The 50 Something or Other Songs of 2017: Part 2

In our last exciting episode, I reviewed tracks 50 through 31 on Rolling Stone's list of the Best 50 Songs of 2017. How did those 20 songs – all of which, in the first surprising turn of events, I had never heard previously – fare against a musical taste that, naturally, I consider to be pretty adventurous but willingly admit is lacking in even a small amount of respect sometimes for more current pop trends and styles?

Well, here's the scoreboard thus far:

Total number of songs: 20
Songs I had heard before: 2
Songs that I own already: A big fat 0.
Reactions: Loved: 7 | Liked: 5 | OK or Don't Care at All: 5 | Hated: 3Songs that I plan to purchase: 10

The second big surprise is that I came out of the round wishing to possibly purchase a full ten tracks in the bunch. Half the music appealed to me enough where I could own it, and that is a huge response on my part. Am I slipping in taste or expanding it? Or did Rolling Stone actually choose some pretty damn good songs this time? Well, I really hated three of the tracks, and five others registered as OK or less, so that still says that, as far as I am concerned, they are only doing their job halfway.

How will the second twenty tracks rate with me? Let's head straight into Part the Second of The 50 Something or Other Songs of 2017:

#30 - Jidenna, "Bambi"
Heard of the artist? I thought "No" but apparently have watched him on TV. I didn't really remember.
Own any of his music? Oh, he's a him?
Heard this song? Nope.
Would you purchase this song? Oh, no. Can't get past the whole Bambi thing.

Here's how I approach these songs: I click on the video that Rolling Stone provides but don't watch the video. I cover the window so that all I can hear is the music. On the second go-around, I search for the lyrics online and then read them along with a second playing of the song. On the third turn, I will watch the video, if indeed it is a video produced for the song and not just a music track playing as a video on YouTube. So, I hear these things two or three times before writing about them. And if the artist or band is someone or something I  believe that I don't know at all, I first double-check my iTunes to make sure something by them hasn't slipped past me on a compilation or soundtrack. Then I look up their Wikipedia page to learn a little something about them.

Now, the reason I tell you about my process now is because of the strange case of Jidenna, an artist whom I thought going into this I had never heard of before. But in doing research, I realize that he performed in an episode of Luke Cage, the first season of which I have watched fully twice now. I also saw him perform on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah late in 2016. Before I knew that, I went into the song thinking that Jidenna was just going to turn out to be another Rihanna, and I got that thought stuck in my head. And then the music starts and it has almost a music-box quality to it as it eases smoothly into an Africa-inspired melody with layered harmonies. It sounds nice at the beginning. And then my head does a twist when I hear that it's a dude singing, and not some girl trying to sound like the next Rihanna by calling herself Jidenna. And Jidenna is a dude singing about a girl named Bambi. And not in a funny way. He's serious. The girl's name really is Bambi and he is singing about her in a serious way.

My brain gets confused. He sings, "My dear, my dear, my dear" and the back-up singers go "Ahhhh... Bam-Bambi" and all I hear is "deer" instead of "dear" and, with that name "Bambi,"  where do you think my mind goes? But then Jidenna switches it up by singing about jungles and lions and even eventually name-checking a cheetah, and I get tripped up, because here I was thinking about a more Eurocentric or North American forest setting because of Bambi the deer in the story. I had really forgotten this was a guy singing (seriously, I remind you) about a woman named Bambi. I was still stuck on a little deer whose mom gets shot by a hunter. And the backup singers and Jidenna keep doing variations on "Ahhhh... Bam-Bambi," and I giggle some more, and my mind goes back to Rihanna, and I start thinking "Um-ber-ambi-ambi-ambi"... And then I realize that there is no way I can ever accept this song with a straight face. He sure dresses nice, though...

#29 - J Balvin and Willy William, "Mi Gente"
Heard of the artist? Neither one. To prove it, I wrote Balvin's name as "J. Blabbin" at first.
Own any of their music? Ha ha ha!
Heard this song before this? I think that I have heard this as an intro on a couple of shows. It seems familiar, but I don't know where else I would have heard it.
Would you purchase this song? One of those earworm-type hooks, but I don't mind it. Just don't need to own it.

OK, I have a bit of a problem this year because there are a couple of Spanish-only tracks on this list (because, yeah, Despacito is coming up in the Top 10 songs), and I don't speak Spanish. I understand a bunch of words (more than when I moved down here to So Cal) and can even read a little bit of it here and there. But listening to an entire song in Spanish and figuring it out for myself? If I committed to learning Spanish, as I have said that I plan to many times over the past decade, I might use this song for a fun (if not exhausting) exercise. (Everything exhausts me these days...) I liked the beat and the music kind of clung to me after a while, and checking out a translation, it seems to mostly be party-based, and is really about nothing but a good time. It sounds like the exact sort of good time that I spend my time avoiding, but still. It sounds fun.

At least I can understand Beyonce's part on the remix version. She sings about her boobs... 

#28 - Charly Bliss, "Glitter"
Heard of the artist? Nope.
Own any of their music? Not yet.
Heard this song before this? No.
Would you purchase this song? Pretty catchy, but want to hear more. Close to a buy.

Boy, is that a squeaky voice. I don't know if lead singer Eva Hendricks should be fronting a band or making a pitch to be a fourth Powerpuff Girl. This is not putting her down. I am just looking for other possible career opportunities for a voice like hers. Honestly, the band sounds like Letters to Cleo on helium, but with odder lyrics, and that's not a bad thing for me. There's a great hook in the chorus, and I like its lyric: "Am I the best? Or just the first person to say yes?" It's a putdown song, but one where the singer realizes that he's rubber and she's glue. Everything is attributable to both of them, and that's where the real hurt lies.

#27 - Calvin Harris feat. Frank Ocean, Migos, "Slide"
Heard of the artist? All three, and really like Frank Ocean.
Own any of their music? Just Frank.
Heard this song before this? Nope.
Would you purchase this song? Not sure it does anything for me.

Agggh... first crime straight out the gate: I have a very low acceptance barrier for obvious Auto-Tune (as I mentioned in the first part of this series), and it tends to drive me nuts (not in a good way) after about seven words. This song is triple-stuffed like a turducken with the accursed Auto-Tune sickness, but even with Frank Ocean on vox at large in this track, I just can't settle into the relaxed groove propelling the song. As these things go, it's pleasant enough, but the end product says and does absolutely nothing for me.

#26 - Tee Grizzley, "First Day Out"
Heard of the artist? Nope.
Own any of his music? Nope.
Heard this song? I didn't know this was the music from the LeBron James Challenge videos, but apparently it is.
Would you purchase this song? Oh, hell no. Still compelling though...

I will give Tee Grizzley this. At least he has an actual story to tell, in between the "n" words and threats of violence and the usual braggart's delight. This entire song is one long, breathless "fuck you, I made it despite of you" stance. Tee gets out of a prison stint and writes this song on the same day ripping apart everyone who didn't stand by him through his troubles with the law. There seems to be no downtime between verses as he ramps up the fury from section to section. There is a hook that appears briefly at the beginning and end but it barely registers, because once the flood of rage begins, the song just keeps building and building with no real chorus in sight. There is a section (after the halfway mark) where Tee decides he is done with rhyming for a bit and ends eight straight lines with the "n' word, and while that might seem lazy or overdone, the section is really to build the speed of his flow up even more. Practice makes perfect, I guess. Tee is apparently far more perfect at doing this than committing armed robbery, because he keeps getting caught at the latter. Stick to rap, Tee... I may not like your stuff enough to buy it, but you spin an interesting tale here. Sorry you can't trust anyone. (My guess is that lack of trust starts internally...)

#25 - Superorganism, "Something for Your M.I.N.D."
Heard of the artist? Nope.
Own any of their music? Nope.
Heard this song? Nope.
Would you purchase this song? Thought it had a chance at the beginning, but. it turned to hate.

This song seemed so promising going into it. What a wasted opportunity. The Flying Lizards without a sense of... well, anything. (And believe me... I still have The Flying Lizards' album from way back. So much more interesting than this...) It's a similar project, with a verse composed of non-sequiturs, tossed off and recorded by a supposedly stereotypical "bored teenager" and sent back to the band. (At least, according to the press that I have read.) I would be more accepting of the song if it actually had a killer chorus. and instead we get a dull delivery saying the title over and over again. Look, there's bored and there's dull. You can do the first one but still sound intriguing and clever, and then there's the other. Yes, it's an intentionally amateurish attempt, but that just makes it more phony. I don't think there's anything here that any mind needs. If you want a head trip without hitting the medicine cabinet, there are so many far better music choices out there, both in the past and today. I get more annoyed the more I think about this song.

#24 - DJ Khaled feat. Rihanna, Bryson Tiller, "Wild Thoughts"
Heard of the artist? Heard of 2 out of 3. Don't know Tiller.
Own any of their music? None of them.
Heard this song? Nope.
Would you purchase this song? Nah. Pretty sexy, but not my thing really...

It's a sexy sound on this single, but despite the naughty stuff in it, it's a little too tame overall. It only gets amped up by Rihanna's cleavage-teasing moves in the video, but that exists outside of the actual song. The Santana sample surprised me, but it is underused. Nice to see DJ Khaled involved in an actual song here, because before this, I thought he just did every single commercial and talk show out there. A lot of people out there seem to love him or at least give him a pass; I find him pretty dull as a personality. Then again, I think the DJ aesthetic is overrated in the first place. Nah... let's call it "DJ interference" instead... Imagine every single Beatles song with their producer announcing himself somewhere near the end. That obnoxiously popular airhorn sound goes off and then we hear a booming, echoey voice intoning "Yo, Sir George H. Martin, CBE in the house!" Yeah, it would be funny to hear once, but so is Khaled's turn at doing the same in his own song here. To me, it ruins the mood. After hearing Rihanna and Bryson coo and purr all over each other, no one wants to be reminded of the fat, sweaty guy behind the board. It's a toddler move. Khaled just wants you to know its his blankey, and he got Rihanna to roll around on it. (Not that I wouldn't do the same if it were my blankey...)

#23 - Charli XCX, "Boys"
Heard of the artist? Yes.
Own any of her music? Nope.
Heard this song? Nope.
Would you purchase this song? I have no use for it.

Another Charli on the second part of this list, only spelled a bit differently, and someone's actual name this time not a band name. Charli XCX thinks about boys, dreams about boys, and her head is busy spinning doing both. That's great. Nothing wrong with doing so if that's your angle. Me, I dream about having a pet great white shark that I ride around fighting crime, flying like Iron Man only the suit fails me every ten seconds and so I crash through everything constantly, directing Kristen Bell in an independent feature while kicking Dax Shepherd to the curb, taming an Ankylosaurus, staging a rebellion in a dystopian future, and the machineries of an invisible sky giant mutilating me into ground chuck because I refuse to believe in him. But go ahead, Charli, and dream whatever dull dreams you wish. Guys really aren't worth the trouble. Buy a "back massager" instead. Boys is an OK track. It has a simple but reliable hook, and I do like the part in the verses where she responds, "Didn't hit 'em back". But otherwise, just basic pop cuteness.

#22 - Spoon, "Hot Thoughts"
Heard of the artist? I own their entire catalogue.
Own any of their music? Oh, yeah!
Heard this song? Own this album already.
Would you purchase this song? Already got it.

Finally! It took 28 songs, but I finally ran into something that I own already. Then again, Spoon are one of the few groups that I tend to preorder, and this album fell into the range just before I stopped preordering things for financial reasons. Spoon has been a constant in my life for about 15 years and one of my go-to bands when I go out for walks and exercise. The off-kilter rhythms along with their quirky lyrical references make every Spoon track an adventure to dissect. The same goes for the title track to the latest album here, where singer-guitarist Britt Daniel weaves in small details from a walk through Tokyo as everything from the shine of his lover's teeth to her accent to a fantasy about "diamonds from space" only serve to elevate his arousal. It's less a direct rocker than an exercise in creating a guitar-driven dance space. And it's all the more groovy for that.

#21 - Arcade Fire, "Everything Now"
Heard of the artist? Yes.
Own any of their music? I own the four albums before this one.
Heard this song? Yes, on Colbert, where they branded the show with Everything Now.
Would you purchase this song? It seems inevitable.

Arcade Fire has never been a band that I could say I love overtly, but I somehow always get around to collecting their albums. And then I go back and listen to them and always wonder why I don't listen to them more. I think part of my problem is my general queasiness in getting involved with musical "collectives". There is always the sneaking suspicion to me that I am being tricked into Kool-Aid, and I hate Kool-Aid. Also, too often, Arcade Fire seems like the Cirque du Soleil of rock music, both being from Montreal and both graced with a quite recognizable strangeness. And yet, I really come out loving their music in the end.

For Arcade Fire's part, they seem prone to big statements and high concepts on their albums, even changing their band's image, costuming, and name from album to album. (They even took on a new name with the previous album.) For their latest, Everything Now, they pretended to be in thrall to big business, complete with a fake ad campaign that spilled over onto their appearances on shows like The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, who told everyone straight-faced that the entire show was being sponsored by Everything Now. (It was a little confusing to me at first, because I had avoided any of the press before the album came out.)

Now, I have not heard the whole album yet, but it sounds like Arcade Fire have stuck to the more dance-oriented mood of the Reflektor album, but advanced it even further. To my ears, the Everything Now title track may be disco-laden, but I feel like there are still the same traces of U2 (yet another band prone to Big Statements! High Concepts! and Neo-Disco!) that I have detected in the Fire's sound from before. And definitely with a solid chunk of ABBA snuck in there. The band seems, by this point, far more interested in being a theatre nerd company than dedicated musicians, but that has never been a problem with me. I have always been a sucker whenever rock crosses into mock theatrics, and probably always will.

#20 - Taylor Swift, "Call It What You Want"
Heard of the artist? Who hasn't?
Own any of her music? Nope. Just covers by others.
Heard this song? Not until now.
Would you purchase this song? I'm going to say no, but the experience was not unpleasant.

This is the first time I have purposefully sat and listened to Taylor Swift sing one of her own songs. Seriously... this is the very first time. I lauded a track by Big Little Town last year that Swift wrote for them, and I own the Ryan Adams version of 1989 (a track for track remake of Swift's huge album) and listened to it with great joy without having any real connection to the original except having heard snippets of a couple of songs in the media. I tend to go with comedian Ralph Garman's characterization of the girl as "Tay-dolf Swit-ler" because much of her behavior in public is just so obnoxious and grandstanding. And all of these stupid wars she has with other artists... I just get tired of hearing it. Also, her usual genre is definitely not in my wheelhouse. And my reaction to her "Girl Squad" was a whole lot of eye-rolling, but mainly because I am sick of the use of the word "squad" in hashtags on social media. But, then again, she is the by-product of her sorry times...)

Still, this exercise is meant for me to give everything a try to see if I have been wrong all along or correct in my completely unfounded assumptions about many artists. As I said, I have set a precedent by actually liking a song she wrote last year, so maybe Ms. Swift can prove me wrong directly with her own recording? Surprisingly, yes... I will admit that she has a certain facility with lyrics, whether or not I think most of them are barely past the level of a teen's crush diary. Still, you get from your audience what you give to it, and she certainly knows her audience. This is what they want. And Taylor is known for answering her critics or even straight on blasting them in her songs, and from what I am reading here and there, this song may have barely veiled references to her very public battles with the likes of Katie Perry and those West/Kardashian fools. (Really, if Taylor ever wanted to get me on her side completely, all she has to do is put out a full album of nothing but Kanye and Kim put-downs.) Musically, the first listen had me thinking it was only OK, but the next couple of tries suddenly had the meter of the lyrics setting up shop in my head. It started to make sense to me. Then, this morning, there was the moment where I was rewriting the chorus slightly to sing to my cat as I was petting her. That is the real danger sign.

You win this one, Swift. Your song is now about my cat in my head, but the tune is stuck there. You are a sneaky one, I grant you...

#19 - Diet Cig, "Sixteen"
Heard of the artist? Nope.
Own any of their music? Not yet.
Heard this song? Nope.
Would you purchase this song? I like this song more than anything else new on this second part of the list so far. 

No, Sixteen is not a love song by Judge Roy Moore. He'd deny that he recorded it anyway (even though he really would have).

OMG, this band is adorable. Cute outfits, big smiles, and lots of hopping around. Two people: one is the very epitome of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, only with an occasionally filthy mouth and a guitar; the other, a skinny, scraggly drumming weirdo who seems pretty game for anything. Really, he seems pretty happy he is allowed to be in the same room as the girl. We aren't talking the bluesy howl of the White Stripes or the early Black Keys here. It's not about technical proficiency; it's all about a spirited, punky scruffiness that comes off more fun than political. 

Not that there isn't some depth in Alex Luciano's lyrics. Sixteen starts off with a scenario where she is the age in the title, having sex with a boyfriend with the same name as her. "It was weird/In the back of his truck/Moaning my name/While trying to fuck". Then the boy Alex tells the whole town that the girl Alex is a slut. They break up, of course, but while preparing to throw a barbecue, she realizes that most of her friends are actually more his friends. Things get worse. In the chorus, girl Alex tells him: "And I/Think you're the kind of guy/Who would meet me at a party/And forget my name/And try to take me home/All the same".

I've since listened to about a half dozen other songs from their still pretty short discography, and I am pretty convinced that I will be adding them to my playlist. Call me just another guy, call it a character weakness, but I can't resist Manic Pixie Dream Girls. Especially the epitome of one...

#18 - Beck, "Dear Life"
Heard of the artist? Yes.
Own any of his music? So, so much of it...
Heard this song? I would have gotten to it eventually.
Would you purchase this song? Already on my list.

More Beck, more music for my collection from my favorite E-meter enthusiast. The guy is just solidly entertaining, album after album, through whatever phase he is in each time. This definitely has a Beatlesque feel to it with the rollicking piano and that guitar solo. And not to get maudlin but the chorus of this song – "Dear life, I’m holding on/How long must I wait/Before the thrill is gone" – could be the mantra for my own existence over the past five years. This is a must add for me.

#17 - Lil Uzi Vert, "XO Tour Llif3"
Heard of the artist? Yes.
Own any of his music? Nope.
Heard this song? Nope.
Would you purchase this song? Didn't hate it, but I have no use for it as finalized.

Without the extremely grating use of Auto-Tune, I actually might have come out really liking this track. It's a song that deals with threats of suicide stemming from a romantic break up. Lil sings "Shoulda saw the way she looked me in my eyes/She said: "Baby, I am not afraid to die." His response provides the main hook of the song, and it seems overbearingly callous on first look, like he is daring her to go through with it: "Push me to the edge/All my friends are dead". When you realize he has no real friends and that he only trusts his money, it gets even more callous. In fact, money is his real love: "Stackin' my bands all the way to the top/All the way 'til my bands fallin' over". The song really stuck in my brain for a while, but I just have such a problem with Auto-Tune when it is used as the main gimmick in a song. I at least like the appearance of authenticity in a voice, and I just want to hear someone on their own (or mostly on their own), not a mechanical construct. This came so close to winning me over. It is at the least a very interesting track. I may return to it.

#16 - Julia Michaels, "Uh Huh"
Heard of the artist? Nope.
Own any of her music? Nope.
Heard this song? I wish now that I hadn't heard it after I just listened to it the first time.
Would you purchase this song? Her voice got on my last nerve before the end of the song.

Let me state right out that I do not like the vocals on this song. I just really hate it every time she says "Uh huh" before heading into the next lyric. And if you can't stand to hear the two words of the title spoken in the song to which you are listening, then you probably are not going to like the song. And I don't. (But I won't write Julie Michaels off just yet. See track #12 below for a surprise.)

#15 - Drake, "Passionfruit"
Heard of the artist? Of course.
Own any of his music? Not yet.
Heard this song? Nope.
Would you purchase this song? Not bad. I am surprised.

Holy crap! Did Adam Schlesinger produce this? Drake actually sounds a little bit like Chris Collinwood from Fountains of Wayne on this track. (And yes, I am aware that Adam and Chris have had a split in recent years, even if their Wiki page is desperately behind the times.) It is clear that Drake is being Auto-tuned here, but the effect is slight and, in this case, bearable to my ears. It's a pretty sad tale he sings, about the lack of trust in a long distance relationship. He's saying goodbye, but it go down pretty smooth. I am going to put this on the "hold" list; I might not buy it, but it was catchy enough that I might revisit it in the future.

#14 - LCD Soundsystem, "Call the Police"
Heard of the artist? Geez…
Own any of their music? Oh,  yes...
Heard this song? On Saturday Night Live last season.
Would you purchase this song? Gotta say once more... Inevitable.

Loved this. Love James Murphy already, and he just came back and delivered exactly what I wanted from one of my favorites: a politically edged epic that pisses all over 2017. A perfect song for the times. "Wear your makeup like a man," he seethes at one point, and we can't imagine who it might possibly reference. The taint of fascism is in the air and it smells awful. Murphy tells us, "The first sign divides us; the second is moving to Berlin".

Somewhere in the second verse, James almost sounded like Bono to me, and I realized this is the sort of thing that U2 used to do in their sleep before they wanted to become everybody's buddy. We aren't talking the random slogan here. This is meant as a battle cry:

"Well, there's a full-blown rebellion but you're easy to confuse
By triggered kids and fakers and some questionable views.
Oh, call the cops, call the preachers!
Before they let us and they lose
When (oh!) we all start arguing the history of the Jews,
You got nothing left to lose.

Gives me the blues."


#13 - Ed Sheeran, "Shape of You"
Heard of the artist? Yes.
Own any of his music? Nope.
Heard this song? Yes. Everywhere I go.
Would you purchase this song? Don't need to. As I said, everywhere I go...

Despite my usual reticence towards huge pop hits, I do not hate this song. It has even gotten caught in my head a couple of times when I have crossed paths with it. It's truly an earworm, but that beat and that lyric in the chorus make it almost irresistible. In the bit about Taylor Swift's song above, I talked about the moment I knew that I was sunk, when I rewrote her lyrics to fit our cat. Well, I did that ages ago to the poor Blueberry with Sheeran's song. "Meow, meow, meow... I'm in love with the 'Berry" is how it goes now in our household. And this is a song that I have only crossed paths with in grocery stores. Imagine what would happen to a song that I would actually own?

#12 - Selena Gomez, "Bad Liar"
Heard of the artist? Who hasn't?
Own any of her music? Nope.
Heard this song? Nope.
Would you purchase this song? Very possible. I like this song very much.

"Dear Selena Gomez,

Thank you for stopping what you were doing two years ago. You had a song called Good for You on the 2015 Rolling Stone "Best 50" list, and all the showering and posing in tight this and see-through that like you were doing in the video made me feel like a dirty old man. Which I am, but that is beside the point. I don't like feeling like myself most of the time. Music is supposed to take me away from feeling like myself. It is supposed to take me away from worries and cares, not do weird things to my pants. And sure, I actually liked the song, and I guess your video did make me forget the rest of the world for three minutes and 14 seconds (maybe triple that), but otherwise I felt nothing but shame. SHAME, I tell you. 9 minutes and 42 seconds of SHAME. OK, maybe now multiple that by maybe 15 or 16 times more. We're now around (ballpark figuring) two hours and fifteen minutes or so of world-forgetting and SHAME.

This year, you got together with singer/songwriter Julia Michaels, who annoyed the crap out of me a couple of spots ago on this same list, and you deliver a doozy of a tune in Bad Liar. Thank you for sampling your bassline from the Talking Heads' Psycho Killer; you don't need to worry that I love that song so, so very much. It's just a coincidence. I just sometimes think the world has moved on too much and people have forgotten how great that band was. Of course, I don't know if either you or Julia was responsible for that touch, being so young and all, and maybe it was your producer Ian Kirkpatrick or third co-writer Justin Tranter... anyway, it doesn't matter. The Heads' bassline is in place and it grabbed my ear instantly when I started your song. 

Of course, any song employing that sound had better deliver the goods otherwise, and thankfully, your vocals are spot on in this tale of romantic obsession, which actually fits Psycho Killer pretty aptly as far as the lyrics are concerned. Your gentle cooing and apprehensive singing are perfect here. Your character is as tense and nervous and can't relax as Byrne's original, if not for the same reasons. Another nice touch is that the song never goes overboard in its ambition, sticking close to its simple structure and just concentrating on telling its story.
Anyway, everything is good here because your video for this song kept you in your clothes the entire time (though you do dance seductively late in the game). It also helped that you played multiple roles, so that even though the main character is a high school student, you also played both your mom AND EITHER your dad (who is also a teacher at the school) OR a teacher who is dating your mom. (It's hard to tell which.) And the teacher has a mustache as well, so even though it is hard for you to hide your distinctive facial features behind any disguise, at least that element is in place to keep this whole affair tame. Except then you also play ANOTHER female high school student (this time in a blond wig), who is NOT ONLY having a fling with your teacher/dad/Mom's boyfriend (whomever he is), BUT SHE IS ALSO the object of your first character's obsession. Or is this all a metaphor for being in love with yourself?

OK, my brain can now not officially handle watching any of your videos. I have now discovered that I appreciate the craft behind at least two of your songs – and in fact, enjoy the songs unreservedly – and may now have to look into more of them. But damn it, I have to just listen to them. Your videos are either just too slinky or just too hinky. Either way, it's music from here on out.

Let me just sign this, Your pal, Me."

#11 - Tove Styrke, "Say My Name"
Heard of the artist? Nope.
Own any of her music? Nope.
Heard this song? Nope.
Would you purchase this song? Once more, very catchy and fun. Absolutely.

Just great. Not going to hold back. This song makes me happy. It's goofy, it's giddy, it's a bit sexy, and bouncy as hell. It's the song on this second part which I have now listened to the most. I know nothing about Ms. Styrke, but really like this song. It's a different pop style altogether, but there are similarities here to the music of Lykke Li, another Swedish songstress whose music won me over a few years ago. (Maybe it's my roots showing.) The weird rubber band guitar riff here is infectious as hell, and for whatever reason, brings to mind Jim Henson's Muppets. Seriously, I have no idea why... 


That's forty down, with ten more to go next time. It was looking grim for the first half of this bunch, but started to even out as we got further down. Still, my stats for this bunch come out as:

Total number of songs: 20
Songs I had heard before: 3
Songs that I own already: 1
Reactions: Loved: 6 | Liked: 5 | OK or Don't Care at All: 7 | Hated: 2

Songs that I plan to purchase: 6

Put together, my updated overall score reads:

Total number of songs: 40
Songs I had heard before: 5
Songs that I own already: 1
Reactions: Loved: 13 | Liked: 10 | OK or Don't Care at All: 12 | Hated: 5
Songs that I plan to purchase: 16

I apparently had a rougher time with the second twenty. But things are starting to even out like last year. But we still have a final ten tracks, the Top Ten of Rolling Stone's selections for the best of the year. There are few pretty big songs coming up, and I know that I have a big surprise in store for everyone in there as well.

See you in Part 3 in a couple of days!




The 50 Something or Other Songs of 2015 
Pt. 1: 
Pt. 2:

The 50 Something or Other Songs of 2016
Pt. 1:
Pt. 2:

Pt. 3:

The 50 Something or Other Songs of 2017
Pt. 1:


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