Adele, “Rolling in the Deep”
Where I heard it: pretty much everywhere, all the time
Why it’s awesome:
1. Rarely do my tastes line up exactly with the mainstream-est of the mainstream. While I do like lots and lots of pop songs (of all genres) that get significant airplay and sales, most of what ends up on the charts doesn’t do it for me. And even when I do like something that has grabbed the popular consciousness — Taylor Swift, “I Know You Want Me” by Pitbull, that one Nickelback song — it’s typically with some modicum of, if not guilt, at least acknowledgement that it’s outside my typical musical purview.
But every so often a song does break through in a way that makes it a huge mainstream hit as well as being something that I can (and do) see myself listening to regularly. In the past few years, songs like “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley, “Hey Ya!” by Outkast, and “Crazy In Love” by Beyonce have qualified. And this year, it’s this Adele song. It’s definitely one of the best songs of the year, full of heartache and anger, sung by a woman with a fantastic voice and produced exquisitely by Paul Epworth. Over 188,000,000 YouTube viewers can’t be wrong!
1A. Holy cow, it turns out that, in addition to producing just about every mainstream-but-still cool record in the past year (including songs or albums by Cee-Lo Green, Foster the People, Florence and the Machine), he also worked on A Certain Trigger, the debut album from criminally underappreciated Geordie rockers Maximo Park.