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Adam's Top 100 of 2018! [TOP ARTISTS 2018!]

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  • #61
    040. Troye Sivan - Bloom
    036. Ariana Grande - God Is A Woman
    032. Elena Foureira - Fuego

    Three big highlights of 2018 for me as well. "Bloom" didn't click with me when Troye released it as a single but when the album came out I fell in love with it, now it's one of his finest songs for me. "Fuego" is fierce!

    While I do love to see "God Is A Woman" being in your Top40 and I also love your commentary for it, it's quite sad to hear this is easily the best thing she has released in 2018 for you, which means it's her highest entry on your list :(

    Comment


    • #62
      Re: Adam's Top 100 of 2018! [SINGLES 40-31]

      Yeah I'm sorry, I actually do like all of her other single releases this year! Except The Light Is Coming if that counts. But all of them for me are weaker than the singles from the previous two eras, with the exception of GIAW.
      Check out my Top 100 of 2012 Countdown!

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      • #63
        "Say Something" is good. The Gente de Zona remix sold me on "Stop Me from Falling". Surprised to see "In My Blood" so low; it was my pick for #1, so oops! I'm so pleasantly surprised to see "Correct"! I love that bit with the other voices, too; it's so diva-ish! I still need to explore his catalogue in greater depth, but "Correct" is far and away my favourite from the MNEK songs I've heard. I got into late, but it'll definitely make my 2019 list.

        "Bloom" is lovely. It took a while for me to get into it, but in the end, I (mostly) understood what so many people appreciated about it. Yeah, I pretty much endorse everything you wrote about "Unlonely". You are definitely not in the "massive minority" on "God Is a Woman". It does seem to be a deeply divisive track, with a huge chunk of people (myself included) believing it to be one of Ari's career-best tracks and one of the best songs of the year (if not the absolute best), and another huge chunk just not feeling it's anything special; very few people I've seen really hate it. It seems to either inspire great passion, or great nonchalance, with little to no middle ground. Anyway, I think it's epic, and in a few other years, it would've been my year-end #1. I never got Adele from "No Roots", but now that you mention it, I can definitely hear it. I thought "Happier" was "beige" at first, too. It grew on me as well. "Fuego" is great! "Just Got Paid" is decent, too.
        Akini's Top 100 Albums of the Decade: [85-81]

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        • #64
          Yay, definitely listen to Language start to finish, it's so well produced and cohesive.

          030. Lewis Capaldi - Grace

          This song didn't even start in my one hundred but I kept hearing it on the radio and it just kept climbing and climbing. I love how it randomly just starts off with the first line of the chorus... but then doesn't elaborate and goes 'nah actually we'll go with the verse'
          His voice is really nice, a deep gravelly tone not dissimilar to James Arthur, and he really makes the most of his range, particularly in the latter half of proceedings. It's a pretty straightforward singer songwriter song but it benefits from beautiful melodies, a wonderful tone and a chorus that feels like it really shoots out of the gates, but keeps getting bigger with the 'your grace' refrain getting gradually higher. When he really let's rip in the middle 8 and the song soars into the final chorus, it's a real moment for me.

          029. Martin Garrix ft. Khalid - Ocean

          After the success of the very downtempo So Far Away last year, it's probably no surprise that Garrix is back this year with another very subtle slow burner. That said, it was very instant for me, Khalid's voice really shines out, particularly on the falsetto chorus. There's a real sense of atmosphere and the lyrics are believable, I really do feel like Khalid is desperately in love. A meeting of minds between two of my favourite young artists and I think it works really beautifully.

          028. James Arthur - You Deserve Better

          Don't get me wrong, I love 'Empty Space' and 'Naked' and songs like that, but how this absolute banger didn't get James a chart hit is beyond me. I love when he is playing around and being experimental like her is here. The chorus is straight fire. THAT BASS!!!! It's so funky. And then the chorus PART TWO when he absolutely lets rip is just wonderful, he plays so well with his voice and can just go from restrained to WILD in a matter of seconds - and he does it regularly and to great effect here. The whole affair is just so funky and dare I say it possibly the greatest thing he has ever done. I love how the sound gets fuller as the song progresses too. it's just to die for. In fact I think I put it too low. Whoopsie. Love in the final chorus when there is a layering of his vocal in harmony, it's divine.

          027. James Bay - Pink Lemonade

          It's been a funny old year for James Bay.. he seemed to fizzle out really quickly after none of his singles really took off. And that surprised me as I enjoyed Wild Love and I LOVED this. From the opening electric guitar strums it has me hooked.. I love how it plays with silence as a juxtaposition to the noisy intro as well, as the guitar drops out for a split second and then returns to grab you back. The verses are so wonderful but it's the chorus and the defiant DONT ASK ME lead in that I really love. It's quite busy but you never lose the chorus melody or the catchy guitars. The middle 8 is impeccably catchy and is the part of the lyrics where the title is introduced. I find quite often that a middle 8 can feel like an afterthought but here it feels like the centrepiece, and it's the icing on the cake when the jaunty chorus returns and James sings catchy ad libs over the top. An indie bop.

          026. Saara Aalto - Monsters

          I just love Saara Aalto and I am still high key fuming about her position at this years Eurovision Song Contest. True, she got her country there for the first time in years and there were various great girl bops but she deserved so much better for a superb performance. The song is Eurovision personified, it takes you on a real journey. The start with the falsetto is atmospheric and moody but the chorus couldn't be further from that, with pumping beats, catchy backing synths, a powerful vocal and an incredibly catchy 'I ain't scared no more' motif. Highlights include the Halloween-melody in the bridge 'so tonight I'm making friends with all the creatures that are hiding there under my bed' and also when the song breaks down and Saara delivers some beautiful high notes before aboldutely letting rip with 'I ain't scaaaaaaaaaaaared'. An absolute modern classic which deserved more. She's a star.

          025. Una Healy - Never See Me Cry

          Una made my chart a couple of times last year, once with the excellent 'Battlelines' but this country pop fusion is definitely her best release to date. It's a frantic foot tapper, with many great ensemble motifs, a chorus of 'ooh ooh ooh' setting us off and a catchy 'woaaah' peppered throughout. The verses are catchy, particularly the third line 'it's true you broke into my weakness' and the chorus carries on the trend. It's almost incessant in a way, the pace never really lets up and I love that, 'you'll never see me cry cry cry cry!' she sings out. But it's in the second half of the chorus when she stretches her voice on 'you can see me NAKED' that Una sounds at her glorious best. This is exactly the music Una should be making, I just don't know how she makes a hit out of it. But do yourself a favour and listen,

          [youtube:10t0zozv]3K9ARDh71zw[/youtube:10t0zozv]

          024. 5 Seconds of Summer - Youngblood

          Everyone knows this one! It's just a pure pop bop and I feel like I was ahead of the curve with loving it so it was great to see it grow and become a monster hit. I love how it goes from quite an innocent verse, to a catchy earworm of a bridge then just getting pure down and dirty in the chorus with layered 'chanted' vocals and even the second part of the chorus has some meat to add to the bone. It's just a really well crafted and executed pop monster and given that they'd had a muted response to what I thought was a great song in Want You Back, I was very pleased to see this really do things for them. It's hard not to be booked on the beat, and it made for a great Tango on this years Strictly. 'You're pushing and pushing, I'm pulling away, pulling away, from you, I give and I give and I give and you take' is a really inspired bridge. Great stuff. But not my number one.

          023. Florence & The Machine - Hunger

          Miss Flo is very hit and miss with me but when she hits the spot, she hits the spot good, well and proper. And that's what she's done here. She never fails to be interesting but she does sometimes fail to be catchy. No worries here, one of the catchiest records she has ever put her name to. It doesn't necessarily feel like that from the off, it has that kind of miminal feel and a level of kook we have become accustomed to with her but when the first 'we all have a hunger' kicks in and the piano and drums kick off, we are set. I love how she uses her voice in interesting ways, on lines like 'the way you use your body baby' and the unique note patterns she hits are really cool. There's great lyrical content here too, 'I thought that love was a kind of emptiness, and at least I understood then the hunger I felt, and I didn't have to call it loneliness'. I like that. The middle 8 breakdown of choir harmony 'we. all. have. a. hun. ger' is so simple but one of my favourite parts. She struck pop gold with this one but it still retains her individuality.

          022. Niall Horan - On The Loose

          WHY WAS THIS NOT A HIT. Niall gave it to us here on a plate. I am loving the Irisih and their country-pop crossovers this year, I love the production from very literally the first second, I love the laid back vibe of the whole thing, I love Niall's GORGEOUS vocals on it, I actually also love that the chorus comes around super quickly and the whole song is just incredibly simple. Why make it complex when all your component parts are absolutely working. The chorus is so catchy as well ('she LOVES!'), particularly the second part 'she loves the way fall back when she says that she LOVES nobody else by you' and even more particularly the second time around when the music around it drops out. The middle 8 really lets Niall shine vocally, I honestly think he sounds stunning and this sound suits him to an absolute tee. Mature music beyond his years, I love it. Reminds me of One Direction's 'What A Feeling' which is pretty much their best, too.

          021. Sigrid - Sucker Punch

          A great year for the Sound Of winner Sigrid, who has released so many great, interesting pop singles. I like that she has such an idea of her sound and how to be different at such a young age. The verses are wonderful, with some breakdown moments where she just talks, but the chorus is where she really shines as the whole thing explodes. I love, like Florence, when just mid sentence she will just resort to a high note, maybe even for only half a word. It just helps stop the whole thing from every being generic and never sounds forced. She spends the whole song singing Sucker Punch in falsetto so when the middle 8 comes around and she delivers it with the whole weight of her voice it's a really great choice. She really knows her way around music and I fully love her. But will we see her again?

          STILL TO COME?

          [/quote]
          Check out my Top 100 of 2012 Countdown!

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          • #65
            Re: Adam's Top 100 of 2018! [SINGLES 30-21]

            030. Lewis Capaldi - Grace

            The music video amplified the song for me so much.

            027. James Bay - Pink Lemonade

            Nice to see some pop/rock and guitar-driven songs charting pretty high.
            Waffles are checked cookies

            Comment


            • #67
              Ariana Grande - God is a woman
              MK / Becky Hill - Back & Forth
              Lewis Capaldi - Grace
              Martin Garrix / Khalid - Ocean
              Sigrid - Sucker Punch

              Love all of the above. A few may be doing very well on my own list. I love how Becky Hill keeps coming with the bops. That Lewis Capaldi song has really grown on me as well. The Sigrid song is a great pop song, the chorus gives me 'Here Standing' vibes by The Saturdays

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              • #68
                "Ocean" is beautiful indeed. Glad you mentioned Khalid's falsetto chorus, as that's the clear highlight for me, too. "Monsters" definitely deserved more - at the very least a top 3 finish! "Youngblood" has a fantastic chorus. I loved the lyrics of "Hunger" and there are definitely great vocal moments, but the song falls flat for me, as did the whole era from Florence this time 'round. Shame as I had high expectations. :( "On the Loose" is great - it was an early standout when I played the LP in 2017, and I still like it now.
                Akini's Top 100 Albums of the Decade: [85-81]

                Comment


                • #69
                  Re: Adam's Top 100 of 2018! [SINGLES 30-21]

                  Yay for 'Hunger' and 'On The Loose'. The latter deserved so much more. Such a good song.
                  Big.Big.Booty.

                  Comment


                  • #70
                    029. Martin Garrix ft. Khalid - Ocean
                    027. James Bay - Pink Lemonade
                    026. Saara Aalto - Monsters
                    024. 5 Seconds of Summer - Youngblood
                    023. Florence & The Machine - Hunger
                    022. Niall Horan - On The Loose
                    021. Sigrid - Sucker Punch

                    Love that Saara Aalto praise. As you say, it's good that she reached the Finale for Finland again, but I thought she'd be Top10 for sure
                    "Youngblood" was the first time a song by 5SOS got me, catchy and good track.
                    The others are really good, too, especially "Ocean" and "On The Loose". "Sucker Punch" is a good pop bop and my second favorite song from Sigrid

                    Comment


                    • #71
                      Thanks you guys! We are about to enter a territory of BRILLIANT... BUT LESSER KNOWN tunes and artists.

                      020. Betty Who - Taste

                      Did Ed Sheeran have any part in this? It sounds a bit like him on the backing 'aaah' moments.. either way, it's a bop. A sexy, slinky pop number that is a really interesting listen. Betty proves she can belt later in the song which makes the decision on the verse delivery, restrained and sensual, all the more interesting. It has quite a minimalist approach to the verse and the bridge with far more of a kitchen sink idea in the big pop chorus. There's a lot of interesting backing music, like tongues and innovative things! I love the falsetto on the title line and the final line of the chorus 'the worse they are.. the better they taste!'. Cheeky, awesome pop fun whose sound seems to get fuller and fuller as we go on!

                      019. Troye Sivan - My My My!

                      Troye came back with this year with a massive bang, an atmospheric pop stomper. It's one of those songs that can entirely take over and you can find yourself getting lost in the music, the sound is big and all encompassing and I love that. Troye also never really does straight down the line pop songs, there's always what I call an indie sensibility to them which marks them out as immediately his. The chorus is just so powerful and well produced. He'll never have the best vocal of all time but he still turns out some of the best tunes. Production on point and using Troye's voice to it's moodiest, sexiest best.

                      018. Becky Hill - Sunrise In The East

                      Speaking of sexy voices, the deep rasp of Becky Hill finds its way onto my top 20 with her solo singer proper. The verses are sultry and simple but it's the chorus that gets me. Still subtle but with beautiful melody and Becky finally getting to let her vocal fly over some eastern influenced instrumental, it's a real moment for me. I especially think it's beautiful when she breaks it down and does the chorus in her deep voice for a moment before putting it back up to the higher octave over the same minimised backing. Really gorgeous and yet another shoulda been a hit,

                      017. Grace Carter - Why Her, Not Me

                      This is emotional from the opening piano chords, and gorgeous from the off too. Grace's deep voice is just stunning from the first moment and shows great range from verse to chorus. The chorus itself has the most beautiful melody and captured me and made me look at who I was listening to the first time I heard it. Similarly to Becky, my favourite part is when the song all slows and she sings 'why her, not me' in her deepest voice before letting rip with her vocals , the contrast is gorgeous, I'd like it even more if she did a full chorus or even half in the deeper voice, but beggars can't be choosers. I think I read somewhere it was about another woman in her Dad's life which is not a perspective I considered but makes you think about songs with different meanings to how you interpret them!

                      [youtube:22o1zsc6]dtWzfRc6uUs[/youtube:22o1zsc6]

                      016. Liv Dawson - Talk

                      I wouldnt be surprised if this was amongst my most frequently played songs of 2018, I rinsed it, from early on in the year and I am STILL not bored of it. It reminds me of the Betty song in many ways, in that it is quite delicate in the verses and then really takes flight in the chorus... also it uses tongue pops as instrumentation.. probably my favourite musical technique to be honest! The chorus is unbelievably catchy, particularly the line 'it ain't right that your hands are on her body, place those hands on me' - one of those pop gold nugget lines which really works, particularly when followed by a series of melodic tongue pops Liv sounds divine in the falsetto portions of this song ('why you with her, is it cause you don't want to be lonely') and out of nowhere produced one of my favourite pop bops this year.

                      015. The Chainsmokers ft. Emily Warren - Side Effects

                      A better known one potentially now but also not one that was subject to overplay thankfully. This feels to be like this incredibly amazing but complex pop puzzle... there are so many parts to this song and they are all such excellent component pieces that fit together so well.. like, how could you not like it? I feel like even the production in the opening seconds sets a mood somehow. The verses are straight in there, very competent and catchy.. the bridge slows things down and strikes a contrast and then things fire up again for an absolute BANGER of a chorus. And verse and bridge and chorus, and that's it right? That's a song? WRONG. Second time around we get this incredible after-chorus which hits with a bang ' oooh, I think about it all the time...' it just hits so hard and is so catchy. Lucky us. But it's not done.. then we are treated to a BROKEN DOWN SPOKEN WORD CATCHY MONSTER OF A MIDDLE EIGHT. And then we get a chorus that is completely broken down with a switched up melody and the exploration of a Emily's voice, before everything crashes back in and we get all those glorious parts, in full force, again. SOMETIMES OVER ONE ANOTHER. it's like expecting one great Christmas present and getting 17. BOP.

                      014. Jax Jones ft. Years & Years - Play

                      By far the most recent song on the list and I'm always wary of doing this in case they tire (fortunately placing 'Then' by Anne Marie so high last year was justified, I still adore it now) but I'm going for it. This is a big big bop. It's not in any way flashy, it's doesn't even REALLY go anywhere but it's so self assured in how cool it is and how wonderful the melody is that it's is basically like 'screw you. I don't need to'. I like the bleepy bloopy production of it, and casting Olly on a subtle laid back song was a great choice as he doesn't have a huge voice anyway. The bridge 'diving into your ocean a brand new emotion come true' is a catchy little hook and the melody of the chorus itself is such a satisfying ear worm. I dunno there's just something about the 'play me the song / make me belong' rhyme and it being so quick in succession that makes me love it. Funny how in songs there can be some bits you die for that when you try to explain, are nothing particularly special but strike a chord with you, right? Love it.

                      013. Everything Everything - Breadwinner

                      This song is just a RIDE! It has big regal moments, it has manic frenetic moments and is about as mad as a box of frogs, honestly... but such is it's appeal. The verses are so insanely catchy and delivered in falsetto at about three hundred words a minute over a catchy and deep piano refrain. The bridge where the drum kicks in is powerful and indeed ends with the repeated 'POWER POWER POWER POWER POWER' before the chorus just lets rip and the music bursts forward over a very simple refrain but man it's catchy. It's completely mental in all the best ways, upbeat Everything Everything never fails to impress me even when I don't know what they are talking about, the melodies are usually enough to grab me in and take me on that ride with them!

                      012. Matt Terry - Try

                      If you look up unfairly maligned and underrated in the dictionary, you'll see an image of Matt Terry's triumphant debut album. It really is full of bops and this is the greatest one of all. He's a gorgeous singer, we know this, but he tended to belt out ballads on the. X Factor, not straight up fire pop stompers like this. The verses are catchy, speedy and well sung before Matt's signature falsetto sings out the title word, at odds with his belting out the rest of it. But it's the chorus that is the crown jewel. In something that appears to be a fetish for me, I really love it when he sings the chorus once in his lower register, before the drums crash in BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM and he repeats it in his higher register. Ugh, just gold. It's so catchy too with an additional HEY NANANA chant refrain that just adds to the excitement. Some big shrieking falsetto notes later, as he doesn't do a song without them, and we've honestly got an absolute pop juggernaut on our hands. What's even more impressive is there's a video where he dances to this and he is straight FIRE at it, so good. And he looks so hot. I love it.

                      011. Astrid S - Emotion

                      Just missing out on top ten is a song that starts, like Matt, with a whistle. But in fact this time it's a big part of the song, acting as the post chorus, being one of the most catchy parts and actually adding quite a lot of gravitas to proceedings. Her voice is delicate and beautiful but it doesn't ever need to be any bigger to sell her good, it floats perfectly on top. This is another tune with fantastic component parts. Admittedly less than Side Effects, but the chorus and the whistling and the deep production all blend together so fantastically to make a real sweeping, powerful pop and and things are made even better when a post chorus is added the second time around. I could probably listen to this song if it was just the instrumental with the whistling but with Astrids gorgeous voice and the fantastic chorus melody and falsetto, things are even sweeter.

                      STILL TO COME?

                      Check out my Top 100 of 2012 Countdown!

                      Comment


                      • #72
                        Re: Adam's Top 100 of 2018! [SINGLES 20-11]

                        It was my first time hearing those particular Una Healy and Florence & The Machine tracks and I liked both, particularly Hunger. I added them!

                        Comment


                        • #73
                          I agree with most of what you said about "My My My!". You bring up a good point about most of his pre-Bloom stuff having more of an indie-pop sound, whereas this era he's gone for the jugular with more straightforward pure pop stuff.

                          I wanted to include "Play", but it came late for me, so I've decided to hold off 'til the 2019 countdown. I totally get what you mean about songs having little quirks and nuances that do so much for you, but can be difficult to quantify/defend/explain.
                          Akini's Top 100 Albums of the Decade: [85-81]

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                          • #74
                            019. Troye Sivan - My My My!
                            015. The Chainsmokers ft. Emily Warren - Side Effects
                            011. Astrid S - Emotion

                            I like these from the latest group! (I'm also familiar with "Play" but shockingly it did nothing on me at all )
                            Love that unexpected big entry for Astrid S. I really thought she would have the career Zara Larsson has now. Great pop singer with "Emotion" being yet another great tune from her.

                            Comment


                            • #75
                              Re: Adam's Top 100 of 2018! [SINGLES 20-11]

                              013. Everything Everything - Breadwinner - that's one hell of a song in the best possible sense
                              Waffles are checked cookies

                              Comment


                              • #76
                                14 and 15 are my favourites here - 'Side Effects' is a good song, but I prefer 'Beach House' for some reason. 'Play' is the typical Jax Jones style, the song is much more improved than 'Ring Ring'.
                                Summer top 10 - 31.07.2020.

                                Comment


                                • #77
                                  My My My! is a great pop song, possibly need to take some time and check out more of Troye's album at some point! Adore Grace Carter's voice. That song is really beautiful, especially as you mention when you find out her reason for writing it. I do hope she shows some variety though, because at the moment her music is very ballad based. The Becky Hill song is great, featured on a few of my playlists this year. Finally, also a big fan of Liv Dawson. She has such a nice voice, and that song is super catchy!

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                                  • #78
                                    Re: Adam's Top 100 of 2018! [SINGLES 20-11]

                                    Matt Terry

                                    Good to see Lewis Capaldi, Grace Carter and Liv Dawson especially.

                                    Thought Monsters would be higher!

                                    Comment


                                    • #79
                                      Re: Adam's Top 100 of 2018! [SINGLES 20-11]

                                      Drink About You - it's a catchy song. I think she has better, but this could've been at least a moderate hit for her back in the day. she seems to have fully alienated the general public sadly
                                      Hunger - love this, one of my favourite things that Florence has done
                                      last.fm

                                      Comment


                                      • #80
                                        Re: Adam's Top 100 of 2018! [SINGLES 20-11]

                                        'My My My' is a TUNE. I really like this sound for Troye.
                                        Also good to see 'Side Effects' and 'Play'. The latter is the kind of music Years & Years should be making.
                                        Big.Big.Booty.

                                        Comment


                                        • #81
                                          Matt Terry is UNDERRATED OK.
                                          Great to see so many of the different tracks getting love, especially some getting listened to for the first time!

                                          010. Charli XCX & Troye Sivan - 1999

                                          What a full on banger, at full force. I love the 90s dance feel of it coupled with a balls to the wall pop anthem by two of the most underrated artists in the industry. Sure, it might not be completely accurate with its references (though more so than the similarly themed 2002 by Anne-Marie) but is that your biggest priority when this bangs so hard? I love how it has some hip hop rhythms but in sung format plonked in the middle of a pop song, it keeps it interesting. Both sound great, there's some great little moments (like the MJ vocal in Troye's verse) and you'd be struggling to find more of a stomping pop chorus all year, such an earworm. I love the middle 8 too, a nod to Troye's own music and his singing about a guy as often he does. This is radio made gold, and I'm so glad it gave them both a hit. I could probably bop to the instrumental, it's that well produced!

                                          009. Alec Benjamin - Let Me Down Slowly

                                          One of my best discoveries of the year is this guy, such an amazing storyteller with a really unique voice and this is the song that got me started on him. His voice is high pitched and childlike, which is at odds with his look, but also completely stunning, from the very first notes of the song. There is amazing lyricism to be found ('don't cut me down, throw me out, leave me here to waste, I once was a man with dignity and grace') and this continues in the second half of the chorus despite it being very simple and repetitive ('down, let me down down, let me down, let me down etc') - it's basic on paper but the structure and delivery of it makes it really standout and special. I love how the second verse is delivered at the same level as the first but also layered over with him singing it an octave higher. He uses this belt in the middle 8 to great effect too. It's a really special, gorgeous story with great songwriting ability and a lovely vocal quality. I'm so glad I checked it out, and you can too below!

                                          [youtube:1enx7vsi]50VNCymT-Cs[/youtube:1enx7vsi]

                                          008. Banx & Ranx & Ella Eyre ft. Yxng Bane - Answerphone

                                          This has been and remained one of my favourite songs from the very start of the year and I've not tired of it. I remember tweeting Ella at the time going 'please play this at Brighton Pride even though it hasn't been a hit!' - well the tides turned and the song blew up which is what it deserves, and she did do it at Pride.. and it went OFF. Such a perfect song for the summer sunshine. Ella's voice is really underrated and sounds it's very best in its deep drawl like it is here. She just really suits a banger, doesn't she? Her concert, which is brilliant, is a low key hits collection at this point, so good. This particular song knows it's strengths and starts with the titular line, which is its strongest melody moment, but backs it up with clever and fun lyricism with repeated words and rhymes many times within the line (.im overthinking bout thinkin you're thinkin of leaving'). Banx & Ranx are great on production and though I have no problem with the Yxng Bane verse, I could equally do without it. This is Ella's song to shine on and shine she does.. the music is so magnetic and she more than matches it with a sublime vocal. Banger.


                                          007. Shawn Mendes ft. Khalid - Youth

                                          This is a beautiful song. But more than that, it's an incredible inspiring message and provides a real snapshot of a moment in time and a momentum of people starting to say 'we won't stand for this anymore'. It's rare that a song be so good but also provide such an important cultural and political message. I'm actually surprised this wasn't pushed more and that this wasn't adopted more as an anthem for change and it really was born to be that.
                                          The song itself, it's just stunning. Khalid and Shawn are two incredible young vocal talents but with very different tones and they are tones that work wonderfully together. Small thing, I would definitely have wished for more harmony as opposed to separate lines but I'm being very picky. There are stunning lines (pain.. but I won't let it turn into, hate') in the bridge but it's the chorus and it's defiant 'as long as I wake up today... 'you can't take my youth away' refrain that is the real crown in the jewel and it's no wonder that they repeat this extensively at the end. I like when Shawn lets his vocal let rip a bit at the end as it gives an otherwise very subtle laid back track some gusto.
                                          A gorgeous song but more importantly an incredible message.

                                          006. Years & Years - All For You

                                          I love me some Years and Years in all their dark, mysterious glory.. but I love them more when they do balls out pop anthems like this. It gives me King vibes and that is always a good thing. The verses and chorus are perfectly competent pop material and give great story ('I've been thinking, was it all a different scene in my head?') creating a good portrait of a protagonist who is clearly seeing something different to everybody else. But it's the glorious chorus bursting through with no limitations on noise and chaos that I love most. More amazing lyricism (I love the line 'it's over when I leave, you said'), top melody and great instrumentation (it's sometimes easy to think of Y&Y as just Olly and not properly credit the other two). Things slow down in the middle 8 giving a bit of light and shade and creating a real momentum and build up in the 'no hands, no rush, no touch, no drug' segment before the chorus crashes in louder than ever. The 'I said so long' outro just adds height to the sound, to the layers and makes sure the song never peters out. Such a great song, and so easy to get lost in.

                                          STILL TO COME?

                                          Check out my Top 100 of 2012 Countdown!

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                                          • #82
                                            I may need to revisit "1999" after your glowing remarks. For me, the instrumentation is too noisy, and I really only like Troye's bit at the end. "Youth" has a wonderful message indeed. This really was Shawn's finest era to date, and "Youth" contributed to that in a big way. I probably also need to revisit "All for You". For me, it's good - there isn't a song on Palo Santo I dislike - but it doesn't take me to the heights that "Sanctify", "Palo Santo", and "Hallelujah" do.
                                            Akini's Top 100 Albums of the Decade: [85-81]

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                                            • #83
                                              Originally posted by king_oxymoron
                                              009. Alec Benjamin - Let Me Down Slowly

                                              One of my best discoveries of the year is this guy, such an amazing storyteller with a really unique voice and this is the song that got me started on him. His voice is high pitched and childlike, which is at odds with his look, but also completely stunning, from the very first notes of the song. There is amazing lyricism to be found ('don't cut me down, throw me out, leave me here to waste, I once was a man with dignity and grace') and this continues in the second half of the chorus despite it being very simple and repetitive ('down, let me down down, let me down, let me down etc') - it's basic on paper but the structure and delivery of it makes it really standout and special. I love how the second verse is delivered at the same level as the first but also layered over with him singing it an octave higher. He uses this belt in the middle 8 to great effect too. It's a really special, gorgeous story with great songwriting ability and a lovely vocal quality. I'm so glad I checked it out, and you can too below!
                                              In wednesday a new version with Alessia Cara, which I like more, was released. Agreed about 'Youth', I'm relatively keen on it, too.
                                              Summer top 10 - 31.07.2020.

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                                              • #84
                                                Re: Adam's Top 100 of 2018! [SINGLES 10-06]

                                                I like all of the songs here, none I particularly LOVE other than 'Answerphone' which as you said just showcases Ella at her best.

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                                                • #85
                                                  Re: Adam's Top 100 of 2018! [SINGLES 10-06]

                                                  '1999' and 'Youth' are the tunes. Love them both
                                                  Big.Big.Booty.

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                                                  • #86
                                                    Re: Adam's Top 100 of 2018! [SINGLES 10-06]

                                                    1999 and Answerphone are bops indeed. Glad for Charli and Ella.

                                                    All For You was a great single, so much better than IYOM.

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                                                    • #87
                                                      Get revisiting Akini!
                                                      And thanks for the Alessia recommendation, I listened and enjoyed it!!

                                                      005. Blonde ft. Bryn Christopher - Me, Myself & I

                                                      Blonde have released some absolute belters over the years but this has to be their best yet, utilising absolute powerhouse vocalist Bryn Christopher (Sigala's 'Sweet Lovin') to incredible effect. The verses and bridge are pretty standard fare, catchy, melodic and playful, but it's the chorus when the merged production and vocal 'I DON'T NEED LOVE' moment over a minimal bass production begins that the real magic happens. And when it happens for the second time with the music really kicking in with the force of a freight train.. well it's just a complete thing of beauty. The second verse then comes in with more force and bite and it just never looks back and continues to get better. Production is on complete point, clean, powerful, it's fire. I know I've talked a lot about songs that feel fully encapsulating, where you could turn the sound up and the complete music can just drown you. This is the king of that, it is overpowering in the best way and Bryn's ridiculous middle 8 vocals are stunning. Catchy ('only need, only need meeeeeeeeee'), produced exquisitely, and just an absolute all round GEM. And the video is unapologetically queer, love it!

                                                      [youtube:n0shmhzh]1iC00kBTy6s[/youtube:n0shmhzh]

                                                      004. Alec Benjamin - If We Have Each Other

                                                      Now we've seen his music a lot but none are as good as this absolute anthem. It's a story in three parts, the story of a Mother, the story of a lover and the story of a Brother. He nails the descriptions and life stories of all three, over an interesting guitar-picked sparse backing, with his beautiful unique vocal identity really selling it. The chorus is such a melodic pop triumph 'the world's not perfect but it's not that bad, if we've got each other and that's all we have, I will be your Mother/lover/brother and I'll hold your hand, you should know I'll be there for you' - it's catchy but it's such a message moment too. The middle 8 when the music really drops out and he starts to sing about his parents not having forever and being grateful for his sister just gets me, I start to BLUB ('I wrote this verse to tell her that I'm always by her side') - he manages to be relatable, clever, and catchy in the same song. It's a real talent he has and one I hope we will be witnessing for a long time to come. An epic songwriter and he's added a lot to my charts this year.

                                                      STILL TO COME?

                                                      It's the battle of the highs... culminating in paradise? Which will be number one? And which won't make it?

                                                      Paradise v High Horse v High Hopes v High Five


                                                      Check out my Top 100 of 2012 Countdown!

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                                                      • #88
                                                        I just listened to the Alec Benjamin song and it's nice, I like the almost rap/sing verses. I think his voice suits this more than the other song I had heard by him previously (Let Me Down Slowly)

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                                                        • #89
                                                          Re: Adam's Top 100 of 2018! [SINGLES 05-04]

                                                          005. Blonde ft. Bryn Christopher - Me, Myself & I - I like the music video more than I enjoy the song, it's not bad at all, but the whole retro 90s house schtick has become slightly overused
                                                          Waffles are checked cookies

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                                                          • #90
                                                            Re: Adam's Top 100 of 2018! [SINGLES 05-04]

                                                            Love how you have four "High" songs in the top 4. From these last ones, I only like 1999, but find it a tad overrated. it's cute and I'm happy it got some buzz about it
                                                            last.fm

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