Usher blessed our YouTube, Twitter and every other social media platform we use almost a week ago with an amazing Tiny Desk gig.
Her performance knocked me down the YouTube rabbit hole of the NPR Tiny Desk videos that have come out over the years and I found myself, almost an hour later, listening to all the great ones again.
The experience led me to an idea: I thought it would be cool to put together a quick little ranking of my 10 best Tiny Desk concerts that you have to listen to or re-listen to (Usher is in there!).
So let’s go :
I feel bad putting this performance at the bottom of my list because it was nothing short of a masterpiece. Yebba sings with so much soul and does it so easily. His talent is fully expressed here.
And kudos to those background singers. They killed him. 10 all around.
9 Erykah Badou
Erykah Badu could literally sing anything and it would have such a soothing sound coming out of her mouth. Close your eyes and listen, you’ll probably start moving your head and writing poetry.
It was only right that DC left Wale on the Tiny Desk stage. Most of us grew up and are still growing up in Wale. He gave us hits from a collection of different albums and it was so nostalgic. Enough of me – enjoy:
This one needs no introduction. We all know and love her. Adele. Here we see the young singer sing some of her greatest hits. This Tiny Desk came out 11 years ago, and its voice was just as powerful as it is today. The longevity is undeniable!
6 Jazmine Sullivan
I was way late to the party on this one here. Luckily my wife threw the lob at me and I knew what to do with it. Sullivan went through a few songs from his latest album and did an amazing job of telling a story with each track.
5 The Isley Brothers
Are you here for the old school vibes? I am. There are few things in life as “good vibes” as some old school R&B. It takes me back to the good old days (although I wasn’t there for those). Good clean music. No violence. No disrespectful words. None of that. Just vibrations.
Plus, the fact that Ron Isley was 80 at the time of this performance and still ringing this okay, that’s impressive. Also shout out to Ernie Isley.
4 Reservoir and the Bangas
Complete Transparency – I had no idea who Tank And The Bangas were until I came across this Tiny Desk Performance. But I came back to this video more than a handful of times. My wife and I love this one. We can just feel the soul blast through the speakers.
The latest and greatest. As if any of us needed a reminder of how phenomenal Usher is, he got this pleasant surprise. From his catalog of hits to his exceptional voice, this concert has already received several views from me. In fact, I’m about to go give him another room.
2 Anderson .Paak and the Free National
More transparency – I was already in the Anderson .Paak wave these days. Not like a super fan or anything, but there were a handful of songs that I would keep rotating. Tiny Desk’s performance made me discover his personality, which is really great. And so is performance.
It’s always good when the music sounds as good live as it does on the album.
One of my favorites.
Have you ever thought about imagining what T-Pain’s voice sounded like without auto tuning? Strangely, I didn’t, which is why this Tiny Desk performance caught me off guard. But let’s get straight to it, it’s one of the best Tiny Desk has had to offer so far. At least, that’s how I feel.
Maybe because I grew up in the T-Pain days it hits differently. Nevertheless, I don’t know if there will be one that will surpass this one.