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Akini's Top 400 Songs of the 2010s: [130-126]

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  • 155. Taylor Swift - Everything Has Changed (feat. Ed Sheeran)



    All I knew this morning when I woke
    Is I know something now
    Know something now I didn't before

    Although this song is a part of Taylor's 2012 album 'Red' and was released as an official single the year after, "Everything Has Changed" didn't hit #1 on my chart until 8/31/2019. It was my first month having moved to a new country, and it felt like such a whirlwind that this calm, mellow song with its titular phrase that so succinctly captured the lion's share of my feelings about the move resonated with me on a level that the song never had before. Whereas Taylor sings this song to a newfound love, for me it felt like a bit of a soundtrack to what could be the beginning of an exciting new life.
    Code:
    Significance Rating: 2/20
    Year Released: 2013
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 114
    154. Nicki Minaj - Right by My Side (feat. Chris Brown)



    You own my heart, he just renting

    Onika has some cute romantic songs, and this is my favourite of them all. She has a sweet singing voice, and we get to hear that on this track. It's a chill, mellow R&B jam , with a notable pop sheen and a cool hip/hop verse thrown in for a bit of edge, and, I suppose, as a gentle reminder that it's still the queen of rap that you're bopping to. Chris does a good job in his role as guest male vocal here, too. "You own my heart, he just renting" is one of my favourite Nicki lines ever, and I remember how obsessed everyone was with that lyric in particular in 2012. The weird thing about Nicki's career is that she's had so many songs that felt bigger than they actually were; I must admit that I was surprised that this only peaked at #51 in the US, as it 'felt' like a top 10 hit to me at the time, and even looking back, I vividly recall how huge a radio hit it was where I lived.
    Code:
    Significance Rating: 2/20
    Year Released: 2012
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(7)
    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 106
    153. Taylor Swift - The Moment I Knew



    What do you say
    When tears are streaming down your face
    In front of everyone you know?
    And what do you do
    When the one who means the most to you
    Is the one who didn't show?
    You should've been here
    And I would've been so happy
    And it was like slow motion
    Standing there in my party dress
    In red lipstick
    With no one to impress
    And they're all standing around me, singing
    "Happy birthday to you"
    But there was one thing missing
    And that was the moment I knew
    Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, I knew
    Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

    The scene-setting that Taylor does in her songwriting here is grade A. You can see the music video unfolding as you listen to the lyrics and though I'm sure many people would write this off as trite teenage melodrama, the raw hurt of being let down by someone you love so deeply is felt here. Even the instrumental is this big emotional orchestra in the background as Taylor's voice nearly breaks with disappointment. Unfortunately, this is as high as it is because I can relate to it.
    Code:
    Significance Rating: 2/20
    Year Released: 2012
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(4)
    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 109
    152. Hurts - Beautiful Ones



    Don't think twice
    Give yourself to another night
    Hold on tight
    Hope that you make it out alive
    Ohh, we are the beautiful ones
    Ohh, we are the beautiful ones

    This song is so such a cute, fun pop bop when you just listen to it. Then you watch the video and the song's meaning transforms. Honestly, this might not have made my list were it not for its video, which is absolutely among my top 5 music videos of the 2010s. Absolutely brilliant, heartbreaking at points, but ultimately triumphant!
    Code:
    Significance Rating: 2/20
    Year Released: 2017
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 114
    151. Taylor Swift - The Man



    I would be complex, I would be cool
    They'd say I played the field before I found someone to commit to
    And that would be okay for me to do
    Every conquest I had made would make me more of a boss to you
    I’d be a fearless leader
    I'd be an alpha type
    When everyone believes ya
    What's that like?
    I’m so sick of running as fast as I can
    Wondering if I'd get there quicker if I was a man
    And I'm so sick of them coming at me again
    'Cause if I was a man, then I'd be the man
    I'd be the man
    I'd be the man

    Much like Lily Allen in "Hard Out Here" five places back, Taylor Swift comes for the patriarchy in "The Man", the clear-as-day 'Lover' highlight. She makes sharp, factual, scathing stabs here, and it's pure genius. The music video is fittingly and similarly impressive. Though I knew the odds were stacked against it, I still wish this had had a big US breakthrough, as Taylor is probably the female artist best positioned to land a hit with this kind of song.
    Code:
    Significance Rating: 2/20
    Year Released: 2019
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(6)
    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 147
    Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [130-126]

    Comment


    • We enter "three significance" territory with this set!

      150. Christina Aguilera - You Lost Me



      I am done, smoking gun
      We've lost it all, the love is gone
      She has won, now it's no fun
      We've lost it all, the love is gone
      And we had magic
      And this is tragic
      You couldn't keep your hands to yourself
      I feel like our world's been infected
      And somehow, you left me neglected
      We've found our lives been changed
      Babe, you lost me

      The great balladeer of her generation, Christina Aguilera is always majestic on a ballad. The way her voice scales such an expansive range, fully capturing and emoting the lyrics of a deep sense of betrayal and hurt caused by her lover's infidelity, is soul food for the ears. She takes you from whimpering whispers to blazing belts in 3.5 - she's like the Jaguar of vocalists that way.
      Code:
      Significance Rating: 2/20
      Year Released: 2010
      Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
      Plays Since 1/1/2012: 109
      149. Adele - Set Fire to the Rain



      I let it fall, my heart
      And as it fell, you rose to claim it
      It was dark, and I was over
      Until you kissed my lips and you saved me
      My hands, they were strong
      But my knees were far too weak
      To stand in your arms
      Without falling to your feet
      But there's a side to you
      That I never knew, never knew
      All the things you'd say
      They were never true, never true
      And the games you'd play
      You would always win, always win
      But I set fire to the rain
      Watched it pour as I touched your face
      Well, it burned while I cried
      'Cause I heard it screaming out your name
      Your name

      The first half of "Set Fire to the Rain" is beautiful poetry in motion, particularly the first verse. The song loses some of its lustre by the second verse, but the early magic gets the song this far. Interestingly enough, the best position this song could manage on my chart during the 2010s was #2. It only hit #1 earlier this year, a testament to its enormous staying power. I'm in the tiny camp of folks who believes this to be superior to "Someone Like You". Also, this is one of those Adele songs that I prefer to hear live. Her Royal Albert Hall performance of this is sublime.
      Code:
      Significance Rating: 2/20
      Year Released: 2011
      Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
      Plays Since 1/1/2012: 202
      148. Camila Cabello - Crying in the Club



      'Til you feel the sunrise
      Let the music warm your body
      Like the heat of a thousand fires
      The heat of a thousand fires
      Ain't no crying in the club (hey, hey)
      Let the beat carry away, your tears as they fall, baby
      Ain't no crying in the club (hey, hey)
      With a little faith, your tears turn to ecstasy
      Ain't no crying in the club
      I won't, I won't, I...
      Ain't no crying in the club
      I won't, I won't, I...
      Ain't no crying in the club

      This song is just a bop, pure and simple. Quality dance-pop production, decent lyrics - even its title is club-ready. However this managed to flop so spectacularly is beyond me.
      Code:
      Significance Rating: 3/20
      Year Released: 2017
      Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
      Plays Since 1/1/2012: 123
      147. Kygo x Whitney Houston - Higher Love



      Think about it, there must be a higher love
      Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above
      Without it, life is wasted time
      Look inside your heart, and I'll look inside mine
      Things look so bad everywhere
      In this whole world, what is fair?
      We walk the line and try to see
      Falling behind in what could be, oh
      Bring me a higher love
      Bring me a higher love, oh
      Bring me a higher love
      Where's that higher love I keep thinking of?

      One of the decade's most pleasant musical surprises, Kygo resurrected Whitney's vibrant vocals for this updated dance version of "Higher Love". The way Whitney's voice soars, lifted by the production and the support of the choir towards the back end of the track, is just immense. Were Whitney alive, I think she would be happy with how stellar this turned out to be. Unfortunately, "Higher Love" does have the distinction on the countdown of being the lowest-placing year-end top 2 track.
      Code:
      Significance Rating: 3/20
      Year Released: 2019
      Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(7)
      Plays Since 1/1/2012: 249
      146. Frank Ocean - Bad Religion



      He said "Allahu akbar"
      I told him, "Don't curse me"
      "Bo Bo, you need prayer"
      I guess it couldn't hurt me
      If it brings me to my knees, it's a bad religion, ooh
      This unrequited love
      To me, it's nothin' but a one-man cult
      And cyanide in my styrofoam cup
      I can never make him love me
      Never make him love me
      Love me, love me
      Love me, love me
      Love me, love me
      Love me, love me
      Love me, love

      The sixth and final Frank Ocean song is "Bad Religion". Unrequited love cuts deep, and though I can't quite relate to it, Frank really summons his most emotive vocal performance to communicate his own intense experience with the subject matter, equipping the chorus with a coda-like chant of "love me". Interestingly enough, my sister loves this a good bit more than I do.
      Code:
      Significance Rating: 3/20
      Year Released: 2012
      Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
      Plays Since 1/1/2012: 119
      Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [130-126]

      Comment


      • 145. Kelly Clarkson - Slow Dance



        You're so unassuming
        You know what you're doin'
        You're lookin' right through me
        And you don't realize
        I just see a scared boy
        And how did you go from being a mama's boy to a ladies' man?
        I'm not goin' home with you tonight, but you can hold my hand
        And we can take it slow, and I can show you how to slow dance
        We can take it slow and I can show you how to slow dance

        Slow, sensual, soulful, "Slow Dance" is the crown jewel from KC's 'Meaning of Life' LP. The guitar solo that bridges the final two choruses is divine.
        Code:
        Significance Rating: 3/20
        Year Released: 2017
        Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
        Plays Since 1/1/2012: 115
        144. Sam Smith - Him



        Say I shouldn't be here but I can't give up his touch
        It is him I love, it is him
        Don't you try and tell me that God doesn't care for us
        It is him I love, it is him I love

        The sheer commercial success of "Stay with Me" has that one as my most-played Sam Smith song, but my clear favourite from the British export is "Him", a gospel-pop ballad that builds to such a beautiful climax. Of course, the lyrics are a big selling point for me, too.
        Code:
        Significance Rating: 3/20
        Year Released: 2017
        Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
        Plays Since 1/1/2012: 69
        143. P!nk - Try



        Where there is desire
        There is gonna be a flame
        Where there is a flame
        Someone's bound to get burned
        But just because it burns
        Doesn't mean you're gonna die
        You've gotta get up and try try try
        Gotta get up and try try try
        You gotta get up and try try try

        My most-played P!nk song, I put "Try" on repeat when I'm stressed out by a confusing work task and I feel the need for a bit of musical motivation. In my years as a student, I also played it on my study breaks. Of course, this song has become a P!nk classic largely due to those incredibly athletic, acrobatic live performances P!nk does for this song. On some level, I feel like this has gone on to become a signature single for her. Honestly, 17-year-old me would scoff at me ranking this above certain other 'Truth About Love' tracks like "Timebomb" and "The King Is Dead but the Queen Is Alive", but that's time for ya!
        Code:
        Significance Rating: 3/20
        Year Released: 2012
        Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(8)
        Plays Since 1/1/2012: 379
        142. Lady Gaga - Alejandro



        You know that I love you, boy
        Hot, like Mexico, rejoice

        There's a Latin telenevola-esque brand of drama throughout the song's lyrics, and within certain bits at the instrumentation (particularly towards the beginning of the track with that theatrical spoken intro), and I think that commitment to the song is what makes me adore it so much. Also, "hot like Mexico, rejoice!" is absolutely the catchiest part of the song. The chorus plays second fiddle to that highlight.
        Code:
        Significance Rating: 3/20
        Year Released: 2010
        Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
        Plays Since 1/1/2012: 109
        141. Lorde - Green Light



        I'm waiting for it, that green light, I want it
        'Cause honey I'll come get my things, but I can't let go
        I'm waiting for it, that green light, I want it
        Oh, I wish I could get my things and just let go
        I'm waiting for it, that green light, I want it

        Lorde took her time with LP #2 and stormed back with this enormous pure pop anthem. Sonically and visually, it felt like a totally new artist, but lyrically, the brilliant songwriter the world fell in love with four years prior was still there, just in passionate, post-heartbreak form.
        Code:
        Significance Rating: 3/20
        Year Released: 2017
        Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(5)
        Plays Since 1/1/2012: 202
        Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [130-126]

        Comment


        • Time to go through Page 5
          • Casting a bit of a side-eye that Cold War just missed the top 200, but at least she made the list. That was my introduction to Janelle, and I've been a hard-core stan ever since. Oddly, there was another song at the time called Dance or Die I preferred, but now I prefer Cold War.
          • Enjoying the selfie-pop marathon you have going on here with Micaela. I had totally forgotten about that song - I'm gonna give it a bump now.
          • Not a huge fan of Glory - obviously love the message, but the music has never won me over, though your write-up saddens me because of how much it seems like we haven't progressed. I went to the African American museum this past summer in DC, and it ends with Obama's inauguration, like everything is over now - like there should be a section that focuses on current issues.
          • Finesse! - Loved the 90s sound of it - but I actually did prefer the addition of Cardi - it needed to have a rapper to add to the authenticity
          • Aw, All of the Lights - I liked Kanye then
          • So happy to see Love So Soft - I really adored that song from her, and it felt like a huge return to form for me. I was so frustrated it didn't do anything on the chart for her - I preferred her Meaning of Life album so much more than Piece by Piece.
          • Back to back former #1s on my chart at #187/186 - Airplanes hit #1 in its part 2 version though; I agree it's Hayley that makes the song listenable. I don't even remember much of B.O.B. in that song. Also, Taylor's duet with Zayn remains her only #1 on my chart
          • Did you choose to follow Happy with Happy & Sad on purpose - Happy was so excellent - I actually charted it in the summer it was released, and was completely blindsided when it became a huge hit over half a year later, like people finally realized what excellence it was. I truly think it could have been a hit in any era. It ended up #2 on my personal chart, blocked by a song on which Pharrell featured - Blurred Lines. (Also, yay for any Kacey appearance!)
          OK, will stop there for now

          Comment


          • Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
            Casting a bit of a side-eye that Cold War just missed the top 200, but at least she made the list. That was my introduction to Janelle, and I've been a hard-core stan ever since. Oddly, there was another song at the time called Dance or Die I preferred, but now I prefer Cold War.
            I was happy that Janelle managed at least one song in the top 200. As for "Dance or Die", I do remember you mentioning how much you enjoyed it. I think it's okay.

            Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
            Enjoying the selfie-pop marathon you have going on here with Micaela. I had totally forgotten about that song - I'm gonna give it a bump now.
            Selfie-pop does so much for me.

            Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
            Not a huge fan of Glory - obviously love the message, but the music has never won me over, though your write-up saddens me because of how much it seems like we haven't progressed. I went to the African American museum this past summer in DC, and it ends with Obama's inauguration, like everything is over now - like there should be a section that focuses on current issues.
            Yeah, I thought things would've been pretty good that night in November 2008 when Obama won, too...but that's not how systemic issues and institutionalised racism works. Exceptions to the rules don't preclude the rules from existing and wreaking havoc.

            Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
            Finesse! - Loved the 90s sound of it - but I actually did prefer the addition of Cardi - it needed to have a rapper to add to the authenticity
            Yeah, I'm still gonna stubbornly cling to the opinion that she detracted from the quality, though not by too much.

            Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
            Aw, All of the Lights - I liked Kanye then
            A lot of people did!

            Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
            So happy to see Love So Soft - I really adored that song from her, and it felt like a huge return to form for me. I was so frustrated it didn't do anything on the chart for her - I preferred her Meaning of Life album so much more than Piece by Piece.
            To be fair, she wouldn't have had success from her Piece by Piece era, were it not for that big emotional performance of the title track on Idol, which rocketed the song to #1. Other than that outlier, I'm pretty sure I remember that era also being a commercial underperformance.

            Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
            Back to back former #1s on my chart at #187/186 - Airplanes hit #1 in its part 2 version though; I agree it's Hayley that makes the song listenable. I don't even remember much of B.O.B. in that song. Also, Taylor's duet with Zayn remains her only #1 on my chart
            Taylor deserves more #1s on your chart!

            Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
            Did you choose to follow Happy with Happy & Sad on purpose - Happy was so excellent - I actually charted it in the summer it was released, and was completely blindsided when it became a huge hit over half a year later, like people finally realized what excellence it was. I truly think it could have been a hit in any era. It ended up #2 on my personal chart, blocked by a song on which Pharrell featured - Blurred Lines. (Also, yay for any Kacey appearance!)
            That was unintentional, but a cute coincidence!
            Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [130-126]

            Comment


            • 140. Marina & the Diamonds - Froot



              Living la dolce vita
              Life couldn't get much sweeter
              Don't you give me a reason
              That it's not the right season
              Babe, I love you a lot
              I'll give you all I've got
              Yeah, you know that it's true
              I've been saving all my summers for you
              I've been saving all my summers for you
              Like froot, like froot[

              I always found it weird that this was released in the autumn as it screams summer smash to me. It's got these quirky, eccentric, incredibly penned verses that segue into a truly lush, elegant chorus. It's got a lightness, freshness, easiness, and joy about it that I just love.
              Code:
              Significance Rating: 3/20
              Year Released: 2014
              Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
              Plays Since 1/1/2012: 67
              139. Demi Lovato - Cool for the Summer



              Don't tell your mother

              That whispered "Don't tell your mother" lyric is the sexiest thing Demi's ever done, and the whole song is this bubblegum confection of colouful, beach-ready awesomeness. I remember obsessing over this when it was released as we were in dire need of a single as fresh, fun, and exciting as this the summer of 2015. For me, it was the "Teenage Dream" of that year.
              Code:
              Significance Rating: 3/20
              Year Released: 2015
              Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(5)
              Plays Since 1/1/2012: 134
              138. Nicki Minaj - Roman in Moscow



              I'm big willy, no bike gear
              I told you bitches last year
              I'm a rap bitch nightmare
              That's why I call you Buzz Lightyear
              'Cause by the time you start buzzin', bitch
              You gon' have white hair
              Paparazzi was a fright scare
              When I landed out in London it was lookin' like Mike, dear
              Mike Jack—who's bad?
              Ain't on my period
              But I got a new pad
              Channel 5, news flash
              Pussy clean, who smash?
              None of y'all! Canary yellow ball!
              These bitches should be worshippin' me in the synagogue!

              Nicki, the rap-pop hybrid, is cute and appealing in her own right, but this track channels the rawness of the Onika I fell in love with during her 'Beam Me Up Scotty' days. Raw, wild, insane bars, killer flow - everything you would want and expect from the rap queen.
              Code:
              Significance Rating: 3/20
              Year Released: 2012
              Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(4)
              Plays Since 1/1/2012: 124
              137. Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee - Despacito (feat. Justin Bieber)



              Despacito
              This is how we do it down in Puerto Rico
              I just wanna hear you screaming, "ˇAy, Bendito!"
              I can move forever cuando esté contigo
              ˇBáilalo!
              Pasito a pasito, suave suavecito
              Nos vamos pegando, poquito a poquito
              Que le enseńes a mi boca
              Tus lugares favoritos
              (Favorito, favorito, baby)
              Pasito a pasito, suave suavecito
              Nos vamos pegando, poquito a poquito
              Hasta provocar tus gritos
              Y que olvides tu apellido (D.Y.)
              Despacito

              One of the biggest chart hits in US history, "Despacito" was my preferred mega-hit of the two global juggernauts of 2017. I think the song was pretty good without Bieber's input, but the way his vocal rides the titular lyric is pretty damn sexy.
              Code:
              Significance Rating: 3/20
              Year Released: 2017
              Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
              Plays Since 1/1/2012: 70
              136. Little Mix - Little Me



              Wish I knew back then what I know now
              Wish I could somehow go back in time
              And maybe listen to my own advice
              I'd tell her to speak up, tell her to shout out
              Talk a bit louder, be a bit prouder
              Tell her she's beautiful, wonderful
              Everything she doesn't see
              You gotta speak up, you got to shout out
              And know that right here, right now
              You can be beautiful, wonderful
              Anything you want to be
              Little me

              One of their less popular hits, "Little Me" strikes a chord with me because of those lyrics and the incredible harmonies that lift them from the songbook and into my soul. The bit towards the end where the production parts and it's the girls' vocals front and centre almost brings me to tears. It's such a powerful moment, and a really heartwarming song for anyone who had self-esteem or -confidence issues as a youth. Despite not quite being my top Little Mix song, I do feel like this is their most earnest track.
              Code:
              Significance Rating: 3/20
              Year Released: 2014
              Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #2
              Plays Since 1/1/2012: 60
              Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [130-126]

              Comment


              • Hey Akini.

                Nice to see Lily's "Hard out Here", undoubtedly a catchy bop! It's also my top song from her at present.
                My tits are made of silicone, just like the Earth and sea...

                Comment


                • Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post

                  Are you a bigger fan of "Pillowtalk" or "Dusk Till Dawn"?
                  Dusk easy
                  Personal Chart

                  Comment


                  • Since my last update I love "Move Your Body" (Sia), "Stay" (Rihanna), Higher Love (Kygo), Try (P!nk), Alejandro (Lady Gaga), Green Light (Lorde) and, of course, Set Fire To The Rain from the Queen herself
                    Personal Chart

                    Comment


                    • Excited for the Top-100
                      Personal Chart

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by CrazyCrazy View Post
                        Hey Akini.

                        Nice to see Lily's "Hard out Here", undoubtedly a catchy bop! It's also my top song from her at present.
                        Great pick!

                        Originally posted by Phoenixx View Post
                        Dusk easy
                        Not surprised by this.

                        Originally posted by Phoenixx View Post
                        Since my last update I love "Move Your Body" (Sia), "Stay" (Rihanna), Higher Love (Kygo), Try (P!nk), Alejandro (Lady Gaga), Green Light (Lorde) and, of course, Set Fire To The Rain from the Queen herself
                        Glad you like a good bit of the songs. Adele's got a fair few left, too.

                        Originally posted by Phoenixx View Post
                        Excited for the Top-100
                        Yeah, I think the top 100 will be pretty great, so hopefully you agree.
                        Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [130-126]

                        Comment


                        • 135. Delta Goodrem - Wings



                          What if I lose my self control
                          What if I choose to let it go
                          I want to let you and me collide
                          Baby these wings were made
                          These wings were made to fly (fly-ly, fly-ly)
                          These wings were made to fly (fly-ly, fly-ly)
                          Fly-ly, fly-ly
                          Fly-ly, fly-ly

                          The third and final Delta Goodrem song to feature in my countdown, "Wings" is a beautiful mid-tempo ballad, with a chorus that soars. I love the "Fly-ly" bits, the quick violin solo towards the final chorus, and the take-a-leap-of-faith lyrics.
                          Code:
                          Significance Rating: 3/20
                          Year Released: 2015
                          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 91
                          134. Mariah Carey - Triumphant (Get 'Em) (feat. Meek Mill & Rick Ross)



                          Can’t fall down now, so even when clouds surround you
                          And everyone seems to doubt you
                          Baby, still know who you are
                          So you got to keep on climbing
                          In spite of the chains that bind you
                          You can see the mountain top
                          It’s not too far
                          Reach for the stars, be all that you are
                          And make them all fall down

                          Mimi is no stranger to the empowerment anthem department - in fact, I'd say she's the chairwoman of that particular theme in music - but "Triumphant (Get 'Em)" was the first time she recruited hip/hop stars to join her in her uplifting efforts. It's two rather unlikely names, too - Meek Mill and Rick Ross, both of whom I wouldn't have trusted to deliver quality verses based on my experience with their solo work, but they bring their A game here, and contribute to a really good song. In my view, this is one of MC's most underrated songs.
                          Code:
                          Significance Rating: 3/20
                          Year Released: 2012
                          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 358
                          133. Katy Perry - Rise



                          (O, ye of so little faith)

                          2016 was one of two years in the 2020s, in particular, where I needed all the uplifting music I could find, and "Rise" kinda...rose above a lot of the others that year due to it serving as the Team USA Olympic theme song for NBC. As such, there's a version of the video that features a convoy of some of the most talented athletes of my generation; more relevantly, one of said featured supertalents is my favourite athlete of all-time, Allyson Felix, whose 2016 also presented some enormous challenges to overcome. Watching her navigate her hurdles and make the team, in spite of what could have been a season-ending freak gym injury, was wholly inspiring and lends even more motivational value to this song. I figured if Felix could excel on a not-fully-healed ankle and win two golds and a silver from it, I could certainly face my own challenges with equal grace as she did.
                          Code:
                          Significance Rating: 3/20
                          Year Released: 2016
                          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(4)
                          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 171
                          132. Dr. Dre - I Need a Doctor (feat. Eminem & Skylar Grey)



                          It was you who believed in me when everyone was tellin' you
                          Don't sign me, everyone at the f**kin' label, let's tell the truth!
                          You risked your career for me, I know it as well as you
                          Nobody wanted to f**k with the white boy
                          Dre, I’m cryin' in this booth
                          You saved my life, now maybe it's my turn to save yours
                          But I can never repay you, what you did for me is way more
                          But I ain't givin' up faith
                          And you ain't givin' up on me — get up, Dre!
                          I'm dyin', I need you, come back for f**k’s sake! ‘Cause—
                          I'm about to lose my mind
                          You’ve been gone for so long
                          I’m runnin' out of time
                          I need a doctor, call me a doctor
                          I need a doctor, doctor
                          To bring me back to life

                          Dre is the lead artist on this track for presentation purposes only; this is Eminem and Skylar's song. The song's core is Eminem's passion. The way he raps about Dre risking his career to sign the white boy "nobody wanted to f**k with" is powerful and Skylar's angelic soprano vocals - the first time I remember hearing them - help to take the track even further into the stratosphere. It's probably the gay slur that Dre uses that makes me not revisit the song as much as I would otherwise, but Eminem and Skylar do a phenomenal job on this.
                          Code:
                          Significance Rating: 3/20
                          Year Released: 2011
                          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 21
                          131. Lorde - Tennis Court



                          Baby, be the class clown, I'll be the beauty queen in tears

                          I oftentimes feel like we live in a world where a lot of people, in lieu of being their authentic selves, play roles of characters that they would like to be. As such, the first line in the chorus is a lyrical home run for me. The "yeah yeah"'s are also ridiculously catchy, the catchiest 'Pure Heroine' moment, in fact.
                          Code:
                          Significance Rating: 3/20
                          Year Released: 2013
                          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(4)
                          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 254
                          Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [130-126]

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post
                            Glad you like a good bit of the songs. Adele's got a fair few left, too.



                            Yeah, I think the top 100 will be pretty great, so hopefully you agree.
                            Nice to know about Adele
                            I hope
                            Personal Chart

                            Comment


                            • Well Rise, I Need A Doctor and Tennis Court are gr8
                              Personal Chart

                              Comment


                              • Yay time to continue on the countdown!
                                • Why Don't You Love Me is appropriately not getting a lot of love in the current round of Bey Survivor
                                • Americans! Yay the top 200! It is indeed a stand-out track - I listened to on Memorial Day as my own kind of celebration. I posted it on social media that protest songs are a form of patriotism as well. "pulling at the frays of society is not a desire to unravel the nation, but rather improve its tapestry." I was really proud of myself for writing that line.
                                • What has happened to Zayn? I feel like he just disappeared. Pillowtalk was such a strong start. I think he's still the only 1D member with a #1 Hot 100 song because of it.
                                • I credit that DNCE song's appeal more to Nicki than Joe Jonas. (Or is it the other non-Nick Jonas?)
                                • I feel like so many discovered Kacey from Golden Hour, so it's exciting to see a Pageant Material track get some love - that was the album that made me really fall for her. And this is such a tender track you picked.
                                • Anywhere is a song that UKmix basically grabbed my head and forced me to listen to and so something I would have ignored was a massive grower for me. It feels kind of poignant under quarantine, but I think it's so great. In fact it was a year ago today, I landed in London and this song was on my UK playlist.
                                • Oh wow, Kacey followed by Sia - I must have gotten drunk and posted in your countdown on your behalf or something I thought Oh What a World would be higher actually - not sure if there's any more Kacey to come, but this seems to be a favorite track on there from what I've seen in your daily countdown.
                                • And I loved Move Your Body, of course - I wish she had promoted it better considering her previous two singles to it did so well. I hope this bodes well for a certain song I might be named after...
                                • And wow, an Eminem track - I didn't know there were any tracks by him you liked - loved the superlong quote you included.
                                I'll stop there, but I think I'm getting close to finishing page 5

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by Phoenixx View Post
                                  Well Rise, I Need A Doctor and Tennis Court are gr8
                                  Glad you like those two.

                                  Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                  Yay time to continue on the countdown!
                                  I've fallen behind with it this week!

                                  Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                  Why Don't You Love Me is appropriately not getting a lot of love in the current round of Bey Survivor
                                  And I think I wasn't able to vote that round either!

                                  Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                  Americans! Yay the top 200! It is indeed a stand-out track - I listened to on Memorial Day as my own kind of celebration. I posted it on social media that protest songs are a form of patriotism as well. "pulling at the frays of society is not a desire to unravel the nation, but rather improve its tapestry." I was really proud of myself for writing that line.
                                  Ah, that is a nice line. I don't get why people are so sensitive about criticisms towards anything. Very few things are perfect, and something as massive as a country with a ~330 million population comprised of people from diverse backgrounds, is absolutely going to be imperfect. Anyway, I'm not going to go down that tangent, as I've already been upset by some of the ridiculous, racist comments about the most recent publicised case of Caucasian police officers hunting Black people for sport.

                                  Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                  What has happened to Zayn? I feel like he just disappeared. Pillowtalk was such a strong start. I think he's still the only 1D member with a #1 Hot 100 song because of it.
                                  It looks like, other than "I Don't Wanna Live Forever", he doesn't have a post-"Pillowtalk" top 40 hit in the US. That's weird.

                                  Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                  I credit that DNCE song's appeal more to Nicki than Joe Jonas. (Or is it the other non-Nick Jonas?)
                                  Not sure if you're joking, but it's actually quite hilarious if you're not because zero percent of people would have predicted that circa-2008 heartthrob Joe Jonas would be reduced to the same level as Kevin Jonas. Joe was the lead Jonas Brothers figure for the bulk of the band's mainstream success, so it's kinda funny that his little brother's star has seemingly eclipsed him to this point.

                                  Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                  I feel like so many discovered Kacey from Golden Hour, so it's exciting to see a Pageant Material track get some love - that was the album that made me really fall for her. And this is such a tender track you picked.
                                  Yeah, I think Pageant Material was actually my #1 album of 2015.

                                  Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                  Anywhere is a song that UKmix basically grabbed my head and forced me to listen to and so something I would have ignored was a massive grower for me. It feels kind of poignant under quarantine, but I think it's so great. In fact it was a year ago today, I landed in London and this song was on my UK playlist.
                                  There are a few songs like that for me, too!

                                  Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                  Oh wow, Kacey followed by Sia - I must have gotten drunk and posted in your countdown on your behalf or something I thought Oh What a World would be higher actually - not sure if there's any more Kacey to come, but this seems to be a favorite track on there from what I've seen in your daily countdown.
                                  It was her final of six entries.

                                  Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                  And I loved Move Your Body, of course - I wish she had promoted it better considering her previous two singles to it did so well. I hope this bodes well for a certain song I might be named after...
                                  It doesn't.

                                  Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                  And wow, an Eminem track - I didn't know there were any tracks by him you liked - loved the superlong quote you included.
                                  Yeah, sometimes I'm not sure how I feel about Eminem the person, but Eminem the rapper is pretty damn amazing, and there's absolutely no denying his incredible talent. There's actually one Eminem song still to come...which will be present in the next set.
                                  Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [130-126]

                                  Comment


                                  • 130. Beyoncé - ***Flawless (feat. Nicki Minaj)



                                    But no, we escalating, up in this bitch, like elevators
                                    Of course sometimes shit go down
                                    When it's a billion dollars on an elevator
                                    Of course sometimes shit go down
                                    When it's a billion dollars on an elevator
                                    Momma taught me good home training
                                    My Daddy taught me how to love my haters
                                    My sister told me I should speak my mind
                                    My man made me feel so God damn fine (I'm flawless!)
                                    You wake up, flawless, post up, flawless
                                    Ridin' round in it, flawless, flossin' on that, flawless
                                    This diamond, flawless, my diamond, flawless
                                    This rock, flawless, my Roc, flawless
                                    I woke up like this, I woke up like this
                                    We flawless, ladies tell 'em
                                    I woke up like this, I woke up like this
                                    We flawless, ladies tell 'em
                                    Say "I look so good tonight"
                                    God damn, God damn
                                    Say "I look so good tonight"
                                    God damn, God damn, God damn
                                    (Onika...)
                                    Looking Trinidadian, Japanese and Indian
                                    Got Malaysian, got that yaki, that wavy Brazilian
                                    (Them bitches thirsty) UHN! (I'm Hungarian)
                                    (Nicki, B, be eating diamond fangs, barbarian, RAAAAH!)
                                    Yo, like MJ doctor, they killing me -
                                    Propofol, I know they hope I fall
                                    But tell 'em winning, is my mother****in' protocol
                                    'Cause I score, before I ever throw the ball
                                    These bitches washed up and ain't no ****in' soap involved
                                    (Uhn!) This every hood nigga dream, fantasizin' 'bout Nicki and B
                                    Curvalicious, pussy served delicious
                                    Mayday, mayday, Earth to bitches
                                    Slap these hoes on they ass, like we birthing bitches
                                    UHN! The Queen of Rap, slayin' with Queen B
                                    If you ain't on the team, you playin' for team D
                                    'Cause we A-listers, uh we paid sisters
                                    This watch right here, done phased blizzards
                                    I confess, I woke up like this
                                    All this drank in my cup like this
                                    All this ass on that flawless dick
                                    Instagram, another flawless pic
                                    Flawless city, with these flawless titties
                                    I got all these hundreds, you got all them fifties
                                    I'm with some flawless bitches, 'cause they more than pretty
                                    'Cause niggas love bad bitches that be on they grizzly
                                    Throw that ass back, I be on my frisbee
                                    Princess-cut diamonds, on my Disney
                                    He want "Monster Nicki", in Sri Lanka
                                    I told him, "Meet me at the Trump, Ivanka"
                                    I said "Come here, let me show you, how this cookie taste"
                                    This that, "Yeah nigga, eat the cookie" face

                                    A big 'for the culture' anthem and duet by two of the biggest Black female icons/legends of my generation (and of all-time), "***Flawless" has an ample supply of everything that makes music great, in my view. There's that exciting melody that twists and turns, never running low on diesel as it powers through the ebb and flow of the verses and back and forth between the two mega-stars; a catchy, arguably iconic hook ("I woke up like dis"); a clever, albeit evasive, response to that widely debated elevator incident; and an incredible verse from the rap queen herself. Onika's done some pretty epic verses throughout her career, but her verse here is easily among her top 15 emcee moments, and that's saying something.
                                    Code:
                                    Significance Rating: 3/20
                                    Year Released: 2014
                                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
                                    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 191
                                    129. Sara Bareilles - She Used to Be Mine



                                    It's not simple to say
                                    Most days I don't recognize me
                                    That these shoes and this apron
                                    That place and its patrons
                                    Have taken more than I gave them
                                    It's not easy to know
                                    I'm not anything like I used to be
                                    Although it's true
                                    I was never attention's sweet center
                                    I still remember that girl
                                    She's imperfect, but she tries
                                    She is good, but she lies
                                    She is hard on herself
                                    She is broken and won't ask for help
                                    She is messy, but she's kind
                                    She is lonely most of the time
                                    She is all of this mixed up
                                    And baked in a beautiful pie
                                    She is gone, but she used to be mine
                                    It's not what I asked for
                                    Sometimes life
                                    Just slips in through a backdoor
                                    And carves out a person
                                    Who makes you believe it's all true
                                    And now I've got you
                                    You're not what I asked for
                                    If I'm honest, I know
                                    I would give it all back for
                                    A chance to start over
                                    And rewrite an ending or two
                                    For the girl that I knew
                                    Who'll be reckless, just enough
                                    Who'll get hurt
                                    But who learns how to toughen up
                                    When she's bruised and gets used
                                    By a man who can't love
                                    And then she'll get stuck
                                    And be scared of the life that's inside her
                                    Growing stronger each day
                                    'Til it finally reminds her
                                    To fight just a little
                                    To bring back the fire in her eyes
                                    That's been gone, but used to be mine
                                    Used to be mine
                                    She is messy, but she's kind
                                    She is lonely most of the time
                                    She is all of this mixed up
                                    And baked in a beautiful pie
                                    She is gone, but she used to be mine

                                    Did I just quote the entire song's lyrics as its lyrical highlight? I sure did. "She Used to Be Mine" is top songwriting and masterful storytelling. Each word makes a tangible contribution to the story and Sara's pacing here is deliberate, incredibly emotive and moving, and connects with the listeners. One quality I love about Broadway music is how you can carve out an entire film's worth of material from the material provided in a four-minute ballad, and that's just what Sara accomplishes here. The Broadway YouTube channel has posted a tonne of covers to this song - all of which I've heard, and one of which even features my namesake, the mercurial talent Jordin Sparks - but none manage to top Sara's heartfelt original.
                                    Code:
                                    Significance Rating: 3/20
                                    Year Released: 2015
                                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                                    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 103
                                    128. Jordin Sparks - Skipping a Beat



                                    Heart's skipping like an old CD
                                    And you know that I'm obsessed, call it OCD
                                    I was flat-lining, till you went and switched the beat
                                    What's come over me?

                                    And speaking of my namesake, here she is for a second and final time, with "Skipping a Beat". Released four years subsequent to her sophomore effort 'Battlefield', "Skipping a Beat" is quintessential Jordin. That sugary sweet voice with range is highlighted with some cute runs, and that effervescent personality and schoolgirl charm is dialed all the way up in the pre-chorus. Since her Idol days, her labels have struggled really being able to brand her, but the pop/R&B lane is where she's most comfortable and where her talent shines brightest. There should've been a place for her in 2010s mainstream music, but the industry (and GP) pass on high-level talent all the time, unfortunately.
                                    Code:
                                    Significance Rating: 3/20
                                    Year Released: 2013
                                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(5)
                                    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 259
                                    127. Eminem - Not Afraid



                                    Okay, quit playin' with the scissors and shit, and cut the crap
                                    I shouldn't have to rhyme these words in a rhythm
                                    For you to know it's a rap
                                    You said you was king, you lied through your teeth
                                    For that, f**k your feelings
                                    Instead of gettin' crowned, you're gettin' capped
                                    And to the fans, I'll never let you down again, I'm back
                                    I promise to never go back on that promise
                                    In fact, let's be honest, that last Relapse CD was "ehh"
                                    Perhaps I ran them accents into the ground
                                    Relax, I ain't goin' back to that now
                                    All I'm tryin' to say is get back, click-clack-blaow
                                    'Cause I ain't playin' around
                                    There's a game called circle and I don't know how
                                    I'm way too up to back down
                                    But I think I'm still tryin' to figure this crap out
                                    Thought I had it mapped out, but I guess I didn't
                                    This ****in' black cloud still follows me around
                                    But it's time to exorcise these demons
                                    These muh'f**kers are doin' jumpin' jacks now
                                    I'm not afraid (I'm not afraid)
                                    To take a stand (To take a stand)
                                    Everybody (Everybody)
                                    Come take my hand (Come take my hand)
                                    We'll walk this road together, through the storm
                                    Whatever weather, cold or warm
                                    Just lettin' you know that you're not alone
                                    Holla if you feel like you've been down the same road

                                    Eminem's 2010 'Recovery' LP was a big return to form for the hip/hop legend, commercially and critically. The lead single from that album went to #1 in the US and on my chart. The pop influence and uplifting lyrics just did it for me then, and it's remained a big Slim Shady fave of mine since.
                                    Code:
                                    Significance Rating: 3/20
                                    Year Released: 2010
                                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(4)
                                    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 49
                                    126. Train - 50 Ways to Say Goodbye



                                    That's cool, but if my friends ask where you are I'm gonna say
                                    She went down in an airplane
                                    Fried getting suntanned
                                    Fell in a cement mixer full of quicksand
                                    Help me, help me, I'm no good at goodbyes!
                                    She met a shark under water
                                    Fell and no one caught her
                                    I returned everything I ever bought her
                                    Help me, help me, I'm all out of lies
                                    And ways to say you died
                                    She was caught in a mudslide
                                    Eaten by a lion
                                    Got run over by a crappy purple Scion
                                    Help me, help me, I'm no good at goodbyes!
                                    She dried up in the desert
                                    Drowned in a hot tub
                                    Danced to death at an east side night club
                                    Help me, help me, I'm all out of lies
                                    And ways to say you died

                                    The instrumentation on this is so unbelievably epic that even the incredibly humorous, clever lyrics play second fiddle to it. The melody's got the full weight of a high school band squad's production, with brilliant violins, trumpets, and guitars employed throughout. That marching band-esque production gives "50 Ways..." a richness and fullness that's so impressive to me. Train have never come anywhere close to this with any of their other tracks, in my view, and as for who's won the similar single title match-up, Paul Simon, eat your heart out.
                                    Code:
                                    Significance Rating: 3/20
                                    Year Released: 2012
                                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                                    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 78
                                    Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [130-126]

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post
                                      And I think I wasn't able to vote that round either!
                                      The round is still going - it is looking better for that song

                                      Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post
                                      Not sure if you're joking, but it's actually quite hilarious if you're not because zero percent of people would have predicted that circa-2008 heartthrob Joe Jonas would be reduced to the same level as Kevin Jonas. Joe was the lead Jonas Brothers figure for the bulk of the band's mainstream success, so it's kinda funny that his little brother's star has seemingly eclipsed him to this point.
                                      I'm not - lol I really wasn't sure if it was Joe or not, though tbh, I didn't even know the name of the third brother so at least Joe is ahead of him.

                                      Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post
                                      It doesn't.
                                      Oh. I see. brb - going to go drown myself in my own tears k bye.


                                      Comment


                                      • K, let's wrap up page 5 since you have fallen behind, that gives me time to catch up
                                        • Look at that Bey trifecta - I Was Here, Love on Top, and Partition - all solid - loving how well she is doing in this countdown! Geez, Love on Top feels so long ago.
                                        • I loved Stay - Rihanna needed a hit like this in her arsenal - she's always been a chameleon blending in, but she hadn't gone in that direction so much, at least in her singles. I remember her performing this live (maybe the Grammys) and I was blown away.
                                        • LILY! I'm so delighted to see Hard Out Here on the list. I remember this coming out and sheer elation that Lily was back - I'd given up on new music and also assumed it wouldn't commpare if she ever did, but this was perfect and humorous and skewered the music industry so well. I was so disappointed with her follow-up album a couple years later because it had none of this punch to it.

                                        Comment


                                        • She Used To Be Mine is such a beautiful song, I haven’t seen Waitress but heard different versions but the Sara one is excellent.

                                          Great shout on Wings too, what a fantastic album that is from.

                                          Comment


                                          • Back for more
                                            • I can't believe I've never listed to Right By My Side - I think I have new Nicki song I love! Thanks for introducing me
                                            • Wait, what's the significance rating? Just realized most of these are still quite low - anyhow, I loved Set Fire - the album was an obsession for about a year and a half for me, and that got a ton of play that initial summer it was out. Despite it's anger/sadness, that was a good summer in my life. It's interesting how they did the singles - RITD - Completely unhinged anger; SLY - reluctant acceptance, SFTTR - somewhere in between
                                            • Crying in the Club - ahhh her forgotten "first" single - I am so sad how this was kind of brushed under the carpet - Havana was a huge BOP after it, but this deserved better. I love the Christina Aguilera interpolation.
                                            • My #1 for last year, which was a weak year tbh, was Higher Love - it touched my heart to re-imagine Whitney as a modern-day diva - I really thought it would be rubbish, but Kygo was pretty faithful in the entirety of how he did it.
                                            • Yay for Alejandro on Chromatica Day - I went to Argentina right as Fame Monster was released, so I made a playlist and this was on it, so it charted well before it's actual single release, so more good memories. Poor Fernando; I don't understand why Alejandro gets all the press
                                            • Green Light was great. Lorde's lack of single success with her second album will forever puzzle me.
                                            • I've never really enjoyed Demi Lovato and I don't know why - it's completely irrational - but even Cool For the Summer warmed up my indifferent heart.
                                            • I'll wrap up with Despacito, which had the early edge to top my 2017 year-end before being surpassed as the year closed. Another song that gives me good memories - I graduated that May, and made a "summer of Jeff," went on several trips and this was heavy on the soundtrack that year. I know a lot on here hated it, but I couldn't get enough of it.
                                            OK, that's a word wall. I'll be back soon

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