GoldLink's breakout success is well deserved and I always appreciate when an independent/underground artist can make a bid for mainstream attention with a legitimately good record that doesn't sound outside of their wheelhouse. His sick ass flow sounds just as cool and effortless as ever.
"I don't need you, I found a strength I've never known
I'll bring thunder, I'll bring burn
When I'm finished, they won't even know your name..."
I always love when artists speak directly to their truth in their music and was so glad that Kesha chose this record to use as her comeback song. It's not preachy or buried in metaphors; it's just a simple, raw and honest testimony that feels triumphant, feels restorative, feels like an exhalation that a lot of us needed in 2017.
Now we're flowin' the ceiling so just go with the feeling..."
I love that Joey was able to transition from the 90s era boom-bap flow he was championing and drop such a simple yet effective record that was relevant to the current hip-hop landscape without trying to fit in or sounding like he was trying to be something he's not. Natural evolution is always a good thing.
K. Michelle's songwriting is underrated as she has some of the most creative and animated records in R&B of the last decade. I love a little humor mixed in with the cold hard truth, both in music and in real life, so this was an immediate winner with me.
Aaliyah's presence has been sorely missed in R&B every since we tragically lost her and this was the first record I heard in quite possibly ever that just oozed her essence! It sounds like something she would've recorded without sounding like a poor woman's imitation or even an intentional replication. I already knew Syd was talented thanks to her incredible work with The Internet but this record showed me the depth of her talent as well!
Long as there's a paper with your name on it somewhere
Giving you a piece of what someone might be someday
But you don't believe in anybody anyway..."
This is probably one of the most poetic takedowns of the record business that I've heard! Jillette's lyrics, the simple arrangement and her sincere vocal delivery still mesmerize me every time this one comes on.
Good R&B duets are hard to come by these days so this was an immediate standout on Daniel's album (plus it finally gave me a H.E.R. record that I legitimately liked on first listen). Every now and then, I'm a sucker for an old fashioned love song and this definitely fits the bill.
"Easy" is the perfect way to describe Demetria's record! Easygoing groove with an infectious melody and simple hook that sneaks up on you. All the makings of a perfect R&B song without the trapped-out gimmicks.
Aside from having probably the greatest vocal harmonies out of any genre in 2017, Little Big Town put it to amazing use with one of the best written country songs of the year. The lyric, the music, the vocal all combined perfectly and made me feel every piece of emotion in this record. A future classic for sure.
Toni Braxton's voice is unmatched and her tone instantly soothes my soul no matter what she's singing so any new record of hers was bound to end up on repeat with me. Thankfully, she gave us a classic Toni mid-tempo with a contemporary flavor that only left me wanting to hear even more.
If there was such a thing as a perfect pop song in 2017, this one definitely qualifies with me. Melodrama took some time to grow on me but I was completely enamored with everything about this record after one listen.
31. "Feels" - Calvin Harris feat. Pharrell Williams, Big Sean & Katy Perry
"It ain't what it cost you
It might be a dollar
As long as it shocks you
I was ecstatic that Calvin Harris decided to revert to his earlier, funkier sound for his last album and seamlessly aligning Pharrell, Katy and Sean on such a technicolor groove that proudly bristled against the mainstream pop grain of 2017 gave me all the feels. Yeah, I said it.
"I wanna come up but your kisses are like gluttony
Even though I got a reputation in the company
Baby, you gon' make this
Baby, you gon' make it as the underdog..."
The way Banks juxtaposes hardness and softness in her music time and time again never ceases to thrill me and this slinky bedroom thumper with her soft vocal and sharp lyric is no exception! I yearn for the day she's no longer an underdog in music and her greatness is fully appreciated.
This is one record I stumbled across on that rare day I listened to the radio and its undeniable bass line and hook immediately burned itself on my brain. I'm not sure what Alice is capable of but if she was able to deliver such an insidiously catchy record first time out, I'm keen on finding out.
The idea of sampling Talking Heads' Psycho Killer is pure genius and while I wouldn't have pegged that genius to belong to a Selena Gomez record, her solo streak of certified pop GEMS continued with this one!
Usually when an artist opts to replicate that 70s soul sound on a record, it just makes me want to listen to the real records from back then. However, this record sounds like it was tailor made for Luke during that era (the Janet lyrical reference aside) and just reminded me how much his talent is going to waste! I hope 2018 is a lot more kind to him (and his flawless falsetto).
25. "You Don't Do It for Me Anymore" - Demi Lovato
"Money won't pay for your problems
You gotta fix them yourself
Vices and pity won't solve 'em
Stop feeling bad for yourself..."
Sorry Not Sorry was, is and will always be a JAM but sorry not sorry - this is the record that solidified my membership in the Demetria Lovato Stan Club. The stripped down arrangement, the simple yet direct lyric and the clear and powerful vocal performance all equaled out to be everything Stone Cold wanted to be and succeeded without having to try so hard.
The stripped down arrangement, the simple yet direct lyric and the clear and powerful vocal performance all equaled out to be everything Stone Cold wanted to be and succeeded without having to try so hard.
Yep, nailed the reason why this song was on my list too.
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