Song of the Day #3,510: ‘Mask Off’ – Future

Rounding out the top ten of Village Voice’s Pazz & Jop poll, surprise!, are more pop and rap songs.

Charli XCX lands at #8 with her minor summer hit ‘Boys’, while Selena Gomez (‘Bad Liar‘) ties for the 9th spot with Future (‘Mask Off’). Gomez’s ‘Bad Liar’ has emerged as one of my favorite 2017 songs.

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Song of the Day #3,509: ‘Natchez Trace’ – Dusty Springfield

I know ‘Natchez Trace’ as a bonus track on the deluxe edition of Dusty Springfield’s seminal classic Dusty in Memphis, but it turns out its backstory is rather interesting.

This song was originally recorded for an album titled Faithful, which was to be Springfield’s seventh studio recording. In 1971, Atlantic Records released two singles from the album but neither made the charts. Disappointed with the response, the studio shelved the album and declined to renew her contract.

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Song of the Day #3,508: ‘Electron Blue’ – R.E.M.

Today’s Random Weekend SOTD, ‘Electron Blue,’ is one of the best songs on R.E.M.’s worst album, 204’s Around the Sun. It’s the album’s second track and third single.

‘Electron Blue’ is lead singer Michael Stipe’s favorite track from this album, and one of his favorite R.E.M. songs, period. I like it well enough, and agree that it’s a highlight of an otherwise unforgettable album, but I’m sorry, this doesn’t stand up to the best of R.E.M., not even close.

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Song of the Day #3,507: ‘New York’ – St. Vincent

Indie rocker St. Vincent takes the #7 spot on Village Voice’s Pazz & Jop poll with ‘New York,’ a single from her fifth studio album, Masseduction.

Annie Clark (the woman behind the pseudonym) teamed up with super-producer Jack Antonoff to deliver a pop twist on her usual alternative sound and garnered some of the best reviews of her already critically-adored career.

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Song of the Day #3,506: ‘XO TOUR Llif3’ – Lil Uzi Vert

Lil Uzi Vert takes the #6 spot on Village Voice’s annual Pazz & Jop poll with a track titled ‘XO TOUR Llif3’ (translating, I suppose, to “XO Tour Life”).

According to the invaluable website Genius, this song is “about Uzi’s relationship issues with ex-girlfriend, Brittany Byrd, and substance abuse.” A rap break-up song? That could be interesting.

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Song of the Day #3,505: ‘DNA’ – Kendrick Lamar

Lorde’s ‘Green Light’ lands at #4 in the Village Voice Pazz & Jop poll, giving women artists three of the top four spots. Kendrick Lamar’s ‘DNA’ rounds out the top five, giving him the best showing in a top ten that is split between men who rap and women who pop (plus Cardi B, a woman who raps).

I kind of get the praise for this song, though it by no means wins me over to the Kendrick Lamar cult. It’s more interesting lyrically and musically than anything else of his I’ve heard.

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Song of the Day #3,504: ‘Cut to the Feeling’ – Carly Rae Jepsen

The third top single of 2017, according to Village Voice’s Pazz & Jop poll, is Carley Rae Jepsen’s ‘Cut to the Feeling.’ I’m a big Jepsen fan so I’m happy to see her show up so high, especially for a song I’ve never even heard. I’m looking forward to firing it up now.

This track was cut not just from Jepsen’s critical-adored 2015 album EMOTION, but from the follow-up EP, EMOTION Side B. It ended up finding a home in the French-Canadian animated film Ballerina, which will be released as Leap! in the United States. Jepsen plays a character in the film as well.

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