Adam's Top 100 of 2018! [ALBUMS + 3RD PLACE SINGLE]

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What is my No.1 song of 2018?

5 Seconds of Summer - Youngblood
0
No votes
Chrvches - Get Out
1
7%
Clean Bandit ft. Demi Lovato - Solo
4
29%
George Ezra - Paradise
0
No votes
Jason Mraz - Have It All
0
No votes
Kacey Musgraves - High Horse
5
36%
Kate Nash - Drink About You
1
7%
Panic! at the Disco - High Hopes
0
No votes
Shawn Mendes - In My Blood
2
14%
Sigrid - High Five
0
No votes
Troye Sivan - Bloom
1
7%
Zara Larsson - Ruin My Life
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 14

Postby Top10 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:14 pm

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'.
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Postby UKMusicLova » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:09 pm

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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Postby Thriller » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:44 pm

Matt Terry :lol:

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

Thought Monsters would be higher!
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Postby Carbon » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:03 am

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
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Postby Benjamin » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:41 am

'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.
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Postby king_oxymoron » Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:32 pm

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
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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
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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!



008. Banx & Ranx & Ella Eyre ft. Yxng Bane - Answerphone
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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
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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
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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?
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Postby JSparksFan » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:24 am

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.
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Postby Top10 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:50 am

king_oxymoron wrote:009. Alec Benjamin - Let Me Down Slowly
Image
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.
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Postby UKMusicLova » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:02 am

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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Postby Benjamin » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:29 pm

'1999' and 'Youth' are the tunes. Love them both :)
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Postby Thriller » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:58 pm

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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Postby king_oxymoron » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:49 pm

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

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



004. Alec Benjamin - If We Have Each Other
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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

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Postby UKMusicLova » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:14 pm

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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Postby heppolo » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:59 pm

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
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Postby Carbon » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:21 pm

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
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Postby Tansike » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:38 pm

010. Charli XCX & Troye Sivan - 1999
007. Shawn Mendes ft. Khalid - Youth
006. Years & Years - All For You

Oh, didn't see that high spot for "Youth" coming! Definitely the best thing Shawn has done for me, love it so much and it's a shame they didn't give it a proper push. "All For You" is very good, should have been a hit in the UK.
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Postby king_oxymoron » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:36 pm

Before that though, lets review the top 20 albums!

020. James Bay - Electric Light
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Great haircut, bit of a disappointing album, but still some highlights here.
Best tracks: Pink Lemonade, Us, Wanderlust

019. Anne-Marie - Speak Your Mind
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Another slight disappointment for me, though maybe I am in the minority as it's just been nominated for the Best British Album BRIT. I just thought the singles stood out more than the rest. But the singles were amazing, so.
Best tracks: Cry, Alarm, Then

018. Clean Bandit - What Is Love?
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This feels more like a collection of singles than it does a cohesive album. That said, all the individual tracks are pretty strong!
Best tracks: Symphony, Mama, We Were Just Kids

017. Lily Allen - No Shame
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More subtle than her previous work, less obvious bangers but still plenty of great melody and probably more critic friendly
Best tracks: Come On Then, Lost My Mind, What You Waiting For

016. Jason Mraz - Know
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A big return to form this year for Jason, some touches of the stuff I am not as keen on but Unlonely and Have It All were definitely in the right direction for me
Best tracks: Unlonely, More Than Friends, Sleeping To Deeam

015. Shawn Mendes - Shawn Mendes
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I really like Shawn's albums, all the songs are always nice. But they are inconsistent, some are a lot greater than others. This is a mature album but with the same drawbacks.
Best tracks: Youth, Perfectly Wrong, Particular Taste, Mutual

014. Charlie Puth - Voicenotes
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Great writing and production, Charlie knows music. A couple of duds (Boyz 2 Men) but pretty much all killer.
Best tracks: Attention, LA Girls, How Long, Empty Cups

013. 5 Seconds of Summer - Youngblood
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So glad Youngblood was a hit for them, plenty of bangers to join it on this album.
Best tracks: Youngblood, Valentine, If Walls Could Talk, Talk Fast,

012. Little Mix - LM5
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A pretty solid and strong album from the girls showcasing a maturity in sound, I could have picked more highlights. Some here I do skip, though, but a strong effort.
Best tracks: Think About Us, Wasabi, Forget You Not, Monster In Me

011. Camila Cabello - Camila
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A really solid, cohesive debut effort. I think this benefited from me seeing her live twice and her basically doing the whole album ha, but she got it right, really. Horribly handled, mind you.
Best tracks: All These Years, She Loves Control, Into It, Real Friends

010. Kate Nash - Yesterday Was Forever
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A return to some degree of pop from one of my favourite artists ever, a real great merging of her two musical styles.
Best tracks: Hate You, Drink About You, Twisted Up, To The Music I Belong, Karaoke Kiss

009. Calum Scott - Only Human
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Let me let you know, Dancing On My Own is the weakest thing on this album, his own material is so much stronger and deserves more exposure, honestly a great songwriter, it's also a lot more upbeat than you might expect,
Best tracks: If Our Love Is Wrong, Give Me Something, Rhythm Inside, What I Miss Most, Good To You

008. Chvrches - Love Is Dead
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I never really got this band beyond a couple of tracks before, despite even seeing them live, this year it clicked and now I'm dying to see them. This album is really really solid.
Best tracks: Heaven/Hell, Never Say Die, Forever, Graves, Deliverance

007. Years & Years - Palo Santo
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Queer pop was on the rise this year, with Olly at the forefront. A really strong album just full of bops.
Best tracks: All For You, Karma, Up In Flames, Howl, Hypnotised

006. MNEK - Language
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More of that queer pop now and MNEK truly thought about every detail. Listen to this start to finish, impeccably put together,
Best tracks: Correct, Body, Girlfriend, Phone, Touched By You

005. Alec Benjamin - Narrated For You
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You've seen SO many of his songs peppered through this chart, so no surprise this mixtape is high. Great musicianship from this fresh singer songwriter
Best tracks: Swim, If We Have Each Other, Let Me Down Slowly, Water Fountain, Boy In The Bubble, If I Killed Someone For You

004. Troye Sivan - Bloom
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A breakthrough year for Troye, I love this, it feels so well put together, a really tight album where all the tracks shine.
Best tracks: Seventeen, My My My, Postcard, Plum, Lucky Strike, Bloom

003. Fickle Friends - You Are Someone Else
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Another non surprise as it's been TWO years of these tracks popping up. Heavenly pop music, upbeat melodies, downbeat lyrics, a top album.
Best tracks: Wake Me Up, Glue, Bite, Lovesick, Rotation, Hello Hello

002. Panic! at the Disco - Pray For The Wicked
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Honestly they just never disappoint do they.
Best tracks: Hey Look Ma I Made It, High Hopes, Dancings Not A Crime, One Of The Drunks, The Overpass, King of the Clouds, Dying In LA

001. Saara Aalto - Wild Wild Wonderland
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Pop perfection, honestly.
Best tracks: Monsters, HAN, Half A Heart, Dance Like Nobody's Watching, Don't Deny Our Love, My Touch, Walking On Nails, No Fear, Domino, Queens
Last edited by king_oxymoron on Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Thriller » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:20 pm

Oh I never knew Saara had an album! Good to see MNEK there.
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Postby JSparksFan » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:12 am

:lol: at me ranking Know higher than you. Shawn Mendes is a step in the right direction, but I agree that he still has kinks there to iron out. Youngblood was better than I expected. I disagree that Camila got it right. "Havana" promised much more than Camila actually delivered.

Palo Santo is fantastic. Y&Y really won me over in 2018. Language has three killer moments, but isn't totally impressive for me as an overall effort. I'll revisit it, of course, because MNEK is just so clever and likeable. You like Bloom more than I do!

Pop perfection? Hmm...I'll have to give Sara Aalto a listen 'cause that's some big praise! :lol:
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Postby UKMusicLova » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:55 am

'Palo Santo' is a great album, great to have Years & Years back.
I also did not know Sara Aalto released an album. Not sure I believe it's pop perfection, but I'll check it out! :P
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Postby king_oxymoron » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:49 am

Thriller wrote:Oh I never knew Saara had an album! Good to see MNEK there.
The other two I can forgive but the last time I saw you in person I had LITERALLY just walked back from Sara's merch stand and was talking to you about buying the signed album! Do you listen to NOTHNG I SAY :lol:

Have a listen guys, even if you don't agree with perfection I am sure you will find some real quality pop you enjoy on there.
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Postby heppolo » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:13 am

Oops, unexpected no.1 album.

010. Kate Nash - Yesterday Was Forever - interesting record, glad Kate stuck to her guns.
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Postby Thriller » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:59 pm

king_oxymoron wrote:
Thriller wrote:Oh I never knew Saara had an album! Good to see MNEK there.
The other two I can forgive but the last time I saw you in person I had LITERALLY just walked back from Sara's merch stand and was talking to you about buying the signed album! Do you listen to NOTHNG I SAY :lol:

Have a listen guys, even if you don't agree with perfection I am sure you will find some real quality pop you enjoy on there.
Sorry babe, I was smashed :lol:

LIVING for Blonde and the mighty Bryn Christopher YAAAAAS.
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Postby Blondini » Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:53 am

Lily's is quite good - lot better than Yeezus.

Kate Nash nearly equal to me! :D
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Postby king_oxymoron » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:59 pm

Thanks all!

003. Panic! at the Disco - High Hopes
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What an ANTHEM! From the opening horn arrangement it is just such a triumph. This song was the one I considered most of the year to be my number one, and to be honest it came down to the wire to decide which of the top three it would be, and this fell just short, perhaps as I've heard it the most? It's not tired in anyway, I think the other two just felt that bit fresher,
Anyway, this song. It's really taken off and indeed is still high in the UK iTunes chart, I hear it as a bed for music shows and adverts all the time, it has become one of their signature hits now I think, and who would argue with such an upbeat, catchy chorus? I love both Brendon's vocals and the distorted background vocals too, it's cool that the first vocal comes presented like that and I like how it starts off with it's best foot forward, the chorus. The verses are great though, with the repeated 'Mama said' motif and the bridge is a proper build up to the chorus explosion. The instrumentation backing it is so opposite to the drum and horn crash in of the chorus too, it's almost classical in comparison, and I love that level of difference and detail. I like how the second time around BOTH the verse and the bridge have little extensions on what we came to expect from them the first time, and how the following chorus is almost acapella before the music starts to build again. They just know music and how to make it impactful. If this song isn't going around your head for days after you listened to it, you have something awry.. it's a proper earworm and a real explosion of noise and celebration of music, it's fabulous. None of you picked it as my number one, and you were right.. but it came really darned close!



STILL TO COME?

Paradise v High Horse v High Five

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