Part one of three of the year’s best songs, listen with caution, it’s all good but it’s not all safe.
99. “Froze” by Meek Mill (feat. Lil Uzi Vert & Nicki Minaj)
98. “Reup & Bake” by Cousin Stizz
97. “Higher” by Carly Rae Jepsen
96. “Goldman’s Detective Agency” by Martha
95. “Kanye West” by Young Thug (feat. Wyclef Jean)
Who would have thought that unintelligible mumbling could be so bubbly and catchy? Young Thug might be saying words during the chorus of “Kanye West”, I’m not entirely sure. All I know is that he’s created this brilliant evocation of drunken stumbling in the most charming way. Wyclef is also a great addition here adding sincere Wyclef-isms to the background of this ode to Yeezus.
94. “Ride Out” by ScHoolboy Q (feat. Vince Staples)
93. “22 (OVER Soon)” by Bon Iver
92. “Never Be Mine” by Angel Olsen
91. “You” by Slingshot Dakota
90. “The One” by Carly Rae Jepsen
Carly Rae continues to be the best songwriter in pop music, releasing an EP of B-sides from last years Emotion that are better than pretty much anything else in the genre. Pop QUEEN.
89. “Seven Rings” by Future
88. “Wasted On You” by Bleached
Pure bubblegum pop-punk that would be a perfect fit both at a crowded punk show and on the soundtrack of some 00’s Disney Channel Original film.
87. “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd (feat. Gucci Mane)
I talked about this in the Top 10 Pop Hits of the year list, check it out.
86. “Do You Need My Love” by Weyes Blood
85. “untitled 07” by Kendrick Lamar
The three-minute (or s0) music interlude at the end is probably best exemplifies why this song was left on Kendrick’s overflow of ideas that made up untitled.unmastered (not featured on the video above), but that kid’s choir singing about Compton is just so epic.
84. “Rough Going (I Won’t Let Up)” by Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam
Now I love me some doo-wop, but if you told me that the singer of The Walkmen and the songwriter from Vampire Weekend would come together to make a really good straight forward rock record that included a solid song that was influenced by doo-wop, I wouldn’t have believed you. But–here we are.
83. “Ice Cream and Sunscreen” by Martha
82. “Hi Roller” by Lil Uzi Vert
81. “(Joe Gets Kicked out of School for Using) Drugs with Friends [But Says This Isn’t a Problem]” by Car Seat Headrest
80. “Adore” by Savages
This song takes the perspective of one who has acknowledged the world as a place filled with troubles, leading them to come to an existentialist crisis of sorts, but rather than questioning whether there is any value in the world, they question the perspective of the world as a bad place. It’s a nihilist anthem that is somehow filled with hope. Vocally Jenny Beth sings this track with a world-dreary tone, but allows glimmers of hope to echo throughout each word she says. The end of song repeats “I adore life” in an almost disturbing declaration of good in the world.
79. “Whateva Will Be” by A Tribe Called Quest
I need to spend more time with this record to truly discover what songs are the real highlights, but at this point in time this one feels the most complete–capturing that Tribe vibe whilst fitting perfectly into a modern landscape.
78. “Copy/Paste” by Sioux Falls
77. “See the Love” by The Brilliance
While art is probably at its best when it’s speaking truth to discomfort us in some way, this song is a calming jolt of joy that is absolutely necessary.
76. “Hocus Pocus” by Animal Collective
75. “Stairs” by Joyce Manor
74. “Girl Loves Me” by David Bowie
73. “All We Got” by Chance the Rapper (feat. Kanye West)
72. “Drone Bomb Me” by ANOHNI
71. “Hidden Driver” by LVL UP
This song is pure and unashamedly a rip-off of Neutral Milk Hotel, but LVL UP pulls it off so wonderfully that it fits alongside the brilliance of Aeroplane more than it feels like a tribute song.
70. “In Heaven” by Japanese Breakfast
69. “FML” by Kanye West (feat. The Weeknd)
68. “Aaja” by Swet Shop Boys (feat. Ali Sethi)
There are a lot of great songs on the Swet Shop Boys debut album and while much of the album is influenced both musically and lyrically by the respective Eastern cultures of Heems and MC Riz, never does it shine as bright as in “Aaja”–a delightful dancy track that uses a classic Bollywood chorus to reference modern romance.