I listen to music, I mean it, I listen to the words the beat and the overall message. I don’t just hear but listen and I’m able to discern what’s good and what isn’t. There are hot songs right now; I listen to those like everybody else seems to be doing. And there are good songs right now, hell the best songs right now. I listen to those too but it appears nobody else does.
If you don’t catch my meaning let me ask you this, it’s not really what is hot right now but it’s the first example that has popped in my head. Danny’s album 10 year, not a great album but at some point was hot, note how I use hot there. There were songs that made the records like “Shishita” and “Could I Be”. Yet the best song on the album is “appreciate you”.
If that’s not good enough let’s look at adele’s album 21, loosely I say her album is the greatest piece of work I haven’t heard in a while but critically it’s not. And here’s why, if you’ve listened to her from the previous album and not just jumped on the adele bandwagon. What’s the best song, no actually what’s the most creative song on the 21 album? “Rolling in the deep”? NO! “Someone like you”? NO! Both songs are good, take nothing away from them or the artist whom, to side-track a little, is the most talented artist to ever come out since Norah Jones. Okay back to the issue, “Rolling in the Deep” is fine but not actually original, listen to “Hometown” on the previous album and you’ll see (or is it hear? listen? Whatever!) “Someone like you” is so close to being the best on the album but try playing “daydreamer” or “one and only” and tell me you don’t realise that’s just about one and the same song. “Take it all” is close too but it’s not the best. Why? The message is sloppy, it has a promising start but then the rest of the song just gets clumsy. Now since I don’t skim through songs but listen I’ll tell you this “if it hadn’t been for love” is the best and most creative song on the album. Perfect lyrics, perfect concept, impeccable voice and beautifully played guitar. Totally brilliant and for those who skim through music you probably don’t even know what the song talks about.
That aside, I’m talking about music here, right now as I write this exactly four minutes after midnight, there’s a song that Massi (I hope I’ve spelled his name right) on Zambia’s radio phoenix played called “My Kinda Cute” by Scarlet. Perhaps not the song that should be at the top of someone’s head as the best song right now, but if you ask me it’s a strong contender for best song of the year. P-Jay is currently the most brilliant artist in Zambia right now by any standard. But is his song with Jane Osborn that good that it should be (for lack of a better phrase) all over the show? And to side-track again, do you remember his album the future and some of the songs that were popular from there? “Piano” was great “Chamene” even better and then “Ndekushinka” and “When I’m Gone”. Honestly guys are you telling me the last two songs I’ve mentioned are better than “He lives in You”? Obviously not, hence my opinion that we don’t listen to music and just skim through…
And for us in Zed it’s even worse, with our love for “Kuchiliza” we just follow what plays at clubs. No wonder when subliminal messages are placed in these songs we don’t even listen, busy dancing and exchanging them on our phones. How many of us even know that Danny talked about Blow jobs in the song “Ukouonka”. If I can ask what is Petersen singing about lately? Sorry, forget him let’s look at Slap Dee.. To me he’s the best guy to ever do it locally hands down. His delivery and rhyme patterns are superb. But have you noticed how his rhymes have slowly gone down. He used to have some clever word play, some powerful references, there were times when you heard him you couldn’t help but cheer. Then just as if to piss you off he goes and rips from some of the best songs of all time to make his song “Angel” or whatever that pitiful song is called. It’s a combination or translation if you like of Toni Braxton’s “how could an angel break my heart” the Game’s “Angel” feat common and South African rapper Proverb’s song “My Versed Love”. Like I said, Slap is the best in the “flow” business but slowly his rhyming is becoming ordinary, particualy in the song “Nomba Ninshi”, he was exceptional in “Ndine Chikali” though.
So what’s the best song in Eminem’s Recovery? “Love the way you lie”? A definite no, but it’s definitely the hottest. “Not afraid”? Almost but no, Not afraid has a wonderful concept and relevant message, maybe one of the reasons he chose it for a first single but no. The best and most creative song on the album has the wonderful beat, well thought out title, perfect rhyme delivery with relatable transitions, good idea and personal message that is both relevant and relatable. And that song is “25 to Life” and if you don’t believe me, if you feel like I’m lying then google some critiques on these songs and you’ll see what I mean.
Anyway, to show my love for music I thought I’d share a top ten list of the songs and albums that have made an impact on my life this year. And in order of importance these are:
My Top 2011 songs
- Stay,,, Tyrese,,,, Open Invitation
- If It Hadn’t Been For Love,,,, Adele,,,, 21
- Womanifesto,,,, Jill Scott,,,, Light of The Sun
- Your Hands,,,, Marsha Ambrosius,,,, Late Nights Early Mornings
- Drive All Night,,,, Joss Stone,,,, LP1
- God Said,,,, Anthony David,,,, As Above So Below
- I’m Your Life, Chrisette Michele,,,, Let Freedom Reign
- Empty Prayers,,,Mary J Blige,,,, My Life II…The Journey Continues (Act 1)
- The Reunion,,,, Bad Meets Evil,,,, Hell The Sequel
- The Believer,,,, Common,,,, The Believer, The Dreamer
My Top 2011 Albums
- Late Nights Early Mornings, Marsha Ambrosius
- 21, Adele
- Back to Love, Anthony Hamilton
- Light Of The Sun, Jill Scott
- LP1, Joss Stone
- My Life II…The Journey Continues (Act 1), Mary J Blige
- Let Freedom Reign, Chrisette Michele
- Chapter 5: Underrated, Syleena Johnson
- Open Invitation, Tyrese
- Hell The Sequel, Bad Meets Evil
Ofcourse there are other albums that have not made the list like Syleena Johnson’s Chapter5:Underrated Kevon Edmonds “Who Knew”, and Musiq Soulchild’s “Musiq in The Magiq”. And going into a new year in a couple of days, I’m not too sure what to expect from the music industry. More so I wonder whether I will listen or skim through it..
(My Intellect is Loud And Noisy-MILAN)