Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Top 2(00)9 of 2009: Honorable Mentions

Yes, I'm finally getting around to it. It's a tradition I hope to continue for several more years to come: My Top -- of 20--. Last year, I presented you with my Top 2(00)8 of 2008, and now, here I am -- scrambling to flesh out my festering ideas for the Top 2(00)9 of 2009. Whatever am I going to do next year? I suppose I'll figure that out when the time comes...

Plenty of my blogging friends and inspirations have already begun their lists or are also preparing them as we speak. May I direct your attention to Ms. Nikki of Pop Reviews Now's stellar Best of 2009, as she takes a look at the best songs from each month. My dear J.Mensah is counting down the Best Albums of the Decade (hefty task!). And Ken over at The Beat Review is listing his favorite 100 Songs from the past year. It's taken me long enough to figure out my favorite 29 songs -- I can't imagine the work these three have gone into with their lists, so please stop by and show them some love. You're bound to stumble upon some fresh tunes that you may have forgotten about, as 2009 was definitely a good one for pop.

I've decided this year to use both my trusty BFF Last.FM and personal preference -- which made the decision a million gazillion times harder than I ever dreamed of. It is also a pretty good time capsule/soundtrack to the past year in my life off-line, given my incredible experiences moving to New York City back in January, interning for a major label, getting my own apartment, and attending several amazing concerts (Dragonette, Kings of Leon, K'NAAN, Hollywood Undead, Pat Benatar/Blondie, VH1's Divas, OH Fest 4...I'm been so lucky!).

Hence the fact that below, I have a listing of 11 songs that were just shy of my Top 29 (to round it up to Top 40). I adore every single one of these tracks (obviously), but after much wrestling, I've come to the conclusion that there were (at least) 29 songs that were just a little bit better sounding to my ears. The only real "rule" of note is that an artist can only appear once (to get rid of that pesky bias I had last year, but I will note if other songs should be mentioned as well). Album cuts/leaks/etc. are fair game, so long as the record came out in 2009, otherwise, it must be a single.

Before I go any further with the Top 29 - can I just state that everything I put here is my opinion, I'm not trying to say my opinion is better than anyone else's, and I hope this stirs up lively but civil debate. Nothing gets people more riled up than charts it seems, and I'm hardly trying to diss anyone here. Just don't jump down my throat, mmkay? It's the Holiday Season after all, can't we all just hold hands and sing "Kumbaya"?

So, without any further rambling ado (Who, me? I never do that! Stop snickering!), here are my 11 Other Favorite Songs, The Top 2(00)9 of 2009's Honorable Mentions:

40. The White Tie Affair - "The Letdown", off the album Walk This Way (2008)
"The Letdown" was slated to be the third single from this glam p(em)op/rock band, who opened up for Lady Gaga on her Fame Ball tour earlier in the year. However, its release has been in a bit of limbo due to slow sales. The entire record is worth your attention -- I haven't talked about them near enough.

39. Glee (Cast) - "Don't Stop Believin'", off the album Glee: Volume 1 (2009)
It was the song that started the American television/music/iTunes juggernaut sensation that is GLEE. This song just sparkles with Broadway-esque goodness ("Rock of Ages", anyone?), and you all know I'm such a sucker for guilty pleasures. Best part? The rest of the world seems to dig it, too.

38. Janet Jackson - "Make Me", off the album Number Ones (2009)
Ms. Nasty's latest effort off her recently released 'greatest hits' record may not be her best offering, but it is certainly fun to dance to. Add to the fact that it pays homage to her dearly departed brother Michael with its references to his hit "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough" and you have a very happy Mel. This is the type of Darkchild sound I will always support.

37. Travis Garland - "Dead & Gone", leak/MySpace release (2009)
Travis first spread his wings with this cover/homage to the T.I./Justin Timberlake original back in March, and I've been salivating for his post-NLT tunes ever since. Fingers crossed that by this time next year, the whole world will know his name, and one of his fresh tunes will grace 2010's list.

36. Hollywood Undead - "Young", off the album Swan Songs (2008)
HU may be a bit much for some of my poppy partners in crime, but "Young", their second official single off their debut album, is refreshingly politically aware, and is a relatable statement for America's youth culture. It's the epitome of chant-worthy, and is a firm reminder of the incredible 2009 that I had -- as I interned at the label they call home.

35. Gloriana - "Wild At Heart", off the album Gloriana (2009)
Country quartet Gloriana surprised more than a few when they swiped the Best Breakthrough Artist of the year at this past year's American Music Awards (myself among them), but I couldn't have been happier for them. Their debut single is a fresh piece of summer country-pop, which must have suited fans nicely during their stint opening for Taylor Swift. Plus, the two boys are from my hometown! Who knew?

34. Flo Rida - "Right Round" feat. Ke$ha, off the album R.O.O.T.S. (2009)
Aside from the fact that Flo seems to be the "rent-a-rapper" of the moment for everyone from Alexandra Burke to Girlicious (and plenty more collabs already in the can for 2010), "Right Round" was kind of unavoidable during the earlier part of the year. It was one of those I-don't-really-want-to-like-this-but-I-keep-hitting-repeat songs, and for me, the reason mostly rested in the Dead or Alive-sampled chorus, plus the welcomed debut of Ms. Ke$ha.

33. Whitney Houston - "Million Dollar Bill", off the album I Look to You (2009)
The Grammy's may have snubbed her and "I Look To You" may be kind of snore-worthy, but this Alicia Keys-penned vintage number is a gem through and through. It's Whitney the way she should be remembered and cherished: making you smile and groove.

32. Mini Viva - "I Left My Heart In Tokyo", single/to be featured on an upcoming record
As a faithful Girls Aloud stan, when I first heard the geniuses in Xenomania were unleashing on the world a new girl group, I was waiting in the front row to hear the fallout. "Tokyo" inspires a lot of confidence for what's to come from this spunky duo, and I particularly enjoy the Acid Girls Remix. And by particularly, I mean obscenely.

31. Kristinia DeBarge - "Goodbye", off the album Exposed (2009)
Upon first listen of Kristinia, daughter of James DeBarge, I was instantly psyched for what's to come. "Goodbye" postively bubbles with 90's pop nostaglia, and samples Steam's "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" (which would later also be used by the incomparable Bananarama). Unfortunately for Ms. DeBarge, interest began to wane almost as quickly as it came, and second single "Future Love" (which was also used this past year by Varsity Fanclub) failed to inspire chart confidence. No matter - a good pop song is a good pop song, and this certainly is.

30. Taylor Swift - "Fifteen", off the album Fearless (2008)
I know what you're thinking. Gasp and Holy Sacriledge, Mel -- how can you not include Taylor Swift into your Top 29 of 2(00)9? Yes, I get it - it was kind of her year (if you're not into Lady Gaga or Beyonce, I suppose), and I can recongize a good song when I hear it -- but we all know I'm more of a guilty-pleasure pop kind of girl. Still, Fearless is chock full of fun tunage (esp. "Love Story"), but "Fifteen" really takes the cake for me. It's lyrics really hit home and I still can't believe Swift is as talented as she projects at just 19 years old. It kind of blows my mind and makes me wonder what I'm doing with my life, really.


Stay tuned for the true beginning of the Top 2(00)9 of 2009, and tell me your thoughts. Do you think you can guess my Top 3? ;) Hugs to anyone who can guess!


rcLoy said...

Gaga is in your top 3? LOL.

John said...

Great list so far. You actually jogged my memory on one track that was missing from my list (soon to come, once school is done).

Nikki said...

Taylor Swift has gotten boring and bleh for me. What Kanye did to her at the VMAs was disrespect but I think what he said was true. She definitely doesn't deserve those Grammy nominations.

ANYWAY, looking great so far! Can't wait to see what's on the 'main' list. LOL.

Myfizzypop said...

Hurrah for honourable mentions. Please be honoured when I steal it for mine later in the month :P Glee! Whitney! Mini Viva! All get big yesses (sp?!) from me :)

J.Mensah said...

38: Yay! I was listening to this before I read the list, I feared you wouldn't have put it on there as it's been so underappreciated commercially.

36: I love this song too, I was never into Hollywood Undead really... but I really do like this song AND it's in your top 40! Woop! :)

34: I couldn't agree more, I didn't want to like it, but I did. ¬_¬ Did you listen to his album?

33: I thought it sounded dated when it first came out but I really it now also! :)

30: I love how relatable the song is. It's a shame it weren't as big of a hit as Love Story and You Belong with Me

Great list so far, Excited to see the actual 29 :)

Mel said...

rcLoy - That's a very good guess. Hint hint wink wink. ;)

John - Thanks! Dare I ask which one? Looking forward to your list as well!

Nikki - Taylor is a great artist, esp considering her age, but for her to win so much and beat out so's more due to sales than anything else. At least in my eyes. Aside from Susan Boyle, she's been the biggest seller in the American market this year. Thanks, hun! I'm enjoying your list as well!

Paul - Feel free, I'm so psyched to see your list!

J - You like/have heard of Hollywood Undead? So exciting! I met them at my internship, they are EVERY BIT as crazy as they project to be. Haha. I have not heard ALL of Flo Rida's record, but what I have, I actually really liked. I like hip hop when it's dancable, it's reminiscent of when I was in middle school/high school and that was the main factor in a song's success. I wouldn't rush out and buy his record, but I enjoyed it and I'm not afraid to admit it. ;) As for Taylor, "You Belong With Me" is still being blared all over radio here. I feel like I hear it about 80 times a day, so I'm kind of over it...once you hear it that much, it turns a bit whiney. Haha.

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