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Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2021: [#1]

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  • Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2021: [#1]

    For some reason I'm more excited this time 'round than usual for year-end countdown season to get underway. Maybe because it's been a good year in music, one where so many genres - pop, R&B, country, hip/hop, and rock - were well-represented. Maybe because we had ABBA return after four decades and Adele after six years with releases worthy of their time away. Maybe because I have nothing better to do with my free time over the holidays.

    My excitement is likely a product of all aforementioned factors and just like I do every year, like clockwork, I'll be counting down my top 100 favourite tracks of 2021. As was the case last year, there won't be a bubbling under section - we're getting right to the good stuff, with some hints of what's to come shared in the poll options below - which gem do you lads and lasses think will come out on top? This launches tomorrow!










    3
    4th Baby Mama
    0%
    0
    Good 4 U
    0%
    0
    Keep an Eye on Dan
    33.33%
    1
    Kiss Me More
    0%
    0
    Long Story Short
    33.33%
    1
    Montero (Call Me by Your Name)
    33.33%
    1
    Somewhat Loved (There You Go Breakin' My Heart)
    0%
    0
    This is Heaven
    0%
    0
    UK Hun?
    0%
    0
    What Doesn't Kill Me
    0%
    0
    Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time [2022 Edition: #86]
    Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) [3 weeks]
    AlbumClash 2.0: [Florence + the Machine vs. Drake]

    I'm not saying I love you unconditionally, but we have been through a shitload of conditions and I'm still here.

  • #2
    I came RUNNING here when I saw your signature. I won't be starting my countdown for a two or three weeks because I am absolutely burned out right now. It will be ice to follow someone else's countdown

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm looking forward to your year-end chart. By the way I love that 'Keep an Eye on Dan' picture!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
        I came RUNNING here when I saw your signature. I won't be starting my countdown for a two or three weeks because I am absolutely burned out right now. It will be ice to follow someone else's countdown
        Appreciate having you on board!

        Originally posted by Benny View Post
        I'm looking forward to your year-end chart. By the way I love that 'Keep an Eye on Dan' picture!
        Thanks for visiting and yeah, I love that pic, too!
        Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time [2022 Edition: #86]
        Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) [3 weeks]
        AlbumClash 2.0: [Florence + the Machine vs. Drake]

        I'm not saying I love you unconditionally, but we have been through a shitload of conditions and I'm still here.

        Comment


        • #5
          100. Destiny - Je Me Casse



          So if I show some skin
          Doesn't mean I'm giving in
          Not your baby
          (Je me casse)


          The first of five ESC entries this year, as well as the most successful of my preferred entries in the final (finishing seventh), "Je Me Casse" is your textbook female empowerment anthem, where the protagonist is cast in some setting where there's a sexist double standard - here it's a man thinking he has access to a woman's physicality because of the way she dresses - and she declares, without any uncertainty, that she's a free woman (is that Madame Germanotta I hear in the background) and if he thinks she's gonna stay and entertain his unwelcomed advances, he's wrong because she's "out of there" (the English translation of "Je me casse"). It's outfitted with the standard big vocals and because it's Eurovision, a quirky, upbeat melody. Despite it being rather standard, I still enjoy this, though there were certainly stronger showings from other nations this year. Still, Destiny lifted Malta to the country's best ESC finish in 16 years, an impressive feat!
          Code:
          Quality Rating: 8.2/10
          Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #9
          Play Count: 18
          099. Kelly Clarkson - Christmas Isn't Cancelled (Just You)



          This used to be our favorite spot in this town
          Memories with you and me ruin it now (Woah-woah-woah)
          ...
          I'll be hanging every light I find in this house
          Playin' Christmas music so loud
          This year Christmas won't be quite so blue
          And I'm gonna shout too much and dance in the snow
          Drink just enough to let us go
          Christmas isn't cancelled, just you
          ...
          Winter Wonderlands weren't made for one
          So we've all been told since we were young (Woah-woah-woah)


          Kelly Clarkson is no stranger to quality original Christmas music, though "Christmas Isn't Cancelled..." just might be her spunkiest, most soulful holiday release to date. Lyrically, the song is comfortably above the standard Christmas song, the subject matter of which I usually find trite, but Kelly manages to inject enormous personality and relatability into this banger of a festive bop. This is good enough to play year-round.
          Code:
          Quality Rating: 8.2/10
          Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #4
          Play Count: 19
          098. TiŽsto & Ava Max - The Motto



          That's the motto (Mhm)
          Throw it back with no chaser, with no trouble (Mhm)
          Poppin' that Moet, baby, let's make some bubbles (Mhm)
          Puffin' on that gelato, wanna be seeing double
          Gotta do what you gotta
          ...
          That's the motto (Mhm)
          Drop a few bills and pop a few champagne bottles (Mhm)
          Throwin' that money like you just won the lotto (Mhm)
          We been up all damn summer
          Makin' that bread and butter
          Tell me, did I just stutter?
          That's the motto (Mhm)


          Much like "Je Me Casse" was your textbook feminist anthem song, "The Motto" very much ticks the essential boxes for club bop. I love how there's no real prelude to it - the song pretty much starts at its chorus from synth no. 1. The video is also totes cool - Ava is a convincing club diva.
          Code:
          Quality Rating: 8.2/10
          Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #6
          Play Count: 44
          097. Summer Walker - Throw It Away



          We can't let this all go to waste (Go to waste)
          Thought you had me safe
          We reached a ceilin' (Ceilin')
          I had a feelin' (Yes, I did)
          From the beginnin' (From the beginnin')
          Must be the endin'
          I've been takin' on all this baggage (I've been takin' it all)
          Addin' on so much weight (Yeah)
          Had me thinkin' that I was average (Thinkin' I was average)
          When you're really to blame

          How you gonna throw it away? (How?)
          How you gonna sit and act like it was nothin'? Yeah (How?)
          How you gonna throw it away?
          How you gonna make it so damn hard to explain?
          How you gonna throw it all away and say my lovin' was not the same? Yeah
          How you gonna throw it away? (Throw it away)
          Throw it away
          Actin' like this ain't mean nothin' to you, is you dumb? (Yeah)
          Frontin' like you not, ni**a, I'll be gone
          ('Cause right now I see) You only 'bout yourself
          (Keep that same energy) When I find somebody else, so why? (Why?)
          Why I put up with this? Why did I even try? (Try)
          You said you'd hold me down forever, but you lied to me, lied to me
          You gotta be mental in the head


          If you ask Ari Lennox, she'd tell you I have this song 96 places too low. Honestly, on an album with as many heavyweights as 'Still Over It', this one didn't stand out from the pack and it took that tweet from Ari for me to revisit it, put it on repeat, and really sit with it, engrossing myself in the lyrics and melodies to begin to hear, to some extent, what Ari heard. Lyrically, it's an easy song to connect to - building a relationship with someone and having that party express a willingness to just walk away from that investment of time, effort, energy, care, attention and affection, and...love is certainly a scenario with which most of us have direct experience. Summer, however, has more impressive slices of R&B magic on 'Still Over It', so while I've grown to appreciate this more within the last 72 hours, enough so that it's featuring here, it's not quite her best, which is obviously still to come. Those bolded bits, admittedly, hit closer to home than I'd like.
          Code:
          Quality Rating: 8.2/10
          Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x1)
          Play Count: 26
          096. Nick Jonas - Death Do Us Part



          You could put me in a coffin
          I'm always gonna find your love
          You know there ain't no stoppin'
          Even when I'm high above
          Spread my ash in the sea
          Yeah, I know you're gonna find me
          And go right back to the start
          There's no death, do us death, do us part
          This is watermelon (Yeah), with some cool whip
          This is Bougainvillea at the new crib
          It's MJ in the playoffs (Swish), it's the real thing
          It's a sure shot (Yeah)
          This is meditation, heaven sent (Uh-huh)
          Worth a trillion dollars, that's my two cents
          Our time's gonna come, just wait for the sun, you know
          ...
          This is caviar with some Pringles
          This a new car (Woo), kinda smell good (Yeah)
          It's amazing, kinda found you at the right place at the right time
          And we both just knew that it was right
          (Woo, woo, woo, woo, yeah)
          And now you're saving my life (Now you're saving my life)
          From a friend to a lover to my wife (Yeah), yeah, and you know, oh


          I don't associate Nick Jonas with quality pop music - he's given us "Champagne Problems" and "Close", but there are way more misses than hits in his catalogue. Well, the Jonas brother returned in 2021 to prove his mettle. Sleek production, great lyrics, good vocals - this is better than I feel like an NJ song should be...and he did even better this year. My singular gripe with this song is its abrupt ending. He recklessly and cruelly pulls the plug when we were having such a good time!
          Code:
          Quality Rating: 8.2/10
          Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #7
          Play Count: 15
          Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time [2022 Edition: #86]
          Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) [3 weeks]
          AlbumClash 2.0: [Florence + the Machine vs. Drake]

          I'm not saying I love you unconditionally, but we have been through a shitload of conditions and I'm still here.

          Comment


          • #6
            This is a solid start - I'm always here for a Christmas song making any countdown, and Je Me Casse is actually my favorite Eurovision entry and the only one I had on my personal chart, so I'm glad it squeaked through. I'd say more about the Summer Walker, but it's clear there are more to come and as you mentioned that one didn't stand out much to me.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
              This is a solid start - I'm always here for a Christmas song making any countdown, and Je Me Casse is actually my favorite Eurovision entry and the only one I had on my personal chart, so I'm glad it squeaked through. I'd say more about the Summer Walker, but it's clear there are more to come and as you mentioned that one didn't stand out much to me.
              Glad those five mark a solid start for you! Two of the acts in the last set will also be in tonight's.
              Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time [2022 Edition: #86]
              Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) [3 weeks]
              AlbumClash 2.0: [Florence + the Machine vs. Drake]

              I'm not saying I love you unconditionally, but we have been through a shitload of conditions and I'm still here.

              Comment


              • #8
                095. The Killers - The Getting By



                My one boy's into shed-horn hunting...
                Lately, my patience is in short supply
                Nothing good seems to ever come from all this work
                No matter how hard I try

                The rigour and routine of day-to-day living can make life feel like a slog and "The Getting By", the final 'Pressure Machine' track, does a fine job capturing that energy.
                Code:
                Quality Rating: 8.2/10
                Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #9
                Play Count: 23
                094. Nick Jonas - 2Drunk



                Should I sеnd that text? Maybe not
                But I miss that sex, quite a lot

                Well, look at that, Nick Jonas pops up once more, and this time with a song that brakes appropriately to its end. This is a fine chill-vibe song. It's catchy and well-produced, with no real weak moments to incriminate it.
                Code:
                Quality Rating: 8.2/10
                Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #16
                Play Count: 11
                093. Summer Walker - Unloyal (feat. Ari Lennox)



                I ain't takin' your shit today, no
                I ain't takin' your shit tomorrow, no...
                I guess I'm unloyal, baby
                I guess I'm untrue (Yeah, yeah)
                I guess I'm unloyal, baby (Look)
                We'll call it what you want
                I guess I'm unloyal, baby (Baby)
                I guess I'm untrue, oh
                Guess I'm unloyal, baby (Baby)
                Oh, so call me what you want...
                With your Bow Wow durag
                Outside with your doggy bag
                Bitch, I am so done with that
                Tell me how a grown man so childish
                Always in Kevin Samuels's comments
                You think I'm just gon' stand on by
                And watch you waste my time?
                Boy, I am too damn fine, baby

                Two things: (1) this is Summer's favourite song on her 'Still Over It' album so it seems like I'm just axing all the stars' faves early on and (2) why is one of my artist of the year noms popping up twice this early in the countdown - a sign that she's faltering, perhaps? The weeks will tell. Now back to the song - lyrically, this is a home-run. Summer opens, after patiently sitting to let the light drumbeat set the pace and tone of the track, with a fun statement of intent - she's not taking his shit today, and it's not on tomorrow's calendar to do so either. Then Ari sashays in and reads the dirtbag for filth - may he depart with his cheap "Bow Wow durag" in haste! This song does a phenomenal job of capturing that accusation men love to pelt at women (and other men) for not "holding them down" when they've cheated, lied, or in some other way abused trust and taken advantage of good nature and pure intentions. This song has 10/10 potential, but it stays stuck stubbornly in that early pace set by the aforementioned drumbeat and there are too many opportunities for it to swell to something more gripping. I mean, we get a gorgeous sax solo later on in the song, but I wanted more. Anyway, as you can imagine, there's more of Ms. Walker to come. Oh, fun fact - this was blocked from #1 on my daily chart by another Summer Walker song.
                Code:
                Quality Rating: 8.2/10
                Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #2
                Play Count: 32
                092. Mabel - Let Them Know



                Pin up girl on that poster
                Say so like I'm Doja...
                Blonde hair, yeah I bleached it (Ah)
                You can call me Khaleesi (That's right)
                I stay up on my queen shit
                Up here the haters look teeny tiny (Oh)

                Musically, I'm a simple man at my core and if you give me a saucy dance-pop track, I will bop dutifully. The Doja Cat/Khaleesi name-drops are awesome.
                Code:
                Quality Rating: 8.2/10
                Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #3
                Play Count: 16
                091. Autoheart - Look Up, Look Up



                Last night I dreamt that you and I
                Were still in love, emulsified
                And when I woke an emptiness
                Took over me like nothing else
                A bitter pill for me to take
                (Bitter pill for me to take) (Pill for me to take)
                Forgive my need for absolution
                I know I'm not the one who's done wrong
                Oh clemency you come to me
                For bein' foolish, bein' weak
                I need to gain control of this (Gain control of this)

                A mid-tempo pop ballad performed by a queer group about a lover that's mistreated the protagonist and left him in a pool of heartbreak, disappointment, and surprise? Yeah, I was definitely clicking with this in 2021!
                Code:
                Quality Rating: 8.2/10
                Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #7
                Play Count: 10
                Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time [2022 Edition: #86]
                Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) [3 weeks]
                AlbumClash 2.0: [Florence + the Machine vs. Drake]

                I'm not saying I love you unconditionally, but we have been through a shitload of conditions and I'm still here.

                Comment


                • #9
                  090. Stefania - Last Dance



                  My heart was born in neon lights
                  Floating in space like satellites
                  Looking for signs of life tonight
                  As we collide in black and white

                  The verses here are pretty forgettable - it's the power pop chorus that makes "Last Dance" special. It's very Dua Lipa.
                  Code:
                  Quality Rating: 8.2/10
                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #4
                  Play Count: 12
                  089. Billie Eilish - NDA



                  30 Under 30 for another year (Another year)
                  I can barely go outside, I think I hate it herе (I think I hate it here)
                  Maybе I should think about a new career
                  Somewhere in Kaua'i where I can disappear
                  I've been havin' fun gettin' older now
                  Didn't change my number, made him shut his mouth (Shut his mouth, yeah)
                  At least I gave him somethin' he can cry about
                  I thought about my future, but I want it now, oh-oh

                  A moody pop song, which has become Billie's signature sound, "NDA" breaks no new ground in its struggling with fame theme, but I do love how the production ebbs and flows. Like Billie herself has described it, it's structureless and that gives way for some pretty surprising melodic twists and turns.
                  Code:
                  Quality Rating: 8.2/10
                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #20
                  Play Count: 12
                  088. Doja Cat - Naked



                  Follow me to my dressin' room
                  Let me know if you ain't 'bout that NSFW
                  Now it's safe to finish what we started
                  First impression of you is you really like to party
                  Swirlin' all up on you 'cause you know I wanna dance
                  Let me cordially invite you to this party in my pants
                  How you got me sprung and don't say sorry in advance?
                  Show me all your tatts, not just the ones that's on your hands
                  Who's your designer?
                  Is that birthday suit one of a kind, uh?
                  Everything about you look like it's on purpose
                  God was workin', probably took some extra time though
                  Ayy, all up in my curves like a puzzle piece, mmm
                  Jigsaw, let me see your muscleses, mmm
                  After we f**k, I'ma wanna cuddle
                  We could take it to the kitchen
                  I'll be on the island, come and eat, mmm

                  Fun and sexy is "Naked" in a nutshell. There are some interesting exhibitionistic moments here, but Doja's really in her hip-pop element and bag in that second verse.
                  Code:
                  Quality Rating: 8.2/10
                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #4
                  Play Count: 10
                  087. Charlotte Cardin - Sex to Me



                  You, you don't know me
                  You don't know nothin' 'bout the things I need, mm
                  And you, you don't own me
                  Babe, in the end, oh, we're just friends, and
                  Friends don't feel
                  Thought we had a deal
                  It's just sex to me

                  An act introduced to me through countdown king CT, "Sex to Me" is a reminder of the NSA arrangements established between two parties when one party seems to have forgotten the terms and conditions to which he's agreed. I love that it's from a female perspective as it's oftentimes thought that women can't lean into physicality without emotions, when I think both men and women can struggle with boundaries, which sometimes shift in sex-only arrangements. Charlotte Cardin serves up a rather rangy, sultry vocal, too. She really sells this.
                  Code:
                  Quality Rating: 8.2/10
                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #2
                  Play Count: 13
                  086. Olivia Rodrigo - Deja Vu



                  So when you gonna tell her that we did that, too?
                  She thinks it's special, but it's all reused
                  That was our place, I found it first
                  I made the jokes you tell to her when she's with you

                  One of many deeply accessible songs on 'Sour', "Deja Vu" speaks to an ex whom the protagonist sees going through the motions with his new flame. The underlying question that's at the seams of the emotion here is "Did we mean anything?" and I wish Olivia took it all the way there for a big climax.
                  Code:
                  Quality Rating: 8.2/10
                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #6
                  Play Count: 18
                  Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time [2022 Edition: #86]
                  Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) [3 weeks]
                  AlbumClash 2.0: [Florence + the Machine vs. Drake]

                  I'm not saying I love you unconditionally, but we have been through a shitload of conditions and I'm still here.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    085. Taylor Swift - Gold Rush



                    But I don't like a gold rush, gold rush
                    I don't like anticipatin' my face in a red flush
                    I don't like that anyone would die to feel your touch
                    Everybody wants you
                    Everybody wonders what it would be like to love you
                    Walk past, quick brush
                    I don't like slow motion, double vision in rose blush
                    I don't like that falling feels like flying 'til the bone crush
                    Everybody wants you
                    But I don't like a gold rush...
                    At dinner parties, I call you out on your contrarian shit
                    And the coastal town we wandered 'round had nеver seen a love as pure as it
                    And thеn it fades into the gray of my day-old tea
                    'Cause it could never be

                    I can be rather possessive in romantic relationships (or non-romantic ones...) so, lyrically, "Gold Rush" clicked immediately.
                    Code:
                    Quality Rating: 8.2/10
                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #2
                    Play Count: 57
                    084. Jazmine Sullivan - Girl Like Me (feat. H.E.R.)



                    Yeah, I made a profile on Tinder
                    Since you left me to be with her
                    I think that means I'm gettin' desperate
                    Wish I could return to sender
                    But you don't love me no more
                    And I don't even know what for (Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)...
                    Why in the hell you ain't choose me?
                    Why you don't love me no morе? (Yeah)
                    You must'vе wanted somethin' different
                    Still don't know what I was missin'
                    What you asked I would've given
                    It ain't right how these hoes be winnin'
                    Why they be winnin'? Yeah (Why they be? Why they be?)
                    No hope for a girl like me, how come they be winnin'? Yeah...
                    I can't do this good girl shit no more

                    In the category of relatability, this one also scores perfect marks. "Girl Like Me" was my initial 'Heaux Tales' fave because it captured a lot of my perspective on the dating scene and the way Jazmine and H.E.R. emote the lyrics is gripping.
                    Code:
                    Quality Rating: 8.2/10
                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x1)
                    Play Count: 22
                    083. Autoheart - Better Version of Me



                    You look at me as I am now and then extrapolate
                    You say there's good in me but I just want to amputate
                    The parts that make me sad, the parts I've never had
                    So I can start anew
                    I have a coping mechanism that I put in place
                    I remove every emotion from my hollow face
                    It's just a thing I do, it's just a thing I do
                    When I'm confused
                    I have a feeling that I'm losing my mind
                    Cannot deny this is a difficult time
                    And yet I'm telling everybody I love
                    That I'm fine
                    I have to pull myself together again
                    Give something back to all my family and friends
                    It's such a pressure on my temporal lobe
                    But I still have hope
                    I wanna be a better version of me
                    I have a vision that one day I'll be free
                    I'm gonna prove that I'm not already gone
                    I'm not delirious
                    I wanna be a better version of me
                    I have a vision that one day you'll be proud
                    Instead of saving me from every mistake
                    I'm deadly serious
                    And when you break it down you say it's psychological
                    I look at things in the wrong way I'm too illogical
                    And when it matters most, when it matters most
                    I fall apart
                    A broken heart, a broken soul, a broken everything
                    My inability to mend is at the root of it
                    If I could find a fix, if I could find a fix
                    To be a better me

                    This might just be the 'lyrical' batch because my hand is forced to quote the entirety of "Better Version of Me" as the track's lyrical highlight. I truly relate to every word - that desire to be the very best and brightest version of yourself every day and feeling like you're failing yourself, your loved ones, and the world when you can't be that man is wholly familiar to me.
                    Code:
                    Quality Rating: 8.2/10
                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #4
                    Play Count: 10
                    082. Lorde - Secrets from a Girl (Who's Seen It All)



                    Couldn't wait to turn fifteen
                    Then you blink and it's been ten years
                    Growing up a little at a time, then all at once

                    ’Member all the hurt you would feel when you weren't desired? (Doing anything for more touch)
                    ’Member what you thought was grief before you got the call?
                    Baby girl, no one's gonna feel the pain for you
                    You're gonna love again, so just try staying open
                    And when the time comes, you'll fall
                    Yeah, when the time comes, you’ll fall...
                    Welcome to Sadness
                    The temperature is unbearable until you face it
                    Thank you for flying with Strange Airlines, I will be your tour guide today
                    Your emotional baggage can be picked up at carousel number two
                    Please be careful so it doesn't fall onto someone you love
                    When we've reached your final destination, I will leave you to it
                    You'll be fine
                    I'm just gonna show you in and, um...
                    You can stay as long as you need to get familiar with the feeling
                    And then when you're ready, I'll be outside, and...
                    We can go look at the sunrise by euphoria, mixed with existential vertigo?
                    Cool...

                    The degree of truth expressed in the bolded lyrics is immeasurable - whew! I also love the outro on this. It's a mature track and the highlight of its parent album.
                    Code:
                    Quality Rating: 8.2/10
                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #3
                    Play Count: 13
                    081. Olivia Rodrigo - Enough for You



                    You found someonе more exciting
                    The nеxt second, you were gone
                    And you left me there cryin', wonderin' what I did wrong
                    And you always say I'm never satisfied
                    But I don't think that's true...
                    And maybe I'm just not as interesting
                    As the girls you had before
                    But God, you couldn't have cared less
                    About someone who loved you more
                    I'd say you broke my heart
                    But you broke much more than that
                    Now I don't want your sympathy
                    I just want myself back

                    There are definitely some lyrical moments here that are so peak teenage melodrama that I can't quite relate, but that line about wanting yourself back after a break-up - well, I totes relate to that. The general melancholy here is pretty accessible.
                    Code:
                    Quality Rating: 8.2/10
                    Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #5
                    Play Count: 10
                    Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time [2022 Edition: #86]
                    Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) [3 weeks]
                    AlbumClash 2.0: [Florence + the Machine vs. Drake]

                    I'm not saying I love you unconditionally, but we have been through a shitload of conditions and I'm still here.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      080. JoJo - Fresh New Sheets



                      I got these fresh new sheets and you said you were free
                      To come and break 'em in with me...
                      Please don't comе over
                      'Cause you can't competе
                      With the things that I'm scared of
                      That keep love from me
                      No, please don't come over
                      My heart's too weak
                      And I know I'm better
                      Than this heartbroken version of me...
                      Honestly, I'd rather turn my phone off
                      Because the energy that it takes to be
                      Somebody's somebody just ain't in me

                      Similar to "Better Version of Me", the appeal in "Fresh New Sheets", besides JoJo's ace vocal delivery of course, is that expression of not wanting to share a sub-par version of yourself with the world.
                      Code:
                      Quality Rating: 8.3/10
                      Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #5
                      Play Count: 11
                      079. Olivia Rodrigo - Traitor



                      You betrayed me
                      And I know that you'll never feel sorry
                      For the way I hurt, yeah
                      You talked to her when we were together
                      Loved you at your worst, but that didn't matter
                      It took you two weeks to go off and date her
                      Guess you didn't cheat, but you're still a traitor...
                      God, I wish that you had thought this through
                      Before I went and fell in love with you

                      I appreciate "Traitor" because it addresses an element of infidelity most other songs on the subject matter omit, which is infidelity oftentimes being a process. It's normally a series of boundary-crossing actions that culminate in emotional or physical betrayal (or both) and on "Traitor" Olivia speaks to that process.
                      Code:
                      Quality Rating: 8.3/10
                      Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #2
                      Play Count: 20
                      078. Adele - Oh My God



                      I ain't got too much time to spare
                      But I'll make time for you to show how much I care
                      Wish that I would let you break my walls
                      But I'm still spinning out of control from the fall
                      Boy, you give good love, I won't lie
                      It's what keeps me comin' back even though I'm terrified
                      I know that it's wrong
                      But I want to have fun
                      Mmm, yeah, mmm, yeah...
                      I don't have to explain myself to you
                      I am a grown woman and I do what I want to do

                      I'm usually wary of Adele upping the tempo as one of the last times she did that was with "Send My Love..." which I didn't enjoy. This one is a bit better, though. It shows her in single and ready to mingle form, but with all the guilt tied to motherhood and expectations keeping her company.
                      Code:
                      Quality Rating: 8.3/10
                      Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #3
                      Play Count: 27
                      077. Lil Nas X - Tales of Dominica



                      Woke up on the floor
                      Oh, this plastic bed don't blow up no more
                      In this broken home
                      Everyone becomes predictable
                      Oh, sometimes you're angry
                      Sometimes you're hurting
                      Sometimes you're all alone
                      Sometimes I'm anxious
                      Sometimes it makes me
                      Feel like there's only now
                      I've been living in my lowest, it's safe to say
                      Hope my little bit of hope don't fade away
                      I've been living on an island made from faith
                      Can't go running back to home, I can't face her face (Oh)
                      Oh, finally grown, ain't nothing like I hoped it would bе
                      Out on my own, I'm floating in an oceanless sea
                      Could I be wrong? Was everybody right about me?
                      Scary things in my head, I can't dream

                      Alongside the big, brash horn-led anthems on 'Montero', you have incredibly vulnerable, soft, sombre moments like "Tales of Dominica". Lyrics aren't always Lil Nas X's strong area, but the lyricism certainly gets top billing on this track and the instrumentation is beautiful, too. The outro is particularly gorgeous.
                      Code:
                      Quality Rating: 8.3/10
                      Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #13
                      Play Count: 39
                      076. Kanye West - Jail Pt. 2 (feat. DaBaby)



                      I'll be honest, we all liars
                      I'll be honest, we all liars
                      I'm pulled over and I got priors
                      Guess we goin' down, guess who's goin' to jail?
                      Man, tell them haters open up the jail (Open up the jail)
                      And you can tell my baby mamas get the bail money (Bail me)
                      I said one thing they ain't like, threw me out like they ain't care for me
                      Threw me out like I'm garbage, huh?
                      And that food that y'all took off my table
                      You know that feed my daughters, huh? (Mmm)
                      But I ain't really mad, 'cause when I look at it
                      I'm getting them snakes up out my grass and, ****, that's a good habit
                      I'm ready for war, let's get at 'em
                      And teaming up ain't gon' help 'em
                      'Cause beating the odds too deep
                      Just me and God, ****, ****, I'm good at it
                      Matter of fact, I'm great at it, my cell phone back at it
                      I know these people gon' try to tell me how to talk
                      Don't know what I seen or what I was taught
                      My mama worked two or three jobs to take care of three of her kids, my uncles watched
                      Yeah, we was raised by the crack addicts
                      Mmm, raised by the drug dealers, killers, and the junkies (Junkies)
                      Mama couldn't save us 'cause she had to get the—
                      Mama couldn't save us 'cause she had to get the money
                      Feel like your world falling, getting too hard to catch it, ain't it?
                      You and your girl arguin', you don't like how she actin' lately
                      Giving it everything that you can give and you don't get half the patience
                      You was busy hustlin', the things come with your hustle
                      They got in her head, corrupted her
                      Yeah, that's probably what happened, ain't it?
                      Large amount of capital, invested in myself
                      Underground, I ain't even have a basement, I read the affidavit
                      Let's see what it is with you
                      Only thing I did to you
                      Was always keep it real and true
                      Guilty, guess they gon' have to take me

                      It's not often that Kanye West is outrapped on one of his songs, but I must say that I much prefer DaBaby's moments on this than Kanye's. The former comes with fire, passion, and emotion, whereas Kanye seems content to just ride the beat he helped produce.
                      Code:
                      Quality Rating: 8.3/10
                      Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #4
                      Play Count: 21
                      Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time [2022 Edition: #86]
                      Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) [3 weeks]
                      AlbumClash 2.0: [Florence + the Machine vs. Drake]

                      I'm not saying I love you unconditionally, but we have been through a shitload of conditions and I'm still here.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        075. Lil Nas X - That's What I Want



                        These days, I'm way too lonely
                        I'm missin' out, I know...
                        I want (I), someone to love me
                        I need (I), someone who needs me
                        'Cause it don't feel right when it's late at night
                        And it's just me in my dreams
                        So I want (I), someone to love
                        That's what I f**kin' want
                        Look, you know it's harder to find in these times
                        But I got nothin' but love on my mind (My mind)
                        I need a baby while I'm in my prime
                        Need an adversary to my down and weary
                        Like, tell me that's life when I'm stressin' at night
                        Be like, "You'll be okay" and, "Everything is alright," uh
                        Love me or nothin' 'cause I'm not wanting anything
                        But your loving, your body, and a little bit of your brain

                        No one's owned the visual realm this year the way Lil Nas X has and for me "That's What I Want" is 2021's second-best music video. I love the extreme ends of the spectrum we see from Montero - football-playing jock to full-out wedding dress drag. And, okay, yeah, the make-out scene was a highlight, too. As for the song, that desire for affection and love is definitely relatable, and the story that plays out in the music video is heartbreaking because it's so many guys' realities.
                        Code:
                        Quality Rating: 8.3/10
                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #4
                        Play Count: 30
                        074. JoJo - Spiral SZN



                        Lover girl, lovin' everything but herself
                        Pedestals for everyone, but she's on a shelf
                        Emotion comatose
                        You know how that shit goes, yeah
                        Lover girl, loves to overthink it to death
                        Underwhelmed by everything that she's ever did
                        Full cups are half empty
                        That's how I see it

                        Ooh-ah, usually people compliment my positivity
                        But my sanity ain't always there for me
                        It's like that when you're your biggest enemy

                        Guess I'm havin'
                        Ice in my Sauvignon, I'm havin' one of those nights
                        Where I need it right now, you know that I can't chill (Oh)
                        Never could, probably never will
                        I, I could do somethin' nice for myself, but I don't
                        I keep on startin' fights with myself, all downhill
                        Postpone the healin', it's
                        Spiral season again, yeah

                        I definitely feel like JoJo is subtweeting me with some of the lyrics on "Spiral SZN". I love the punchy production and vocal delivery on this.
                        Code:
                        Quality Rating: 8.3/10
                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x1)
                        Play Count: 30
                        073. Lil Nas X - Scoop (feat. Doja Cat)



                        I been workin' on my body
                        You ever seen a n*gga hit pilates? (Ah)
                        Baby, I ain't tryna be your baby
                        Understand, I'm just tryna be the daily
                        Now it's, he get flown, then he sit back
                        And I won't call on the phone if I hit that
                        And I'm tryna f*ck, lil' nigga, f*ck the chit-chat
                        I ain't talkin' guns when I ask where your dick at (Grrr)
                        Tomorrow is my day off (Okay)
                        All them rehеarsals got me tight, look at the payoff (Okay)
                        And now my body look like somеthing you'd eat cake off
                        I just got my veneers, now bitches wanna rip they face up
                        But you thought you'd have a chance after you wanna disrespect me?
                        Let him apologize, and eat it in a Bentley
                        He named my right cheek Jennifer and left one Lopez
                        Can't call me stupid with this big ol' f*ckin' forehead


                        Montero's deep in his hormonal bag on this one and I love the cleverness behind the use of the term "scoop". It took social media's reaction to really get me to notice it, but I think Doja might've taken the W for best line with those bolded lyrics. "Scoop" actually topped my chart the day 'Montero' came out; it was a clear standout from play no. 1. I hope it gets a single release soon. It really has chart-topping potential and I can picture a grade A video for it, too.
                        Code:
                        Quality Rating: 8.4/10
                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x1)
                        Play Count: 17
                        072. JoJo - Worst (I Assume)



                        Even though I thought I was right (Oh)
                        I was goin' off that night (Oh)
                        Sometimes, I'm not that nice (Ooh, woah)
                        Even though I'm not that type (Ooh, woah)
                        I just had to call for forgiveness (Oh)
                        I know it's at least in double digits (Ooh, woah)
                        And I do it all the time, yeah (Yeah)
                        Thinkin' you can read my f*ckin' mind, yeah
                        I keep assumin' you're gonna do shit
                        That might break my heart, so I keep up my guard

                        And I know it's confusin' how I put you through it
                        My past and my scars, still make it hard
                        I assume, ooh
                        Always the worst, I assume
                        Ooh, ooh
                        Always the worst, I assume

                        The defence mechanism the protagonist employs in this song is one that I do, too, so I immediately took to the song on the elementary level of relatability. With such an approach, there's definitely a lot of room for toxicity so I appreciate that JoJo illustrates the discord distrust can sow.
                        Code:
                        Quality Rating: 8.4/10
                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #7
                        Play Count: 10
                        071. Jazmine Sullivan - Bodies



                        Was it your friend? Or a friend of a friend? (Was he a?)
                        Was he a four? Or was he a ten? (I know)
                        And my mama wouldn't like it if she knew about (All my)
                        All my rendezvous' and all my whereabouts (I keep on)
                        I keep on pilin' up bodies on bodies on bodies
                        Yeah, you gettin' sloppy, girl

                        I will admit that there was a period not too long after things ended with my entanglement that I engaged in serial dating (or meet-ups, since I don't know what qualifies as a date these days), the apex of which was me going clubbing one night and waking up the next morning with new numbers in my phone and text messages from guys I didn't remember meeting. (They were all cute, though, so clearly even intoxicated me has taste). I think sometimes we believe there will be some kind of therapy derived from casual encounters, but oftentimes they leave you feeling rather soulless and replaying soulful memories of the same person you were trying to forget.
                        Code:
                        Quality Rating: 8.4/10
                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #6
                        Play Count: 15
                        Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time [2022 Edition: #86]
                        Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) [3 weeks]
                        AlbumClash 2.0: [Florence + the Machine vs. Drake]

                        I'm not saying I love you unconditionally, but we have been through a shitload of conditions and I'm still here.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          • I know I haven't been as good about regularly checking your chart as I was in years past, but apparently I'm even more out-of-touch than I realized, cause I would NOT have guessed that under-the-radar Nick Jonas album would land several songs inside your Top 100 Including a No. 1 contender! (Unless that's a red herring? You usually have at least one of those, IIRC).
                          • I did notice the recent Summer Walker domination, though. I've only spun "No Love" so far - which was good, but didn't hit hard enough to make me want to dive into her whole album (yet).
                          • Excited to see the first of many evermore entries. I haven't started tabulating the points for my own Top 50 of 2021, but "Gold Rush" is a sure contender (if it doesn't end up inside my official Year-End Top 50, it definitely would rank in an expanded Top 100 like this).
                          • "That's What I Want" might be my favorite Lil Nas offering yet, so it's a bit of a shame that it's getting eclipsed by the longevity of "Montero" and especially "Industry Baby." I hadn't heard it until reading that's it a VERY poppy Ryan Tedder co-creation, so I had to rush to check out what that pairing produced. Lil Nas really knows how to deliver the visuals too.
                          EDIT: Forgot to vote in the poll! I went with LSS, which might be wishful thinking, but I know it'll do at least reasonably well. "What Doesn't Kill Me" was a tempting pick too.
                          Last edited by crystalphoenix; Wed December 8, 2021, 00:30.
                          last.fmPaulboard Top 30

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                            I know I haven't been as good about regularly checking your chart as I was in years past, but apparently I'm even more out-of-touch than I realized, cause I would NOT have guessed that under-the-radar Nick Jonas album would land several songs inside your Top 100 Including a No. 1 contender! (Unless that's a red herring? You usually have at least one of those, IIRC).
                            We'll see about the NJ song!

                            Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                            I did notice the recent Summer Walker domination, though. I've only spun "No Love" so far - which was good, but didn't hit hard enough to make me want to dive into her whole album (yet).
                            Yeah, "No Love" is fine, but among the album's standouts for me.

                            Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                            Excited to see the first of many evermore entries. I haven't started tabulating the points for my own Top 50 of 2021, but "Gold Rush" is a sure contender (if it doesn't end up inside my official Year-End Top 50, it definitely would rank in an expanded Top 100 like this).
                            Yeah, I think I checked your top 100 most-played songs of the year on Last.fm sometime recently and I think we should be more in sync in 2021 than we were in 2020.

                            Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                            "That's What I Want" might be my favorite Lil Nas offering yet, so it's a bit of a shame that it's getting eclipsed by the longevity of "Montero" and especially "Industry Baby." I hadn't heard it until reading that's it a VERY poppy Ryan Tedder co-creation, so I had to rush to check out what that pairing produced. Lil Nas really knows how to deliver the visuals too.
                            Most certainly.

                            Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
                            EDIT: Forgot to vote in the poll! I went with LSS, which might be wishful thinking, but I know it'll do at least reasonably well. "What Doesn't Kill Me" was a tempting pick too.
                            We'll see!
                            Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time [2022 Edition: #86]
                            Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) [3 weeks]
                            AlbumClash 2.0: [Florence + the Machine vs. Drake]

                            I'm not saying I love you unconditionally, but we have been through a shitload of conditions and I'm still here.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              070. The Black Mamba - Love is on My Side



                              Left  home  when I was only sweet sixteen
                              Chasing blind love and a bunch of broken dreams
                              Don’t know how I thought I’d be a queen...
                              I still believe that
                              Love is on my side
                              Love is on my side
                              Love is on my side
                              Maybe not tonight

                              The third of four ESC entries this year, "Love is on My Side" is a patient, gentle ballad, featuring a deliciously classic instrumentation.
                              Code:
                              Quality Rating: 8.5/10
                              Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #3
                              Play Count: 17
                              069. Gwen Stefani - Let Me Reintroduce Myself



                              The simple recipe to get the best of me
                              Homegrown ingredients, that's what made you mess with me
                              In the first place (Place), 'cause you know I'm like organic
                              And it tastes great (Great), I already gave you bananas (Woo)
                              Let me re—, let me reintroduce myself
                              'Case you forgot, no, I'm not records on your shelf
                              I'm still the original-riginal old me, yeah
                              Original-riginal old me
                              So let me re—, let me reintroduce myself, yeah
                              Ooh, twenty-twenty-twenty-twenty-twenty vision
                              That's a hundred, but I'm not that good at long division

                              It's the video that really brought this song to life for me. I think I read some criticism about it, with the person lamenting that Gwen was resting on her laurels and not innovating, but I view it more as a celebration of her accomplishments, an acknowledgement of where she's been and having that used as a base for where she's charting her new course. Honestly, the video puts a smile on my face.
                              Code:
                              Quality Rating: 8.5/10
                              Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x1)
                              Play Count: 28
                              068. Ed Sheeran - Shivers



                              I took an arrow to the heart

                              Far and away my most-played and favourite song of this Ed era, "Shivers" feels like the "Shape of You" of this album cycle, with its upbeat melody and qualified bop status. It is such an earworm! I'm not a fan of its video, though.
                              Code:
                              Quality Rating: 8.5/10
                              Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #2
                              Play Count: 27
                              067. Kanye West - Ok Ok Pt. 2 (feat. Shenseea)



                              Nuh trust any and any man (Any man)
                              Pree dem man, mi play along (Play along)
                              Watch how dem ah sing mi song
                              Suddenly dem tun ah fan
                              Aim with precision
                              Fi number one position
                              Write the plan, right my wrong
                              And look, now I'm the boss in charge
                              Used to talk down 'pon me, now me on top
                              Left mi inna struggle suh nuh badda come back
                              Tek mi fi granted, tek mi fi soft
                              And if yuh play hard
                              If yuh let me down, mi nah have nuh food fi give yuh, right? Yuh know mi lock di shop down
                              Mi did like when you show luv to mi face, then chat behind mi back
                              Nuh trust people, cyaan trust people
                              From dem eat the fruit, mankind tun evil
                              Get cut off, you will get cut off
                              Mi nuh cyar how much memories we have in the past
                              Yuh bruk up wid yuh ex, still in love, suh yuh single
                              Mi bruk up wid mi ex, him dead to me, I'm a widow



                              The production on this is ace, as is Shenseea's verse. She eats this!
                              Code:
                              Quality Rating: 8.5/10
                              Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #3
                              Play Count: 21
                              066. Kacey Musgraves - Gracias a la Vida



                              Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto...
                              Me ha dado la risa y me ha dado el llanto

                              The final track on the 'Star-Crossed' LP, this cover of the Chilean original by Violeta Parra was a surprise ending to a reflective album, moreso because Kacey opted to stay true to the original language of the song and sing in Spanish than anything else because, in hindsight, this is a perfect wrap on an album that recounts the steps of a broken relationship. Translated to English, the title of the track - as well as the first line of each verse - is "thank you to life" and it's rather necessary, I believe, to be grateful for the small mercies afforded to us during our relatively brief stint within the galaxy. That sharp tonal shift towards the end, where the final verse is sung in a distorted and deep pitch, is also a fitting match for those lyrics, which, translated to English, speak to laughter and crying, and blessings and brokenness.
                              Code:
                              Quality Rating: 8.5/10
                              Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #5
                              Play Count: 14
                              Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time [2022 Edition: #86]
                              Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) [3 weeks]
                              AlbumClash 2.0: [Florence + the Machine vs. Drake]

                              I'm not saying I love you unconditionally, but we have been through a shitload of conditions and I'm still here.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                065. London Grammar - Missing



                                I worry that one day you'll go missing
                                And who will notice when you're gone?
                                I bet I'll call you farther from afar
                                And break the news that you have vanished
                                Like a star

                                I remember taking a walk one summer morning and I put 'Californian Soil' on to accompany me on the journey. This song stood out for some reason. It's got this ethereal quality that makes it a perfect match for early morning musings.
                                Code:
                                Quality Rating: 8.5/10
                                Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #3
                                Play Count: 10
                                064. Billie Eilish - Therefore I Am



                                Stop, what the hell are you talking about? Ha
                                Get my pretty name out of your mouth
                                We are not the same with or without
                                Don't talk 'bout me like how you might know how I feel
                                Top of the world, but your world isn't real
                                Your world's an ideal...
                                I'm not your friend
                                Or anything, damn
                                You think that you're the man
                                I think, therefore, I am

                                We've established that moody, dark pop is the terrain on which Billie Eilish is most comfortable and this is another receipt to support that claim. I love how laissez faire the video is.
                                Code:
                                Quality Rating: 8.5/10
                                Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #3
                                Play Count: 50
                                063. The Killers - Quiet Town



                                In this quiet town, families are tight
                                Good people, they still don't deadbolt their doors at night

                                Interestingly enough, when we hear songs about small towns (particularly those addressing such towns in reverential fashion), they're normally in country music form, not rock form, so "Quiet Town" gave us a genre shift to a well-trodden topic. The instrumentation on this is fantastic.
                                Code:
                                Quality Rating: 8.5/10
                                Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #5
                                Play Count: 14
                                062. Doja Cat - I Don't Do Drugs (feat. Ariana Grande)



                                Ever since I fell in love
                                Not quite like bein' trapped
                                More like a sickness that
                                Keeps me addicted bad

                                Ariana Grande oftentimes upstages the main act on her features, but Doja Cat remains stubbornly and securely fastened into the driver's seat on this head-bobbing bop.
                                Code:
                                Quality Rating: 8.5/10
                                Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #4
                                Play Count: 10
                                061. The Killers - In Another Life



                                Is this the life you chose yourself
                                Or just how it ended up?
                                Is that the yard you pictured when
                                You closed your eyes and dreamed
                                Of children in the grass running through the sprinklers?
                                Being somebody's wife?
                                Or were you living in another life?
                                When will I make it home?
                                When I damn well feel like driving
                                Down these empty streets
                                That burn through our birthright
                                I passed a couple of kids holding hands in the street tonight
                                They reminded me of us in another life
                                Am I the man of your desire
                                Or just a guy from your hometown?
                                Are these the arms that you saw when you
                                Pictured yourself wrapped around?
                                Baby, I can vouch for the hopeless dreamer
                                When you look at me, am I the man you hoped I'd be?

                                Whew, those are some heavy lyrics. I think there comes a point in our lives when we have to reconcile the existence we thought we were going to have and the existence we actually had/are having/are on track to continue to have. This song is basically consideration of the same, without a formalised reconciliation.
                                Code:
                                Quality Rating: 8.5/10
                                Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #14
                                Play Count: 10
                                Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time [2022 Edition: #86]
                                Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) [3 weeks]
                                AlbumClash 2.0: [Florence + the Machine vs. Drake]

                                I'm not saying I love you unconditionally, but we have been through a shitload of conditions and I'm still here.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  060. Daughtry - Heavy is the Crown



                                  Heavy is the crown
                                  Never falter, never let them bleed you out
                                  I'll be still standing when thеy try to bring my castle down
                                  I'll never bow down, hеavy is the crown

                                  I absolutely love the quote from which this song's title is lifted, but I still would not have expected that 2021 would have been the year that Daughtry returned to form and released what would be for me their most-played song of the last 10 years. As a top American Idol graduate, the vocals are grade A, but the video is surprisingly interesting - I didn't see a sci-fi visual accompanying this, but I most certainly enjoyed it!
                                  Code:
                                  Quality Rating: 8.5/10
                                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x1)
                                  Play Count: 25
                                  059. Silk Sonic - Smokin Out the Window



                                  Must've spent thirty-five, forty-five thousand up in Tiffany's (Oh no)
                                  Got her badass kids runnin' 'round my whole crib
                                  Like it's Chuck E. Cheese (Woah, woah)

                                  Put me in a jam with her ex-man in the UFC
                                  Can't believe it (Can't believe it)
                                  I'm in disbelief
                                  This bitch got me payin' her rent, payin' for trips
                                  Diamonds on her neck, diamonds on her wrists
                                  And here I am all alone (All alone)
                                  I'm so cold, I'm so cold
                                  You got me out here
                                  Smokin' out the window (Smokin' out the window)
                                  Singin', "How could she do this to me?"
                                  (How could she do this to me?)
                                  Oh, I thought that girl belonged to only me (Mmm)
                                  But I was wrong
                                  'Cause she belong
                                  To everybody, everybody, ooh

                                  Just the other night, she was grippin' on me tight
                                  Screamin', "Hercules" (Hercules, Hercules)
                                  Got me in the club lookin' for a new love
                                  Someone help me, please (Help me, please, help me, please)
                                  Baby, why you doin' this? Why you doin' this to me, girl?
                                  Not to be dramatic, but I wanna die
                                  ...
                                  Girl, it breaks my heart that you ain't right here with me
                                  Now I gotta give you back (Gotta give you back)
                                  To the city,
                                  oh, you got me

                                  I love a good ol' uptempo soul cut and this hits the mark. Lyrically, this is exceptional; vocally, it's passionate and affecting. There's really no flaw with this. Special shout-out to the second verse that Anderson delivers because that "Not to be dramatic, but I wanna die" line is gold! The way he falls out in the music video during that part punctuates the hilarity for me.
                                  Code:
                                  Quality Rating: 8.5/10
                                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #2
                                  Play Count: 31
                                  058. Bia - Whole Lotta Money (feat. Nicki Minaj)



                                  I can't wear the shit you bitches wear because it's cheap to me
                                  It's some money at my table, grab a seat with me
                                  Cost a ticket just to cover all my legal fees
                                  I don't hang with jealous bitches, that's a weak disease
                                  Ho, don't run up
                                  If you broke and in my business, then just shut up
                                  I invested in my body, bitch, I'm done up...
                                  I put on my jewelry just to go to the bodega (Uh)
                                  And I keep it with me just so that I'm feeling safer
                                  Fendi on my body, but my feet is in Bottega (Brr)
                                  Bitch, I'm getting money, give a f*ck about a hater...
                                  'Cause if you run up (Brrap)
                                  I guarantee you ain't gon' leave looking done up (Uh-uh)
                                  Some likkle Chinese bangs with the bun up
                                  I got the crown, lil' bitch, you just a run' up (Oh)

                                  This was the biggest hit of the year that had Nicki Minaj attached to it so it was a given that it would feature here, but it's also rather good on its own merits. I'm so accustomed to Onika completely soaking up all the spotlight on her features, but Bia holds her own here. There's a swagger that she brings, which is effortless and convincing, and I love that bodega line - it comes out of the blue, but is such a unique, clean fit. Nicki's verse has two things I like - a throwback to her "Itty Bitty Piggy" song with the runback and reminder no. 759496 that she's the rap queen. We never forget, but I do love how intentional she is about reminding us.
                                  Code:
                                  Quality Rating: 8.5/10
                                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x2)
                                  Play Count: 51
                                  057. Nicki Minaj - Seeing Green (feat. Drake & Lil Wayne)



                                  Let me take this Balenciaga mask off to ask y'all, "Who asked y'all?"
                                  Cita told me to stunt my ass off, that's all...
                                  No cap, I'm on them capsules, I done relapsed, boo
                                  But I been on my feet since Cinderella lost her glass shoe...
                                  My lil' ho out Atlanta, got a ho out Atlanta
                                  With a ho out Atlanta, she a ho out Atlanta
                                  We get it, it's the same in each city
                                  My bitch dance better than P. Diddy's
                                  And ever since the pandemic
                                  They don't wanna let Drake out of Canada
                                  I been screamin', "Free Drizzy"...
                                  But I'm the greediest shark amongst an ocean of killers
                                  I put you six feet deep, I'm bein' socially distant...
                                  Ayo, I am the star in any room that I stand in
                                  I am the standout, you just my stand-in
                                  These bitches copy my homework, that's what they hand in
                                  That's why I'm private like the airports I land in...
                                  I should go cop a new jersey, that's word to Camden
                                  These bitches' time tick-tockin', better stick to dancin'
                                  I D&G the wallet, my money tall and brolic
                                  Big-ass backyards, just so Papa Bear can frolic
                                  One Margherita pizza with Parmesan and garlic
                                  These bitches thirsty, I can see why they alcoholics
                                  Ain't gotta ever talk about it when you are about it
                                  Just bought a new car, not to drive it, but to walk around it
                                  Just call me "Nicki, cock the blicky," the Minaj is silent
                                  Brand new vanilla Maserati, I been Hšagen-Dazsin'
                                  He call me solid even though I'm drippin', water diet
                                  Big booty stickin' out, my Daisy Dukes'll cause a riot
                                  These bitches still my sons, who could ever deny it?
                                  My packs hit different, who could ever supply it?
                                  No one bitch could be my opp, that shit offends me
                                  It's corporate giants and machines that went against me
                                  I wash bitches, man, they couldn't even rinse me
                                  She said she hot, I said, "Well, bitch, come and convince me"
                                  Ain't no C in green, but I'm seein' green

                                  Even with them floor seats, they couldn't see the team
                                  The K-I-N-G, the G.O.A.T., plus me, the Queen
                                  I send shots, send 'em back or flee the scene...
                                  This ain't gon' be the first time that I do numbers on two crutches
                                  Seen more plaques than toothbrushes
                                  Until I'm at the pearly white gates, I gotta move somethin', do somethin'
                                  All meetings happen in person, so they can't prove nothin'
                                  Known her eight years and still f*ck her like a new husband
                                  Tryna run a country like Putin one day, but who's rushin', who's bluffin'? For real
                                  Who you huggin', who you wanna be lovin'?
                                  I play forty-eight minutes on a torn meniscus, who's subbin'?...
                                  Your girl was better in the mornin' like a slice of pizza
                                  That's when I had to hit her with the, "Nice to meet ya"

                                  The best of the new Nicki Minaj songs this year, "Seeing Green" has some pretty caption-ready, quotable bars. Initially, I think I kinda glossed over Lil Wayne's and Drake's contributions just because I was so thirsty for new Nicki bars, but they actually did a fine job as well. Interestingly enough, Nicki feels like her verse her is rather lacklustre, blaming it on being rusty, but I think this is pretty damn good. I eagerly await her full-fledged return next year.
                                  Code:
                                  Quality Rating: 8.5/10
                                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x1)
                                  Play Count: 72
                                  056. Drake - No Friends in the Industry



                                  My brothers been my brothers, man, you n*ggas ain't no kin to me, a fact...
                                  And I'm like Sha'Carri, smoke 'em on and off the track (Aye)
                                  And you love that hoe, but me, I put her on her back...
                                  When I signed my first deal, that shit came through a fax
                                  That should let you know how long I been out here runnin' laps...
                                  And your circle shrinkin', see some boys escapin'
                                  Rest of them is guilty by association (Ayy, what?)
                                  F*ck debatin' who the goat
                                  Bet not make the shit up 'bout the numbers all I know
                                  Bet not make the shit up 'bout the summer all I know
                                  Better find ya someone else to hit with all that smoke, n*gga, yeah
                                  And all them tweets and all them posts
                                  Ain't got the type of time to be playin' with you folk
                                  I had a Richard prior to these niggas, that's the joke
                                  I'm really down to die behind these verses in my notes

                                  The clear standout on the noticeably lengthy 'Certified Lover Boy', "No Friends in the Industry" is exquisitely produced. There's this bit in the production that I love - from 2:40 to 2:50 (from "all them posts" to "in my notes") where the ante keeps rising new levels. It creates this sense of intensity that's incredibly impactful.
                                  Code:
                                  Quality Rating: 8.5/10
                                  Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x1)
                                  Play Count: 51
                                  Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time [2022 Edition: #86]
                                  Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) [3 weeks]
                                  AlbumClash 2.0: [Florence + the Machine vs. Drake]

                                  I'm not saying I love you unconditionally, but we have been through a shitload of conditions and I'm still here.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    060. Daughtry - Heavy is the Crown

                                    The first song that I actually know on your year-end chart!

                                    Great song which will end up in my personal top 5 of the year.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Benny View Post
                                      060. Daughtry - Heavy is the Crown

                                      The first song that I actually know on your year-end chart!

                                      Great song which will end up in my personal top 5 of the year.
                                      Ah, guess we're not too in sync this year!
                                      Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time [2022 Edition: #86]
                                      Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) [3 weeks]
                                      AlbumClash 2.0: [Florence + the Machine vs. Drake]

                                      I'm not saying I love you unconditionally, but we have been through a shitload of conditions and I'm still here.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        055. Kacey Musgraves - Hookup Scene



                                        If you've got someone to love
                                        And you've almost given up

                                        Hold on tight despite the way they make you mad
                                        'Cause you might not even know that you don't have it so bad
                                        A pretty face might get you far
                                        But still it can't replace
                                        The kind of real connection that I crave
                                        The kind we don't have anymore
                                        And I get in my head
                                        Analyzing what I had
                                        It's a chapter that ain't coming back
                                        I could have learned to love it more


                                        I've jokingly had conversations with my friends that I'm not made for the streets, which I believe to be the case for a myriad of reasons. On "Hookup Scene", Kacey arrives at the same conclusion and the lyrics that speak to wishing that you'd appreciated the magic while the magic was still there cuts deep. Much true. So relate.
                                        Code:
                                        Quality Rating: 8.7/10
                                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #2
                                        Play Count: 36
                                        054. Silk Sonic - Leave the Door Open



                                        What you doin'? (What you doin'?)
                                        Where you at? (Where you at?)
                                        Oh, you got plans? (You got plans)
                                        Don't say that (Shut your trap)

                                        I'm sippin' wine (Sip, sip) in a robe (Drip, drip)
                                        I look too good (Look too good)
                                        To be alone (Woo, woo)
                                        My house clean (House clean), my pool warm (Pool warm)
                                        Just shaved, smooth like a newborn
                                        We should be dancin', romancin'...
                                        Ooh, you're so sweet (So sweet), so tight (So tight)
                                        I won't bite (Uh-uh), unless you like (Unless you like)
                                        If you smoke (What you smoke?), I got the haze (Purple haze)
                                        And if you're hungry, girl, I got filets (Woo)
                                        Ooh, baby, don't keep me waitin'
                                        There's so much love we could be makin' (Shamone!)
                                        I'm talkin' kissin', cuddlin'
                                        Rose petals in the bathtub
                                        Girl, let's jump in, it's bubblin'

                                        Smooth and sensual, sleek and soulful, this was the first dose of Silk Sonic that we got and it definitely had me wanting more. I love the way Bruno and Anderson tag-team (just had an interesting visual ) on this. They provide backup for each other on the verses and I think that playful back and forth puts the verses on this track over the chorus for me.
                                        Code:
                                        Quality Rating: 8.8/10
                                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x1)
                                        Play Count: 69
                                        053. Anne-Marie & Little Mix - Kiss My (Uh Oh)



                                        (Uh oh) Already know how this goes
                                        (Uh oh-oh-oh) Give you my all, then you ghost
                                        (Uh oh) But when I'm gone you do the most, yeah (Uh oh)

                                        This is just a fun, playful, dance-pop song, nothing more, and certainly nothing less.
                                        Code:
                                        Quality Rating: 9/10
                                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #5
                                        Play Count: 10
                                        052. Alex Who? - Then and Now



                                        There was a time
                                        You pulled a wool over my eyes
                                        Marched me in line
                                        Like a lamb to sacrifice...
                                        Shattered pieces on the ground where I fell
                                        That was then and this is now
                                        You can
                                        Thought something different and I'm not the same
                                        I was the victim while slept in your wake
                                        And I can't deny I nearly drowned
                                        That was then and this is now

                                        FSC is usually a decent source for good discoveries, but it's not every year that a song from that contest makes it here. This year, I liked the R&B melodrama of "Then and Now" so much that I even broke my was-this-even-released-this-year rule to include it. Pete (Spartan) usually submits quality songs, but this is certainly among his finest. It should have won January 2021, imo!
                                        Code:
                                        Quality Rating: 9/10
                                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x1)
                                        Play Count: 44
                                        051. Jazmine Sullivan - On It (feat. Ari Lennox)



                                        I need more than a text message
                                        You gon' have to pull off somethin' impressive
                                        Curves got you drivin' reckless
                                        Take this water and hydrate, bitch
                                        'Cause I heard somе freaky shit 'bout you
                                        So let me see what that mouth do
                                        'Cause baby it's not that easy to please me
                                        Yeah I'm needy, yeah I need more attention
                                        With different positions (Oh, oh, oh)
                                        Uh, ah, hey
                                        Say you one hell of a canoe
                                        Got it wetter than the whole Chesapeake Bay
                                        Nothing's stoppin' you
                                        Be the Nia to the hood Larenz Tate(Ooh)
                                        Dive in it (Ooh), take your time with it (Ooh)
                                        Lil' bowlegged hood n*gga with the nine inch (Ooh)
                                        Put it in my face
                                        Baby crash into these waves
                                        Oh, oh-oh

                                        "On It" is a quality R&B ballad by two of the genre's current finest singing about good ol' oral pleasure. I call it a ballad, but it's delivered more like a hymn. I must say that this took a while to hit me, but when it did, it became my top 'Heaux Tales' track.
                                        Code:
                                        Quality Rating: 9/10
                                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #4
                                        Play Count: 16
                                        Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time [2022 Edition: #86]
                                        Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) [3 weeks]
                                        AlbumClash 2.0: [Florence + the Machine vs. Drake]

                                        I'm not saying I love you unconditionally, but we have been through a shitload of conditions and I'm still here.

                                        Comment


                                        • #21
                                          053. Anne-Marie & Little Mix - Kiss My (Uh Oh)

                                          Love this one, the 'Never Leave You' sample is great

                                          Comment


                                          • #22
                                            Originally posted by Benny View Post
                                            053. Anne-Marie & Little Mix - Kiss My (Uh Oh)

                                            Love this one, the 'Never Leave You' sample is great
                                            It's a good one for sure!
                                            Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time [2022 Edition: #86]
                                            Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) [3 weeks]
                                            AlbumClash 2.0: [Florence + the Machine vs. Drake]

                                            I'm not saying I love you unconditionally, but we have been through a shitload of conditions and I'm still here.

                                            Comment


                                            • #23
                                              050. Olivia Rodrigo - Hope Ur Ok



                                              His parents cared more about the Bible
                                              Than being good to their own child
                                              He wore long sleeves 'cause of his dad
                                              And somehow, we fell out of touch
                                              Hope he took his bad deal and made a royal flush
                                              Don't know if I'll see you again someday
                                              But if you're out there, I hope that you're okay
                                              My middle school friend grew up alone
                                              She raised her brothers on hеr own
                                              Her parents hated who shе loved
                                              She couldn't wait to go to college
                                              She was tired 'cause she was brought into a world
                                              Where family was merely blood
                                              Does she know how proud I am she was created
                                              With the courage to unlearn all of their hatred?
                                              We don't talk much, but I just gotta say
                                              I miss you and I hope that you're okay

                                              I find it rather poignant that on an album that's about personal heartbreak, Olivia opts to conclude 'Sour' with this extended hug to the LGBTQ+ community. It could very well have been a calculated move, but I do greatly appreciate the sentiment behind the lyrics.
                                              Code:
                                              Quality Rating: 9/10
                                              Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #2
                                              Play Count: 19
                                              049. Lana Del Rey - Breaking Up Slowly



                                              Breakin' up slowly is a hard thing to do
                                              I love you only, but it's makin' me blue
                                              So don't send me flowers like you always do
                                              It's hard to be lonely, but it's the right thing
                                              Are these my good years or do I have none?

                                              Are there really good years for everyone?
                                              I don't wanna live with a life of regret
                                              I don't wanna end up like Tammy Wynette
                                              ...
                                              We might be breakin' up after this song
                                              Will he still love me long after I'm gone?
                                              Or did he see it comin' all along?

                                              Apparently, this was supposed to be Nikki Lane's song, and you can easily hear the country influence, but she let Lana have it for 'Chemtrails...' and thank heavens she did 'cause - whew! - I would have been devastated trudging through 'Chemtrails...' without this as a reward. There are some exceptional lyrical highlights and I love the slow drawl delivery. It amps the sombreness up to the nth degree. And she's absolutely right, too - breaking up slowly is quite difficult. Zero stars. Would not recommend.
                                              Code:
                                              Quality Rating: 9/10
                                              Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x2)
                                              Play Count: 32
                                              048. Demi Lovato - Melon Cake



                                              And there was a time
                                              Where the cat and mouse tried to make me Barbie-sized
                                              And I obliged
                                              ...
                                              People out here gettin' fired for chocolate in the backseat (It's a true story)
                                              I had too much of my fill and turns out, it wasn't cheap
                                              People always hung around who only want it skin-deep
                                              And now I'm sayin' no more melon cakеs on birthdays
                                              No more barricades in doorways
                                              Finally get to do things my way
                                              La-la-la, la-la-la
                                              You could find mе starvin' for attention most days
                                              Amongst other things, God help me

                                              Finally get to do things my way
                                              La-la-la, la-la-la
                                              No more melon cake

                                              Given the background of this song, "Melon Cake" is such an uplifting, triumphant moment for Demi, so when I checked out the music video, I expected those emotions to translate to the visual...and they did not. I'll admit that it fell down my rankings after that, but I can still celebrate the good elements of this song despite its crap video!
                                              Code:
                                              Quality Rating: 9/10
                                              Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x1)
                                              Play Count: 34
                                              047. Adele - Love is a Game



                                              Now that I see
                                              That love is a game for fools to play
                                              And I ain't fooling (Fooling), what a cruel thing (Cruel thing)
                                              To self-inflict that pain


                                              The spirit of Amy Winehouse is present in the jazz-soul arrangement of this track as well as the title itself. Thankfully, we were previewed this live through her CBS special the week before the album dropped as I really do believe "Love is a Game" favours a live setting and vocal.
                                              Code:
                                              Quality Rating: 9/10
                                              Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #2
                                              Play Count: 37
                                              046. Kylie Minogue + Years & Years - A Second to Midnight



                                              Show me the way to your heart

                                              Whereas Melon Cake's video sent it plunging in the rankings, the clip for "A Second to Midnight" lifted it a dozen or so places. It is honestly such a delightful, fun, effervescent, playful affair - it matches the energy of the track perfectly!
                                              Code:
                                              Quality Rating: 9/10
                                              Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #2
                                              Play Count: 33
                                              Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time [2022 Edition: #86]
                                              Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) [3 weeks]
                                              AlbumClash 2.0: [Florence + the Machine vs. Drake]

                                              I'm not saying I love you unconditionally, but we have been through a shitload of conditions and I'm still here.

                                              Comment


                                              • #24
                                                Some great stuff so far! Faves include Mabel, Anne-Marie & Little Mix, Silk Sonic, Adele and Kylie & Y&Y.

                                                Comment


                                                • #25
                                                  Originally posted by Thriller View Post
                                                  Some great stuff so far! Faves include Mabel, Anne-Marie & Little Mix, Silk Sonic, Adele and Kylie & Y&Y.
                                                  Glad you appreciate those!
                                                  Akini's Top 100 Albums of All-Time [2022 Edition: #86]
                                                  Your Billboard Top Ten: #1 Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) [3 weeks]
                                                  AlbumClash 2.0: [Florence + the Machine vs. Drake]

                                                  I'm not saying I love you unconditionally, but we have been through a shitload of conditions and I'm still here.

                                                  Comment

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