Year-End Top 100: 2019 – 80 to 71

80 – Shameless by Camila Cabello

I didn’t believe Camila Cabello had the talent nor the vision to last in music. Since she quit Fifth Harmony, she’s been a staple of radio and streaming services. I was wrong. Fast forward to today and I’m listening to “Shameless”. I wish I could apply this song in a romantic context. But the underlying urge to be free of inhibitions and perceptions resound to my core. Her wailing in the chorus is my inner voice breaking free.

79 – Now That I Found You by Carly Rae Jepsen

Carly Rae Jepsen inspired a following that worships her musical creations like scriptures. My close friends are obsessed. While I have not reached the passion they possess, I understand the adoration. There’s a purity and class to her approach to pop. From her catalog, “Now That I Found You” is a good example. Her songs boost my mood from first beat. The happy hormones are amplified once her upbeat and unassuming tone kicks in.

78 – Heaven by Avicii

Avicii and Chris Martin previously worked on “A Sky Full of Stars”. While I felt the first collaboration is superior, “Heaven” is a reminder of the magic that can be created when two artists from different backgrounds come together. The song was released posthumously. However, the recording begun as early as 2014. Overall, the new release date is timely. The track’s sentiment is more appropriate now than five years back.

77 – Don’t Call Me Up by Mabel

Every year, there’s a club jam perfect for people getting over a heartbreak. “Don’t Call Me Up” is 2019’s prime candidate to take the title. The song is empowering on the dance floor. With the rush of alcohol, the hype of a crowd, and an atmosphere of partying, I’m convinced I’m free from the shackles of my former love. But I know life is more complex. At least, for the three minutes the song is playing, I felt I’ve regained control.

76 – Memories by Maroon 5

When Adam Levine left The Voice, he made a choice to spend more time with his family and the band. As a fan of his bromance with Blake, I wasn’t thrilled. But I prefer him creating songs than entertaining us on TV. “Memories” is their first single since. I’m delighted he used the opportunity to honor the band’s manager. I respect the track for its unique take on remembering the departed – not invoking a higher being into the picture.

75 – Crave by Madonna and Swae Lee

Previously, Madonna created trends and not followed them. I won’t argue what category “Crave” falls into. But the Madame X tracks are some of her most inspired, relevant and artistic. Swae Lee’s voice adds depth to the longing Madonna wants to convey. Her choice to collaborate felt like a necessity to further her art, and not on improving the song’s commercial performance. I’m personally disappointed the public doesn’t hear what I do.

74 – If I Can’t Have You by Shawn Mendes

When Shawn Mendes released music in 2019, he cited the 1975 as one of his influences. While I don’t hear any elements of the band in Shawn’s music, I appreciate his taste. Maybe I’m just overprotective of Matty Healy. In any case, “If I Can’t Have You” is a treat. The enthusiasm and yearning in Shawn Mendes’ voice comes across. Layer that to a beat that keeps on building, excitement and a rush are inevitable.

73 – Wow. by Post Malone

I’m not one of Post Malone’s haters (people who I quite frankly don’t understand). But if there was any doubt he can deliver pure hip-hop, “Wow.” should settle the question. He delivers rap verses without any voice alteration and with minimal production. Yet, the outcome is the same – a commercially successful hit. “Wow.” proves the naysayers wrong. However, I understand his arrogance and his confidence in the track don’t help.

72 – Somebody to Love by OneRepublic

I don’t know if I’m the only person still listening to OneRepublic. But their new music continues to be timeless. Ryan Tedder writes masterfully. He generates art that captures the human experience. “Somebody to Love” showcases the agony we go through as our former partners move on before we do. I wouldn’t say the subject is new. But so are most of our problems. The track also highlights how much vocal chops Ryan Tedder still has.

71 – Almeda by Solange

It’s fairly recent I’ve acknowledged my struggle to stay true to my identity. What does that have to do with “Almeda”? I  look up to artists who stay true to their roots and use their platform to get the underrepresented a voice in the arts. With this song, she speaks about her origin, the uniqueness of their traits and the culture. More impressively, she proves that music is better when spoken from her lens and nobody else’s.


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