So, we all know how lovely it is to fall in love: the birds chirp a little louder, images are a bit sharper, you skip to the loo, and every little thing your paramour does is so cute (even the things that will drive you to want to kill them later). We have a gazillion love songs, cheesy poetry and envious friends to cheer us on, but what about the "sour times?" That's right, Portishead will be on the list!
I am sure on another day, I will choose a different list and there are some people I left off (D'Angelo, Maxwell, Al Green, Chaka, Marvin Gaye,Patti Labelle, Sinead) who OBVIOUSLY have some slamming sad/longing songs. Okay, listening to Radiohead right now and need to get some peppier songs before I never make it out the house. "Lipgloss" here I
Please send me yours, I want to know how you wallow when your loving feeling has been lost.
PS- only attempt to make this list when you are actually happy. otherwise, you may never emerge from the hellish emo abyss. Damn this Radiohead is depressing!
20.Resentment or Irreplaceable- Beyonce
B gives Jay-Z a piece of her mind when he was doing her wrong.Or so I imagine. And no, "to the left, to the left," is not the best lyric here. It has to be "I can have another you in a minute...Don't ever for a second get to thinking you're irreplaceable..." Damn B, you cold girl! "Resentment" is just...well listen to the song. The influence of B playing Deanna in Dreamgirls shows. I played this one A LOT last year. Best lyric:" Loving you was easy, once upon a time."
19.On the Ground--Beady Belle
Swedish soul singer, Beady Belle, gives a dynamite rendition of "you made your bed, now lie in it...hoe!" over a gorgeous, minimalist down-tempo beat. It's a song about going on with your life. Thanks Vanessa for introducing me to her, cuz her albums are available import only and expensive. Love this song!
18.Gnarls Barkley-Who's Gonna Save My Soul?
Oh man. Cee-Lo, you really kill it. Haunting, psychedelic, trippy and dark. Does anyone know what the sample is? It sounds very familiar, like some 60s movie theme song. It sounds like it's about losing one's religion, but the longing is the same, I mean isn't love a type of worship? Cee-Lo moans, groans, growls, about selfishness, self-interest, fear, loss of control...whew I identify, like the best of them (Al Green, Marvin Gaye). Lesson: Co-dependence don't work fools! Buy this album
This song got me through all of 2004. Oh man, I know every lyric (singing now: "The party ain't jumpin' like used too, even if it bruise[s] you, let it burn, let it burn, let it burn..." It's got everything: falsetto, drama, multiple perspectives on a relationship ending, longing, sexual desire and you can dance to it while in that slow-cool way that I could never do.It is seriously a sexy song. Almost makes breaking up worth it just so you can sing along with conviction! Usher is the man.He does R. Kelley better that R and with more class.
16.(Another Song) All Over Again- Justin Timberlake
Okay, I know it may seem like sacrilege to rate J. Tim higher than Usher, but I think the fact that this song is newer and gets more play on my iPod gives it the one up. Plus for the longest time, I thought this was some Chris Brown-like guy who just "sounded like Justin Timberlake." Lol, silly me. This is the song from the side of the
one who done fucked up, come on, we've all been there and done that. I know I done some fucked up shit to people. So you know, it never works out, but he puts his heart and soul into it. And it is much less bitter than "Cry Me a River," or "What Goes Around Comes Around," (although they are very good when you are wishing your ex(es) ill will); this song is completely tender with lots of melismas and falsetto. And begging, A+.
15.How Can I Ease the Pain?-Lisa Fischer. Sigh. Oh Lisa, you won awards, but did we really give you credit for being the bombity-ass singer you were? And not just for being Luther's back-up singer either. How can you write something so perfect as, "IF it's not loooovveeeeeeee, you're coming foooooorrrrrr, why [are] you here, knock-knock-knocking at my doooorrr. I can't take it no more, no more, no more baby, give me love or nothing at alllllllll (in a high C no less)." Shit woman, you can wrench a tear out of a stone. Play this song only if you have friends or family to rescue you from your broke-down heart puddle.
14.Picture in a Frame- Ben Harper. He's angry. He's hurt. He writes a gorgeous traveling road song. The reminiscing doesn't bring the love back, as "all that's left...is a picture sitting in a frame." Yup, perfect.
13.You Don't Know what Love Is- Cassandra Wilson. This song, honey, over honey, over the smoothest honey. Ms. Wilson's voice is unbelievable, hypnotic, fierce and bereft. "You don't know what love is until you learn the meaning of the blues, til you've lost a love, you had to lose, you don't know what love is." Really? For shizz? Whyyy? Exactly. That's love and "sangin'" about it.
12. The entire Bitter album- Me'shell Ndegeocello. You just have to listen. In the dark, on your bed, with minimal clothing. Trust me.
11. Mary J. Blige's whole discography. I mean really, Mary J. is synonymous with heartache. And I know people say that they don't like her "know that she's happy." HATERS!! Mary J. cans still bring the pain to a sunny day and make you like it. Some MJB classic lost love songs: "Your Child" --ridiculously ghetto but still sort of amazing, her cover of Chaka Khan's "Sweet Thing," "I'm the Only One You Need" and "You Gotta Believe," off of what is arguably Mary's best album, My Life and of course, "I Can Love You."
10. Getting Late- Floetry. Floetry can be a bit corny sometimes, but their first album has some incredible classics. "It's Getting Last," not only has glorious lyrics, harmonies, and concept, but gets at the vulnerability of hurt inside a relationship. How sex, desire, fear, fantasy and the reality of what is or was and how it all plays out with never enough time..."it's getting last, why you gotta be here?"
9. Just Friends/ Valerie (live on the DL) Amy Winehouse
8.The entire Dummy album--Portishead
7. Do I Love You?- Ella Fitzgerald
6.Bittersweet-Lewis Taylor (the best British soul singer EVER)
4.TIE: Green Eyes- Erykah Badu/ Led Zepplin- Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You
3.Oh Sailor or I Know- Fiona Apple
2. TIE: Lesson Learned- Alicia Keys ft John Mayer/ Ex-Factor (original or remix)- Lauryn Hill: both of these songs are complex, perspective-shifting pleas/homages to lost love. Timeless
And number one is:
1. A House is a Not a Home by the late and great Ms., uh, Mr. Luther Vandross