Category: Music

January 8th, 2019
Blog Entry

Best of 2018 playlist

2018 was not a banner year for me. But musically it had everything: bangers, sadbangers, and the return of Craig David.

Best of 2018 playlist

Magic – Craig David, from the album The Time is Now
Love the slight chiptune groove to the intro, the chorus is catchy as anything, but it’s the bridge that elevates it into genius:

M for the way you make me feel
A ‘cos you always keep it real
G for the girl that got me good
I C the world the way I should

God bless him for sticking with it when he got stuck on “IC”.

Missing U – Robyn, from the album Honey
Oh Robyn, you magnificent articulate disco elk. Your absence hurt, but now you’re back and this is what we wanted. Production, performance, arrangement, all on point. And it’s fun! But sad. It’s possible to be both.

Atletico (The Only One) – Rae Morris, from the album Someone Out There
Sad songs about regretfully watching other people dance are my very specific niche (Dancing On My Own by Robyn is my most listened-to song ever, remember) and here’s another cracker. Rhythmically wavy, a biscuit tin full of mini-melodies, bittersweet; really good.

I Like That – Janelle Monáe, from the album Dirty Computer
Not the most common favourite from this superb album, but one of Monáe’s best vocals, and the most luscious “ooohs” of the year (previous winners include You Go Down Smooth by Lake Street Dive in 2014).

Remind Me – Emily King, from the album Scenery (out 1st February 2019)
I forgot to add this to the list last year, which is quite an oversight considering I really like Emily King. When the beat comes in around 3:23 it’s great. I’m really excited about her new album and wish I could go see her in concert, but Berlin is too far. Sorry, Emily!

Still Cold – Cleo Sol, from the EP Winter Songs
Here we move away from the up beats and towards the down beats. If this playlist was a year, we’d be in late May, early June now, so it’s hardly lyrically apt but it is a real beauty: delicately orchestrated, sensitively performed,

I Can Change – Lake Street Dive, from the album Free Yourself Up
Down down down, but light still falls down here. Lyrically malleable enough to apply to probably any hardship you’ve had (“Escaping an old battle that clings on like a vine to me, and whispers dirty lies in my ear”). Important to hear at the end – or beginning – of any year.

Rainbow – Kasey Musgraves, from the album Golden Hour
Here’s an album that did not deliver on the hype for me, but you know what? After listening to it a few more times, I started to see the appeal. Here’s another addition to my long-running mental catalogue of “girl with piano” tracks (joining Sara Bareilles, A Fine Frenzy, et al). Recommended way to listen: on a slow train on 2nd January, as the clouds part, feeling you’re leaving a city and a whole year behind.

Roll Back – George FitzGerald, from the album All That Must Be
Filler, this, but good filler. Forms a bit of a bridge to…

PS2 – Litany, from the 4 Track EP
Bit of an abrupt transition between George and Litany, because on the EP this has its own intro track with the artists saying nice things about each other (“I would have crumbled without her”), but we haven’t time for retaining integral emotional presentation here. A purposeful beat, simple evocative childhood memory (“Remember when we met after school, and all my friends were making fun of you?”) and, second-best of all, it’s named after a night spent playing on a PlayStation 2. (Best of all is that Litany are from Harrogate in Yorkshire).

Honey – Robyn, from the album Honey
High on pretty much everyone’s end of year list, I would hope, so should need no justification. All I’ll say is, like all the best songs, getting to know this song felt like falling in love.

Catch up on my past playlists of the year


December 24th, 2018
Blog Entry

Songs of the year

Every year I create a “Best of the year” playlist on Spotify, which usually starts on 30th December with me looking back at my Last.fm scrobbles and trying to remember what I liked in the year. This year I decided to get a bit nerdy with it.

I love a good spreadsheet, and a good statistic, despite the fact that numbers hate me (ask anyone at work: if ever I make a mistake, it always involves numbers!) So rather than just put together an emotive list of what I liked, I wanted to reduce a year of music into stats. For instance: My top 50 most listened-to songs in 2018 accounted for almost 30% of my total listening my scrobbles, but only 12% by duration (I surmise that I listened to the same songs a lot, but they’re not as long as some songs I listened to more rarely.)

All this data is pulled from Last.fm, which is linked to my Spotify account, which my wife and I share. But only a few of the tracks that made it into the top 100 are hers, not mine: this is because I listen to music a lot more.

The top 10

Only two artists made it into the top 10: Lake Street Dive, one of my discoveries of 2014, and this year’s biggest find for me, Rae Morris. Her album Someone Out There came out in February and stuck with me all year, racking up 341 scrobbles, a third more than Lake Street Dive’s latest Free Yourself Up, which launched in April.

The full top 100

Here’s the full table. I pulled data from Last.fm and Spotify, and added a few comments where things occurred to me.

It’s been an interesting year.

  Song nameArtistAlbumScrobblesNotes
1Wait for the RainRae MorrisSomeone Out There42When the drums kick in at 1:19; nice middle-eight ("I don't want no ice, I'm already cold enough now"; the synth outro - textbook pop, and very pleasing too.
2Push Me to My LimitRae MorrisSomeone Out There40First track on the album I started more than any other, in a year that certainly pushed me to my limits.
3Atletico (The Only One)Rae MorrisSomeone Out There36Like track one, this is total pop with more sad disco ("From the back of the room you were holding my glance, I was trying to be cool, but I can't really dance")
4Do ItRae MorrisSomeone Out There32Slightly above 10% drop-off rate from track three to four. The clever bit is punning "do it" with "duet".
5RebornRae MorrisSomeone Out There3220% drop-off from track 1 to two - obviously not my favourite.
6You Are FreeLake Street DiveFree Yourself Up32New challenger! Track 8 on this album. Glorious harmonies on the chorus and outro.
7I Can ChangeLake Street DiveFree Yourself Up30A song for tough times. Happy to say I've listened to it less in the last few weeks.
8Shame, Shame, ShameLake Street DiveFree Yourself Up30More great harmonies: "Change is coming, oh yeah"
9Lower the ToneRae MorrisSomeone Out There29And back to Rae. Extra points for "idly chit-chatting away" as a lyric.
10Physical FormRae MorrisSomeone Out There28By the way - and this is going a bit TOTP2 now - Someone Out There is her second album, after 2014's "Unguarded".
11Rose GardenRae MorrisSomeone Out There28That one didn't grab me though: none of its songs appear in the top 100.
12The Inconsistency PrincipleAbove & BeyondCommon Ground28Change of pace: Above & Beyond are a British trance act - not a genre I like, but ideal distraction music for working.
13Moving OnAnna of the NorthLovers27Starting to get more varied now, isn't it? Anna of the North was on The Guardian's playlist of overlooked artists from 2017. A pleasing find.
14My Own HymnAbove & BeyondCommon Ground27In 2016, Above & Beyond took 70% of my most listened-to songs of the year. Happy to see that's changed.
15Good KisserLake Street DiveFree Yourself Up26A chorus built to belt out. Video is a little disappointing.
16Northern SoulAbove & BeyondCommon Ground26Even though I've scrobbled them so often, I can't remember what any of these Above & Beyond songs sound like.
17Baby Don't Leave Me Alone With My ThoughtsLake Street DiveFree Yourself Up25Despite making up a good proportion of my top 100, the album was a little disappointing.
18Dancing with CharacterRae MorrisSomeone Out There25From an album opener to an album closer. Pretty song, good rhythm, and a video filmed at Blackpool Tower with the singer's nana. 10/10.
19Dip My ToeRae MorrisSomeone Out There25One of the three songs from this album I "Loved" on Last.fm.
20Drown the LoversR I T U A LNo Escape Out of Time25Wild card! Mellow and macabre: just what you need at this time of year.
21Musta Been SomethingLake Street DiveFree Yourself Up25"You said I didn't do anything wrong, but there must have been something I could have done better". I felt that this year.
22Someone Out ThereRae MorrisSomeone Out There25Not the best: bit of a maudlin by-the-numbers piano ballad (and that's from someone whose main genre over the past few years have been "woman with piano pop")
23Finders KeepersMabelIvy to Roses (Mixtape)24Where's Roses? Where is Roses in this top 100? This is good, but Roses is awesome. I'm disappointed.
24Hang OnLake Street DiveFree Yourself Up24I'm going to see Lake Street Dive in April. I saw them once before and they were good.
25HoneyRobynHoney24Robyn's back! This song is amazing. I'm going to see her live next year too.
26Lost ColonySaori KobayashiCrimson Dragon OST24I'm surprised I listened to this - a track from a game I haven't played - more than any other game music track.
27NakedAbove & BeyondCommon Ground24OK I won't make comments on all 100 songs, just the interesting ones.
28No LoveLyvesLike Water24I listened to a lot of Synkro a few years ago, and found Lyves via that route. Also good working music.
29Darkest HourLyvesLike Water23
30DudeLake Street DiveFree Yourself Up23
31Doesn't Even Matter NowLake Street DiveFree Yourself Up22
32SomeoneAnna of the NorthLovers22
33Bang BangJessie JBang Bang21It feels like I've heard this song every single day for this year: it's on a lot of playlists and Daily Mixes. New Year's Resolution: don't listen to it again.
34HistoryKina GrannisIn the Waiting21Kina! Hi Kina. This is a nice album of soothing songs with acoustic guitars, and takes me back to my A Fine Frenzy period.
35Love MyselfHailee SteinfeldLove Myself21Absolute banger, genuine contender for best pop song of the decade, guaranteed to get me dancing every time.
36Red Light KissesLake Street DiveFree Yourself Up21
37The WeatherLyvesLike Water21
38Dancing on My OwnRobynBody Talk, pt 120Absolute banger, actual best pop song of the decade, guaranteed to get me dancing every time.
39LoversAnna of the NorthLovers20
40Come OverMabelIvy to Roses (Mixtape)19
41Is It Love? (1001)Above & BeyondCommon Ground19
42Jessie's GirlRick SpringfieldJessie's Girl19Hannah loves this song - it's on one of my cheesy pop party playlists. "I'm looking in the mirror all the time, wondering what she don't see in me". Poor Rick.
43Missing URobynHoney19Opening track to the album, and sounded exactly right for Robyn's return. But then the title track wins the crown for best song of the year (probably)
44Sahara LoveAbove & BeyondCommon Ground19
45When Will I LearnKina GrannisIn the Waiting19
46BurnsGeorge FitzgeraldAll That Must Be18More good working music. "Roll Back" (further down) is much better; so is the track with Tracy Thorn.
47Ecce valde generous ale (Mark! The Precious Wings)Saori KobayashiResurrection: Panzer Dragoon Saga18I was on a real Panzer Dragoon kick at the start of the year, even basically buying an Xbox One to play Panzer Dragoon Orta (which I played twice and haven't gone back to)
48FreeLyvesLike Water18
49FriedaGeorge FitzgeraldAll That Must Be18Surprising that "Roll Back" didn't make it as it's the best song on the album (in at 53, just above track 1 from this album, weirdly)
50Happiness AmplifiedAbove & BeyondCommon Ground18
51In the WaitingKina GrannisIn the Waiting18
52PS2Litany4 Track EP18Litany were a great find this year, and this song mentions "we stayed up all night playing on the PS2", so is automatically better.
53Roll BackGeorge FitzgeraldAll That Must Be18
54Two Moons UnderGeorge FitzgeraldAll That Must Be18
55BedroomLitany4 Track EP17
56BrainBANKSGoddess17A throwback to 2016, when I remember listening to this a lot in San Francisco just before Christmas. Those were different times.
57DracoSaori KobayashiCrimson Dragon OST17
58Noble Rebel ArmySaori KobayashiResurrection: Panzer Dragoon Saga17
59Off CenterEmily KingThe Switch17This song's been a constant in my life over the last few years. This year's focus was the intro: "Little flower of summer, once your seasons pass, do you ever wonder, why your petals fall so fast?"
60OutgrownGeorge FitzgeraldAll That Must Be17
61Siren CallsGeorge FitzgeraldAll That Must Be17
62SunriseSaori KobayashiCrimson Dragon OST17
63Tough LoveJessie WareTough Love17
64Why Don't YouCleo SolWinter Songs17EP dropped in 2018 but the song is 2017
65AlwaysAnna of the NorthLovers16
66Children's FestivalSaori KobayashiTerra Magica16
67Cold FeetAbove & BeyondCommon Ground16
68Ex-FactorLauryn HillThe Miseducation of Lauryn Hill16One of the greatest songs ever. What a sound.
69LabasaChad ValleyEntirely New Blue16
70MoneyAnna of the NorthLovers16
71PostpartumTaylor McFerrinEarly Riser16I had this on one of my "best of the year" playlists that I go back to every now and again.
72Because It's in the MusicRobynHoney16
73Baby Forgive MeRobynHoney16
74Human BeingRobynHoney16
75A Premonition of BattleSaori KobayashiResurrection: Panzer Dragoon Saga15
76Alright NowAbove & BeyondCommon Ground15
77Crazy, Classic, LifeJanelle MonáeDirty Computer15I'm really surprised Janelle Monáe isn't higher up - I felt like I was listening to this album all summer. And this isn't even my favourite song! What an injustice.
78Don't Kill My VibeSigridDon't Kill My Vibe - EP15
79FeelsAnna of the NorthLovers15
80Nobody But YouGeorge FitzgeraldAll That Must Be15
81SkyborneSaori KobayashiCrimson Dragon OST15
82The LichfieldJeremy GarrenCrimson Dragon OST15
83TightropeAbove & BeyondCommon Ground15
84V. 3005Childish Gambinobecause the internet15From another playlist, but always a good one to listen to. I don't know the rest of the album at all.
85Send to Robyn ImmediatelyRobynHoney15
86BabyAnna of the NorthLovers14
87BirdsongKina GrannisIn the Waiting14
88CriminalMiguelWar & Leisure14I actually got into War & Leisure this year after telling myself it wasn't as good as Wildheart. It's not, but it is damn good.
89DawnSaori KobayashiTerra Magica14
90Godawful ThingsLake Street DiveSide Pony14The first track on Lake Street Dive's predecessor to Free Yourself Up. Probably snuck in as I was comparing the two albums.
91Green LightLordeMelodrama14
92Half-Light - Night VersionGeorge FitzgeraldAll That Must Be14
93ILitany4 Track EP14Opening track, mostly talking, not really a song.
94Let's Go CrazyPrincePurple Rain14One of the best songs of all time, opening one of the greatest albums, and a real pleasure. Would be higher if Last.fm could track how many times I listened to the record.
95Make Me Feel Janelle MonáeDirty Computer14Hannah's favourite song off the album, because it's so much like the guy above this.
96MotherSaori KobayashiTerra Magica14
97Mutant Species 1Saori KobayashiResurrection: Panzer Dragoon Saga14
98Not That ManChad ValleyEntirely New Blue14
99Real FeelsR I T U A LNo Escape Out of Time14
100Rock BottomHailee SteinfeldHAIZ14How apt! A song called Rock Bottom at the bottom of my top 100! You couldn't make it up (and, for the record, I didn't)

Read more of my posts about music


January 14th, 2018
Blog Entry

Best of 2017 playlist

For the past three years, I’ve put together a short Spotify playlist of some of my favourite tracks of the year. Looking back on those playlists, they tell their own story.

Best of 2014

Kicking off with the most varied playlist, this has everything from soul to rap to big belting ballads. It also shows I made a lot of musical discoveries in 2014; probably the last year I did.

Best of 2015
I struggled a lot with this one, a meagre two tracks on the playlist. Maybe the move to a different job had impacted it, or maybe I was more concerned with making it personal finds and not ‘obvious’ ones.

Looking back at the official charts’ top songs of 2015, maybe it was just a tough year. Standouts on a revised playlist would be Uptown Funk and Love Myself by Hailee Steinfeld (a favourite of mine in the years since).

Best of 2016
I made more of an effort this year, with 15 songs on the list, though admittedly I bent my own “must have been released this year” rule by allowing favourite tracks from previous years into the latter half of the playlist.

Best of 2017

Short (only 7 tracks) but managing to cram in everything from road trip pop to low-fi pop and even some R&B pop as well. Totally varied! And only two outdated songs, including 2015’s Off Center by Emily King, which had me falling in love again and again.


November 5th, 2016
Blog Entry

Opening Lines: C’est La Vie – B*Witched

Some people say I look like me Dad

As Elvis Costello said in that episode of 30 Rock about Alan Alda getting a kidney, “when someone starts talking in the middle song, you know it’s serious”, but even more serious talking comes at the start. Like this line from B*Witched’s 1998 masterpiece, “C’est La Vie”, such a gloriously bizarre way to start a pop career.

Apparently the band revealed a few years later that this song is actually all about sex, which makes that opening line even more enjoyable, because who doesn’t want to hear identical twins mention a resemblance to their dad?

More Opening Lines

I Run – Embrace
I Will Always Love You – Dolly Parton
I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Marvin Gaye
Do You… – Miguel


September 21st, 2015
Blog Entry

Opening Lines: I Run – Embrace

The water’s frozen to ice.

There was a time I believed Danny McNamara, frontman of British indie rock quintet Embrace, was a remarkably gifted lyricist, though this lyric makes that hard to believe. I looked up to him during my late teens and early 20s, when my hair was long and an acoustic guitar was the ultimate instrument of self-expression (these days my hair is rarely longer than a toothbrush bristle, and like most grown-ups I’ve realised self-expression is best eradicated.)

Having scrobbled Embrace tracks over 2,000 times, of course I was curious to listen to their self-titled return, released in 2014 some eight years after their previous album, This New Day.

Imagine you had eight years to write an album. That’s ages: the Olympics come and go twice in that time. It’s certainly long enough to develop the same rudimentary grasp of chemistry demonstrated in those opening lines.

I wish I’d misheard this lyric, or that this interpretation – as found on LyricsMania.com – was the right one:

The watre’s frozing to eyes

While researching this article to make sure I didn’t make myself look an idiot, I actually searched “is frozen water always ice?”, just in case there had been a huge advancement in our scientific comprehension of water in the years since I last opened a chemistry book. That’s how bad this lyric is: it introduced my Google search history to its most stupid question yet.

In the interests of fairness, the writing credits for this song are shared between Danny and brother Richard, both of whom should know better.

More Opening Lines

I Will Always Love You – Dolly Parton
I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Marvin Gaye
Do You… – Miguel


September 7th, 2015
Blog Entry

Opening Lines: I Will Always Love You – Dolly Parton

If I should stay, I would only be in your way

A lyric we’ve all heard a hundred times – and one that sends me scrambling for the skip button, if I’m honest – but like most great lyrics, follow it back to the source and you find the real story.

That story is Dolly parting ways with manager and former duet partner Porter Wagoner around June 1973. The song wasn’t released until a year later: imagine having to reconnect with that emotion in performances a year after the fact, again and again, as the song grew more and more popular. At the song’s heart is strength masking vulnerability; in the Whitney Houston version, it totally overpowers it.

The song is full of difficult admissions – We both know that I’m not what you need, that (perhaps ill-advised) spoken word section – all stemming from that first realisation: that two people are stronger apart than together.

Interesting story: Elvis wanted to record a cover once the song became popular, but Dolly Parton refused to sign over half the publishing royalties in return. Not many people would say no to Elvis, but then, as this song shows, not many people are as strong as Dolly Parton.

More Opening Lines

I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Marvin Gaye
Do You… – Miguel


August 30th, 2015
Blog Entry

Opening Lines: I Heard It Through the Grapevine – Marvin Gaye

Ooh, I bet you’re wondering how I knew
About your plans to make me blue
With some other guy you knew before.
Between the two of us guys, you know I love you more.

In those first four lines we witness confrontation, envy, dismissal (“with some other guy” cuts like a knife) and what could be either a plea or a goodbye, depending on whether you hear “love” or “loved” (I can hear it either way, depending on my mood, and can’t seem to find the official lyrics online). “I bet you’re wondering how I knew” is a phenomenal line on its own: when secrets come out, the response is often “how did you find out? Who told you?” The song latches onto that paranoia from both sides right away, and keeps pulling on it: People say believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear.

The song’s lyrics never reach those early heights again, but then few songs since have even come close.

Note: I know this wasn’t originally Marvin Gaye’s song – Smokey Robinson and the Miracles had their version rejected, then it launched as a song for Gladys Knight and the Pips – but it’s definitely his song now. Listen to the Gladys Knight version again, and the difference is thrown into stark contrast.

More Opening Lines

Do You… – Miguel


August 22nd, 2015
Blog Entry

Opening Lines: Do You… – Miguel

Do you like drugs?

Well, that’s certainly one way to start a song.

Do You…, the fourth track from Miguel’s 2012 opus Kaleidoscope Dreamwhich I’ve written about before, you might remember – gets straight to the point. It’s a solid icebreaker: do you like drugs? I suppose if the answer is no, you can safely skip to the next track, though you’d miss out on a typically cheeky track that hits maximum romance right at the outro (but we’ll also save that until the end.)

But that line’s just the first line of the intro, not the verse, which picks up in territory to which everyone – even avowed drug-haters – can relate.

Have you ever felt alone?
Do you still believe in love?

A one-two punch of intimate questions, bam-bam, that’s almost enough to convince you that you’d misheard the very first line. But, if you’re in any doubt, it’s short-lived.

But do you like drugs?

Yeah, forget about your dreams for the future, or that suffocating loneliness that grips you at night: it’s really important that we find out if you like drugs. Because Miguel does (MDMA on occasion, apparently). And you know what else Miguel likes, of course: sex.

I’m gonna do you like drugs tonight.

What’s clever about that is how it reframes the persistent question, and even though I’m not sure how one would go about “doing” a person like drugs (roll them up and burn them?), Miguel’s gift is that he doesn’t half make it sound like fun.

More Opening Lines

I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Marvin Gaye


January 6th, 2015
Blog Entry

The best of 2014 playlist

To see out 2014, I put together a (short) playlist containing some of my favourite tracks of the year. Some are cool, some definitely aren’t, but I liked them all.

Postpartum – Taylor Mcferrin, from the album Early Riser

This intro track from a great rainy day album sets the mood to “cool” from the get-go.

Time Will Wait – The Submotion Orchestra, from the album Alium

The sort of music I imagine proper grown-ups listening to, all atmosphere and subtle brass (it is possible!). The album is all this good by the way.

Sound of a Woman – Kiesza, from the album Sound of a Woman

She does belt them out, our Kiesza. She reminds me of a less timid Lisa Stansfield; if you like early 90s divas, you’ll like this.

Monument – Röyksopp & Robyn, from the album Do It Again

Hands down my favourite saxophone solo (a baritone sax, to boot) exhales its way into a brooding track about legacies and statues or something.

Love XYZ – Luke James, from the album Luke James

Luke, Luke, Luke. Your whole album should have been this good: great harmonies, beats, synths. Sadly it’s downhill after this (until I Want You, his best song but disqualified from this list as it dates back to 2013) but still, this is good.

V. 3005 – Childish Gambino, from the album because the internet

I haven’t listened to because the internet as much as I’ve listened to Camp, but crikey this song is catchy.

Blood – Patterns, from the album Waking Lines

Pleasantly melodic indie-pop from Manchester. Not groundbreaking, but it all works. Words that come to mind include “tropical” and “hopeful”. I don’t know what the lyrics are about because I can’t make them out.

Up We Go – LIGHTS, from the album Little Machines

Concluding the synth-pop section of the playlist, it’s LIGHTS’s ode to friendship and togetherness and never, ever giving up. Had a bad year? Give this a listen.

Panic Tree – Jimi Goodwin, from the album Odludek

I could have included Oh! Whiskey (the aspirational/deluded “One of these days I’m gonna give myself a real good talking to/And recover some youth, maybe give up the booze” got me through a great many long, slow runs) but there’s something about the honky-tonky piano that makes this yarn about chopping down a tree a real knee-slapping good time.

You Go Down Smooth – Lake Street Dive, from the album Bad Self Portraits

Speaking of good times, here’s 3:29 of pure musical enjoyment. It all skips along effortlessly, and produces two moments that still get my hairs standing on end. Crank it up for the choruses and hear those harmonies and brass really glisten: I have never once made it through this song without tapping something in time with the beat.

Rental Love – Lake Street Dive, from the album Bad Self Portraits

My final track of the year is the final track from my album of the year. Sounding like a long-forgotten blues standard, sung with precision and purpose by Rachael Price, it’s just lovely, lovely music.


February 16th, 2014
Blog Entry

Miguel

I’m a bit late to the Miguel party. He’s been around for about eight or ten years or so, but he first came to my attention a couple of years ago with “Many Times”, a pretty dirty collaboration with the dependably grotty Esthero. Then last year I found out about his album Kaleidoscope Dream, and listened to it an awful lot.

Have you ever felt alone?
Do you still believe in love?
But do you like drugs?

So go the most memorable lines on an album full of them. Miguel doesn’t take himself too seriously, so you get songs asking whether you like drugs, or how many drinks it would take you to leave with him. Listening to the album is like Miguel chatting you up, then having an aside while he wonders to himself who got there before he did.

An album full of good music and peppered with humour, it’s really worth a listen. There’s a deluxe version with two alternate versions of Adorn (admittedly the best song on the album) and a remix of that song about drugs I mentioned, but it’s more for fans and completionists, really.

Miguel – “Do You” on Soundcloud


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