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Akini's Top 400 Songs of the 2010s: [2-1!]

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  • Akini's Top 400 Songs of the 2010s: [2-1!]

    The past decade has been an interesting one. At its dawn, I was a 14-year-old teenager struggling with the throes of queer adolescence at a school with Christian in its actual title. By its close, I was a young adult struggling to balance the demands of a stress-laden professional career with the longing for something deeper and purer. The space between those struggles was filled with some of the best music I've ever heard and this countdown seeks to celebrate that. At 400 pieces long, it will be the biggest celebration I've hosted, but that's what these songs really are - threads of the tapestry of a decade filled with growth, scented by monumental friendships and unforgettable adventures, embellished by challenges and unexpected (and untimely) hurdles, all interwoven with a stubborn, endless sense of hope that every fork in the road, flat tire, detour, and random reroute would ultimately lead me to the only destination that ever really mattered - peace.

    I can tie each of these songs to a memory so they're all, to varying extents, special to me. I'm really excited to share the very brightest of the decade's musical highlights, with my ever-polarising taste as trusty barometer. I've finally settled on my #1 so you are all formally invited to the party, which is slated to kick off...whenever I get around to doing so.

    In the interim, take your best guess in the poll.



















    10
    Which track do you think is my song of the decade?
    0%
    0
    Blown Away
    10.00%
    1
    Born to Die
    0%
    0
    Breathin
    0%
    0
    Diamonds
    20.00%
    2
    Do What U Want
    0%
    0
    Drunk in Love
    0%
    0
    Mine
    10.00%
    1
    Redbone
    20.00%
    2
    Rolling in the Deep
    20.00%
    2
    Titanium
    20.00%
    2
    Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

  • #2
    Excited to see your list, and I liked the majority of the songs you have listed in your poll. Unfortunately, the poll doesn't seem to be working :(

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
      Excited to see your list, and I liked the majority of the songs you have listed in your poll. Unfortunately, the poll doesn't seem to be working :(
      Thanks for letting me know. I think it should be working now.
      Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

      Comment


      • #4
        I was able to vote. I picked Titanium because I feel I've seen it the most on your daily list. But it also feels too obvious, like I see a curveball coming in your #1.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hyped for this!
          Sergej's Personal Chart

          Comment


          • #6
            Okay, I think it's time to get started with this.

            Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
            I was able to vote. I picked Titanium because I feel I've seen it the most on your daily list. But it also feels too obvious, like I see a curveball coming in your #1.
            Let's see!

            Originally posted by sergejdordij98 View Post
            Hyped for this!
            ​​​​​​​

            Hope you enjoy it!
            Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

            Comment


            • #7
              In ranking my favourite songs of the decade, I thought it best to rank by significance, since a quality rating would've been moot, considering that I pretty much consider all of these songs to be 10/10 tracks. As such, each track was awarded a significance rating between 1 and 20.

              Also, I joined LastFM 1/1/2012 and I've used that platform to track my 'scrobbles' since then, so I've also included the tracks' plays since that date. Of course, pre-2012 songs are at a disadvantage with that metric, but the play count wasn't a determining factor with the rankings. I just thought it'd be a cool additional data item to have.

              Without further ado, let's begin!

              400. Bruno Mars - Our First Time

              ​​

              Just go with it, go with it, go with it
              And I will go real slow with it, slow with it


              The first of eight appearances, which makes Bruno Mars the most prolific male artist featured in this decade-end wrap-up, "Our First Time" is a narration of the tender love and care Bruno intends on employing with his lover's inaugural sexual experience. I'd always enjoyed the song, but what gave it the edge over a few other gems I considered are the incredibly sensual live performances Bruno's given his fans with this track. Those performances do quite a bit for me.
              Code:
              Significance Rating: 1/20
              Year Released: 2010
              Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #3
              Plays Since 1/1/2012: 115
              399. Taylor Swift - We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

              ​​

              And you, would hide away and find your peace of mind
              With some indie record that's much cooler than mine


              From the most prolific male artist in the countdown to the most prolific female act (which, as you'd imagine, makes her the most featured act overall), "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" is the first of a whopping 25(!) songs from Taylor Swift, remarkably all with her as the lead act. "We Are Never..." is classic Taylor melodrama. At the time of its release, it was the poppiest song she'd done, which delighted her pop-leaning fanbase (myself included), but my love for it has waned a bit. It finished eighth in my year-end 2012 contest, but is quite a bit down in the rankings among its 2012 sister tracks here. Still, the spoken inserts she does here to punctuate a good chunk of the lines remain a brilliant force in selling the tone of the track. Among all artists this decade, Taylor most expertly served the the love/break-up sector of the music market.
              Code:
              Significance Rating: 1/20
              Year Released: 2012
              Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(4)
              Plays Since 1/1/2012: 247
              398. Carrie Underwood - The Champion (feat. Ludacris)

              ​​

              I’m a fighter like Rocky
              Put you flat on your back like Ali


              An incredible vocal performance, "The Champion" features here because of the powerful way Carrie included it in her Cry Pretty 360 Tour. She borrowed an audience member from each city, shared a heartfelt (or just generally sweet) backstory about the individual and the individual's personal hero(es), then had them rap Ludacris's rap verse in dedication to their own in-real-life champions. Some of them actually did a pretty good job, but I just generally love how she transformed a song that was 'just' about football into something more meaningful.
              Code:
              Significance Rating: 1/20
              Year Released: 2018
              Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
              Plays Since 1/1/2012: 79
              397. Lady Gaga - The Edge of Glory

              ​​

              ​​​​​​​
              Right on the limit's where we know we both belong, tonight

              I'd spent most of the decade considering this to be perhaps Gaga's most overrated track, and I still think it's supremely overpraised, but this was the song that Yvie Oddly lip-synced her way to the Drag Race crown with, so I developed a deeper appreciation for "The Edge of Glory" largely due to that. I also think it is a great easy listening jam. The saxophone solo is lovely, and pairs the song's lightness with a richness for a combo that I suspect will age well.
              Code:
              Significance Rating: 1/20
              Year Released: 2011
              Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
              Plays Since 1/1/2012: 78
              396. Samra - Miracle

              ​​

              ​​​​​​​
              Gonna take a miracle to heal this love
              Baby, I won't stay another night
              This time I say goodbye, I’m letting you go


              At my core, I'm a shameless pop fan with simple music needs and if you give me a glittery chorus with a strong main vocal and some well-blended background vocals, I'm good to go. Throw in some passionate lyrics and I'm hooked. "Miracle" is the first of several ESC entries on the countdown, and one of an infinite number of robbed gems from that contest.
              Code:
              Significance Rating: 1/20
              Year Released: 2016
              Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
              Plays Since 1/1/2012: 78
              Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

              Comment


              • #8
                My faves so far:

                397. Lady Gaga - The Edge of Glory
                399. Taylor Swift - We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
                2019 Year End Charts: The 20/20 Experience

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm shocked Taylor Swift is the biggest artist on your list - I guess I haven't noticed how present she is on your daily chart. Not a fan of that particular song - Taylor has this annoying habit of picking lead singles that just seem weirdly entitled to me. It seems she saves her quality for the second single - at least that's how it seemed the last few albums.

                  Champion is decent, but I'm sure there are several more from here - two in particular I hope made it - but I'll save what they are to see if you name them

                  You're not alone in your Edge of Glory thoughts. It's not a favorite of mine by her either, though I think it's perfectly solid.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LOVE+FEAR View Post
                    My faves so far:

                    397. Lady Gaga - The Edge of Glory
                    399. Taylor Swift - We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
                    Glad you like those two!

                    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                    I'm shocked Taylor Swift is the biggest artist on your list - I guess I haven't noticed how present she is on your daily chart. Not a fan of that particular song - Taylor has this annoying habit of picking lead singles that just seem weirdly entitled to me. It seems she saves her quality for the second single - at least that's how it seemed the last few albums.

                    Champion is decent, but I'm sure there are several more from here - two in particular I hope made it - but I'll save what they are to see if you name them

                    You're not alone in your Edge of Glory thoughts. It's not a favorite of mine by her either, though I think it's perfectly solid.
                    I was quite confident that it was going to be another particular artist, too, but then I realised Taylor was the only of my big faves to release as many as five LPs in the 2010s, so that gave her a bit of an advantage, not to mention that they were all good/great albums! That's an interesting point you made about her lead singles this decade...and I agree with you, save for "Mine"!

                    Carrie's got more than a handful still to come, so let's see if your preferred pair is among the set!

                    Glad to know you feel similarly about "The Edge of Glory".
                    Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      395. Britney Spears - Perfume



                      I'll never tell, tell on myself
                      But I hope she smells my perfume


                      I'll openly admit to this song not being 'objectively' fantastic (to the point that anyone can be objective about anything as subjective as art) but the way the video completely flipped the script and 180'ed the perspective of this song is the primary reason it's featured here. To listen to the song from the perspective of Britney being the 'other woman' and not the girlfriend is a dark twist and a far more interesting narrative. Also, I think Britney's voice sounds absolutely gorgeous on ballads, and this is certainly among the stronger ones she's recorded in her career.
                      Code:
                      Significance Rating: 1/20
                      Year Released: 2013
                      Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
                      Plays Since 1/1/2012: 243
                      394. Frank Ocean - Nights



                      Although you got beaucoup family
                      You don't even got nobody bein' honest with you


                      A two-part melodic achievement from R&B's favourite enigma of the 2010s, "Nights" was an early and easy Blond favourite of mine. It's got such a chill vibe and it's pretty full lyrically. I kinda like how it feels like a random collection of his thoughts merged in his reminiscence of when his life felt like a series of indistinguishable nights strung together. Even if you're not a struggling musician, I think that's a feeling most can relate to. I also appreciate this for teaching me the term beaucoup.
                      Code:
                      Significance Rating: 1/20
                      Year Released: 2016
                      Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                      Plays Since 1/1/2012: 95
                      393. Kacey Musgraves - It Is What It Is



                      But I ain't got no one sleeping with me
                      And you ain't got nowhere that you need to be
                      Maybe I love you, maybe I'm just kind of bored
                      It is what it is 'til it ain't anymore


                      I feel like millennial dating is summed up no more accurately than in this track's chorus. The way Kacey's sombre drawl so expertly captures the resignation most people have when they just settle for whoever's there, just for the sake of having someone there, is first-class storytelling.
                      Code:
                      Significance Rating: 1/20
                      Year Released: 2013
                      Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                      Plays Since 1/1/2012: 110
                      392. Florence + the Machine - Seven Devils



                      See, I was dead when I woke up this morning
                      I'll be dead before the day is done


                      During the Christmas break of 2014, I became rather obsessed with the hit ABC show 'Revenge' and this song soundtracked the final scene of a truly epic season finale. Now, whenever I listen to it, I'm immediately taken back to that shocking final few minutes of season one. The dark atmosphere and melodramatic lyrics are such a perfect fit for the scene - kudos to the producers on the show who selected this. Ace job, really!
                      Code:
                      Significance Rating: 1/20
                      Year Released: 2011
                      Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                      Plays Since 1/1/2012: 40
                      391. Charli XCX - Break the Rules



                      Going to the discotheque
                      Getting high and getting wrecked
                      I don't wanna go to school
                      I just wanna break the rules


                      A fun party anthem about breaking free of the chains of routine and just giving in to your base desires for fun, wildness, and excitement, "Break the Rules" is an easy song with which to connect. It was released at the start of my final year in college and despite generally enjoying school, there were definitely days where I wish I could do away with it all and just chill.
                      Code:
                      Significance Rating: 1/20
                      Year Released: 2014
                      Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                      Plays Since 1/1/2012: 65
                      Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I predict that Redbone will be your Song Of The Decade.

                        Seven Devils is my favourite in your chart so far.
                        YOU KNOW ME, I JUST DON'T STOP. | My last.fm

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Break the Rules is a fun and carefree song indeed, sometimes I miss this Charli although she's evolving
                          last.fm

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Loose View Post
                            I predict that Redbone will be your Song Of The Decade.

                            Seven Devils is my favourite in your chart so far.
                            Let's see!

                            "Seven Devils" is a great one. The Revenge producers did a stellar job selecting that track to soundtrack the S1 final scene.

                            Originally posted by Carbon View Post
                            Break the Rules is a fun and carefree song indeed, sometimes I miss this Charli although she's evolving
                            Admittedly, I don't know much of Charli's work. I should probably explore her catalogue a bit more.
                            Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              390. MNEK - Correct



                              (Who wrote this song?
                              Who made this beat?)
                              Well, take a guess


                              Fresh off being featured in my 2019 year-end wrap-up, "Correct" is a big pop/R&B hybrid anthem brimming with unfiltered, warranted pride and confidence from one of the most talented young producers in the music industry. I just love how fresh and cool it sounds. It's got such a sleek production to it and I love the diva-ish lyrics.
                              Code:
                              Significance Rating: 1/20
                              Year Released: 2019
                              Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                              Plays Since 1/1/2012: 71
                              389. Frank Ocean - Swim Good



                              I'm about to drive in the ocean
                              I'mma try to swim from somethin' bigger than me


                              A pretty dark song about taking extreme measures to escape the toll of heartbreak, "Swim Good" made a powerful initial impression with me and I've loved it ever since. I appreciate how, though it's an R&B song by melodic and lyrical nature, there are still some hardy hip/hop inserts like those crunk ad-libs in the pre-chorus, and that beach sounds outro brings the track to such a powerful close, as if the protagonist achieved the goal of the peace and comfort he sought out from verse one. Also, Frank's vocals on this are pretty emotive and this is one of his better vocal performances.
                              Code:
                              Significance Rating: 1/20
                              Year Released: 2011
                              Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(4)
                              Plays Since 1/1/2012: 158
                              388. Måns Zelmerlöw - Heroes



                              We are the heroes of our time
                              But we're dancing with the demons in our minds


                              An electro-pop song with a soaring chorus is the Eurovision standard of excellence and this aptly checks that ever-important box. His performance with that supremely clever and charming interactive backdrop (not to mention those leather pants) sealed the win for this Swede, with the ESC juries and fandom, and with me.
                              Code:
                              Significance Rating: 1/20
                              Year Released: 2015
                              Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                              Plays Since 1/1/2012: 100
                              387. Ariana Grande - Moonlight



                              He's so bossy, he makes me dance
                              Tryna sit in the back of his whip and just cancel my plans
                              Sweet like candy, but he's such a man
                              He knows just what it does when he’s holding me tight
                              And he calls me "moonlight" too


                              Subtlety in music isn't something that usually worked for me in my younger days, but I've grown to appreciate it, and with a glowing recommendation from Paul that that this was not, in fact, a 'skippable' Dangerous Woman moment, I revisited "Moonlight" and really grew to appreciate the eccentricity of the climax being saved for the final moments, and for that climax to be not a big explosion of pop awesomeness, but rather a soft, tender moment of bliss and contentment. This is classy, simple, beautiful balladry from someone I've come a far way in appreciating.
                              Code:
                              Significance Rating: 1/20
                              Year Released: 2016
                              Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(5)
                              Plays Since 1/1/2012: 113
                              386. Lil Nas X - Rodeo (feat. Cardi B)



                              Now my heart, it feels like Brillo, I'm hard like armadillo
                              Can't be no n***a ex, I could only be his widow
                              That's a fact, dressed in black, my heart break, bones will crack
                              I be chilling, watching Oxygen, my favorite show is Snapped
                              Now you know how I get, every day, a foreign whip
                              Rather see you in a hearse than see you with some other bitch


                              A criminally underrated jewel from 2019, "Rodeo" wilted in the shadow of its predecessor Old Town Road's record-breaking success and never really made the impact it should have (though Lil Nas X and his team didn't help with their tepid pushing of the song...which has now changed with his remix of it with Nas and a rather ambitious video to accompany it). The beat for this is incredible, a satisfyingly odd mix off dark and grimy with country-western sleekness,and Cardi B rides the wave of it like an expert. Her verse is pure, unadulterated, volcanic-level fire!
                              Code:
                              Significance Rating: 1/20
                              Year Released: 2019
                              Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(5)
                              Plays Since 1/1/2012: 190
                              Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Moonlight is cute!
                                YOU KNOW ME, I JUST DON'T STOP. | My last.fm

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Loose View Post
                                  Moonlight is cute!
                                  It's beautiful!
                                  Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    385. RuPaul - Read U Wrote U (feat. Alaska Thunderc**t, Detox, Katya Zamolodchikova, & Roxxxy Andrews)



                                    D to the E to the T to the O to the- Hold it!... X

                                    I discovered RPDR in 2019 so I didn't get to experience the magic of AS2 as it aired, but having caught up to the series, this track is certainly one of the musical standouts from all 15 seasons. Alaska's eccentricity and clever references, Detox's sauciness and swagger, Katya's sensuality and mysteriousness, and Roxxy's earnestness make for a killer combo.
                                    Code:
                                    Significance Rating: 1/20
                                    Year Released: 2016
                                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #4
                                    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 32
                                    384. Carly Rae Jepsen - Right Words, Wrong Time



                                    We put everything away
                                    California wasn't made for you
                                    Hate the traffic in LA
                                    I drove through it all to get to you


                                    The build-up and crash-down of this track's melody is beautiful. I love its lyrics, I love Carly Rae's falsetto chorus, and it's the clear standout on her Dedication album. I've griped before about it not being as flawlessly executed as the best E•MO•TION moments, but that doesn't stop it from being a satisfying pop jam. The frustration and heartbreak are palpable here and I love that that emotion isn't lost among the synthpop beats.
                                    Code:
                                    Significance Rating: 1/20
                                    Year Released: 2019
                                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                                    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 118
                                    383. Taylor Swift - Call It What You Want



                                    My castle crumbled overnight
                                    I brought a knife to a gunfight
                                    They took the crown, but it's alright


                                    A lot of Reputation has a grimy, grunge backdrop in the production that doesn't appeal to me, so "Call It What You Want" serves as one of the rare, welcome, clear melodies on the LP, where Taylor finds solace in her relationship and also an insulation from rampant criticism from the media.
                                    Code:
                                    Significance Rating: 1/20
                                    Year Released: 2017
                                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                                    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 96
                                    382. Ariana Grande - 7 Rings



                                    Been through some bad shit, I should be a sad bitch
                                    Who woulda thought it'd turn me to a savage?


                                    A pop song with trap elements and hip/hop swagger, the braggadocios "7 Rings" was a bop that I didn't expect from Ari, but one that I oh so needed in my library. I love how in her element she sounds on this, and it continued what felt like a signature sound from her.
                                    Code:
                                    Significance Rating: 1/20
                                    Year Released: 2019
                                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(5)
                                    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 235
                                    381. Taylor Swift - Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince



                                    My team is losing
                                    Battered and bruising
                                    I see the high fives
                                    Between the bad guys
                                    Leave with my head hung
                                    You are the only one
                                    Who seems to care


                                    Political and social commentary cleverly disguised as a catchy high school romance anthem, "Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince" is one of the best-written songs in Taylor's catalogue. I'd always enjoyed it, but watching her Netflix documentary that borrows its title from the track did make me like the song that bit more.
                                    Code:
                                    Significance Rating: 1/20
                                    Year Released: 2019
                                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 48
                                    Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Not a fan of Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince.

                                      7 Rings and Call It What You Want on the other hand are dope. Ariana‘s is probably my favourite song in this countdown so far.
                                      YOU KNOW ME, I JUST DON'T STOP. | My last.fm

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Have been checking in, but not a lot of songs that I know in this lower sets, though absolutely delighted to see that Kacey song make your list.

                                        Mildly surprised to see 7 Rings so low, but it's not a huge favorite - though I love how bonkers it was to interpolate My Favorite Things.

                                        Also impressed with how things are shaping up for Frank Ocean on this list.

                                        Comment


                                        • #21
                                          Originally posted by Loose View Post
                                          Not a fan of Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince.

                                          7 Rings and Call It What You Want on the other hand are dope. Ariana‘s is probably my favourite song in this countdown so far.
                                          Glad that you like "7 Rings" so much! There's quite a bit of Ari still to come.

                                          Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                          Have been checking in, but not a lot of songs that I know in this lower sets, though absolutely delighted to see that Kacey song make your list.

                                          Mildly surprised to see 7 Rings so low, but it's not a huge favorite - though I love how bonkers it was to interpolate My Favorite Things.

                                          Also impressed with how things are shaping up for Frank Ocean on this list.
                                          Hopefully, the tracks will look more familiar as we advance further.

                                          I'll get into more detail as to how the individual years of the decade fared here, but you'll see 2019 was not one of the stronger years in music for me.
                                          Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

                                          Comment


                                          • #22
                                            380. RuPaul - Category Is (feat. Peppermint, Sasha Velour, Trinity Taylor, & Shea Couleé)



                                            Let me rock this mic
                                            Leave 'em in my dust like Tina did Ike
                                            I'm sickening, no? And real fierce too
                                            Chicago in the house, girl whatcha gon' do?
                                            About to shut it down
                                            Come on Mama Ru, bring the queen her crown
                                            I approve this message and all I'm gonna say
                                            Is I'm Shea Couleé and I always...


                                            That Bring it to the runway hook is the fiercest of all the challenge songs on the show that the queens are tasked with providing remix services, and though Peppermint and Sasha Velour both did a fantastic job with their verses, it's Shea Couleé (introduced here as 'Slay' Couleé) who knocks it out of the park. The girls' performance of this on the show is also epic. S9 really had a killer top four and this song is a testament to their skills.
                                            Code:
                                            Significance Rating: 1/20
                                            Year Released: 2017
                                            Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #3
                                            Plays Since 1/1/2012: 48
                                            379. Taylor Swift - Ours



                                            The stakes are high, the water's rough
                                            But this love is ours


                                            Another gem from the 2010s queen of love songs, "Ours" is a soft, sweet, sincere love letter from T-Swizzle where she declares that she and her lover's passion for each other will endure in the storm of criticism from external parties. Years ago, Paul's interpretation of this as a gay anthem, given the unique challenges same-sex relationships face, really made me revisit this song with new ears and it's become a personal favourite of mine ever since. That above-quoted declaration Taylor makes is so simple, but so damn powerful, too.
                                            Code:
                                            Significance Rating: 1/20
                                            Year Released: 2011
                                            Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                            Plays Since 1/1/2012: 97
                                            378. Mark Ronson - Nothing Breaks Like a Heart (feat. Miley Cyrus)



                                            This world can hurt you
                                            It cuts you deep and leaves a scar
                                            Things fall apart, but nothing breaks like a heart
                                            Mhmm, and nothing breaks like a heart


                                            My favourite (and most-played) song from Mark Ronson, "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart" has this smooth, instantly classic, country-influenced sound that makes such an immediate impression. This is the kind of song where Miley's voice really shines and I hope she takes on more of these mature ballads on her next LP.
                                            Code:
                                            Significance Rating: 1/20
                                            Year Released: 2019
                                            Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                                            Plays Since 1/1/2012: 66
                                            377. Tinashe - So Much Better (feat. G-Eazy)



                                            Tinashe (Yeah?)
                                            It's been a long time coming
                                            Could tell you needed d**k, you spent a long time cu**ing (Mm)
                                            We went four rounds, spent a long time ******* (Uh huh)
                                            I rather stay inside with you than all night clubbing, yeah (Okay)
                                            I seent you from a distance, said I got a plan
                                            And I don't give a **** if you got a man
                                            Makin' up for missed time, covered a lot of land
                                            I'm in a 'Rari, I'ma get you off with my hand, yeah (Yeah, uh)
                                            I'ma take it slow, nothing to rush into
                                            The whole world knew I always had a crush on you
                                            When I leave the studio, I swear I'm ******* you
                                            I mean for real, Tinashe, let's leave here right now, hey


                                            We don't get enough quality sultry R&B bops anymore so this one definitely filled a deserted niche space in my music library. I love how Tinashe's soft, quiet, confident, seductive sensuality segues into G-Eazy's raunchy, brazen, no-holds-barred expression of lust-fueled desire. They make a pretty potent pairing here, though I wish they'd taken things a bit further in the music video. Regardless, the song is top-quality and should've been a smash hit.
                                            Code:
                                            Significance Rating: 1/20
                                            Year Released: 2019
                                            Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                            Plays Since 1/1/2012: 31
                                            376. Lil Nas X - Old Town Road (feat. Billy Ray Cyrus)



                                            Yeah, I'm gonna take my horse to the old town road
                                            I'm gonna ride 'til I can't no more


                                            The viral hits of the 2010s had close to a 100% fail rate with me, but so much about "Old Town Road" was special. First, the Billboard country chart controversy, which caught the attention of Billy Ray Cyrus and led to the country icon hopping on the track. Then the song's ascent to the top of the charts where music fans watched its unprecedented chart-topping run, in the middle of which, Lil Nas X confirmed the swirling Internet rumours about his sexuality, coming out as a gay man at the end of June (fittingly, at the close of Pride Month). The remixes kept coming, featuring everyone from Diplo to BTS to Young Thug and Mason Ramsey. "Old Town Road" felt like one of music's biggest events ever, and a bit of a revolutionary moment that in the middle of an anti-gay, anti-Black administration, for an openly member of both communities to achieve the groundbreaking success that "Old Town Road" earned, the chorus took on an anthemic new meaning.
                                            Code:
                                            Significance Rating: 1/20
                                            Year Released: 2019
                                            Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(4)
                                            Plays Since 1/1/2012: 189
                                            Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

                                            Comment


                                            • #23
                                              375. All Saints - One Strike



                                              Violently numb, I'm ready for this storm to come
                                              I'm ready for the storm to come
                                              Listen to you load that gun
                                              I'm ready for the storm to come


                                              I'd never really known much about All Saints, besides coming across "Never Ever" and "Pure Shores" over the years on UKMix through various survivors (and not liking those two songs much), but when "One Strike" was released, the pain in the song was palpable and I connected with it immediately. I particularly love the "violently numb" line as that's my go-to reaction for betrayal and disappointment, too. Though it's not the textbook slow ballad, this song breaks my heart every time I listen to it.
                                              Code:
                                              Significance Rating: 1/20
                                              Year Released: 2016
                                              Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
                                              Plays Since 1/1/2012: 154
                                              374. Taylor Swift - Back to December



                                              You've been good, busier than ever
                                              We small-talk, work and the weather
                                              Your guard is up and I know why


                                              Introspection is vital, and honest, balanced introspection even moreso, and "Back to December", a song that for so many years I never considered one of my T-Swizzle favourites, is a song that encourages that kind of objective reassessment of relationships of yesteryear. Sometimes you realise you were the problem, you made the definitive move that ruined everything, and sometimes that's just something you have to live with.
                                              Code:
                                              Significance Rating: 1/20
                                              Year Released: 2010
                                              Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
                                              Plays Since 1/1/2012: 28
                                              373. Mariah Carey - Oh Santa!



                                              I saw them shopping last week
                                              And his new girl was so bleak


                                              The first - but obviously not final - appearance from my favourite artist of all-time, "Oh Santa!" is festive fabulousness that harkens back to MC's 1994 mammoth "All I Want for Christmas Is You". "Oh Santa!" has much more of an intensity to it, though, almost obsessively so, as Mimi passionately convinces the listener (as much as she does herself) that Santa is going to channel his Cupid-esque powers and reunite the protagonist with her ex-lover. The fact that the descriptor for the boyfriend's new girl is "bleak" is a very Mariah move and there are several Mariah-isms that I love about "Oh Santa!". It's infectious fun, and while it's not even close to AIWFCIY, it's a good song in its own right [and is the highest-ranking Christmas song (by default) on the countdown].
                                              Code:
                                              Significance Rating: 1/20
                                              Year Released: 2010
                                              Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                                              Plays Since 1/1/2012: 58
                                              372. Britney Spears - I Wanna Go



                                              Shame on me
                                              To need release
                                              Uncontrollably


                                              The 'princess of pop' moniker is tossed about quite a bit, but songs like "I Wanna Go" prove why Britney is the only person who's earned that honour. This song is literally about masturbation and Britney sings it with such an easygoing playfulness, you'd think this was a PG-7 song about ice-cream or candy. It's a weird ability Brit Brit's had to transform everything she touches into fluffy, light, harmless fun, and absolutely no one does it better. I remember following the 'Femme Fatale' era closely and being pleasantly surprised by US radio playing her music like they never had before and I believe "I Wanna Go" is still the solo Brit song with the highest US audience impressions (I'm almost positive "Scream & Shout" surpassed it) so it's great that more than a decade into her career, Brit Brit was still reaching new heights with her music. The video for this is just epic hilarity from start to finish. The press conference, the hot police officer, the milk, the Crossroads 2: Cross Harder bulletin board - it completes a perfect marriage with the song...but is still quite some way off from my 'Femme Fatale' fave.
                                              Code:
                                              Significance Rating: 1/20
                                              Year Released: 2011
                                              Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(6)
                                              Plays Since 1/1/2012: 77
                                              371. Kanye West - Selah



                                              We got the product, we got the tools
                                              We got the minds, we got the youth
                                              We goin' wild, we on the loose
                                              People is lying, we are the truth
                                              Everything old shall now become new
                                              The leaves’ll be green, bearing the fruit
                                              Love God and our neighbor, as written in Luke
                                              The army of God and we are the truth


                                              I grew up admiring Kanye West significantly more than I did most other hip/hop acts, so his descent in the mid-2010s was disappointing to see; however, his talent is such that I always feel it necessary to check out his work, and on "Selah", that gospel choir lifts his message into anthemic territory and were it not for my total lack of confidence in the direction of that message, I'd love this even more. When I listen to it, I pretend that I'm listening to Kanye circa 2004-2013.
                                              Code:
                                              Significance Rating: 1/20
                                              Year Released: 2019
                                              Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #2
                                              Plays Since 1/1/2012: 32
                                              Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

                                              Comment


                                              • #24
                                                370. Bruno Mars - The Other Side (feat. Cee-Lo Green & B.o.B.)



                                                It's better if you don't understand

                                                Released first on Bruno's four-track-long 'It's Better If You Don't Understand' EP and then six months later on his full-length 'Doo-Wops & Hooligans' LP, "The Other Side" rode the Twilight-wrought vampire mania wave with its not-so-subtle lyrical references to the mysterious mythical creatures. This one always stood out to me because so much of Bruno's early work is super cookie cutter stuff, but this one had an edge and excitement to it. Both Cee-Lo and B.o.B. do an ace job with their verses, B.o.B. particularly, but that "It's better if you don't understand" message that is stitched so seamlessly into each of their parts is simple pop magic.
                                                Code:
                                                Significance Rating: 1/20
                                                Year Released: 2010
                                                Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
                                                Plays Since 1/1/2012: 25
                                                369. fun. - We Are Young (feat. Janelle Monáe)



                                                Give me a second I, I need to get my story straight
                                                My friends are in the bathroom
                                                Getting higher than the Empire State
                                                My lover, she's waiting for me just across the bar
                                                My seat's been taken by some sunglasses asking 'bout a scar

                                                The drums on this are pretty special, but this song had two main things going for it that solidified its place on my chart: the fact that it was covered by the Glee Cast, and the fact that Pete adores it so much. I personally like how it's a rock anthem that's pretty subdued. "Subdued" is a weird descriptor for any 'anthem' song, but it's appropriate for this one. It's big, but not obnoxiously so; it has this simple, consistent, cool instrumental, and it's already a classic in my books. It has already aged well, and I fully expect it will continue to do so.
                                                Code:
                                                Significance Rating: 1/20
                                                Year Released: 2012
                                                Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                                Plays Since 1/1/2012: 89
                                                368. RuPaul - Jealous of My Boogie



                                                [Turn it up let 'em scrutinize
                                                (I know you're watching)
                                                Way up cause the night is mine
                                                (I know you're watching)
                                                Turn it up lemme scandalize
                                                (I know you're watching)
                                                Yeah, up under flashing lights

                                                I imagine a casual listener may turn this on and be turned off by the autotune, but the Drag Race mega-fan in me has fond memories watching Tyra Sanchez lip-sync her way to a well-deserved crown to this camp, fun, 80s-inspired slice of disco-pop. I've found that some people hold the belief that 'drag' music should be its own category of music and that it's not 'real' music, but I think 'drag' music tends to reflect the very essence of pop music that I find so appealing - lightness, sleekness, and a frothy, childlike, carefree sense of fun. Oh, and some saucy divaness for flavour!
                                                Code:
                                                Significance Rating: 1/20
                                                Year Released: 2010
                                                Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                                                Plays Since 1/1/2012: 83
                                                367. Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello - Señorita



                                                I love it when you call me señorita
                                                I wish I could pretend I didn't need ya
                                                But every touch is ooh-la-la-la
                                                It's true, la-la-la
                                                Ooh, I should be runnin'
                                                Ooh, you know I love it when you call me señorita
                                                I wish it wasn't so damn hard to leave ya
                                                But every touch is ooh-la-la-la
                                                It's true, la-la-la
                                                Ooh, I should be runnin'
                                                Ooh, you keep me coming for ya

                                                For a few years now, Shawn Mendes has looked the part of swoon-worthy hunk, but that sensual energy had never translated to his music. Then in stepped "Señorita". Admittedly, Camila does a better job selling the sultry lust of this track, but Shawn, to his credit, does decently keeping up! The way the track swells to that climactic "Coming for you" close is nothing short of pop magic.
                                                Code:
                                                Significance Rating: 1/20
                                                Year Released: 2019
                                                Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #2
                                                Plays Since 1/1/2012: 58
                                                366. RuPaul - Main Event



                                                This is the main event, are you ready?
                                                Just let the music dance into your soul!
                                                Faster, faster, exhilarating!
                                                Just let the rhythm make you lose control!

                                                A case could be made for RuPaul's Drag Race being the greatest show in TV history - and I wouldn't mind being the one to make it - and my favourite part of the show is the competition element of it. The drama of having to showcase your best self, your cleverest tricks, your snappiest and most scathing reads, your sharpest acting reels, your most-polished costume creations - it's the kind of thing that could make weaker beings wilt under the pressure of it all, but the queens on the show consistently rise to the challenge and produce magic (almost) every single time, and I love the frenetic energy "Main Event" captures. And not only does it speak to performing on the big day, it speaks of doing so with a broken heart and spirit, essentially fighting through whatever struggles you have to showcase something beautiful. I oftentimes play it on repeat at work during intense weeks where I have to produce a tonne of work in a short space of time. I imagine then that I'm on my own little stage lip-syncing for my life/legacy.
                                                Code:
                                                Significance Rating: 1/20
                                                Year Released: 2010
                                                Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                                Plays Since 1/1/2012: 122
                                                Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

                                                Comment


                                                • #25
                                                  Love the shout out, sorry I haven’t been following this (or the site in general) more closely. I think, although I prefer the original, the Glee version was the one that made me fall in love with the song.

                                                  Comment


                                                  • #26
                                                    I guess I need to catch up - slightly more songs I know in this set than the last time I checked in.
                                                    • Nothing Breaks... was a bop there for awhile, though I think it's burned on me now. I just went to listen to it, and was like eh, I'm done. Still probably my favorite thing Miley has done.
                                                    • I know RuPaul and crew will figure heavily - but having never watched the show, it's hard to relate as to what the fuss is. I couldn't even tell you what channel it's on. I still feel like I need to check out Yvie's season though.
                                                    • Kind of sad to see Old Town road so low; thought it might be something that would figure more prominently. To be honest, it ranked #3 on my year end, but when I did my decade end countdown, it rejiggered to 10th or 11th I think, so maybe there was a similar downgrade for you as well.
                                                    • Oh Santa was great! I love the one with the chant at the beginning, but for some reason, that's not the version they play on the radio here. I'd place it in my top five of Christmas songs released last decade.
                                                    • We Are Young is amazing and when I focused on the lyrics, I was really surprised to read them. I don't think i paid them much heed when it was big, but they really are kind of disturbing. I love that it got Janelle a #1 even though I still contend she adds nothing to it.

                                                    Comment


                                                    • #27
                                                      Originally posted by Spartan View Post
                                                      Love the shout out, sorry I haven’t been following this (or the site in general) more closely. I think, although I prefer the original, the Glee version was the one that made me fall in love with the song.
                                                      Ah, thanks for visiting! I've been pretty busy myself (hence the glacial pace of this countdown).

                                                      "We Are Young" definitely worked well for the Glee Cast. It's the perfect song for a high-schoolers, tbh.

                                                      Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                                      [*]Nothing Breaks... was a bop there for awhile, though I think it's burned on me now. I just went to listen to it, and was like eh, I'm done. Still probably my favorite thing Miley has done.
                                                      Aw, really? It's still got another 100,000 miles left in my playlist.

                                                      Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                                      [*]I know RuPaul and crew will figure heavily - but having never watched the show, it's hard to relate as to what the fuss is. I couldn't even tell you what channel it's on. I still feel like I need to check out Yvie's season though.
                                                      It's on VH1! And, yes, you should check out Yvie's season, at the very least. S1 also had a Denver queen do incredibly well.

                                                      Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                                      [*]Kind of sad to see Old Town road so low; thought it might be something that would figure more prominently. To be honest, it ranked #3 on my year end, but when I did my decade end countdown, it rejiggered to 10th or 11th I think, so maybe there was a similar downgrade for you as well.
                                                      None of the 2019 songs really compared favourably to the top tracks of the decade for me.

                                                      Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                                      [*]Oh Santa was great! I love the one with the chant at the beginning, but for some reason, that's not the version they play on the radio here. I'd place it in my top five of Christmas songs released last decade.
                                                      I actually didn't even know a chant-less version existed!

                                                      Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
                                                      [*]We Are Young is amazing and when I focused on the lyrics, I was really surprised to read them. I don't think i paid them much heed when it was big, but they really are kind of disturbing. I love that it got Janelle a #1 even though I still contend she adds nothing to it.[/LIST]
                                                      I swear, I still don't ever hear Janelle in that song!
                                                      Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

                                                      Comment


                                                      • #28
                                                        365. Brandy Clark - Girl Next Door



                                                        When you took me home
                                                        You knew who you were taking
                                                        Not some Debbie debutante standing in an apron
                                                        Frying up your bacon

                                                        It's not a novel concept, female country music artists fighting against the traditional stereotype of what a 'girl next door' should look and behave like, but Brandy Clark certainly brings some clever lyrics and a spicy edge to the table. I love its defiance. It's a pledge to stay true to oneself in the face of an entire system that urges you to be someone else, and that's certainly a message that doesn't take much stretching for me to connect with. Her concluding message: "If you want the girl next door, then go next door and go right now, and don't look back, don't turn around, and don't call me when you get bored". A mood!
                                                        Code:
                                                        Significance Rating: 1/20
                                                        Year Released: 2016
                                                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                                        Plays Since 1/1/2012: 47
                                                        364. Taylor Swift - I Almost Do



                                                        And I just want to tell you
                                                        It takes everything in me not to call you

                                                        I must admit my surprise at this never having hit #1 on my daily chart, but when I checked Red's release date, I understood why. At any rate, this one details quite vividly the internal conflict you have with a broken relationship. Interestingly enough, when the album was released, I had a friendship that had been pretty battered for a lot of that year, and "I Almost Do" takes me back to that period. It's crazy the petty things we let ruin beautiful relationships and I always wonder if maybe I'd swallowed my pride, if things would've ended differently in that particular situation. I suppose that's the gift and curse of hindsight.
                                                        Code:
                                                        Significance Rating: 1/20
                                                        Year Released: 2012
                                                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #3
                                                        Plays Since 1/1/2012: 57
                                                        363. Ed Sheeran - Shape of You



                                                        And last night you were in my room
                                                        And now my bed sheets smell like you
                                                        Every day discovering something brand new
                                                        I'm in love with your body

                                                        I don't particularly like Ed Sheeran. There's something about his personality that I find off-putting and his music has largely felt soulless to me. "Shape of You", however, is an infectious, island-flavoured, club bop that Ed pulls off rather well. It's got this fresh, light hook that lends itself to excessive replay and the verses are pretty much in his balladry wheelhouse, but when that beat gets funky in the chorus, even I'm moved to groove to it.
                                                        Code:
                                                        Significance Rating: 1/20
                                                        Year Released: 2016
                                                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                                        Plays Since 1/1/2012: 72
                                                        362. Marina & the Diamonds - Starring Role



                                                        It almost feels like a joke to play out a part
                                                        When you are not the starring role in someone else's heart
                                                        You know I'd rather walk alone than play a supporting role
                                                        If I can't get the starring role

                                                        2012 was a rather exciting year in music for me, as I'd just joined LastFM (on January 1, 2012 no less) and spent so much of that year deep diving into music that my teeny-bopping, bubblegum-pop-loving self felt was fresh, exciting, new, and a shift from the cookie-cutter, American Idol-esque music that I generally enjoyed. Electra Heart was one of my favourite discoveries that year, and "Starring Role" was an easy song to get into, considering its lyrics so expertly captured how I viewed relationships then (and now). This was Marina singing about matching energies long before it became a hastag-able movement on Twitter and other social media. And the melody - it's so luxurious and regal!
                                                        Code:
                                                        Significance Rating: 1/20
                                                        Year Released: 2012
                                                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                                        Plays Since 1/1/2012: 72
                                                        361. Bruno Mars - The Lazy Song



                                                        Today, I don't feel like doing anything
                                                        I just wanna lay in my bed
                                                        Don't feel like picking up my phone
                                                        So leave a message at the tone
                                                        'Cause today, I swear, I'm not doing anything

                                                        As a millennial who's fairly recently joined the adulthood struggle, I have to say that I relate to "The Lazy Song" on a much deeper level than I did when it was released. At the time, 15-year-old me had no idea just how much of a luxury doing nothing was! I've long felt that the secret weapon of any pop star is accessibility and this song is definitely a track everyone can relate to. It was a huge video smash on YouTube long before hundreds of millions of views became the standard for music videos, with its quirky video featuring Bruno dancing in boxers alongside other men in monkey masks.
                                                        Code:
                                                        Significance Rating: 1/20
                                                        Year Released: 2011
                                                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                                                        Plays Since 1/1/2012: 37
                                                        Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

                                                        Comment


                                                        • #29
                                                          360. Christina Aguilera - Just a Fool (feat. Blake Shelton)



                                                          I'm just a fool for holdin' onto somethin' that's
                                                          Never ever gonna come back
                                                          I can't accept that it's lost

                                                          Released so late in 2012 that I consider it a 2013 song for all intents and purposes, "Just a Fool" is a country-flavoured break-up track featuring all the vocal flourishes from Christina that I've grown to love over the years. To his credit, fellow 'Voice' judge Blake Shelton does a competent vocal on his parts, but the big soaring moments that really capture the emotion of this song are all Christina's. This song connects with me because I'm terrible at letting go of anyone or anything that I truly loved. Further, the theme about being "just a fool", perhaps getting your hopes up on shoulders that aren't strong enough to carry them, resonates with me. Though I didn't capture it as my lyrical highlight, the line "I had my heart set on you" is another favourite lyric of mine because I know how the heart drops when it's set on something or someone that doesn't deliver.
                                                          Code:
                                                          Significance Rating: 1/20
                                                          Year Released: 2013
                                                          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                                          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 65
                                                          359. Adam Lambert - Ghost Town



                                                          Now, I'm searching for trust
                                                          In a city of rust
                                                          A city of vampires

                                                          It was a challenge settling on a favourite lyric because the verses on this track are insanely strong. They're penned in poetic prose and I've never been satisfied with the chorus that accompanies them. I understand that its emptiness is an attempt to stay true to the track's title, but I still think Adam could've given us more than that short line and some whistles. It's beautiful and relatable, even moreso these past eight months than when it was released five years ago.
                                                          Code:
                                                          Significance Rating: 1/20
                                                          Year Released: 2015
                                                          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                                                          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 177
                                                          358. Little Big Town - Better Man



                                                          I wonder what we would’ve become
                                                          If you were a better man
                                                          We might still be in love
                                                          If you were a better man
                                                          You would’ve been the one
                                                          If you were a better man

                                                          Without reservation, I can say that this is a damn good song. I challenge anyone to play this and not feel the deep emotion of the protagonist. The "if" realm is such a dangerous place to reside, and no less so as it concerns love and relationships, but it feels impossible not to lament on what could have been if only. I love the scene and stage of the break-up "Better Man" captures. The pain is still fresh, but the resolve strong and the pride to leave a situation that didn't honour the protagonist's commitment emanates throughout. And if said pride is all the protagonist's left with at the end of the day, it's a better keepsake than the half-realised dream she wisely gave up. This is quality country music, staying true to the roots of the genre and telling a story as simply and honestly as only country music can.
                                                          Code:
                                                          Significance Rating: 1/20
                                                          Year Released: 2016
                                                          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                                          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 102
                                                          357. Beyoncé - Before I Let Go



                                                          Turn around, kick, then slide
                                                          And twirl that ass to the right, now
                                                          Ooh, bunny hop, bunny hop, drop, pop
                                                          Cross your legs, turn around and clap
                                                          Shuffle to the left, let's glide now
                                                          Ooh, drop it down, drop it down low, low
                                                          Low, low, low to the floor, floor
                                                          Bring it up, clap, then roll, roll
                                                          Step on 'em, step on 'em, step on 'em, step
                                                          Step on 'em, kick on 'em, stomp, then you step
                                                          Swag the right, surf the left
                                                          Work the middle 'til it hurt a little

                                                          I don't mean to undersell the lyrics because there are some good, passionate lyrics on this one, but "Before I Let Go" is certainly a 'vibe' song for me. The horns lead the fresh, rich instrumental with conviction and authority. As I'm sure I've mentioned before, there's a club I frequent that faithfully plays this each time I visit, and the crowd faithfully responds. It's special seeing how this song resonates with others; I think they really relate to the endurance element in the lyrics. It always puts me in a good mood. It's an infectiously happy song that way.
                                                          Code:
                                                          Significance Rating: 1/20
                                                          Year Released: 2019
                                                          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
                                                          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 88
                                                          356. Harry Styles - Watermelon Sugar



                                                          Tastes like strawberries on a summer evenin'
                                                          And it sounds just like a song
                                                          I want more berries and that summer feelin'
                                                          It's so wonderful and warm

                                                          I was confident that Harry Styles would have my favourite post-1D career and that confidence was inspired by my gut feeling believing that he would bring a bit of a fresh lens with retro fittings to pop music, and while he has not consistently delivered on that, he certainly does just that on "Watermelon Sugar". Much like the song before it, "Watermelon Sugar" is such a chill vibe, and that final "watermelon sugar!" that punctuates each chorus with that cool vocal effect just adds to the delight that is this track. I think a lot of songs that speak to the physical acts of love are so lazily penned and delivered, and I love the class, sensuality, and innuendo of this track.
                                                          Code:
                                                          Significance Rating: 1/20
                                                          Year Released: 2019
                                                          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                                                          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 57
                                                          Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

                                                          Comment


                                                          • #30
                                                            355. Clean Bandit - Solo (feat. Demi Lovato)



                                                            I wanna f-woop, woop woop, but I'm broken hearted (Oh)
                                                            Cr-cr-cry since the day we parted (Oh)
                                                            T-t-touch, but I got nobody
                                                            So I do it solo

                                                            Emotional dance music is right up my alley and "Solo" feels like a millennial confessional masquerading as a club anthem. The protagonist is bored and frustrated, completely dissatisfied with her dating pool options following the break-up of a relationship she thought would have more mileage. If she can't find anyone decent, she'll go at it "solo" and that'll be that on that. It's fair to say that the relatability factor here was a 10. I loved hearing Demi's voice on a dance track as she doesn't veer into that lane often and Kamille serving those ever-crucial, ever-catchy supporting vocal moments in the chorus makes this track infectious. I do wish it were a bigger hit than it turned out to be, though.
                                                            Code:
                                                            Significance Rating: 1/20
                                                            Year Released: 2018
                                                            Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                                            Plays Since 1/1/2012: 57
                                                            354. Keith Urban - Blue Ain't Your Colour



                                                            'Cause blue...
                                                            Looks good on the sky
                                                            Looks good on that neon buzzin’ on the wall
                                                            But darlin', it don’t match your eyes
                                                            I’m tellin’ you...
                                                            You don’t need that guy
                                                            It’s so black and white, he’s stealin’ your thunder
                                                            Baby, blue ain’t your color

                                                            While the title may suggest that Keith is adding fashion critic to his repertoire, he's actually crooning to a lonesome lady, who's all alone at a bar by herself because her boyfriend or husband hasn't been good to her (he's making some wild assumptions early on here), but as soon as he launches into that bluesy, country-western-and-jazz-infused chorus, even I'm swooning a bit. This song is so tender, sweet, kind - for me, it's the best thing Keith's ever done, and that guitar solo that precedes the final chorus is just divine.
                                                            Code:
                                                            Significance Rating: 1/20
                                                            Year Released: 2016
                                                            Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                                            Plays Since 1/1/2012: 49
                                                            353. Niall Horan - Slow Hands



                                                            Yeah, I already know that there ain't no stoppin'
                                                            Your plans and those
                                                            Slow hands (woo)
                                                            Slow hands

                                                            For years, Adam (king_oxymoron) tried to make the case for Niall being the most appealing guy in 1D, but my firm pro-Harry stance didn't waver. And with Zayn and his "Pillowtalk", plus Liam pre-JT tribute act status, Niall wasn't even in my top 3, so when this came out, I thought the folk-pop sound rather decent, the melody mildly appealing, and didn't give it any further consideration (or plays, for a while). Then, rather randomly, I played Demi Lovato's "Body Say", which has a lyrical highlight that includes the lyric, "You can touch me with...slow hands", and that reminded me of Niall's song, which I then revisited, connected with, and here it is, two years later, his sole (solo) representative on the countdown. Funnily enough, I still often play "Body Say" and "Slow Hands" after each other to this day.
                                                            Code:
                                                            Significance Rating: 1/20
                                                            Year Released: 2017
                                                            Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                                                            Plays Since 1/1/2012: 64
                                                            352. The Weeknd - Often



                                                            She asked me if I do this every day, I said, "Often"
                                                            Asked how many times she rode the wave, "Not so often"
                                                            Bitches down to do it either way, often
                                                            Baby I can make that pu**y rain, often
                                                            Often, often, girl I do this often
                                                            Make that pu**y poppin', do it how I want it
                                                            Often, often, girl I do this often
                                                            Make that pu**y poppin', do it how I want it
                                                            Often

                                                            There's unfiltered misogyny in this track that should probably turn me off from it, but...that beat - it's just sick! The way it ebbs and flows with the arrogant, swagger-heavy lyrics is just special and really sells the song (as well as Abel's more outrageous claims). The Weeknd's music has always stood out from the pack to me because somehow he manages to seamlessly marry some rather intriguing elements of R&B, hip/hop, and trap, and create a lane in the urban music scene that no one else really traverses. It's become a part of his signature sound and I love it. He's also got a smooth, beautiful voice that you don't mind having on repeat.
                                                            Code:
                                                            Significance Rating: 1/20
                                                            Year Released: 2015
                                                            Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                                            Plays Since 1/1/2012: 52
                                                            351. John Legend - Love Me Now



                                                            Something inside us knows there's nothing guaranteed
                                                            Yeah, girl, I don't need you to tell me that you'll never leave, no
                                                            When we've done all that we could to turn darkness into light, turn evil to good
                                                            Even when we try so hard for that perfect kind of love, it could all fall apart

                                                            Too often we wait until people pass away to give them their flowers, and on "Love Me Now", John Legend says he wants his flowers and he wants them now. I love the message, to cherish each moment you have with the ones you love, as our mortality will inevitably betray us and we won't be able to engage in those acts of love anymore. The studio recording of this was already good enough and would have gotten John on this list, but the Spotify Studios mix is even more magical. Distilled from the heavy production of the original studio recording, John's rich baritone vocal is given the prime time treatment, and assisted by a minimalist piano backing, it really sells the core message of the song in an even more powerful way than the original mix.
                                                            Code:
                                                            Significance Rating: 1/20
                                                            Year Released: 2016
                                                            Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #2
                                                            Plays Since 1/1/2012: 62
                                                            Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

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