Best Of 2018: Songs Through May
Crazy, Classic, Life – Janelle Monae – Yes, folks, Janelle got best song and, though you haven’t read it yet, best album of the year. I behold these truths to be self-evident, this is the great theme song for everyone, we all have a stake, we all want it, need it and deserve it, and it is so great, so catchy, that hook is world class. This is the yje ISA in all its glory:
We don’t need another ruler
All of my friends are kings
I’m not American’s nightmare
I’m the American dream
Just let me live my life
I took out the Oh-oh’s here but they are there, believe me
Opening Act (The Shooby Dooby Song) – Bahamas – That shuffle intro is a thing of beauty and the song itself stands head and shoulders above anything else on the album, and the album is great, but this song? The “shooby dooby” hook is money in the band, the rhythm section, Pino Palladino and James Gadson, have the confidence to let Afie Jurvanen be a smooth and warm funkiness on this addictive track.
Loudest MF – Yellow Claw, Bok Nero – The clearest slice of pure sound agro.
Duck Duck Goose – cupcakKe – This is a dirty little nursery rhyme of completely addictive proportions by a modern down Millie Jackson: “I can make your dick stand up like statue of liberty one long sweet fuck…” Yup.
Bikini – Caroline Rose – It revs up like a rocker and seems to float in a netherworld swinging sixties with a gogo dancer being put in a little bikini while the world invents the martini and the band roars off.
Poke It Out – Playboy Carti, Nicki Minaj – Did you see Carti on SNL with Nicki? Superstar power and this song is a big deal, even if sales didn’t prove it.
All On Me – Devin Dawson – Devin may have just gotten lucky with this terrific slice of county pop but it has a tune to kill for a terrific and clever lyric
Normal – Sasha Sloan – This is the sort of indie girl stuff Angel and Julien perform only as covered by Camila, which makes sense because Sasha co-wrote the best song of the year, “Never Be The Same”.
Life Without God Is Nothing – Sango – Sango is a Seattle based producer with an ear for modern r&b soundscapes that he uses with all his might on this strange and wonderful thing, a world of metronome and clapping beats and extremely doctored vocals.
Already Gone – Brett Dennen – This sounds like a song from any part of your life that you loved and somehow forgot and are listening to again and remembering how damn catchy it is. That transitional lick to the bridge is (should be) money in the bank.
PROUD – 2 Chainz, YG, Offset – Rappers love their mommies, from Kanye to 2Chainz it is a matriarchal society, and here 2Chainz makes itvery clear.
USA – Jeff Rosenstock – In this ugly American moment beyond all ugly American moments, here is the song that points the finger, a guitar based agitprop: “Dumbfounded, downtrodden and dejected, crestfallen, grief-stricken and exhausted, trapped in my room while the house was burnin’ to the motherfuckin’ ground…” Sad but true.
Are You – Julian Michael – The best song on the final 50 Shades is yet another potential super hit that didn’t. Julia has only clicked (under her own name) with “Issues” but this is a typically excellent pure pop baffling miss.
Blue – Jessi Mason – Jessi tributes Joni with an imaginary conversation as she channels the great singer songwriter.
life – awakebutstillinbed – I love everything about this band, and everything about this ringing Roger McGuinn guitar bell ringers and old school buzzed out pop punk construction.
I Laugh When I’m With Friends But Sad When I’m Alone – 070 Shake – This is one of the great self portraits, she is like an Angel Haze but with a greater sense of r&b
Looking Forward to the Past – Tommy Emmanuel, Rodney Crowell – Tommy has his eyes on real country beauty eyes, as he details a bad boy story and portrait of blue collar truck driving Conway Twitty fan with Rodney Crowell who would never call this Americana
Swimming With The Tide – Club 8 – A haunting electronica very melodic dream song.
Turn It Up – Bat Fangs – Riot Grrrl supergroup super powerful power punk rocker with a hook to spare
Back From Amarillo – Amy Rigby – A terrific country ballad from one of the best albums of the year.
Cards Right – Jeremih – terrific little piece of ear candy neo soul. I’m as surprised as you… maybe more.
I Have A Need For Solitude – Mary Chapin Carpenter – A gorgeous version of a lovely and quiet sad song, taken at a lovelier and slower pace.
White Fur – Dear Fur – Another of those strange and lovely songs that indie pop is throwing up all the time, only lovelier