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 king_oxymoron » Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:10 am

Aw, glad to hear that re: All I Ask..

This set, it's okay! I really like Hold Back The River, though I clocked onto it relatively late (as have you :P). James' whole album is very melody-led and a friendly pop listen, give it a go. In particular a track called 'Collide'.

Adele is good but I feel - again - she left the very best songs as non-singles. Good for her to have two relatively upbeat singles in a row though.

Britney, hmmm. Not awful, but strangely I now prefer Slumber Party!
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Postby luckyONE » Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:30 pm

hm, you meant "Water Under the bridge"? :lol: because I have to admit it's my least favorite song from "25", and from Adele overall, one of my least favorites too. And that's such an unpopular opinion probably. :lol:
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Postby JSparksFan » Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:02 am

Many thanks for all the feedback, folks! :D

FreakyFlyBry wrote:My favourites there are Adele and Britney :D I got into that Adele track before its single release so it will get its due on my year-end as there is no split to worry about, and Britney's song was a solid return (though the album wasn't her best, it still had its fair share of gems, this included.)
Interestingly enough, I was a bigger "Water Under the Bridge" pre-single release.

Tansike wrote:Good to know, maybe i'll buy it. Probably also depends on the Grammy Awards; if it wins, the chances that i'll buy it will be pretty big. I also got Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp A Butterfly" due to his Grammy slayage despite being everything but a fan of that genre and i ended up liking that album a lot.
Get your coins ready because the stage is being set for Bey to take home quite a few trophies Grammy night.

Tansike wrote:No :oops: I guess i'm just not into these divas to be honest. I've also never heard an album by Mariah Carey in full until saturday (i finally downloaded "Merry Christmas"! :oops: ). I've also never heard an album in full by Whitney Houston... :oops: :oops:
Aw, I'm obviously coming from a biased place when I say this, but the divas' music is truly something special. I think Mariah's discography is one that you would enjoy a lot more than you'd probably expect, but Whitney and Céline each have more than a few breathtaking gems. If you ever have free time and a few bucks you don't mind losing, I'd invest in either Music Box or Daydream, fan favourites that had a huge impact with the general public as well.

Tansike wrote:
049. Grimes - Butterfly
048. James Bay - Hold Back the River
047. Adele - Water Under the Bridge
046. Britney Spears - Make Me...(feat. G-Eazy)
Really like these four from the last group.
"Butterfly" was nice but it's not one of my faves from her album, which is awesome by the way. Did you check out some other songs from her as well?
Also nice appearance for James. It was nice to see an artist like him having success with a song like that for a change. Adele's one is nice too.
While i can listen to Britney's "Make Me", i think it's one of her weakest singles ever. Definitely bottom 5 for me. A shame, i used to stan for her so much, but it seems like i'm completely over here these days :(
I've heard "Pin" and "Kill v. Maim", but I don't believe I've heard anything else. Any recommendations?

Aw, I don't remember your thoughts on Glory. Nothing there clicked for you?

Biebz wrote:Butterfly is one of my favourite songs on the album! Lovely seeing it chart!
It's definitely my favourite from the few I've heard!

Carbon wrote:great to see Butterfly here!
Yay, more Grimes love! :D

Grybop wrote:Good comeback for Britney, shame it bombed (for her standards). The exact opposite goes for Gaga - catch chorus, cheap key-change and generally b-material (again for her standards).
That Rihanna cover must be fan-made, right? It looks atrocious!
Yeah, I like the key change, but it was really overblown by many fans.

No, that's actually the official cover art. :lol:

phoenix98 wrote:• I wasn't aware of (or simply blocked out) your general disdain for solo Gwen, but I'm VERY glad that "Make Me Like You" (and "4 In The Morning") are the exceptions! EASILY my favorite single from this "comeback" era (including the ones denied entry to the final tracklist)...and it'd probably make Top 5 from her whole solo catalog.
Honestly, I just don't like Gwen's voice that much (generally speaking). "Don't Speak" is one of my Top 40 all-time favourite songs, though. Her voice there is exceptional.

phoenix98 wrote:• I'm highly amused (and also highly offended) by ANTI-quality. :lol:
I'll take both the amusement and the offence. :lol:

phoenix98 wrote:• Totally agree about PI being one of Gaga's most underwhelming official single offerings. I guess over three years of anticipation didn't help matters either.
Thankfully, she released a strong album and an exceptional second single, so all is forgiven.

phoenix98 wrote:• "Butterfly" is Top 50...AND I get a mention in the write-up?!? THIS is the highlight of my 2016 right here (musical or otherwise.) :cry: I promise to drop your name when I discuss "Colors."
<3 <3 <3

phoenix98 wrote:• I'm a bit surprised to see Adele top-out at No. 47, since I thought you were pretty enthusiastic about 25...but I guess her single selection is at least partially to blame. I'd checked out WUTB once or twice before, but it randomly really started to click with me toward the end of last week, and I've been playing it quite a bit since then.
Definitely. Had she released "River Lea", she'd be a dangerous contender for #1 here.

phoenix98 wrote:• Tinashe stealing the spotlight in the write-up for the single she's not even on :lol: "Make Me..." was a nice change of pace from Brit's lead singles going back to...well...always. I think she's actually a pretty solid fit for it - just a shame that she can't manage to score a big hit with any type of track these days.
Maybe I just have one-track era with Britney, but she doesn't typically fare well when she strays from her pure pop lane, though "The Hook Up" is pretty nifty.

king_oxymoron wrote:Aw, glad to hear that re: All I Ask..

This set, it's okay! I really like Hold Back The River, though I clocked onto it relatively late (as have you :P). James' whole album is very melody-led and a friendly pop listen, give it a go. In particular a track called 'Collide'.

Adele is good but I feel - again - she left the very best songs as non-singles. Good for her to have two relatively upbeat singles in a row though.

Britney, hmmm. Not awful, but strangely I now prefer Slumber Party!
Yeah, it's crazy that it made some persons' 2014 countdown, and I only just heard it a year ago. Such is life this side of the Atlantic, though. I'll check out "Collide" tonight.

Preach! Like I said to Paul, "River Lea" would have been a #1 contender this year. The last time I checked, "River Lea" was my second most played song of the year, and the most played song with vocals.

Strangely or wisely. :lol: :wink:

luckyONE wrote:hm, you meant "Water Under the bridge"? :lol: because I have to admit it's my least favorite song from "25", and from Adele overall, one of my least favorites too. And that's such an unpopular opinion probably. :lol:
I made a last-minute change; the song I expect you to like is in this batch.
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Postby JSparksFan » Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:39 am

Within this set, you'll find: (1) an act that I never would have expected to have a song worthy enough to make one of my year-end charts, (2) one of the few musicians I genuinely dislike as a person but usually have to admit his musical output is good and occasionally fantastic, (3) a guy who should probably stick to acting/modelling and give the whole singing thing a break, (4) one of the finest Aussie singers, and (5) one of the most talented young singers in the industry, with the greatest female star hip/hop has ever seen.

045. Mike Posner - Be as You Are

Image

I have luckyONE to thank for indirectly introducing me to this gem through his post in the Lyric of the Moment thread a year back. I love the sequence of the song - at 18, 22, then 26, having the same conversation with his mother, who encourages him to trust in, and remember, his inner strength. It's so poignant, which is something I'd never have expected from the "I Took a Pill in Ibiza" star.
Code: Select all
Overall Rating: 8.7/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #3
Play Count: 24


044. Justin Timberlake - Can't Stop the Feeling!

Image

Take a dance-pop beat, with some light R&B undertones, catchy, uplifting and light-hearted lyrics, and you essentially have the framework for "Can't Stop the Feeling!", one of JT's best singles of his career. I love the near-falsetto cry in the chorus; it really hits home the theme and title of the song.
Code: Select all
Overall Rating: 8.7/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(1)
Play Count: 18


043. Nick Jonas - Champagne Problems

Image

The second and final Nick Jonas entry is easily the heartthrob's best produced song of his career. The lyrics aren't anything special - they take you through an alcohol-induced, intimate rendezvous that will likely be regretted by both parties in the morning - but the beat is ridiculously infectious, and with that beat in the driver's seat, Nick just rides the wave to glory.
Code: Select all
Overall Rating: 8.7/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(1)
Play Count: 35


042. Delta Goodrem - Dear Life

Image

An introspective piano ballad - of course a piano is involved, neither Delta Goodrem nor Alicia Keys would ever consent to leave home without one - "Dear Life" clicked with me on play #1. On a regular basis, I wonder what in heavens I'm doing with my life, and it's so brilliant how Delta personifies life in this song, and asks him/her if she's making the right decisions. The lyrical structure is brilliant; I love how she starts verse one with, Time will change you, then have that be the centrepiece of the entire verse, and she does the same with verse two, which opens with, Love will change you. Time and love are two giants that often have you questioning your decisions - past and present - and it's so fitting that these are the key topics she brings to the table. In short, this is an extraordinarily relatable song that I suspect will have relevance in my life for many a year to come.
Code: Select all
Overall Rating: 8.7/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(1)
Play Count: 28


041. Ariana Grande - Side to Side (feat. Nicki Minaj)

Image

After occupying the junk pile of my Dangerous Woman collection for five months, it was only when the song was officially released as a single and subsequently performed at every single award show that I finally connected with the track. I suppose it was only a matter of time before the West Indian in me caved to the reggae undertones. True to the nature of pop music, there's not very much substance to be found within the lyrics - the dick bicycle line made me scream a few times - but the production is ace, and Ariana delivers a solid vocal performance (obviously). The guest verse from Nicki Minaj doesn't hurt either.
Code: Select all
Overall Rating: 8.8/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #2
Play Count: 21
Last edited by JSparksFan on Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby FreakyFlyBry » Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:43 am

Mike Posner's was nice enough, Timberlake's was a good, catchy summertime anthem, Nick's was alright but not his best (indeed, I could say the same for Ariana), and Delta's was a nice enough comeback though I do prefer many of her classics. So Timberlake was my favourite out of that bunch.
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Postby king_oxymoron » Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:12 am

Well I said strangely cause first time I heard Slumber Party I think I actually laughed, thought it was a steaming pile of turd. But now I like :oops:

HOLD UP you don't like JT as a person? whut whut whut explain. He's ace and CSTF is undeniable.

HOLD UP Nick should not stick to acting, he is excellent and HOLD UP not excellent lyrics 'how did our clothes end up all on the floor, didn't we just break each other's hearts?' - LOVE. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaas to Champagne Problems, this would have been in my top 5 (with All I Ask) if it was a real single here. SUCH a stomper.

lol at Delta not leaving home without her piano. I'm not sure I have heard Dear Life though I listened to Heavy recently, which was nice.

Love Side to Side, seems lots of people didn't rate it on the album, but I thought that run of Into You, Side to Side, Let Me Love You, and Greedy was a really solid four, I really found it irresistible from first listen, solid banger.

Good set!
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Postby Benny » Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:27 pm

'Dear Life' is georgeous, Delta really doesn't disappoint. :P
'Can't Stop The Feeling' on the other side was overplayed to death this year, and the fact that I didn't like it right from the start didn't help either.
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Postby phoenix98 » Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:58 pm

• Hmmm...while I'm glad to see Mike appear at all (granted, for the most part, his body has always spoke to me more than his music)...I'm getting the impression that you consider "I Took A Pill" totally basic/throwaway compared to BAYA. The title is gimmicky, sure, but the song itself is actually pretty introspective and revealing overall, reflecting on the hollowness of fame (and how that impacted him specifically.) Not that that's never been done before...but your write-up makes it seem like he went from farting out a string of LMFAO-esque club jams to BAYA. :lol:
• That JT remark isn't even shade...it's like...a full-on-eclipse :o Personality aside, CSTF is delightful - I'm 100% here for him serving up a good 'ol straightforward pop earworm - and it'll certainly crack my Top 50 too!
• Shame that the LYWC era really went to sh*t really quickly (and not making CP a proper international single was certainly a part of that rapid implosion.)
• I don't think I've seen that STS cover before, but I love it! It sounds like you've been trying to use the official ones whenever possible, so hopefully that's the case with this one too! Although it seemed to be a fan favorite from the start, STS has never really stood out to me on DW...don't hate it or anything, but if it hadn't become an official single, I probably wouldn't have revisited it much at all after the first week or two. I'm definitely glad that it FINALLY gave her a proper international smash this era, though!
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Postby Tansike » Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:30 pm

JSparksFan wrote:Aw, I'm obviously coming from a biased place when I say this, but the divas' music is truly something special. I think Mariah's discography is one that you would enjoy a lot more than you'd probably expect, but Whitney and Céline each have more than a few breathtaking gems. If you ever have free time and a few bucks you don't mind losing, I'd invest in either Music Box or Daydream, fan favourites that had a huge impact with the general public as well.
I definitely plan to add more albums by 'legends' to my collection sooner or later. I was also late with adding some CDs by Michael Jackson and ABBA to my collection, and i think it was a great start to get the current releases from Céline Dion and Janet Jackson this year as their first CDs ever, plus Mariah's "Merry Christmas" now as her first release in my collection. I guess i'm just someone who enjoys current music much more...

JSparksFan wrote:I've heard "Pin" and "Kill v. Maim", but I don't believe I've heard anything else. Any recommendations?

Aw, I don't remember your thoughts on Glory. Nothing there clicked for you?
Well "Kill V. Maim" is my absolute favorite from her album. Did you like it? Other than that i'd recommend "Flesh Without Blood" (which is very critically acclaimed) and probably "Venus Fly" which is kinda crazy and messy but also one of my faves (and it features Janelle Monáe).

045. Mike Posner - Be as You Are
044. Justin Timberlake - Can't Stop the Feeling!
043. Nick Jonas - Champagne Problems
042. Delta Goodrem - Dear Life
041. Ariana Grande - Side to Side (feat. Ariana Grande)
Another great batch. Well, i'm not the biggest fan of Justin's track and think it's overrated (it's basically "Happy" part two) but i can listen to it.
Mike Posner's track is great, should have been a hit for him. But i guess it's hard to get another one after the huge hit "I Took A Pill In Ibiza" was.
Very happy to see "Side To Side" being that high on your list, great tune :D
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Postby Grybop » Wed Dec 21, 2016 5:56 pm

JSparksFan wrote: It's so poignant, which is something I'd never have expected from the "I Took a Pill in Ibiza" star.
Why not though? The lyrics to ITAPII are deep and honest and they make you think. To be honest, I had no idea who that guy was, but he seems genuinely talented.

Justin is my fave among the last few!
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Postby KokoCollino » Wed Dec 21, 2016 11:37 pm

126. Aura - Love Somebody
I love this so much!

124. OneRepublic - Wherever I Go
I think it's underrated.

119. The Chainsmokers - Closer (feat. Halsey)
My love for it came late, but it eventually came :cry: Andrew in the video :cry: <3

108. Drake - One Dance (feat. Wizkid & Kyla)
I never listen to it for myself, but I get always crazy about it at parties :lol:

098. Jennifer Lopez - Ain't Your Mama
Another party banger and an awesome video!

096. Fifth Harmony - Work from Home (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)
IT'S SOOOOO GOOOOOOD.

089. Demi Lovato - Body Say
It's fine!

The Adele cover art :lol:

069. Fergie - M.I.L.F. $
It's a video event for me. The song itself is disturbing me now.

066. Meghan Trainor - No
It's a guilty pleasure without replay value :lol: So, I agree :lol:

055. Gwen Stefani - Make Me Like You
It's cute, not more for me, just like the rest of her previous efforts.

051. Lady Gaga - Perfect Illusion

I still love it, somehow. The only song off Joanne I can work with.
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Postby JSparksFan » Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:19 am

Ah, I have some explaining to do, it seems. :lol: Thanks for the comments, guys. <3

FreakyFlyBry wrote:Mike Posner's was nice enough, Timberlake's was a good, catchy summertime anthem, Nick's was alright but not his best (indeed, I could say the same for Ariana), and Delta's was a nice enough comeback though I do prefer many of her classics. So Timberlake was my favourite out of that bunch.
Great to hear that you generally approve of the set, though!

king_oxymoron wrote:Well I said strangely cause first time I heard Slumber Party I think I actually laughed, thought it was a steaming pile of turd. But now I like :oops:

HOLD UP you don't like JT as a person? whut whut whut explain. He's ace and CSTF is undeniable.

HOLD UP Nick should not stick to acting, he is excellent and HOLD UP not excellent lyrics 'how did our clothes end up all on the floor, didn't we just break each other's hearts?' - LOVE. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaas to Champagne Problems, this would have been in my top 5 (with All I Ask) if it was a real single here. SUCH a stomper.

lol at Delta not leaving home without her piano. I'm not sure I have heard Dear Life though I listened to Heavy recently, which was nice.

Love Side to Side, seems lots of people didn't rate it on the album, but I thought that run of Into You, Side to Side, Let Me Love You, and Greedy was a really solid four, I really found it irresistible from first listen, solid banger.

Good set!
Glad to hear "Slumber Party" has grown on you. I thought it was pretty solid the first time I heard it, but it took a few plays for its magic to really set in for me as well.

In a nutshell, the post-Nipplegate debacle, plus the constant reference (almost always unwarranted and negative) to his past relationship with one named Britney Spears in an attempt to build a solo career for himself painted him in a dark light for me. Also, I just get this really entitled, douchebag vibe from him.

I do like that lyric! Glad you love "Champagne Problems" so much, though. I figured I might be its only ardent supporter here.

"Greedy" took some time to grow on me, but I like it now.

Benny wrote:'Dear Life' is georgeous, Delta really doesn't disappoint. :P
'Can't Stop The Feeling' on the other side was overplayed to death this year, and the fact that I didn't like it right from the start didn't help either.
Good that you approve of Delta at least! I started to check out her album, but I stopped midway through. I wasn't impressed with what I heard up to that point. :(

phoenix98 wrote:• Hmmm...while I'm glad to see Mike appear at all (granted, for the most part, his body has always spoke to me more than his music)...I'm getting the impression that you consider "I Took A Pill" totally basic/throwaway compared to BAYA. The title is gimmicky, sure, but the song itself is actually pretty introspective and revealing overall, reflecting on the hollowness of fame (and how that impacted him specifically.) Not that that's never been done before...but your write-up makes it seem like he went from farting out a string of LMFAO-esque club jams to BAYA. :lol:
I am SCREAMING. :lol: :lol: :lol:

To be fair, I'm more familiar with the Seeb remix of that song, where the value of the lyrics is basically hidden behind a cheap dance beat. I listened to the original mix today, and I see where you're coming from...though my new criticism is that it's a message I can't quite relate to as easily as I can "Be as You Are".

phoenix98 wrote:That JT remark isn't even shade...it's like...a full-on-eclipse :o Personality aside, CSTF is delightful - I'm 100% here for him serving up a good 'ol straightforward pop earworm - and it'll certainly crack my Top 50 too!
See my comment to Adam:

Akini wrote:In a nutshell, the post-Nipplegate debacle, plus the constant reference (almost always unwarranted and negative) to his past relationship with one named Britney Spears in an attempt to build a solo career for himself painted him in a dark light for me. Also, I just get this really entitled, douchebag vibe from him.
phoenix98 wrote:• Shame that the LYWC era really went to sh*t really quickly (and not making CP a proper international single was certainly a part of that rapid implosion.)
Agreed. "Close" got the era off to a fantastic start, which should have set the stage well for "Champagne Problems" to rule as a summer anthem, but nope. :(

phoenix98 wrote:• I don't think I've seen that STS cover before, but I love it! It sounds like you've been trying to use the official ones whenever possible, so hopefully that's the case with this one too! Although it seemed to be a fan favorite from the start, STS has never really stood out to me on DW...don't hate it or anything, but if it hadn't become an official single, I probably wouldn't have revisited it much at all after the first week or two. I'm definitely glad that it FINALLY gave her a proper international smash this era, though!
This is the cover art Wikipedia has as the official single cover, but I don't like it, so I went with an alternative.

Same here! For me, it was a 7/10 the first I heard it, which isn't bad, but nothing you'd bother yourself to download or replay.

Tansike wrote:I definitely plan to add more albums by 'legends' to my collection sooner or later. I was also late with adding some CDs by Michael Jackson and ABBA to my collection, and i think it was a great start to get the current releases from Céline Dion and Janet Jackson this year as their first CDs ever, plus Mariah's "Merry Christmas" now as her first release in my collection. I guess i'm just someone who enjoys current music much more...
Since 2013, I've favoured retro music to contemporary music, but I get the logic behind moving from current music backwards.

Tansike wrote:Well "Kill V. Maim" is my absolute favorite from her album. Did you like it? Other than that i'd recommend "Flesh Without Blood" (which is very critically acclaimed) and probably "Venus Fly" which is kinda crazy and messy but also one of my faves (and it features Janelle Monáe).
I'll check those out. "Kill v. Maim" was okay.

Tansike wrote:
045. Mike Posner - Be as You Are
044. Justin Timberlake - Can't Stop the Feeling!
043. Nick Jonas - Champagne Problems
042. Delta Goodrem - Dear Life
041. Ariana Grande - Side to Side (feat. Ariana Grande)
Another great batch. Well, i'm not the biggest fan of Justin's track and think it's overrated (it's basically "Happy" part two) but i can listen to it.
Mike Posner's track is great, should have been a hit for him. But i guess it's hard to get another one after the huge hit "I Took A Pill In Ibiza" was.
Very happy to see "Side To Side" being that high on your list, great tune :D
Happy to see you like all five! I agree the JT one is overrated, but it's JT so I'm not surprised. "Be as You Are" certainly deserved more success than it got. :(

Grybop wrote:
JSparksFan wrote: It's so poignant, which is something I'd never have expected from the "I Took a Pill in Ibiza" star.
Why not though? The lyrics to ITAPII are deep and honest and they make you think. To be honest, I had no idea who that guy was, but he seems genuinely talented.

Justin is my fave among the last few!
The Seeb remix robbed me of the lyrical value of the song. Admittedly, after listening to the original, I see where you and Paul are coming from.

KokoCollino wrote:126. Aura - Love Somebody
I love this so much!

124. OneRepublic - Wherever I Go
I think it's underrated.

119. The Chainsmokers - Closer (feat. Halsey)
My love for it came late, but it eventually came :cry: Andrew in the video :cry: <3

108. Drake - One Dance (feat. Wizkid & Kyla)
I never listen to it for myself, but I get always crazy about it at parties :lol:

098. Jennifer Lopez - Ain't Your Mama
Another party banger and an awesome video!

096. Fifth Harmony - Work from Home (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)
IT'S SOOOOO GOOOOOOD.

089. Demi Lovato - Body Say
It's fine!

The Adele cover art :lol:

069. Fergie - M.I.L.F. $
It's a video event for me. The song itself is disturbing me now.

066. Meghan Trainor - No
It's a guilty pleasure without replay value :lol: So, I agree :lol:

055. Gwen Stefani - Make Me Like You
It's cute, not more for me, just like the rest of her previous efforts.

051. Lady Gaga - Perfect Illusion

I still love it, somehow. The only song off Joanne I can work with.
Yeah, I actually attended a wedding reception, where "One Dance" was played, and I definitely bopped like a madman! It's a fun song.

"Ain't Your Mama" has a great video indeed, as does the Fergie song.

Glad we agree on "No", but Joanne is lovely! :(
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Postby luckyONE » Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:29 am

YES, "Be As You Are" is definitely an amazing track, it's so good. First, I thought it was another "generic" remix (and although I enjoy "Pill"), but once you listen to the lyrics carefully you realize it's a beautiful and well written song. :o

"Side To Side" was another track I enjoyed this year. :)
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Postby JSparksFan » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:00 am

We have the third of four Ariana Grande entries, a sassy country anthem, the reunion of a popular UK girl group, one of my favourite R&B finds of 2016, and a song mashing the best of dancehall and tropical house within this set. I think R&B fans will enjoy this batch.

040. Ariana Grande - Let Me Love You (feat. Lil Wayne)

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If you could bottle the first verse of this song, you'd capture one of my favourite music moments of 2016. Ariana's whispered tone is so sexy that, coupled with the Toronto-level chill of the R&B beat and the nonchalance she exhibits over her recent break-up, it's a bit overwhelming really in its sultriness. For me, this track is hugely reminiscent of "Best Mistake", another song that proved that Ariana can deliver a stunning restrained vocal. It's songs like this one that prove Ariana's credibility as a legitimate R&B star.
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Overall Rating: 8.8/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(1)
Play Count: 77


039. Brandy Clark - Girl Next Door

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Give me a female empowerment song, and it's likely that you've given me a playlist favourite. In "Girl Next Door", Brandy Clark tells her suitor that she's no traditional woman, and if it's a Debbie debutante or virgin Mary metaphorhe seeks, he'd have better luck checking out the next door neighbour. It's well-written, well-sung, and strikes a chord in this feminist.
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Overall Rating: 8.8/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(1)
Play Count: 38


038. All Saints - One Strike

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As someone who's never really enjoyed an All Saints song, "One Strike" was a huge surprise. With lyrics inspired by one of the girl's husband's infidelity, the rattling percussion instrument, blended with the seamless harmonies, made for an addictive drug that I may have abused early on. The song's lost some of its lustre due to said abuse, but it packs quite the wallop on several different fronts. Crazily enough, it's in 2016, nearly two decades into their career, that they unleash their finest single yet. It's a shame that so little people cared.
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Overall Rating: 9/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(3)
Play Count: 135


037. Yuna - Lanes

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Yuna has such a soulful, gorgeous voice that when she has a decent song to align with her tremendous talent, the result is going to be fantastic. In "Lanes", she sings about a relationship that has clearly reached a point where the two parties are in different lanes, and she's recognised that she contributes significantly more of herself to the union than he does. I particularly love the lyric, You call this love, you don't respect it, which shows Yuna shares my belief that love is almost a sacred term that ought to be treated with some degree of reverence.
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Overall Rating: 9/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(1)
Play Count: 22


036. Clean Bandit - Rockabye (feat. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie)

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I don't like making late changes to the upper end of my list, but when I heard this song this past Sunday, I knew someone had to get the boot to make room for it. I'm a shameless mama's boy, so this track saluting the unparalleled love that single mothers have for their kids, to the point where they'd sin their soul to make sure that their children are protected, and to build a brighter future for them, certainly hit home very hard. Of course, the exquisite production, Sean Paul's Jamaican patois that takes this right in the dancehall lane, the lovely female vocal, and the excellent music video to hit home the theme hard (as well as my feels) don't hurt. In the general public's eyes, Clean Bandit will likely never top "Rather Be", but this one is so much better, in my opinion.
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Overall Rating: 9/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(1)
Play Count: 19
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Postby Benny » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:35 am

'Rockabye' is extremely catchy, nice to see it in the top 40! :P
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Postby FreakyFlyBry » Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:01 am

I was surprised at how good of a comeback All Saints could deliver, good to see them in there :D

Ariana's was alright but not her best, and the Clean Bandit song was good too.
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Postby JSparksFan » Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:12 pm

Thanks for the comments, guys! :)

luckyONE wrote:YES, "Be As You Are" is definitely an amazing track, it's so good. First, I thought it was another "generic" remix (and although I enjoy "Pill"), but once you listen to the lyrics carefully you realize it's a beautiful and well written song. :o

"Side To Side" was another track I enjoyed this year. :)
Knew you'd be pleased to see "Be as You Are". Good that you appreciate "Side to Side" too. :D

Benny wrote:'Rockabye' is extremely catchy, nice to see it in the top 40! :P
Definitely the most instant song I've heard from Clean Bandit.

FreakyFlyBry wrote:I was surprised at how good of a comeback All Saints could deliver, good to see them in there :D

Ariana's was alright but not her best, and the Clean Bandit song was good too.
I echo these thoughts, with just slightly more enthusiasm for "Let Me Love You". :lol:
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Postby SilentDream » Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:45 pm

"Rockabye" is a great song, it's really catchy.

I've always wanted to check out the music of All Saints, but I haven't done it so far.
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Postby king_oxymoron » Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:38 pm

Two out of five here for me.

I already spoiled the surprise that I like Let Me Love You, dammit! As you say it's very sultry and restrained. Like it!

All Saints.. hmmm, they've done miles better. Their previous comeback tune 'Rock Steady' was far better.

Rockabye is ace. It's actually been number one a lot longer in the UK than Rather Be was - seven weeks tomorrow if it holds!
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Postby KokoCollino » Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:24 am

036. Clean Bandit - Rockabye (feat. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie)
It's really hard to resist this one :lol:

040. Ariana Grande - Let Me Love You (feat. Lil Wayne)
Oh thanks, I would have forgotten about this for my countdown ... It's a R&B masterpiece!
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Postby JSparksFan » Fri Dec 23, 2016 1:05 am

A dance song that mash-ups two R&B hits of yesteryear, the final Ariana Grande appearance, a man who literally sports the title "legend" in his name, and two of my all-time favourite female acts are in this set.

035. 99 Souls - The Girl Is Mine (feat. Destiny's Child & Brandy)

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A masterful interpolation of two R&B hits, "The Girl Is Mine" is an idea that might not have looked too spiffy on paper, but is executed remarkably well. I love how the original chorus from "The Boy Is Mine" is used, with Beyoncé's vocal inserted to replace each boy moment with girl. Brandy's re-recorded 'Scuse me, can I please talk to you for a minute? bit works really well randomly inserted in the chorus.
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Overall Rating: 9/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #2
Play Count: 46


034. Beyoncé - Sorry

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One of the many stunners from Beyoncé's Lemonade, "Sorry" is home to my favourite lyric of the year, He only want me when I'm not there, he better call Becky with the good hair. And just in case you thought you misheard her, she repeats that second line as the closing lyric. It's rare that a song's climax comes right at its very end, but the final verse does build ominously to that whopper. There are so many decades of racial history buried underneath that lyric, so many discussions that have been had about society's unattainable standards of beauty for women of African descent and what "good hair" looks like, and I love how simply, but powerfully, Beyoncé re-initiates this conversation with that lyric.
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Overall Rating: 9/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #2
Play Count: 68


033. Céline Dion - Recovering

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The third and final appearance from the mega-legend that is Céline Dion is "Recovering", a beautiful ballad that speaks to Céline's process of piecing herself together after the tragic loss of both her husband and brother to cancer in January of this year. I've seen a few people say that Céline has a wonderful voice, but doesn't really sing with emotion, which is a sentiment I disagree with, but the heartbreak and pain in this song is so palpable, it's really an experience listening to it. I love how stripped back most of the production is, and how her voice sounds like it's breaking in parts.
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Overall Rating: 9/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #2
Play Count: 31


032. Ariana Grande - Into You

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The final of Ariana Grande's four entries this year is the pulsating R&B/pop gem "Into You". From the first verse, you just know she's going to hit you hard with the chorus, but she hit even harder than I anticipated. I absolutely adore the A little less conversation, and a little more touch my body lyric, as it's such a delicious double entendre. She's: (1) making her primal need for intimacy known, and (2) referencing two classic tunes from two very different music legends. I also interpret it as a sort of, "Enough old-school manners, let's get down to 21st century business." Her voice sounds great here, the production is so fresh, the video is lovely, and the replay value is pretty impressive.
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Overall Rating: 9/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #1(2)
Play Count: 41


031. John Legend - Love Me Now

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Between "Ordinary People" and "All of Me", John Legend had quite a few years off the mainstream grid, but it seems that since his "All of Me" mega-success, he's working to keep his brand of R&B as accessible as possible, and, with "Love Me Now", he does a good job of that. I love the message of cherishing someone while they're in your life and loving them in the moment, as there's no telling what the future holds. The sweeping chorus is addictive, with a fresh, mid-tempo production. The video is also really sweet.
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Overall Rating: 9/10
Akini's Daily Top 20 Peak: #2
Play Count: 25
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Postby KokoCollino » Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:01 pm

032. Ariana Grande - Into You
By far my fave Ariana song and one of the highlights of the year!
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Postby Tansike » Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:31 pm

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.

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.
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Postby FreakyFlyBry » Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:53 pm

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.
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Postby Benny » Sat Dec 24, 2016 8:13 am

Great to see 'Into You', one of my favourite songs of this year! :P
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