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

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  • JSparksFan
    replied
    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    Can't believe I left myself hanging for your top five! I did have a plan before I was sick!
    Happy that you're doing better now.

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    #5 - I love Lil Nas X but I can't stand Jack Harlow, so Industry Baby has always been a huge conflict for me. My enjoyment for Lil Nas usually wins out, but I brace myself every time when I know that handprint line is about to come up - it's so eyeroll worthy I give myself a headache with said eyeroll.
    Hmm...I'm not sure I remember you being anti-Harlow. Is it just on "Industry Baby" or him in general?

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    #4 - You skip bolding over one line in that song that is just haunting to me - she's 23 inside of her fantasy - that line really hits - the way you can stay rooted to a memory as if conjuring it up repeatedly will somehow change things.
    Also, I think sometimes it's a way of trying to make sense of the shock and pain - playing it over and over to find the why, which is so important to some people. It's me. I'm some people.

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    #3 - Glad Summer made it to the top five - it just wouldn't be you without her here - though you may be amused that I love 4th Baby Mama the most now.
    I am happy to read that actually!

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    #2 - Ah yes, I remember how this song sent you when you first listened to the album. I should have anticipated it would be this high. Looks like Taylor kills it for a second year in a row.
    Taylor's eating this decade.

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    #1 Except for Kacey! I'm elated to see her top your chart - a great choice, a great album!
    Glad you approve!

    Leave a comment:


  • cheapthrills
    replied
    Can't believe I left myself hanging for your top five! I did have a plan before I was sick!

    #5 - I love Lil Nas X but I can't stand Jack Harlow, so Industry Baby has always been a huge conflict for me. My enjoyment for Lil Nas usually wins out, but I brace myself every time when I know that handprint line is about to come up - it's so eyeroll worthy I give myself a headache with said eyeroll.

    #4 - You skip bolding over one line in that song that is just haunting to me - she's 23 inside of her fantasy - that line really hits - the way you can stay rooted to a memory as if conjuring it up repeatedly will somehow change things.

    #3 - Glad Summer made it to the top five - it just wouldn't be you without her here - though you may be amused that I love 4th Baby Mama the most now.

    #2 - Ah yes, I remember how this song sent you when you first listened to the album. I should have anticipated it would be this high. Looks like Taylor kills it for a second year in a row.

    #1 Except for Kacey! I'm elated to see her top your chart - a great choice, a great album!

    Leave a comment:


  • JSparksFan
    replied
    Originally posted by punchkano1 View Post
    What a lovely list. Excellent performance of long story short(#2) & no body, no crime(#8) and I also love willow (#22), too. Love to see I Drink Wine in Top 10, my favorite track from her latest album. Shivers is my fav from Ed's Equals along with Overpass Graffiti.
    Glad that it's your favourite '30' track, too!

    Leave a comment:


  • punchkano1
    replied
    What a lovely list. Excellent performance of long story short(#2) & no body, no crime(#8) and I also love willow (#22), too. Love to see I Drink Wine in Top 10, my favorite track from her latest album. Shivers is my fav from Ed's Equals along with Overpass Graffiti.

    Leave a comment:


  • JSparksFan
    replied
    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    I'm back - the holidays are really cutting into my UKMix time and I really need that to stop right now.
    I thought they might, too, but I must've Drag Race'd my sister out because she's refusing to watch anymore episodes.

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    50 Hope Ur OK is such a sweet song. I guess I never thought of it being calculated, but I suppose it's possible. It would be incredibly savvy of her to do that ona debut album though. Any female pop star worth their salt these days should know to embrace the LGBT+ community.
    Fax.

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    47 Love is a Game is most def a stand-out on 30! It captured it straight away! I felt like it could be a single. I am looking forward to hearing this one live!
    You'll enjoy it for sure!

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    46 Ahhh A Second to Midnight - definitely my fave of her releases - at first it was the Jessie Ware pairing that outdistanced it, but I can't seem to let this one go. I haven't seen the video, but I love how their voices pair together.
    The video is a must-watch!

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    44 I completely forgot Can They Hear Us? was a thing! I think I listened to a couple of times, but it was more disposable to me.
    Ah, I think I loved it from play no. 1.

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    43 Jessie's new tracks were complete fire this year - what a run of songs she has had.
    Indeed. The extended 'What's Your Pleasure?' era has been her finest for me.

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    42 - Wow, the Israeli entry being your top ESC performance is really unexpected. I assumed it would be Ukraine the way everyone on UKMix seems to have embraced it. This is a pleasant surprise.
    I strongly dislike the Ukraine entry.

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    41 - Whatever about Todrick; disappointed to hear Troye only bubbled under
    He was quality-rated only an 8/10 and that wasn't enough to make the cut this year.

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    40-38 - I need to hear more about the reaction of the guy you were with when you hit on another guy. The ballsiness! I'm not sure I could ever do that, though I get striking while the iron is hot. As for these tracks, they all come from among my favorite albums of the year, so of course, I give them all high marks and pleased to see the deep cuts from Adele and Silk make your top 40.
    I think I did that at one of my higher moments of desensitisation. He seemed okay with it. I actually waited in his car for like half an hour for my Lyft and the conversation was fine.

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    36 - I've listened to this entry, but it's FSC so I can't say anything yet!
    Having listened to all the FSC songs yesterday, some good ones were submitted, but I still think Autoheart was best. Guess I'll find out what the jury has to say about that in a few days.

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    OK, I'll circle back - trying my best to avoid spoilers on your list!
    Thanks for playing catch up!

    Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
    Yeah, the fact that poor Este gets murdered first sucks some of the fun out of that track for me (compared to something like "Two Black Cadillacs," where it's just about over-the-top revenge on a cheating husband).
    Fair enough.

    Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
    Glorious Top 2, both sure to make my YEC (though likely in a different order) LSS is definitely an evermore highlight and feels like the most "pop Taylor" moment across her past two albums (it wouldn't sound too out-of-place on Red or 1989). For some reason, it's the "if the shoe fits, walk in it, 'til your high heels break..." line that makes me smile the most (though I appreciate the album title name-drop too)
    I love that line, too!

    Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
    I like the factoid about WDKM's length (I don't mind the shorter-song trend as much as most. Sure, some might sound incomplete without a bridge, but it's totally possible for songs to convey ample emotions and tell their stories in 2ish minutes, as this gem shows. I think bloated intros, outros, and needless lyrical repetition are more bothersome than brevity). Hands-down my Star-Crossed standout.
    Totally agree on the bolded bit.

    Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
    Thanks for taking us on this musical journey through your past year, Akini!
    Thanks for following, Paul!

    Originally posted by Tansike View Post
    002. Taylor Swift - Long Story Short
    001. Kacey Musgraves - What Doesn't Kill Me

    You were right - I really enjoy both artists, I love their current album(s) and I like those two songs, but I don't like them nearly as much as you do.

    Long Story Short is definitely one of the catchiest songs on both Folklore / Evermore and definitely stands out even simply because of that, but even besides that it's a very good song. Also loved reading your story... the title alone (long story short) sounds so fitting to what has happened.
    Yep! I'll always admire Taylor's ability to pen catchy songs with substance.

    Originally posted by Tansike View Post
    What Doesn't Kill Me is among my favorites on Star-crossed, though not among the best of the best, simply because I feel like Kacey should have added an extra minute or so. Maybe we will get a single mix at some point?
    Also wow for your personal stories - working 120 hours a week is immense! How did you even do that? I really hope you're through most of it now and feeling better overall... even working 50-60 hours a week is not healthy and I can't imagine how it must've felt for you to basically just live to work.
    Maybe it's because the little that she did say was so striking for me that the song never 'felt' short for me.

    Yeah, I wasn't eating properly - I think I lost 10 pounds in a week - and I was practically a zombie at the end of it. I used my mental health breaks to talk to my ex-entanglement and my family and that was actually super helpful!

    Originally posted by Tansike View Post
    Also congrats to August for being the unofficial #1 this year, iirc making it already at least the second time a song is #1 (un)officially for two years following Lindsey Stirling's Crystallize
    Your memory does serve you right! "Breathin" came close in 2018/2019, but was randomly beaten by "Sorry Not Sorry" (because of the Brooke Lynn/Yvie lip-sync). Honestly, I could see "August" going for a third year...

    Originally posted by Tansike View Post
    Fantastic countdown overall with tons of great stuff!

    Happy holidays
    I appreciate you following this so closely, Tansike! Happy holidays to you, too!

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    34 - Happier Than Ever - Yay! I hope this means there's more than one Billie song in the top 40 - it's criminal she missed out on my year-end. I might be start the Happier Than Ever survivor after the holidays.
    I feel like it's rare these days when you're not hosting a survivor or countdown.

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    33 - The fact that I had to force myself to read Tyler and not Taylor and her long track I checked this out and it is good! I made it through all 8 minutes!
    Ooh, yay at you checking it out and enjoying it!

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    31 - I think Montero is a stand out track, but I agree it's not the best song on his album. I'm curious to see what you choose as his top track. That video was a moment though.
    You'll see!

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    29 - UK Hun Well. I've heard it thanks to it appearing on your chart and Thriller. I'm not sure I quite get it, but it's kind of cute.
    I'll take it!

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    28 - Oh no! 28 for East On Me! I expected it to be much higher. I hope this isn't the end of the road for Adele on your countdown!
    I'm not surprised you feel this way, given that "Easy on Me" is probably a #1 contender on your YEC. I know you know at this point that that wasn't the end of the road (cue Boyz II Men song) for Adele.

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    27 - Oh wow, two of my favorite tracks back-to-back! I'm taking L's left and right I also preferred Justified initially, and it actually spent more weeks at #1 for me, but Star Crossed proved to be a real grower, and I burned on it less quickly. Glad I helped her move up your list
    Yes, your impact is responsible for probably 65 of those spins!

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    24 - Like Star-Crossed for you, Keep an Eye on Dan has gotten my notice because of your love for it. It's time to give it more spins. I did think it would a little higher!
    9.5/10 sometimes gets you further, but not this year!

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    22 - How funny that we both single out the Elvira remix as by far the most superior of them. I feel like it was a lost opportunity to promote it. I do like the original tho.
    It's the taste, tbh.

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    OK, I'll circle back to get the next 15 later
    Cool beans!

    Originally posted by heppolo View Post
    Nice to see The Killers doing this well
    They put out a good album!

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    I'm back!


    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    19 - So happy to see Kiss Me More that high - it was a bop and the video was clever and sexy
    Yep. Doja understood the assignment.

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    18 - Not Throat Baby being that high I mean I get the appeal, but I could only listen to that so many times. August remains that song
    Indeed!

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    17 - So far now surprised at the songs I'm seeing here - I know you really loved This is Heaven - I did too (though spoiler alert, it missed my top 40.) I think it's the best song he's done
    I love throwing a few curveballs every now and again.

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    16 - Justified! - I thought Kacey came back with a super album. Golden Hour is better, but Star Crossed was certainly no slouch. I love that she released this song as summer ended to coincide with the lyrics. It was instant for me. That Jada-like entanglement must have hit you hard I'm so sorry, but like any trauma, there's no direct path to healing.
    Yep, it did hit hard and I think it's interesting how you can think of who you are as a person in theory, but in practice, with emotions and intensity as ever-present influences, you do see different shades of yourself. It was an experience and I suppose I still ought to be grateful that: (1) most of it was overwhelmingly positive and (2) it wasn't a super dramatic (or even remotely violent) end.

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    15 - Well, you know Olivia was huge for me, and it will stop pleasing me that you jumped on the Rodrigo train after all. It's funny that Driver's License was so instant for me, but then Good 4 U took me a moment, and then I was obsessed. I love the bitchy sarcasm , so glad that therapist helped, haha
    Yeah, sarcasm will usually go the distance for me.

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    14 - WHAT? This one is a complete shock to me. Until now most of these were ones I remembered seeing you chart but I must have bypassed your attraction to the Diana Ross song. I do remember hearing and thinking not bad, but then kind of moved on.
    To be fair, it did have a bit of an erratic run on my chart!

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    13 - I'd never heard of Agnes until this year, but she did release a banger of an album. I charted 24 Hours, but it bubbled under my bubbling under songs.
    The bolded made me laugh.

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    12 - Interesting! Renegade didn't seem to engage me like it did for you. I have to think there's more Taylor ahead because I feel like you're missing a couple key tracks.
    You're right on more Taylor...

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    10 - I've really tried to like Cold Heart but the pastiche of former Elton songs just don't seem to do it for me. I do love the career comeback he's pairing up with today's artists though.
    Aw, shame you weren't able to connect with "Cold Heart". There's an obvious pun there, but I shan't go for it.

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    9 - Aha! There's No Body No Crime - that's one of the ones I was waiting for - my favorite track on the album. I'm so pleased it made your top 10! My favorite part of the song is her referencing Este is the lyrics. I do love the twists the song takes.
    Yeah, I knew you would appreciate that one!

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    7 - I'm so relieved Adele placed in the top 10 - It would have been an epic disappointment if she hadn't.
    Whew, glad I could be spared of that!

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    6 - Another WHAT?? I actually expected this to be contending even higher - it seems like every chart I've checked out since Summer's album came out there's been Summer right near the top. Will be interesting to see what you liked more - that said, the lyrics you quoted are fire! She really came for blood.
    Yeah, Summer really dominated my chart for most of the last seven weeks.

    Originally posted by cheapthrills View Post
    I'll check in on the final five tomorrow.
    Looking forward to reading your thoughts!

    Leave a comment:


  • cheapthrills
    replied
    I'm back!

    19 - So happy to see Kiss Me More that high - it was a bop and the video was clever and sexy
    18 - Not Throat Baby being that high I mean I get the appeal, but I could only listen to that so many times. August remains that song
    17 - So far now surprised at the songs I'm seeing here - I know you really loved This is Heaven - I did too (though spoiler alert, it missed my top 40.) I think it's the best song he's done
    16 - Justified! - I thought Kacey came back with a super album. Golden Hour is better, but Star Crossed was certainly no slouch. I love that she released this song as summer ended to coincide with the lyrics. It was instant for me. That Jada-like entanglement must have hit you hard I'm so sorry, but like any trauma, there's no direct path to healing.
    15 - Well, you know Olivia was huge for me, and it will stop pleasing me that you jumped on the Rodrigo train after all. It's funny that Driver's License was so instant for me, but then Good 4 U took me a moment, and then I was obsessed. I love the bitchy sarcasm , so glad that therapist helped, haha
    14 - WHAT? This one is a complete shock to me. Until now most of these were ones I remembered seeing you chart but I must have bypassed your attraction to the Diana Ross song. I do remember hearing and thinking not bad, but then kind of moved on.
    13 - I'd never heard of Agnes until this year, but she did release a banger of an album. I charted 24 Hours, but it bubbled under my bubbling under songs.
    12 - Interesting! Renegade didn't seem to engage me like it did for you. I have to think there's more Taylor ahead because I feel like you're missing a couple key tracks.
    10 - I've really tried to like Cold Heart but the pastiche of former Elton songs just don't seem to do it for me. I do love the career comeback he's pairing up with today's artists though.
    9 - Aha! There's No Body No Crime - that's one of the ones I was waiting for - my favorite track on the album. I'm so pleased it made your top 10! My favorite part of the song is her referencing Este is the lyrics. I do love the twists the song takes.
    7 - I'm so relieved Adele placed in the top 10 - It would have been an epic disappointment if she hadn't.
    6 - Another WHAT?? I actually expected this to be contending even higher - it seems like every chart I've checked out since Summer's album came out there's been Summer right near the top. Will be interesting to see what you liked more - that said, the lyrics you quoted are fire! She really came for blood.

    I'll check in on the final five tomorrow.

    Leave a comment:


  • heppolo
    replied
    Nice to see The Killers doing this well

    Leave a comment:


  • cheapthrills
    replied
    34 - Happier Than Ever - Yay! I hope this means there's more than one Billie song in the top 40 - it's criminal she missed out on my year-end. I might be start the Happier Than Ever survivor after the holidays.

    33 - The fact that I had to force myself to read Tyler and not Taylor and her long track I checked this out and it is good! I made it through all 8 minutes!

    31 - I think Montero is a stand out track, but I agree it's not the best song on his album. I'm curious to see what you choose as his top track. That video was a moment though.

    29 - UK Hun Well. I've heard it thanks to it appearing on your chart and Thriller. I'm not sure I quite get it, but it's kind of cute.

    28 - Oh no! 28 for East On Me! I expected it to be much higher. I hope this isn't the end of the road for Adele on your countdown!

    27 - Oh wow, two of my favorite tracks back-to-back! I'm taking L's left and right I also preferred Justified initially, and it actually spent more weeks at #1 for me, but Star Crossed proved to be a real grower, and I burned on it less quickly. Glad I helped her move up your list

    24 - Like Star-Crossed for you, Keep an Eye on Dan has gotten my notice because of your love for it. It's time to give it more spins. I did think it would a little higher!

    22 - How funny that we both single out the Elvira remix as by far the most superior of them. I feel like it was a lost opportunity to promote it. I do like the original tho.

    OK, I'll circle back to get the next 15 later

    Leave a comment:


  • Tansike
    replied
    002. Taylor Swift - Long Story Short
    001. Kacey Musgraves - What Doesn't Kill Me

    You were right - I really enjoy both artists, I love their current album(s) and I like those two songs, but I don't like them nearly as much as you do.

    Long Story Short is definitely one of the catchiest songs on both Folklore / Evermore and definitely stands out even simply because of that, but even besides that it's a very good song. Also loved reading your story... the title alone (long story short) sounds so fitting to what has happened.

    What Doesn't Kill Me is among my favorites on Star-crossed, though not among the best of the best, simply because I feel like Kacey should have added an extra minute or so. Maybe we will get a single mix at some point?
    Also wow for your personal stories - working 120 hours a week is immense! How did you even do that? I really hope you're through most of it now and feeling better overall... even working 50-60 hours a week is not healthy and I can't imagine how it must've felt for you to basically just live to work.

    Also congrats to August for being the unofficial #1 this year, iirc making it already at least the second time a song is #1 (un)officially for two years following Lindsey Stirling's Crystallize

    Fantastic countdown overall with tons of great stuff!

    Happy holidays

    Leave a comment:


  • crystalphoenix
    replied
    Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post
    I'm glad you appreciate that detail as I do recall you mentioning that the whole homicidal vibe was a bit jarring!
    Yeah, the fact that poor Este gets murdered first sucks some of the fun out of that track for me (compared to something like "Two Black Cadillacs," where it's just about over-the-top revenge on a cheating husband).

    Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post
    Do you like "Fall in Love at Christmas"? It's so meh to me, but it seems to be better received among the fanbase than "Somewhat Loved".
    I've only given it a spin or two, but I'd say they're pretty equally underwhelming.
    • Glorious Top 2, both sure to make my YEC (though likely in a different order) LSS is definitely an evermore highlight and feels like the most "pop Taylor" moment across her past two albums (it wouldn't sound too out-of-place on Red or 1989). For some reason, it's the "if the shoe fits, walk in it, 'til your high heels break..." line that makes me smile the most (though I appreciate the album title name-drop too)
    • I like the factoid about WDKM's length (I don't mind the shorter-song trend as much as most. Sure, some might sound incomplete without a bridge, but it's totally possible for songs to convey ample emotions and tell their stories in 2ish minutes, as this gem shows. I think bloated intros, outros, and needless lyrical repetition are more bothersome than brevity). Hands-down my Star-Crossed standout.
    Thanks for taking us on this musical journey through your past year, Akini!

    Leave a comment:


  • cheapthrills
    replied
    I'm back - the holidays are really cutting into my UKMix time and I really need that to stop right now.

    50 Hope Ur OK is such a sweet song. I guess I never thought of it being calculated, but I suppose it's possible. It would be incredibly savvy of her to do that ona debut album though. Any female pop star worth their salt these days should know to embrace the LGBT+ community.

    47 Love is a Game is most def a stand-out on 30! It captured it straight away! I felt like it could be a single. I am looking forward to hearing this one live!

    46 Ahhh A Second to Midnight - definitely my fave of her releases - at first it was the Jessie Ware pairing that outdistanced it, but I can't seem to let this one go. I haven't seen the video, but I love how their voices pair together.

    44 I completely forgot Can They Hear Us? was a thing! I think I listened to a couple of times, but it was more disposable to me.

    43 Jessie's new tracks were complete fire this year - what a run of songs she has had.

    42 - Wow, the Israeli entry being your top ESC performance is really unexpected. I assumed it would be Ukraine the way everyone on UKMix seems to have embraced it. This is a pleasant surprise.

    41 - Whatever about Todrick; disappointed to hear Troye only bubbled under

    40-38 - I need to hear more about the reaction of the guy you were with when you hit on another guy. The ballsiness! I'm not sure I could ever do that, though I get striking while the iron is hot. As for these tracks, they all come from among my favorite albums of the year, so of course, I give them all high marks and pleased to see the deep cuts from Adele and Silk make your top 40.

    36 - I've listened to this entry, but it's FSC so I can't say anything yet!

    OK, I'll circle back - trying my best to avoid spoilers on your list!

    Leave a comment:


  • JSparksFan
    replied
    Full credit to this year's top two, but the shadow of "August" looms large, as "August" actually spent more days atop my chart this year than these top two songs combined and was also, by almost 400 spins, my most-played song of the year.

    002. Taylor Swift - Long Story Short



    Fatefully
    I tried to pick my battles 'til the battle picked me
    Misery
    Like the war of words I shouted in my sleep
    And you passed right by
    I was in the alley, surrounded on all sides
    The knife cuts both ways
    If the shoe fits, walk in it 'til your high heels break
    And I fell from the pedestal
    Right down the rabbit hole
    Long story short, it was a bad time
    Pushed from the precipice
    Clung to the nearest lips
    Long story short, it was the wrong guy

    Now I'm all about you
    I'm all about you, ah
    Yeah, yeah
    I'm all about you, ah
    Yeah, yeah
    Actually
    I always felt I must look better in the rear view
    Missing me
    At the golden gates they once held the keys to
    When I dropped my sword
    I threw it in the bushes and knocked on your door
    And we live in peace
    But if someone comes at us
    This time, I'm ready
    No more keepin' score now
    I just keep you warm (keep you warm)
    No more tug of war now
    I just know there's more (know there's more)
    No more keepin' score now
    I just keep you warm (keep you warm)
    And my waves meet your shore
    Ever and evermore
    Past me
    I wanna tell you not to get lost in these petty things
    Your nemeses
    Will defeat themselves before you get the chance to swing
    And he's passing by
    Rare as the glimmer of a comet in the sky
    And he feels like home

    If the shoe fits, walk in it everywhere you go

    As I mentioned before, since Taylor Swift released 'Evermore' during my year-end countdown season last year, I elected to defer the consideration of the album and its contents to 2021. As such, I played this song for the first time on 1/1/2021. Though "No Body, No Crime" had all the homicidal fireworks, this one's array of Hallmark-ready, quotable, but deeply accessible and relevant messages meant that it would prevail in the big chart duel of New Year's Day 2021 (and the day after) and would lead the race for song of the year for much of 2021.

    In fact, this song would be playing (on repeat) at the exact moment I messaged a man on a shady 'dating' app, which would be the genesis of a seventh-month-long adventure filled with love, laughter, joy, confusion, and ultimately disappointment. I do suspect had things gone differently there, this might have felt like a fitting year-end #1, but life had different plans and another country star would offer an even worthier message in which to tie up the year's happenings.

    As for "Long Story Short" itself, it had a sterling run those first two months of the year - spending an impressive eight days atop my chart during that timeframe (and a fair few days at #2). There's this deceptively effective opening bit she does at the top of each verse - fatefully/actually/past me - that sets this poetic rhythm in motion that is so seamless and beautiful.
    Code:
    Quality Rating: 10/10
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x8)
    Play Count: 448
    001. Kacey Musgraves - What Doesn't Kill Me



    I'm not afraid of a bite
    I can take it
    Watch how I bend
    But I'm, I'm not breaking
    I've been to hell and back
    Golden hour faded black
    Say that it ain't coming back
    Ain't coming back

    But you're gonna feel me
    You're gonna feel me
    You're gonna feel me
    When I'm done
    When I'm done
    What doesn't kill me
    What doesn't kill me
    What doesn't kill me
    Better run
    Better run

    I'm not afraid to connect with something real
    And just let it go when I know
    That it just don't fit in


    At only 17 seconds north of two minutes, "What Doesn't Kill Me" is my shortest year-end #1 song, but its brevity does nothing to dilute its potency. The lyrics speak directly to heartbreak, yes, and I certainly had that in 2021, but the overall theme of this song is resilience and given the health scares members of my immediate family had this year, challenges at work including 120-hour weeks, and yes dating and romance woes, that brilliant "better run" plot twist in the lyrics - she's a mad genius for teasing us with that "what doesn't kill me" line, with us thinking we knew what was 'round the corner, only for her to drop the mic with the lyrical reveal - had just the right degree of defiant energy to put it over the top of Taylor's best offering this year.

    Kacey Musgraves is coming to Atlanta on 2/9/2022 and I absolutely cannot wait to hear this song in a live setting. That "better run" twist will stick with me for many years to come.
    Code:
    Quality Rating: 10/10
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x11)
    Play Count: 450

    Leave a comment:


  • JSparksFan
    replied
    Originally posted by Carbon View Post
    I Drink Wine is stunning!
    Indeed it is!

    Originally posted by Thriller View Post
    Cold Heart and Industry Baby the best of the top 10.

    No shade, but so much Taylor.
    Guess it's pretty obvious who my most-played artist of 2021 is.

    Originally posted by king_oxymoron View Post
    I actually don’t know a whole heap of yours this year, but Willow I think is really cute. No Body, No Crime was the real standout from that album for me though, good shout. And This Is Heaven is really Nick at amongst his finest, it has a great atmosphere to it. Good 4 U I was a bit peeved at first with how much of a Paramore rip off it was but ended up stanning haha.
    Those are some excellent tracks that clicked with you!

    Originally posted by Tansike View Post
    As for your question, yes, the original remix of Willow is still my favorite
    Gotcha. I do appreciate the original quite a bit, too.

    Originally posted by Tansike View Post
    019. Doja Cat - Kiss Me More (feat. SZA)
    017. Nick Jonas - This is Heaven
    016. Kacey Musgraves - Justified

    Great start into the Top20. Kiss Me More is probably going to appear on many year-end lists.
    This Is Heaven is a surprising entry here but hey, I'm not mad at all, because I still think this should have been a worldwide hit for him ... and it ended up doing absolutely nothing. No idea what's going on there... so very glad you appreciate the track so much!
    Justified's placement is definitely justified.
    Glad you like those three and yeah, it's a shame "This is Heaven" flopped when that Jonas Brother return song, which was meh at best, did so well. The charts have been so bizarre since streaming took over.

    Originally posted by Tansike View Post
    015. Olivia Rodrigo - Good 4 U
    013. Agnes - Magic Still Exists
    012. Taylor Swift - Renegade
    011. The Killers - In the Car Outside

    Good 4 U is definitely a contender for the biggest songs of the year. I like how the third single of her debut even outshined Drivers License (at least over here, not sure if it did better everywhere else as well). It's also cool that Olivia brought back that Punk-Pop style we all knew and grew to love through Avril Lavigne back in the days.
    Magic Still Exists is definitely a song I never expected here, let alone this high, but hey, I'm not complaining. It's a gorgeous title track and I fell in love the first time I heard it. It's pretty epic! But yes, I'm one of those people who are going to chart (an)other Agnes song(s)!
    As I nearly did as well!

    Originally posted by Tansike View Post
    010. Elton John & Dua Lipa - Cold Heart
    009. Taylor Swift - No Body, No Crime (feat. HAIM)
    007. Adele - I Drink Wine
    005. Lil Nas X - Industry Baby (feat. Jack Harlow)
    004. Taylor Swift - Right Where You Left Me

    I'm currently listening to Taylor's Evermore (album) as I'm typing this so I'm totally here for her slayage! <3
    Felt very similar the first time I heard No Body, No Crime. I even stopped my album playthrough and had to replay No Body, No Crime a few times I was so in love right away. No idea why they never pushed it as a single by the way, it could have been such a nice hit for her, at least in a few countries such as Australia and the US. But then I get it, Taylor doesn't seem to be about singles anymore (except for the one that leads into the album).
    YES, I always try to do a clean run-through, but I remember being so excited to get back to NBNC! You're certainly right that it's incredibly single-worthy and there are so many fun things she could've done with it, visual-wise, but her energy is probably also being allocated towards re-recording her catalogue so maybe it'll be a while before she sits with a new studio album and fleshes out a full campaign...if she ever does again!

    Originally posted by Tansike View Post
    ...so it's Kacey VS. Taylor which is pretty epic by its own, can't wait to see what songs though.
    I think you like both songs, but I just like them way more. Not sure, but let's see!

    Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
    Ask, and I shall receive!


    Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
    Before we get to the Taynado, "Cold Heart" gradually reeled me in after initially thinking it was a cute enough concept, but not especially replay-worthy. I'm glad it gave both acts involved another big hit on both sides of the pond (and elsewhere too).
    Yeah, "Cold Heart", ironically, is a slow burner, but when it connects, it stays with ya!

    Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
    I didn't realize until (I think it was Cheap?) pointed out that Este's actually the name of one of the HAIM sisters, and something about that little real-life detail adds a certain charm to the (otherwise pretty tragic/twisted) track.
    I'm glad you appreciate that detail as I do recall you mentioning that the whole homicidal vibe was a bit jarring!

    Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
    I was pretty shocked by the domination of "Somewhat Loved" on your daily chart during the year, but now I see how the timing really enhanced its impact.
    Do you like "Fall in Love at Christmas"? It's so meh to me, but it seems to be better received among the fanbase than "Somewhat Loved".

    Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
    I owe you for helping me appreciate "Right Where You Left Me" more. At first, the upbeat twang felt too jarring compared to the rest of evermore (especially the title track that immediately precedes it), but that sound has a very nostalgic classic-Taylor charm to it, and her vivid storytelling/scene-painting is as on-point as ever throughout the song.
    Glad that I could make you appreciate another Taylor song - not that you needed to - *looks at T-Swizzle play count*

    Leave a comment:


  • crystalphoenix
    replied
    Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post
    Brace yourself.
    Ask, and I shall receive!
    • Before we get to the Taynado, "Cold Heart" gradually reeled me in after initially thinking it was a cute enough concept, but not especially replay-worthy. I'm glad it gave both acts involved another big hit on both sides of the pond (and elsewhere too).
    • I didn't realize until (I think it was Cheap?) pointed out that Este's actually the name of one of the HAIM sisters, and something about that little real-life detail adds a certain charm to the (otherwise pretty tragic/twisted) track.
    • I was pretty shocked by the domination of "Somewhat Loved" on your daily chart during the year, but now I see how the timing really enhanced its impact.
    • I owe you for helping me appreciate "Right Where You Left Me" more. At first, the upbeat twang felt too jarring compared to the rest of evermore (especially the title track that immediately precedes it), but that sound has a very nostalgic classic-Taylor charm to it, and her vivid storytelling/scene-painting is as on-point as ever throughout the song.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tansike
    replied
    As for your question, yes, the original remix of Willow is still my favorite

    019. Doja Cat - Kiss Me More (feat. SZA)
    017. Nick Jonas - This is Heaven
    016. Kacey Musgraves - Justified

    Great start into the Top20. Kiss Me More is probably going to appear on many year-end lists.
    This Is Heaven is a surprising entry here but hey, I'm not mad at all, because I still think this should have been a worldwide hit for him ... and it ended up doing absolutely nothing. No idea what's going on there... so very glad you appreciate the track so much!
    Justified's placement is definitely justified.

    015. Olivia Rodrigo - Good 4 U
    013. Agnes - Magic Still Exists
    012. Taylor Swift - Renegade
    011. The Killers - In the Car Outside

    Good 4 U is definitely a contender for the biggest songs of the year. I like how the third single of her debut even outshined Drivers License (at least over here, not sure if it did better everywhere else as well). It's also cool that Olivia brought back that Punk-Pop style we all knew and grew to love through Avril Lavigne back in the days.
    Magic Still Exists is definitely a song I never expected here, let alone this high, but hey, I'm not complaining. It's a gorgeous title track and I fell in love the first time I heard it. It's pretty epic! But yes, I'm one of those people who are going to chart (an)other Agnes song(s)!

    010. Elton John & Dua Lipa - Cold Heart
    009. Taylor Swift - No Body, No Crime (feat. HAIM)
    007. Adele - I Drink Wine
    005. Lil Nas X - Industry Baby (feat. Jack Harlow)
    004. Taylor Swift - Right Where You Left Me

    I'm currently listening to Taylor's Evermore (album) as I'm typing this so I'm totally here for her slayage! <3
    Felt very similar the first time I heard No Body, No Crime. I even stopped my album playthrough and had to replay No Body, No Crime a few times I was so in love right away. No idea why they never pushed it as a single by the way, it could have been such a nice hit for her, at least in a few countries such as Australia and the US. But then I get it, Taylor doesn't seem to be about singles anymore (except for the one that leads into the album).

    ...so it's Kacey VS. Taylor which is pretty epic by its own, can't wait to see what songs though.

    Leave a comment:


  • king_oxymoron
    replied
    I actually don’t know a whole heap of yours this year, but Willow I think is really cute. No Body, No Crime was the real standout from that album for me though, good shout. And This Is Heaven is really Nick at amongst his finest, it has a great atmosphere to it. Good 4 U I was a bit peeved at first with how much of a Paramore rip off it was but ended up stanning haha.

    Leave a comment:


  • Thriller
    replied
    Cold Heart and Industry Baby the best of the top 10.

    No shade, but so much Taylor.

    Leave a comment:


  • Carbon
    replied
    I Drink Wine is stunning!

    Leave a comment:


  • JSparksFan
    replied
    And then there were two! It all comes down to these two modern country crooners (country music powers that be may disagree with me on that)! Who wins? Find out when I'm done with my work day tomorrow.


    vs.

    Leave a comment:


  • JSparksFan
    replied
    010. Elton John & Dua Lipa - Cold Heart



    It's a human sign
    When things go wrong
    When the scent of her lingers
    And temptation's strong
    Cold, cold heart
    Hardened by you (oh)

    Some things lookin' better, baby
    Just passin' through (no, no, no, no, no)
    And I think it's gonna be a long, long time
    'Til touchdown brings me 'round again to find
    I'm not the man they think I am at home
    Oh no, no, no
    And this is what I should have said
    Well I thought it, but I kept it hid


    Among unexpected pairings and surprise chart-toppers in 2021, "Cold Heart" would rank atop both lists for me. However, when Dua does join Elton on that chorus, something just clicks! It makes perfect sense and Dua's natural husk merges perfectly with Elton's legendary baritone. The fact that this ballad fusion is dancefied is also a perfect touch that I didn't think we needed, and I love the choice Dua made not to change pronouns ("I'm not the man they think I am at home"). There was something calming about this song and I remember I played it a tonne in September as it seemed the perfect summer to autumn crossover tune.
    Code:
    Quality Rating: 10/10
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x5)
    Play Count: 226
    009. Taylor Swift - No Body, No Crime (feat. HAIM)



    He did it
    He did it
    Este's a friend of mine
    We meet up every Tuesday night for dinner and a glass of wine
    Este's been losing sleep
    Her husband's acting different and it smells like infidelity
    She says, "That ain't my merlot on his mouth"
    "That ain't my jewelry on our joint account"
    No, there ain't no doubt
    I think I'm gonna call him out

    She says
    "I think he did it but I just can't prove it"
    I think he did it but I just can't prove it
    I think he did it but I just can't prove it
    No, no body, no crime
    But I ain't letting up until the day I die

    No, no
    I think he did it
    No, no
    He did it
    Este wasn't there
    Tuesday night at Olive Garden, at her job, or anywhere
    He reports his missing wife
    And I noticed when I passed his house his truck has got some brand new tires
    And his mistress moved in
    Sleeps in Este's bed and everything
    No, there ain't no doubt
    Somebody's gotta catch him out

    Good thing my daddy made me get a boating license when I was fifteen
    And I've cleaned enough houses to know how to cover up a scene
    Good thing Este's sister's gonna swear she was with me ("She was with me dude")
    Good thing his mistress took out a big life insurance policy
    They think she did it but they just can't prove it
    They think she did it but they just can't prove it
    She thinks I did it but she just can't prove it
    No, no body, no crime
    I wasn't letting up until the day he
    No, no body, no crime
    I wasn't letting up until the day he
    No, no body, no crime
    I wasn't letting up until the day he died


    I'm not sure I can fully convey the absolute jubilation I experienced when I first played this song. I'd waited until 1/1/2021 to hear 'Evermore' and when this, track six, started to play, I was floored. I couldn't believe that the one type of song missing from Taylor's discography, she finally gave to us! I feel like these type of dramatic manslaughter themes are such an exciting topic in country music - Carrie Underwood traversed the terrain at least three times in her career, and I was really disappointed that Taylor hadn't tackled it, but with this, she did it with gusto and in true Taylor tailoring! The way the suspects in the case shift throughout the verses gives me murder mystery dinner energy and HAIM joining in on the hook give this a folky edge that I love. I was so thoroughly obsessed with this song and fully expected it to be my runaway favourite from its parent album and a possible contender for song of the year - all this from play no. 1 - and it went on to not even top my chart that day!
    Code:
    Quality Rating: 10/10
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x3)
    Play Count: 188
    008. Jam & Lewis - Somewhat Loved (There You Go Breakin' My Heart)



    We stood there alone
    In that silent corridor
    Those unspoken words
    Conjure fixation
    Capturing me
    Helplessly into bliss

    Just like fall, things started to switch
    And now spring's everything that I miss
    Somewhat loved
    The more I thought about you
    Was the less I thought about me

    And I lost myself in this dream
    Somewhat loved
    There you go
    Breakin' my heart, breakin' my heart
    Breakin' my heart again
    No such thing as lovers and friends
    (There you go)
    Breakin' my heart, breakin' my heart
    Breakin' my heart again
    You only live to break my heart again
    Spun out of control
    In this faithless world I must own
    Angel turned his back
    And where wings once were
    They were no longer intact


    Mariah always shows up when I need her to and in June, when this year's most significant and long-running entanglement of mine started to unravel, and Mariah had in this sweeping, heartbeat-driven-melodic R&B ballad the lyric "No such thing as lovers and friends", a message I had previously communicated, I did take the opportunity to put this on during a car ride and point attention to that most fundamental truth (well, it's at least a truth for me). Neither of us would take heed for at least another month and a half, but it's something special when a song arrives at just the right time and expresses in no uncertain terms exactly how you feel. The fact that it came in this form with Mariah at the helm only endears her to me further, which I'm surprised is still possible!
    Code:
    Quality Rating: 10/10
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x5)
    Play Count: 123
    007. Adele - I Drink Wine



    How can one become so bounded
    By choices that somebody else makes?
    How come we've both become a version
    Of a person we don't even like?

    We're in love with the world
    But the world just wants to bring us down
    By putting ideas in our heads
    That corrupt our hearts somehow
    When I was a child
    Every single thing could blow my mind
    Soaking it all up for fun
    But now I only soak up wine
    They say to play hard, you work hard
    Find balance in the sacrifice
    Yet I don't know anybody
    Who's truly satisfied

    You better believe I'm trying (trying, trying)
    To keep climbing (climbing, climbing)
    But the higher we climb
    Feels like we're both none the wiser (ahh)
    So I hope I learn to get over myself
    Stop trying to be somebody else
    So we can love each other for free
    Everybody wants something
    You just want me

    Why am I obsessing
    About the things I can't control?
    Why am I seeking approval
    From people I don't even know?
    In these crazy times I hope to find
    Something I can cling on to
    'Cause I need some substance in my life
    Something real, something that feels true
    You better believe for you I've cried (I've cried, I've cried)
    High tides (high tides, high tides)
    'Cause I want you so bad
    But you can't fight fire with fire (ahh)

    Listen, I know how low I can go
    I give as good as I get
    You get the brunt of it all
    'Cause you're all I've got left
    Oh, I hope in time (hope in time)
    We both will find (we both find) peace of mind
    Sometimes the road less traveled
    Is a road best left behind (ahh)

    I wish that it was just at a different time
    A most turbulent period of my life
    Why would I put that on you?
    That's just like a very heavy thing to have to talk about
    But because of that period of time
    Even though it was so much fun
    I didn't get to go on and make new memories with him
    There was just memories in a big storm

    From the moment I heard this song on the CBS special, I suspected it would become my favourite '30' track. Lyrically, I think this hits home the hardest for me and I love how it's got this rolling kind of chorus - like, it starts, and just keeps going and going and going, but you never actually really want it to end. This is bluesy, soulful, soaring, raw and honest, mature - it's really the best of Adele.
    Code:
    Quality Rating: 10/10
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x4)
    Play Count: 231
    006. Summer Walker - 4th Baby Mama



    I wanna start with yo' mama, she should've whooped yo' ass
    Know you ain't shit, but she don't care 'cause you lit
    Paying for trips, cars, bags (bags), and bought the crib (crib)
    But she ain't never call you out
    'Cause she like the way that she live
    But that some foul shit, she wasn't ever around when
    You ain't had no money (money)
    That's why I find it funny (funny)
    I guess that guilt hit hard, being goin' on for so long
    That's why she makes excuses for all your wrongs
    Now what's the point in keep on having kids?
    If she just gon' be raising them, that's just pure laziness
    I don't get it, is you tryna keep up with Thug? Is you racing him?
    Crazy how you really think that shit's cute, be embracing it, oh
    It really don't get no worse than you
    'Cause you ain't even got the nerve to stand up on yo' word
    Oh, no, no, no, uh
    Oh no, no, no, huh?
    What was you telling them?
    What was you telling me?
    What was you telling them?
    And what was you telling me?
    Why would you do all that?
    Just to be selling dreams
    Ain't even pulling through
    You just be talking

    Damn, I ain't know n*ggas be out here tryna trap bitches
    Never took me nowhere lavish
    'Til you seen Drake hop on the track with it
    If you ask me you was acting, whole time just acting
    You ain't give a f*ck about me, you was just tryna cash in
    Only buy me nice shit, big dates, just for Instagram flashing
    Tryna get your likes up, know you a clout addict
    Gotta let n*ggas know that you have it
    Gotta let n*ggas know that you have it
    Yeah, all you be doing is bragging
    Telling people that I'm your queen
    But all you mean is just of R&B
    I know you ain't care 'cause you always gone
    How could you make me spend my whole f*cking pregnancy alone?

    And where was you at?
    'Cause you claim you at work
    But them other n*ggas said they made the beats
    So how that add up?
    Probably was with your baby mamas one to three
    You claim that you had a ring for me

    You was probably out f*cking hoes

    Anyone that thinks they have a claim on most jaw-dropping line of 2021 can pack it up and go home. Summer Walker literally starts this track with, "I wanna start with yo' mama, she should've whooped yo' ass", then proceeds to read her ex and her ex's mother for filth for the rest of the song. I live. I absolutely live. There's an accountability factor that many men lack. As well as honesty. And honour. And responsibility. Summer touches on all of these in what I consider to be the LP's rawest moment - for her, she's said it was the most therapeutic 'Still Over It' track to record. The journey from "Bitter" to this isn't pretty - it's painful, confusing, littered with moments of tentativity and doubt, disappointing, essentially all of the feels, and that's what makes it thoroughly accessible to so many even if certain subject matters personal to the protagonist aren't personal to the listener. The emotions are, and the way Summer conveys those emotions is deeply affecting.
    Code:
    Quality Rating: 10/10
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x3)
    Play Count: 116
    005. Lil Nas X - Industry Baby (feat. Jack Harlow)



    Baby back, ayy
    Couple racks, ayy
    Couple Grammys on him
    Couple plaques, ayy
    That's a fact, ayy
    Throw it back, ayy
    Throw it back, ayy
    And this one is for the champions
    I ain't lost since I began, yeah
    Funny how you said it was the end, yeah
    Then I went did it again, yeah

    I told you long ago, on the road
    I got what they waitin' for
    I don't run from nothin', dog
    Get your soldiers, tell 'em I ain't layin' low
    You was never really rootin' for me anyway
    When I'm back up at the top I wanna hear you say
    He don't run from nothin', dog
    Get your soldiers, tell 'em that the break is over
    Uh, need to, uh
    Need to get this album done
    Need a couple number ones
    Need a plaque on every song
    Need me like one with Nicki now

    Tell a rap nigga, "I don't see ya", ha
    I'm a pop nigga like Bieber, ha
    I don't f*ck bitches, I'm queer, ha
    But these niggas bitches like Madea
    Yeah, yeah, yeah (yeah)
    Ayy, oh, let's do it
    I ain't fall off, I just ain't release my new shit
    I blew up now everybody tryna sue me
    You call me Nas, but the hood call me Doobie, yeah
    My track record so clean
    They couldn't wait to just bash me
    I must be gettin' too flashy
    Y'all shouldn't have let the world gas me (woo)
    It's too late 'cause I'm here to stay
    And these girls know that I'm nasty (mm)
    I sent her back to her boyfriend
    With my handprint on her ass cheek
    City talkin', we takin' notes
    Tell 'em all to keep makin' posts
    Wish he could but he can't get close
    OG so proud of me that he chokin' up while he makin' toasts
    I'm the type that you can't control
    Said I would then I made it so (so)
    I don't clear up rumors (ayy)
    Where's y'all sense of humor? (Ayy)
    I'm done makin' jokes 'cause they got old like baby boomers
    Turn my haters to consumers
    I make vets feel like they juniors (juniors)
    Say your time is comin' soon but just like Oklahoma (mm)
    Mine is comin' sooner (mm)
    I'm just a late bloomer (mm)
    I didn't peak in high school, I'm still out here gettin' cuter (woo)
    All these social networks and computers
    Got these pussies walkin' 'round like they ain't losers (losers)


    An interesting question I ask myself about "Industry Baby" is if Lil Nas X is upstaged here. The Kanye-West-produced beat has all the brashness and energy of that particular Atlanta-born emcee and lyrically, Jack Harlow completely steals the show here, but Lil Nas X has top billing on the track and does a solid job leading the ample ammunition given to him on this. "Industry Baby" absolutely goes off in a club setting. I've had the pleasure of experiencing it both in a west coast setting and an east coast setting, and I must say the east coast responds better!
    Code:
    Quality Rating: 10/10
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x3)
    Play Count: 94
    004. Taylor Swift - Right Where You Left Me



    Friends break up, friends get married
    Strangers get born, strangers get buried
    Trends change, rumours fly through new skies
    But I'm right where you left me
    Matches burn after the other
    Pages turn and stick to each other
    Wages earned and lessons learned
    But I, I'm right where you left me
    Help, I'm still at the restaurant
    Still sitting in a corner I haunt
    Cross-legged in the dim light
    They say, "What a sad sight"
    I, I swear you could hear a hair pin drop
    Right when I felt the moment stop
    Glass shattered on the white cloth
    Everybody moved on
    I, I stayed there

    Dust collected on my pinned-up hair
    They expected me to find somewhere
    Some perspective, but I sat and stared

    Right where you left me
    You left me no, oh, you left me no
    You left me no choice but to stay here forever
    You left me, you left me no, oh, you left me no
    You left me no choice but to stay here forever
    Did you ever hear about the girl who got frozen?
    Time went on for everybody else, she won't know it

    She's still 23 inside her fantasy
    How it was supposed to be
    Did you hear about the girl who lives in delusion?
    Break-ups happen every day, you don't have to lose it
    She's still 23 inside her fantasy
    And you're sitting in front of me
    At the restaurant, when I was still the one you want

    Cross-legged in the dim light, everything was just right
    I, I could feel the mascara run
    You told me that you met someone
    Glass shattered on the white cloth
    Everybody moved on


    I don't know how people (seemingly) get over things so swiftly. MUST. BE. NICE! I'm not that way. I'm slow to build to love and slow to disconnect from it, so in the rare instances where I have loved and lost, it's taken me a while to digest it all and move on. As such, "Right Where You Left Me" is wholly accessible, particularly how she paints the scene with the restaurant as the setting and everyone else hustling and bustling, carrying on smartly with life, whilst the protagonist is frozen in time, paralysed by the shock of it all and clinging desperately to a memory and a time that's conclusively passed. I love Taylor's delivery here. It's almost playful in its slick tidal rise and fall of inflection and has this twangy, country-rooted quality.
    Code:
    Quality Rating: 10/10
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x7)
    Play Count: 168
    003. Summer Walker - Insane



    Now, what you in a rush for?
    What? You trying to meet your maker, darling?
    Are you running out of time? Huh?
    But time ain't even real, you really need to chill
    It's all in an illusion, you getting mixed up in the fusion
    Whatever it is you tryna see, you can sit down and just believe
    But I wouldn't never be the same old thing, oh
    But I can tell you straight, I ain't no game, baby, oh
    God, bless me
    God, help me, oh
    I think I'm insane, ah
    God, bless me
    God, help me, ooh
    I think I'm insane, ah, oh-oh-oh

    Why you wanna play so bad?
    Why you wanna play so bad?
    Why you wanna play so bad?
    Why you wanna play so bad?
    'Cause you, you know it's real
    'Cause you know it's-
    You gotta get two times too far to feel (to feel)
    'Cause you claim you see things (you claim, you claim)
    When you on DMT
    But I've seen the same things before I go to sleep

    The production on this is so interesting! It's bookended by this sharp, siren-, bullet-like piercing pulse, between which Summer Walker is able to smoothly shower us with those soulful vocals of hers. Melodically, this is definitely the top 'Still Over It' moment, but the lyrics are no slouch either. The exasperation Summer expresses as she exclaims, "God, bless me, God help me, I think I'm insane" is so blasted relatable for me! Dancing with dysfunction deteriorates your mental health and sanity, and you really do feel like a madman when you engage with someone you should disengage from, and I don't think I've ever had any artist capture that as succinctly and expertly as Summer does on "Insane".
    Code:
    Quality Rating: 10/10
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x6)
    Play Count: 208

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  • JSparksFan
    replied
    Originally posted by Thriller View Post
    Diana had a cute bop but it felt a bit under-produced!
    You call it underproduced; I call it light.

    Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
    Damn, not a ton of Tay (only 3/90 thus far), so I'm not feeling too confident about our YEC overlap anymore Still, very happy that "Willow" nearly made your Top 20, and "Renegade" was a really pleasant surprise for a collaboration/"guest appearance" (though it definitely feels more like a folklore/evermore sessions track that she let them retool for their album instead, la "Babe" or "Better Man")
    Brace yourself.

    Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
    "Heartbreak In This City" stands a solid chance of cracking my list. It'struly deliciously camp (which seems to hold true with Steps in general, though they only entered my radar starting with "Scared Of The Dark")
    Indeed!

    Originally posted by crystalphoenix View Post
    "Good 4 U" is easily my favorite Olivia offering so far (ditto for its video, like you mentioned), but it didn't have enough longevity on my chart to be a Top 50 contender
    Thanks for popping in. I think you'll see some of your top 50 songs in this penultimate batch.

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  • crystalphoenix
    replied
    • Damn, not a ton of Tay (only 3/90 thus far), so I'm not feeling too confident about our YEC overlap anymore Still, very happy that "Willow" nearly made your Top 20, and "Renegade" was a really pleasant surprise for a collaboration/"guest appearance" (though it definitely feels more like a folklore/evermore sessions track that she let them retool for their album instead, la "Babe" or "Better Man")
    • "Heartbreak In This City" stands a solid chance of cracking my list. It's truly deliciously camp (which seems to hold true with Steps in general, though they only entered my radar starting with "Scared Of The Dark")
    • "Good 4 U" is easily my favorite Olivia offering so far (ditto for its video, like you mentioned), but it didn't have enough longevity on my chart to be a Top 50 contender

    Leave a comment:


  • Thriller
    replied
    Diana had a cute bop but it felt a bit under-produced!

    Leave a comment:


  • JSparksFan
    replied
    015. Olivia Rodrigo - Good 4 U



    Well, good for you, I guess you moved on really easily
    You found a new girl, and it only took a couple weeks
    Remember when you said that you wanted to give me the world? (Ah-ah-ah-ah)
    And good for you, I guess that you've been working on yourself
    I guess that therapist I found for you, she really helped
    Now you can be a better man for your brand-new girl
    Well, good for you, you look happy and healthy
    Not me, if you ever cared to ask
    Good for you, you're doing great out there without me, baby
    God, I wish that I could do that

    I've lost my mind, I've spent the night
    Crying on the floor of my bathroom
    But you're so unaffected, I really don't get it
    But I guess good for you
    Well, good for you, I guess you're getting everything you want (ah)
    You bought a new car and your career's really taking off (ah)
    It's like we never even happened
    Baby, what the f*ck is up with that? (Ha)
    And good for you, it's like you never even met me
    Remember when you swore to God I was the only
    Person who ever got you?
    Well, screw that and screw you
    You will never have to hurt the way you know that I do
    Maybe I'm too emotional
    But your apathy is like a wound in salt
    Maybe I'm too emotional
    Or maybe you never cared at all


    Rock-tinged and rousing, "Good 4 U" is reflective of some pretty raw emotion. For me, this was the song that made me an Olivia Rodrigo convert. There was a vulnerability in "Drivers License", the depths of which turned me off, but this - this is vulnerability alongside a much more comfortable and accessible feeling for me, righteous indignation. She hit a home run with the video, too.
    Code:
    Quality Rating: 9.5/10
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x5)
    Play Count: 148
    014. Diana Ross - If the World Just Danced



    Music and moonlight (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
    Good friends and long nights (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
    It will be alright (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
    If you just love (if you just love)
    Bright eyes and laughter (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
    Let the rhythm just catch ya (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
    You'll find all that you're after (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
    If you just love (if you just love)
    Find a place in an empty space
    Yeah, let's start a party
    Dance away all the pain
    Ain't it much better when we do it together now, now, now
    Much better when we do it together now
    Turn it up and go give love a chance
    Go out and take somebody by the hand

    Put on your shoes and find out where you stand
    Go take the lead and teach the world to dance
    Don't look back, don't take a second glance

    While life is busy making other plans
    Jump off the edge and find out where you land
    Go take the lead and teach the world to dance
    So much better if the world just danced (we'd be better)
    So much better if the world just danced (we'd be better)
    So much better if the world just danced (we'd be better)
    Yeah, we'd be better if the world just danced (we'd be better)
    Heartbeats like lightning (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
    Come let the light in (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
    'Cause that feeling ain't frightening (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
    When you just love (if you just love)

    There's such light and positivity in this disco-pop slice of magic. I remember going out one night and being rather pleasantly surprised that some of the other guys on the dancefloor knew this one. For me, this has already joined Diana's list of classics.
    Code:
    Quality Rating: 10/10
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x1)
    Play Count: 57
    013. Agnes - Magic Still Exists



    Free your mind and free your body (x a lot)...
    For all the moments that you wish would last for days
    For the people who forgive all of your mistakes
    For all the times you thought you couldn't see the truth
    Even though it was right there in front of you
    For all the nights you were the last one to go home
    Not cause you're lonely, you're just holding onto hope
    For all the nights we shattered, love is all you need
    For the freedom to be who you wanna be
    Keep believing that we'll stay forever young
    Keep believing that we've only just begun
    No, we don't have to close our eyes and make a wish
    With you, I know that magic still exists
    Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, magic still exists
    Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, magic still exists
    Free your mind and free your body (x a good bit)
    For all the reasons you keep falling back in love
    And all the times that you got close, but not close enough
    For all the nights you fought a wall inside yourself

    Wanted to be a little more like someone else
    This wild world, it doesn't owe us anything
    So raise your glass and let us all together sing
    Right here, right now, I got nothing more to wish
    With you, I know that magic still exists

    Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, magic still exists
    Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, magic still exists
    When they're turning all the lights out
    And the matter of the heart is what remains
    Now keep it coming till the time's up
    Whether we are saints or sinners
    Up we go, and then down we fall
    You win sometimes, and then you lose it all
    Life can fool ya, if you want it to
    But all I know, it leads me back to you

    This isn't the Agnes song most folks are likely to be charting this year, but for me this is the towering skyscraper of a highlight on its same-title parent album. The entire LP feels like it builds to, and coalesces around, this closing track and the verses are penned in perfect poetic prose. The instrumentation drips with emotion and Agnes delivers a beautiful vocal performance. "Here Comes the Night" is good in its own right - it's even my most-played Agnes song this year - but "Magic Still Exists" is...well, where the magic is at its most potent.
    Code:
    Quality Rating: 10/10
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x2)
    Play Count: 53
    012. Taylor Swift - Renegade



    I tapped on your window on your darkest night
    The shape of you was jagged, and weak
    There was nowhere for me to stay, but I stayed anyway
    And if I would've known how many pieces you had crumbled into
    I might have let them lay
    Are you really gonna talk about timin', in times like these?
    And let all your damage, damage me?
    And carry your baggage up my street?
    And make me your future history? It's time
    You've come a long way
    Open the blinds, let me see your face
    You wouldn't be the first renegade to need somebody
    Is it insensitive for me to say
    "Get your shit together, so I can love you?"
    Is it really your anxiety that stops you from givin' me everythin'
    Or do you just not want to?

    You fire off missiles 'cause you hate yourself
    But do you know you're demolishin' me?
    And then you squeeze my hand as I'm about to leave

    Taylor asks some key questions on this track! I've always admired her ability to weave such clever and witty lyrics into these seemingly inoffensive, fun and playful country-pop melodies and she does so splendidly here, as usual. It's a very classic Taylor Swift track, with all the classic Taylor-isms.
    Code:
    Quality Rating: 10/10
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x2)
    Play Count: 95
    011. The Killers - In the Car Outside



    I'm in the car, I just needed to clear my head
    She's in the house with the baby cryin' on the bed
    She's got this thing where she puts up the walls so high
    It doesn't matter how much you love
    It doesn't matter how hard you try

    We got a place with a fence and a little grass
    I put this film on the windows, and it looks like chapel glass
    But when she turns, it's like the shadow of the cross don't cast
    No blessin' over our lonely life
    It's like waiting for a train to pass, I don't know when it'll pass
    But I remember when she used to set the room on fire
    With her eyes, swear to God
    It's like a flood of grief and sorrow from a haunted life
    When she cries like a train, it's a lot
    I dropped a line to a flickerin' high school flame
    We laughed about all the ways that our lives had changed
    She's up the road, about 35 miles north
    Got two little boys in school, just had a real bad divorce
    And in a moment of weakness
    I told her if she ever needed a helping hand
    I would lend, swear to God

    It's like the part of me that's screamin' not to jump gets lost
    In the sound of the train, it's a lot
    Tryin' hard
    Not to care
    Swear to God

    I didn't know that my playlists needed an intense indie-rock song in 2021, but that's just what they got with this one.
    Code:
    Quality Rating: 10/10
    Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(x2)
    Play Count: 42

    Leave a comment:


  • JSparksFan
    replied
    Originally posted by Thriller View Post
    Kiss Me More was a cute bop I enjoyed.
    Definitely one of my favourite big hits this year.

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