90 – She’s Out of Her Mind by Blink 182
There are days I just miss high school and university. And in movie America, no genre can take you there better than punk rock. Luckily for us, there are still some remnants in music today, particularly Blink 182. “She’s Out of Her Mind” could’ve been their material 15 years ago. You won’t even recognize they changed their vocalist. You wouldn’t be able to distinguish the difference in the melodies. But who cares, right? You liked that period for a reason and there is no better reminder than this band and this song.
89 – Lift Me Up (Michael Brun Remix) by OneRepublic
In my books, Ryan Tedder can do no wrong. I mean, he can when he had a conflict with Kelly Clarkson over “Already Gone” sounding a whole lot like “Halo”. But other than that, it’s close to impossible not to fall for him when he writes and sings. I can’t pinpoint what I like about this song specifically. But what I can tell you is that no artist has made me think more about life than OneRepublic. Their music, including this one, is a pretty good companion going through my journey called life.
88 – Love by Lana del Rey
My feeling towards Lana del Rey has gradually changed through the years. Initially, I found her inaccessible and dark. Now, all that’s different. Assessing what changed, it wasn’t her music becoming upbeat or getting blasted with EDM. But the constant exposure helped in my appreciation of her sound. Whereas most songs about romance would make you bop, weep and jam along with it, hers do not. It lures you into a zone of reflection, making you walk down memory lane, that has now suddenly become a bit more dramatic and fuzzy, with her haunting voice playing in the background.
87 – More Than You Know by Axwell and Ingrosso
Compared to previous years, 2017 was the year I spent the least amount of time partying and clubbing. Upon hearing “More Than You Know”, I felt a surge of nostalgia. You immediately recognize that this is a beat that could kill and make people bring the house down. What else do we expect from two DJs who were former members of the Swedish House Mafia?
86 – Beautiful Trauma by Pink
Besides the acrobatics and the occasional hanging from a ceiling, the longevity of Pink’s career is something to be admired. This is a woman who has been in the business for close to two decades now. With “Beautiful Trauma”, she has proven that she is a consistent hitmaker. I would attribute it to her voice that manages to command and convey so much emotion (ala Sia), and her songs, which continue to speak of life’s tragedy and hope at the same time.
85 – Mask Off by Future
I never thought a flute would sound so sexy in any track. The last time I remember one being used was in “Dreams” by The Corrs. Having a melancholic backdrop to Future rapping makes for a weird combination that surprisingly works. You can dance to it in a club and lose yourself in the moment. Conversely, you can reflect on the lyrics and do some introspection. Basically, you get a commercial and critical hit at the same time.
84 – The Man by The Killers
It’s been five years since The Killers has come out with new material. “The Man” is notable for two reasons. First, the sound is retro 70s/80s, like Arcade Fire’s “Everything Now”. Honestly, I can never get enough of bringing the past’s glory and putting it in today’s music. Second, it’s upbeat and feels more engineered than any of their previous materials. In any case, the change managed to spark my interest in the band that was otherwise becoming too stagnant for my taste.
83 – How Long by Charlie Puth
Whatever happened to the good boy Charlie Puth I was used to? It’s almost like he did a 360 degree turn from the “Marvin Gaye”, “One Call Away” and “We Don’t Talk Anymore” days. To be clear, I dig this aggressive and forceful demeanor. I just wasn’t expecting a one-two combo after “Attention”. Is he the teen-pop reincarnation of Adele and Sam Smith? Maybe not, but I guess this reinvention was necessary to sustain the public’s interest in his music.
82 – Reminder (Remix) by The Weeknd featuring A$AP Rocky and Young Thug
I remember when Jason Derulo released “Want You to Want Me” and I found traces of Michael Jackson that I believe could make Jason Derulo great. Of course, that depends on your opinion of “Wiggle” and “Talk Dirty”. This, for me, is The Weeknd’s “Want You to Want Me”, a track with influences of Michael Jackson’s sound. The difference being, The Weeknd is great independent of this single.
81 – There for You by Martin Garrix featuring Troye Sivan
A close friend of mine hates Martin Garrix with a passion and that partly influenced my opinion of his artistry. But I cannot deny talent when it shows its face. The music he created this year are some of his best. Troye’s voice brings warmth to Garrix’ beats, which need tempering considering how heavy and blasted its production normally is.