Year-End Top 100: 2019 – 70 to 61

70 – Heartless by the Weeknd

The Weeknd is one of the most recognizable and talented R&B singers around. With his fame and fortune, I understand why he is playing the field and finds settling down difficult. Many, including myself, feel some envy. But when I hear him proclaim his “heartlessness”, I detect some dissatisfaction and emptiness. I admit, it maybe a stretch. In the end, the song is a dark but insightful view into the Weeknd’s current state of mind.

69 – Carry Me Away by John Mayer

Time will tell if John Mayer can recreate the genius he demonstrated with classics like “Heartbreak Warfare”, “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room”, or “Waiting on the World to Change”. But his music continues to serve a role in my life. His songs calm my mood and is a perfect partner on a chill Saturday afternoon. In “Carry Me Away”, he calls himself a bore. My appreciation is a manifestation of my life transitioning into the same phase.

68 – I Can’t Get Enough by Benny Blanco, J Balvin, Selena Gomez and Tainy

It’s no secret that Selena Gomez doesn’t possess a vocal range that can compete with the divas in the industry. But her humming and hushing go a long way. In fact, I can’t find another artist as skilled as her in that department. While “I Can’t Get Enough” appears to be an attempt to capitalize on the Latin trend that’s been on the rise, the track does veer away from heavy thumping and fast-paced EDM.

67 – Nightmare by Halsey

Frustration and anger occasionally take over my day. With that disclaimer, you can “Nightmare” instantly clicked with my taste buds. What is there to not like? There’s rage in Halsey’s voice, unapologetic and fearless words, loud heavy instrumentation, and a marginalized woman’s point of view. If you ever feel sorry for the side of your identity that goes on berserk mode, have a listen and hopefully the track should be empowering.

66 – Lose You to Love Me by Selena Gomez

When I first heard “Lose You to Love Me”, I had two thoughts. The first one is how similar it sounds to “The Heart Wants What It Wants”. Production is light and she exerts vocal effort to emphasize how personal the track is. The second idea was how basic her songwriting is. The words could’ve been concocted by anyone watching romantic movies. That’s not necessarily wrong. I’m ordinary and simple, like her and all of you.

65 – fuck, i’m lonely by Lauv and Anne-Marie

Life stage plays a big part in the songs I connect with. Had I heard “fuck, i’m lonely” a year back, the track would’ve not charted on my year-end countdown. Not that I was pretending I felt complete. But I’ve only come to terms with my desire for companionship in the last few months. Now, I don’t know how else to put the occasional sentiment except for the words Lauv utters.

64 – So am I by Ava Max

I was born in the 90s, The decade continues to be my favorite for music across genres – pop, dance and rock. But I never partied and enjoyed the scene then. After all, I wasn’t even 10. What I do know I picked up from movies, MTV and the radio. “So am I” by Ava Max is made of throwback disco beats that characterized those years. Here, she gave us an opportunity to time travel through her sound and relive those days in today’s clubs.

63 – bury a friend by Billie Eilish

The beats of “bury a friend” takes you to a dark and mysterious place that horror movies are made of. But instead of finding yourself fighting with monsters in the dark, Billie Eilish puts us in a battle with our own inner demons. Deep inside, I know those are the hardest ones to face. For such a young artist, Billie Eilish puts me in awe of her creativity. The songwriting and production are top-notch and one of a kind.

62 – Hey Ma by Bon Iver

Pop tunes surround my life. Occasionally, I check out the critical darlings and the latest concert events to diversify. That’s how I came across Bon Iver. Listening to his music is refreshing. The repetitive beats and lyrics I hear are nowhere to be found in his creations. “Hey Ma” brings a sense of nostalgia and creates a mood for introspection. Listening to his words help me decipher the song’s meaning and of life in general.

61 – Tempo by Lizzo featuring Missy Elliott

Empowerment and inspiration don’t have to come in the form of a power ballad or an uplifting and upbeat song. They can also be found in a club banger. That’s what Lizzo and Missy Elliott achieved in “Tempo”. The two powerhouses prove that fitting into an industry mold is unnecessary and staying true to yourself pays off. More importantly, there’s success to be found and money to be made in diversity and representation.


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