#2: Alicia Keys - That's How Strong My Love IsSince I haven't done a review of the album yet (I will next year, I PROMISE), let me just get everything out of the way right now and say that this is my favorite song off The Element of Freedom. It's got a gorgeous melody and an even more gorgeous piano line - that's the focus of the song, really. I love how it's pretty and not serious as hell - some people think that if you just have a simple melody and a simple piano part it has to be haunting and serious every single time. Sure there are times when you need those types of songs (Britt Nicole's Have Your Way, for example) but we need a break. Thankfully, Alicia realizes that. Brilliant song, turns somewhat epic but still not explosively epic at the end and dammit, it needs attention.
#1: Hwanhee - 심장을 놓쳐서Hwanhee used to be under SM Entertainment with the act Fly to the Sky - they were an R&B duo and let me tell you, these guys had gorgeous voices. No really, they were versatile, beautiful and dammit, they could sing. Now he's gone solo and his carrier single late this year is something I liked when I first heard it, still liked when I kept on listening to it non-stop for a day but literally fell at my feet for when I heard the instrumental at full volume.
I tweeted this earlier this month but I'm serious - this song has the possibility of being the Forever of Korea. The only difference is that this song has a heck of a lot of groove (think a slightly less effortless Craig David) and the guy's voice is just BRILLIANT. I am in no way kidding, listen to this at an extremely high volume and you will be blown away. I was.
Let's take a moment to talk about the instrumental. I love the percussion part even if it's not real drums and the synth part makes the song really cool but amidst all these computer-generated crap made into brilliance is an element I always, always, adore in a song. YES, IT HAS A STRING SECTION and a DAMN GOOD one at that. Then there's the piano part during the breakdown after the middle 8 before the song explodes - THAT plus a string section is enough to make this one of the best songs of the year.
The schedule for the rest of the year and early January:
29th: Rankings and sum-up of the best songs
30th: 9 Best Albums of 2009 #s 9 - 2
31st: Best Album of 2009 AND 50 most played songs
1st (January): Looking Back at 2009
2nd: What to Expect in 2010
3rd: Vocal Commentary Special Re-briefing
4th: DBSK's Vocal Prowess V2.0 - The Intro
5th: DBSK's Vocal Prowess V2.0 - The Individual Analyses