Welcome to my Top Songs of 2016, Part 3. As I stated when I began this list on Monday, 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 and Part 2, 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 Wednesday Morning Groove, you’ll be waiting a while (at least one week; maybe two). All the songs are being listed in alphabetical order, beginning from Monday through the end of the week. Now let’s go through the next five songs.
Lyfe Jennings, “I Love You”: If Lyfe Jennings were on a show like The Voice, there’d be a lot of talk about his “raspy” voice. It was a voice that almost wasn’t heard, when he served a ten-year prison sentence that ended in December 2002. Now on album number six, this song comes from that album, Tree Of Lyfe, which was released in 2015. However, I hadn’t heard the song until this year. The lyrics of this one, particularly the first verse, gets this included for me:
You are my glory
My revenge on every woman that ever ignored meYou are my babyMy BET award they never gave meGirl you are to me, baby, what KC is to JodeciOh my destinationMy everyday, nothing short of amazing
Sinead Harnett featuring GRADES, “If You Let Me”: I’ve been following this young singer from the U.K. ever since her first EP, N.O.W., was released in 2014. I think she is immensely talented, and when I heard this song for the first time, it never left me. The music feels foreboding and almost spooky, but Harnett’s voice feels beautifully fragile against the backdrop. From her eponymously titled EP (her third), I knew this one was a keeper when a co-worker of mine who doesn’t read the blog regularly (shame on her!) texted me and asked me if I knew who the singer was of the song. When I told her, she told me that she loved it. To date, Harnett has yet to release a full length album under her name, a fact that I hope changes in 2017.
Joe, “Lean Into It”: I mentioned Joe in yesterday’s post where I mentioned he had a cover of Adele’s “Hello.” This is the first track from his new album, #MYNAMEISJOETHOMAS, which was released last month. The album is purportedly his last, and if it is, he’ll be going out the way he came into the game almost twenty years ago. He has been a solid R&B singer from the moment he appeared on the scene, and while the music may have changed somewhat, his vocal ability has never wavered. As for this pick, I prefer it to the single release “So I Can Have You Back.” I think this is a better song by far.
Tessanne Chin, “Love Suicide”: For a show that purports to turn its winners into stars, it hasn’t really happened yet for The Voice. Other than Jordan Smith, whose stardom has to be defined in terms of album sales rather than chart success, none of the other winners has exactly set the music world on fire. There have been some fitful successes, but there hasn’t really been a breakout star. The same is true of Tessanne Chin, the winner of Season 5, but it isn’t for lack of trying. Her 2016 single, “Love Suicide,” found its way on this list by virture of being the best single she has released since her victory. It also helped that it absolutely tried to shut down my blog when I featured it on a Jam It Or Slam It post back in July. It garnered the most “Jam It!” votes by far, and also resulted in many likes and retweets on Twitter, and even a follow from the artist herself.
Kenya featuring Brandon McKenzie, “Makeusmile (Tom Glide Rework): Another song that was featured on the blog this year, it has the honor of being the only remix (or in this case, “rework”) on the list. I happen to prefer it to the original. It just sounds better to me, and the ending is better than the original album version. Contained on the remix album Skin Deep, the song and album are just a continuation of what Kenya started back in 2015. A former clinician and educator who decided to follow her passion to make music, songs like these coupled with the success and acclaim of her debut album My Own Skin make that decision look very smart indeed.
That’s all I have for Part 3. Hopefully you find something you like among these songs. Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 4, where I’ll list another five songs. As always, thanks for reading and listening.