1997 Billboard Top 100: #5-1

Last one for this year!

#5: "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" by Puff Daddy

Ah, Sean Combs. The guy who changes names as often as I change shoes. Oh, and this song also features Mase. Seriously, does that guy do any of his own songs, or does he just make his career by being a featured artist?

Beat isn't too bad. It's a bit more fast paced than I expect from rap songs, with decent keyboard line. Puff Daddy is a pretty good rapper, although he is a bit overrated. As for Mase, he is as good here as he is in other songs, meaning he sucks.

This is another hip-hop bragging song. Nothing more to say about the lyrics.

This song would be mediocre without Mase. With him, this song is pretty bad. The beat is nice, and Puff Daddy does a pretty good job rapping, even if his lyrics are a bit shallow. But Mase is so terrible, it drags the entire song down. The worst part is when he tries to sing during the chorus. He sings even worse than he raps. How this guy managed to get himself on so many hit songs, I'll never know. As far as featured artists go, he is worse than Kanye West. Think about that.

#4: "Un-Break My Heart" by Toni Braxton

Trifecta! And this time, it's only one song.

Nice music. Slow R&B beat, with a piano line that kind of reminds me of "My Heart Will Go On". Singing is decent. You don't usually hear too many females sing in a lower register, and she does a decent job, though she is better hitting the higher parts.

As for the lyrics, this is almost exactly what you'd expect from the title. She wants her guy to come back to her, because of all the crap she's been through without him.

This isn't a bad song. She does a good job getting the emotion across, and the lyrics are pretty solid, portraying someone who is devastated from a break-up without demonizing the man for breaking up with her. It's actually pretty sad. My only problem with the song is that it sounds more like an eighties song than a nineties song, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It just means it's a bit behind the times. Overall, though, probably her best hit this year.

#3: "I'll Be Missing You" by Puff Daddy and Faith Evans

Repeat artist and an R&B artist.

Music should sound familiar to any Police fans. It's a sample from "Every Breath You Take", and works surprisingly well. Puff Daddy is a decent rapper here. Faith Evans is a surprisingly good singer.

As for the lyrics, this is a mourning song, written in the memory of Notorious B.I.G., who was gunned down in a drive-by shooting earlier that year.

This song is probably the best rap song I've heard this year. Puff Daddy actually gets his emotion across quite well, not the easiest thing to do while rapping. Faith Evans sings to the tune of "Every Breath You Take", but with the title words instead, a move that works quite well, and makes the song stand out quite well. All of it leads to a song that is a fond memory of a rapper cut down in his prime, and a song that I would recommend to anyone who thinks hip-hop is all thugging and bragging.

#2: "Foolish Games/You Were Meant For Me" by Jewel

Ah, Jewel. One of the bigger known names of the 90's, but not a fondly remembered one, it seems.

Music for Foolish Games is pretty nice, with a soothing piano line. You Were Meant For Me is more guitar driven, with a nice acoustic guitar line, albeit repetitive. As for the singing, Jewel is a decent, if generic, nineties singer.

The lyrics of Foolish Games are about the singer confronting a guy she's with. See, she loves him, but he doesn't seem to return the love, and she is upset about how much he's breaking her heart. You Were Meant For Me is actually related to the first song, being about a break up, saying that while things aren't great for her, she knows he will come back, because they were meant for each other.

I don't know what it is about Foolish Games that rubs me the wrong way, but I just don't care too much for it. Maybe it is just the way she's focusing on how bad he makes her feel, rather than the state of their relationship. I mean, I can see where she's coming from with the guy not really showing affection, but she's all "You're breaking my heart, Lisa!" I don't need to hear songs like that.

You Were Meant For Me, on the other hand, I know exactly what it is that bugs me about it. She sounds like she is bragging about how much better she is off without him, but at the same time, wants him back. It honestly sounds like "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" crossed with a generic love song, and it just doesn't work. Those are two conflicting messages. She's trying to have her cake and eat it too, which doesn't work.


#1: "Candle In The Wind 1997" by Elton John

Who doesn't know who Elton John is? He is one of the best known gay musicians of all time.

Music is quite nice. It's very piano-driven, as you would expect from Elton John, and it is rather complex, as you would expect from Elton John. Singing is pretty good as well. It's a bit deeper than most Elton John songs, but that is probably due to his age.

As for the lyrics, this is a rewrite of the original song, with added lyrics connecting this song to Princess Diana, who had died earlier in the year.

This is a song I actually agree with being the top song of the year. It is just a heartwarming song. The original song was pretty good, but with lyrics that make the song about Princess Diana, it becomes a touching tribute to one of the most beloved royals of all time. "Your candle's burned out long before your legend ever will", indeed. Maybe it's because I'm a softie, but this song just really does it for me.

Well, that is 1997. Thoughts? Well, this year was probably the best out of the ones I've done. There was a nice mix of songs, and the songs that were good were usually really good. On the other hand, the songs that were bad...yeesh. Well, time to kick things off with another chart, this time one much closer to home.

Previously: #10-6

Next: 2012 Billboard Top 100 #100-96

Hey 2012!... Trust me Something about a Truck is TOTALLY not worth listening to ;) but first... i actually like Unbreak my Heart.. its a classic soft song! Ill be Missing You is a good song also and yea written for BIG... Candle in the Wind of course takes 1 for Diana's death that year! i was never a huge Jewel fan.. perhaps its just me. Now bring on 2012!

 

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