The Best Songs in Dallas Music, 2010: Dondria Gets Us Nostalgic For Classic R&B at No. 21

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

[Over the next few weeks, we'll be presenting our favorite local songs of the year, counting down from No. 25 to No. 1, one track a day. Today we take an in-depth look at song No. 21 on the list -- and, please, feel free to click after the jump to watch the track's official video. Keep checking back to see how the list pans out as we move closer to No. 1. And, after the jump, check out songs No. 50-23 in the Top 50 list that will update as it grows...]

It was way back in the summer of 2008 when we first came across Sachse native Dondria Nicole Fields, then a 19-year-old YouTube singing sensation, who, on the strength of the covers of popular R&B songs she posted to the Internet, caught the eye and ear of noted hip-hop mogul Jermain Dupri, who claimed that his discovery was set to be the next big thing in R&B.

Then? Nothing. Dupri was ousted from his position at Def Jam, and, for two years, we waited on news of Dondria's status. All we heard was radio silence.

Then, in June of this year, Dupri, now running his own independent label and still retaining Dondria's rights, unleashed her music onto urban-formatted R&B radio stations around the country, with a song called "You're The One." It was an immediate smash -- in sales, on the radio and on BET, even, where Dondria became something of a darling, even earning an invite to perform at the station's annual awards show.

It's not difficult to determine why: "You're The One" is just a great song.

Recalling the late '90s efforts of Monica, Brandy and others -- and even the songstresses before those types, who paved the path for those acts' successes -- "You're The One" introduced Dondia as a confident vocalist, and re-introduced Dupri as a talent scout who maybe still knows what he's doing after all.

Smooth as ice and sexy, too (sonically, I mean -- Dondria's look, highlighted in the above video, is another impressive matter entirely), "You're The One" is a rather classic R&B track, relatively straightforward in its presentation. With organs that recall the genre's gospel influences, horn punches that recall the genre's '70s and '80s heyday and breakbeats that reference genre's appeal in the '80s, it's the kind of song almost unheard of in today's modern R&B radio landscape, highlighting Dondria's vocal prowess rather than the production behind her backing track.

And audiences responded in kind: Earlier this year, "You're The One" even surpassed reigning Dallas R&B queen Erykah Badu on Billboard charts. We're not quite ready to see Badu supplanted -- but there's no denying the rightful excitement behind Dondria's early offerings.

Especially considering that her star is just now starting to rise.

The Top 50 Local Songs of 2010 (Links to music videos and free song downloads available where applicable; links to streams where neither a download nor video exists.)
50. Dear Human - "Waiting"
49. Nervous Curtains - "All Yesterday's Parties"
48. Spector 45 - "Try Try Try"
47. Smile Smile - "Beg You To Stay"
46. Robert Gomez - "A Natural State"
45. Florene - "Parc Bitch"
44. Mount Righteous - "Eat Your Wife and Kiss The Barbecue"
43. The Strange Boys - "Be Brave"
42. Soft Environmental Collapse - "A Horse & Buggy Complex"
41. Deepspace5 - "Killing With Kindness"
40. Sextape -- "Lubricated Intimacy"
39. Museum Creatures - "Song ABC"
38. Ocelot - "Beating Hears"
37. Sir Silky - "The Squeeze (The Answer)"
36. Bone - "Homegurl"
35. Ishi - "Come Closer"
34. Hoyotoho - "Born Black"
33. Dorrough - "Get Big"
32. Katie Carroll - "Paper Girl"
31. Final Club - "Ruded"
30. Treal Lee & Prince Rick - "Throwed Off (Fuck Errbody)"
29. South San Gabriel - "All Night Long"
28. The Rocket Summer - "Walls"
27. Darktown Strutters - "Lucifer Rising"
26. School of Seven Bells - "Windstorm"
24. The Burning Hotels - "Austin's Birthday"
23. Doug Burr - "At The Public Dance"
22. The Flowers of God 

feat. Sarah Jaffe
feat. Sarah Jaffe

21. Dondria -- "You're The One"
20. ????????
19. ????????
18. ????????
17. ????????
16. ????????
15. ????????
14. ????????
13. ????????
12. ????????
11. ????????
10. ????????
9. ????????
8. ????????
7. ????????
6. ????????
5. ????????
4. ????????
3. ????????
2. ????????
1. ????????

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.