Of the most popular “end of the year” lists, music lists always seem to be the most hotly debated. They’re extremely subjective to a critic’s ear, taste and just how horrible those two things often are (This is one of the worst lists I’ve ever seen).
Same can be said with my selections. So I’m not even going to try to come up with some whacked-out ordered list. No, I’m just going to name the songs I’m certain will stick with me past 2009 because they’ve stuck with me through 2009. For example, when I think of 2007, one of the first songs that comes to mind is Jay-Z’s “Dig A Hole.” I remember the first time I heard it, and immediately found it to be one of my fav songs of that year.
The first time I heard each of these tracks, it gripped me or immediately had me bobbing my head — be it the beat or the lyrics.
1. Maxwell’s “Pretty Wings”: I think every Maxwell fan/stan heard the first 30 seconds of this song two years ago. But when it dropped in 09 and people fully grasped what he was talking about, it moved some people. It gave some guys an easy out of relationships, as they followed Maxwell’s guide to the best way to let a girl down — by making her levitate. Or something like that. A great song and good to have dude back on the music scene after an 8-year hiatus.
2. Melanie Fiona’s “It Kills Me”: Her voice has heaven in it and this song is proof. Yeah, the songs about infidelity, but it’s probably the coldest track on her album, and a true story for some…
3. Anthony Hamilton’s “Her Heart”: My best friend Q heard this album early and kept telling me about this song, and sure enough, when I heard it, I understood why she was trying to push it on me. It’s a powerful ballad, probably the one Tiger needs to play for Elin. (Aside: Every time I’ve heard a relationship-type song the last week or so, I’ve tried to apply it to Tiger — like the Fiona song above. Sad/wrong I know. The best one I’ve come up with is Ruben Studdard’s “Sorry for 2004.”)
4. Drake’s “Successful”: It’s by far the best thing that Drake’s done yet. I was lukewarm concerning him until I heard the first verse on this song. The beat is eerie, but that’s a good thing. Too bad his buzz has kind of keeled over. He wanted you to thank him later.
5. Kid Cudi’s “Make Her Say”: Yeah, it’s a rip on Lady Gaga’s Poker Face. But I bugged up the first time I heard it because of how Cudi, Kanye and Common spun it. And Common’s verse on this song is absolutely classic.
6. Jason Mraz’s “A Beautiful Mess”: Mraz is a true wordsmith, and I’m a little upset that I didn’t stumble upon his work until this year. But this is by far my favorite song of his, a vivid description of a woman who has him conflicted.
7. The Fray’s “You Found Me”: This is that 2009 song that you’ve heard as background music for several television shows in 09. Lost, American Idol, One Tree Hill & The Real World have all used it. And though I watched none of those shows with any frequency, I know I heard this song on television flipping the channels. It’s a good one.
8. Young Jeezy’s “Rumor Has It”: Not sure it’s an 09 track, but the first time I heard it was in 09. It’s a Neptunes’ beat and Pharrell blesses the track with his vocals. That says a lot. But if you listen to the first 8 bars of this song and don’t bob your head I’ll refuse to believe that you have a soul. #endofstory (Oh, I still don’t care that much for Jeezy’s flow, but he was perfect for this track.)
What are yours?