Adventures In 2009: Top 30 Songs [#30-21]

Thursday, December 17, 2009



And we continue...the first installment of some of my favorite tunes n' grooves from 2009.

30. Parallel  Lines - Joss Stone ft. Jeff Beck and Sheila E.
And...this won't get released, because everybody likes it when Joss Stone does all that vintage Aretha soul rehash. In honesty, this is probably Joss' best tune because she wades in dirty dishwater Blues and let's her inner Janis Joplin come up for air. Sure, Joss is a little softer around the edges, almost like a Snuggle Bear compared to Janis, but it's the most rambunctious cut off of this year's Colour Me Free, and it shows Joss at her finest. When Jeff Beck rips into his guitar solos, Joss takes the Goody hair tie out of her hair and lets it all hang out and its delightful.  

29. Beautiful - Jaguar Wright 
An ode to taking love slow and not rushing the good thangs..., you know what good thangs I'm talking about, we're grown....In seriousness, we need a song like this, and thankfully Jaguar Wright gives us all a lesson in romancing with this gem. This song kind of plopped into my lap and I instantly liked it due to its back-to-basics R&B mentality. It almost feels like a song from the 90's due to its sincere and loving approach, because you know everyone is too "edgy" in this day and age to fall in love. Jaguar has the perfect antidote for those who still are feeling the love. 


28. Mowgli's Road - Marina & The Diamonds
Whoops and howls invade on this punchy little quirk fest that shows Marina at her most lyrically and musically creative. She had me at the line: "Ten silver spoons coming after me" and from there this drum march infused with tribal thumps bops on in. The underlying message of this song is about finding your way without having financial support, which is quite a heavy theme for such a persistent pop of a song. Though Family Jewels, Marina's debut album, isn't due till next year, this song proves that its going to be an album not to miss.

 

27. A Strange Arrangement - Mayer Hawthorne
DJ-turned crooner, Mayer Hawthorne crafted a song that is delicate and recalls sweet honey dripping 70's Soul. I was instantly reminded of Tower of Power's classic, "You're Still A Young Man", in some sense. It has that kind of lazy afternoon mood that is relaxing and melodic. Peppered with soft brass and harmonic vocals, the title track to Mayer's first go-round is quite charming, like a dapper dressed man handing you a rose and offering you dinner. 

At first, I had pegged "Shark In The Water" as the top track for the curled banged and polka-dot wearing VV, yet once the zippy "Everybody" entered my life, well, "Shark In The Water" was kicked down to 2nd place. Off of VV's debut, Traveling Like The Light, "Everybody" kicks off into a shuffling and scuttiling percussion and hand clap jam session. Almost as if the 1960's girl group sound has been updated for 21st Century ears. Infectious to the max.

Everybody and their mama likes "Daniel". I do too. Just that I liked this song a teeny-bit better because of its icy mystique. The music itself feels cold, distant, out of body, and of course, like you're defying gravity and are just suspended in a dark abyss. Natasha Khan's vocals spookily echo over a persistent percussive beat and instantly you feel something creepy emerge. And we all like creepy don't we? Off of the ambitious, Two Suns, "Pearl's Dream" gets a vote for being one of those unexpected tracks with throbbing electronic effects that comes at you from all sides and hypnotizes you.       


24. Start A War - Colin Munroe
Colin Munroe may be more well known for his production work, but he managed to create a song especially for him this year, and one that is a great little uptempo. I like how this song just kind of bursts out of nowhere right from the strident synth opening. In fact this song is just so unexpected, that it makes me love it even more. I have a penchant for spunky n' funky synth numbers just because I like that overtake of sounds, and this song cements my love for keyboards further. Even though it features a bit of auto-tune, its done so sparingly that you can barely get agitated with it. Still waiting on the version where he partners up with Melanie Fiona for a duet, or so rumor says.
 

23. It Kills Me - Melanie Fiona
Speaking of Miss Fiona...at the beginning of 2009 I welcomed Melanie Fiona into my music library on the strength of her debut single, "Give It To Me Right", but she didn't get top shelf treatment till she unleashed this little powerhouse of a torch song. Robust vocal delivery and blistering brass n' percussion production lace over this stunning track off of the Canadian vocalist's debut, The Bridge. The tone of it is explosive as Fiona puts heart on sleeve and in an instant you feel her romantic tug of war.


22. 4evermore - Anthony David ft. Algebra Blessett and Phonte
What happens when you get three talents together on one song? You get one grand track, duh. This song is what you call a no brainer. You have Anthony David harmonizing with Algebra Blessett about staying true in love and then you have Phonte adding in some rhymes, then you coat it over a lushious classic soul backdrop and the end product is one of the best collaborative efforts this year, as every element in this song comes together so divinely. The anticipation for Mr. Acey Ducey's As Above, So Below has been heightened. 2010 come quick!

21. Back To The Start - Lily Allen
Miss Allen may like to eat sour grapes, walk around topless, and announce retirement more times than any senior citizen I know, but she manages to create songs that you don't want to like, but end up having some sort of affection for. Even songs with titles like "Fuck You" and themes based on druggie little brothers and un-fuctioning male body parts, you can't help but say, "that melody is damn catchy". It's Not Me, It's You was a little spotty for me, but it is to be expected as its Allen's second set but as always their is a standout gem. Beginning with a ping-pong effect of synths, "Back To The Start" surges into a frantic pace and never let's up. Shame it didn't get a single release, because it's boss.

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