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

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  • #91
    225. Michelle Williams - Tightrope



    Mountains and valleys, and all that will come in between
    Desert and ocean
    You pulled me in and together we're lost in a dream
    Always in motion
    So I risk it all just to be with you
    And I risk it all for this life we choose
    Hand in my hand
    And you promised to never let go
    We're walking a tightrope
    High in the sky
    We can see the whole world down below
    We're walking a tightrope
    Never sure, will you catch me if I should fall?
    Well, it's all an adventure
    That comes with a breathtaking view
    Walking a tightrope
    With you, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
    With you, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
    With you

    I'm pretty sure Pete introduced me to this sometime in 2017, but I didn't really connect with it until his A-Z countdown in 2019. It's got all the expected theatrical fittings - a slow build that leads to a satisfying climax, grand vocal moments, sprite lyrics. It's a great ballad, and the hopeless romantic in me definitely loves the narrative of love being a tightrope we walk that, just light a tightrope, has a high-risk, high-reward set of outcomes. For some reason, my Spotify-Last.fm scrobbling connection is a bit funky with this as Last.fm insists that it's Michelle Williams, one of Destiny's children, as opposed to the actress.
    Code:
    Significance Rating: 1/20
    Year Released: 2017
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(6)
    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 167
    224. Miley Cyrus - Malibu



    I never came to the beach or stood by the ocean
    I never sat by the shore under the sun with my feet in the sand
    But you brought me here, and I'm happy that you did
    'Cause now I'm as free, as birds catchin' the wind
    I always thought I would sink, so I never swam
    I never went boatin', don't get how they are floatin'
    And sometimes I get so scared of what I can't understand
    But here I am, next to you
    The sky's more blue in Malibu
    Next to you in Malibu
    Next to you

    The lightness, the chill, the bliss and contentment - "Malibu" paints this portrait of a really peaceful stage of a relationship and the breeziness of the production and Miley's delivery captures that energy superbly.
    Code:
    Significance Rating: 1/20
    Year Released: 2017
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 112
    223. Britney Spears - Slumber Party (feat. Tinashe)



    No one but, no one but you and I, I, I
    We ain't gonna sleep tonigh-igh-ight
    Oh baby, no one but, no one but you and I, I, I
    We ain't gonna sleep tonight
    'Cause we got them candles hanging
    Hanging from the ceiling low
    We use our bodies to make our own videos

    I don't think any pop star sells sex better than Madame Spears. She can really tailor her voice to sound so naturally sensual and even on this, not even her best boudoir jam, her appeal is magnetic. The addition of Tinashe to the "party" was a great one, as Tinashe certainly does well to keep up with the pop superstar. The video is simple, but so luxuriously shot, and yet again, Britney in her reprisal role of sex kitten, is brilliant (I mean, the milk scene, for goodness sake, is just...ridiculously hot). I like that Brit Brit gave the island-flavoured pop sound that was hot in 2015/2016 a shot. It's a good fit for her.
    Code:
    Significance Rating: 1/20
    Year Released: 2016
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 119
    222. Nicki Minaj - Super Bass



    And he ill, he real, he might gotta deal
    He pop bottles and he got the right kind of build
    He cold, he dope, he might sell coke
    He always in the air, but he never fly coach
    He a mutha****in trip, trip, sailor of the ship, ship
    When he make it drip, drip, kiss him on the lip, lip
    That's the kinda dude I was lookin' for
    And yes, you'll get slapped if you're lookin', ho
    I said, excuse me you're a hell of a guy
    I mean my, my, my, my you're like pelican fly
    I mean, you're so shy and I'm loving your tie
    You're like slicker than the guy with the thing on his eye, oh
    Yes I did, yes I did
    Somebody please tell em who the eff I is
    I am Nicki Minaj, I mack them dudes up, back coupes up, and chuck the deuce up

    Nicki Minaj had been making major waves in hip/hop circles since the mid-2009 release of her 'Beam Me Up Scotty' mixtape, but many a pop fan got their first dose of the rap queen through this infectious crossover hit. I love its playfulness, her flow and lyricism, and the colourful video, with some incredible eye candy. I remember the video for this premiering the same day as "Judas" and me being surprised that it headed Judas's view count the first week, when, at that time, Lady Gaga was the premiere pop star of the moment. I thought that that was a good sign of the song's commercial appeal and I was quite right.
    Code:
    Significance Rating: 1/20
    Year Released: 2011
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 115
    221. Usher - Dive



    Can't help it, no oh
    I want you to feel me
    Every little bit of me... baby
    I don't need a life saver... baby
    Baby going deeper ain't gonna kill me
    And I love the rush I get from it
    I see the walls are looking like they might precipitate
    Until I'm in so deep, it's up to my waist
    But I promise girl I ain't afraid... oh no
    It's raining inside your bed
    No parts are dry
    Lovin' made you so wet, your legs, your thighs
    And ever since we first met I knew that... I
    I knew I was ready baby to take that dive

    Sex is a topic that's often covered by artists, but a major gripe for me has always been how callous the subject matter is usually treated. On "Dive", Usher provides a slow, sensual delivery that works wonders for me. His vocals are rich and soulful, the lyrics explicit enough for titillation, but passionate enough to suggest that the encounter isn't a cheap one-night stand, and the ride to the climax is a smooth journey that concludes with fireworks (or rather, as per Usher's storyteller, waterworks). This is classy, sexy R&B done well by one of the all-time great giants of the genre.
    Code:
    Significance Rating: 1/20
    Year Released: 2012
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 142
    Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

    Comment


    • #92
      Ghost, Turn Me On and especially Run The World and Team are such classics
      Treasure and Royals are classics!
      And I still love So Am I, One More Night and Sorry
      And I see Super Bass at #222...Ooof...These flashbacks :(
      Personal Chart

      Comment


      • #93
        Originally posted by Phoenixx View Post
        Ghost, Turn Me On and especially Run The World and Team are such classics
        Treasure and Royals are classics!
        And I still love So Am I, One More Night and Sorry
        And I see Super Bass at #222...Ooof...These flashbacks :(
        Glad you're enjoying the countdown so much!
        Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

        Comment


        • #94
          We've been stuck in the 1/20 significance zone since this countdown started, but with this batch we finally get to level two!

          220. Robyn - Dancing on My Own



          I'm in the corner, watching you kiss her, ooh
          I'm right over here, why can't you see me? Ooh
          I'm giving it my all
          But I'm not the girl you're taking home, ooh
          I keep dancing on my own
          (I keep dancing on my own)

          One of the most revered songs of the 2010s, "Dancing on My Own" is a track that took ages to grow on me. I think I'd always connected with the lyrics, and they've been especially relevant the last nine months, but the production just felt a bit...strange to me. For a dance track, its production seemed a bit lifeless early on, but I think any restraint in that department is just to match the mood of the protagonist in the narrative, and any qualms I had early on probably came from my view that dance music should have that electric bounce to lift it. Robyn certainly does a fine job selling the emotion of this track. When the melody parts and it's just her voice at the bridge, it's a really tender, beautiful moment - a fitting climax to a lovely song.
          Code:
          Significance Rating: 1/20
          Year Released: 2010
          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 89
          219. Lady Gaga - Marry the Night



          I'm gonna marry, marry
          I'm gonna marry, marry
          Marry
          C'mon, c'mon
          The night, the night, the night
          The night, the night, the night
          The night, the night, the night
          The night, the night, the night
          The night, the night, the night

          Two key elements I felt Gaga brought back to mainstream pop music are wildness and passion. In so many ways, she feels like the love child of Freddie Mercury and Madonna, and on "Marry the Night", a song good enough to have been considered to lead off arguably her most significant era, that high-energy emotion is present from the jump. It builds to an enormous, exorcist-esque climax towards the end, where you've just got this incredible explosion of sound as Gaga chants two-thirds of the track's title. This is quality pop music through and through, delivered in classic Gaga fashion.
          Code:
          Significance Rating: 2/20
          Year Released: 2011
          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 68
          218. Jason Aldean - Don't You Wanna Stay (feat. Kelly Clarkson)



          Let's take it slow, I don't wanna move too fast
          I don't wanna just make love, I wanna make love last
          When you're up this high, it's a sad goodbye
          Don't you wanna stay here a little while?
          Don't you wanna hold each other tight?
          Don't you wanna fall asleep with me tonight?
          Don't you wanna stay here a little while?
          We can make forever feel this way
          Don't you wanna stay?

          A powerful country duet, Jason Aldean, a decent enough singer in his own right, sets the stage for the original Idol queen to just...roar. I mean, any time you go up against Kelly Clarkson in a vocal match-up, you're gonna be fighting a losing fight, but this really becomes Kelly's song. The way she communicates the intensity of the deceptively lightly phrased proposition is just incredible, and those belts really do resonate with my spirit. Kelly Clarkson has this quality in her voice where she manages to merge soul and country in a really potent way and she brings that in full force to "Don't You Wanna Stay". This was deservedly one of the biggest country hits of the decade.
          Code:
          Significance Rating: 2/20
          Year Released: 2011
          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 57
          217. Mika - Promiseland



          I was born in that summer when the sun didn't shine
          I was given the name that doesn't feel like it's mine
          Lived my life as the good boy I was told I should be
          Prayed every night to a religion that was chosen for me
          Sold my soul, broke my bones
          Tell me what did I get?
          Did my time, toed the line
          Ain't seen anything yet
          Strike me down to the ground
          You know I've seen it before
          Make it hurt I'll eat the dirt
          I just don't care anymore
          How could you break my heart?
          Already played my part
          I kept my promise, man
          Show me the promiseland
          Don't occupy my throne
          Give me the crown I own
          Lived like you told me how
          Look at me now
          I've got no money in my pocket
          And the whole world's bringing me down
          And the whole world's bringing me down

          If I based this song's rating on the first verse and chorus alone, this would've been a contender for the crown. A lot of LGBTQ+ folk are born into families that centre their lives around religion, and when you finally mature into your sexual orientation and find that the "promiseland" that you were raised to believe would be yours, you no longer have access to because of who you inherently are, that gives even the most reasonable person pause. It would incite slightly less reasonable folks to righteous indignation and the first part of this song captures that emotion in a way that no other song I've come across really has. So, to that end, parts of this song are of extreme significance for me...but after the first chorus ends, I'm no longer sure what in heavens Mika's talking about, so it loses a tonne of my support for the balance of its runtime.
          Code:
          Significance Rating: 2/20
          Year Released: 2015
          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 100
          216. Carly Rae Jepsen - Call Me Maybe



          Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy
          But here's my number, so call me maybe
          It's hard to look right at you, baby
          But here's my number, so call me maybe
          Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy
          But here's my number, so call me maybe
          And all the other boys try to chase me
          But here's my number, so call me maybe

          Prior to memes really becoming a thing, we had Carly Rae's low-pressure invitation to courtship in the 2012 global hit "Call Me Maybe". I can only imagine the field day Twitter (and TikTok and the like) would have if this song were released today, probably starting with completing the first line of the chorus with some ridiculous proposition. I remember people playfully picking apart its lyrics (you can't throw a "wish" into a well, how do you manage to miss someone before they came in to your life - I can rebut that; you miss the presence of a lover and meeting someone who can fill that role supplants that emptiness with the sparks of romance) and I very clearly recall being absolutely sure that Carly Rae would be a one-hit wonder (though I revised that prognostication to "one and a half hits" when "Good Life" picked up some steam on the charts). Little did I know that "Call Me Maybe" was merely the genesis... Oh, yes, the video is also hilarious, though CT certainly axed my appreciation for the male model in his decade-end wrap-up write-up for this track.
          Code:
          Significance Rating: 2/20
          Year Released: 2012
          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 144
          Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

          Comment


          • #95
            Woah Marry The Night is such a great Song by Gaga
            Personal Chart

            Comment


            • #96
              Originally posted by Phoenixx View Post
              Woah Marry The Night is such a great Song by Gaga
              Agreed!
              Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

              Comment


              • #97
                215. Rita Ora - I Will Never Let You Down



                When you say you've had enough
                And you might just give it up
                Oh, oh, I will never let you down
                When you're feeling low on love
                I'll be what you're dreaming of
                Oh, oh, I will never let you down
                Oh, oh, I will never let you down
                Oh, oh, I will never let you down

                The first solo Rita Ora song that really made me think she could be a top-tier pop artist, "I Will Never Let You Down" is a rather sparsely produced summer dance anthem. It's got this lightness in its melody that's such a perfect fit for the warm lyrics. The timing of this song's release started a trend of Rita having big solo jams in RiRi's off years, which I always thought was interesting (and suspicious) considering the parallels between the two.
                Code:
                Significance Rating: 2/20
                Year Released: 2014
                Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(5)
                Plays Since 1/1/2012: 236
                214. Bruno Mars - Runaway Baby



                Well, let me think, let me think
                Ah, what should I do?
                So many eager young bunnies that I'd like to pursue
                Now even though they eating out the palm of my hand
                There's only one carrot and they all gotta share it

                This uptempo pop number, with delicious funk influences, has long been my top 'Doo-Wops & Hooligans' track. It's so much fun and it's got some clever sexual elements (love the euphemistic carrot lyric and the fan compilations of his "carrot dances" are worth a watch). As far as player anthems go, this is a pretty considerate one. I always wondered how it would have fared as a single.
                Code:
                Significance Rating: 2/20
                Year Released: 2010
                Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #2
                Plays Since 1/1/2012: 76
                213. P!nk - Blow Me (One Last Kiss)



                I think I finally had enough
                I think I maybe think too much
                I think this might be it for us
                Blow me one last kiss
                You think I'm just too serious
                I think you're full of shit
                My head is spinning so
                Blow me one last kiss
                Just when it can't get worse
                I've had a shit day
                Have you had a shit day?
                We've had a shit day
                I think that life's too short for this
                I want back my ignorance and bliss
                I think I've had enough of this
                Blow me one last kiss

                I've long had short patience for people's BS so when this song premiered in the summer of July, I was on-board with the sheer irritation expressed in amply amplified fashion on the chorus. I love the titling of the track, too - it's quite smart, having the "one last kiss" bit in parentheses creating a fun double entendre. This is the kind of pop song (with the rock edge and attitude) that Avril and P!nk do best.
                Code:
                Significance Rating: 2/20
                Year Released: 2012
                Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
                Plays Since 1/1/2012: 303
                212. Jason Mraz - Have It All



                May you have auspiciousness and causes of success
                May you have the confidence to always do your best
                May you take no effort in your being generous
                Sharing what you can, nothing more nothing less
                May you know the meaning of the word happiness
                May you always lead from the beating in your chest
                May you be treated like an esteemed guest
                May you get to rest, may you catch your breath
                And may the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows
                And may the road less paved be the road that you follow

                From one end of the break-up vibe spectrum to the other, "Have It All" is a peaceful, diplomatic farewell ode to a relationship that perhaps languished to its end, absent of an explosive incident that led to a crash-and-burn wreck. There's a complete absence of animosity - there's just love, positive energy, and tonnes and tonnes of good wishes enclosed in this folk-pop love letter. I love the spirit of this song as it's not the default theme for break-up songs, and I think this is usually the view I have of friendships that tend to fade away naturally over time. Jason's songwriting is as clever and infectious as ever, and I'm disappointed that this wasn't a huge hit for him as it's right up there with his "I'm Yours" best.
                Code:
                Significance Rating: 2/20
                Year Released: 2018
                Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                Plays Since 1/1/2012: 105
                211. Chris Brown - Drunk Texting (feat. Jhené Aiko)



                I'm lookin' at my phone thinkin'
                "Am I gonna hit send or nah?"
                It's gonna be one of them mornings when I wake up and regret it
                If I don't get no reply
                I don't wanna make it obvious that I'm faded, faded, faded off a drink or two
                And you know how it goes, this ain't nothin' new
                Why's it always happen when I get this way?
                No, I just can't stop myself
                So baby, tonight (Yeah)
                I'm blowin' up your line (Oh yeah)
                I got you on my mind
                And the truth is hard to fight
                So I'll be (I'll be)
                I'll be drunk texting, drunk texting, drunk texting you (Hey)
                Drunk texting, drunk texting you
                Yeah, baby, I'll be drunk texting, drunk texting, drunk texting you (Girl, I'm drunk textin')
                Drunk texting, drunk texting you (Oh-oh)

                For as many singles as Chris Brown releases every month, the decision to leave this gem as an album track is one of his biggest eyebrow-raising professional moves. The decision to have both Chris and Jhené sing the bulk of this song together was an interesting move that creates this cool double-layered vocal effect that works brilliantly in the context of "drunk texting", and the production is just so clean! Their voices mesh perfectly and that petty final lyric is everything to me. This would've ruled R&B airwaves with an official release as it's one of his most accessible songs.
                Code:
                Significance Rating: 2/20
                Year Released: 2014
                Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                Plays Since 1/1/2012: 112
                Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

                Comment


                • #98
                  Of the last ones I love "I Will Never Let You Down". One of my favourite tracks of 2014.
                  Personal Chart

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    I absolutely love 'I Will Never Let You Down'. It's Calvin Harris at his very best. What a shame that the break-up with Rita prevented them from recording more music together.
                    My YouTube Channel - The best songs of the 80s, 90s and 2000s

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Phoenixx View Post
                      Of the last ones I love "I Will Never Let You Down". One of my favourite tracks of 2014.
                      Originally posted by Benny View Post
                      I absolutely love 'I Will Never Let You Down'. It's Calvin Harris at his very best. What a shame that the break-up with Rita prevented them from recording more music together.
                      Great to see all the love for "I Will Never Let You Down". It was actually my #7 song of 2014. It's grown off of me a bit.
                      Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

                      Comment


                      • 210. Lana Del Rey - High by the Beach



                        Boy, look at you, lookin' at me
                        I know you don't understand
                        You could be a bad motherf**ker
                        But that don't make you a man
                        Lights, camera, acción

                        Mesmerising melodies set the landscape and haunting layered vocals tell the story in "High by the Beach". There's so much tension and stress in the chorus, but it all breaks when that trance-worthy chorus comes in. Not much on 'Honeymoon' clicked with me, but this made an immediate impression and I've only grown to appreciate it more over the years. It's one of Lana's best-produced songs.
                        Code:
                        Significance Rating: 2/20
                        Year Released: 2015
                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                        Plays Since 1/1/2012: 99
                        209. Jess Glynne - Don't Be So Hard on Yourself



                        I came here with a broken heart that no one else could see
                        I drew a smile on my face to paper over me
                        But wounds heal when tears dry and cracks they don't show
                        So don't be so hard on yourself, no
                        Don't be so hard on yourself, no
                        Learn to forgive, learn to let go
                        Everyone trips, everyone falls
                        So don't be so hard on yourself, no
                        'Cause I'm just tired of marching on my own
                        Kind of frail, I feel it in my bones
                        Oh, let my heart, my heart turn into stone
                        So don't be so hard on yourself, no

                        2015 was such a stressful year for me that I grasped at whatever uplifting anthems I could find and when I discovered this synthpop anthem of self-kindness and patience through luckyONE's weekly chart, it was instant love. Interesting fact - it is, by some margin (a factor of seven, to be more precise) - my most-played solo Jess Glynne song.
                        Code:
                        Significance Rating: 2/20
                        Year Released: 2015
                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                        Plays Since 1/1/2012: 101
                        208. P!nk - Courage



                        I'm walking uphill both ways, it hurts
                        I bury my heart here in this dirt
                        I hope it's a seed, I hope it works
                        I need to grow, here I could be
                        Closer to light, closer to me
                        I don't have to do this perfectly

                        From one empowerment anthem to another, the lyric in "Courage" that resonates deepest with me is "I don't have to do this perfectly". I can be such a control freak that if I'm not sure I can accomplish something perfectly, I struggle finding the right place to start, and the anxiety and procrastination often compound to make the situation even more stressful and challenging. The message here of taking a journey one step at a time is one that I would do well to remember, and me playing this 250+ times was me trying to make the message stick. This is one of my go-to songs when work stresses me out. The song's got a pristine production and gorgeous falsetto moments from P!nk.
                        Code:
                        Significance Rating: 2/20
                        Year Released: 2019
                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(5)
                        Plays Since 1/1/2012: 255
                        207. Janelle Monáe - Cold War



                        I'm trying to find my peace
                        I was made to believe there's something wrong with me
                        And it hurts my heart
                        Lord have mercy, ain't it plain to see?
                        But this is a cold war
                        Do you know what you're fighting for?
                        This is a cold war
                        You better know what you're fighting for

                        Armed with an infectious funk-R&B melody, "Cold War" speaks to the stubbornness of staying authentically yourself in a world where perhaps your authentic self may not be valued the same way as others'. There are some pretty heavy-hitting lines here, the heaviest of which is "I was made to believe there's something wrong with me", which invites a frame of subtext with which I can wholly relate. This is my most-played Janelle song.
                        Code:
                        Significance Rating: 2/20
                        Year Released: 2010
                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(5)
                        Plays Since 1/1/2012: 114
                        206. Michela - Chameleon



                        Give me water, I'm a swimmer
                        Give me fire, I'm a fighter

                        The fourth empowerment anthem in a row - thematically, it's obvious what I'm drawn to in my music - "Chameleon" is an exquisitely produced ESC gem that lacks nothing in quirky pop firepower. The protagonist declares here that she's an adaptable warrior - give her water, she'll swim; give her fire, she'll fight through it - and I love that all-conquering, confident attitude. I definitely tapped into the spirit of this song during my big move last year, when there were a million and one things to do in such a ridiculously short space of time. I referenced this timestamp in my year-end countdown, but that final blast that happens at 2:38 is pure pop magic.
                        Code:
                        Significance Rating: 2/20
                        Year Released: 2019
                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(4)
                        Plays Since 1/1/2012: 127
                        Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

                        Comment


                        • 205. Lana Del Rey - F**k It, I Love You



                          So I moved to California‚ but it's just a state of mind
                          It  turns out everywhere you go‚ you take yourself‚ that's not a lie

                          The dreamy, introspective highlight of what should have been the Grammy album of the year winner, "F**k It, I Love You" is a simple but beautiful piece from Lana. I love Lana's delivery. It's got a great mixture of pace in the phrasing and that lyric about taking yourself everywhere you go connected with me on a level that few of her lines have. She's got some great falsetto highlights on this as well, particularly on the chorus.
                          Code:
                          Significance Rating: 2/20
                          Year Released: 2019
                          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
                          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 132
                          204. Little Mix - DNA



                          No scientist or biology, it's obvious, when he's holding me
                          It's only natural that I'm so affected
                          Oh, oh, oh, and my heart won't beat again
                          If I can't feel him in my veins
                          No need to question, I already know
                          It's in his DNA, D-D-D-DNA, it's in his DNA
                          And he just takes my breath away, bre-bre-bre-breath away, I feel it every day
                          And that's what makes a man, not hard to understand
                          Perfect in every way, I see it in his face, nothing more to say, it's in his D-D-D-D-DNA

                          Big, punchy power pop from the vocal crème de la crème among girl groups in the 2010s, "DNA" makes an immediate impression with its engulfing production, gorgeous harmonies, catchy breakdown chorus moments, and that angelic choir insert towards the end. I thought it was quality futuristic pop when it premiered and it's aged well over the years.
                          Code:
                          Significance Rating: 2/20
                          Year Released: 2012
                          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #2
                          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 64
                          203. Demi Lovato - Body Say



                          You can touch me with slow hands
                          Speed it up, baby, make me sweat
                          Dreamland, take me there cause I want your sex
                          If my body had a say, I wouldn't turn away
                          Touch, make love, taste you
                          If my body told the truth, baby I would do
                          Just what I want to

                          I said earlier in this countdown that big ballads à la "Give Your Heart a Break" are in Demi's wheelhouse, but on "Body Say", she serves breathy sex appeal with equal gusto. The way she rides certain lines in the chorus, slowing them down for emphasis, works wonders to the extent that I even grew to love Niall Horan's "Slow Hands" because I was so enamoured with Demi's "slow hands" lyric. My singular criticism is that I feel like she could've taken this even further - the song is set up in the vein of sexual tension and it never truly breaks - but there's another mid-tempo stunner she's done higher up that did what "Body Say" didn't.
                          Code:
                          Significance Rating: 2/20
                          Year Released: 2016
                          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 82
                          202. Common & John Legend - Glory



                          True and livin' livin' in us, resistance is us
                          That's why Rosa sat on the bus
                          That's why we walk through Ferguson with our hands up
                          When it go down we woman and man up
                          They say, "Stay down", and we stand up
                          Shots, we on the ground, the camera panned up
                          King pointed to the mountain top and we ran up
                          One day when the glory comes
                          It will be ours, it will be ours
                          One day when the war is won
                          We will be sure, we will be sure
                          Oh glory (glory, glory)
                          Ohh (glory, glory)

                          Listening to this song frustrates me and it has nothing to do with the quality of the track. Common's spoken word verses are inspiring and powerful. John's chorus is uplifting and hopeful. The track is buoyed on the crests of this wave of belief of being just on the brink of triumph, but so many news stories have surfaced since its release that suggest that we are so far off from "glory". It's a rather bleak statement to make, but I don't think I'll live to see the day "when the war is won", and it's a shame. The fact that racism exists and is perpetrated in such vicious, ugly, unconscionably vile ways breaks my heart, but "Glory" encourages me to not let it break my spirit. The struggle continues and we must fight on.
                          Code:
                          Significance Rating: 2/20
                          Year Released: 2014
                          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(4)
                          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 87
                          201. Bruno Mars - Finesse



                          When I'm walkin' with you
                          I watch the whole room change
                          Baby, that's what you do
                          No my baby don't play
                          Blame it on my confidence
                          Oh, blame it on your measurements
                          Shut that shit down on sight
                          That's right
                          We out here drippin' in finesse
                          It don't make no sense
                          Out here drippin' in finesse
                          You know it, you know it
                          We out here drippin' in finesse
                          It don't make no sense
                          Out here drippin' in finesse
                          You know it, you know it

                          I knew this song was a hit the first time I listened to '24K Magic'. It was my clear standout early on and I was excited for it to become the summer smash I knew it could be. The Cardi B remix is good, but this song is best in its original form with a solo Bruno delivery. That finesse-sense punch is so lethal and the retro jackswing production modernized by contemporary R&B/pop beats so deliciously catchy - this is a prime steak rib and I always find myself coming back for another bite.
                          Code:
                          Significance Rating: 2/20
                          Year Released: 2018
                          Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                          Plays Since 1/1/2012: 153
                          Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

                          Comment


                          • 200. Ariana Grande - Best Mistake (feat. Big Sean)



                            I guess time's wasting
                            Tick-tocking, lip locking
                            How can we keep the feelings fresh?
                            How do we zip lock it?
                            Wear your heart up on your sleeve
                            So watch out for pickpockets
                            I guess to go the distance we might need to pit stop it
                            Hold up, I know love can be a beach with no shore
                            I done count to ten, lost my temper and went back to four
                            I know sometimes it's hard to realize I'm the man that you need
                            I had a dream we branched out, started a family tree, huh
                            And I feel like that everything we do is overdue
                            You asked why I love your mom so much, 'cause she's a older you

                            Ari's voice shines on these soft, mellow ballads, but it's Big Sean who actually has the best verse here. I love the "pit stop" line. This would've actually been a great single choice as the back and forth of the lovers in the song is something that a lot of people can relate to, and the chill vibe would've certainly resonated with R&B lovers. Not sure why Ari and the label passed on it.
                            Code:
                            Significance Rating: 2/20
                            Year Released: 2014
                            Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                            Plays Since 1/1/2012: 108
                            199. Kylie Minogue - Timebomb



                            Tell me now, woo
                            Do you wanna, wanna, wanna, woo
                            I wanna, wanna dance like it was the last dance of my life
                            I wanna woo, wanna, wanna, wanna, wanna, woo
                            Do you wanna, wanna dance, like it was the last dance

                            The best pop artists have this knack of taking really simple lines and transforming them into the most addictive hooks, and the "Do you wanna, wanna" hook on "Timebomb" is dance-pop gold. It's so playful and flirtatious and fun! The video for this is really simple, but I actually like it quite a bit. Kylie looks every bit the ageless goddess she is in it! "Timebomb" was such a fitting song to celebrate Kylie's 25th anniversary in the business as the natural charm that underscores so many of her biggest successes is present here.
                            Code:
                            Significance Rating: 2/20
                            Year Released: 2012
                            Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
                            Plays Since 1/1/2012: 189
                            198. Kanye West - All of the Lights (feat. Rihanna)



                            Something wrong, I hold my head
                            MJ gone, our nigga dead

                            "All of the Lights" actually features vocal contributions from a million and one artists including, but not limited to, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Fergie, Elton John, and Drake, but the most relevant (and only credited vocal) is from Rihanna. This is a quintessential Kanye song at the end of the day, though. The production is brilliant - a big marching band-esque kind of melody with drums, bass, piano, and some incredible horns. Kanye's bars are pretty decent, too.
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                            Significance Rating: 2/20
                            Year Released: 2010
                            Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                            Plays Since 1/1/2012: 67
                            197. Years & Years - Sanctify



                            So don't break (Break)
                            Sanctify my body with pain (Pain)
                            Sanctify the love that you crave (Crave)
                            Oh, and I won't, and I won't, and I won't be ashamed
                            Sanctify my sins when I pray
                            When I pray

                            Dark melodrama, covert and passionate love, an appeal for emotional vulnerability, all elements backdropped against this intense synthpop groove that coils around the lyrics like a Basilisk, "Sanctify" was an incredible lead-off for Y&Y's 'Palo Santo' LP. I love this as much as the GP and most pop fans love "King".
                            Code:
                            Significance Rating: 2/20
                            Year Released: 2018
                            Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(6)
                            Plays Since 1/1/2012: 161
                            196. Taylor Swift - All You Had to Do Was Stay



                            Here you are now, calling me up
                            But I don't know what to say
                            I've been picking up the pieces
                            Of the mess you made
                            People like you always want back
                            The love they pushed aside
                            But people like me are gone forever
                            When you say goodbye

                            My early '1989' favourite, "All You Had to Do Was Stay" was straightforward songwriting excellence from the love song queen of the 2010s. The way that "Stay!" is punctuated by this distorted break is such a simple production choice that really drives home the emotion in this track. Honestly, this song gives me a nasty case of the feels when I play it. It's classic Taylor and I really think it should've been a single.
                            Code:
                            Significance Rating: 2/20
                            Year Released: 2014
                            Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(4)
                            Plays Since 1/1/2012: 176
                            Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

                            Comment


                            • High By The Beach is a masterpiece from Lana
                              And All Of The Lights is one of my favourite tracks of the early decade!
                              Personal Chart

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Phoenixx View Post
                                High By The Beach is a masterpiece from Lana
                                And All Of The Lights is one of my favourite tracks of the early decade!
                                My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was such a great era for Kanye!
                                Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

                                Comment


                                • 195. Kelly Clarkson - Love So Soft



                                  Love so soft, you ain't had nothin' softer
                                  Break it, then you buy it, and it sure gonna cost ya
                                  Love so soft that you can't rub off
                                  You gon' love it, if you try it
                                  Got you hooked, now you're caught up
                                  Love so soft, so soft (so soft)
                                  Love so soft, so soft (so soft)

                                  It only took 15 years, but on her 'Meaning of Life' LP, Kelly Clarkson finally took the soul-pop route so many of her ardent fans from Idol knew she had the vocal chops to pull off. And it's not just vocally where KC slays here, but that natural spunk that makes her so charming is brought in full spades to this funk-pop affair. The beat drops and runs make for a truly exciting track.
                                  Code:
                                  Significance Rating: 2/20
                                  Year Released: 2017
                                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                  Plays Since 1/1/2012: 120
                                  194. Rihanna - FourFiveSeconds (feat. Kanye West & Paul McCartney)



                                  I think I've had enough

                                  Sonically, this hipster folk-pop sound is not something I ever expected to hear from RiRi, but, lyrically, she spoke to the very fibre of my being with that first line. I remember being so confused by this track. A good chunk of its plays came from sheer shock and disbelief that my favourite pop megastar of the new millennium was leading off her album campaign with this incredibly left-of-centre pick. Of course, she'd surprised me before with "Russian Roulette" and "Diamonds", but this was even more bizarre. Even the featured picks - Kanye West and Paul McCartney - look absolutely ludicrous on paper. I said all of that to conclude that somehow, as she usually does, RiRi made this work. It's simple, therapeutic, and sticks out like a thumb in her discography. I'm glad she recorded this.
                                  Code:
                                  Significance Rating: 2/20
                                  Year Released: 2015
                                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(8)
                                  Plays Since 1/1/2012: 311
                                  193. Beyoncé - Why Don't You Love Me?



                                  I got beauty, I got heart
                                  Keep my head in them books, I'm sharp
                                  But you don't care to know I'm smart
                                  Now, now now now now now now
                                  I got moves in your bedroom
                                  Keep you happy with the nasty things I do
                                  But you don't seem to be in tune, ooh...
                                  Maybe you're just not the one
                                  Or maybe you're just plain dumb

                                  A case could be made for "Why Don't You Love Me?" being Beyoncé's most underrated single. Its relatability score is off the charts for me. The way Bey lists out her credentials and inquires as to why she can be all of these incredible things and not be worthy of love and appreciation in the eyes of her partner is as confusing for Bey here as it's been for me with dating and general socialisation with other people. I thoroughly approve of her conclusion, too, and would definitely copy/paste that to the bulk of my situations. The video is criminally underheralded. Bey gets a rap for being this robotic glamazon that sings flawlessly and dances perfectly without showing any real sense of humanity, but she's quirky, funny, and charming in the video for this, and I love it! This should've been a massive chart-topper.
                                  Code:
                                  Significance Rating: 2/20
                                  Year Released: 2010
                                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                  Plays Since 1/1/2012: 62
                                  192. P!nk - Timebomb



                                  I don't want to be precious
                                  I don't want to feel stress
                                  Life is for the living
                                  But not a living hell
                                  So take it
                                  Take this
                                  Oh, you can have all of me
                                  Take it
                                  Take this
                                  Here, you can have everything
                                  I don't want to be flawless
                                  When I go I want the cuts to show
                                  So take it
                                  Take this
                                  Oh, you can have all of me
                                  Break it
                                  Take it
                                  Oh, f**k it, have everything!
                                  It's only love, give it away
                                  (It's only love)
                                  You'll probably get it back again
                                  (It's only love)
                                  It's simple, it's a silly thing
                                  Throw it away like a boomerang
                                  I wish we all could lighten up
                                  It's only love, not a timebomb

                                  Who does frustrated pop better than P!nk? No one, that's who! The fragility that underpins so many of our closest relationships is the subject here, and the way P!nk likens that to a ticking timebomb isn't novel, but the way she delivers it is special. The production is great, but it's that raw emotion that she summons that does it for me. When she reaches that explosive, "F**k it, have everything" climax, I'm right there with her.
                                  Code:
                                  Significance Rating: 2/20
                                  Year Released: 2012
                                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                                  Plays Since 1/1/2012: 139
                                  191. Britney Spears - Man on the Moon



                                  Patience, darling, wait for the night

                                  My top 'Glory' track, "Man on the Moon" is widely considered to be the "Oops!" sequel, where we see a wiser, this time lovelorn Britney, wistfully reviewing memories of her ex, turning them tearfully like they're pages of a sad romance novel, and feeling deeply regretful about the callous way with which she handled a love so precious and pure. The imagery conjured by "man on the moon" makes it clear that the odds that her past love will return are pretty slim, but she seems committed to sticking it out. Personally, I love this song because of the breeziness that accompanies that first line of the chorus: "Patience, darling..." a logical message of caution to the impulsive, natural desire to rush and be anxious for love, perhaps trying to make love fit into boxes and places where it simply does not fit. I love the way Britney draws out "moon" on the chorus. She coos it and the atmospheric production lifts it almost as if it's trying to transmit the message to outer space.
                                  Code:
                                  Significance Rating: 2/20
                                  Year Released: 2016
                                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
                                  Plays Since 1/1/2012: 155
                                  Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

                                  Comment


                                  • 190. Florence + the Machine - Only If for a Night



                                    And I heard your voice as clear as day
                                    And you told me I should concentrate
                                    It was all so strange and so surreal
                                    That a ghost should be so practical
                                    Only if for a night
                                    And the only solution was to stand and fight
                                    And my body was bruised and I was set alight
                                    But you came over me like some holy rite
                                    And although I was burning, you're the only light
                                    Only if for a night

                                    'Ceremonials' is such a celestially-produced LP that I pretty much adore the melodies on all of its tracks, but the songs that really stand out are the ones with the outstanding lyrical and vocal moments. "Only If for a Night" reads like a beautiful, emotional poem, and Florence showcases excellent range on the track. The song is actually about her grandmother, who passed away when Florence was 11, appearing to her in a dream and giving her advice and comfort. Florence then takes that narrative and extrapolates it to an interesting Joan of Arc imagery in the chorus, but the core of the song's message is widely accessible - desiring so desperately to have one last tangible moment with a lost loved one. As Mika does so expertly, I love how such a sombre theme is paired with such an uplifting melody. It's a juxtaposition that always works for me.
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                                    Significance Rating: 2/20
                                    Year Released: 2012
                                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 72
                                    189. Mariah Carey - With You



                                    It was all so overwhelming
                                    She was like, "I don't know, don't tell me"
                                    He had eyes that said, "Girl, I'll save you"
                                    She had doubts, like they might not make it
                                    So they both held tight to face it
                                    There were vows, she was bound to take 'em
                                    She was full of such trepidation
                                    There in front of the whole damn nation
                                    It was war, can't predict the comin' storm
                                    Promise that you'll keep me warm
                                    I don't wanna play this wrong
                                    He said, "Yo, I've been lovin' you so long
                                    Ever since that Bone Thugs song
                                    You ain't gotta break down, you're too strong"

                                    It never ceases to amaze me the damage MC can do with a ballad. Her pen game has always been sickening, and the way she delivers the stories in her songs is so natural. She does so with the cadence of a professional, dutifully wrapping each lyric with the appropriate degree of melismatic emotion. In "With You", she recounts the deep uncertainty that accompanies a relationship. It's overwhelming. It's stormy. It's riddled with errors. But it's worth the leap we all take when we entrust our heart to another.
                                    Code:
                                    Significance Rating: 2/20
                                    Year Released: 2018
                                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(9)
                                    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 328
                                    188. Carly Rae Jepsen - Making the Most of the Night



                                    I know you've had a rough time
                                    But here I come to hijack you, hijack you
                                    I'll love you while
                                    Making the most of the night
                                    I know you've had a rough time
                                    But here I come I'mma hijack you, hijack you
                                    I'll love you while
                                    We're making the most of the night
                                    I know you've had a rough time
                                    But here I come to hijack you, hijack you
                                    I'll love you while
                                    Making the most of the night
                                    I know you've had a rough time
                                    But here I come I'mma hijack you, hijack you
                                    I'll love you while
                                    We're making the most of the night

                                    This track is a warm, empathetic synthpop hug. I just love its effervescence and sleekness. Here, Carly Rae reaches out a hand to a friend who's stuck in the dumps and whisks said friend away from the heaviness of his or her circumstances with a fun night out to release all that accumulated tension and stress. I'm grateful to have had people play that Carly role when my life got especially bleak, and when they couldn't be there, there was music! Feels aside, this is a sick pop anthem, and I wish it could've gotten the single treatment and become a huge hit. Her 'E•MO•TION' LP is littered with supreme bops and this isn't even the best of them!
                                    Code:
                                    Significance Rating: 2/20
                                    Year Released: 2015
                                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 155
                                    187. B.o.B. - Airplanes (feat. Hayley Williams)



                                    Can we pretend that airplanes
                                    In the night sky are like shooting stars?
                                    I could really use a wish right now
                                    Wish right now, wish right now
                                    Can we pretend that airplanes
                                    In the night sky are like shooting stars?
                                    I could really use a wish right now
                                    Wish right now, wish right now

                                    I actually discovered my favourite YouTuber, Kingsley, through his hilarious Overexposed: Airplanes video. Even though his rant was largely satirical, I could understand the annoyance as this song was truly inescapable the summer of 2010! Despite "OMG" blocking it from the top spot in the US, "Airplanes" actually outranked "Nothin' on You" on both the 2010 year-end and 2010s decade-end charts. (Interestingly enough, "OMG" also edged out "Airplanes" from the 2010 year-end top 5, finishing fifth to Airplanes's sixth). The secret weapon here is that incredible chorus from Hayley. B.o.B. does a great job carrying the verses, but Hayley creates an earworm hook with that chorus. For a single that's a mere second over the three-minute mark, I always found it to be a complete song. It never felt that short, which is a good thing. Back then, the big hits weren't lazily written. Despite not caring for it initially, the Eminem remix has grown on me over the years to the point where I like it almost as much as the original.
                                    Code:
                                    Significance Rating: 2/20
                                    Year Released: 2010
                                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                                    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 44
                                    186. Zayn & Taylor Swift - I Don't Wanna Live Forever



                                    I'm sitting eyes wide open and I got one thing stuck in my mind
                                    Wondering if I dodged a bullet or just lost the love of my life

                                    I know Lorde's got the album title, but can anyone legitimately challenge Taylor Swift for that melodrama queen title? "Wondering if I dodged a bullet or just lost the love of my life" - that line hits me like a tonne of bricks because it really feels like that in the high-stakes game of love we play. Zayn and Taylor's voices blend beautifully on this. Zayn's always had his ace falsetto moments over the years with 1D, but T-Swizzle goes toe to toe with him. The falsetto parts are lovely, but those "woah oh oh oh oh oh" parts that punctuate each line in the chorus are sublime pop excellence.
                                    Code:
                                    Significance Rating: 2/20
                                    Year Released: 2017
                                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
                                    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 150
                                    Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post

                                      My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was such a great era for Kanye!
                                      Oh yes!
                                      Personal Chart

                                      Comment


                                      • FourFiveSeconds and I Don't Wanna Live Forever are nice Songs. But Airplanes is still one of my favourite Tracks out of 2010. Could probably be my #01 of that year!
                                        Personal Chart

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by Phoenixx View Post
                                          FourFiveSeconds and I Don't Wanna Live Forever are nice Songs. But Airplanes is still one of my favourite Tracks out of 2010. Could probably be my #01 of that year!
                                          Ah, "Airplanes" would've been a great year-end #1. We're still a 100+ places away from my 2010 year-end chart-topper...which may or may not be the top track from that year on this countdown.
                                          Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

                                          Comment


                                          • 185. Harry Styles - Sign of the Times



                                            Just stop your crying, it's a sign of the times
                                            Welcome to the final show
                                            Hope you're wearing your best clothes
                                            You can't bribe the door on your way to the sky
                                            You look pretty good down here
                                            But you ain't really good
                                            We never learn, we been here before
                                            Why are we always stuck and running from
                                            The bullets? The bullets?
                                            We never learn, we been here before
                                            Why are we always stuck and running from
                                            The bullets? The bullets?
                                            Just stop your crying, it's a sign of the times
                                            We gotta get away from here
                                            We gotta get away from here
                                            Just stop your crying, it'll be alright
                                            They told me that the end is near
                                            We gotta get away from here

                                            I had high expectations for Harry's solo debut and he met each one with "Sign of the Times". 20 seconds shy of six minutes, it's a fully fleshed out track, with great lyricism that meshed with how so much of the world was feeling in 2017, and a classic, atmospheric, pop/rock-driven production. The Harry Potter-esque visual was the icing on the cake for me.
                                            Code:
                                            Significance Rating: 2/20
                                            Year Released: 2017
                                            Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                            Plays Since 1/1/2012: 113
                                            184. Taylor Swift - New Romantics



                                            We're all bored, we're all so tired of everything
                                            We wait for trains that just aren't coming
                                            We show off our different scarlet letters
                                            Trust me, mine is better
                                            We're so young, but we're on the road to ruin
                                            We play dumb, but we know exactly what we're doing
                                            We cry tears of mascara in the bathroom
                                            Honey, life is just a classroom
                                            (Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah)
                                            'Cause baby, I could build a castle
                                            Out of all the bricks they threw at me
                                            And every day is like a battle
                                            But every night with us is like a dream
                                            Baby, we're the new romantics
                                            Come on, come along with me
                                            Heartbreak is the national anthem
                                            We sing it proudly
                                            We are too busy dancing to get knocked off our feet
                                            Baby, we're the new romantics
                                            The best people in life are free

                                            Taylor's dry delivery in the verses as she expounds in monotone fashion on just how cavalierly millennials view and treat romantic relationships is brilliant, as is that explosion of pop ecstasy in the chorus. At one point, this was my '1989' fave, almost entirely based on the theme alone.
                                            Code:
                                            Significance Rating: 2/20
                                            Year Released: 2016
                                            Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                                            Plays Since 1/1/2012: 183
                                            183. Pharrell Williams - Happy



                                            (Because I'm happy)
                                            Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
                                            (Because I'm happy)
                                            Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
                                            (Because I'm happy)
                                            Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
                                            (Because I'm happy)
                                            Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do

                                            The biggest global smash of 2014 by a considerable margin, I'm sure many people have grown weary of this song by now, but that simple handclap beat and bouncy, drawn out final syllable in the chorus is still a winning combination for me six years later. I love breezy, light, summery jams like this one.
                                            Code:
                                            Significance Rating: 2/20
                                            Year Released: 2014
                                            Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(5)
                                            Plays Since 1/1/2012: 209
                                            182. Kacey Musgraves - Happy & Sad



                                            And I'm the kind of person who starts getting kinda nervous
                                            When I'm having the time of my life
                                            I don't mind at all, no, I'm used to fallin'
                                            I'm comfortable when the sky is gray
                                            But when everything is perfect, I start hidin'
                                            'Cause I know that rain is comin' my way, my way
                                            'Cause I'm happy and sad at the same time
                                            You got me smilin' with tears in my eyes
                                            I never felt so high
                                            No, never been this far off of the ground
                                            And they say everything that goes up, goes up must come down
                                            And I don't wanna come down
                                            No, I don't wanna come down

                                            Whereas Pharrell's "Happy" is uninhibited joy, there's a reluctance and reservation in Kacey's "Happy & Sad" to really embrace her moments of euphoria, for fear that the rug will be swept from under her feet and she'll be returned to her melancholy state. Honestly, this song resonates so much with me, as the narrative here has unfortunately been my experience with joy the last eight years or so, suspicious of it and ever-conscious of its finite duration.
                                            Code:
                                            Significance Rating: 2/20
                                            Year Released: 2018
                                            Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                            Plays Since 1/1/2012: 53
                                            181. Yuna - Crush (feat. Usher)



                                            I see you arriving in your car, hey
                                            Jet black Mercedes, built in the 70s
                                            Classic like you and me
                                            I'll be coming down, down, down
                                            Down, down, down, down, down, down
                                            I'll be coming down, down, down
                                            Down, down, down, down, down, down

                                            I tend to use the descriptor "lush" to describe my favourite R&B songs and that's the adjective I'm driven to go with for "Crush". The vocals from both parties are just gorgeous, the lyrics aflutter with that doe-eyed kind of puppy love that we all know, the production so velvety smooth. Years ago, abi introduced me to this and I've loved it ever since.
                                            Code:
                                            Significance Rating: 2/20
                                            Year Released: 2016
                                            Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                                            Plays Since 1/1/2012: 93
                                            Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

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                                            • Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post

                                              Ah, "Airplanes" would've been a great year-end #1. We're still a 100+ places away from my 2010 year-end chart-topper...which may or may not be the top track from that year on this countdown.
                                              Lol

                                              I like New Romantics and Happy from the newest batch!
                                              I came early into Happy but after six months (felt like two years) it annoyed me. Now it's just a "okay" Song for me.
                                              Personal Chart

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                                              • Originally posted by Phoenixx View Post
                                                I like New Romantics and Happy from the newest batch!
                                                I came early into Happy but after six months (felt like two years) it annoyed me. Now it's just a "okay" Song for me.
                                                I don't really pay attention to radio, so I never grew weary of "Happy".
                                                Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

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                                                • 180. Janelle Monáe - Americans



                                                  War is old, so is sex, let's play God, you go next
                                                  Hands go up, men go down, try my luck, stand my ground
                                                  Die in church, live in jail say her name, twice in hell
                                                  Uncle Sam kissed a man, Jim Crow Jesus rose again
                                                  I like my woman in the kitchen
                                                  I teach my children superstitions
                                                  I keep my two guns on my blue nightstand
                                                  A pretty young thang, she can wash my clothes
                                                  But she'll never ever wear my pants
                                                  I pledge allegiance to the flag
                                                  Learned the words from my mom and dad
                                                  Cross my heart and I hope to die
                                                  With a big old piece of American pie
                                                  Love me, baby, love me for who I am
                                                  Fallen angels, singing "Clap your hands"
                                                  Don't try to take my country, I will defend my land
                                                  I'm not crazy, baby, naw, I'm American
                                                  I'm American, I'm American, I'm American

                                                  I was tempted to copy/paste the entire set of lyrics as the highlight because I truly love each line. The highest-ranking Janelle Monáe song and the top track from my favourite LP of 2018, "Americans" slots in as the 14th and final 'Dirty Computer' piece on the tracklist and ties the theme of the record in a succinct bow. Here, Janelle challenges what America is and firmly declares that she's American despite the double standards, racism, sexism, and homophobia of which she, a queer Black woman, is a direct victim. The tone here is hopeful, and if she as a treble minority can extract such hope from her experiences, it makes me feel a bit better about America's chances of possibly becoming the free land that Janelle envisions on "Americans".
                                                  Code:
                                                  Significance Rating: 2/20
                                                  Year Released: 2018
                                                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
                                                  Plays Since 1/1/2012: 88
                                                  179. Zayn - Pillowtalk



                                                  So we'll piss off the neighbours
                                                  In the place that feels the tears
                                                  The place to lose your fears
                                                  Yeah, reckless behavior
                                                  A place that is so pure, so dirty and raw
                                                  In the bed all day, bed all day, bed all day
                                                  F**king and fighting on
                                                  It's our paradise and it's our war zone
                                                  It's our paradise and it's our war zone

                                                  What a pleasant surprise for Zayn to storm out of the gates with this electro-R&B bedroom romp of a stunner. It's passionate, it's sexy, it's catchy, it ticks so many essential boxes really. It's the best song Zayn's done solo, but we will be seeing him one more time on the countdown, sans his 1D bandmates.
                                                  Code:
                                                  Significance Rating: 2/20
                                                  Year Released: 2016
                                                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                                                  Plays Since 1/1/2012: 162
                                                  178. Mariah Carey - Faded



                                                  It was overcast that day
                                                  And I was feeling some kind of way
                                                  I pulled the covers up over my head
                                                  Tried reaching for you, but that was then
                                                  I can’t forget
                                                  My heart's hung over but ain't nothing different
                                                  I close my eyes, nothing but faded pictures
                                                  Of you, of you...
                                                  Faded
                                                  Baby you’re faded
                                                  Baby you’re faded
                                                  Faded
                                                  You come and you go
                                                  You’re just an echo
                                                  A whisper in my ear, but in the morning you’re not here
                                                  So intangible, just like an echo
                                                  Faded, baby
                                                  You’re always somewhere but you’re not there for me
                                                  Not there for me, not there for me
                                                  You’re always somewhere but you’re not there for me
                                                  Not there for me, not there for me

                                                  My top 'Elusive Chanteuse' track, "Faded" opens with a brief intro where we get a glimpse of MC engaged in the creative process of penning the lyrics for it and I love that so many of the album's songs have those little whispered moments at the front end, as it really gives them a special touch - a sense of rawness and a belonging to the artist. Anyway, as for the finished product, I didn't take to this immediately. I'd considered the album my second-favourite of the year, all the while relegating "Faded" to 'okay' territory before another lamb convinced me to give it a few more plays and then the magic clicked. The way MC plants that "Always somewhere but you're not there for me" as an Easter egg throughout the track, only for the song to surge towards that lyric as its emotional apex towards the end was a brilliant move, but the general theme throughout of a lover not quite fulfilling his end of the relationship bargain definitely strikes a chord as, yet again, it's relatable subject matter. Considering the album's release preceded her divorce to ex-husband Nick Cannon, there was definitely an enormous level of self-injection Mimi did here.
                                                  Code:
                                                  Significance Rating: 2/20
                                                  Year Released: 2014
                                                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(4)
                                                  Plays Since 1/1/2012: 196
                                                  177. DNCE - Kissing Strangers (feat. Nicki Minaj)



                                                  Yo, yo, I got a boy that I kinda like
                                                  This is a kiss-kiss, tongue him down kind of night
                                                  He got that mmm, mmm, hard, got that China white
                                                  He got that bomb, I think I'ma call him dynamite
                                                  I gotta lotta sons, I could show you all the sonograms
                                                  Me? I’m Jem, and these bitches is the holograms
                                                  Me? I win, and these bitches just lose
                                                  They ship sink, but my ship, it just cruise
                                                  Anyway, I’m back, with my baby gat, gimme piggy back
                                                  Drip drip, where that kitty cat, put it in his lap
                                                  Sip sip on the tip tip, lick on his lip-lip
                                                  I think he's tryna hit young Nick like the quick pic

                                                  While everyone was bopping to "Cake by the Ocean", this was the DNCE song that really did it for me, and, yes, that's due in large part to Onika's rapid-fire rap verse. DNCE does lay the groundwork with an infectious hook and bubblegum-esque production, but the way Nicki surfs the pop waves here, she steals the show, as she often does with her features.
                                                  Code:
                                                  Significance Rating: 2/20
                                                  Year Released: 2017
                                                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
                                                  Plays Since 1/1/2012: 110
                                                  176. Florence + the Machine - How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful



                                                  Between a crucifix and the Hollywood sign, we decided to get hurt
                                                  Now there’s a few things we have to burn
                                                  Set our hearts ablaze, and every city was a gift
                                                  And every skyline was like a kiss upon the lips
                                                  And I was making you a wish
                                                  In every skyline
                                                  How big, how blue, how beautiful
                                                  How big, how blue, how beautiful

                                                  It's a hefty statement to make, but this is the best-produced Florence + the Machine track. It's euphoria audiofied. The brass instrumentation that takes the song over the finish line is pure magic. I'm very big on vocals and lyrics, but this is just one of those songs where it's the melody first and everything else second.
                                                  Code:
                                                  Significance Rating: 2/20
                                                  Year Released: 2015
                                                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                                  Plays Since 1/1/2012: 90
                                                  Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

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                                                  • 175. LP - Lost on You



                                                    Let's raise a glass or two
                                                    To all the things I've lost on you
                                                    Tell me are they lost on you?
                                                    Just that you could cut me loose
                                                    After everything I've lost on you
                                                    Is that lost on you?
                                                    Is that lost on you?
                                                    Baby, is that lost on you
                                                    Is that lost on you?

                                                    With a rather humble guitar string backing, "Lost on You" is a sombre toast to a relationship where one's efforts and devotion within a relationship are undervalued. LP's voice serves the tone of the track so well. It's got hints of gravel, a tonne of disappointment and hurt, a good bit of bemusement - all the expected ingredients of a post-break-up ballad.
                                                    Code:
                                                    Significance Rating: 2/20
                                                    Year Released: 2017
                                                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                                                    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 130
                                                    174. Lana Del Rey - Young and Beautiful



                                                    I've seen the world, lit it up as my stage now
                                                    Channeling angels in the new age now
                                                    Hot summer days, rock and roll
                                                    The way you'd play for me at your show
                                                    And all the ways I got to know
                                                    Your pretty face and electric soul
                                                    Will you still love me when I'm no longer young and beautiful?
                                                    Will you still love me when I got nothing but my aching soul?
                                                    I know you will, I know you will, I know that you will
                                                    Will you still love me when I'm no longer beautiful?

                                                    Since her 2012 'Born to Die' masterpiece, fans and critics commented on how perfect so many of Lana Del Rey songs were for film accompaniment. Well, movie executives must have paid notice to those comments, as Lana was commissioned to write a song for 2013's 'Great Gasby' film, and delivered this luxurious stunner, which served as the lead single to the soundtrack album. As I do with so many of the songs I love, I tried to get my sister into this, but she refused to even give it a listen...until she watched the Great Gasby later and fell in love with the ethereal instrumental of "Young and Beautiful".
                                                    Code:
                                                    Significance Rating: 2/20
                                                    Year Released: 2013
                                                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #2
                                                    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 60
                                                    173. Kacey Musgraves - This Town



                                                    And somebody's mama knows somebody's cousin
                                                    And somebody's sister knows somebody's husband
                                                    And somebody's daughter knows somebody's brother

                                                    As a guy who grew up on a 21x7-mile island, "This Town" is quite the accessible song for me. There's some degree of warmth and community that exists when you live in such a small town, and when I made the move to a much bigger city, I must admit that I missed the familiarity and cosy feeling that oftentimes exists in West Indian culture. Born in Golden, Texas, which has a population of 200 strong, "This Town" comes directly from Kacey's personal experience. It's a charming song that speaks to the pros and cons of small town livin'. There's also a sense of pride throughout that I love. As for that "somebody's" hook, Kacey's not done a better one for me.
                                                    Code:
                                                    Significance Rating: 2/20
                                                    Year Released: 2015
                                                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #2
                                                    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 67
                                                    172. Rita Ora - Anywhere



                                                    Time flies by when the night is young
                                                    Daylight shines on an undisclosed location, location
                                                    Bloodshot eyes looking for the sun
                                                    Paradise delivered and we call it a vacation, vacation
                                                    You're painting me a dream that I
                                                    Wanna belong in, wanna belong in
                                                    Over the hills and far away
                                                    A million miles from L.A.
                                                    Just anywhere away with you
                                                    I know we've got to get away
                                                    Someplace where no one knows our name
                                                    We'll find the start to something new
                                                    Just take me anywhere, take me anywhere
                                                    Anywhere away with you
                                                    Just take me anywhere, take me anywhere
                                                    Anywhere away with you

                                                    A trop-pop dance bop, "Anywhere" is my favourite Rita Ora song - and, yet again, a big hit for her on one of RiRi's off years. This song takes me back to all the trips my sister and I have taken over the years, literally just going to Expedia and trying to find a fun city for us to visit, where we would inevitably spend the bulk of the time in shopping malls buying clothes and shoes. Still, we always managed to have a great time, despite breaking budgets, last-minute travel shifts and deleted third parties, getting lost when our Google Maps flopped, and doing zero percent of any actual 'touristy' activities. We always managed to have a fun time, despite the mishaps, and this song refreshes all the great memories I've had travelling with her over the years.
                                                    Code:
                                                    Significance Rating: 2/20
                                                    Year Released: 2017
                                                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(6)
                                                    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 193
                                                    171. Carrie Underwood - End Up with You



                                                    I don't really care 'bout making any plans
                                                    Leave it up in the air, give it up to chance
                                                    Seein' where it goes, seein' where it lands
                                                    I just wanna go as fast as we can
                                                    And we could end up broke down on some back road
                                                    Lovin' in the back seat to the radio
                                                    Wouldn't be the worst scenario
                                                    'Cause all I wanna do is end up with you
                                                    Get home and we're locked out
                                                    Middle of the backyard laying down
                                                    Last thing that I'd worry 'bout
                                                    'Cause all I wanna do is end up with you
                                                    Yeah, all I wanna do is end up with you

                                                    There's something powerful about seeing a song performed live that can really change your perception of the track. Seeing Carrie perform this on her Cry Pretty tour last year, where she had a cute drum solo moment with the track, was a transformative experience because it took the song from 'okay' territory for me, to absolutely brilliant, hall-of-fame-level consideration. There's something about the effortless breeziness and chill of "End Up with You" that I just love. I think it took some time to connect with me because I view Carrie as this big powerhouse vocalist, whose best songs are usually big statement anthems, whereas this is a simple, airy and quirky song where the only statement is one of bliss and contentment. That's an emotion I don't typically associate with Carrie's music, but it was a home run for me...eventually. It's my top 'Cry Pretty' track, though there are still a respectable number of CU songs left.
                                                    Code:
                                                    Significance Rating: 2/20
                                                    Year Released: 2019
                                                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(3)
                                                    Plays Since 1/1/2012: 135
                                                    Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

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                                                    • Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post

                                                      I don't really pay attention to radio, so I never grew weary of "Happy".

                                                      Personal Chart

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                                                      • Young and Beautiful and Anywhere are great...but oooofff...I love Pillowtalk
                                                        Personal Chart

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                                                        • Originally posted by Phoenixx View Post
                                                          Young and Beautiful and Anywhere are great...but oooofff...I love Pillowtalk
                                                          Are you a bigger fan of "Pillowtalk" or "Dusk Till Dawn"?
                                                          Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

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                                                          • 170. Kacey Musgraves - Oh, What a World



                                                            Oh, what a world, don't wanna leave
                                                            All kinds of magic all around us; it's hard to believe
                                                            Thank God it's not too good to be true
                                                            Oh, what a world, and then there is you

                                                            The sixth and final entry from Kacey Musgraves is my favourite track from the country singer-songwriter, "Oh, What a World". There's such warmth and romance baked into the lyrics and melody of this track, no moreso than in that final line in the chorus. After marvelling, with an almost tyke-like curiosity and appreciation, at all the wonders within this great world in which we live, Kacey concludes, "And then there is you", including her lover as one of the great phenoms of the galaxy. That line makes my heart melt, to be honest.
                                                            Code:
                                                            Significance Rating: 2/20
                                                            Year Released: 2018
                                                            Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #2
                                                            Plays Since 1/1/2012: 67
                                                            169. Sia - Move Your Body



                                                            Your body’s poetry, speak to me
                                                            Won’t you let me be your rhythm tonight?
                                                            (Move your body, move your body)
                                                            I wanna be your muse, use my music and let me be your rhythm tonight
                                                            (Move your body, move your body)
                                                            Your body’s poetry speak to me
                                                            Won’t you let me be your rhythm tonight?
                                                            (Move your body, move your body)
                                                            I wanna be your muse, use my music and let me be your rhythm tonight
                                                            (Move your body, move your body)

                                                            Sia is such a chorus-centric artist that it really feels like her verses are just rest stops for her frenetic, high-energy, dance-pop whirlwind hooks, and that's essentially the story with "Move Your Body". The single mix diluted the wildness of the album mix, which I found disappointing, but the original album version is divine.
                                                            Code:
                                                            Significance Rating: 2/20
                                                            Year Released: 2017
                                                            Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                                                            Plays Since 1/1/2012: 100
                                                            168. Jessie Ware - Say You Love Me



                                                            'Cause I don't wanna fall in love if you don't wanna try
                                                            But all that I've been thinking of is maybe that you might
                                                            Baby it looks as though we're running out of words to say
                                                            And love's floatin' away

                                                            Jessie Ware was one of UKMix's most-lauded artists in 2014/2015, but before "Say You Love Me", I didn't get the hype, and even with "Say You Love Me", a lot of my appreciation for the song is linked to it being featured in a scene from one of my favourite TV series, 'Looking'. That rich, full melody, and Jessie's soulful, powerful vocals are a perfect fit for the scene.
                                                            Code:
                                                            Significance Rating: 2/20
                                                            Year Released: 2015
                                                            Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                                                            Plays Since 1/1/2012: 104
                                                            167. Rihanna - No Love Allowed



                                                            Hand in the air as he waved me goodbye
                                                            He say he care, but no tears in his eyes
                                                            And ask me if I'm alright
                                                            Ni**a, is you blind?

                                                            The West Indian in me always squeals when RiRi inserts elements of dancehall or reggae into her pop music. Those are the kind of hybrid songs literally no one else does better, and I get the opportunity to hear her Bajan accent at full strength. Over the course of her career, I think she's hit home-runs with two of these hybrid songs, and "No Love Allowed" is the first of the two on the countdown. Her cadence, the production, the lyrics - it's all perfect here, and that "Ni**a, is you blind?" retort is pure gold.
                                                            Code:
                                                            Significance Rating: 2/20
                                                            Year Released: 2012
                                                            Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(2)
                                                            Plays Since 1/1/2012: 161
                                                            166. Foster the People - Coming of Age



                                                            And when my fear pulls me out to sea
                                                            And the stars are hidden by my pride and my enemies
                                                            I seem to hurt the people that care the most
                                                            Just like an animal, I protect my pride
                                                            When I'm too bruised to fight
                                                            And even when I'm wrong, I tend to think I'm right
                                                            Well, I'm bored of the game
                                                            And too tired to rage
                                                            Feels like, feels like it's comin'
                                                            It feels like, feels like a coming of age (It's like a coming of age)
                                                            It feels like, feels like it's comin'
                                                            It feels like, feels like a coming of age (And I'm burning the page)

                                                            Far and away my favourite Foster the People song, "Coming of Age" offers this healthy level of introspection that I genuinely don't think enough people engage in. Add a pristine, mellow melody to the equation, and you've got one of the most therapeutic songs of the last decade.
                                                            Code:
                                                            Significance Rating: 2/20
                                                            Year Released: 2014
                                                            Akini's Daily Top 20 Chart Peak: #1(1)
                                                            Plays Since 1/1/2012: 120
                                                            Akini's Top 400 Songs of the Decade: [2-1!]

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                                                            • Great song by Foster the People!
                                                              My YouTube Channel - The best songs of the 80s, 90s and 2000s

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