Like last year, I didn’t think 2012 was a strong year for albums. But there were a good number of individual songs that I loved this year.
Here are the first 10 after the jump.
I hadn’t been able to articulate why R. Kelly’s two-album retro excursion, which has culminated in the just-released (and very lovely) Write Me Back, is superior in every. single. way. to Raphael Saadiq’s similar two-album experiment.
Until I saw the video for R.’s latest single, “Feelin Single.”
Novel drops another of his dope love songs:
I like how the song is structured more like rumination, rather than building to something more insistent. It’s like Novel is trying to convey clarity, rather than raw passion. There’s power there. You know the passion’s there, but the key lyric – “cause baby you belong by my side” – indicates something deeper than lust or love. Something like companionship.
Yet one more reason why Tyrese should give up books, movies, and Twitter.
I actually admire Tyrese a lot for making this the lead single from his upcoming album. This is not the kind of song that fits anywhere on the radio right now.
I love the retro Al Green feel to this. It even sounds like it was recorded with the background vocalists in the same room with Tyrese. There's a chemistry to the interplay between the lead and the backgrounds that I don't think you can really manufacture in the usual way. The imperfect mix of the backgrounds I think actually makes it sound even more retro than it might have otherwise.
If there were any justice, this will be a hit.
The most enjoyable thing about Jill Scott’s evolution is watching her become increasingly comfortable showing how much she revels in being a beautiful woman.
I didn’t really care for her first studio album and much of her second – too much coffeehouse pretension and abstraction in the lyrics for my tastes – because I felt on those early records that she was writing songs that she thought fit the image of her (mother soul goddess) rather than songs that let us connect with the woman behind the image. And that wasn’t all that interesting to me. To have all that voice and just sing about generic sentiment seemed a waste.