Adventures In 2012: Top 30 Songs [#20-11]

Friday, December 28, 2012


In the middle of the merry melodies of 2012....so here are numbers 20 through 11....



20. Happiness - Sam Sparro
Now if the jingle-jangle piano intro doesn't perk you up with immediacy, then you are pretty much a soulless monster who probably eats nails, puppies, and babies for breakfast. Okay, that's was way harsh Tai, but the song is called "Happiness" for crying out loud, and it pretty much forces you to smile like you mean it, if Sparro's spry groove-a-thon backing doesn't snatch you first. Paying homage to the Euro-House vivacity of the 90's, "Happiness" was the perfect first single to re-enter Sam Sparro back into the fold of electric soul, and make way from him to take us to a funky 'paradise' for the remainder of the year. [Stream]


19. So Irate - Delilah
The build-up of "So Irate" is what makes this song such a provocative and elusive piece. Thumping along quietly on tribal-esque percussion, Delilah climbs each peg as the song progresses into zig-zags of percussion and guitar, and where the singer herself heightens the anticipation and irk she has for her tardy lover in her arresting vocal delivery. As other soul stirs occupy her debut, From The Roots Up, "So Irate" is (to me) the prime hookable moment. [Stream]


18. Fire We Make - Alicia Keys (feat. Maxwell)
Coercing Maxwell out of music dormancy is cause for applause, but Alicia Keys deserves a standing ovation for pairing up with him and setting things ablaze on the steamy, "Fire We Make". Sure Maxwell upstages Keys (as do a lot of her duet partners) to certain degrees, but if there is one spotlight moment on here that makes you scroll back for a second, third, okay, fourth listen, it is this tantalizing treasure trove of soul here. [Stream]


17. Skyfall - Adele
Without lifting a finger, Adele dominated 2012. Okay sure, she worked her tail off last year to get to where she is right now, but the sales for her soon-to-be-classic album 21 continued to climb well into this year, not even slowing down a pat, and least we forget all those glided Grammy wins? Still, Adele wasn't quite done making us all feel like underachievers, as she probably thought (while taking a swig of vodka), that doing a Bond theme song would sail her right over the top...and boy, did it. Named after its prospective James Bond film, "Skyfall" down right majestic. Extremely majestic as it brings in dramatic flair a la Shirley Bassey, who pretty much set the bar for future Bond theme songs. With blazing vocal agility, Adele, naturally, raises her own bar, giving this generation a Bond song to dub its very own. [Stream/View]


16. Move Love - Robert Glasper Experiment (feat. KING)
"Move Love" was probably the first song that I heard at the kick start of this year, and it gave me inkling that the year of 20-12 was going to be one for the song --- and so right I was. Gladly I welcomed in the new year (and close it out) with praise for this plush piano meditative that features those sophisticated ladies known as KING. [Stream]


15. Mama Told Me - Big Boi (feat. Kelly Rowland/Little Dragon)
Indecisive I can be, yet when it came down to "Mama Told Me", the synth-ly delight from Big Boi, I petered out on having a showdown High Noon style when it came down to who sang the refrain better: Kelly Rowland or Little Dragon's Yukimi Nagano. To be real, there isn't much difference in the song when either or are present, except if you want a more R&B feel then Rowland's your girl, or if you're feeling like a hip earthy soulster, then Yukimi has you covered. Still whatever the mood and whoever is riding it, "Mama Told Me" still is a wicked little tune. [Stream/View]


14. Everything Is Expensive - Esthero
While I was none too pleased with Everything Is Expensive as a whole record (and apparently Esthero wasn't none too pleased with my review considering she "called me out" on Twitter...Hoorah! for being noticed and pissing off my favorite singers!), the sophisticated title track about the excess and strife of the Recession Era's les miserables was indeed one of my favorite moments on it. 'Socially conscious Esthero' is great Esthero, and she's in her element as she dishes out about the "haves and have nots" on this dreamy soulful meditation.


13. Hot Knife - Fiona Apple
I have come to grips that no Fiona Apple album will beat, 1999's When The Pawn... Puckered-up ass kissing critics and die-hard Apple pickers will try to tell me otherwise as they wax adoration for the singer's return after an almost seven-year hiatus on The Idler Wheel --- but the album just didn't do it for me. Now how's this for a nag....a real ironic twist....as the last song, the song that I trudged through eight songs to get to happens to be of such utter brilliance that it makes me fussy that it was negated to such a status. The sparse jazz workout of "Hot Knife" is that glitter of goodness that has all the witticism, imagery, and charm of what Apple is known to build whole albums around --- all packed into one delish moment. Where is a biscuit, cause I need to sop this one up. [Stream]


12. Love Spent - Madonna
Madonna can craft a damn good break-up song. No secret about it. She's great at it. Even when the lyrical matter is deemed somber, Madonna knows that taking things to the dance floor is the best place to sort out ones relationship woes. Heck, she's been doing it for years. As Like A Prayer had "'Till Death Do Us Part", MDNA possesses the William Orbit crafted "Love Spent" and its an elating rush of synths that sprint at 100 meters as Madonna spits out verbal jabs towards the disillusion of her marriage, leading one to believe monetary gains and losses were at play. Oh, so dramatic, oh so Lifetime movie-esque and, oh so stunning. [Stream]


11. Sunset - Compuphonic (feat. Marques Toliver)
Kept hush-hush this year was the reemergence of House, and all the sum of its parts. Belgian producer, Compuphonic rekindles Euro-House magic on "Sunset", a bewitching track that features the lovely Marques Toliver, whom softens up the hypnotic beat the song rides so wistfully on. [Stream]

1 comment:

  1. Just THANK YOU...for promoting real quality music :)

    ReplyDelete

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