Janelle Monae’s “Tightrope,” no contest. Monae is confident, ambitious, and in control, especially for such a young performer. She draws on classic R&B and funk without ever being a slavish imitator. She also shows a love for big concept albums that’s largely been missing from soul music since the 1970s. And it doesn’t hurt that she’s one hell of a dancer.
I absolutely adored this song as a kid. It is still, dare I say, groovy!
This song epitomizes what I don’t want to be. I think I usually succeed.
If I could play this, I think I could play anything else I’d want to.
OK, I couldn’t play this anymore–it’d probably take a year of practice to get my lip back in shape. But I did this number as a recital piece in college; it’s one of the few trombone solos written by a noted composer prior to the 20th century.