“Dancing On My Own” by Robyn (2010)

Me and my friend Ed were talking on the train ride home last night about being friends with exes and trying to maintain that relationship after they’ve started seeing someone else. Not easy. Especially if you are still single. The whole “oh, I wasn’t good enough for you…who is this other asshole?” thought process comes… Read More “Dancing On My Own” by Robyn (2010)

“Dance With You” by Bad Rabbits feat. Teddy Riley & Clinton Sparks (2013)

Bad Rabbits were my favorite local act during the time I spent in Boston. Any band featuring Black nerdy dudes with a punk rock sensibility was bound to score high marks with me. I only got to see them live once, but it was memorable. The show was at Brighton Music Hall (for scale: the… Read More “Dance With You” by Bad Rabbits feat. Teddy Riley & Clinton Sparks (2013)

“Constant Conversations” by Passion Pit (2012)

Listening to Passion Pit’s “Constant Conversations” now, it’s hard to not think that the song was ripped straight from Michael Angelakos’s personal journal. Angelakos, who in essence is Passion Pit, famously developed the musical project as a gift to his then-girlfriend. The musical project turned into an actual idea for a band. Local success turned into national/international… Read More “Constant Conversations” by Passion Pit (2012)

“Coffee” by Miguel (2015)

If “Adorn” was Miguel’s breakthrough “I Wanna Be Your Lover”-style hit, “Coffee” was his “Dirty Mind”. I make the Prince comparison because…well, because it’s apt. It also means Miguel’s next album will make him a pop superstar. After all, Prince’s fifth album was 1999. I’m getting ahead of myself. “Coffee” was the lead single from… Read More “Coffee” by Miguel (2015)

“The Charade” by D’Angelo & The Vanguard (2014)

Sonically, “The Charade” borrows from Prince. Specifically, the mid ‘80s Revolution period. D’Angelo, of course, is his own man. And despite some sonic similarities, “The Charade” is more urgent, more black, than anything Prince recorded during his (admittedly amazing) Revolution years. Understanding what D is singing about is a Herculean task, but all you really need to know… Read More “The Charade” by D’Angelo & The Vanguard (2014)

“Can’t Stop The Feeling!” by Justin Timberlake (2016)

I’ll save the talk about the baggage associated with loving Justin Timberlake for another time. In my older years, I’m typically not the type to fall for songs that appear to be engineered in a lab for optimum ear-wormsmanship. “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” is the musical equivalent of a punchline that you can see miles away… Read More “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” by Justin Timberlake (2016)

“Butterfly” (Mariah Carey, 1997)/ “Bye Baby” (NaS, 2012)

Time for a little re-assessment. Bumping two songs from the last batch of four star songs up a notch. Also dropping back for two final “B” songs. “Butterfly”, on its face, is a prototypical big ‘90s Mariah ballad. That’s where the comparisons to “Hero” (which is awful), “One Sweet Day” (which is pretty bad), or her cover of “I’ll Be… Read More “Butterfly” (Mariah Carey, 1997)/ “Bye Baby” (NaS, 2012)

“Broken Hearts Heal” by Janet Jackson (2014)

I was one of the millions who was devastated when Michael Jackson passed away. As much as I mourned though, I can’t imagine anything I felt was anywhere near the same ballpark as the anguish his family underwent following Michael’s death. Wow, that still feels weird to write and it’s been almost nine years. “Broken… Read More “Broken Hearts Heal” by Janet Jackson (2014)