Top Songs Of 2016, Part 2

Welcome to my Top Songs of 2016, Part 2. As I stated in Part 1 yesterday, I’m listing the 25 songs that I loved the most in 2016. Not necessarily the best or most popular, but the ones that I put in heavy rotation. Just as in Part 1, I’ve written about some of the songs in this list; others I haven’t written about at all. If a song has previously been featured, I’ve provided a link to the post where you can find it. So if you are looking for a #RomanticTuesday song, that theme has been pre-empted for the week. If you can’t be bothered to go back to Part 1, I’m listing the songs all week, five songs a day. So here goes the next five, again in alphabetical order.

Solange, “Cranes In The Sky”: If the year had ended in April, I suppose that one of Beyoncé’s songs would have been on this list. Good thing the year doesn’t end until December. While Queen Bey’s album has gotten plenty of deserved praise, her younger sister gets the call for my list. This song has been around for a couple months now, but it is too strong to leave off my list. The album it comes from, A Seat At The Table, is every bit as acclaimed as her sister’s Lemonade—even if it doesn’t have the Grammy nominations to prove it (Solange’s album came out just before the eligibility deadline). This moody song is gettting plenty of play in my house; good for Solange for proving she doesn’t stand in her sister’s overly large shadow.

Tedeschi Trucks Band, “Don’t Know What It Means”: One of the first songs I featured once I started featuring tunes on a near-daily basis. In that post, I called their album Let Me Get By the first great album of the year (more on that next week). This song here has got it all: a solid beat, a bassline to die for, great horn lines and outstanding vocals and guitar work by Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks. This is the song for you if you like your music played by an honest-to-goodness full on band with blues and R&B trappings and great guitar leads.

Cool Uncle (Bobby Caldwell & Jack Splash) featuring Mayer Hawthorne, “Game Over”: Some of you may remember Bobby Caldwell for “What You Won’t Do For Love” from back in the late 1970’s. Well, he’s still kicking and he still sounds great. Jack Splash you might be less familiar with; he’s worked with many of today’s popular artists—Katy Perry, Sia, Kendrick Lamar, John Legend, Alicia Keys and Mary J. Blige to name a few. Caldwell and Splash combined to form the group Cool Uncle, and with the underground king of throwback music Hawthorne came up with this old soul groove. It’s blue-eyed soul for 2016.

Corinne Bailey Rae, “Green Aphrodisiac”: When she first arrived with “Put Your Records On” and “Like A Star,” I admit I didn’t take her seriously. Yes, they were popular songs, but I thought she was way too slight to be reckoned with. Since then, she has grown in my estimation—certainly enough to make it to my top 25 for 2016. This track just bubbles and bubbles, never exactly boiling over, but it’s the exquisiteness of her vocal and the music (save for Marcus Miller’s zooming bass notes that seem to kick off each chorus) that I enjoy so much. The album that contains this song, The Heart Speaks In Whispers, is pretty good too. Glad she helped change my perception of her music.

Back Yard Band, “Hello (GoGo Version)”: Adele’s version is deservedly celebrated; it has been praised to the high heavens since its release back in late 2015. It also will be up for several Grammy awards at the upcoming ceremony early next year, including Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year (an award for the songwriters, of which Adele is one). Recently, R&B singer Joe released his version of “Hello” on his latest (and supposed “final”) album, #MYNAMEISJOETHOMAS. His is a well-crafted cover version that suits him and his audience. But for me, the best version of this song I heard all year was Back Yard Band’s go-go track. Even as I heard it months after its release, it is still getting major play eight months after the fact. I even used their version as my backing music for a dance video I did earlier this year (which is still kicking around somewhere). It is still so popular in the local area that bands are still playing their version of it in their sets. There’s even a line dance that was made up for it (or so I’ve seen on YouTube). It’s go-go at it’s best, and yes it CRANKS. Fun fact: for those who don’t know, the male voice doing the ad-libs beginning in the middle and during the breakdowns: if you watched the televison show The Wire, you might remember the character Slim Charles, as played by Anwan “Big G” Glover. That is his voice you hear, as he is a member of Back Yard Band.

That’s all for Part 2; I hope you enjoy these tracks as well. Perhaps there’s something in them you may like. Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 3, and as always, thanks for listening and reading.

21 Replies to “Top Songs Of 2016, Part 2”

  1. Where do we begin? I was surprised by Solange. She definitely has her own groove & I was digging the chill vibe. Mr.Bobby Caldwell +Mayer Hawthorne? No brainer! Cool Uncle seems like a future iPod tune. Hello-the go go version might even be better than Adele’s. Keep ’em coming, T.Wayne!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Tracy.I just wanted to let you know that I am listening to your music choices this week but didn’t want to make any uninformed comments. Most of this is new music to me so I have to listen to the tracks a couple of time. I think I’ve mentioned that we don’t have Spotify. They may play some of these songs on our Music radio stations and one can listen to streaming radio. I guess your posts made me realise that I’m out of touch with more modern music. I listen to a lot of talk radio and when I want a break, I just move to my collection.

    Still, I’m curious to know which of these songs do you think will stand the test of time as the music we both love, has done. Anyway, I will listen to your top 25 more leisurely. Have a great day. Chevvy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Chevvy. I hope you had a great day. I’ve taken my time responding to your wonderful question. The best answer I can give is that I can’t really say for sure what will stand the test of time out of the songs I have put on my list for the year. When I sat down to think about my response, I also wondered when my mother was my age if she thought any of the music that I liked growing up would stand the test of time. She would probably have said that none of it would-her music was 60s and 70s soul and funk music; that was her era. Many of those songs that she grew up with, we consider to have stood the test of time, but I don’t know that she would have thought so at the time they were brand new. Her son was listening to 80s synthesized R&B, some pop music and the burgeoning movement known as rap or hip-hop music.

      In some ways, I think that the succeeding generations get to make the call as to what music stands the test of time; as they are the ones who can determine what songs have held up in the years following a song’s initial release. My list is a reflection of what moved me in what could be considered the “present”, much more so than what I think will still be standing ten, twenty or fifty years on.

      Hope that helps, Chevvy. That was an awesome question, one that requires a bit of thought and could not be tossed off lightly. Hope your next day is a great one, and thank you for such a great question.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Tracy for honoring me with such a comprehensive answer. I suppose, we were a different generation that appreciated the art in music and bought the brand and all the experiences we associated with it. So as you, Gwin and I have always reminisced, it’s the inherent nostalgia that we associate with the music that keeps it alive for us. Among the younger people around me, I don’t see the same sentimentalism.

        I’m probably unfair to expect it. I think it’s also important to remain current and appreciate that music also mirrors the culture,history and issues of the time.

        Listening to your top 25, I realise I’ve been left behind and that sometimes, we should just have fun with the music and not be concerned with its longevity. I’m open to that and so I will check out the music you’ve posted.

        I too will be curious about whether young people will preserve music and their memories as we did. Time will tell.

        On a lighter note, I’m happy to hear what keeps your feet stomping everyday 😀 Sweet dreams!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you, Chevvy! It was such a great question, and I have to admit when I put this list together, I didn’t really think so much about longevity as much as what I was digging at a particular moment. Basically, if I heard a song I liked through the year, I made a note of it and put it on a playlist on one of the streaming services (like Spotify). Then I had a ready made list to make my choices from. Most of the year, I remembered the songs, but I’m sure there were some I probably forgot that should have been on the list.

        The songs that you, Gwin and I love became our soundtrack because there were stations and people who kept them in the forefront. Today’s culture makes music a bit more disposable, especially when you consider that today is more of a singles culture, rather than an album culture. I’m sure the three of us love to look over the so-called “deep cuts” that don’t necessarily get released as singles, but are beloved all the same. I’m hoping to do a post next week on some of the albums that I was able to hear that I loved over the year. There definitely won’t be 25 of them though. LOL

        I hope your day was great as well. Take care, and I’m sure I’ll see you around the internet soon.


  3. I actually like Solange quite a bit! She has her own style and is not biting off her more famous sister.
    And “Green Aphrodisiac?”
    I think you and I were jamming that one earlier this year 🙂
    Very nice selections Twin 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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