2009 in Song

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?

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20 responses to “2009 in Song

  1. The sad thing is that not too many songs from 2009 stick out in my mind. I even checked my “top 25 songs played” on my itunes and none of them are songs from 2009…..

    I do agree that the Melanie Fiona track is excellent, I love her entire album.

    • I have the same problem Tam. That or the songs are leaks and technically aren’t 09 songs.

      Lemme think on it, but I co-sign Maxwell.

    • @tam: I agree with your problem. That’s one of the reason I tried to avoid an ordered list. I find that I like, listen to and discover old music… and you’re right, Melanie Fiona album is on point. I actually put it on repeat one Sunday night and listened to it three or four times without skipping anything.

  2. Jay-Z “Venus vs. Mars” – At first I hated it, the Timb beat was straight kaka. However, upon further review, Jay was spittin straight fiyah.

    Throw It in the Bag (Remix) – Drake & Fab came correct but the beat is what really did it.

    The whole No Ceilings Mixtape – Lil’ Wayne really doesnt rap about much but he’s really good at similies, metaphors and analogies

    Gucci! – BUrr, Well Damn,

  3. Hey, y’all.

    @damon: Good list. I definitely agree w/ “Pretty Wings”, “A Beautiful Mess”, Melanie Fiona (I agree w/@Tam about her entire album being really good) & Make Her Say. I remember when I first heard “Make Her Say” (when it was still being called Poke Her Face). I thought then that it would have some lasting power.

    I’d also add:

    Anthony Hamilton’s “Point Of It All” & “Cool”. I love his music. “Her Heart” is a great one but you already listed that one. 😉

    Chrisette Michele’s “Epiphany”

    Michael Jackson’s “This Is It”

    Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” (although i’m tired of hearing it)

  4. I would also add that Kings of Leon song “Use Somebody” I swear it plays in every airport, retail store, casino, sporting event

    Same w/ the Black Eye Peas “I gotta feeling”

    Ditto to some of the above.

    *Disclaimer: Not claiming to like these songs, just some songs that have been played extensively this year.

    • @Oates: I agree about the BEP’s “I Gotta Feeling”. I think it really caught on when Oprah used it for her season opener & was surprised by the crowd’s dance.

    • @oates: “Use Somebody” almost made the cut. It’s a great song, and that’s a great band that I don’t listen to that enough.

  5. @Damon, you already know what I feel about “Pretty Wings”…*rolls eyes*

    I appreciate Jasmine Sullivan’s contributions this year, and Chrisette Michele’s.

    Anthony Hamilton definitely gets a standing o from me this year…but then again, he always does well.

    I agree with yoiur #4 and #5 picks. I don’t know that they’ll be in my playlist this time next year, but for now, they can stay….along side my most recent ninja pick…”on my momma, on my hood….”

    😉

  6. Melonie Fiona’s voice irritates me sometimes. And I’ve heard people that sound like her before, so her sound isn’t that refreshing to me. I have to admit that that song is growing on me, though.

  7. I 2nd “Point of it All” by A Hamilton.

  8. Michael-“This is It”
    KRS and Buckshot-“Robot”
    JJ Brown and Eternia-“Gender Bender”
    Jay-Z “Thank You”

  9. I’m not even a Anthony Hamilton fan, but I can’t get enough of “The Point of it All.” Also, I like “Pretty Wings,” but “Bad Habits” is far, far better. And “It Kills Me” had to grow on me at first because the arrangement of the song was so wonky that it was hard to catch the melody. But those lyrics cut like a knife.

    I’ll go ahead and add “Poker Face” by Lady GaGa. Say what you will, but this song is ridiculously catchy.

  10. 1. John Mayer’s “Friends, Lovers, or Nothing” and the entire “Battle Studies” CD

    2. Drake’s “Forever”: Only for the Kanye and Eminem additions.

    3. Kid Cudi’s “Soundtrack 2 My Life”

    4. Lupe Fiasco’s “Solar Midnite”

    5. Owl City’s “Fireflies”: Real catchy song,

  11. 1) Maxwell – Pretty Wings
    2) Anthony Hamilton – Point Of It All
    3) The Dream – Rockin That Sh**
    4)Mayer Hawthorne – Maybe So, Maybe No
    5) Raheem DeVaughn – Bulletproof ( ft Ludacris)
    6) Rick Ross – Magnificent (Feat. John Legend)
    7) Trey Songz & Drake – Successful
    8) Kid Cudi – Mr Solo Dolo
    9) Mos Def – Quiet Dog
    10) Jay-Z – Brooklyn Go Hard (ft. Santologold

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