An unlikely barbryn playlist

Since I’ve got a quiet afternoon, I thought I’d resurrect a pair of dormant ‘Spill series.

Way back in the mists of time, ToffeeBoy created the catchily titled Regular ‘Spillers Post Music That You Wouldn’t Really Expect From Them, Knowing Their Musical Tastes A Bit As You Do. And it’s been a while since we had a pick one/ditch one playlist.

So, here are 11 tracks that you probably wouldn’t really expect from me, knowing my musical tastes a bit as you do. There is no alt-country, Swedish indie pop or sensitive singer-songwriters. There is pop, R&B, hip-hop and dance from the 90s, 00s and even 10s.

You may pick a favourite and a least favourite if you wish. You are very welcome to suggest other tunes that would feel at home on this playlist. You may even find something you like.

28 thoughts on “An unlikely barbryn playlist

  1. That’s so weird – I was thinking last week about how this series was worth resurrecting! Will have a wee pre-Bake Off listen later…

    • JM, TLC, En Vogue and Amerie to follow. Scrolls down! Eyes bulge! Drop Outkast and Basement Jaxx for being male and this is the best pop playlist ever. Maybe some late period Kylie and early Rihanna to replace them.

      • You know, I very nearly did that. Replacements would have been All Saints’ “Pure Shores” and maybe something by Jamelia. I figured “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” and “Umbrella” have had enough love on RR this week.

      • Brilliant! A fun, fun list! This would be perfect party list. I love the suggested changes. Pretty perfect. Bopping and dancing around the house. Cheers.

  2. I’ve surprised myself by liking more of this than I would have expected. I wish Amerie had remembered her skirt, Dance Apocalyptic was loads of fun, always had a soft spot for Waterfalls, that’s not my fave Sugarbabes song, but it’s quite cute, Basement Jaxx, yeah! Sophie EB is fab, she can dance too, lots to like there.

    I’ve recently become obsessed by Get Lucky by Daft Punk so I might add that in, I’d ditch Gwen Stefani coz I find her irritating and keep Janelle Monae.

    • Pleasantly surprised you found so much to enjoy Beth. I completely missed out on all the hype around Get Lucky – I’ve just heard it a couple of times, and it’s a great pop song.

  3. Hmmm, well away from my comfort zone here in places, I think, but also a trip down memory lane.

    I will admit that I hated the first two tracks, but then things improved. I liked the Janelle Monae one a lot. She is so frantic and she reminds me of James Brown and Prince.

    Outkast is not really my thing but this was OK for a while and then I got bored and skipped the last minute and half.

    En Vogue – yeah, definitely. Love it. The charts would be immeasurably improved if someone was still making stuff like this now.

    TLC – yep. Superb. This one brings back a lot of memories.

    Gwen Stefani – no thanks. I only really ever liked “Don’t Speak”.

    Destiny’s Child – not sure. I used to quite like them, but maybe that liking should stay in the past. Didn’t like this one and Beyonce annoys me a lot.

    Right, the original (and best) Sugababes. Yes, lots better than Beyonce and chums. These are the bad girls who would probably nick your dinner money and chuck your homework over the wall if you were wearing the wrong lippy.

    Basement Jaxx are fine by me. Not my fave of theirs, though but it can stay.

    Spiller and Sophie E-B – discotastic! Love this to bits. It is a slab of disco heaven. I had a major crush on Sophie back then and also again right now because of Strictly.

    So, what goes?

    It is either Amerie or Gwen. However, we are in a recession so we all like 2 for 1 offers, so they can both go.


      • Hmm, not sure where my reply just went. I’ve heard a couple of songs from her latest one, and I like what I hear. I shall listen to this later. Janelle and Prince seems like a pairing that should work.


  4. I never liked Betty Boo quite as much as I wanted to. Or perhaps I liked the idea of her better than the music. She was one of those “wouldn’t turn off the radio if she came on but never bought any of her records” artists for me. But I did have a soft spot for “Doin’ the Do”. And, to a lesser extent, this one. (I suppose those were her two big hits, weren’t they?!) I think I prefer the single version of this but I certainly wouldn’t ditch it.

    LOVE “1 Thing”. Best song Beyonce never recorded. Or something. Whatever happened to Amerie? She should have been massive after this. I should check out more Janelle Monae – this is wonderful. Great energy on OutKast (as ever) – a new-to-me song, which I’m sure it shouldn’t be. Not totally my thing but an enjoyable listen.

    I prefer “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)” but En Vogue ain’t goin’ nowhere. For some reason, “Waterfalls” won’t play for me but of course I know it, so no biggie. I prefer “No Scrubs” or “Unpretty”. Or “Diggin’ On You”. Have you heard their newie? Surprisingly lovely to hear those voices again (minus the late Lisa Left Eye Lopez of course), although the song isn’t up to much. Love any and every non-ballad Destiny’s Child track – this is no exception.

    I was obsessed with “Overload” when it came out. I remember one beach holiday in Thailand in which I probably irritated all other guests at my guesthouse by putting the first Sugababes CD on repeat in the bar. (To be fair, it was one of the few CDs they had there – other than the Best of Bob Marley of course.) Great to have the Origibabes back, even if I’m not totally sold on the first single.

    Probably my favourite Basement Jaxx. Keep. I do hope (but doubt) Strictly will revitalise Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s career. I bought her first single (I think) with theaudience, I Got The Wherewithal, as well as the rather marvellous A Pessimist Is Never Disappointed, and have always thought she made a great if unlikely popstar. This one is obvs a classic.

    I’m with Fuel in that I’d probably lose OutKast to make it a proper girly pop list. Might throw in Annie’s “Chewing Gum” or Rachel Stevens’ “Some Girls” or “Sweet Dreams My LA Ex”. Or something older-skool like Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody”. Or of course my standby “Showing Out” by Mel and Kim. Or the cheese of “The Boy Does Nothing” by Alesha Dixon. Or Kelis’s “Milkshake”. Or Britney’s “Toxic”. Or the Aloud’s “Love Machine”. Or Missy’s “Get UR Freak On”/”Work It”. Or or or…

    Needless to say, this list was right up my street – thanks for sharing, barbryn!

    • Oh I forgot Gwen Stefani! This is a fun track. I have never really been a fan, but I do like this one. And I LOVED “Cool”. (I think No Doubt are irredeemably dire though.)

    • Thought this would be up your street. Interestingly, almost all your suggestions were on my longlist. Possibly this suggests the pool of classic modern(ish) pop songs is quite limited, or perhaps you’re just very attuned to my tastes. Glad you enjoyed anyway.

  5. entertaining evening drinking beer and watching England qualify for Brazil in the football – what do I need to soundtrack that? – ahhh yep, the ‘spill provides the solution: ACE – loved it – some tracks not quite my thing but it was just what I needed.

    Quick added playlist here – drifting off the pop scene a little:

    pop goes the rantaghost

    must add that TAtu and ‘Torn’ and some Jem and buffalo stance .. oh better stop.

    glad you finished on Spiller – such a brilliant track (I used to quote ‘A Pessimist Is Never Disappointed’ at my therapist)…

    … much fun.

    • Loving your playlist too, though not everything played for me (will have to go and listen to the wonderful Dub Be Good To Me and Trouble separately…).

      I’d never heard Sonic Youth playing Madonna, which was amazing. Nor Bow Bow Wow, which I loved. I didn’t include Groove Is In The Heart on my list, as I think anyone here who’s paid a bit of attention over the years knows I think it’s one of the greatest things ever.

  6. Loved this – thanks Barbryn.

    It’s probably not a million miles away from what I would have come up with for this and has some all time favourites on it.

    1. Betty Boo – great place to start. Betty gets a LOT of love and play in the Panther household, or more accurately, the Panthermobile. We have both of her albums in the car (second album “Grrr…it’s Betty Boo” is much better than the first one) and one or other or both gets played pretty much once a week. All other CDs get rotated/replaced over time, but Betty stays!

    2. Amerie – completely new to me and loved it. I had absolutely no problem with the whole forgetting the skirt thing!!

    3. Janelle Monae – she’s cool as fuck as this is such a great fun track.

    4. Outkast – I’ve always wilfully hated Outkast, but this was better than I remembered.

    5. En Vogue – one of the best UK R’n’B groups ever. This is an amazing feminist anthem and just gets better with age. One lazy summer around the time this track was released, I was with my sister and brother-in-law (‘Big Luke’) and we were ever so slightly stoned and were overlooking the ancient hillside chalk art that is the White Horse in Sussex. We decided to walk down to the bottom of the valley and spell out a message in big stones that the people walking their dogs up the top could see. I personally lobbied for “Fuck the Queen”, but we eventually settled for “Free Your Mind”, spent an hour dragging rocks around and left it at that!

    6. T.L.C. – just a classic tune

    7. Gwen Stefani – this was new to me, but I’m afraid I didn’t like it too much – sorry.

    8. Destiny’s Child – Another great great song. I think this track often gets overlooked in favour of other more famous ones, but this is just as good, if not better.

    9. Sugarbabes – being far away in Japan and all that, Sugarbabes kind of passed me by. I kind of recognised this track but didn’t know it well. Amazing! Sounded like it should be a cover, but I don’t think it is…

    10. Basement Jaxx – was a big fan when they started out, Big Luke had the album and we used to listen to it a lot – heady times!

    11. Spiller – Another stone cold classic. Every time this comes on Absolute Radio 90s I enthusiastically explain to Mrs Panther just what a great tune it is.

    Phew! What a playlist!

    Take out Outkast and Gwen Stefani and replace them with Solange “Sandcastle Disco” and Honeys’ “End of the Line”

    • Had a sneaky feeling you’d enjoy this, but would never have guessed that Betty Boo was on weekly rotation chez Panther. Possibly this helps explain the death metal. Love the idea of spelling out “Free Your Mind” in rocks.

  7. Brilliant barbryn – like a big breath of fresh air! Like panthersan so many memories too. Enjoyed every one except Gwen Stefani – can’t stick her, so would replace with erm … which one? Kim Sims – Too Blind To See It, or Cathy Dennis – Just Another Dream.

    Anyway – with all those gorgeous girlies around, I thought I ought to balance things out a bit, so here’s popman.

    Great fun!

    • Never heard that before, but think I’m now going to have it stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

      Glad you enjoyed. Pop music is great.

  8. I think Janelle Monae is absolutely fantastic: a great combination of music and performance, driven by a real personality. The rest are well-engineered products.

      • I tried not to make it sound like I was damning with faint praise, barbryn! I think it probably is a compliment in terms of ‘pop music’.
        I’ve seen Janelle Monae a few times (on TV) and she’s always impressed me with her boundless energy and the joy she puts into her music. And she seems to think it not necessary to remove her clothes in order to sell records, which is a blessed relief in these twerking times.

  9. Late to this party but glad you’re keeping the series going. I think my Ear Candy list was inadvertantly one of those “music you wouldn’t expect” playlists. Some of these i already know.

    1) Loved this one.

    2) Hmm. I know Fuel is a fan, but i’m really not liking the voice. Knowing Gwennie is up the road a bit already gives 2 candidates for a toss. In fact, i think i’m unable to continue listening to this…

    3) This is great. Had heard of her but never heard her.

    4) Was my favorite Outkast song actually. Maybe doesn’t sound quite as good as i remember it, but it’s not going anywhere.

    5) This one’s a classic, not going anywhere.

    6) Another classic, can’t not love this one. And in fact i do.

    7) I’m sorry, but as i feared i had to bail out of this one. I have nothing at all against her, seems like a really nice person and i respect them a lot. Just can’t stand her screeching.

    8) Don’t like Beyonce, can’t stand her voice either. (Love Kelly Rowland’s voice.) And yet another one i respect and seems like a nice person. Love Crazy in Love though (esp due to hubby), but that’s an anomaly i fear.

    9) Another group i’ve heard of but never heard. ok, this is better. I wouldn’t look for more of it but i do kind of like it. see, i like this girl’s voice too.

    10) Nothing i’d look for, but it’s fine.

    11) Oh, now we’re talking. As Panth says, discotastic. All the good stuff about disco with none of the bad. I’ll have to dig up my old mirror and spoon, as i don’t seem to have $100 bill right now.

    So as i suspected, i’m going to toss Amerie and Gwennie. You can sub Groove is in the Heart for them, which as you say is one of the greatest things ever.

    I’m an old fart, aren’t i. Time to just accept it i guess.

    Thanks barbryn!

  10. Thanks for listening Amy.

    These responses have been fascinating. It seems pretty much everyone loves Janelle, TLC, En Vogue and Spiller. Not sure why you’re mostly so down on Gwen Stefani – I was never really a No Doubt fan, but I love that song.

    • it’s the voice, barbryn. it’s like nails on a chalkboard to me. can’t listen to it. otherwise there would be a few No Doubt songs i might like.

      also, i seem to be the oddball round these parts in that i’m not a lyrics first person.

  11. Sorry barbryn, I’ve come to this very late – a fun list. Betty Boo can say bye bye for me, perhaps replace it with Jamelia and “Taxi” (yes, I really did say that). Thanks, I enjoyed listening!

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