“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)

“Breaking Us In Two” by Joe Jackson (1982)

Joe Jackson was one of the most chameleonic musicians of his era. “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” sounds nothing like his cover of “The Harder They Come”, which sounds nothing like “Steppin’ Out”, which sounds nothing like “Breaking Us In Two”-and those last two songs are on the same album! I’m a sucker… Read More “Breaking Us In Two” by Joe Jackson (1982)

“Blame Game” by Kanye West (featuring John Legend & Chris Rock, 2010)

“Blame Game” is the song that best strikes a balance between Genius Kanye and Definitely-Off-His-Meds Kanye. Clearly inspired by a breakup, “Blame Game” is a mournful piano ballad, intro-ed by a literal sigh by John Legend. Talk about setting a tone. As mournful as the song begins, shit gets truly unhinged in the second verse. Kanye… Read More “Blame Game” by Kanye West (featuring John Legend & Chris Rock, 2010)

“Bitter” by Me’shell NdegeOcello (1999)

Bitter was the first of many stylistic shifts for Me’Shell NdegeOcello. Recorded in the aftermath of a romantic breakup, the singer/songwriter/bassist’s third album largely eschewed the socio-political funk and hip-hop jams that dominated her first two efforts in favor of intimate folk/pop with an orchestral sweep. The lyrics followed suit. Bitter’s title track is a… Read More “Bitter” by Me’shell NdegeOcello (1999)