When set to the task of writing my favorite songs, I felt helpless; how can I pick only 10 songs when I Love thousands on my iPod? My solution: I set my iTunes on random and skipped through songs until the song I landed on made me stop in my tracks and listen completely. These songs always seem to send a chill down my spine and fill me up with deep memories. These are my favorite songs now and forever, and although the list is quite Eclectic, I hope you enjoy it.
1. Boyz II Men | Vibin'
This is from the very first album I ever owned – I had a gift certificate to Blockbuster Music back in 1994/1995 and wanted to either buy Boyz II Men's II or Mariah Carey’s Daydream. This album blew me away with it’s smooth New Jack Swing Beats, Harmonic Melodies, and Funky 90s Grooves. The feeling from this song automatically calms all my anxieties and puts me into a Nostalgic trace. I Love the timbre of the Bass and the way it walks up and down in a strong but laid-back fashion. The folks in this Boy Band R&B Group really compliment each other as all elements of a well-Poduced song are present – Highs, Mids, and Lows are all perfectly arranged. Listening to it, I seriously think this album cemented my initial Musical Ear – I learned so much from the Rhythms and Melodies as I listened to this on my CD Player on repeat from the 4th Grade onwards. This song gives to the listener more than it takes; it’s very Therapeutic.
2. Sade | The Sweetest Taboo
Unreal. That’s all I can say about Sade. Like the Boyz II Men song Vibin', this song gives so much and leaves you full. This is truly a Testament to what I search for in Music: Vibes that change Attitude and take you Elsewhere. This lush song takes Smokey Robinson’s initial Quiet Storm / R&B Smooth Bliss Genre and Jazzes it up to the Max with the sultry Voice of Adu. It might be just because I’m from Seattle, but this song reminds me of a deeply Meditative day involving Rain gazing and incense burning. Nothing is better, this is Paradise and you have eaten from the most Seductive Fruit.
3. Janet Jackson | That’s The Way Love Goes
What do you need to know about being Confident and Smooth that you cannot learn from this song? Subtle Jazz Rhythm Guitars with beautiful Octave Sliding, a hard Snare Beat that draws out the Swing on the fourth Beat, a High Square Lead that pulls you through, and Janet’s oh-so-Soft Voice that makes you feel like she’s sharing a very special moment with you. The Progression in this song does take you there as the Bass sets up a perfect Midnight-Driving song. Like a moth to a flame burned by the fire… Need I say more?
4. Madonna | La Isla Bonita
True Blue is one of the best 80s Pop albums, hands down. It takes the listener through ~so~ many Pop Levels with driving Bass Synths, 50s Harmonies, and… In La Isla Bonita especially, a journey down South. Tropical the Island Breeze, the Lyrics sing a song of a Spanish Lullaby of Escape. The Spanish Guitar takes and seduces you into a Samba. You are Wild, you are Free, you are Young; it is Summer, it is Night, it is Bliss; No Worries, No Pain, Only Play.
5. Oneohtrix Point Never | Chrome Country
This song washes, washes, and washes. What it gives to me is Purity and Clarity. Probably one of the most beautiful songs of 2013, this Lopatin piece hits me in the most Spiritual and Deep Places. A Children’s Choir becomes Digitally Faded, Synth Chord Textures that wash over you, Panning which massages your Cognition, and High Synth Leads seem reminiscent of Donkey Kong Country’s Water Level. It’s incredible that his album has hardly any Drumbeats, if any at all. The final and highly surprising Organ piece empowers me to go to Church. Not a Church of Dogma for Correction, but the Inner Heart of Every Soul Church that Unifies, this is it; the Holy Angelic Song Dances Within.
6. The Cure | Lullaby
I spy… Something… Chilllllls. Perfectly timed Synth Fades In, High Plucking, Bass Hesitations Thumping, and Whispers. This is Bliss. This song, similarly to Lopatin’s, leaves a lot of Space. This is something I need to work on in my Music more. Let Simplicity speak and empower the tracks that need to be heard the most. I remember hearing that after Tammi Terrell died, Marvin Gaye went into Isolation and mournfully recorded What’s Going On; he realized that he needed to sign Softer and Do Less Than Before, and Realized Less Was More. He was Right; this album was his most Powerful and Utilized Space to Emphasize Emotion.
7. Slowdive | Machine Gun
Shoegazingly Beautiful Dreamy Pop. This song is perfect for an Autumnal Evening on top of Capitol Hill in Seattle; a walk through Volunteer Park as leaves fall and Gothic Atmospheres tickle your Crown Chakra. Longing. Self-Actualizing and Longing More. Crying in your hands and being Emo before it even existed. I related to this sort of Music more in College when I didn’t realize my privilege and before the Recession hit in, but it still draws me into its Ethos. This song takes more than it gives; it drags you down, but in a good way. I feel like this Music is Popular with wealthier kids because they have time to want to be robbed of self. While the other songs on this list give to those who need, this song takes from those who have. It works, the High Melodies are Haunting, and it feels right.
8. 2Pac | Temptations
From one of his best albums, Me Against The World, the song Temptations brings me directly into the circle of Shakur’s inner demons. The juxtaposition of the Calm Synths with the Heavy Bass and Beat capture this Artist’s inherent Duality. Without this song, Kendrick’s album, Good Kid, M.A.D.D. City probably wouldn’t be possible. The Strife and Grief of Urban American Conflict, the Turmoil Within, and the Lack of External Support combine to create a Perpetual Concrete Prison. This is America’s much growing underbelly, and it’s insane to think that these issues haven’t been ameliorated, but rather, been deteriorated. If 2Pac were still alive, he’d be spitting verbally even harder about the situation. The greatest Musical Attribute that 2Pac carries is his Honesty and Welcoming Relatable Ethic. It’s the reason why for me, as a White teen, I understood and Loved his Music. I had all of his albums and his poster on my room, but I didn’t live in his situation at all. It’s because of his Music that made his situation understandable and approachable that I empathized and comprehended; this was the Power of his Art and his Greatest Legacy.
9. きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ | Drinker
Really, both Kyary’s albums should be on this list. Yasutaka Nakata is such an amazing Producer and takes the mere Kawaii idea Ethic what’s expected. This Music is serious ear candy, is Super-Reminiscent of the best moments of Childhood, and guaranteed to send the willing listener into Eternal Happiness. Amazing Synth Textures, Soulful Sounds, Bass Drives, everything is Leveled and Equalized perfectly—this Music is as flawless as a dream down Rainbow Road. It takes the best from Maximalist tendencies and couples this with a Musical Progression that keeps the listener interested all the way through. I may be Otaku for including this on my list, but I could care less. Love! Live, and Be Free to Eat Candy, Ice Cream, and Be Cute.
10. Prince | Pink Cashmere
Ooo! Here I go again… Prince, in my humble opinion, is the Most Underrated Artist of the Past 30 Years. His Compositions, Progressions, Vocal Range, Instrumentation that he does all himself, and Breadth of Musical Knowledge makes him beyond one of my favorite Musicians as he embodies the experience of a Post-Civil Rights African-American like no other Artist. He combines James Brown Soulful Funk with Bowie Glam Rock with New Order New Wavey Synths. He bridges White and Black Music wonderfully in a time of American History where communities were re-segregating: the horrid Reagan 80s. This song is one of his Most Smooth and Sexy Songs Ever Written, the Orchestral Flares are gorgeous, and the Space breathes New Life into the piece every time I play it. The Guitar Solo is unmatched. I cannot say more, but… Awe.