It’s time to put 2005 to rest and focus on this year’s musical goodness, which is already off and running. We’ve dropped the albums, now it’s time for the singles.
My rule: no more than two from each artist or group, which makes it more challenging but eliminates the chance of putting most of the tracks of a CD on the list.
50 – Rich Medina – Happiness. From Connecting The Dots, a CD that definitely touched on many styles. The spoken word of this song appealed to me.
49 – Kanye West – Bring Me Down (Feat. Brandy). Brandy and Kanye already have that hip-hop/appeal. It’s about the orchestration and Brandy’s inspirational vocals. I almost feel like I’m in church listening to this cut.
48 – Amerie – All I Need. Yeah, One Thing was a great track, but for some reason, it didn’t hit me as hard as it hit everyone else (the video, now, is a different story – but I digress). All I Need did. The sampling and the vocal structure are cool, but it’s all about the percussion, which refuses to keep the track in straight 4/4 time. I love it.
47 – Middle Child – What If. Take a free form conversation and sing it. Now set it to a good beat. That’s what Middle Child and J. Rawls did. Good stuff.
46 – Raul Midon – State Of Mind. I’ve heard that Raul is phenomenal in concert. If it’s as good, or even better than this, then I’d expect sold-out shows everywhere.
45 – Carleen Anderson – All In My Mind. I’m a huge Carleen fan, so her singing in the style she’s been giving us for years, along with horns, bass keys, and high-hats in the background make me smile. The epilogue is a nice plus.
44 – Dangerdoom – Benzie Box Featuring Cee-Lo. "When it comes to poetry he’s got plenty, la la la……" Dodgrlvr and Nastybastard can understand why I love this track. It’s all about the flow, man.
43 – Deep Thinkers – Movin’ On. This track, from Necks Move, provides beats, as you would expect, but it’s all about the scratching and the fade out, fading back in for a rhyme-response in the middle, and back to the scratch. We don’t hear that often. Maybe we should. Shout outs to Datura on this CD.
42 – The Plant Life – When She Smiles (She Lights The Sky). How can a track where the singing is off key sticks in my head? It’s all about the bravado. It helps with the arrangement in the background. The album The Return of Jack Splash should be entitled The Return of Cheesy, Fun Music, however.
41 – Darien Brockington – Steppin’ Out. It’s a rather simple track, and Darien is doing the vocals, so of course it’s a good track. Now, just think what would happen if they took the lead vocals out, and were just left with the background vocals and the beats in? The instrumental would still be in this countdown. You might catch me with my head nodding to this track.
40 – Big Pooh – Every Block (f/ Phonte). My favorite cut from Sleepers. "We put it down for our peeps goin’ at it hard / On every block, every corner, every boulevard." Nuff said.
39 – Leela James – Don’t Speak. Take that, No Doubt. She does a remake that made me and Lissa pause. She even has a video, too. Get on down, Leela..
38 – Sy Smith – Turnstyles. "Run for miles/hop turnstyles." I’m a sucker for a laid back track that I can sing to.
37 – Jiva – Free Falling. I saw Jiva perform this track live, which is when I became a fan. From Sun & Moon.
36 – randevyn – Dear Farah. Slightly bitter are the lyrics. Pay close attention to the background vocal arrangements. The crescendos and decrescendos amplify this track. How often do you hear vocals like this? Shout out to randyvyn.
35 – Jamiroquai – Talulah. Dynamite has a mixed reviews with me, which is why it didn’t make my countdown. Talulah, however, is a solid cut, much as you would expect from Jay. "Stop that plane/turn it around…"
34 – Beady Belle – Irony. My favorite cut from Closer, starting out with Marius’ bass, and with the organ and percussion, builds up into an very inspiring tune. It is the beauty of Irony.
33 – Lisa Shaw – Grown Apart. Eric Stamile and Jay Denes team up with Lisa on Cherry, and this cut stood out. What we would definitely expect from Naked Music.
32 – Lina – Run To Me. From Inner Beauty Movement. It’s smooth, and as I’ve said, after 4 years, it’s the track that initially stood out for me. One of my feel-good tracks.
31 – Blackalicious – Automatique. This track, off of The Craft, this is the one that I played the most. I rocked it just like KB did. Love it.
30 – Carleen Anderson – My Door is Open. This cut is a straight up jam. Real insruments all the way across, including a dynamic horn section. She’s got the vocal range that never, ever let go. Don’t sleep. From Soul Providence.
29 – Mariah Carey – I Wish I Knew. One of the cuts from the solid CD The Emancipation of Mimi. James Wright from Flytetyme graces this track.
28 – Incognito – Baby It’s Alright. A simple track, very common of Incognito, and believe me, that’s not a bad thing at all. One of the most played off the album Eleven.
27 – Yam Who? – Star Of The Story. I’ve become seriously caught up in the wave that is Yam Who? in part to this cut. Now, the Star Of The Story remake is something I would normally frown upon (don’t dare touch a classic), but they manage to keep much of the original arrangement and don’t stray away from it. I’m sure Del would disagree, and I definitely understand his viewpoint.
26 – Little Brother – Lovin’ It ft. Joe Scudda. I didn’t want to like this track. But 9th Wonder and Little Brother added Joe Scudda and then decided they wanted to haunt me with The Stylistics sample. I’m a sucka for that kind of thing.
Stay tuned for the second half.