Friday, January 15, 2010

My Favorite Songs of 2009: Part 3

*“Million Dollar Bill”, Whitney Houston from the album I Look to You-- Alicia Keys wrote the track that became known as Houston’s comeback song; Key’s easily could have made the song a hit herself but chose to give it to Houston who is a longtime idol. The song has an old school R&B beat, and samples Loleatta Holloway’s “We’re Getting Stronger”; it was produced by Swiss Beatz who has produced for everyone from Mariah Carey to Beyonce to Alicia Keys. What I love most about “Million Dollar Bill” besides Houston’s vocals is the fact that she looks like a million dollars in the video.


My Fave Line from the Song: If he makes you feel like a million dollar bill/ Say oh oh oh, say oh oh oh !/If you go left right up down/ Make you spinning round and round/ Say ooh oh oh oh, say ooh oh oh oh !

Chart Positions:
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B Hip-Hop Songs: 16
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs: 1


Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNIcVTmUSOU


*“Paparazzi”, Lady Gaga from the album The Fame-- And once again, we will go to Gaga so that she can tell us what this song is all about:“The song is about a few different things – it's about my struggles, do I want fame or do I want love? It's also about wooing the paparazzi to fall in love with me. It's about the media whoring, if you will, watching ersatzes make fools of themselves to their station. It's a love song for the cameras, but it's also a love song about fame or love – can you have both, or can you only have one?” With “Paparazzi”, Lady Gaga joined Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, and Fergie become the only women this decade to collect four Hot 100 top ten hits from their debut albums.


My Fave Line from the Song: I'm your biggest fan I'll follow you until you love me,/ Papa-
paparazzi,/ Baby there's no other superstar you know that I'll be your/ Papa-paparazzi/ Promise I'll be kind, but I won't stop until that boy is mine,/ Baby you'll be famous chase you down until you love me,/ Papa-paparazzi

Chart Positions:
U.S. Billboard Hot 100: 6
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs: 1
U.S. Billboard Pop Songs: 1


Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMvrNO9fUM0


*“Pretty Wings”, Maxwell from the album BLACKsummers’night-- His first single in seven years, the last being the amazing “This Woman’s Work”, “Pretty Wings” welcomes Maxwell back the to R&B scene in a big way. The song is nominated at the Grammy’s for Song of the Year, Best R&B Song, and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. Maxwell told MTV that “Pretty Wings” is a song about meeting the perfect girl at the wrong time in your life, it’s a love song. Maxwell also told Billboard Magazine: "I met this girl who I still respect very much, and although it didn't work out, I got lots of inspiration from it. This track speaks of my time with her;” we can all only hope that Maxwell continues to be “inspired”. This to me is, clearly, one of the most beautiful tracks of the year.


My Fave Line from the Song: If I can't have you, let love set you free/ To fly your pretty wings around/Pretty wings, your pretty wings/ Your pretty wings around

Chart Positions:
U.S. Billboard Hot 100: 33
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B Hip-Hop Songs: 1


Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkPy4yq7EJo


*“Run This Town”, Jay-Z, Rihanna, Kanye West from the album The Blueprint 3-- “Run This Town” definitely had radio presence despite the fact that it did not receive the critical claim that it should have. I don’t think anyone could have performed the song as well as these three artists did. Rihanna’s contribution to the song was her first following her altercation with her ex boyfriend Chris Brown. The song is nominated for two Grammy Award’s which it has a good chance of winning.


My Fave Line from the Song: Rihanna: Feel it comin' in the air/ And the screams from everywhere/ I'm addicted to the care/ It's a dangerous love affair/ Can't be scared when it goes down/ Got a problem, tell me now/ Only thing that's on my mind/ Is who's gonna run this town tonight…/ Is who's gonna run this town/tonight…/ We gonna run this town

Kanye: Reebok/ Baby/ You need to drop some new things/ Have you ever had shoes without shoe strings?/What's that 'Ye?/ Baby, these heels


Chart Positions:
U.S. Billboard Hot 100: 2
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B Hip-Hop Songs: 3
U.S. Billboard Rap Songs: 1

Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVA-xTBeHyM


*“Russian Roulette”, Rihanna from the album Rated R-- Following the Chris Brown debacle, “Russian Roulette” was Rihanna’s answer to critics who thought she was just another weak victim. Written and produced by her good friend Neyo and Chuck Harmony, the song and the video showed a new side of Rihanna that was intense and mature beyond her years.


My Fave Line from the Song: And you can see my heart beating/ You can see it through my chest/ And I’m terrified but I’m not leaving/ Know that I must pass this test

Chart Positions:
U.S. Billboard Hot 100: 9


Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQ2nCGawrSY


*“She Wolf”, Shakira from the album She Wolf-- Billboard’s review praised “Shakira's ability to sing fast, crowded phrases in a way that forces the listener to pay attention. It's an unselfconsciously sexy, stylish ode to a woman on the prowl". Shakira told Rolling Stone magazine that “She Wolf” came to her one day when she was in the studio and had a bad mood; she went off to a corner by herself , and from that came “She Wolf”. The song, she says, is about a woman who is in touch with her own desires, a woman who listens to her inner self. As for the saucy video that goes with the song, Shakira admits most of it was improvised.


My Fave Line from the Song: I've been devoting myself to you Monday to Monday and Friday to Friday/Not getting enough retribution or decent incentives to keep me at it/ I'm starting to feel just a little abused like a coffee machine in an office/ So I'm gonna go somewhere cozy to get me a lover/ And tell you all about it

Chart Positions:
U.S. Billboard Hot 100: 11
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs: 1
U.S. Billboard Latin Songs: 1


Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=booKP974B0k


*“Sweet Dreams”, Beyonce from the album I Am…Sasha Fierce-- All I have to say is thank goodness they did not end up calling the song “Beautiful Nightmare” because that is what the song was leaked as. Yet again, it is a song by Beyonce laced with Michael Jackson influence (think: “Beat It”). The video, like all B’s videos, dazzles and shows us that is not only an amazing artist but a fashion icon. On a personal note, I listened to this song while I was having my wisdom teeth pulled, and I assure you all , I was having “sweet dreams”.


My Fave Line from the Song: I mention you when I say my prayers/ I wrap you around all of my thoughts/Boy you're my temporary high/ I wish that when I wake up you're there/ To wrap your arms around me for real/ And tell me you'll stay by side/ Clouds filled with stars cover the skies/ And I hope it rains, you're the perfect lullaby/ What kinda dream is this?

Chart Positions:
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B Hip-Hop Songs: 48
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks: 25
U.S. Billboard Pop Songs: 5
U.S. Billboard Radio Songs: 2
U.S. Billboard Rhythmic Top 40: 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs: 1


Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlxByc0-V40


*“3”, Britney Spears from the album The Singles Collection-- The controversial song about threesomes was the lead and only single released off Spears’ second compilation album. The music video features Spears and back-up dancers dressed in black and white; surprisingly the video received positive reviews from critics. I understand why because it displays that Britney is back to her true and sexy form. I cannot help but add in this quote from the video’s director Diane Martel: “I think it's her next sexy video. It's a very simple video for her – I don't think you've seen her this much under a magnifying glass. Everything's really strong and playful. We collaborated on the wardrobe and had meetings about hair and makeup people, we talked a lot on the phone and met Tone and Rich — two of the best choreographers. [..] [Spears]' so sweet and funny and so normal and down to earth. It's really fun as a director to see her in front of the camera. She's so creative with this stuff. The video is very simple, it's very, very minimal. So it's her, her, her. And she's totally engaging every second. She really knows how to work with a camera and move. I was really impressed, and I have worked almost with every female artist in the business".


My Fave Line from the Song: What we do is innocent/ Just for fun and nothin' meant/ If you don't like the company/ Let's just do it you and me

Chart Positions:
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance/ Club Play Songs: 16
U.S. Billboard Hot 100: 1


Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTs6oQx1WJY


*“Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart”, Alicia Keys from the album The Element of Freedom-- The message of this song can make me smile but at the same time can bring me to tears; a classic love song is born with “Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart”. If this song is not nominated for oodles of Grammy’s next year, not only will I be amazed and disappointed but I will personally send a letter to the Grammy “people” expressing disapproval. MTV News's Tamar Anitai said that the song is "is one of Alicia Keys' most lush love songs since "No One," and every pleading note is coated in passion and power. Absolutely breathtaking and more and more beautiful with every replay, it's an instant classic on every level”. The video begins with a quote, "There are those among us who are blessed with the power to save what is loved by another. But powerless to use this blessing themselves". I did not realize the meaning of this until I watched the video a few times, but, wow is it a powerful message! Ms. Keys is a woman who continues to inspire the woman in me.


My Fave Line from the Song: Have you ever tried sleeping with a broken heart/ Well you can try sleeping in my bed/ Lonely, only, nobody ever shut it down like you/ You wore the crown, you make my body feel heaven-bound/ Why don’t you hold me, need me, I thought you told me/ You’d never leave me

Chart Positions:
U.S. Billboard Hot 100: 27
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B Hip-Hop Songs: 9


Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvjuEsfdiT4


*“Video Phone”, Beyonce (remix features Lady Gaga) from the album I Am…Sasha Fierce-- The eighth single off I Am…Sasha Fierce, “Video Phone” has an original version and a remix version with Lady Gaga, both of which have charted. When I first listened to this song, I did not like it; however, once I listened to it a few times the beat really grew on me. But listen to the lyrics, because listening to the song around the wrong person may make you uncomfortable. What I love about Beyonce is that she can share the stage with any diva, and she still manages to draw such interest towards herself; she and Gaga do a fine job of sharing space. The video and the song itself are downright sexy; it has this oddness to it, kinda like “Diva”, but it’s a better song. I am still waiting for radio to play “Video Phone” more than they do.


My Fave Line from the Song: Them hustlas keep on talkin'/ They like the way I'm walkin'/ You saying that you want me/ So press record, I'll let you film me

Chart Positions:
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B Hip-Hop Songs: 37 (original version)
U.S. Billboard Hot 100:65 (remix version)


Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGkvXp0vdng


*“Waking Up In Vegas”, Katy Perry from the album One of the Boys-- One of the most fun songs of ‘09, “Waking Up In Vegas” was inspired by some of Perry’s real life trips to Vegas with friends, boyfriends, etc. She says that when she was 21, she went to get fake married with her then boyfriend in Vegas. The song received generally positive reviews for Perry who had been criticized for her ballad “Thinking of You” (even though I thought the song was heartfelt). The video, directed by Joseph Kahn , is classic Katy Perry, and it sucks all of us in. Interesting fun fact: Penn and Teller appear in the video!


My Fave Line from the Song: Shut up and put your money where your mouth is/ That's what you get for waking up in Vegas/ Get up and shake the glitter off your clothes, now/ That's what you get for waking up in Vegas

Chart Positions:
U.S. Billboard Hot 100: 9
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs: 1
U.S. Billboard Pop Songs: 1


Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-pUaogoX5o


*“Walkin On the Moon”, The Dream feat. Kanye West from the album Love vs. Money-- I don’t have much to say about this single that I believe had some of the most beautiful lyrics of the year, possibly of the past decade. The Dream is a red hot writer and producer right now who is finally starting to prove he can also make hits for himself. The video pays homage to the Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson “Scream” video.


My Fave Line from the Song: Cause I'll pull down a cloud for you/ I'll circle the stars and bring you one back/ I'll walk through the sun for you/ Cause there's something you do/ That got me walking on the moon

Chart Positions:
U.S. Billboard Pop 100:74
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B Hip-Hop Songs: 38


Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqaTjzvMq18


*“Whatcha Say”, Jason Derulo from his upcoming debut album-- Yes, the song did take punches for liberally sampling an Imogen Heap song (“Hide and Seek”); however, it also launched the career of up and comer Jason Derulo. He is not new to the music business, after all, he has been writing songs since he was 16 for the likes of Danity Kane, Diddy, Lil Wayne, Cassie, and Sean Kingston to name a few. He was “discovered” on Showtime at the Apollo by music producer J.R. Rotem who almost immediately signed him to his record label Beluga Heights/ Warner Bros., and the rest, as they say, is history.


My Fave Line from the Song: Cause when the roof caved in and the truth came out/ I just didn't know what to do/ But when I become a star we'll be living so large/ I'll do anything for you/ So tell me girl

Chart Positions:
U.S. Billboard Hot 100: 1


Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBI3lc18k8Q

This year's "My Fave Songs" list is dedicated to Michael Jackson, so many people miss you; I know I do. Rest in peace and God bless you for giving us such inspiration for music and life.