The Top 10 Songs in … ROMANIA!

1. Low Deep T, “Casablanca”


The London-based self-described “gentle giant of house music” also boasts of having “arguably the deepest vocals in the music industry today.” His voice doesn’t seem that deep here. I mean it’s low, but not Barry White deep by any means. Low Deep T is the stage name of TJ Cases, a producer and songwriter who cut his teeth in the 2-step U.K. garage scene and runs labels Cut&Play and Cut House. “Casablanca” pulls elements of Afrobeat into icy house as Low Deep T relates a story of love lost in Morocco, his voice a husky pang of regret.

Grade: A

Best YouTube Comment: “this guy has the voice of a hobo” — FlorinVasile

2. Alb Negru ft. Ralflo & Rares, “Mi-e Sete De Tine


Alb Negru are a Romanian guy and a French guy who sing songs that are often half in Romanian and half in French. The Romanian guy is white and the French guy is black and thus the name of the band is Alb Negru, White Black. Okay. Here they team up with Ralflo and Rares to sing this song whose name translates to “I Thirst for You,” and make the kind of generic bad, beachy, lite-reggae pop that plays in American Eagle stores and blasts out of dorms all over the world.

Grade: C-

Best YouTube Comment: “SUPER TARE” — GheorgheSorinG

3. Corina, “A Ta”


Corina Monica Bud is a Romanian hybrid strain of Fergie and Gwen Stefani’s solo careers. This reggae-inflected europop taunt is her biggest hit to date, and with excellent reason. The video has a diner scene, a breakdancing crew, some very aggressive styling, and product placement for German potato chip brand Chio. Corina raps about Skype and Hawaii, bragging about boys “liking” her Facebook. It’s an earworm supreme.

Grade: A-

Best YouTube Comment: “99% porno & 1% muzica” — surica99

4. Ami, “Trumpet Lights”


There is also a Chris Brown song called “Trumpet Lights.” What the fuck are trumpet lights?

Grade: C+

Best YouTube Comment: “this melody should have 1 hour and I will still listen to it” — codrutlemeni

5. Alex Velea, “Minim Doi”


Alex Velea won Romanian singing competition Star Factory in 2003. Is he wearing a bike lock as a chain? That is fresh as hell. On further examination, it’s a yellow chain with a cassette tape attached? Less fresh. There is some very awkward grinding going on during the dance sequences that take place in front of brutalist Bucharest apartment complexes. “Minim Doi” lives and dies by its catchy chorus.

Grade: B-

Best YouTube Comment: “I like it!” — LorraDragomir

6. Holograf, “Cat De Departe”


This song is not about a departed cat, no matter how badly I want it to be. This is what Green Day will look (and possibly sound) like in another couple decades.

Grade: B

Best YouTube Comment: “bun” — NelutuMaresiu

7. Sore, “Different”


Definitely listen for the interpolation of Rihanna’s “Man Down” at the beginning. Sore Mihalache is the lovechild of Pink, Robyn, and Miley Cyrus. They’re different because they have short blonde haircuts y’all! Sore is 22 and a member of the popular LaLa Band. If you’ve been wearing out your Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez seven-inches or miss Rihanna’s redheaded dance hall phase (I know I do), why not give Sore a break.

Grade: B-

Best YouTube Comment: “I’m different than most of the people” — most of the people

8. Inna, “Tu Si Eu”


Romanian pop star Inna’s “Ti Si Eu” is a lost weekend’s worth of sugar shots straight to the dome. It is already pretty high-pitched, but takes its ultimate form in nightcore remixes.

Grade: A

Best YouTube Comment: “I just came back from Venice Beach today, I live a few minutes away from the place where this was filmed. Crazy to think that INNA was here filming it not long ago, lol.” — scbananaslug11

9. Akcent, “I’m Sorry”


Romanian group Akcent are a three-member man band. All three have that pompadour high-top fade hairstyle, and they wear different jackets to represent their personalities (Preppy Akcent, Hipster Akcent, and Loungewear Akcent). I’m not sure what’s going on in this video. Possibly they were all dating the same girl and just figured it out and dumped her. Sandra N. seems to be a kind of Jiminy Cricket figure. The one dude’s outfit with the mustard cardigan, oversize glasses, and overalls makes me laugh uncontrollably.

Grade: B+

Best YouTube Comment: “did the whole band just break up with her? I’m so confused” — katievanadzin

10. Smiley, “Dead Man Walking”


This is a pretty upbeat video for a song whose lyrics include “You killed all my dreams. You killed everything.” There is a dance battle confrontation midway through between the two sides of Smiley. They do everything fun you can do in a closed gym, including a tomato driving range and a fog machine laser fight. Too bad the song is so lifeless and bland.

Grade: C

Best YouTube Comment: “probably Smiley is a fan of American series The Walking Dead so he’s one of those Zombies (dead man walking), just kiddin’ nothing serious!” — Danezu28

Filed Under: Billboard, Grading the Charts, Singles, Top Ten

Molly Lambert is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ mollylambert