bilal, brand new heavies, buju banton, chrisette michelle, common, eric roberson, jill scott, ledisi, mary j blige, rahsaan patterson, top songs of 2007
When the dog bites, when the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I just simply remember my favorite things
and then I don’t feel so bad.
I’ve been inspired by the good folks over at Soul Bounce, Nova, Butta, and Ill Mami, to put together my own top ten list of songs from 2007. Be sure to check out their lists as well because they know good music.
As I’ve mentioned before, it’s HARD for me to do lists like this. There were so many songs that moved me this past year. However, after some help from the above lists and the Best Albums Roundtable podcast to refresh my memory, I’ve managed to narrow it down.
10. Stop Breaking My Heart – Rahsaan Patterson
I was anxiously awaiting this album and while I didn’t fall in love like I did with his previous three releases, I found myself coming back and grooving to this particular track again and again. Like many of the songs I chose, it was a definite theme song for me in 2007.
9. Common f/Nina Simone & Bilal – Misunderstood
This is another album where there was stiff competition for my favorite track. Probably one of the things that sealed the deal was his mention of subject matter that’s near and dear to me.
He Knew that the president wasn’t addressin’ him
Though dead presidents was addressin’ him
Two kids from hot sex no protection and
People don’t see how aids is affectin’ him
Then to mix in Nina Simone and Bilal…can’t get hotter than that.
Listen to Common in a studio session breaking down “Misunderstood”
8. Sex God – Brand New Heavies
I am very ashamed to say that although I had certainly heard of the Heavies before and kept up with their concerts through one of their stans, I just became a convert this past summer. At the Capital Jazzfest, they had hundreds of black folks partying in the cold, pouring rain like they were in Miami on a 80 degree day. I already told you that was one of my top concerts of 2007.
It was hard to choose just one song from their latest release, Get Used to It. There was stiff competition from “Let’s Do It Again.” I first heard a mix of “Sex God” on MN8’s Myspace page with a rap intro and didn’t know it was the Heavies. I couldn’t stop playing it. And you know how I do, the title and lyrics didn’t hurt either!
7. Buju Banton – Driver A
Everytime I hear this song, I’ll remember Jamaica. And oh, what fond memories they are. The Reggae Sumfest crowd who had been at the show since 7pm, went wild when he performed this at about 4am. If you are a reggae lover, it’s hard to sit still on this one. I wish I had been capturing video because this man’s live energy is unbelievable.
6. Mary J. Blige – Til The Morning
I have yet to fall in love with Growing Pains, but this particular song, along with one or two others are definitely stand-out tracks. From the first listen, this was the only song I added to my Top Rated on the ‘pod. It’s a straight party track and frankly reminds me of the 90s MJB who put out albums where I just knew I was going to love each and every song.
5. Ledisi – Alright
This song got a sista through some tough times this year. Some mornings on my commute to a job that I’m so over, I throw this on and know it’s going to be alright. I’ve been a Ledisi fan since I saw her perform several years ago on the Capital Jazzfest cruise. Her latest release, Lost and Found, further cements my adoration for her amazing talent.
4. Raheem Devaughn – Woman
I remember seeing Rah perform a year or two before the release of his first album. I hadn’t heard of him and gave him the serious side-eye as he took off his kicks and rolled all over the stage like his last name was Labelle. Today, color me convinced. “Woman” is such a feel good track. On the rare occasion that I turn on the radio and hear some rapper accosting my bleeding ears with the order to “shut up, swallow,” I so need artists like Rah to extol the virtues of “woman” [read; not bitch or hoe, thankuverymuch!]
3. Chrisette Michele – If I Have My Way
I Am was definitely one of my top five favorite albums of 2007. Not to mention what this girl can do live. Again, it was hard to pick just one song. “My Way” faced stiff competition from “Golden,” “Mr. Radio,” and “Let’s Rock,” just to name a few. However, this was another track with lyrics that mirrored a situation that went on in my life in 2007. I actually played this song when I just couldn’t find the words. Now that is good music.
2. Eric Roberson – Pen Just Cries Away
Again, you should already know how I feel about Erro. As a matter of fact, I’ll be seeing him perform twice this week. So many standouts on what I consider his best album yet, Left. I swear he wrote “Pretty Girl” about me. However, this was another song that holds an emotional significance for me. I’ll never be able to listen to it without remembering a certain someone, me and him straight vibing to it at W Ellington Felton’s Tuesday night set. Little did I know months later, I would hear that same song as the relationship came to an end. I still love it just the same though.
1. Jill Scott – Crown Royal
What can I say about this song that hasn’t already been said? What can I write about The Real Thing that hasn’t already been written? I’ll just say that I’ve been fortunate to really feel Jill on this particular track many times over in 2007 and I hope that trend continues in 2008.
Honorable Mention: Neyo, “You Make Me Better”
I’d love to hear your favorite tracks of 2007.