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Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2018: [#1 Revealed!]

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  • Hey Akini, Merry christmas <3 Hope its been a wonderful christmas for you so far. Gosh i've had so much catching up to do.

    I'm now fully up to speed and what an amazing year end countdown. Not too surprising considering we've been enjoying plenty of what 2018 had to offer. So following on from my last comment...

    075. Shakira - Trap (feat. Maluma)
    073. Taylor Swift - Delicate

    071. Troye Sivan - My My My!

    I already highlighted this one from Tansike's chart but i really have loved seeing Troye come into his own. He just seems so much more comfortable now with his sexuality and it is clearly evident in his music and accompanying music videos. I've always adored Troye, this year it got cranked up a little bit more.

    070. Netta - Toy
    067. Rita Ora - Let You Love Me
    063. G-Eazy & Halsey - Him & I
    062. Lorde - Homemade Dynamite
    059. Hozier - Nina Cried Power (feat. Mavis Staples)
    057. Little Mix - Woman Like Me (feat. Nicki Minaj)
    054. Rae - Do It
    050. Sugarland - Babe (feat. Taylor Swift)
    048. Nicki Minaj - Bed (feat. Ariana Grande)
    046. Nicki Minaj - Ganja Burn
    045. Lana Del Rey - Mariners Apartment Complex
    041. Clean Bandit - Solo (feat. Demi Lovato)

    040. Janelle MonŠe - Make Me Feel

    Whilst Make me feel is lower than a few other Janelle MonŠe tracks, this is the one that will always stand out for me. Ever since that first time watching the music video i was completely hooked on the song, and i loved how Janelle gave into her inner Prince and channelled all that energy into something so spectacular. <3

    037. Lady Gaga - Always Remember Us This Way

    I have to admit whilst i did enjoy A star is born it was pretty much all because of Lady Gaga. After all, she was the only reason why i had anticipated wanting to see the film in the first place. One thing the film did achieve was highlighting some of the gems from the soundtrack and Always remember us this way is easily one of the films highlights. Knowing me, i probably won't go to the cinema now for another 3 or 4 years.

    036. Kendrick Lamar & SZA - All the Stars
    034. Kacey Musgraves - High Horse

    033. Janet Jackson - Made for Now

    This was such a joyous track both listening to and also whilst watching the music video. It was like a late summer anthem for those of us who wanted to hold onto the summer and less eager to welcome the autumn season. Still think it's a shame we're now in that era where original pop divas can't get any sizeable hit but the only charts that really matter are ours. <3

    031. Avril Lavigne - Head Above Water

    Aww i'm so happy to read how you eventually came around to this song and its lyrical content. I was really impressed from the first listen, it was classic Avril imo and it certainly captured my attention already knowing about Avril's health over the last few years. She vocals are still are sharp and strong as ever before and it's already 2/2 for me so i'm hoping the new album delivers. It might sound corny to write this but i'm kinda happy that Avril's "grown up" musically as i don't think another track like Sk8er boi as this point in her career would've had anywhere near as much impact on me.

    026. Kylie Minogue - Live a Little

    Ohh nice i've still one final weekly chart to compile before i start working on my own year end chart but i'm already sure that Kylie will be making quite a few appearances along the way. Live a little is such a joy and i would've easily chosen this as a single over A lifetime to repair every time guaranteed. 2018 hasn't been a great year for albums compared to previous years. Golden is the only album i've bought all year.

    025. Troye Sivan - Dance to This (feat. Ariana Grande)

    To think when this was first released i was a bit 50/50 and it certainly didn't click in the same way My, my, my! and Bloom did on first listen. Yet all it took was a kid version of the music video to come along and et voila my love for the song grew tenfold.

    024. Rita Ora - Falling to Pieces
    023. Carrie Underwood - The Champion (feat. Ludacris)
    022. Carrie Underwood - Love Wins
    021. Years & Years - Palo Santo
    020. Ariana Grande - Thank U, Next
    018. Bruno Mars - Finesse
    017. Clean Bandit - Baby (feat. Marina & Luis Fonsi)
    016. Lady Gaga - Shallow
    015. Janelle MonŠe - I Like That

    014. Christina Aguilera - Twice

    What an exceptional ballad, i loved this again from the very first listen. I know many UK Mix members thought Accelerate was amazing, but for me personally Twice was far superior. <3

    013. Years & Years - Sanctify

    Looking forward to seeing your top 10 and i'm curious to see if your top 2 will have a similar song title.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by luckyONE
      "Finesse" is good and I really like 'Good Form', too.
      Glad you appreciate those two, especially "Good Form". I don't feel like that one gets enough love.

      Originally posted by Benny
      017. Clean Bandit - Baby (feat. Marina & Luis Fonsi)

      'Baby' is really nice, Clean Bandit certainly know how to record a great song!
      Yep!

      Originally posted by Thriller
      Finesse was so fresh yet retro.
      Baby is bliss.
      Loved Gaga getting another #1 with Shallow.
      Twice was a classic Christina soul ballad.
      Sanctify massively grew on me over time, quality tune.
      Glad you enjoyed that batch!

      Originally posted by heppolo
      013. Years & Years - Sanctify
      I am a bit disappointed in the way it was kinda underrated by the public.
      Same. The GP's taste has been weird to me for six years now.

      Originally posted by phoenix98
      I might be the black sheep of the lambily After a brief browse, I saw at least a little love for "GTFO" and "The Distance" in there <3 It just feels like such a "What are the odds?" moment that we have ZERO overlap in our Top 5's from an 11-track album.
      Very slim odds, but we managed 'em anyway.

      Originally posted by phoenix98
      **Hug** Your struggles are absolutely legitimate - but of course you can't be stopped.
      I just knew where that link was leading me. <3

      Originally posted by phoenix98
      • I love how you highlight the romantic side of "Oh, What A World." It's been among the less-played-half of Golden Hour for me, but I'm enjoying re-examining it through the lens you've provided here.
      Hope it grows on you!

      Originally posted by phoenix98
      • "Happy & Sad," on the other hand, has been a clear standout! The timeline's fuzzy in my mind now, but you may have charted/mentioned it to me before I got around to checking out the album myself, because I definitely associate this track with you. As the song describes, simply letting ourselves enjoy and get blissfully swept up in life's best moments can be a REAL struggle.
      That may be true, especially seeing as the track hit #1 on my chart, and it probably would have impacted my daily chart before it impacted your weekly chart. But yes, the song is definitely super relatable!

      Originally posted by phoenix98
      • Maybe if I visited Mariah's GAD more often, I'd better understand the hype around GML. Here you are praising the adlibs for being sublime, while my listening experience has been more like "Christ, she just keeps repeating the title for a full f**king minute…" Specific track selections aside, I'm glad that one of our shared mega-faves delivered for you in a big way this year!
      I really love Mimi's voice on the track. Sure there are some spoken bits that could have been excluded, but the track is still pretty special to me.

      And funnily enough, 2018 created a new shared mega-fave for us!

      Originally posted by phoenix98
      • Your remarks on "Live A Little" are so on-point: that pre-chorus is pretty poptastic, so perhaps it's the lackluster chorus that's kept it hovering near the bottom of Golden for me. While I truly don't get GML (on any level), the appeal of the lyrics here is apparent: "get away from everyone who tells me it's too late..."
      For me, the pre-chorus alone >>> most of Golden

      Originally posted by phoenix98
      • I owe you (plus this ADORABLE kid version video that Jake posted, and I'm usually not too charmed by kids) for helping me warm up to "Dance To This." It's a pretty solid illustration of our disconnect in 2018 to see you describe the immediate appeal of this song, when it required a great deal more patience on my part following the easy-to-love "My My My!" and "Bloom."
      Yeah, I saw you and Jake discussing the kid video when he shared it with you. It is uber cute indeed!

      Originally posted by phoenix98
      • Of course, in a year of frequent disconnect over our favorite moments on various albums, our shared enthusiasm for "Falling To Pieces" right out the gate just felt all the more satisfying! Nothing against Rita (I've really started rooting for her over the past year or so), but I can't say I would've guessed that she'd be the act for whom our reactions would align these days.
      Yes, the disconnect this year was definitely new, but Rita represented a positive weird/unexpected alignment!

      Originally posted by phoenix98
      • Your thread title provided the Q-Tip I needed to properly understand the "her name is Ari..." lyric, which alone really elevated a song that I already liked quite a lot. It seems like "self-care" is almost always used in jest, but setting aside some time to take care of yourself is seriously important (especially after what Ari's endured these past few years) and too often dismissed as an example of selfishness or laziness. I love the ways she describes getting back in touch with (and learning to re-appreciate) herself: "how she handles pain, that shit's amazing..." Even before she shifts the focus to herself, this song presents such an applause-worthy approach to reflecting on past relationships. We get so many of the "good riddance!"-type breakup anthems, this track is so refreshingly level-headed (while still empowering).
      Indeed! I love the change of tone for a break-up anthem. The truth is, we take something (good, bad, a bit of both) from each relationship, and it's important to acknowledge the summation of the lessons learned rather than just dismissing the whole thing as a massive waste of time, though I certainly see the appeal of doing that, too.

      Self-care is so important! That was a big lesson for me this year as well. Sometimes you just gotta chill and take much-needed time off from life's innumerable stress sources.

      Originally posted by phoenix98
      I'm blindsided by "Baby." I like it well enough, but I had no idea it resonated with you this strongly!
      I think there's at least a few more surprises I have left in the bag!

      Originally posted by phoenix98
      • I've given you credit a few times already in this update alone, but "I Like That" might be where you had the greatest impact on me. Thanks to your cheerleading, it now stands as my second-most-played Dirty Computer track and is guaranteed a spot in my Top 50 of 2018. Just like Janelle, you always were (and always will be) the sh*t.
      Despite our disconnect this year, we did do a good job of selling each other on a few tracks we were passionate about!

      And, aw, you're too sweet (and also correct)!

      Originally posted by phoenix98
      • "Americans" really catches your ear right away, lyrically and melodically. Admittedly, its replay value has been hindered by just how hard-hitting/brutally-honest it gets (the "until black people can come home from a police stop without being shot in the head..." part in particular). I might over-use "heartbreaking" and/or "gutwrenching" sometimes, but those lines are truly physically unsettling, because they're so frighteningly f**king real. There aren't many (any?) songs in my library that lay out current real-world atrocities so bluntly (I guess "Graves" comes pretty close with "they're leaving bodies in stairwells, oh, washing up on the shore....") The fact that Janelle can marry moments like that with such a light, poppy, toe-tapping earworm of a chorus...brilliant.
      Yeah, I was actually a bit nervous about the write-up for "Americans" because it is such a loaded song. Almost each line addresses a deeply relevant issue, and I was tempted to break the track down line by line, but opted not to. What you write about its replay value is so true, and I think that holds true for a lot of Dirty Computer. It's not an LP you can listen to aimlessly. It's much less of an escape, and much more an honest confrontation of the world in which we live, and it's tall order of issues, and sometimes it's a bit much when you really listen to everything Janelle is saying. But if it's a lot to just listen to, imagine what it must be like to actually live it! 2018 was a year of revelation for me for a few acts, and Janelle is certainly among the top names there.

      Originally posted by Carbon
      I Like It, Thank U Next and Baby are all great. Baby in particular is so unique in a way.

      Twice is a nice ballad, very classic Xtina. I can see it being a hit for her back in her heyday like her famous ballads a la Hurt, The Voice Within
      Indeed!

      Totally agree with you on "Twice", too!

      Originally posted by JakeP
      Hey Akini, Merry christmas <3 Hope its been a wonderful christmas for you so far. Gosh i've had so much catching up to do.
      Merry Christmas to you, too, Jake! I had a good one! Hope you did as well.

      Originally posted by JakeP
      I'm now fully up to speed and what an amazing year end countdown. Not too surprising considering we've been enjoying plenty of what 2018 had to offer. So following on from my last comment...
      There's still 10 more to go, so I look forward to your thoughts on my absolute faves of the year!

      Originally posted by JakeP
      075. Shakira - Trap (feat. Maluma)
      073. Taylor Swift - Delicate

      071. Troye Sivan - My My My!

      I already highlighted this one from Tansike's chart but i really have loved seeing Troye come into his own. He just seems so much more comfortable now with his sexuality and it is clearly evident in his music and accompanying music videos. I've always adored Troye, this year it got cranked up a little bit more.
      Yeah, I liked Troye before this year, but I definitely appreciated him a lot more in 2018!

      Originally posted by JakeP
      070. Netta - Toy
      067. Rita Ora - Let You Love Me
      063. G-Eazy & Halsey - Him & I
      062. Lorde - Homemade Dynamite
      059. Hozier - Nina Cried Power (feat. Mavis Staples)
      057. Little Mix - Woman Like Me (feat. Nicki Minaj)
      054. Rae - Do It
      050. Sugarland - Babe (feat. Taylor Swift)
      048. Nicki Minaj - Bed (feat. Ariana Grande)
      046. Nicki Minaj - Ganja Burn
      045. Lana Del Rey - Mariners Apartment Complex
      041. Clean Bandit - Solo (feat. Demi Lovato)

      040. Janelle MonŠe - Make Me Feel

      Whilst Make me feel is lower than a few other Janelle MonŠe tracks, this is the one that will always stand out for me. Ever since that first time watching the music video i was completely hooked on the song, and i loved how Janelle gave into her inner Prince and channelled all that energy into something so spectacular. <3
      Yeah, Janelle did a fantastic job on "Make Me Feel". Her more political songs resonated more with me, but a good track is a good track, and "Make Me Feel" was definitely that for me.

      Originally posted by JakeP
      037. Lady Gaga - Always Remember Us This Way

      I have to admit whilst i did enjoy A star is born it was pretty much all because of Lady Gaga. After all, she was the only reason why i had anticipated wanting to see the film in the first place. One thing the film did achieve was highlighting some of the gems from the soundtrack and Always remember us this way is easily one of the films highlights. Knowing me, i probably won't go to the cinema now for another 3 or 4 years.
      Yeah, I only saw the movie because of Gaga as well! The film was disappointing, but damn, the soundtrack! She really came through with the music.

      Originally posted by JakeP
      036. Kendrick Lamar & SZA - All the Stars
      034. Kacey Musgraves - High Horse

      033. Janet Jackson - Made for Now

      This was such a joyous track both listening to and also whilst watching the music video. It was like a late summer anthem for those of us who wanted to hold onto the summer and less eager to welcome the autumn season. Still think it's a shame we're now in that era where original pop divas can't get any sizeable hit but the only charts that really matter are ours. <3
      Say it louder for the people in the back!

      Originally posted by JakeP
      031. Avril Lavigne - Head Above Water

      Aww i'm so happy to read how you eventually came around to this song and its lyrical content. I was really impressed from the first listen, it was classic Avril imo and it certainly captured my attention already knowing about Avril's health over the last few years. She vocals are still are sharp and strong as ever before and it's already 2/2 for me so i'm hoping the new album delivers. It might sound corny to write this but i'm kinda happy that Avril's "grown up" musically as i don't think another track like Sk8er boi as this point in her career would've had anywhere near as much impact on me.
      Yeah, I'm looking forward to Avril's new music. I actually wouldn't have minded a more 'juvenile' track. "What the Hell" is still one of my faves from her.

      Originally posted by JakeP
      026. Kylie Minogue - Live a Little

      Ohh nice i've still one final weekly chart to compile before i start working on my own year end chart but i'm already sure that Kylie will be making quite a few appearances along the way. Live a little is such a joy and i would've easily chosen this as a single over A lifetime to repair every time guaranteed. 2018 hasn't been a great year for albums compared to previous years. Golden is the only album i've bought all year.
      Oh, I wasn't aware it was the only you got! Interesting!

      Originally posted by JakeP
      025. Troye Sivan - Dance to This (feat. Ariana Grande)

      To think when this was first released i was a bit 50/50 and it certainly didn't click in the same way My, my, my! and Bloom did on first listen. Yet all it took was a kid version of the music video to come along and et voila my love for the song grew tenfold.
      Yeah, it's amazing what it can take to completely make us do a 180 on our perspective.

      Originally posted by JakeP
      024. Rita Ora - Falling to Pieces
      023. Carrie Underwood - The Champion (feat. Ludacris)
      022. Carrie Underwood - Love Wins
      021. Years & Years - Palo Santo
      020. Ariana Grande - Thank U, Next
      018. Bruno Mars - Finesse
      017. Clean Bandit - Baby (feat. Marina & Luis Fonsi)
      016. Lady Gaga - Shallow
      015. Janelle MonŠe - I Like That

      014. Christina Aguilera - Twice

      What an exceptional ballad, i loved this again from the very first listen. I know many UK Mix members thought Accelerate was amazing, but for me personally Twice was far superior. <3
      "Accelerate" has grown on me a bit, but it's not even in the same zip code as "Twice"!

      Originally posted by JakeP
      013. Years & Years - Sanctify

      Looking forward to seeing your top 10 and i'm curious to see if your top 2 will have a similar song title.
      They may have something in common. Let's see.
      Akini's Top 400 Songs of the 2010s: [385-381]

      The forest was shrinking, but the trees kept voting for the axe, for the axe was clever and convinced the trees that because his handle was made of wood, he was one of them.

      Comment


      • 010. The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar - Pray for Me



        My beloved Black Panther anthem, "Pray for Me" pairs two gentlemen and utilises their unique talents to a greater extent than any other track has. On hook duty is the Weeknd, whose vocals are adept at beat surfing, and this is about as bouncy and intense a beat as he's ever ridden. And delivering the substantive verse messages? Who better than the archdeacon of hip/hop himself, Mr. Kendrick Lamar? This song feels very Erik Killmonger, who had some harsh and radical views in the film, but whose passion also indirectly brought about positive change (admittedly, the same change for which Nakia more diplomatically advocated). My favourite line is undoubtedly, Clutchin' on deaf ears again, rapture is comin', it's all prophecy, and if I gotta be sacrificed for the greater good, then that's what it gotta be. I love the intense passion of the song, and that martyrdom line is the apex of emotion for me. The tribal La la la sounds at the back end of the chorus are also a brilliant touch, but for me, this song is close to flawless, discussing key societal issues in the world, as well as aligning closely with the film's plot. "Pray for Me" gave me one more reason to be proud of the whole Black Panther experience. #WakandaForever
        Code:
        Quality Rating: 9.7/10
        Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(4)
        Play Count: 128
        009. Lady Gaga - I'll Never Love Again



        Going into the film, I was warned by a co-worker about this tearjerker, but I still left the movie theatre convinced that the best song of the night was "Shallow". The magic of this song connected with me not too long after that, though. In contrast to her deeper, more raw mid-level vocal on "Shallow", "I'll Never Love Again" showcases the beauty in Gaga's higher register. She sounds so fragile and vulnerable in parts, with audible solemn sighs heard throughout, and when she belts the chorus, you can just hear the tears in her voice. Even outside of the context of the movie, this is moving, but when you listen to it and revisit that gripping scene at the end, it sounds that much more grand.
        Code:
        Quality Rating: 9.7/10
        Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(5)
        Play Count: 136
        008. Kylie Minogue - Raining Glitter



        Punctuated by well-placed Whoops! expressions of euphoric delight, "Raining Glitter" is a party anthem that has elements of country-pop queen Shania Twain, but is quite unmistakably Kylie Minogue in essence and style. I view this as the more complete "Live a Little". The theme of throwing caution to the wind is present, the dance-pop sensibilities that we've come to expect from Kylie are in plain sight, but, unlike having a choppy chorus like its sister Golden track, the hook on this is fully fleshed out, and even includes that aforementioned injection of spontaneity to nail home the message. There are more than a few lyrics that make this sound like a coming out celebration anthem (No more hiding in the shadows; and that stolen kiss that feels so good), and you can be sure that that only amplifies my love for this.
        Code:
        Quality Rating: 9.7/10
        Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(3)
        Play Count: 100
        007. Jason Mraz - Have It All



        Few people in the industry do guitar-driven folk-pop music better than Jason Mraz, and on "Have It All", he wows me in a way that he hasn't since "I'm Yours", and I'm tempted to make a case for this being his career-best song! Whereas Ariana dutifully acknowledged the impact her exes had on her life in "Thank U, Next", "Have It All" takes that sentiment a few steps further, absolutely throwing the kitchen sink of positivity at Mraz's past lover. It's the perfect anthem for break-ups where there's no drama, just lots of love and a shared view that both parties are better off going at the adventure of life without the other, but still wanting the absolute best for each other. The melody is bubbly, the songwriting is ace, and the message one I wholly endorse.
        Code:
        Quality Rating: 9.7/10
        Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(1)
        Play Count: 86
        006. Christina Aguilera - Fall in Line (feat. Demi Lovato)



        Christina Aguilera is the greatest singer of her generation, and there's always at least one song on each album, where she reaches into the deepest depths of her soul, and summons an anthem of epic proportions to stun her fans, and "Fall in Line" is that crowning jewel on Liberation. This song, so timely in the midst of the 'Me Too' movement, is without flaws. From the chain-like sounds in the beginning, producing imagery of a heroine being shackled in an attempt to restrict her from expressing her truest self, to the soaring, hair-raising vocal acrobatics employed in the chorus, to the recruitment of this generation's closest thing to Christina Aguilera in Demi Lovato - everything about this is just an unabashed feminist anthem, and I love how, much like "Pray for Me", there's that martyrdom willingness - And I'm gonna pay for this, they're gonna burn me at the stake, but I've got a fire in my veins, I wasn't made to fall in line. I said before that it was a total missed opportunity for the filmmakers for this to not be the soundtrack anthem of On the Basis of Sex, but I was particularly disappointed with the GP for not embracing this the way I felt it deserved to be embraced. Still, I suspect Christina will continue to deliver masterpieces like this one for a few more years to come, and that's a greater gift than any #1.
        Code:
        Quality Rating: 10/10
        Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(4)
        Play Count: 116
        005. Mariah Carey - With You



        It was all so overwhelming - I favourited this song as soon as I heard that line. Mariah Carey is the greatest songwriter of all-time, and I'm not sure how she manages to pen songs that make me feel so attached to the protagonists' struggles in her music, but she does it every time, and on "With You", the cloud of uncertainty that hangs over the characters' relationship felt so akin to that which hung over certain elements of my life, both professional and personal, but just like the protagonist on the track, there's usually a singular certainty that's enough to weather any unforecasted storms. Mariah's voice is so warm, vulnerable, and full on "With You". She captures the emotion of the song masterfully, and the simple piano melody makes this such an addictive earworm. I said before that this is her best song since 2005's monstrous chart-topper "We Belong Together", and I stand by that.
        Code:
        Quality Rating: 10/10
        Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(8)
        Play Count: 271
        004. Lorde - Sober



        I entered 2018 under a great degree of stress, and Lorde's "Sober" seemed to capture the nervous energy within me so succinctly. The chaos in the intro, chorus, and outro was so relatable. For me, this is the top Melodrama track because it exudes the essence of the title to a greater degree than any of its sister tracks, the phrasing is exceptional, and the production is so fresh, wild, and dizzyingly exciting, with unexpected shifts in volume stitched in. I love the But what would we do when we're sober? question posed in the hook. "Sober" frames love like a drug, and the question raised about what would be done in the absence of that drug - with more objective minds in play - is a fair, intriguing one.
        Code:
        Quality Rating: 10/10
        Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(5)
        Play Count: 181
        003. En Vogue - Rocket



        It's 2018, and En Vogue are the voices behind my third favourite song of the year. What is life? The ladies absolutely deserve to be this high, though. The melody is lush and sleek, the soulful, soaring harmonies collate into a smooth blend, and the lyrics are so romantic that you can just close your eyes and picture yourself hopping in the rocket with your lover en route to a more peaceful, sane world within which your love can flourish sans the distractions that exist on Planet Earth. I think I connected to this song as much as I did because the description of the man in this song felt like a carbon copy of my ideal partner.
        Code:
        Quality Rating: 10/10
        Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(3)
        Play Count: 119
        Akini's Top 400 Songs of the 2010s: [385-381]

        The forest was shrinking, but the trees kept voting for the axe, for the axe was clever and convinced the trees that because his handle was made of wood, he was one of them.

        Comment


        • In an unprecedented same-artist finale, we have poll-favourite "God Is a Woman" facing off against "Breathin". Which Ariana song wins? Stay tuned tomorrow for the grand(e) reveal!



          vs.

          Akini's Top 400 Songs of the 2010s: [385-381]

          The forest was shrinking, but the trees kept voting for the axe, for the axe was clever and convinced the trees that because his handle was made of wood, he was one of them.

          Comment


          • Re: Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2018: [10-3]

            I'm sorry but I'm not a fan of both songs. 'Thank U, Next' is what I need to listen from the discography of Ariana, or even more R'n'B like 'Everyday'. 2018 was the year of the great comebacks and En Vogue proved it in its very beginning.
            Top 10 - 21.02.2020.

            Comment


            • Re: Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2018: [10-3]

              The Janelle remix is the EDX Dubai Skyline Mix, it bangs.

              So I should check out Pageant Material?
              Check out my Top 100 of 2012 Countdown!

              Comment


              • 020. Ariana Grande - Thank U, Next
                019. Christina Aguilera - Maria
                018. Bruno Mars - Finesse
                017. Clean Bandit - Baby (feat. Marina & Luis Fonsi)
                016. Lady Gaga - Shallow
                015. Janelle MonŠe - I Like That
                014. Christina Aguilera - Twice
                013. Years & Years - Sanctify
                012. Nicki Minaj - Good Form
                011. Janelle MonŠe - Americans

                Strong update for the first half of the Top20. Love "Baby" the most here, followed by "Thank U, Next". I'm actually surprised to see the former in your Top20, in a good way obviously. Should have been a big hit, I'm still shocked how this flopped!
                Also surprisingly high entries for "Finesse" and "Sanctify". I didn't know you love them that much!

                009. Lady Gaga - I'll Never Love Again
                008. Kylie Minogue - Raining Glitter
                007. Jason Mraz - Have It All
                006. Christina Aguilera - Fall in Line (feat. Demi Lovato)
                005. Mariah Carey - With You
                004. Lorde - Sober

                Also good Top10 so far, even though I have to admit none of the songs made a really big impression on me. "Fall In Line" definitely comes the closest to being one of this years highlight for me. Good collaboration and another one of those songs where I'm surprised it flopped completely. "Raining Glitter" definitely stood out on "Golden" as mentioned earlier, "With You" still is my favorite song on "Caution" and "I'll Never Love Again" is gorgeous. "Have It All" is cute, nothing too exciting for me but I still wish Jason would be more successful these days. I feel like the charts needs artists like him...

                Comment


                • Re: Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2018: [10-3]

                  I got to say I am surprised to see so much Years and Years so high. Sanctify is a really cool tune but a) not the best from the era for me and b) not among their best ever though I do really appreciate it.

                  Also shocked to see Baby so high!! I really enjoy it and Marinas vocal IS gold but I do think they have had stronger. I still stan you stannjng it though

                  Thank U Next was a step up in quality from most of Sweetener for me but I don't fully adore it. I like it and do find it quite touching though, Shallow I didn't include but came close... Gaga's vocals just show up Bradley so much though, though less in this song than others.
                  Check out my Top 100 of 2012 Countdown!

                  Comment


                  • Re: Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2018: [10-3]

                    Oh perhaps this is the one I mean, is this the song where Gaga is belting then it cuts back to Bradley mumbling at his piano? It just shows him up. But the version with just her is stunning. If I considered it a single I may have included it.

                    BIG love for including Jason, it's such a lovely lovely song and I'm so glad to see it high. Don't agree on career best, do agree it's a step in the right direction

                    And I love me a bit of Raining Glitter, the whoops are so fun. Can't wait to finally see her live at Glastonbury next year!

                    Would like GIAW to win.
                    Check out my Top 100 of 2012 Countdown!

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Top10
                      I'm sorry but I'm not a fan of both songs. 'Thank U, Next' is what I need to listen from the discography of Ariana, or even more R'n'B like 'Everyday'. 2018 was the year of the great comebacks and En Vogue proved it in its very beginning.
                      Aw, shame you don't like my two fave Ari tracks, but I'm especially happy to read you appreciate "Rocket"! That one doesn't get enough credit.

                      Originally posted by king_oxymoron
                      The Janelle remix is the EDX Dubai Skyline Mix, it bangs.

                      So I should check out Pageant Material?
                      I'll have to check that remix out!

                      Pageant Material is actually from 2015; Golden Hour was released this year, but the answer either way is yes - check out both!

                      Originally posted by Tansike
                      020. Ariana Grande - Thank U, Next
                      019. Christina Aguilera - Maria
                      018. Bruno Mars - Finesse
                      017. Clean Bandit - Baby (feat. Marina & Luis Fonsi)
                      016. Lady Gaga - Shallow
                      015. Janelle MonŠe - I Like That
                      014. Christina Aguilera - Twice
                      013. Years & Years - Sanctify
                      012. Nicki Minaj - Good Form
                      011. Janelle MonŠe - Americans

                      Strong update for the first half of the Top20. Love "Baby" the most here, followed by "Thank U, Next". I'm actually surprised to see the former in your Top20, in a good way obviously. Should have been a big hit, I'm still shocked how this flopped!
                      Also surprisingly high entries for "Finesse" and "Sanctify". I didn't know you love them that much!

                      009. Lady Gaga - I'll Never Love Again
                      008. Kylie Minogue - Raining Glitter
                      007. Jason Mraz - Have It All
                      006. Christina Aguilera - Fall in Line (feat. Demi Lovato)
                      005. Mariah Carey - With You
                      004. Lorde - Sober

                      Also good Top10 so far, even though I have to admit none of the songs made a really big impression on me. "Fall In Line" definitely comes the closest to being one of this years highlight for me. Good collaboration and another one of those songs where I'm surprised it flopped completely. "Raining Glitter" definitely stood out on "Golden" as mentioned earlier, "With You" still is my favorite song on "Caution" and "I'll Never Love Again" is gorgeous. "Have It All" is cute, nothing too exciting for me but I still wish Jason would be more successful these days. I feel like the charts needs artists like him...
                      Yay at the "Baby" appreciation!

                      Yeah, 24K Magic was my #2 album of 2016, and "Finesse" is my favourite song from that album, so there's been a lot of love for some time now. And "Sanctify" was pretty much love on first listen for me.

                      Indeed, the charts do!

                      Originally posted by king_oxymoron
                      I got to say I am surprised to see so much Years and Years so high. Sanctify is a really cool tune but a) not the best from the era for me and b) not among their best ever though I do really appreciate it.

                      Also shocked to see Baby so high!! I really enjoy it and Marinas vocal IS gold but I do think they have had stronger. I still stan you stannjng it though

                      Thank U Next was a step up in quality from most of Sweetener for me but I don't fully adore it. I like it and do find it quite touching though, Shallow I didn't include but came close... Gaga's vocals just show up Bradley so much though, though less in this song than others.
                      I disagree with you on Y&Y!

                      I do agree that "Thank U, Next" is better than most of Sweetener. For me, it beats all but two of that LP's tracks.

                      I'm glad that the soundtrack is more Gaga than Bradley. He's a better singer than I expected, but obviously not in the same territory as Mother Monster.

                      Originally posted by king_oxymoron
                      Oh perhaps this is the one I mean, is this the song where Gaga is belting then it cuts back to Bradley mumbling at his piano? It just shows him up. But the version with just her is stunning. If I considered it a single I may have included it.

                      BIG love for including Jason, it's such a lovely lovely song and I'm so glad to see it high. Don't agree on career best, do agree it's a step in the right direction

                      And I love me a bit of Raining Glitter, the whoops are so fun. Can't wait to finally see her live at Glastonbury next year!

                      Would like GIAW to win.
                      Yep! And I totally agree with you - the version you mentioned in the bolded bit is the film version, the extended version with just Gaga is the one that I charted (and love).

                      Yeah, when I think of my favourite Jason songs ("I'm Yours", "Butterfly", "Lucky") this one fits right in!

                      Glad you love "Raining Glitter". I wonder if she'll bring some to Glastonbury.

                      We will see about that!
                      Akini's Top 400 Songs of the 2010s: [385-381]

                      The forest was shrinking, but the trees kept voting for the axe, for the axe was clever and convinced the trees that because his handle was made of wood, he was one of them.

                      Comment


                      • 002. Ariana Grande - God Is a Woman



                        "God Is a Woman" is the complete package - stunning multi-octave-spanning vocals, stellar production, bold and powerful message, high-budget and grandiose video. This song checks all the boxes for song of the year requirements, and is perhaps the best illustration of Ariana Grande coming into her own as a bona fide pop diva. The choir helps take this song to heavenly heights, but Ariana is in such complete control here, even in the video where she enlists queen of pop Madonna for empowering monologue duty, hires screeching weasels for a random shriek insertion, and surrounds her bed with nude male angels. The focus is never lost on her in the spectacle, and that takes skill and charisma. This is her "Like a Prayer"/"Bad Romance"/"Umbrella" moment - an ascension from mid-tier junior diva territory to the pop diva heavyweight circle. There was obvious criticism from the religious community regarding this song, but the best pop songs challenge social conventions and preconceived notions, and start a discussion, which is exactly what this song did. And, truly, when we consider all the obstacles women have to overcome in the world, and see so many sterling examples of superwomen who have achieved wondrous feats in spite of all the sexism, the song's assertion doesn't feel quite that far-fetched.
                        Code:
                        Quality Rating: 10/10
                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(15)
                        Play Count: 282
                        001. Ariana Grande - Breathin



                        When I revisit 2018, the prevailing emotion I'll associate with the year is anxiety. Anxiety about goals, both personal and professional, and anxiety about the future in general really. It was a really intense year at work, where for the first time ever I felt a gap between what was expected of me, and what I felt was within me to give. When you're juggling multiple projects, each with tight, blindly optimistic deadlines (set by your superiors) you can feel a bit broken, attributing the resource gap to a self-deficiency rather than mismanagement in timetabling. This song came at a particularly low time for me, and was such an uplifting anthem to blast, as I soldiered through work. When you're in a bleak situation, sometimes you get so enveloped in the fact that you're in it that you compound the awfulness. Ariana reminded me to inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, close my eyes, think positive, self-affirming thoughts, and return to war fully equipped with the knowledge that the warrior within us will always be stronger than the challenges the world throws at us. I'm still learning anxiety management, and I suspect it'll be a multi-year-long journey before I master it, but this song was such an important message to share with the world, and I'm really happy someone with Ariana Grande's profile shed light on this issue. When left untreated, these illnesses can really be silent, vicious killers, and the first step really is identifying the problem. There can be such a stigma associated with mental health disorders, but the truth of the matter is that most of us will encounter one at one point or another, and it's imperative that we help each other get through the dark periods...even if it's just listening to a three-minute pop song, with a fully immersive melody, and cheerleading-esque hook reminding you to keep breathing. I would be remiss not to mention the epic extended mix with freshly minted vocals between 3:06 and 3:24, as well as Ariana's multiplicity of phenomenal live performances of "Breathin", my favourite of which would be her Sweetener Sessions showcase.
                        Code:
                        Quality Rating: 10/10
                        Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(18)
                        Play Count: 370
                        Akini's Top 400 Songs of the 2010s: [385-381]

                        The forest was shrinking, but the trees kept voting for the axe, for the axe was clever and convinced the trees that because his handle was made of wood, he was one of them.

                        Comment


                        • Amazing Top 2!

                          cd/vinyl collection instagram
                          http://www.instagram.com/i.love.collecting.cds

                          Comment


                          • Re: Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2018: [#1 Revealed!]

                            Great winner, itís definitely one of her best songs. I really find GIAW terribly overrated though.

                            Good to see Raining Glitter and Fall In Line in the top 10!

                            Comment


                            • Kacey Musgraves - Happy & Sad
                              Ariana Grande - thank u, next
                              Bruno Mars - Finesse
                              Lady Gaga - Shallow
                              Janelle Monae - I Like That
                              Years & Years - Sanctify
                              The Weeknd - Pray For Me
                              Lorde - Sober
                              Ariana Grande - God is a woman
                              Ariana Grande - breathin

                              The Ariana slayage <3 Wonderful top 2! She has really slayed 2018, and I'm sure will continue to do so in 2019 too. I need to listen to En Vogue's comeback again, as I wasn't too impressed when I listened before...

                              Comment


                              • Re: Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2018: [#1 Revealed!]

                                I dont like GIAW, but breathin' is very good and amongst her best tracks. Glad it took the crown.
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                                Comment


                                • Have to say I really prefer GIAW over Breathin, but both are good. Great countdown, your winner will naturally be included in the year-end survivor Iíll have later next year.
                                  last.fm

                                  Comment


                                  • Re: Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2018: [#1 Revealed!]

                                    Well, I certainly can't complain about Ariana have both of the top 2 - I do wish they were reversed, but that is minor and hard to argue when you have a personal attachment to the song.

                                    Comment


                                    • OK, so finally have a chance to write!

                                      95. Kylie - Shelby 68
                                      94. Kylie - Dancing

                                      - I fell back to Kylie this year, and have to say Raining Glitter was my favorite of the songs I heard - there is something so carefree about that little whoop in the song that fits so well with the whol dance-country vibe she was going for. It was the real grower of the songs for me, so I am pleased to see it did well on your chart as well as Kylie's (4! ) appearances.

                                      87. Childish Gambino - Terrified

                                      - Terrified! I think you submit that for one of the Madness Tournaments and I hadn't heard it before then. Wonderful song

                                      83. Nicki - Chun-Li -
                                      - Chun-Li didn't get the love it deserved. It was my favorite of her songs, though I will give Good Form another go after your ringing endorsement. I just thought the lyrics were so cute and clever in there. We do need more bitches like Nicki.

                                      79. Ari - No Tears Left to Cry
                                      - Still shocked NTLTC by Ari was so low - I won't try to convince you of why I find the song so special. It did have me worried about how things would shape up for her on your list as a whole, but ofc you have proved those fears ridiculous.

                                      78. Cardi B - Bartier Cardi
                                      - Nice to see a few entries for Cardi, though low-key surprised none of them caught fire enough to place top 40. It felt like she was just everywhere this year. Am i misreading or did I Like It not make your list at all?

                                      77. Kacey - Butterflies

                                      - Love all the Kacey placements in your top 100! Her album was one of the best this year and I'm so glad she got some Grammy recognition for her efforts. Kacey never gets love from country radio she deserves - like there's this narrow definition of what country should be that stifles the whole genre - thank goodness for her success.

                                      OK, well that gets me through the first quarter. I'll be back ;)




                                      -

                                      Comment


                                      • Re: Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2018: [#1 Revealed!]

                                        Okay so personally, I would have preferred the other order. But this isn't my chart, it's yours and reading why you relate to Breathin it makes so much sense and so I'm really happy to see it atop your chart. I do think it's a great pop song but for me lots of people liked it more because the rest of Sweetener was so weak, so it stood out. But, it is decent and I'm glad it means so much to you

                                        God is A Woman is just awesome. Glad to see it loved.
                                        Check out my Top 100 of 2012 Countdown!

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by JSparksFan
                                          Indeed! I love the change of tone for a break-up anthem. The truth is, we take something (good, bad, a bit of both) from each relationship, and it's important to acknowledge the summation of the lessons learned rather than just dismissing the whole thing as a massive waste of time, though I certainly see the appeal of doing that, too.

                                          Self-care is so important! That was a big lesson for me this year as well. Sometimes you just gotta chill and take much-needed time off from life's innumerable stress sources.
                                          **Much nodding** Although people might sometimes reach a little TOO hard to pull a kernel of wisdom/grand life lesson out of every single experience, relationships that were truly significant to us (at least at one point) almost certainly showed us something about ourselves in the process, and taking the time to recognize/absorb that can aid us in every relationship going forward (romantic or otherwise). It's fun/easy/tempting to have an "I'm such a catch and that loser/psycho just f**ked everything up" mentality toward breakups, and I wouldn't want anyone to drown in self-doubt or blame either, but I really appreciate the balanced approach that Ari demonstrates throughout "Thank U, Next."

                                          Phew! Based on everything you've shared about your life (especially with regard to work) this past year, I'm relieved to hear that you've still made sure to carve out some self-care time. You're far too valuable of an asset to humanity to let this damn job completely burn you out before you even hit 30.

                                          Originally posted by JSparksFan
                                          Yeah, I was actually a bit nervous about the write-up for "Americans" because it is such a loaded song. Almost each line addresses a deeply relevant issue, and I was tempted to break the track down line by line, but opted not to. What you write about its replay value is so true, and I think that holds true for a lot of Dirty Computer. It's not an LP you can listen to aimlessly. It's much less of an escape, and much more an honest confrontation of the world in which we live, and it's tall order of issues, and sometimes it's a bit much when you really listen to everything Janelle is saying. But if it's a lot to just listen to, imagine what it must be like to actually live it! 2018 was a year of revelation for me for a few acts, and Janelle is certainly among the top names there.
                                          For sure - there was definitely a voice in the back of my head the whole time I was writing my response reminding me of the relative ridiculousness of my rambling on about the struggle/discomfort of listening to Janelle vividly describe these issues in song, compared to the struggles of the people (and loved ones of those) who actually live these issues firsthand.

                                          ē The connection between "Pray For Me" and Killmonger's mission/motivations is a fresh take for me, but gaining new perspectives on these tracks is a recurring perk of following this epic countdown. Not too shockingly, "Pray For Me" was over-shadowed by "All The Stars" for me (SZA's hook suits my sensibilities in a way that Abel's doesn't quite match), but the way you lay out the lyrics shows how it's an especially fitting anthem for the film (and yourself).
                                          ē "YES!" @ you extracting a coming-out message from "Raining Glitter." I was just applauding your thought-provoking fresh perspectives on many of these entries, but THIS is the way to TRULY sell me on a song! I'm getting warm-n-fuzzy flashbacks to my determination to interpret Tay's "Ours" as a queer-love anthem (regardless of her actual intentions while penning the track), which propelled it to my No. 1 spot of 2011. Subtext aside, this song's "Woops!" are some of the most charming and memorable aspects across all of Golden.
                                          ē You certainly caught my eye with that "Thank U, Next" -> "Have It All" comparison. I remember giving this track a try at some point during its domination on your daily chart, but that "well-wishing to your exes" connection makes it sound even better this time around. Jason's exaggerated expressions in the video's close-up shots are pretty painfully adorable too!
                                          ē We've been over "With You" in our regular chart threads, and while I still don't get the alleged earworm experience you mention, I definitely can't fault Mariah's songwriting on this one. I hadn't realized that you'd found ways to connect this track to your professional life, but I can see how some of the lines would apply to the emotions that exhausting sh*tshow evokes sometimes. **Hug**
                                          ē I can't say I've been following En Vogue's latest era at all, but there's something to commend about a girl group that debuted in 1990 still putting out material together 28 years later (granted, with some expected line-up changes along the way, but it seems like most American female ensembles face far shorter fates: Destiny's Child, PCD, Danity Kane, etc). The production in the chorus takes an intriguing unexpected turn!
                                          ē While I wouldn't go so far as to say I was rooting against GIAW, I'm really pleased with this final result! The direct personal relevance of "Breathin"s subject matter undoubtedly plays a role in my preference, but I still believe it fully delivers/achieves its intended goal in a way that GIAW doesn't quite (as a song, videos aside). It's such an honest depiction of such a relatable issue, and it actually offers some genuine relief by the end of its runtime. Ari can't make our anxiety completely disappear, of course, but she works some real damn magic in these 3 minutes and 18 seconds (in a song designed for mass consumption, no less, capable of being enjoyed by anyone regardless of their own specific experiences with anxiety management). A meditative moment never sounded so catchy!

                                          Speaking of honest depictions, thank you for taking us on this revealing, enlightening musical journey through your 2018! This countdown, especially once the write-ups started, feels like the epitome of a "personal chart." Hopefully the process was enjoyable (and a little therapeutic?) for you too - and may 2019 be a kinder year to you! <3
                                          last.fm

                                          Comment


                                          • I found a lot of connections between your taste and mine - and of course, lots of your entries are also part of my year-end chart. It's nice to see so much Gaga love - ARUTW deserved better though! And where's Is That Alright?

                                            I'm glad breathin' prevailed amongst God is a woman and thank u next, but all are non-special tracks to me (the three are in my Top 100... Charting between #80 and #100 ). But I can't believe how low is "no tears left to cry", which is one of Ariana's all-time biggest tracks (if not the best - Into You and My Way are quite on the same level).

                                            Also glad to see Jason Mraz receiving so much love. Although when I hear "Have It All", I think about my nephews, not about a past lover guess it's a really universal song about love.

                                            Comment


                                            • Well, you've got a pretty perfect Top2 here. 2018 has been such an amazing year for Ariana when it comes to her music/success, she really delivered some awesome tunes. As you know, "Breathin" is not my favorite from her last year but it's still very strong. "God Is A Woman" feels like it could have been an obvious Year-End #1 in some other years but 2018 was just so strong.

                                              Overall, a fantastic countdown and I LOVE your commentaries for the songs! <3

                                              Comment


                                              • Excellent Ariana rules the chart!!
                                                I love Breathin too, its climbing on my weekly chart.
                                                Many song in your list are great, Full of DIVA. surprise with sober by lorde was ranked so high <3

                                                Comment


                                                • Originally posted by luckyONE
                                                  Amazing Top 2!
                                                  Glad you think so!

                                                  Originally posted by Thriller
                                                  Great winner, itís definitely one of her best songs. I really find GIAW terribly overrated though.

                                                  Good to see Raining Glitter and Fall In Line in the top 10!
                                                  Yeah, I remember you not being impressed with "God Is a Woman". Happy that you appreciate "Breathin", though.

                                                  Originally posted by UKMusicLova
                                                  Kacey Musgraves - Happy & Sad
                                                  Ariana Grande - thank u, next
                                                  Bruno Mars - Finesse
                                                  Lady Gaga - Shallow
                                                  Janelle Monae - I Like That
                                                  Years & Years - Sanctify
                                                  The Weeknd - Pray For Me
                                                  Lorde - Sober
                                                  Ariana Grande - God is a woman
                                                  Ariana Grande - breathin

                                                  The Ariana slayage <3 Wonderful top 2! She has really slayed 2018, and I'm sure will continue to do so in 2019 too. I need to listen to En Vogue's comeback again, as I wasn't too impressed when I listened before...
                                                  You should!

                                                  Originally posted by leomedar
                                                  I dont like GIAW, but breathin' is very good and amongst her best tracks. Glad it took the crown.
                                                  Happy you appreciate "Breathin". I think it's a universally relevant song.

                                                  Originally posted by Carbon
                                                  Have to say I really prefer GIAW over Breathin, but both are good. Great countdown, your winner will naturally be included in the year-end survivor Iíll have later next year.
                                                  Great that you have some degree of appreciation for both! Let's see if "Breathin" will outperform "Redbone"!

                                                  Originally posted by cheapthrills
                                                  Well, I certainly can't complain about Ariana have both of the top 2 - I do wish they were reversed, but that is minor and hard to argue when you have a personal attachment to the song.
                                                  Glad you're pleased with the top 2.

                                                  Originally posted by cheapthrills
                                                  OK, so finally have a chance to write!

                                                  95. Kylie - Shelby 68
                                                  94. Kylie - Dancing

                                                  - I fell back to Kylie this year, and have to say Raining Glitter was my favorite of the songs I heard - there is something so carefree about that little whoop in the song that fits so well with the whol dance-country vibe she was going for. It was the real grower of the songs for me, so I am pleased to see it did well on your chart as well as Kylie's (4! ) appearances.
                                                  More than you were expecting?

                                                  Originally posted by cheapthrills
                                                  87. Childish Gambino - Terrified

                                                  - Terrified! I think you submit that for one of the Madness Tournaments and I hadn't heard it before then. Wonderful song
                                                  Ah, glad you were able to discover this one, and appreciate it.

                                                  Originally posted by cheapthrills
                                                  83. Nicki - Chun-Li -
                                                  - Chun-Li didn't get the love it deserved. It was my favorite of her songs, though I will give Good Form another go after your ringing endorsement. I just thought the lyrics were so cute and clever in there. We do need more bitches like Nicki.
                                                  I think Nicki's poor chart performance has more to do with her public image being in tatters than the quality of the music.

                                                  Originally posted by cheapthrills
                                                  79. Ari - No Tears Left to Cry
                                                  - Still shocked NTLTC by Ari was so low - I won't try to convince you of why I find the song so special. It did have me worried about how things would shape up for her on your list as a whole, but ofc you have proved those fears ridiculous.
                                                  Yeah, I think this was the big separator for me and most of UKMix. Maybe I'll come to appreciate it one day.

                                                  Originally posted by cheapthrills
                                                  78. Cardi B - Bartier Cardi
                                                  - Nice to see a few entries for Cardi, though low-key surprised none of them caught fire enough to place top 40. It felt like she was just everywhere this year. Am i misreading or did I Like It not make your list at all?
                                                  Your reading is perfectly fine! I really didn't like "I Like It" much, and with my five-track-per-LP rule (limited to four for Cardi B since "Bodak Yellow" charted last year) "I Like It" just didn't make the cut. Were it not for the song limit, it would've charted somewhere around the mid-160s.

                                                  Originally posted by cheapthrills
                                                  77. Kacey - Butterflies

                                                  - Love all the Kacey placements in your top 100! Her album was one of the best this year and I'm so glad she got some Grammy recognition for her efforts. Kacey never gets love from country radio she deserves - like there's this narrow definition of what country should be that stifles the whole genre - thank goodness for her success.

                                                  OK, well that gets me through the first quarter. I'll be back ;)
                                                  Yeah, since her "Follow Your Arrow" performance at the Grammys, I've been pretty big on Kacey. She's such a songwriting talent, and it is a shame country music doesn't embrace her more, but I guess some of her lyrics are too progressive for that audience? I mean, that surely doesn't stop Taylor Swift from excelling there.

                                                  Originally posted by king_oxymoron
                                                  Okay so personally, I would have preferred the other order. But this isn't my chart, it's yours and reading why you relate to Breathin it makes so much sense and so I'm really happy to see it atop your chart. I do think it's a great pop song but for me lots of people liked it more because the rest of Sweetener was so weak, so it stood out. But, it is decent and I'm glad it means so much to you

                                                  God is A Woman is just awesome. Glad to see it loved.
                                                  Glad we can appreciate the awesomeness of "God Is a Woman". I still think you have it too low, though!

                                                  Originally posted by phoenix98
                                                  **Much nodding** Although people might sometimes reach a little TOO hard to pull a kernel of wisdom/grand life lesson out of every single experience, relationships that were truly significant to us (at least at one point) almost certainly showed us something about ourselves in the process, and taking the time to recognize/absorb that can aid us in every relationship going forward (romantic or otherwise). It's fun/easy/tempting to have an "I'm such a catch and that loser/psycho just f**ked everything up" mentality toward breakups, and I wouldn't want anyone to drown in self-doubt or blame either, but I really appreciate the balanced approach that Ari demonstrates throughout "Thank U, Next."
                                                  Absolutely! Sometimes I look back at my behaviour in/reaction to certain situations, and I learn certain things about myself, and it can be a really powerful way to identify points for self-improvement, or just learning where you limits are, your ideal setting to flourish, and other cool tidbits. It's really funny how we spend 100% of our lives with ourselves, and still learn on a continuous basis about ourselves.

                                                  Originally posted by phoenix98
                                                  Phew! Based on everything you've shared about your life (especially with regard to work) this past year, I'm relieved to hear that you've still made sure to carve out some self-care time. You're far too valuable of an asset to humanity to let this damn job completely burn you out before you even hit 30.
                                                  Agreed! Work is obviously important, too, but I think you're not even an asset to your employer when your battery levels are near-death levels, so I'm trying to be the best version of myself because all parties benefit from that!

                                                  Originally posted by phoenix98
                                                  For sure - there was definitely a voice in the back of my head the whole time I was writing my response reminding me of the relative ridiculousness of my rambling on about the struggle/discomfort of listening to Janelle vividly describe these issues in song, compared to the struggles of the people (and loved ones of those) who actually live these issues firsthand.
                                                  Yeah, ignorance can be bliss. Did you watch Bird Box yet? Ignorance is kinda like keeping the blindfold on, so we don't implode.

                                                  Originally posted by phoenix98
                                                  ē The connection between "Pray For Me" and Killmonger's mission/motivations is a fresh take for me, but gaining new perspectives on these tracks is a recurring perk of following this epic countdown. Not too shockingly, "Pray For Me" was over-shadowed by "All The Stars" for me (SZA's hook suits my sensibilities in a way that Abel's doesn't quite match), but the way you lay out the lyrics shows how it's an especially fitting anthem for the film (and yourself).
                                                  Yeah, the first time I heard "Pray for Me", I was like, "This is Killmonger's song" right here.

                                                  Originally posted by phoenix98
                                                  ē "YES!" @ you extracting a coming-out message from "Raining Glitter." I was just applauding your thought-provoking fresh perspectives on many of these entries, but THIS is the way to TRULY sell me on a song! I'm getting warm-n-fuzzy flashbacks to my determination to interpret Tay's "Ours" as a queer-love anthem (regardless of her actual intentions while penning the track), which propelled it to my No. 1 spot of 2011. Subtext aside, this song's "Woops!" are some of the most charming and memorable aspects across all of Golden.
                                                  If I ever have a coming out party, "Raining Glitter" will definitely be on the playlist.

                                                  Your "Ours" interpretation wasn't a stretch at all, though, and it definitely impacted the way I viewed the song!

                                                  Originally posted by phoenix98
                                                  ē You certainly caught my eye with that "Thank U, Next" -> "Have It All" comparison. I remember giving this track a try at some point during its domination on your daily chart, but that "well-wishing to your exes" connection makes it sound even better this time around. Jason's exaggerated expressions in the video's close-up shots are pretty painfully adorable too!
                                                  Glad you like a bit more now!

                                                  Originally posted by phoenix98
                                                  ē We've been over "With You" in our regular chart threads, and while I still don't get the alleged earworm experience you mention, I definitely can't fault Mariah's songwriting on this one. I hadn't realized that you'd found ways to connect this track to your professional life, but I can see how some of the lines would apply to the emotions that exhausting sh*tshow evokes sometimes. **Hug**
                                                  I think an effect of the last three years in my personal and professional life being more...turbulent than usual is that I tend to lean towards tracks with softer melodies, as they're gentler on the ears, and usually relax me when I'm feeling tense. "With You" has the lean production elements that put me in a relaxed headspace, and I'm able to really digest the story better that way. Don't get me wrong, nothing in life will ever stop me from appreciating big production moments ŗ la "God Is a Woman", but as I'm getting older, I'm understanding the beauty in subtlety.

                                                  Originally posted by phoenix98
                                                  ē I can't say I've been following En Vogue's latest era at all, but there's something to commend about a girl group that debuted in 1990 still putting out material together 28 years later (granted, with some expected line-up changes along the way, but it seems like most American female ensembles face far shorter fates: Destiny's Child, PCD, Danity Kane, etc). The production in the chorus takes an intriguing unexpected turn!
                                                  I hope "Rocket" grows on you a bit! The production is lush!

                                                  Originally posted by phoenix98
                                                  ē While I wouldn't go so far as to say I was rooting against GIAW, I'm really pleased with this final result! The direct personal relevance of "Breathin"s subject matter undoubtedly plays a role in my preference, but I still believe it fully delivers/achieves its intended goal in a way that GIAW doesn't quite (as a song, videos aside). It's such an honest depiction of such a relatable issue, and it actually offers some genuine relief by the end of its runtime. Ari can't make our anxiety completely disappear, of course, but she works some real damn magic in these 3 minutes and 18 seconds (in a song designed for mass consumption, no less, capable of being enjoyed by anyone regardless of their own specific experiences with anxiety management). A meditative moment never sounded so catchy!
                                                  Agreed! It's a big cheerleading moment for Ari, and I think it helps to minimise the gravity of whatever anxiety-producing struggle you're face. Like if you can take a few deep breaths and recollect yourself, you can get through this. I feel like that's essentially the message, and it's so simple on paper, but so necessary to hear in desperate moments, too.

                                                  Originally posted by phoenix98
                                                  Speaking of honest depictions, thank you for taking us on this revealing, enlightening musical journey through your 2018! This countdown, especially once the write-ups started, feels like the epitome of a "personal chart." Hopefully the process was enjoyable (and a little therapeutic?) for you too - and may 2019 be a kinder year to you! <3
                                                  Thank you, Paul!

                                                  The countdowns and tributes that I do are incredibly therapeutic for me. It's fun to share my favourite songs with everyone, and it's a nice challenge to explain why I love the songs, albums, and artists featured as much as I do. Many, many thanks for following the whole show!

                                                  Originally posted by HC55555
                                                  I found a lot of connections between your taste and mine - and of course, lots of your entries are also part of my year-end chart. It's nice to see so much Gaga love - ARUTW deserved better though! And where's Is That Alright?

                                                  I'm glad breathin' prevailed amongst God is a woman and thank u next, but all are non-special tracks to me (the three are in my Top 100... Charting between #80 and #100 ). But I can't believe how low is "no tears left to cry", which is one of Ariana's all-time biggest tracks (if not the best - Into You and My Way are quite on the same level).

                                                  Also glad to see Jason Mraz receiving so much love. Although when I hear "Have It All", I think about my nephews, not about a past lover guess it's a really universal song about love.
                                                  "Is That Alright?" isn't one of the soundtrack's top moments for me!

                                                  Great that there are so many commonalities between our year-end lists.

                                                  Hmm...I never thought about from that perspective before. Lemme re-listen to it. Okay, I'm revisiting it now, and the I'll be sad without you bit is really what sold me on it being a break-up song, but I like your perspective, too!

                                                  Originally posted by Tansike
                                                  Well, you've got a pretty perfect Top2 here. 2018 has been such an amazing year for Ariana when it comes to her music/success, she really delivered some awesome tunes. As you know, "Breathin" is not my favorite from her last year but it's still very strong. "God Is A Woman" feels like it could have been an obvious Year-End #1 in some other years but 2018 was just so strong.

                                                  Overall, a fantastic countdown and I LOVE your commentaries for the songs! <3
                                                  Indeed! Four months ago, I was very convinced "God Is a Woman" would win. Then "Breathin" came and stole my heart.

                                                  Glad you liked the countdown, and appreciated the write-ups! Thanks for following!

                                                  Originally posted by punchkano1
                                                  Excellent Ariana rules the chart!!
                                                  I love Breathin too, its climbing on my weekly chart.
                                                  Many song in your list are great, Full of DIVA. surprise with sober by lorde was ranked so high <3
                                                  Hope the "Sober" inclusion was a pleasant surprise! Glad you enjoyed the bulk of the countdown!
                                                  Akini's Top 400 Songs of the 2010s: [385-381]

                                                  The forest was shrinking, but the trees kept voting for the axe, for the axe was clever and convinced the trees that because his handle was made of wood, he was one of them.

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                                                  • Taking time out of my own top 100 of 2018 to focus on some other charts instead.

                                                    010. The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar - Pray for Me

                                                    I love reading your descriptions of the songs. One of several shared #1s from earlier in 2018. Both The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar are almost revolutionary in their approach to their music. For someone who tends to find most urban underwhelming, disappointing or just simply trash it's a blessing that we have The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar really mixing things up and making the genre interesting.

                                                    One of the things i loved about Pray for me was the backing music. It's so hard hitting and quite electronic with its edm influence despite still remaining very much an r'n'b rap song. Kendrick has been fascinating me since 2016 with his lyrical content and his delivery.

                                                    009. Lady Gaga - I'll Never Love Again

                                                    Stunningly beautiful ballad that couldn't be more heartfelt if it tried. I watched a video on YouTube about A star is born claiming that Lady Gaga recorded the vocals for this song shortly after her best friend lost her battle to cancer. That's raw emotion in those vocals when Lady Gaga sings "don't wanna feel another touch". However, i still think Shallow is truly excellent hence the reason why it kept this track off #1 in my chart.

                                                    008. Kylie Minogue - Raining Glitter

                                                    Yay so happy to see Kylie getting a top 10 entry. <3 This is such fun and i love that the tracks harks back to disco Kylie. Raining glitter was an instant smash upon release and then boosted following the album release. Going back to my earlier comment, i really expected to have bought more albums in 2018 but maybe because the overall quality of new albums really weren't top notch hence why Golden was the only album i bought in 2018.

                                                    007. Jason Mraz - Have It All

                                                    Now i have to admit when it comes to Jason Mraz i'm only familiar with I'm yours and I won't give up, the latter because it became unavoidable on The x factor particularly in these last 5 years or so. I'm gonna check out this song purely out of curiosity and see what i think.

                                                    006. Christina Aguilera - Fall in Line (feat. Demi Lovato)

                                                    Ahh yes, the powerhouse duet. <3 I This was one of those songs where the chorus just grabbed me by the throat and refused to let go. I have to admit though as much as I enjoyed this track, it is Twice that won the war. <3

                                                    005. Mariah Carey - With You

                                                    We discussed how this "flopped" in my chart although a #15 peak in my chart is still a good achievement. That said, it was lovely to hear Mariah sounding great on the new tracks i'd heard. I've still not managed to check out more of Caution though.

                                                    004. Lorde - Sober

                                                    Wow this did really well for a 2017 album track. Melodrama was another album i never fully checked out in 2017 and i'm listening to Sober now for the first time (well, better late than never i suppose ). I do love the slight twist on the track at 2:36 into the song. Again it's fascinating to think that every now and again an artist will release a track that just strikes a chord, or touches a nerve. Whatever it is, it's something that hits hard with strong impact.

                                                    003. En Vogue - Rocket

                                                    I feel like i'm so out of the loop here but my only knowledge of En Vogue is their track Don't let go (love) which i only discovered thanks to Little Mix performing the track on The x factor. I'll need to pay this a little more attention.

                                                    002. Ariana Grande - God Is a Woman
                                                    001. Ariana Grande - Breathin


                                                    OMG What an amazing year end top 2 but i have to question where is Kylie Minogue's Breathe which i vividly remember this appearing regularly in your charts in the first half of 2018. Back to Ariana, if there's one thing everyone could agree on is that they definitely chose the best tracks to release as singles. I still find it astonishing that the music video for breathin not only incorporated subtle details about the new album but the fact the first new single thank u, next was released around the same time. I kinda like the idea of not having any particular strategy in place and just releasing music when there is clear demand.

                                                    Ariana was without doubt one of my artists of 2018 so let's see just how well she fared in my own top 100 of 2018.

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