Monday, 20 December 2010

Listasaurus: The Top 20 Songs of 2010: 11 - 09

Computer has contracted a virus to end all viruses which has greatly impacted my ability to post on this blog and observe hardcore pornography. Yet, we journey on, in spite of all, we journey on.

11. Lady Gaga Ft. Beyonce - 'Telephone'

"Sometimes I feel like I live in Grand Central Station..."

Lady Gaga really understands the concept of the music single. She understands that singles were once real events. Memorable events that you could map your years and decades by. From a rough count I just conducted in my head I reckon she's head seven in this country now. Seven singles and each one stands as tall as the one that precedes it. It's quite a run and when 'Telephone' was released earlier in the year it was a run that you couldn't really ever see coming to an end.

From a song that starts so sweetly 'Telephone' has a hook so massive and so dirty it sounds like it turned your stereo up on its own. This hook is one of many aspects of this song that play exactly to Gaga's strengths and for me her main virtue is her voice. It's powerful and it works for these massively commercial singles that sell millions yet it still retains a lot of character. Give the tune a listen, she even eats Beyonce off the track and by and large, that isn't too easy to do.

Not a bad video either. 34,668,998 views* can't be wrong.

*and counting. Safely say I'm responsible for the 98.

10. Big Boi Ft. Gucci Mane - 'Shine Blockas'

"All the ladies say 'Hooooeeeee'..."

The second entry on my list that owes a lot to a great, great sample/beat. Here it's a sample of Howard Melvin's 'I Miss You'* that sets 'Shine Blockas' up to be a summer staple for years to come.

It's not a great leap to be reminded of 'International Players Anthem' when listening to this slab of southern magic because all the hallmarks that made that song so colossal are here too. This is a slick tune that just rolls and rolls and get this - even Gucci Mane can't ruin things. I think I've been pretty vocal with my opinions on Gucci but in case you missed them, I'll repeat briefly here. Yeah, I find him really boring. Still, on 'Shine Blockas' he really fits and I can't actually think of another rapper who could take his role here and do something better. For that, I say hats off Gucci Mane, hats off.

*Yes, I had to google it, hater.

And we move into single figures. The excitement is barely containable! This is as exciting as HTML code gets you worms. Show some love.

9. Big K.R.I.T - 'Hometown Hero'

"Not a day off but I'm still Ferris Bueller..."

Big K.R.I.T is the artist that got me more excited than any other this year. He sums up all I love about discovering new music and in this case, what I really dig about the internet too. I'd never heard of BK three months ago. I mean that too, never heard his name or anything about him. Then I started hearing things here and there online. The usual suspects saying that this guy was something special and the fact that Sha Money XL made him a top priority when he took up his Def Jam seat started to pique my interest. I downloaded the cleverly titled 'K.R.I.T Wuz Ere' and was astounded. The mixtape and debut album is as tight as anything I've heard this year in rap aside from Kanye's record and genuinely stands up with any debut I've heard in at least the past five years.

'Hometown Hero' samples Adele's 'Hometown' to great effect. That is, there's touches of it here and there. It's used when it needs to be used in a way that only adds to the song. It really is an ingenious piece of sample selection that does seem to come from way out in left field whilst B.K's vocal sounds like UGK at their most mournful and reflective.

The K.R.I.T stands for King Revealed In Time by the way. On the strength of his debut record and songs like this one, that title might turn out to be a pretty good prophecy come a few years down the line. King revealed.

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