I write about culture from a pro-Black perspective

Best Songs of 2013

For the third year in a row, I felt like this was a better year for individual songs and singles than it was for albums. I suppose it makes a certain kind of sense in a digital era that the industry has returned its focus to singles, rather than albums. But it continues to make for a very frustrating listening experience.

This is not to diminish the great work that I’m about to highlight. It is incredibly difficult to make a great song. Can’t forget that just because most artists today are unconcerned with making complete album experiences.

So without further ado, hit that jump for the 15 songs that I consider the very best songs that I heard in 2013

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Posted on December 30th, 2013 - Filed under Best of 2013,Music
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Dawn Richard’s ‘S.M.F.U.’ Is Shockingly Derivative

It is really hard to get excited for a Dawn Richard album – even though I have been a fan for awhile – when she’s basically ripping off Brandy during her Afrodisiac era.

I mean this:



is pretty much this song:



Sure, Dawn Richard and Brandy have similar tones, but the similarities in songwriting and vocal production is disturbing.  I mean does “S.M.F.U.” sample Coldplay’s “Clocks” too?

I have no doubt she can do better than this, but this is not a good look. At all.

Posted on January 5th, 2012 - Filed under Music
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Dawn Richard – ‘Me, Myself & Y’

It is a little weird that we are now using Auto-Tune and other tools, once used to correct pitch and make non-singers into quasi-singers, as a sound effect to make a good singer sound like she can't sing:



I'm sure there is a melody in here somewhere but I damn sure can't find it in the mechanized noise that passes for Dawn's voice. Worse – the production, some weird rock-tinged dance/pop concoction, is just cacophony.

Dawn Richard has a pretty voice and I get that this historical moment doesn't much care for pretty voices unless they are big, dramatic power ballady voices. But this is unimaginably, heartbreakingly bad.


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Posted on February 1st, 2011 - Filed under Music
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