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Akini's Top 400 Songs of the 2010s: [135-131]

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  • #51
    305. Beyoncé - Freedom (feat. Kendrick Lamar)



    Freedom! Freedom! I can't move
    Freedom, cut me loose!
    Freedom! Freedom! Where are you?
    'Cause I need freedom, too!

    Beyoncé is the cultural champion for much of Black America and on 2016's 'Lemonade', she tapped into the pulse of the societal wave to make a statement album. On "Freedom", she enlists notable race equality champion Kendrick Lamar for this particular statement track on race and gender equality. As a member of both minority groups, Beyoncé speaks from a place of truth as she roars through the chorus declaring her desire for "freedom, too". In a country where Black women are the most educated group, but are consistently the most underpaid and undervalued members in the workforce and throughout the society, "Freedom" is a reminder that the march towards egalitarianism has still got some ways to go.
    Code:
    Significance Rating: 1/20
    Year Released: 2016
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 73
    304. Bruno Mars - That's What I Like



    Gold jewelry shining so bright
    Strawberry champagne on ice

    Bruno Mars kept uptempo R&B/funk at the forefront of mainstream radio for much of the 2010s, and "That's What I Like" is another quality gem in that vein. The production is so fresh and modern, the lyrics catchy and 'hook-y' enough to crossover to pop radio, and the vocals are rather underrated! He shows off some vocal chops with some falsetto highlights on this one. I think soul is a genre that oftentimes gets a lousy rap for being slow and boring, but this song has soul elements that show the genre's as diverse as any other. Honestly, this one didn't really make a big impression on me the first time I ran through '24K Magic', but it connected with me just before it was released as an official single - impeccable timing by my ears!
    Code:
    Significance Rating: 1/20
    Year Released: 2017
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 136
    303. Janelle Monáe - I Like That



    I remember when you called me weird
    We was in math class, third row, I was sitting by you
    Right before Mr. Ammond’s class
    'Cause my mama couldn’t afford new Js
    Polos, thrift store, thrift clothes that was all I knew
    Do you remember?
    Uh, I remember when you laughed when I cut my perm off
    And you rated me a six
    I was like, “Damn”
    But even back then with the tears in my eyes
    I always knew I was the shit

    Janelle Monáe was the revelation of 2018 for me. I'd ignored her for too long, and the universe said no more! Moving from one bouncy R&B/soul/funk bop to another, "I Like That" is lush, smooth greatness. It's got such a chill vibe throughout most of the track, but the third verse sees Janelle break the steely demeanour for a spoken rap moment, where she has a brief emotional moment before reminding herself that she "was the shit" (and still is)! There's literally no flaw in this track. It's a song about fully accepting the quirks that define the best parts of you, acknowledging the impact you've made regardless of the size ("I'm the random minor note you hear in major songs"), and freeing yourself from whatever boundaries you've set and breaking through whatever walls you've built for yourself.
    Code:
    Significance Rating: 1/20
    Year Released: 2018
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 97
    302. Mariah Carey - Giving Me Life



    Giving me life and it's everything
    Thinkin' 'bout when we were seventeen
    Livin' like Babs 'cause it's evergreen
    Here in my arms is where you should be

    Sometimes I wonder if Mariah Carey is human because she really is a supreme force the likes of which we’ve never seen before and likely never will again. I sincerely hope Oxford’s not dropped the ball and has rightfully included this as an illustrative use of the word “lush”, because I can’t think of anything that’s a better fit for the bill. The production is this rich, golden strain of prime steak R&B and Mimi’s lyrical prowess and emotive, patient vocal pacing just paint the canvas to a complete, artful finish. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the comparisons to “The Roof” are completely warranted, though I will fault “Giving Me Life” for that unnecessary outro. Neither the song nor its audience needed it.
    Code:
    Significance Rating: 1/20
    Year Released: 2018
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 132
    301. Rihanna - Pour It Up



    Valet cost a hundred bill and I still got my money
    Gold all up in my grill, I still got my money
    Who cares how you haters feel and I still got my money
    Call Jay up and close a deal, I still got my money
    My fragrance on and they love my smell, I still got my money
    So who care about what I spend, I still got my money
    My pockets deep and they never end, I still got my money
    I'm going dumb with all my friends, I still got my money

    I accept that, on some level, this song is awful, but I hope others can accept that, on more important levels, this song is everything. Bad gal RiRi sells these kinds of grungy club R&B anthems better than any of the pop girls. Is it ‘cause she’s ‘bout that life? Perhaps. But some credit has to be given to anyone who can transport you to the wildest strip club on the block even as you’re sat in your cubicle working on a tedious Excel spreadsheet. RiRi and her limitless powers.
    Code:
    Significance Rating: 1/20
    Year Released: 2013
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 165
    Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [135-131]

    Comment


    • #52
      Oh wow you've picked up the pace since I last checked in! Will have to circle back, but a few songs standing out for now.
      • Counting Stars - Colorado represent I created a Colorado playlist the summer of 2013 and for a hot minute they dominated my personal chart. This was released just as I was creating the list, so it got a few listens and managed to hit #6, but only charted for a week or two. It blew up like six months later, and I was like, how did I miss this excellence the first go-around. I love the break-down near the end of the song - Take that money and watch it burn!
      • Speaking of 2013, Get Lucky was hitting about the same time - it ended up being my #1 of the year simply because there's no reason that song should have had any reason showing up in 2013 - it ended up being the summer of Pharrell as Blurred Lines Happy (another song that wouldn't impact for months) were also big at the same time - all the retro flavor Pharrell brought to that summer is iconic.
      • The Cure is my favorite Gaga song from any of her releases post-Fame Monster. Possibly because it came out during a really happy time in my life.
      • Maria didn't get the love it deserved, even from me. Twice was the anthem I focused on, but it absolutely was a stellar inclusion on her album.

      Comment


      • #53
        Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
        Oh wow you've picked up the pace since I last checked in! Will have to circle back, but a few songs standing out for now.
        Yeah, it's really about time I shifted into second gear with this. I don't want 2021 to see me still trying to finish it.

        Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
        Counting Stars - Colorado represent I created a Colorado playlist the summer of 2013 and for a hot minute they dominated my personal chart. This was released just as I was creating the list, so it got a few listens and managed to hit #6, but only charted for a week or two. It blew up like six months later, and I was like, how did I miss this excellence the first go-around. I love the break-down near the end of the song - Take that money and watch it burn!
        The video for it is pretty weird, but I like it. Like I said, the song is the best they've done for me.

        Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
        Speaking of 2013, Get Lucky was hitting about the same time - it ended up being my #1 of the year simply because there's no reason that song should have had any reason showing up in 2013 - it ended up being the summer of Pharrell as Blurred Lines Happy (another song that wouldn't impact for months) were also big at the same time - all the retro flavor Pharrell brought to that summer is iconic.
        Yeah, it's crazy to think how random (and massive) Pharrell's success was in 2013. Did he even have a solo top 10 hit before then? I don't think so.

        Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
        The Cure is my favorite Gaga song from any of her releases post-Fame Monster. Possibly because it came out during a really happy time in my life.
        I went against the Coronavirus guidance, but I actually had to rub my eyes to make sure I wasn't reading this wrong. I feel like the bolded bit most certainly has to be the reason!

        Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
        Maria didn't get the love it deserved, even from me. Twice was the anthem I focused on, but it absolutely was a stellar inclusion on her album.
        "Twice" is beautiful indeed, though, so if you had to ignore "Maria", you picked a good main track to focus on.
        Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [135-131]

        Comment


        • #54
          300. Frank Ocean - We All Try



          I believe that marriage isn't
          Between a man and woman but between love and love

          The quoted lyric above was actually posted on a tumblr page, and if my memory serves me right, I googled the lyrics and stumbled across "We All Try", falling in love rather instantly because of that singular lyric. Though I disagree with his view on abortion, as well as several other of the million and one beliefs and non-beliefs he holds, I do love (and believe in) the core message expressed in the chorus about having to believe in something. I think it helps to keep you tethered, though I've seen increasing evidence over the years that suggests non-religious beliefs are perhaps the way to go.
          Code:
          Significance Rating: 1/20
          Year Released: 2011
          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 133
          299. Kacey Musgraves - High Horse



          And I think we've seen enough, seen enough
          To know that you ain't ever gonna come down
          So, why don't you giddy up, giddy up
          And ride straight out of this town
          You and your high horse

          Unsubstantiated arrogance is a contender for my biggest pet peeve when it comes to people and Kacey really rips her target a new one on this track, with one scathing jab after the next. "High Horse" was a glittery pop moment that should've become her multi-platinum, multi-format, chart-topping smash, but the GP, as they did increasingly so in the latter half of the decade, dropped the whole entire ball with it.
          Code:
          Significance Rating: 1/20
          Year Released: 2018
          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 53
          298. The Band Perry - Better Dig Two



          I told you on the day we wed
          I was gonna love you 'til I's dead
          Made you wait 'til our wedding night
          That's the first and the last time I wear white

          That's a heavy sigh after the "last time I wear white" line! You'd expect it'd be another single, but "Better Dig Two" is actually my most-played Band Perry song. I love the light rock influences and the intense passion behind the lyrics.
          Code:
          Significance Rating: 1/20
          Year Released: 2013
          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 77
          297. Miranda Lambert - Over You



          But you went away
          How dare you?
          I miss you
          They say I’ll be OK
          But I’m not going to ever get over you

          The third country star in a row, "Over You", penned by Miranda and her now ex-husband (fellow country star Blake Shelton), was inspired by the death of Blake's older brother who was killed in a car accident at 24. And that's all the backstory needed for the lyrics to hit like a tonne of breaks. Miranda carries the emotion in this song incredibly well. I think I love how mid-stated it is. There aren't melodramatic strings, nor is it a weak-whispered tribute. It exists within this weird space of deep frustration and overwhelming sadness and Miranda straddles that weird middle line so well. Miranda's won about three and a half million huge country music awards - most of the ones she's won over Carrie I felt were undeserved - but this one is one of the few song sweepers I can get behind.
          Code:
          Significance Rating: 1/20
          Year Released: 2012
          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #2
          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 77
          296. One Direction - What a Feeling



          What a feeling to be right here beside you now
          Holding you in my arms
          When the air ran out and we both started running wild
          The sky fell down
          But you've got stars, they're in your eyes
          And I've got something missing tonight
          What a feeling to be a king beside you, somehow
          I wish I could be there now

          2015 was an interesting year for music consumption as the industry was still in that transitioning space between the big digital era and the streaming era that was coming on aggressively strong. I didn't have Spotify at the time, and the transition made it hard for me to listen to new albums; previously, the record companies would've uploaded all an LP's tracks to YouTube, but that fall 2015 period saw me struggling to find any non-virus-y paths to listen to the album (without purchasing it). Anyway, long ramble aside, I did follow what UKMixers were saying about the record, and so many folks were huge fans of this one, so when my dutiful searching finally produced non-pitched audio tracks and I listened to 'Made in the A.M.', I had huge expectations for "What a Feeling"...which were not met. Eventually, though, the song's understated magic connected with me. It's got this easy, light, starry energy to it, like the perfect setting would be at a campfire with your lover just staring at the open sky as this plays in the background. The sweeping harmonies are beautiful.
          Code:
          Significance Rating: 1/20
          Year Released: 2015
          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #2
          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 83
          Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [135-131]

          Comment


          • #55
            Sad to read that "Where Have You Been" is the only Song of "Talk That Talk" - one of my Top-10-favourite Albums of the last decade!
            Personal Chart

            Comment


            • #56
              Originally posted by Phoenixx View Post
              Sad to read that "Where Have You Been" is the only Song of "Talk That Talk" - one of my Top-10-favourite Albums of the last decade!
              Yeah, I'm not a big fan of that album at all, though it does have some great moments. Is it your favourite RiRi album?
              Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [135-131]

              Comment


              • #57
                295. Beyoncé - Formation



                Earned all this money but they never take the country out me
                I got hot sauce in my bag, swag

                Released early on in Black History Month, "Formation" is a big pride anthem for the R&B/pop legend on several fronts. She's proud to be Black, southern, proud of her work ethic and the success it's yielded. This felt very much like a 'for the culture' moment, what with its powerful music video, Big Freedia inclusion, and iconic live performances.
                Code:
                Significance Rating: 1/20
                Year Released: 2016
                Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                Plays Since 1/1/2012: 103
                294. Big Sean - Dance (A$$)



                Tippy tow, tippy tay, you gon' get a tip today
                F**k that, you gon' get some d**k today

                It is a rare occasion where I like an original track more than its Nicki Minaj-featuring remix, but that's the case here, and it's due largely to the fact that Big Sean commands this track well enough entirely on his own. For some, this might be terrible - and yes, I can hear why they might think that - but I think it's fun and sexy.
                Code:
                Significance Rating: 1/20
                Year Released: 2011
                Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                Plays Since 1/1/2012: 57
                293. Frank Ocean - Ivy



                I thought that I was dreaming when you said you love me

                Frank punches me square in the feels on line one and I'm putty for the rest of this track's runtime.
                Code:
                Significance Rating: 1/20
                Year Released: 2016
                Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                Plays Since 1/1/2012: 97
                292. Taylor Swift - Starlight



                I said, "Oh, my, what a marvelous tune"
                It was the best night, never would forget how we moved
                The whole place was dressed to the nines
                And we were dancing, dancing
                Like we're made of starlight

                There's a doe-eyed level of blind optimism and cheerfulness in this song that is absolutely golden. It's impossible to listen to this song and not leave it happier than when you clicked play.
                Code:
                Significance Rating: 1/20
                Year Released: 2012
                Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
                Plays Since 1/1/2012: 104
                291. Auli'i Cravalho - How Far I'll Go



                See the line where the sky meets the sea? It calls me
                And no one knows, how far it goes
                If the wind in my sail on the sea stays behind me
                One day I'll know
                If I go there's just no telling how far I'll go

                Having grown up on a tiny island for most of my life, I always dreamed of exploring the world that I read about in books and saw on television, so to say that I can relate to the protagonist's longing for more and different would be a criminal understatement. This is a terrific song from a fantastic film. It's a shame it didn't see "Let It Go"-esque chart success.
                Code:
                Significance Rating: 1/20
                Year Released: 2017
                Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
                Plays Since 1/1/2012: 187
                Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [135-131]

                Comment


                • #58
                  290. Avril Lavigne - Head Above Water



                  God, keep my head above water
                  Don't let me drown, it gets harder
                  I'll meet you there, at the altar
                  As I fall down to my knees
                  Don't let me drown, drown, drown
                  Don't let me, don't let me, don’t let me drown

                  Penned about her struggle with Lyme disease, where Avril felt like she was fighting for her life, "Head Above Water" is a big anthem about willing yourself to survive through challenges, and I definitely connected with it based on the stressful job I have that oftentimes consumes my life during busy season and leaves me feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and demoralised. When you're able to endure and achieve through it all, you do come out on the other side with a sense of pride and accomplishment, but the process is a monster and I've had this one on repeat during long grueling days doing fieldwork.
                  Code:
                  Significance Rating: 1/20
                  Year Released: 2018
                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                  Plays Since 1/1/2012: 77
                  289. Alessia Cara - Scars to Your Beautiful



                  You should know you're beautiful just the way you are
                  And you don't have to change a thing
                  The world could change its heart
                  No scars to your beautiful, we're stars and we're beautiful

                  Most people have lazy, unimaginative, and unreasonable standards of beauty, which they impose on themselves as much as they do others, and I just love how "Scars to Your Beautiful" is this massive, booming reminder that there are no flaws in our beauty. We're all really engaged in this constant pursuit to be the best version of ourselves and that comes with embracing our bodies even when they don't fit within society's narrow confines of 'appealing'. I hope this song's message connected with young girls, especially, as that's the demographic that's targeted most for frivolous, surface-level criticisms.
                  Code:
                  Significance Rating: 1/20
                  Year Released: 2017
                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(4)
                  Plays Since 1/1/2012: 175
                  288. St. Beauty - Borders



                  Tell me where to go when the love has died

                  I discovered this gem of a song through watching the HBO series Insecure (which returns on Sunday after a painfully long hiatus - yay!) and I've been enamoured with it since. There are so many unresolved feelings post-break-ups, and "Borders" captures that state of uncertainty and confusion so well. The production is terrific, too! It really sells the setting in the lyrics. The "woo-oh-oh"'s definitely sound like something you'd hear between midnight and sunrise.
                  Code:
                  Significance Rating: 1/20
                  Year Released: 2017
                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
                  Plays Since 1/1/2012: 118
                  287. Troye Sivan - Dance to This (feat. Ariana Grande)



                  Dear beloved
                  Bring those 501s a bit closer, bit closer
                  And dear, my lover
                  Do that thing we never do sober, sober

                  This is so chill and sleek and happy. It's a simple song, but the synthpop is lush. Troye does a great job here, but Ari's voice is perfection and she effortlessly upstages him. You can't give Ari a soft, mellow bop like this and expect anything other than flawlessness.
                  Code:
                  Significance Rating: 1/20
                  Year Released: 2018
                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                  Plays Since 1/1/2012: 98
                  286. Ariana Grande - Thank U, Next



                  One taught me love
                  One taught me patience
                  And one taught me pain
                  Now, I'm so amazing
                  Say I've loved and I've lost
                  But that's not what I see
                  So, look what I got
                  Look what you taught me
                  And for that, I say
                  Thank you, next (next)

                  The break-up song that launched a thousand memes, "Thank U, Next" is a healthy anthem, in my view, as it acknowledges the lessons learned from past relationships, appreciates the good and bad derived from both, commits to moving on, and ultimately settles on the fact that perhaps the most overlooked relationship that we need to nurture is the one we have with ourselves. This is the perfect time-out song, and I think in today's serial dating era, it was a track with which millions could connect. I actually think this, while not being Ari's finest songs, has one of her highest replay values to date, which explains its play count.
                  Code:
                  Significance Rating: 1/20
                  Year Released: 2018
                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(6)
                  Plays Since 1/1/2012: 207
                  Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [135-131]

                  Comment


                  • #59
                    285. Cee-Lo Green - F**k You



                    I pity the fool that falls in love with you
                    (Oh shit, she's a gold digger)
                    Well.. (Just thought you should know, ni**a)
                    (Ooh) I've got some news for you
                    ("...Yeah, go run and tell your little boyfriend")

                    What a different landscape the mainstream music industry was in 2010 - back then, there was space on radio and among the upper echelons of the charts for a big soul/R&B anthem like this one, and not to be outdone by his "The Other Side" buddies that year, Cee-Lo (with Bruno at the songwriting and producing helms) hit a home run with "F**k You". This is such a complete song! It's got tonnes of personality, dancing through the emotional scales like Meryl Streep at her finest, and so many clever one-liners. The "I pity the fool!" falsetto moment is gold! It's also got a catchy chorus, versatile enough to be PG-13'ed for conservative folks. It's an easy future classic pick. It still sounds fresh a decade later.
                    Code:
                    Significance Rating: 1/20
                    Year Released: 2010
                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #2
                    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 21
                    284. SZA - Pretty Little Birds (feat. Isaiah Rashad)



                    But my wings don't spread like they used to
                    But I wanna fly with you
                    ('Til we hit the heavens)

                    This is SZA's best song. "The Weekend" is more fun and scandalous, but "Pretty Little Birds" has her best songwriting, her strongest vocals, her richest production. And the way the track treks to that glorious climax at the end - incredible.
                    Code:
                    Significance Rating: 1/20
                    Year Released: 2018
                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 80
                    283. Clean Bandit - Symphony (feat. Zara Larsson)



                    'Cause I’ve been hearin' symphonies
                    Before all I heard was silence
                    A rhapsody for you and me (A rhapsody for you and me)
                    And every melody is timeless
                    And now your song is on repeat
                    And I’m dancin' on to your heartbeat
                    And when you’re gone, I feel incomplete
                    So, if you want the truth

                    Clean Bandit have come a far way for me since I first discovered them through "Rather Be". They always manage to find vocalists that match the heaven-tinged strings that define their production, and Zara was a perfect match for this song. The video certainly elevated my appreciation for the track, though the base love was always there to begin with. I love the soothing melody, even when the ebb and flow takes us to the high tide chorus, the production never shifts from its tender warmth.
                    Code:
                    Significance Rating: 1/20
                    Year Released: 2017
                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 81
                    282. Delta Goodrem - I'm Not Giving Up



                    If I could do it all again, would I do it differently?
                    Baby, I made some choices that left me feeling empty
                    But I know I got the strength inside to always rise above
                    So I'm not giving up, I'm not giving up
                    I'm not giving up, I'm not giving up
                    I'm not giving up, ooohh

                    2016 was a challenging year for me, made even more tiring by the fact that 2015 had worn me pretty thin on everything, so an uplifting anthem like "I'm Not Giving Up" was just what the therapist ordered. Overcoming adversity is a theme in music that does so much for me because, much like love, it is hugely relatable and incredibly easy to connect with. The production on this is good, the "not giving up" chant is uplifting, Delta's vocals are solid. It's a great song, though some way off from my 'Wings of the Wild' fave.
                    Code:
                    Significance Rating: 1/20
                    Year Released: 2016
                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 60
                    281. Rihanna - Love on the Brain



                    And babe I’m fist-fighting with fire
                    Just to get close to you
                    Can we burn something babe
                    And I run for miles just to get a taste
                    Must be love on the brain
                    That’s got me feeling this way
                    It beats me black and blue but it ****s me so good
                    And I can’t get enough
                    Must be love on the brain yeah
                    And it keeps cursing my name
                    No matter what I do
                    I’m no good without you
                    And I can’t get enough
                    Must be love on the.... brain

                    Rihanna's gotten more than her fair share of criticism over the years for being a sub-par/average vocalist - depending on the day you get her - but it'd be a pretty stubborn and uninformed position to argue that she hasn't progressed significantly since her 'Music of the Sun' debut and here, she's in full-throated, roaring balladeer form on Anti's big soul moment. I've said before that "Love on the Brain" felt very much like Rihanna channeling her inner Ella Fitzgerald as she really does sell the passion in the lyrics in a way we've never seen her do before. This, though, is one of the rare cases where I felt the GP appreciated this song more than I did. I know my sister sure did; with her incessant playing of this, I'm sure she diluted my love for it a bit.
                    Code:
                    Significance Rating: 1/20
                    Year Released: 2016
                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
                    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 93
                    Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [135-131]

                    Comment


                    • #60
                      280. Diana Vickers - The Boy Who Murdered Love



                      And the stars turn into fire
                      And the roses change from red to black
                      You encourage my desire
                      Then you put the arrow in my back and I'm
                      Shot, shot, shot, shot, shot like a bullet
                      Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop, oh, you love it
                      No, no, no, no, no, now you've done it, oh
                      You're the boy who murdered love

                      The best part of my UKMix experience has been being introduced to songs that I'd probably not hear on local radio or randomly stumble upon on my own and "The Boy Who Murdered Love" was one of my earliest Brit-pop experiences. It was love at first listen: Diana's pixie-esque vocals riding the synthpop waves, the melodramatic lyrics about a relationship that led to a broken heart (and perhaps tainted view of love in general), and that earworm of a chorus that stuck with me well beyond the summer of 2010.
                      Code:
                      Significance Rating: 1/20
                      Year Released: 2010
                      Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                      Plays Since 1/1/2012: 34
                      279. Britney Spears - Just Luv Me



                      I'm not gonna ask for a sip when I'm thirsty
                      And you don't have to hold my hand when I'm hurting
                      Won't make you sober me up when I'm turning
                      And you don't gotta say it, I know that I'm worthy

                      This is a rather underheralded song in Brit Brit's discography, but I loved it immediately because the lyrics really reflect how I view romantic love - not as a missing piece without which I cannot function, but as a much-desired add-on that, in its healthy forms, can add much value and happiness to one's life. Britney is seldom given any praise for her vocals, but she really sells both the self-assuredness and vulnerability in this track extraordinarily well.
                      Code:
                      Significance Rating: 1/20
                      Year Released: 2016
                      Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                      Plays Since 1/1/2012: 102
                      278. The Weeknd - Starboy (feat. Daft Punk)



                      I'm tryna put you in the worst mood, ah
                      P1 cleaner than your church shoes, ah
                      Milli point two just to hurt you, ah
                      All red Lamb’ just to tease you, ah
                      None of these toys on lease too, ah
                      Made your whole year in a week too, yah
                      Main bitch out your league too, ah
                      Side bitch out of your league too, ah

                      I was tempted to not insert any lyrics for this write-up because the lyrics don't really matter here - rare that I think so! - as this song is for vibe purposes only. The production on this is just magical, which I should have expected with the Weeknd/Daft Punk pairing. This song is the perfect marriage of their sounds.
                      Code:
                      Significance Rating: 1/20
                      Year Released: 2016
                      Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                      Plays Since 1/1/2012: 63
                      277. Coldplay - Hymn for the Weekend (feat. Beyoncé)



                      When I was a river dried up
                      You came to rain a flood

                      The quoted lyric above is such beautiful poetry. I fully expected Beyoncé to be the main attraction on this track, but Chris Martin competently held his own. Beyoncé's "Shoot across the sky" hook is angelic, but the celestial production gives this song a soft, gospel-pop sound throughout.
                      Code:
                      Significance Rating: 1/20
                      Year Released: 2016
                      Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                      Plays Since 1/1/2012: 109
                      276. Rihanna - Kiss It Better



                      Man, f**k yo pride

                      Rihanna really told the man, with her full chest, "F**k yo pride" and people still wanna know why she's an all-time fave of mine? The electric guitar with the rock flair, the unbridled honesty, the confidence, the physical desire and toxicity - there's so much going on with this song and it all feels like classic RiRi on an album that had me desperately trying to find the pop superstar I fell desperately in love with a decade prior. It's unsurprisingly the top 'Anti' song on the countdown.
                      Code:
                      Significance Rating: 1/20
                      Year Released: 2016
                      Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                      Plays Since 1/1/2012: 130
                      Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [135-131]

                      Comment


                      • #61
                        Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post

                        Yeah, I'm not a big fan of that album at all, though it does have some great moments. Is it your favourite RiRi album?
                        Yes TTT and Loud. Loud is at #04 of my favourite Albums from 2010-2019 (01. 21, 02. Starboy and 03. 25, 05. Nothing But The Beat) Also Sia is in the Top-10
                        Personal Chart

                        Comment


                        • #62
                          Love On The Brain and Starboy are two masterpieces of the later decade
                          Personal Chart

                          Comment


                          • #63
                            Oh look! I'm back!
                            • So That's What I Like and I Like That back to back - haha - Janelle did it better, lol. That's What I Like is one of my least favorite just because that chorus has no punch to it to me - there's no payoff in the title line, so it's kind of an anticlimax for me. Still perched for what he releases next. My favorite male artist of the decade.
                            • Huge Kacey fan, as you know, so I'm pleased with High Horse stepping up - it sounded so far from what a country song is, but she retains just enough twang and sass that she somehow makes that work.
                            • Interesting write up for the transition in 2015 on the 1D song because that's about the time I probably switched to streaming. I think there was a period where I was using youtube to mp3 converters and it may have been around then. I also had a phase where I was using soundcloud, but couldn't find a lot of what I wanted.
                            • Was dreading where Formation would land. I still think it's an incredible song - and one of the great political releases of the decade.
                            • Big Sean is hot and I am jealous Ari got a go at that. That is all.
                            • thank u next was a bop, but have to say the album from whence it came was underwhelming to me compared to Sweetener - I know most people feel the opposite, but thank u next is really the only song form that album I return to.
                            • OMG I still LOVE Forget You with every fiber of my being - You see, he's an Xbox. I'm more Atari. LOL I just love the impotent sass of this song. It came -thisclose- to being my #1 for that year.
                            • Love on the Brain might be my favorite thing RiRi has done, which is saying a lot considering her dozens of songs. It was old school and classy yet daring and raw. Glad it made your list. It's strange that this made me STAN SO HARD for her after years of just enjoying her music, and she basically disappeared to do cosmetics after its success. Bitter af.
                            • Starboy was incredible - I think I might have to put The Weeknd as my 2nd favorite after Bruno for the decade.

                            Comment


                            • #64
                              Originally posted by Phoenixx View Post
                              Yes TTT and Loud. Loud is at #04 of my favourite Albums from 2010-2019 (01. 21, 02. Starboy and 03. 25, 05. Nothing But The Beat) Also Sia is in the Top-10
                              Glad you also love Loud! That one will fare much better here.

                              Originally posted by Phoenixx View Post
                              Love On The Brain and Starboy are two masterpieces of the later decade
                              Glad you appreciate those two!

                              Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                              Oh look! I'm back!
                              Welcome back!

                              Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                              So That's What I Like and I Like That back to back - haha - Janelle did it better, lol. That's What I Like is one of my least favorite just because that chorus has no punch to it to me - there's no payoff in the title line, so it's kind of an anticlimax for me. Still perched for what he releases next. My favorite male artist of the decade.
                              "That's What I Like" has a volleying kind of chorus that I like. Bruno's great at selling most songs to me, though, and while that's a result to be revealed for a forthcoming countdown, Bruno is most certainly among the finest male acts of the decade for me (granted, the bar's pretty low these days, even more so than usual).

                              Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                              Huge Kacey fan, as you know, so I'm pleased with High Horse stepping up - it sounded so far from what a country song is, but she retains just enough twang and sass that she somehow makes that work.
                              It really had all the ingredients to be a massive hit. It's been so disappointing to see genuinely great music flounder on the charts, and I do blame streaming for a lot of that.

                              Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                              Interesting write up for the transition in 2015 on the 1D song because that's about the time I probably switched to streaming. I think there was a period where I was using youtube to mp3 converters and it may have been around then. I also had a phase where I was using soundcloud, but couldn't find a lot of what I wanted.
                              I used to do that, too!

                              Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                              Was dreading where Formation would land. I still think it's an incredible song - and one of the great political releases of the decade.
                              There's actually a more polarising Bey lead single still to come.

                              Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                              Big Sean is hot and I am jealous Ari got a go at that. That is all.
                              He's quite hot indeed, and very much 'my type' - I just realised the other day that I kinda have a type after all.

                              Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                              thank u next was a bop, but have to say the album from whence it came was underwhelming to me compared to Sweetener - I know most people feel the opposite, but thank u next is really the only song form that album I return to.
                              Yeah, insert strong disagreement emoji here! Were it not for those three singles from Sweetener - two in particular!!! - the album would've been a listless listen.

                              Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                              OMG I still LOVE Forget You with every fiber of my being - You see, he's an Xbox. I'm more Atari. LOL I just love the impotent sass of this song. It came -thisclose- to being my #1 for that year.
                              Yay, glad you like that one! I wasn't sure many people would care that much for it, but I always did.

                              Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                              Love on the Brain might be my favorite thing RiRi has done, which is saying a lot considering her dozens of songs. It was old school and classy yet daring and raw. Glad it made your list. It's strange that this made me STAN SO HARD for her after years of just enjoying her music, and she basically disappeared to do cosmetics after its success. Bitter af.
                              It's so funny you say this after I griped in my write-up about everyone else loving "Love on the Brain" (and Anti) more than me.

                              I guess my criticism with "Love on the Brain" is that RiRi is the kind of artist who, when she does a song, most times I leave it feeling strongly that no one could have done it better. She has a distinctive voice that just works on the right song and I've always felt "Love on the Brain" could've been sung by anyone else and better by quite a few. For instance, Bey probably would have done a better job with it. I'm aware that I'm being inconsistent/somewhat of a hypocrite in believing that, considering a copy/paste Sia song sung by RiRi is a contender to win.

                              Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                              Starboy was incredible - I think I might have to put The Weeknd as my 2nd favorite after Bruno for the decade.
                              The Weeknd would probably rank similarly for me!
                              Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [135-131]

                              Comment


                              • #65
                                275. Miley Cyrus - We Can't Stop



                                So la-da-di-da-di, we like to party...
                                We run things, things don't run we

                                A fun party pop song, with some heavy R&B influences, "We Can't Stop" was one of the songs of the 2013 summer. I think this has held up ridiculously well as it sounds just as good now as it did seven years ago (possibly even a bit better). Apparently, this was written with Rihanna in mind, but the quoted bits have some teeny-bopper charms that I think were more in the ex-Disney starlet's wheelhouse. I'm happy she ended up with it.
                                Code:
                                Significance Rating: 1/20
                                Year Released: 2013
                                Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                Plays Since 1/1/2012: 152
                                274. Beyoncé - Love Drought



                                'Cause you, you, you, you and me could move a mountain
                                You, you, you, you and me could calm a war down
                                You, you, you, you and me could make it rain now
                                You, you, you, you and me could stop this love drought

                                It was dicey selecting the chorus as my favourite lyric in this track because the verses are just so strong! That "Ten times out of nine I know you're lying" line is everything! There are obvious cracks in the relationship illustrated in "Love Drought", but there's enough commitment to tape them and keep on pushing. The whole song is lifted by this exquisite atmospheric production, but the barometric pressure reaches its maximum level at the point of the chorus, and I love the way Bey repeats "you" throughout each line in the chorus. She does add "and me" at the backends eventually, but that's a not-so-slight accusation that the onus for the cracks rests more with the other party than it does with the track's protagonist. It took a while for this song to really click with me, but the conversational nuances, therapeutic melody, and understated but powerful vocal performance won me over in the end.
                                Code:
                                Significance Rating: 1/20
                                Year Released: 2016
                                Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                Plays Since 1/1/2012: 54
                                273. Ariana Grande - Honeymoon Avenue



                                Hey, what happened to the butterflies?
                                Guess they encountered that stop sign
                                And my heart is at a yellow light, a yellow light
                                Hey, right when I think that we've found it
                                Well, that's when we start turning around
                                You're saying, "Baby, don't worry"
                                But we're still going the wrong way

                                Classy, sophisticated, emotional verses that lead to a bouncy, mid-tempo chorus that retains all the passion expressed early on, "Honeymoon Avenue" was a warning sign - a red light, the song's writers might say - of the greatness of which Ari was capable. At more than five and a half minutes long, this is a fully fleshed out ballad, adorned with strong instrumentation, impressively consistent adherence to the traveling metaphor throughout, strong lyrics, and the most mature vocal from 'Yours Truly'.
                                Code:
                                Significance Rating: 1/20
                                Year Released: 2013
                                Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
                                Plays Since 1/1/2012: 66
                                272. Sia - Bird Set Free



                                Clipped wings, I was a broken thing
                                Had a voice, had a voice but I could not sing
                                You'd worn me down
                                I struggled on the ground
                                So lost, the line had been crossed
                                Had a voice, had a voice but I could not talk
                                You held me down
                                I struggle to fly now

                                Christina Aguilera has a track on her 'Lotus' LP, "Sing for Me", that's quite akin in theme, vocal, and production to Sia's own "Bird Set Free". The two tracks are so similar that I had to check to see if Sia'd had a hand in writing "Sing for Me" and "Bird Set Free" was a lazy retread. Apparently, she didn't, but the songs are still twins in my eyes, though I may have done a cruel act in separating this one from the other. Sia's crafted for herself a signature sound and "Bird Set Free" is very much in line with that. She's a hook-heavy hitter, I like to say, where the verses are very much supporting cast members to the main feature, a big, soaring, roaring chorus, raw with passion and Sia's reliable, character-adding 'scratchiness'.
                                Code:
                                Significance Rating: 1/20
                                Year Released: 2016
                                Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #2
                                Plays Since 1/1/2012: 64
                                271. Jordin Sparks - Silhouette



                                There's no space between us
                                Tonight we'll be seamless
                                Painting perfect pictures of what's going on in this bed
                                Insatiable shadows revealed by the candles
                                You and me and our silhouette
                                Silhouette, silhouette, silhouette, silhouette, silhouette

                                We're almost one-third of the way through this countdown so it was about time that my first love and user namesake finally popped up, and here she is, a much maturer specimen than the 17-year-old that belted her way to becoming American Idol's youngest-ever champ. Six years bridged the gap between 'Battlefield' and the parent LP that houses "Silhouette" as Jo-Speezy faced innumerable record label issues and release delays - she'd always been predicted to have a rough time selling, even before she won the title - but 'Right Here, Right Now' finally came out in 2015, and this was its clear standout. Sexy R&B music was a far cry from the PG-7 work that characterised her first two albums, but "Silhouette" is sensual and classy, a gorgeous vocal performance showcasing the range of Jordin's voice, from soft, AMSR-esque whispers to powerful runs, coloured by that rainbow gloss of a tone that never ceases to amaze me. "Silhouette" answered a lot of fans' pleas for her to go full R&B and she certainly satisfied them with "Silhouette". In a fairer world, this would've been a massive hit.
                                Code:
                                Significance Rating: 1/20
                                Year Released: 2015
                                Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                Plays Since 1/1/2012: 78
                                Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [135-131]

                                Comment


                                • #66
                                  270. Mariah Carey - The Art of Letting Go



                                  Evidently your words were merely lies
                                  Reverberating in my ears
                                  And the echo won’t subside
                                  There’s deep, deep loss of hope
                                  And the anger burns in me
                                  I hope you don’t get no ideas ’bout reuniting, baby
                                  ‘Cause that’s the last thing I truly need
                                  Your audacity is too much to be believed, so
                                  Go to "Mimi" on your contacts, press delete

                                  Back in the fall of 2013, when I was in charge of reviews for the site, "The Art of Letting Go" was released and I gave it a tepid three out of five stars. My review didn't hold back: I called the first half of the track "unbearably slow", I said there were "potholes with the lyricism and shoddy phrasing"; I even called the "Press delete" lyric "cringe-worthy". And I don't feel differently about those criticisms now; I just connect so much with the lyrics and the emotion on this track that I no longer care about its flaws. What Mimi captures here is the frustration, disappointment, and sense of loss and betrayal that comes with a break-up, and the soaring climax at the end is worth all the bumps along the way. Come through, vocal layering, for the win!
                                  Code:
                                  Significance Rating: 1/20
                                  Year Released: 2013
                                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                                  Plays Since 1/1/2012: 162
                                  269. Kylie Minogue - Aphrodite



                                  It's the truth, it's a fact
                                  I was gone and now I'm back, yeah

                                  I like to describe myself as a "stubborn optimist", but that doesn't mean the optimism doesn't waver; it just means that it never goes away...in is entirety. The quoted lyric above is a basically my anthem for whenever I'm able to bounce back from a setback, overcome a hurdle or challenge that had me feeling down, or even return to the hot half of my hot/cold relationship with love. I guess, much like Aphrodite, I can be wounded but will not go down without a fight. I've got resilience aplenty!
                                  Code:
                                  Significance Rating: 1/20
                                  Year Released: 2010
                                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #2
                                  Plays Since 1/1/2012: 74
                                  268. Emeli Sandé - My Kind of Love



                                  'Cause when you've given up
                                  When no matter what you do, it's never good enough
                                  When you never thought that it could ever get this tough
                                  That''s when you feel my kind of love
                                  And when you're crying out
                                  When you've fallen and can't pick your happy off the ground
                                  When the friends you thought you had haven't stuck around
                                  That's when you feel my kind of love

                                  The year was 2012. Adele had already set fire to the charts, my faves, the record books, our collective hearts and souls the prior year, and Emeli said, "Up for a round two?" Soul-pop with impassioned lyrics, "My Kind of Love" is a beautiful ballad of devotion. It's got those classic orchestral swells and richness.
                                  Code:
                                  Significance Rating: 1/20
                                  Year Released: 2012
                                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                  Plays Since 1/1/2012: 60
                                  267. Taylor Swift - Speak Now



                                  I am not the kind of girl
                                  Who should be rudely barging in on a white veil occasion

                                  At 15, with all the naiveté that accompanies early teenage-hood, the idea of crashing a wedding in the name of love seemed noble and righteous; at 24, I think it's a rather thoughtless and selfish move. Still, the idea that love prevails over everything - even social graces - is one that I still endorse now (within reason) and that single cover is still one of the best pieces of artwork in 2010s music. We really should have gotten a video for this - it was too good to be 'just' a promotional single.
                                  Code:
                                  Significance Rating: 1/20
                                  Year Released: 2010
                                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
                                  Plays Since 1/1/2012: 53
                                  266. G.R.L. - Ugly Heart



                                  Okay, you're pretty, your face is a work of art
                                  Your smile could light up New York City after dark
                                  Okay, you're Cover Boy pretty, stamped with a beauty mark
                                  But it's such a pity, a boy so pretty
                                  With an ugly heart

                                  This song literally describes my dating experience the last eight months. So many handsome and fit, seemingly intelligent and eligible bachelors, that are just one-track-minded, arrogant, elitist, dismissive pieces of crap. Kindness and decency reign supreme and this song endorses that notion. I love the concession made at the top of the chorus, punctuated by that scathing conclusion in the final line. The production on this is so vibrant, the vocals are strong - it's just a great pop song that indicated so much potential from this group.
                                  Code:
                                  Significance Rating: 1/20
                                  Year Released: 2014
                                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                                  Plays Since 1/1/2012: 91
                                  Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [135-131]

                                  Comment


                                  • #67
                                    I adore 'Ugly Heart', the chorus is infectious and the lyrics are great!
                                    My YouTube Channel - The best songs of the 80s, 90s and 2000s

                                    Comment


                                    • #68
                                      Originally posted by Benny View Post
                                      I adore 'Ugly Heart', the chorus is infectious and the lyrics are great!
                                      Agreed! And I think it was actually you who introduced it to me!

                                      Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [135-131]

                                      Comment


                                      • #69
                                        265. Beyoncé - Don't Hurt Yourself (feat. Jack White)



                                        Who the f**k do you think I is?
                                        You ain't married to no average bitch, boy
                                        You can watch my fat ass twist, boy
                                        As I bounce to the next d**k, boy
                                        And keep your money, I got my own
                                        Keep a bigger smile on my face being alone
                                        Bad motherf**ker, God complex
                                        Motivate your ass, call me Malcolm X
                                        Yo operator, or innovator
                                        F**k you hater, you can't recreate her, no, nuh-uh
                                        You'll never recreate her no, hell no

                                        There's a lot that shook me about 'Lemonade', and Beyoncé recording the first authentic rock song of her career, after having given some rock-esque live performances of some of her R&B/pop tracks throughout the years and having several bops with rock influences, was definitely a stunner. The live Homecoming version of this is my favourite. The passion and anger really come alive best through that version (I really do believe that she's "the dragon breathing fire"), and I love the Malcolm X inclusion ("The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman"). I'll never forget watching the visual for 'Lemonade' and thinking this was really her saying she was going to divorce Jay-Z.
                                        Code:
                                        Significance Rating: 1/20
                                        Year Released: 2016
                                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                        Plays Since 1/1/2012: 52
                                        264. Miley Cyrus - Can't Be Tamed



                                        For those who don't know me, I can get a bit crazy
                                        Have to get my way, yep
                                        24 hours a day, 'cause I'm hot like that
                                        Every guy, everywhere just gives me mad attention
                                        Like I'm under inspection
                                        I always gets a ten, 'cause I'm built like that

                                        "Can't Be Tamed" created another moment that shook me, but this time it wasn't the song itself at all, but the ridiculous reaction from the media that the video was too sexualised. I remember watching the news and hearing parents saying the video ought to have been banned for its level of procativeness. I can only imagine what the same folks thought three years later during Cyrus's 'Bangerz' era. At any rate, 14-year-old me loved the rebellious lyrics, the 'Avis Cyrus' get-up in the video, the catchy melody. It was the start of one of the most under-heralded pop eras of the 2010s for me.
                                        Code:
                                        Significance Rating: 1/20
                                        Year Released: 2010
                                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(4)
                                        Plays Since 1/1/2012: 46
                                        263. Beyoncé - Rise Up



                                        Be who you are
                                        Be who you are

                                        I accept that I'm part of a minority within a minority that believes this to be a good song. It's a rather plain ballad by Beyoncé's standards and the title itself is a redundant grammatical headache (you can't exactly "rise down", can you?) but the sweeping melody that accompanies Beyoncé's "Be who you are!" command does a lot for me. It's a lovely empowerment anthem, simple and frills-free, but uplifting all the same.
                                        Code:
                                        Significance Rating: 1/20
                                        Year Released: 2013
                                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                        Plays Since 1/1/2012: 214
                                        262. Bastille - Pompeii



                                        But if you close your eyes
                                        Does it almost feel like nothing changed at all?
                                        And if you close your eyes
                                        Does it almost feel like you've been here before?
                                        How am I going to be an optimist about this?
                                        How am I going to be an optimist about this?

                                        "Pompeii" is an easy song to love. It's got those catchy "Eh, eheu, eheu" chants, it's well-written, it's got a pleasant backing melody and good vocals. I love songs that bring lovers of different genres together at the table for the feast, and "Pompeii" certainly did that with pop, rock, and indie fanatics.
                                        Code:
                                        Significance Rating: 1/20
                                        Year Released: 2013
                                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                                        Plays Since 1/1/2012: 91
                                        261. Coldplay - Princess of China (feat. Rihanna)



                                        'Cause you really hurt me
                                        No, you really hurt me

                                        This is the third track in this batch that I remember making a big media splash when it premiered, this time because it was the first instance of Coldplay collaborating with another artist and some snobbish indie/rock fans were in their feelings that the act in question was Rihanna. Unsurprisingly, though, Rihanna excelled. On the vocal front, she expertly captured the intense emotion outlined in the lyrics, and in the video, she channelled every iota of ethereal goddess.
                                        Code:
                                        Significance Rating: 1/20
                                        Year Released: 2012
                                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                        Plays Since 1/1/2012: 108
                                        Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [135-131]

                                        Comment


                                        • #70
                                          260. P!nk - F**kin' Perfect



                                          You're so mean
                                          When you talk
                                          About yourself, you were wrong
                                          Change the voices in your head
                                          Make them like you instead
                                          So complicated, look happy, you'll make it
                                          Filled with so much hatred, such a tired game
                                          It's enough, I've done all I can think of
                                          Chased down all my demons, I've seen you do the same, oh

                                          I vividly remember the fall of 2010 when the American media broke news of several young gay men in the US committing suicide within a shockingly short space of time as a result of bullying and harassment, and in what felt very much like a response, a number of female pop stars released songs and music videos with uplifting messages and inclusive imagery. There's a song P!nk released during that period that I like even more than "F**kin' Perfect" - that one will be much higher - but this one certainly had an impact on me. P!nk brings a raw, honest energy to even the most glittery of pop songs, and I love the grit that accompanies the encouragement here.
                                          Code:
                                          Significance Rating: 1/20
                                          Year Released: 2010
                                          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                                          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 62
                                          259. Paramore - The Only Exception



                                          When I was younger I saw my daddy cry
                                          And curse at the wind
                                          He broke his own heart and I watched
                                          As he tried to reassemble it
                                          And my mama swore that she would
                                          Never let herself forget
                                          And that was the day that I promised
                                          I'd never sing of love if it does not exist

                                          Well, this one certainly opens the floodgates, and from the very first verse, too. Paramore were known early on for their big, brash power rock stadium anthems, but this tender drawl of a ballad is actually my top track from the band. It's so romantic and sweet - a classic tale of having well-placed mistrust in the notion of love and finding someone that challenges those tainted views, and helps you tear down the barriers you built up so you can love freely and completely. The guitar chords on this are golden.
                                          Code:
                                          Significance Rating: 1/20
                                          Year Released: 2010
                                          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #2
                                          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 42
                                          258. Ariana Grande - No Tears Left to Cry



                                          Right now, I'm in a state of mind
                                          I wanna be in like all the time
                                          Ain't got no tears left to cry
                                          So I'm pickin' it up, pickin' it up (Oh yeah)
                                          I'm lovin', I'm livin', I'm pickin' it up

                                          I'm a pop fan through and through so I was a bit bewildered by how taken so many other folks were with this, and struggled to reconcile their passion with my rather lukewarm feelings towards it. What was it that they were hearing that I failed to hear? Well, I think it came down to me just not being in the place to really get behind a song like this in 2018. It's got this fresh lease on life, the protagonist is fully energised, in a state of peace following a series of deeply traumatic events, and revelling in the beauty of life that she can appreciate on a deeper level having seen some of the worst sides of life. It's such a personal song to Ari and I think in 2019, when I was in a space to relate to the message, it finally clicked (interestingly enough, the song first hit #1 on my daily chart February 1, 2019, almost a full year following its 2018 release). I think this is probably a song a lot of people will play when the Coronavirus-related restrictions on our lives lift. We take so many blessings for granted and this song really encourages you to soak in them, luxuriate in love, and embrace all the goodness we can find. I think its message is its biggest selling point, rather than the vocals or production, which is a bit weird for a pop song.
                                          Code:
                                          Significance Rating: 1/20
                                          Year Released: 2018
                                          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                                          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 220
                                          257. Nicki Minaj - Moment 4 Life (feat. Drake)



                                          Put it on everything, that I will retire with the ring
                                          And I will retire with the crown, - yes!
                                          No, I'm not lucky, I'm blessed, - yes!
                                          Clap for the heavyweight champ - me!
                                          But I couldn't do it all alone - we!
                                          Young Money raised me, grew up out in Baisley
                                          Southside Jamaica, Queens and it's crazy
                                          'Cause I'm still hood, Hollywood couldn't change me
                                          Shout out to my haters, sorry that you couldn't faze me
                                          Ain't being cocky, we just vindicated
                                          Best believe that when we're done, this moment will be syndicated
                                          I don't know, this night just reminds me of
                                          Everything they deprived me of (Kyuh!)
                                          P-p-p-p-put ya drinks up!
                                          It's a celebration, every time we link up
                                          We done did everything, they can think of
                                          Greatness, is what we on the brink of

                                          From one song that encourages living in the moment to another, "Moment 4 Life" is the first of many appearances from my preferred procurer of bars. It has its glittery pop moments, which is probably what makes it my mother's favourite Nicki Minaj song, but I love the confidence Onika exudes on this track. It's a rather ambitious claim to include on your major-label debut effort that you "will retire with the crown", but a decade removed from that prognostication and we see that outcome as all but finalised at this point. Her then-Young Money labelmate Drake does a good job as the featured act on this track, but as Onika's done throughout her career, the spotlight remains firmly on her throughout as she takes in her triumphant moment, flush with the pride of overcoming the innumerable obstacles that littered her path. The vocal layering that the producers do at the end of each line in the chorus is a really cool touch.
                                          Code:
                                          Significance Rating: 1/20
                                          Year Released: 2011
                                          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #2
                                          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 47
                                          256. Miley Cyrus - Two More Lonely People



                                          I don't want the pictures, I don't want your sympathy
                                          We don't have to be friends, we don't have to be enemies
                                          In my head, I break it down and I'm absolutely sure
                                          That you and I could work it out
                                          Or we could kill the lights on what we had before

                                          On a scale of one to 10 of relevancy in my life, this song is an easy 10! The petty squabbles that lay waste to some pretty special friendships and relationships never cease to amaze me, and it's disappointing that in my life those damaged some solid connections beyond repair. This, my top 'Can't Be Tamed' track, takes an accurate snapshot of the situation - two stubborn, lonely people letting pride be the wall that separates them from peace and affection. Why this wasn't a multi-week global chart-topper is beyond me.
                                          Code:
                                          Significance Rating: 1/20
                                          Year Released: 2010
                                          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(4)
                                          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 76
                                          Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [135-131]

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                                          • #71
                                            Wow, that 275-263 was quite dire for me. I either didn't know or like that set. I am all for them being ranked so low.

                                            But I love almost all the songs from 262 on! Pompeii was an incredible breakout for Bastille, enough that I've still kind of checked in on them from time to time.

                                            Coldplay was THE band of the decade for me, and the unity with RiRi was celestial - probably one of my five favorites from them. I would have never thought that was a pairing that could ever work. In retrospect, that was foolish of me because Rihanna is an incredible chameleon - it's the reason I think she managed to stay current the entire time she used to record.

                                            Pink was part of one of my favorite running playlists of all time. All complimentary songs from my friends. My girl Katy was telling me what a Firework I was, and Stefani would tell me how I was Born This Way and that was just dandy, but Pink is clearly my bff who thought I was Perfect! Haha!

                                            I miss Paramore and it's a void that needs to be filled because we just don't have many acts like this where a girl fronts a rock band.

                                            I'm glad No Tears finally clicked for you. It deserved to do better but came against the Dark Star that was Janelle Monae in 2018. Even though it did well, it did take some time to click for me too and maybe for a kind of similar reason, but I really love the song now.

                                            Ah, Nicki was killing it at the beginning of the decade. Ugh, I really loved her and this was on blast.

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                                            • #72
                                              Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                              Wow, that 275-263 was quite dire for me. I either didn't know or like that set. I am all for them being ranked so low.
                                              You don't like "Bird Set Free"?

                                              Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                              But I love almost all the songs from 262 on! Pompeii was an incredible breakout for Bastille, enough that I've still kind of checked in on them from time to time.
                                              Yeah, I'm pretty similar. When I see Bastille's got a new song out, I normally give it a listen due mainly to my "Pompeii" love.

                                              Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                              Coldplay was THE band of the decade for me, and the unity with RiRi was celestial - probably one of my five favorites from them. I would have never thought that was a pairing that could ever work. In retrospect, that was foolish of me because Rihanna is an incredible chameleon - it's the reason I think she managed to stay current the entire time she used to record.
                                              The bolded bit is shade - warranted shade, but shade nonetheless. I do love that quality about RiRi's voice, too.

                                              Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                              Pink was part of one of my favorite running playlists of all time. All complimentary songs from my friends. My girl Katy was telling me what a Firework I was, and Stefani would tell me how I was Born This Way and that was just dandy, but Pink is clearly my bff who thought I was Perfect! Haha!
                                              Cute! Running was actually my favourite physical activity in my younger days.

                                              Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                              I miss Paramore and it's a void that needs to be filled because we just don't have many acts like this where a girl fronts a rock band.
                                              Indeed. I guess you have Florence, if you consider any parts of the '+ the Machine' bit to be rock, and I know Tansike stans a few metal rock bands that have female leads, but like a lot of things, rock is male-dominated.

                                              Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                              I'm glad No Tears finally clicked for you. It deserved to do better but came against the Dark Star that was Janelle Monae in 2018. Even though it did well, it did take some time to click for me too and maybe for a kind of similar reason, but I really love the song now.
                                              Glad we both came 'round to "No Tears...".

                                              Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                              Ah, Nicki was killing it at the beginning of the decade. Ugh, I really loved her and this was on blast.
                                              Yeah, Nicki had an insane 2010! It may seem like a ridiculous statement to make, but I think she cranked out more quality verses (including features) in that year than 99% of emcees do in their lifetime. It was a killer freshman year for her!
                                              Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [135-131]

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                                              • #73
                                                Princess Of China, Moment 4 Life and No Tears Left To Cry are my favourites since my last update. I loved M4L before I signed in here. POC was one of my favourite Songs for a long time and I still love this Song. NTLTC is now one of my 5 favourite Songs of 2018 - I everytime get flashbacks of this Summer
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                                                • #74
                                                  My favourite Paramore song there, and a decent Pink one. I think I need to re-listen to Miley's CBT era but Two More Lonely People was always a highlight for me.

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                                                  • #75
                                                    Originally posted by Phoenixx View Post
                                                    Princess Of China, Moment 4 Life and No Tears Left To Cry are my favourites since my last update. I loved M4L before I signed in here. POC was one of my favourite Songs for a long time and I still love this Song. NTLTC is now one of my 5 favourite Songs of 2018 - I everytime get flashbacks of this Summer
                                                    Glad you like those three!

                                                    Originally posted by Spartan View Post
                                                    My favourite Paramore song there, and a decent Pink one. I think I need to re-listen to Miley's CBT era but Two More Lonely People was always a highlight for me.
                                                    That's my Paramore fave, too!
                                                    Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [135-131]

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