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Thread: Cheapthrills' Top 40 of 2018 - COMPLETED

  1. #26
    crystalphoenix's Avatar
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    by » Thu February 28th, 2019, 18:00

    OoOh...this has an excellent blend of tracks that I recognize (and enjoy), combined with some artists/songs that aren't familiar to me at all.

    • "Anywhere" really grabbed my ear in a way unlike any other Rita single since "I Will Never Let You Down." We can all relate to that desire to just get away from it all sometimes (and anywhere else will do - especially if we're fleeing with a special someone).

    • Shame to see "Breathin" miss out, but you still gave it a nice nod! It presents such an honest depiction of such a relatable issue, and even offers some genuine relief by the end of its runtime. Of course, Ari can't make our anxiety COMPLETELY disappear, but she works some serious magic in these 3ish minutes! A meditative moment has never sounded so catchy.
    • The "Finesse" remix + video release felt like one of the first major music moments of 2018, and I quickly got hooked on both! I'm glad this groove got Bruno back on track after "Versace..." (shockingly) under-performed in most markets, and it definitely does WAY more for me than their 2019 collabo...
    • I love that you mentioned Pride in your "Bloom" write-up, since that's what finally sent the song to No. 1 on my chart! It really was the perfect anthem for that occasion. 2018 felt like a transformative year for Troye, and "Bloom" (both the song + video) seem like the ultimate representation of his blossoming. Blue Neighbourhood certainly had its highlights, and showed a lot of promise, but Bloom took Troye to a whole new level. The Queer Qing of Contemporary Pop. <3
    • I haven't gotten hooked on most of Kendrick's hits (especially when he's been the lead), but SZA finally helped change that!
    • Unfortunately, I think we've all encountered someone (or several someones) we'd like to tell off the way Kacey does in "High Horse," and she lays it all out with her trademark incisive wit. The shift in sound was a shocker, but it comes together fabulously.
    Damn, I feel like a flop "Thank U, Next" fan for not knowing there were three different original versions I owe Akini for providing the Q-Tip I needed to properly understand the "her name is Ari" line, and that alone really elevated a song that I already enjoyed quite a lot (when I thought she was referring to some real-life friend named Aubrey/Audrey) It seems like "self-care" is almost always used in jest, dismissed as nothing more than an excuse for laziness/selfishness, but setting aside some time to take care of yourself is seriously important (especially after what Ari's endured these past few years). I love the ways she describes getting back in touch with (and learning to re-appreciate) herself: "how she handles pain, that shit's amazing..." Even before she shifts the focus to herself, this song presents such a commendable approach to reflecting on past relationships. We get so many of the "good riddance! I was always too good for you anyway!"-type breakup anthems, this track is so refreshingly level-headed (while still being empowering too).
    "Pynk" was an example of the relatively-rare phenomenon of a (somewhat) slow-and-steady rise to the top on my chart: 20 - 7 - 4 - *1* (well, at least compared to the usual No. 1 debuts/re-entries) I think that's a fitting illustration of how this song's charms differ from the instant-earworm-appeal of "Make Me Feel." Although you'd been championing Janelle for a while already, she won over a lot of people in a BIG way (myself included) last year. Excited to see her imminent domination in the upper echelons of this countdown!


  2. #27
    cheapthrills's Avatar
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    by » Thu February 28th, 2019, 21:50

    Thanks for commenting, @phoenix98

    A few comments before I post the next batch

    I know Anywhere was more of a 2017 song, but it took awhile to hit me, and I probably wouldn't have given it a chance if it weren't for UKmix enjoying it so much.

    As for the three versions, Ari didn't actually release a different version, but she did mention she created another version without explicitly naming her exes. They didn't go with it though, which thank goodness, the song is so much better with their names! I forget what the other version had that made it different. Incidentally, Thank U Next would have finished at #12 if it's entire run could have been considered.

    And of course, there is more Janelle to come I love that PYNK was #1 for you, and yes, I know climbs to #1 are unusual! Sometimes, I think I should change the way I do my chart because sometimes songs start lower than they really should.

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    crystalphoenix's Avatar
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    by » Fri March 1st, 2019, 18:00

    Quote Originally Posted by cheapthrills View Post
    Sometimes, I think I should change the way I do my chart because sometimes songs start lower than they really should.
    Well, while I'm (unsurprisingly) a fan of a faster pace/higher turnover on charts, one big drawback to the speed of my chart is that people can't follow/root for their favorite songs as they gradually rise and peak, so a more slow-n-steady style can make the experience more fun and engaging for your followers. In the end, though, what matters most is that it reflects/suits you as the chart creator.

    • I think I'm in a pretty small minority for the fact that "Bloom" ultimately
    over-shadowed/out-performed "My My My!" for me. Still, the latter was undoubtedly a very fitting way to kick off that very fabulous era!
    • Although you can't see it, I'm giving your "Americans" commentary a standing ovation It baffles me and breaks my heart that some people see any sort of governmental critique/drive for change as "UN-American" (which is just so absurd in light of that whole Revolutionary War thing) People's infuriating hypocrisy aside, though... "Americans" really hooks you right away, lyrically and melodically. Admittedly, its replay value for me was somewhat hindered by just how hard-hitting/brutally-honest it gets (especially during the spoken word break you mentioned). There aren't many (any?) songs in my library that lay out current real-world atrocities so bluntly. The fact that Janelle can marry moments like that spoken word section with such a light, poppy, toe-tapping ear worm of a chorus is just utterly brilliant.
    • I owe you entirely for introducing me to Empress Of, so thanks again for that! "When I'm With Him" very-narrowly missed out on my Top 50 of 2018 by landing at No. 54.

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    by » Fri March 1st, 2019, 18:46

    @phoenix98, thanks again for commenting

    I don't think that's a minority opinion re: Bloom. I prefer Bloom to My My My now myself. My My My benefited from being the first single, which usually helps because that's when I'm thirstiest for artists I like. Bloom is the better song.

    Thanks for your kind words re: Americans. Americans was the grower of Dirty Computer for me. I was paying attention to some of the other tracks before I circled back to it, and we were in the midst of election season when it made more of an impact for me. It's hard not to feel apprehensive about the future state of affairs, but songs like Janelle's remind me I'm not alone.

    If you hard heard me singing along to Empress Of in the car, you might have placed it much lower of your year-end list.

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    by » Sun March 3rd, 2019, 17:10

    Quote Originally Posted by cheapthrills View Post
    I don't think that's a minority opinion re: Bloom. I prefer Bloom to My My My now myself. My My My benefited from being the first single, which usually helps because that's when I'm thirstiest for artists I like. Bloom is the better song.
    Ah, I'm glad to hear that! I guess I just got that impression after seeing "My My My!" rank higher than "Bloom" on Jake's and Akini's countdowns too, but you make a great point about the lead-single-effect.

    I love that you're willing to highlight material that may be a year or more old, as long as it was "new" to you. I had that experience with older CHVRCHES albums (especially Every Open Eye) last year. The "polka" mention in your write-up piqued my interest, and "Whatchugot" really is a lot of catchy, flirty fun!
    I forgot that "Ocean" had such a strong run on your chart! There seems to be a fair amount of consensus around here regarding Martin's more recent collaborative singles over-shadowing his earlier EDM offerings like "Animals." Granted, "Animals" was the ONLY Martin single I knew before "In The Name Of Love" came along
    Like you mentioned, "Ocean" really lives up to its title with the soothing, cleansing effect it has on listeners. Makes me feel like I'm just gently drifting along on open waters...
    Although I liked NTLTC well enough when it first dropped (and was definitely captivated by the video), I had a suspicion that it might wear off me fairly quickly...instead, its empowering, encouraging message kept me coming back to it time and time again throughout the year. It truly can lift you up when you need it.
    Ha, damn, "The One" really is like a time machine to 2002ish The way she incorporates other numbers into the cliché of "The One" is pretty clever too: "I'm the one, you're chasin' 2, 3, 4, 5..."

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    by » Mon March 4th, 2019, 14:24

    @phoenix98 - Thanks for your comments I'm impressed you checked out the songs that were new for you! I used Whatchugot for FSC, and it did pretty well. Probably one of my favorite discoveries of 2018 - there was a three months were I was obsessed with her. I'm definitely awaiting her next release.

    Ocean did kill it - I forgot it had a strong run too though I was shocked it nearly finished in the top ten (it missed out by five points.) NTLTC was a grower for me as well, even though it got a high debut. It was unfortunately against some of the strongest competition it could have had.

    I wish I could find the studio version of The One on youtube - despite making it to New Music Friday, I can't find anything on it!

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