Akini's Top 100 Songs of 2016: [#1 Revealed!]

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Which song will be my year-end #1 single?

Church Bells
2
10%
Daddy Lessons
4
19%
The Greatest
2
10%
In Common
2
10%
Love on the Brain
2
10%
Million Reasons
5
24%
Pillowtalk
1
5%
Slumber Party
2
10%
Starboy
0
No votes
Vice
1
5%
 
Total votes : 21

Postby Biebz » Sat Dec 24, 2016 2:37 pm

I love Sorry, along with All Night, it's of my favourites on Lemonade.

Into You is great! I liked it a lot more over the summer though, I got a bit sick of it. Surprised it wasn't huge!
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Postby Carbon » Sat Dec 24, 2016 2:38 pm

Sorry and Into You are amazing
Ја кријам главата под шалот.
Само на веѓите ми се гледа
дека мислам на тебе.


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Postby king_oxymoron » Sat Dec 24, 2016 5:25 pm

Surprised - I thought we would see Into You much higher! It is an absolute monster of a pop song so glad to see it!

As discussed, I agree with what you say about The Girl Is Mine, it is a really well executed idea.

Love Me Now.. when I first heard him do it on X Factor I thought it was bland, dull trash and when that couldn't even get it top 40 I thought well, that's that. Somehow it's stuck around, re-climbed and is doing good streaming numbers and I'm grateful that I've had the chance to hear it more as I am actually quite fond of it now. Love the piano production!
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Postby phoenix98 » Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:01 pm

• "Toronto-level chill" :lol: You need to stop with this auditor nonsense ASAP and start writing full-time (or at least bless us with countdowns more often!) I've generally associated LMLY with "Love Me Harder" moreso than BM...possibly just because I like LMH a lot more...but the BM comparison might actually be more fitting.
• Ha, yeah, I'm definitely a part of that GP who prefer "Rather Be" to "Rockabye" (though the latter is REALLY smashing up a storm in the UK lately, so I might actually just be alone on that front.) Although I certainly respect the subject matter, it's just too damn depressing for me to bop to on a regular basis :cry: Not to say that I could never get hooked on a sad song, but this one also misses the personal-relevance mark for me. Glad that it's really truly spoken to you, though.
• You know how I feel about "Sorry", and your write-up beautifully highlights how B offers SO much to appreciate in just one song. Here I am all "Wow, the 'I ain't thinkin bout you' hook is so totally catchy!", while you're serving up a dissertation-level analysis of the Becky line. That part has always stood out, no doubt, but I'd yet to see its significance outlined as eloquently as you've done here.
• Wait...as in...Mariah's "Touch My Body"? I'd always gotten the Elvis reference in the first part, but the second had NEVER occurred to me until you laid it out right here :lol: My brain can't even handle the brilliance bestowed upon us in these write-ups! Any rate...whichever songs she is/isn't name-dropping, IY is EPIC. <3 <3 <3
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Postby JSparksFan » Sat Dec 24, 2016 11:26 pm

Many thanks for the comments, guys. :D

KokoCollino wrote:032. Ariana Grande - Into You
By far my fave Ariana song and one of the highlights of the year!
Glad you love it! :D

Tansike wrote:
040. Ariana Grande - Let Me Love You (feat. Lil Wayne)
038. All Saints - One Strike
036. Clean Bandit - Rockabye (feat. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie)
Wow at Clean Bandit 'stealing' the spot from someone else :o Would be interesting to know who the unlucky one was. But hey, it's definitely well deserved for "Rockabye" as it's an amazing, heavily catchy tune and their best effort so far. "Let Me Love You" is a great R&B tune but not as amazing as "Best Mistake" (both are a bit similar for me as both were promo singles and are more R&B/Urban than her usual stuff). "One Strike" is solid, the highlight of their album for me.
It was Lindsey's "Hold My Heart" actually. :lol:

Glad you appreciate "Rockabye", though. I feel pretty similarly about "Let Me Love You" and "Best Mistake", though, the peak of my obsession with "Best Mistake" was pretty intense. I don't think I've ever loved an Ariana song as much as I loved that one for a few days.

I didn't check out the All Saints album, but I doubt I would have enjoyed anything as much as I did "One Strike".

Tansike wrote:
033. Céline Dion - Recovering
032. Ariana Grande - Into You
031. John Legend - Love Me Now
Very glad "Into You" is Ari's highest charting track on your countdown, however i secretely hoped for a slightly better position. #31 is still great though. Similar situation to "Break Free": This should have been such a huge smash for her. No idea why it never was a bigger hit, everyone seemed to like it. "Recovering" is solid, but i think the other singles from her were better in 2016. Finally got into "Love Me Now" lately, i still hope it's a hit for John next year.
With that #32 rank, "Into You" has actually surpassed "Best Mistake" (#35 in 2014) as the highest ranking Ariana Grande song on one of my year-end countdowns, and she's never had as many as four entries in my year-end countdown in a single year either. 2016 was Ariana's best year for me.

FreakyFlyBry wrote:I like the Celine Dion and John Legend songs, but my favourite there has to be Ariana Grande! "Into You" for me is one of her best ever, and will rank about as high for me as well.
I feel the same!

Benny wrote:Great to see 'Into You', one of my favourite songs of this year! :P
Ah, glad to see such universal love for this one!

Biebz wrote:I love Sorry, along with All Night, it's of my favourites on Lemonade.

Into You is great! I liked it a lot more over the summer though, I got a bit sick of it. Surprised it wasn't huge!
Ah, "All Night" is a big favourite of mine too!

Carbon wrote:Sorry and Into You are amazing
Glad you think so! :D

king_oxymoron wrote:Surprised - I thought we would see Into You much higher! It is an absolute monster of a pop song so glad to see it!

As discussed, I agree with what you say about The Girl Is Mine, it is a really well executed idea.

Love Me Now.. when I first heard him do it on X Factor I thought it was bland, dull trash and when that couldn't even get it top 40 I thought well, that's that. Somehow it's stuck around, re-climbed and is doing good streaming numbers and I'm grateful that I've had the chance to hear it more as I am actually quite fond of it now. Love the piano production!
#32 is breaking new ground for Miss Grande actually. :lol:

Yeah, I think "Love Me Now" is the kind of song that will age well. It's got such a fresh production.

phoenix98 wrote:• "Toronto-level chill" :lol: You need to stop with this auditor nonsense ASAP and start writing full-time (or at least bless us with countdowns more often!) I've generally associated LMLY with "Love Me Harder" moreso than BM...possibly just because I like LMH a lot more...but the BM comparison might actually be more fitting.
• Ha, yeah, I'm definitely a part of that GP who prefer "Rather Be" to "Rockabye" (though the latter is REALLY smashing up a storm in the UK lately, so I might actually just be alone on that front.) Although I certainly respect the subject matter, it's just too damn depressing for me to bop to on a regular basis :cry: Not to say that I could never get hooked on a sad song, but this one also misses the personal-relevance mark for me. Glad that it's really truly spoken to you, though.
• You know how I feel about "Sorry", and your write-up beautifully highlights how B offers SO much to appreciate in just one song. Here I am all "Wow, the 'I ain't thinkin bout you' hook is so totally catchy!", while you're serving up a dissertation-level analysis of the Becky line. That part has always stood out, no doubt, but I'd yet to see its significance outlined as eloquently as you've done here.
• Wait...as in...Mariah's "Touch My Body"? I'd always gotten the Elvis reference in the first part, but the second had NEVER occurred to me until you laid it out right here :lol: My brain can't even handle the brilliance bestowed upon us in these write-ups! Any rate...whichever songs she is/isn't name-dropping, IY is EPIC. <3 <3 <3
Aw, you're a sweetheart, Paul! <3 Here I was thinking my write-ups this year were absolute garbage. :lol:

In my darker days, I used to flock to sad songs; oddly enough, they actually made me feel better after listening to them.

Yeah, the Becky line is really profound. It was only a week ago I heard some guys at the barber shop my co-worker coerced me to go to talking about purposely pursuing women with a lighter complexion so that their kids could have "good" hair. Solange discusses this issue in "Don't Touch My Hair" too, but I don't like the song. :lol: It's one of the many, many problems in black communities. The legacies of slavery continue to haunt us. :cry:

I think the Mariah/Ariana connection made me see that reference on the first play. Hope that tidbit makes you like the song even more! :lol:
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Postby JSparksFan » Sun Dec 25, 2016 12:09 am

A sex anthem featuring three huge crushes of mine (two current, one past), a hymn, a track for frugal spenders, a beautiful instrumental, and a blazing Eurovision entry are all in this set.

030. Chris Brown - Back to Sleep (feat. Usher & Zayn)

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When the news dropped that Chris Brown was remixing his fairly bland "Back to Sleep" track with the assistance of Usher and Zayn, I was immediately excited. Then the song dropped, and I almost lost my mind; it is so sexy, crass maybe, but undeniably hot. I love how the song is bookended by Usher, one of Chris's heroes, and Zayn, one of the men who cite Chris Brown as an influence, and it's really those two that elevate this song from the pedestrian level the solo version was at. It's the kind of song that fits Usher's style more than Zayn's, but Zayn's part was pretty spicy too, as he boasts about his prowess as a lover. The one thing that I don't really like about the song is the Karreuche shout-out; it feels like an unnecessary plug. The more pressing issue is that they never got together and filmed a video for this. Other than those two infractions,, this song will go down as one of CB's finest bedroom anthems, which is saying something, as the man only puts out 104 each year.
Code: Select all
Overall Rating: 9/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(1)
Play Count: 70


029. Coldplay - Hymn for the Weekend (feat. Beyoncé)

Image

My New Year's #1 for 2016 was, fittingly, ABBA's "Dancing Queen", but the next two days on my daily chart were ruled by this scorcher. It's got a subtle flame, but one that burns with surprising intensity. My favourite lyric is, When I was a river dried up, you came to rain a flood, which paints the portrait of an angel come to save the protagonist from surefire implosion. In this duet, Beyoncé plays the role of angel, and her vocals really do match that role. She sounds so reverent in the across the sky chorus.
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Overall Rating: 9/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(2)
Play Count: 85


028. Sia - Cheap Thrills

Image

Sia made this song for people like me, who prefer to have fun on a budget. I've found that my favourite activity to do on a night out is dance, and that's usually free; it's at least free in the places I go. I actually heard this song at a club I went to in October and pretty much lost my mind, particularly because the DJ opted to play the solo Sia version, which I infinitely prefer to the awful Sean Paul remix. I also requested it at the staff party my company threw us last week. Both moments were immense fun! With "Cheap Thrills", Sia continues her trend of fantastic hooks. The verses here aren't anything to write home about, but hooks stay with you, and Sia has mastered that art better than anyone in pop music right now.
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Overall Rating: 9/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #3
Play Count: 66


027. Lindsey Stirling - The Arena

Image

My ultimate study companion will forever be Lindsey Stirling's own "Crystallize", but "The Arena" was a nice change of pace to mix things up this year. I'm still finding it peculiar how drawn to instrumental-only tracks Lindsey's made me, but there's something to be said about an artist who's able to create a story with no words. Essentially, she makes you fashion the story yourself with the rise and fall of each instrument. It's lovely to just zone out to and have as background music, but it also works really well when you listen to it with the intention of unwrapping the folds of the story. Of course, she does put out some pretty powerful music videos to accompany the songs, but even with those, you can dig beneath the surface.
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Overall Rating: 9/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(2)
Play Count: 59


026. Samra - Miracle

Image

While practically all of UKMix seemed to firmly back a singular ESC entry this year, which is obviously yet to come on this countdown, I thought "Miracle" was a criminally underappreciated gem from the 2016 contest. Samra sings with such a bold confidence, and the chorus is such a rise in both energy and crescendo from the verses; she really takes you soaring to the heavens with that monster of a chorus. The song's got a structure that we've seen so many times on the ESC, but we don't get talent like Samra every year, and this one was a huge favourite of mine that deserved more love in the final, on the official charts, and among the year-end countdowns I've been following.
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Overall Rating: 9.1/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(1)
Play Count: 65
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Postby FreakyFlyBry » Sun Dec 25, 2016 2:02 am

Good to see Coldplay and Sia there :)
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Postby luckyONE » Sun Dec 25, 2016 8:37 am

not the biggest fan of the last batch, however from the batch before that one, I really enjoy "Into You". "Recovering" is a song I checked out because it was written by one of my favorite artists ever, P!NK, and I thought not only was it a beautifully written song but also Celine's voice fits perfectly to it! :)
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Postby Benny » Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:32 am

Great to see 'Cheap Thrills', I love everything Sia released this year! :P
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Postby SilentDream » Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:52 am

I heard "Cheap Thrills" very often on the radio, just like many other songs this year, but the difference compared to other songs on the radio is that I still like this song. Usually I get tired of a song very quickly if I hear it too often on the radio, but that's not the case with "Cheap Thrills".

"Miracle" is quite nice as well. I never cared for it too much though.
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Postby phoenix98 » Sun Dec 25, 2016 7:52 pm

Hmmm...I'm having a hard time looking past that brutal "Cheap Thrills" remix drag. The Sean Paul version is the one I opted to download, so that's the one that grew on me and became one of the biggest Paulboard success stories of 2016. Admittedly, I've certainly hated on my share of rapper-"enhanced" single versions before, so maybe if I'd checked out the original "Cheap Thrills" sooner and grown attached to that one first, I'd have a very different mindset now. At least the single version offers more than just a Sean Paul rap cut-and-pasted into the bridge of an otherwise-unchanged album version...but, then again, maybe if they'd tweaked the original less, people would hate the remix less. :lol:
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Postby KokoCollino » Sun Dec 25, 2016 10:42 pm

God "Hymn For The Weekend" really IS such a hymn :cry:

"Cheap Thrills" ... well Sia became the party queen of the young generation, LOVE IT.

"The Arena" is haunting :D
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Postby JSparksFan » Mon Dec 26, 2016 3:13 am

Merry Christmas, everyone! :D

FreakyFlyBry wrote:Good to see Coldplay and Sia there :)
Glad you like those two! :)

luckyONE wrote:not the biggest fan of the last batch, however from the batch before that one, I really enjoy "Into You". "Recovering" is a song I checked out because it was written by one of my favorite artists ever, P!NK, and I thought not only was it a beautifully written song but also Celine's voice fits perfectly to it! :)
Yes, P!nk did a great job as songwriter on that track!

Benny wrote:Great to see 'Cheap Thrills', I love everything Sia released this year! :P
Singles-wise, same here!

SilentDream wrote:I heard "Cheap Thrills" very often on the radio, just like many other songs this year, but the difference compared to other songs on the radio is that I still like this song. Usually I get tired of a song very quickly if I hear it too often on the radio, but that's not the case with "Cheap Thrills".

"Miracle" is quite nice as well. I never cared for it too much though.
Yes, "Cheap Thrills" is the kind of song that holds up well after overexposure.

You and everyone else, it seems. :cry:

phoenix98 wrote:Hmmm...I'm having a hard time looking past that brutal "Cheap Thrills" remix drag. The Sean Paul version is the one I opted to download, so that's the one that grew on me and became one of the biggest Paulboard success stories of 2016. Admittedly, I've certainly hated on my share of rapper-"enhanced" single versions before, so maybe if I'd checked out the original "Cheap Thrills" sooner and grown attached to that one first, I'd have a very different mindset now. At least the single version offers more than just a Sean Paul rap cut-and-pasted into the bridge of an otherwise-unchanged album version...but, then again, maybe if they'd tweaked the original less, people would hate the remix less. :lol:
That was the case with me. I listened to the album shortly after it was released, and "Cheap Thrills" was my instant favourite, so when I heard the single version was featuring Sean Paul, I listened to it hoping to hear basically the same melody, with the standard copy/paste rap verse, which I would have been fine with, but, no, it was a whole new experience, which paled in comparison to the original for me. However, I agree that "awful" might have been an overly harsh assessment, but I definitely do not like it.

KokoCollino wrote:God "Hymn For The Weekend" really IS such a hymn :cry:

"Cheap Thrills" ... well Sia became the party queen of the young generation, LOVE IT.

"The Arena" is haunting :D
Ah, glad you like "The Arena", and, yes, "Hymn for the Weekend" lives up to its title!
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Postby JSparksFan » Mon Dec 26, 2016 3:58 am

I've got the two biggest R&B/pop crossover stars of the new millennium, a mid-tempo ballad from one of the UK's finest singer-songwriters of the past five years, an instrumental cover of a widely beloved classic, and a gorgeous country song sung by one of the best male acts within that genre.

025. Rihanna - Kiss It Better

Image

Easily the most instant of the Anti tracks, "Kiss It Better" is still the most 'Rihanna' song she has on that album, in that it's a pretty straightforward song. It's got strong rock elements, and some show-stopping lyrical moments, F**k yo pride being the greatest of them, but it's very pop and very radio-friendly, and that electric guitar is divine! Rihanna's dipped in the rock realm before, but not with this level of success. With "Rockstar 101", that seemed more like a cheap attempt at diversification of her catalogue, whereas this one actually has a nice little story it tells. The What are you willing to do? line is a fine hook too, and the vocal Rihanna lays done is surprisingly fantastic.
Code: Select all
Overall Rating: 9.1/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(2)
Play Count: 78


024. Lindsey Stirling - Hallelujah

Image

The second and final entry from Lindsey Stirling is "Hallelujah", a masterful interpretation of a song that's been covered too many times for any sane mind to count. Lindsey released this as a 2015 Christmas present to her fans, and the festive jingles, the gorgeous whispers of the choir, and that unrivalled strumming of her magical violin creates a track that serves as the ideal backdrop for the Christmas season...or as a relaxing study companion.
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Overall Rating: 9.2/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(1)
Play Count: 70


023. Emeli Sandé - Hurts

Image

From a powerful violin instrumental to an equally effective hand-clap-driven melody, "Hurts" is a song where the emotional stakes are high. Baby, I'm not made of stone, it hurts is a painful cry for empathy and mercy. "Hurts" lacks the soulful sound that characterised most of Emeli's big Our Version of Events hits, but the emotional wallop it packs is just as heavy.
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Overall Rating: 9.2/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(1)
Play Count: 26


022. Beyoncé - 6 Inch (feat. The Weeknd)

Image

Cue the bass! "6 Inch" speaks to Beyoncé's tireless work ethic that got her to where she is today - at the very pinnacle of the music industry. As earnest as the message is, I'm going to have to be a bit shallow here, and highlight the fabulous bass once more; I cannot undersell just how much it makes this song! It's dark, grimy, booming, even melodramatic in parts. I do love, though, that as much as a female empowerment anthem it is, the vulnerability she expresses at the end where she says, Come back reflects that as much wealth, power, and fame she's amassed, those things can never undercut the value of love, and having someone to share all the bounty with.
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Overall Rating: 9.2/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(1)
Play Count: 60


021. Keith Urban - Blue Ain't Your Colour

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I was stunned the first time I heard this song. It is so well-written! The entire chorus is a quotable affair: Blue looks good on the sky, looks good on the neon buzzin' on the wall, but, darling, it don't match your eyes. I'm tellin' you, you don't need that guy. It's so black and white, he's stealing your thunder, baby, blue ain't your colour. It's just so sweet, and the clear stand-out track from Keith Urban's discography; I've been a casual fan of his for going on to a decade, and he's never had a single as good as this one. Ironically, I have been told that blue is my colour!
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Overall Rating: 9.2/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(1)
Play Count: 40
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Postby FreakyFlyBry » Mon Dec 26, 2016 5:11 am

I was pleasantly surprised by how good Emeli Sandé would come back - definitely one of her best so far!
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Postby luckyONE » Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:10 am

"Kiss It Better" is THE highlight on ANTi, "Hurts" is definitely in my Top 5 favorite songs by Emeli!
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Postby king_oxymoron » Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:53 pm

Three I love here - I like but don't massively care for Cheap Thrills - Rihanna third, Coldplay second and Emeli first, I think Hurts is such a great tune!
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Postby Tansike » Mon Dec 26, 2016 3:03 pm

JSparksFan wrote:It was Lindsey's "Hold My Heart" actually. :lol:
Booo :cry: :cry: :cry:

Ok you made up for it with the two updates that i missed but still :cry:

029. Coldplay - Hymn for the Weekend (feat. Beyoncé)
028. Sia - Cheap Thrills
027. Lindsey Stirling - The Arena
026. Samra - Miracle
YASSSS at Lindsey :cry: :cry: :cry:
Very glad to see "The Arena" getting a spot in your Top30 - that's a fantastic result! This is another great tune from her and i was so glad she returned with something like this. The video is awesome too.
"Hymn" and "Cheap Thrills" are also two of the best moments in 2016 for me so glad to see them doing well on your list.
Samra's "Miracle" was nice on CD but her live performance kinda destroyed the track for me...

025. Rihanna - Kiss It Better
024. Lindsey Stirling - Hallelujah
023. Emeli Sandé - Hurts
Tansike wrote:YASSSS at Lindsey :cry: :cry: :cry:
+1 :cry: :cry: :cry: :oops: :oops:

It's really surprising to see her getting TWO Top30 entries on your list this year, that's great. I guess you only discovered her cover of "Hallelujah" in 2016 which is the reason why it's charting this year, right? I've started to get my love for this back, as i put it on my christmas playlist and it's one of the songs that got me the most over the last few days.

Never got the praise for "Kiss It Better". It's catchy and obviously one of the better songs on "Anti", but it's still one of her weakest singles ever and i'm not surprised it flopped. "Hurts" on the other hand is a great comeback for Emeli, a shame it didn't do better on the charts out there.
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Postby JSparksFan » Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:48 am

Thanks for the comments, guys! :D

FreakyFlyBry wrote:I was pleasantly surprised by how good Emeli Sandé would come back - definitely one of her best so far!
Agreed!

luckyONE wrote:"Kiss It Better" is THE highlight on ANTi, "Hurts" is definitely in my Top 5 favorite songs by Emeli!
Glad you feel so strongly about "Kiss It Better"; for me, there's only one song stronger on the album. As for Emeli, "Hurts" is definitely in my top five favourites from her too!

king_oxymoron wrote:Three I love here - I like but don't massively care for Cheap Thrills - Rihanna third, Coldplay second and Emeli first, I think Hurts is such a great tune!
Ah, that's a big win for me! 8-)

Tansike wrote:Booo :cry: :cry: :cry:

Ok you made up for it with the two updates that i missed but still :cry:
Despair not, she'll do even better in my other two year-end countdowns. :)

Tansike wrote:
029. Coldplay - Hymn for the Weekend (feat. Beyoncé)
028. Sia - Cheap Thrills
027. Lindsey Stirling - The Arena
026. Samra - Miracle
YASSSS at Lindsey :cry: :cry: :cry:
Very glad to see "The Arena" getting a spot in your Top30 - that's a fantastic result! This is another great tune from her and i was so glad she returned with something like this. The video is awesome too.
"Hymn" and "Cheap Thrills" are also two of the best moments in 2016 for me so glad to see them doing well on your list.
Samra's "Miracle" was nice on CD but her live performance kinda destroyed the track for me...
I actually really enjoyed her performance!

Tansike wrote:
025. Rihanna - Kiss It Better
024. Lindsey Stirling - Hallelujah
023. Emeli Sandé - Hurts
Tansike wrote:YASSSS at Lindsey :cry: :cry: :cry:
+1 :cry: :cry: :cry: :oops: :oops:

It's really surprising to see her getting TWO Top30 entries on your list this year, that's great. I guess you only discovered her cover of "Hallelujah" in 2016 which is the reason why it's charting this year, right? I've started to get my love for this back, as i put it on my christmas playlist and it's one of the songs that got me the most over the last few days.

Never got the praise for "Kiss It Better". It's catchy and obviously one of the better songs on "Anti", but it's still one of her weakest singles ever and i'm not surprised it flopped. "Hurts" on the other hand is a great comeback for Emeli, a shame it didn't do better on the charts out there.
Correct!

I actually think "Kiss It Better" is on par with Rihanna's stronger singles.
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Postby JSparksFan » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:55 am

In this jumbo-sized update, we'll lose three poll options, but none of the popular ones.

020. Dami Im - Sound of Silence

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From the melodramatic drum thumps at the top of the song, to her slow, deliberate delivery of the first verse, you can just sense a grand chorus on the horizon, and when it comes, it certainly doesn't disappoint. Lyrically, this wouldn't crack my Top 50 for the year, but Dami lays down such a stellar vocal performance that the end product is captivating.
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Overall Rating: 9.2/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(1)
Play Count: 67


019. The Weeknd - Starboy (feat. Daft Punk)

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No one believed this had a chance at #1, and you guys were right in your scepticism! Undoubtedly, this is the best produced track of the year, with a fun, tailor-made-for-parties chant of a hook. Its only drawback are those banal lyrics I mentioned in the OP. Still, this is certainly my favourite single from the Weeknd to date.
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Overall Rating: 9.2/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(2)
Play Count: 44


018. Yuna - Crush (feat. Usher)

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R&B didn't get much smoother than this gorgeous collaboration here. Yuna's vocals just glide over the beat; she sounds like a Barbie doll in the best possible way, and, of course, Usher - being the grade A crooner that he is - keeps the tempo going with his sexy but classy parts. I have to thank Abiyasa for introducing me to this, and to Yuna in general; in her, I've probably found 2016's breakout R&B star.
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Overall Rating: 9.2/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(2)
Play Count: 80


017. Rihanna - Love on the Brain

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By some supernatural turn of events, the spirit of Ella Fitzgerald possesses Rihanna's body, and delivers one of the finest vocal performances of the year. The way Rihanna sings this, you can tell she, or Ella's spirit, really feels every single lyric, and it's that kind of unbridled passion that resonates with the listener. This isn't the kind of song you'd expect from Rihanna, and on paper, this should never have worked as well as it did, but it did.
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Overall Rating: 9.3/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(2)
Play Count: 46


016. Alicia Keys - Hallelujah

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2016 marked the year Alicia Keys turned me into a bona fide fan, and this stirring ballad - which bears no relation to the Leonard Cohen classic, by the way - played a huge role in that conversion. She's at heaven's door in "Hallelujah" praying that the good Lord forgives her of her sins - probably those "Girl on Fire" shrieks she thought were on-key notes - and there's such a humility, vulnerability, and rawness here, that I quickly took to the track. AK reminds us here why she's arguably the best R&B/soul female of the last two decades.
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Overall Rating: 9.4/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(2)
Play Count: 62


015. Taylor Swift - New Romantics

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As awesome as my generation sometimes proves itself to be, we seem to have a disgusting interpretation of love and romance, and Taylor's deadpan half-spoken, half-sung delivery of the verses here so accurately captures the irreverence with which many people in my peer group treat relationships. I love the shift of the melody from more subdued and pessimistic-coloured to a soaring anthem, with the lyrics still staying consistently critical.
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Overall Rating: 9.5/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(2)
Play Count: 166


014. Beyoncé - Freedom (feat. Kendrick Lamar)

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The song that I believe "Formation" was intended to be, "Freedom" would make a great theme song for the Black Lives Matter movement. I love Beyoncé's I can't move! cry in the chorus, alluding to the last few words Eric Garner uttered before being brutally choked to death by New York police officers. Then Kendrick comes and basically gives a black history lesson in 45 seconds. I love the urgency of his verse; it does a great job of capturing the maze of institutionalised racism that so many African-Americans have to navigate their way through. Production-wise, you have elements of so many genres in this song: R&B, gospel, rock, soul.
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Overall Rating: 9.5/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(2)
Play Count: 46


013. Zayn - Pillowtalk

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I'm not sure what anyone really expected from Zayn for his debut single, but I'd wager that "Pillowtalk" was not quite the image or sound most had in mind. It works spectacularly, though, and Zayn sounds fantastic on it! For a sex song, it's surprisingly well-written, and catchy. The It's our paradise, it's our war zone melody really etches itself in your head and stays there for ages.
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Overall Rating: 9.5/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(2)
Play Count: 132


012. Little Big Town - Better Man

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Leave it to Taylor Swift to have no new releases for the year - not counting the song she put out with Zayn a few weeks ago - and still have her hands in one of the best country songs of 2016. Okay, so Taylor Swift is the sole songwriter here, so we can rest assured that the lyrics will be strong, but what I was not ready for was the delivery! I'm sure if T-Swizzle had kept this, she'd have done something cute with it to make me like it, but Little Big Town take this song to a place Swift would have failed to go. The wistfulness with which the chorus is sung really hits home, even if you can't directly relate to the protagonist's plight. I didn't take to this one right away, and I believe I have Paul to thank for encouraging me to revisit it because when I did...just whoa. Such an experience when you really connect with this!
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Overall Rating: 9.5/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(1)
Play Count: 60


011. Katy Perry - Rise

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The best Olympic theme song since the great Whitney Houston's "One Moment in Time", "Rise" soundtracked NBC's promotional campaign of the Rio Games, and I think it's the visual I see that elevates this song to special territory for me. I am an enormous track and field fan, and this year was a gruelling season for most of my favourite stars, especially my all-time favourite athlete, and this song does a great job of capturing the intensity of Olympic-level competition, and really taking you through the entire journey, not just the big show, but the moments of self-doubt, the moments where progress is elusive, the moments you suffer a freak gym injury that jeopardises your legacy year...The O ye of so little faith line also fit my perspective on the CPA exams to a T, but the I will not negotiate lyric is filled with such self-confidence. This song had so much meaning in my life this year, and I'm sure most people will just write it off as a second-rate, failed attempt at creating something inspirational, but Katy knocked this out of the park for me, more on a lyrical level than anything else, which was shocking. It's not quite surpassed "Firework", but it's phenomenal that in an off year, Katy delivers one of her career-best offerings.
Code: Select all
Overall Rating: 9.5/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(2)
Play Count: 106
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Postby Benny » Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:47 am

Amazing song by Dami Im, she should have won Eurovision.
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Postby SilentDream » Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:23 am

I really like "Sound of Silence". It was definitely one of the best songs in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016.

I can't stand "Pillowtalk" and "Rise" though. :oops:
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Postby king_oxymoron » Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:26 pm

Dami and Zayn are certainly my faves here, you are right with what you write about each... Dami's vocal really elevated that track and I was certainly shocked about Zayn.

Second tier love for Starboy and Freedom, as you know I haven't gotten into Lemonade but that one always seemed a standout.

So glad Rise missed the top 10, always sounded like tripe to me. Lemme read what you wrote..Aw sorry to knock something so personal to you, but yes I write it off as that :lol: To be fair we didn't have it on our Olympic coverage so it may have not infiltrated by mind in the same way. To me it's among her weaker offerings.
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Postby Grybop » Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:11 pm

Yuna, Coldplay, Dami, The Weeknd are all great. Samra I found a bit on the generic side.
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Postby FreakyFlyBry » Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:42 pm

Very pleased to see Starboy (The Weeknd has mostly impressed me lately, especially with his new stuff) and Rise (pretty much what I was hoping to hear from Katy after a long break!)

I like the Taylor and Zayn songs but I prefer several other songs from both.
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