100 – All We Know by The Chainsmokers featuring Phoebe Ryan
After being overexposed to “Closer”, I never wanted to hear another song from The Chainsmokers. But as I listened to “All We Know”, they still managed to pull some more heartstrings good enough to kickoff my annual list. When will the mellow-slow-EDM-in-one trend die? It’s getting old but still hanging in there.
99 – Sweet Lovin by Sigala featuring Bryn Christopher
Listening to “Sweet Lovin'” makes me want to go to the beach, relax and have fun. Okay, that is too much for one track, but you can’t help but feel good after listening to it? This is one of my go-to GV songs for 2016 and I can vouch for this one.
98 – Toothbrush by DNCE
“Toothbrush” is one of my favorite tracks of 2016. That is one line I never thought I would say in my lifetime. Besides the unconventional title, the song proves that DNCE is more than a one-hit-wonder. Whether they can move past two, only time will tell. Rings are quite symbolic of commitment, but heck, so are toothbrushes.
97 – Lost Boy by Ruth B.
I have not watched “Once Upon a Time” since the second season but it’s a joy to know it inspired the creation of this piece. “Lost Boy” conveys sorrow and hope while drawing you in with its sound of gloom and despair. Once in a while, it’s normal to indulge yourself in some darkness.
96 – Panda by Desiigner
I had no clue what “Panda” is about and still have little today even with the aid of Genius and Wikipedia. I will be honest. I stopped halfway trying to understand what it means and accepted that there are things in life you can’t explain but just feel. And not all feelings have to be explained, especially on mundane things such as appreciating music.
95 – Vice by Miranda Lambert
Gwen Stefani has to be one of my all time favorite artists from the 90s and the 2000s. But no song from her or Blake Shelton will make this list despite their releases this year. Instead, it is the honesty and fragility projected by Miranda Lambert that shot through my heart. Embracing her own weaknesses and downfalls and her coping make this track one of the memorable country hits to come my way in the last decade.
94 – Perfect Illusion by Lady Gaga
Despite “Artpop” under performing commercially, Lady Gaga solidified her place in pop culture with two consecutive solid appearances at the Oscars, releasing a classical album with Tony Bennett and recording an emotionally charged tribute to victims of sexual abuse.
“Perfect Illusion” would be her perfect comeback to reclaim her status as the queen of mainstream music but the magic seems to have disappeared. In spite of this, there is no denying her music has grown a lot and so has her artistry. Nothing today on the radio sounds like “Perfect Illusion” and I mean it as a compliment.
93 – All in My Head (Flex) by Fifth Harmony featuring Fetty Wap
There are many songs where you wonder if the featured artist was necessary or just intended to get the song played on multiple radio formats or crossover to more genres. This is not one of them. Fetty Wap complements the sound of Fifth Harmony perfectly.
Lyrically, the track embraces sexuality. And without any connotation of either misogyny or sexual abuse, it’s actually a great thing.
92 – If It Ain’t Love by Jason Derulo
I have a love-hate relationship with Jason Derulo. There are days when he makes me believe in his great potential, like with “Want You to Want Me”. And then he has “Wiggle”. In any case, “If It Ain’t Love” is a perfect throwback to the 2000s kind of music that made me in love with the likes of Chris Brown (pre-abuse phase), Ne-Yo (“Because of You” phase) and him.
91 – I Need a Forest Fire by James Blake featuring Bon Iver
So the line actually says “another shadow” and not “avocado”. But on a serious note, there are phases in life when you need a forest fire to purge yourself of things that block your growth. And I feel we all get to that place at some point and this track embodies that cleansing.