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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, December 22, 2006

The best 10 tunes of 2006

 •  The year's best albums

By Nekesa Mumbi Moody
Associated Press

It's great when artists come up with all the right ingredients to make an entire disc filled with amazing, engaging songs. But hey, let's face it — sometimes, we only need that one track. Here are 10. The following artists had us pressing rewind again and again:

"Promiscuous," Nelly Furtado (featuring Timbaland): Hands down, this seductive club-banger was the best party track of the year.

"Dear Mr. President," Pink: You will have no trouble determining what Pink's politics are after listening to this fiery acoustic song featuring the Indigo Girls. Though it's a one-sided diatribe, it's a very good one — a searing, sneering musical indictment.

"Crazy," Gnarls Barkley: At first, it's the retro, psychedelic groove that grabs you. But the wistful, existential lyrics keep you hooked for repeated listens. This instant classic will never be played out.

"Me & U," Cassie: As various YouTube clips have proved, Cassie can neither sing nor dance — this is probably the only hit she'll ever have. But somehow, this simplistic synthesized jam managed to make her almost transparent voice sexy and alluring.

"It's Goin' Down," Yung Joc: Like Bad Boy labelmate Cassie, Yung Joc didn't provide the most musically complex song of the year — there can't be more than three notes that comprise the chorus, and the entire song sounds like it was composed on a toy keyboard. But Yung Joc's slow, smooth flow and catchy wordplay — and you can't forget the finger snaps — hypnotized you into listening time and time again.

"Ridin', " Chamillionaire (Featuring Layzie Bone): One of the few rap hits that actually had some depth, Chamillionaire gave the hip-hop world some much-needed political commentary backed by a killer beat.

"Irreplaceable," Beyoncé: With a cheery, bouncy melody, Beyoncé gives the brush-off so perfectly it's almost enough to make you forget that there's a man shortage out there.

"My Love," Justin Timberlake: Working with producer Timbaland is almost a guarantee of a hot track (see Nelly Furtado). But Timberlake's aching falsetto is almost as important as the futuristic, spacey-sound effects (along with the too-cool-to-sweat-you rap by T.I.). It's even better on Timberlake's "FutureSex/LoveSounds," with the African-drumming intro.

"Not Ready To Make Nice," Dixie Chicks: Never ones to bite their tongues, the Dixie Chicks made sure they'd have the last word in their nasty battle with the country establishment that spurned them after their infamous Bush dis. But instead of coming off as petty, it's a smart tome that succinctly reveals the bitterness, hurt and anger over the whole affair.

"I Am Not My Hair," India.Arie: Yes, another self-empowerment song by India declaring what she is not. If former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney had used this as her theme song, she might still be in office.