateside smash by multiple metrics (if Soundscan had been on the job in the 80's, I imagine it'd be a different story). I've probably mentioned it at some point before, but I've gotta give a shout-out to the Silky Soul Mix, which really amplifies the mid-90's radio-ready-R&B aspects. There's something rather heartbreaking about you connecting SO strongly to such a sad song about self-defeating tendencies like "Love Tried To Welcome Me," but I do love seeing unexpected/unconventional faves **Hug** BS is such a cohesive and consistent album (as much as I adore 80's Madonna, some of her earlier albums had pretty massive gulfs in quality between their singles and deep cuts), it's become one of my most-revisited in her catalog in my adult years.
                  I read that it was her first time working with big-name producers since 1984, a decade prior, with Nile Rodgers on Like a Virgin.

                  I guess competition and timing play a role in that "Take a Bow" statistic, though it would be interesting to consider that that is the image with which US consumers were most comfortable seeing her. Oh, thanks for sharing that remix. I'm listening to it now. Sounds interesting!

                  Interestingly enough, I see those self-defeating tendencies not in myself, but rather in the men that I (try to) date.

                  Super happy to read Bedtime Stories has stuck within you. I do think a lot of it has aged well.

                  Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                  Yes, I agree it's so odd that Take a Bow was her longest #1 - it feels so forgotten today compared to some of her other songs. I think she was backed into a corner to trend chase, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a solid effort. And Human Nature is still a giant middle finger to the GP who couldn't handle overt sexuality - for all we've evolved, I think the Sex Book would still be considered shocking today, though maybe not anger/backlash shocking.
                  I agree 100%.

                  Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                  When I was doing the Madonna survivor, I read that Bjork at first thought a request from Madonna was ridiculous and she didn't feel they had commonalities, but then realized it would be a fun challenge to provide something for Madonna, and that she might never have a bigger mouthpiece for her words again.
                  I'd say she was right on both accounts.

                  Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                  I am not sure what to vote on your poll; I'm still recovering from the fact that Taylor isn't represented as a choice. There's two I feel I can toss out as options straight away, but the rest are all solid and have had some very obvious Akini love, so I'll have to think about it.
                  I wonder which two you're tossing out.

                  I do put a lot of thought into poll options. They're a fun way to preview what to expect for countdowns. In the past, I've had songs/albums/artists finish as high as #2 without being poll options (even a singular occasion on my 2017 albums countdown when a non-poll album finished #1) so we'll see how Taylor fares here.
                  Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2022: [90-86]
                  Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2022: [Starting 12/19]
                  Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2022: [Starting 12/26]
                  Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#18]
                  Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [55-51]
                  Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Anti-Hero (4 weeks)
                  AlbumClash 2.0: [Rosalía vs. Steve Lacy]

                  History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Take a Bow, Secret, Human Nature and Forbidden Love are all excellent songs but in the grand scheme of her catalogue, Bedtime Stories just seems to get lost.

                    In terms of the OP poll, I went with Butterfly.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Wayne View Post
                      Take a Bow, Secret, Human Nature and Forbidden Love are all excellent songs but in the grand scheme of her catalogue, Bedtime Stories just seems to get lost.
                      What would you say is your favourite Madonna album? Ray of Light?

                      Originally posted by Wayne View Post
                      In terms of the OP poll, I went with Butterfly.
                      MC the popular choice - can't say I'm surprised. Let's see how it all unfolds!
                      Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2022: [90-86]
                      Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2022: [Starting 12/19]
                      Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2022: [Starting 12/26]
                      Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#18]
                      Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [55-51]
                      Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Anti-Hero (4 weeks)
                      AlbumClash 2.0: [Rosalía vs. Steve Lacy]

                      History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Spartan View Post
                        Your taste is (normally) impeccable. <3
                        True! I hope to see some of my favourites here!
                        Good start with Madonna!
                        The Ultimate 2010s Music Survivor: Main stage: Round 65

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post

                          What would you say is your favourite Madonna album? Ray of Light?
                          She's unique insofar as it's almost impossible to answer this IMO - I'd say that it's between Confessions and True Blue, but my answer might be different in 3 months' time!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I ended up going with Lemonade - idk, I know three of those Madonna, Janet, and Kanye feature your absolute favorite tracks, so it feels too obviouos to pick one of them. Amy and Britney are the ones I feel like I can toss out. I thought Mimi, but she's already got some votes, so I don't want to BedtimeStories trend chase And I feel like RiRi has that island girl connection with you, but I also feel that Lemonade has more gravitas so I guess we'll see

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Phoenixx View Post
                              True! I hope to see some of my favourites here!
                              Good start with Madonna!
                              Glad you like the Madonna album. I am absolutely sure you'll love at least two albums here.

                              Originally posted by Wayne View Post
                              She's unique insofar as it's almost impossible to answer this IMO - I'd say that it's between Confessions and True Blue, but my answer might be different in 3 months' time!
                              One of those I love a lot more than the other, but let's see!

                              Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                              I ended up going with Lemonade - idk, I know three of those Madonna, Janet, and Kanye feature your absolute favorite tracks, so it feels too obviouos to pick one of them. Amy and Britney are the ones I feel like I can toss out. I thought Mimi, but she's already got some votes, so I don't want to BedtimeStories trend chase And I feel like RiRi has that island girl connection with you, but I also feel that Lemonade has more gravitas so I guess we'll see
                              Let's bookmark this!

                              I like your deliberation process, though.
                              Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2022: [90-86]
                              Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2022: [Starting 12/19]
                              Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2022: [Starting 12/26]
                              Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#18]
                              Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [55-51]
                              Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Anti-Hero (4 weeks)
                              AlbumClash 2.0: [Rosalía vs. Steve Lacy]

                              History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                099. Aretha Franklin - Lady Soul



                                Signed to Columbia Records in 1960, Aretha Franklin would record nine studio albums under that label, achieving, during the best of those seven years, middling commercial success. A label change to Atlantic Records came with the hopes that mainstream success would be attained once label execs were able to tap into the Memphis native's gospel background and commercialise Aretha's southern Baptist church choir roots. How did that end up working out?

                                'Lady Soul', in its title alone, harkens to Aretha's informal queen of soul coronation by prominent Chicago DJ Pervis Spann, who, sadly, passed away two months ago. As she'd done throughout her career, up to and past this point, 'Lady Soul' proved Aretha worthy of the honourific title. A pastor's daughter, Aretha never strayed far from the church musically and there's that traditional gospel influence palpable throughout as evidenced by the choir-like backing vocals on most tracks (her sisters, cousin, and mother are those backing vocals, making it very much a family affair). And just like like any good southern Baptist praise and worship service, the placement of the songs is perfect to give the listener rest points when needed before reupping the ante and passion. She gives the audience groovy funk on "Money Won't Change You" and "Come Back Baby", breezy and easy Sunday afternoon energy on "Groovin", youthful lust (how scandalous!) and playfulness on "Niki Hoeky", and heartfelt and uninhibited yearning on "(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone". She commissioned younger sister Carolyn for songwriting duties on "Ain't No Way" and lent her own songwriting prowess as co-writer on "Good to Me as I am to You", a song about the basic concept of good-faith reciprocity that she no doubt derived inspiration from her own relationship woes during this time. My personal favourite song is "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman". It's an entire journey in its 2:45 runtime, starting low and slow before expanding to big, powerful, commanding belting highlights. It was a huge moment many years later, in 2015, when she sung it at the Kennedy Centre Honours show, prompting exuberant praise from Carole King and bringing the last competent US president to tears.

                                Over the course of her six-decade-long career, Aretha would release 38 studio albums, 62 compilation albums, and six live albums. Despite the litany of LPs, she never managed to score a US #1 album, though she got as close as she ever would with this (and the previous year's 'I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You') peaking at #2. While there are some lyrical moments that reflect this album as very much of its time in some ways ("A woman's duty is to help and love a man"), 'Lady of Soul' fuses the doo-wop dynamism fuelled by Motown superpowers like the Supremes with Aretha's organic and rich gospel-soul vocals. A sterling collation of upbeat, funk-laden gems with deep, grassroots soul ballads, this certainly helped pave the road on which many subsequent female singers would traverse. And, yes, it got her the hits that she and her new label so desperately craved.
                                Code:
                                Significance rating: 10/20
                                No. 1s on my daily chart: (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman [x1]
                                Best lyric: Good golly sweet Charlie, everything is copacetic now
                                Best melody: Chain of Fools
                                Best video: NA (LOL, this was the 60s)
                                Rank in 2010 countdown: NR
                                Rank in 2011 countdown: NR
                                Rank in 2012 countdown: NR
                                Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2022: [90-86]
                                Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2022: [Starting 12/19]
                                Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2022: [Starting 12/26]
                                Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#18]
                                Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [55-51]
                                Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Anti-Hero (4 weeks)
                                AlbumClash 2.0: [Rosalía vs. Steve Lacy]

                                History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Ah yes, I figured Queen of Soul day on your daily chart was due to this. I love your write-up - she could do wrong. I've always thought it was so strange that she languished for years on a label without success and then with a new one - BOOM - she was an icon. In a way, I wonder if Columbia was just unlucky in that her brand was much more suited to late 60s than early 60s. - like the music just a few years apart is so wildly different. I do love You Make Me Feel - it's such a lustful, freewheeling song!

                                  I'm honestly stunned she never had a #1 album. I'll have to remember the next time someone wants to debate chart positions on here.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Great start, every album from Madonna is a great album!
                                    https://www.ukmix.org/forum/chart-di...-first-edition

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

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                      Ah yes, I figured Queen of Soul day on your daily chart was due to this. I love your write-up - she could do wrong. I've always thought it was so strange that she languished for years on a label without success and then with a new one - BOOM - she was an icon. In a way, I wonder if Columbia was just unlucky in that her brand was much more suited to late 60s than early 60s. - like the music just a few years apart is so wildly different. I do love You Make Me Feel - it's such a lustful, freewheeling song!

                                      I'm honestly stunned she never had a #1 album. I'll have to remember the next time someone wants to debate chart positions on here.
                                      For a sec, my brain took me to Janelle's song! Totes agree with your "Natural Woman" description. I think it's especially refreshing as Aretha was such a traditional woman at her core so we didn't get too many sensual moments like that from her over the years.

                                      Yeah, chart analysis is certainly a fun pastime, but I learned early on that it's a shoddy assessment of music quality. A clear early lesson was when Jordin's Battlefield flopped.

                                      Originally posted by vinnie65 View Post
                                      Great start, every album from Madonna is a great album!
                                      I wouldn't go as far as to say every album of hers, but she certainly put together an enviable catalogue!
                                      Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2022: [90-86]
                                      Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2022: [Starting 12/19]
                                      Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2022: [Starting 12/26]
                                      Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#18]
                                      Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [55-51]
                                      Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Anti-Hero (4 weeks)
                                      AlbumClash 2.0: [Rosalía vs. Steve Lacy]

                                      History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        098. Taylor Swift - Folklore



                                        Surprise-released during the first of (hopefully just) the pair of COVID-19 summers, 'Folklore' was Taylor Swift's quarantine project that she worked on in the wake of the pandemic cancelling her 'Lover Fest' concert tour and essentially shutting down the world (or at least the parts of the world that bothered to be shut down).

                                        After spending a sizeable chunk of her career in country music, Taylor progressively moved into a more pure pop space, and on 'Folklore' experimented with a folk-pop sound, a natural progression from her Nashville origins. The great storyteller of her generation, she steps outside of her personal experiences and writes some great stories about other female characters in songs like "The Last Great American Dynasty" and "Betty". She tackles the diminishing returns of infidelity in "Illicit Affairs", post-break-up bitterness in "Exile", the concept of fated love and soulmates in "Invisible String" , misogyny and sexism in "Mad Woman", and particularly relevant at the time, navigating suffering and confusion in "Epiphany". The minimalist melodies really bring to the fore the top-notch lyricism and she even takes liberties with some more colourful expressions - up to this point, 'Folklore' was the T-Swizzle album with the the most instances of flagrant swearing. One of the hallmarks of 'Folklore' is its patient production. The pacing is deliberate and the outros linger just long enough to effectively punctuate each track.

                                        Anyone who's followed my chart the last two years will be wholly unsurprised that the album's main attraction for me is "August". There are several instances throughout 'Folklore' where Taylor suspends reality and sits in an alternate timeline where treasured romance pans out, and on "August" she steps in and out of the idealised utopia. In the moments she's encased in the chrysalis, she recounts that ineffable sense of euphoria that accompanies the prospect of love and when she steps out, she acknowledges that as special as the romance was, endgame was illusory. I suppose it was only a matter of time before the queen of the love song finally nailed the theme in a truly significant, accessible, and heart-wrenching capacity.
                                        Code:
                                        Significance rating: 10/20
                                        No. 1s on my daily chart: August [x50]; The Last Great American Dynasty [x3]; My Tears Ricochet [x1]; The 1 [x1]
                                        Best lyric: I had a marvelous time ruining everything
                                        Best melody: August
                                        Best video: Cardigan (by default)
                                        Rank in 2010 countdown: NR
                                        Rank in 2011 countdown: NR
                                        Rank in 2012 countdown: NR
                                        Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2022: [90-86]
                                        Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2022: [Starting 12/19]
                                        Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2022: [Starting 12/26]
                                        Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#18]
                                        Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [55-51]
                                        Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Anti-Hero (4 weeks)
                                        AlbumClash 2.0: [Rosalía vs. Steve Lacy]

                                        History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes.

                                        Comment


                                        • #21
                                          Bedtime Stories is such a great album. And Aretha is such a great singer. Great choices to start with.
                                          My most streamed artists: 1. Mariah 2. Madonna 3. Debbie Gibson 4. Céline Dion 5. Lara Fabian 6. Kylie 7. Whitney 8. Meghan Trainor 9. Ariana Grande 10. Tina Arena 11. Sam Smith 12. Janet Jackson

                                          Comment


                                          • #22
                                            Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post
                                            I read that it was her first time working with big-name producers since 1984, a decade prior, with Nile Rodgers on Like a Virgin.
                                            Ah, true. I thought he'd been mandated/arranged by her label, but it seems they just wouldn't let her produce LAV on her own, so she hand-picked Nile for the task.

                                            Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post
                                            Interestingly enough, I see those self-defeating tendencies not in myself, but rather in the men that I (try to) date.
                                            Ahhh, that makes more sense (and I'm relieved to know you don't see yourself that way).
                                            • My Aretha knowledge is severely lacking, but "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" is such a revered, often-covered classic, it's not too shocking that its parent album had other gems in store too
                                            • I wasn't expecting to see folklore quite so soon (based on "August" alone, and that's not your only keeper from the album), but I guess this placement is a testament to the strength of the entire Top 100. Something that helps Taylor stand apart for me is how she can jump genres and really expand her songwriting without losing sight of her strengths (like some other artists do during their experimental periods). There's no mistaking folklore for 1989, but Tay's fingerprints are still present in the best ways. folklore shows her growing without trying to be someone unrecognizably different - a clear maturation without being a clear rejection of the many great things she'd done before. I do wish she'd given more of these amazing tracks videos, though (even with pandemic restrictions in mind, it's not like she's lacking in resources or creativity)
                                            last.fmPaulboard Top 30

                                            Comment


                                            • #23
                                              Originally posted by RayRay View Post
                                              Bedtime Stories is such a great album. And Aretha is such a great singer. Great choices to start with.
                                              Glad you appreciate those two.

                                              Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                                              I wasn't expecting to see folklore quite so soon (based on "August" alone, and that's not your only keeper from the album), but I guess this placement is a testament to the strength of the entire Top 100. Something that helps Taylor stand apart for me is how she can jump genres and really expand her songwriting without losing sight of her strengths (like some other artists do during their experimental periods). There's no mistaking folklore for 1989, but Tay's fingerprints are still present in the best ways. folklore shows her growing without trying to be someone unrecognizably different - a clear maturation without being a clear rejection of the many great things she'd done before. I do wish she'd given more of these amazing tracks videos, though (even with pandemic restrictions in mind, it's not like she's lacking in resources or creativity)
                                              Excellent points. I agree with everything. As for the ranking, you're right - these are the best albums ever, by my humble judgment, and parts of Folklore are too tame to warrant a higher placement. Interestingly enough, however, I think this did do a lot more for me as a fan than a 1989 Pt. 2 would've done.

                                              Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2022: [90-86]
                                              Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2022: [Starting 12/19]
                                              Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2022: [Starting 12/26]
                                              Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#18]
                                              Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [55-51]
                                              Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Anti-Hero (4 weeks)
                                              AlbumClash 2.0: [Rosalía vs. Steve Lacy]

                                              History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes.

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                                              • #24
                                                097. George Michael - Faith



                                                An album inspired by the success of the leading men in music of the 80s, Michael Jackson and Prince, 'Faith' represented a shift to more soul-influenced pop and was designed to showcase a more mature George Michael, who'd been lambasted as a teenybopper act not worthy of serious artistic merit as half of Wham.

                                                On this relatively brief nine-track LP, George Michael went six singles deep. Impressively, he wrote and produced by his lonesome all but one of the 'Faith' songs, "Look at Your Hands", which he co-wrote with David Austin, his former busking buddy and the man George had referred to at one point in time as his best friend. I admire the earnestness of the lyrics and the sprightly soul melody that underpin virtually all tracks. Featured in the GM show are sex-positive and direct "I Want Your Sex", the tailor-made-for-jazz-lounges and one-take studio wonder "Kissing a Fool", the sultry and mysterious "Father Figure" that's pure dance-soul joy, and the aforementioned "Look at Your Hands", rife with pettiness. My personal favourite is "One More Try", a passionate power ballad that George makes all his own, such that not even the superhuman talents of Mariah Carey, whose secondary skill is gently borrowing others' ballads and firmly claiming ownership of the same, could not match.

                                                The reception to this was insane, even by the standards of 80s numbers. 'Faith' had a 25-week-trek to #1 in the US, but when it got there, stayed there for 12 weeks and went on to become the best-selling album in the US in 1988, with its reach extending so far that it also became the first album by a white solo artist to top the Billboard Top Black Albums Chart (now named Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums - this particular chart has quite the complicated history). The critics finally came onboard, too - 'Faith' won Album of the Year at the 1989 Grammy Awards besting Tracy Chapman and Sting, among others. He had Rolling Stone dubbing him "the Elton John of the 80s" and the surge of popularity even lifted "Monkey" to a US #1 peak, which still feels like one of the weirder chart-toppers of that era (I do appreciate its concert music video, though). This album lifted George to skyscraper-level highs and gave him that place in the pop pantheon that he so deeply desired.
                                                Code:
                                                Significance rating: 10/20
                                                No. 1s on my daily chart: One More Try [x1]
                                                Best lyric: I reconsider my foolish notion
                                                Best melody: Father Figure
                                                Best video: I Want Your Sex
                                                Rank in 2010 countdown: NR
                                                Rank in 2011 countdown: NR
                                                Rank in 2012 countdown: NR
                                                Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2022: [90-86]
                                                Akini's Top 25 Albums of 2022: [Starting 12/19]
                                                Akini's Top 25 Artists of 2022: [Starting 12/26]
                                                Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time: [#18]
                                                Akini's Favourite Music Videos: [55-51]
                                                Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Anti-Hero (4 weeks)
                                                AlbumClash 2.0: [Rosalía vs. Steve Lacy]

                                                History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes.

                                                Comment


                                                • #25
                                                  Faith is my favorite George Michael solo album. I prefer the Wham! albums though.
                                                  George is still very much missed. Such a wonderful voice and great songwriter.
                                                  My most streamed artists: 1. Mariah 2. Madonna 3. Debbie Gibson 4. Céline Dion 5. Lara Fabian 6. Kylie 7. Whitney 8. Meghan Trainor 9. Ariana Grande 10. Tina Arena 11. Sam Smith 12. Janet Jackson

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