Monday, December 4, 2017

Favorite Songs of 2017 (Part Two)

It is not only time for us all to get holly, jolly, merry, and bright, but also time for us to compile all of the tracks that made this year a bit more enjoyable. For reference, one musical act is allowed to have only one track on my countdown. Click the hyperlink to read part one, and check back for the rest of my list in the coming days.

25. "Say My Name" by Tove Styrke

Today's minimalist, bona fide pop Tove Styrke is certainly more than a stone's throw away from the idiosyncratic, left-field one of yesteryear, but I promise she's just as enjoyable. A drastic reinvention of her musical taste, the lightweight "Say My Name" is more traditionally appealing than the cool cuts on her sophomore record, Kiddo; A scrappy ukulele riff and electronic drum beat act as its backbone, while Styrke's lyrics and delivery come across as carefree and conversational.

24. "The Cure" by Lady Gaga

Did Lady Gaga jump on The Chainsmokers' electronic-lite train just before it departed the popularity station? Yep. A surprising departure from the back roads expedition that was her fourth studio album, Joanne, "The Cure" marks the first time Lady Gaga jumped on a trend rather than jump-started it. Did she nail it, though? You bet she did. Released when she replaced a very pregnant Beyoncé on the Coachella main stage, the track is understandably anthemic and just as infectious as you expect a Lady Gaga song to be.

23. "Need You" by Allie X feat. Valley Girl

Allie X came into her own this year, noticeably improving her craft and proving herself worthy of big league ranks in pop stardom; her Collxtion II spotlighted her versatility, bouncing from one inspiration to the next. Between her first and second "collxtion" releases, she learned how to craft a killer climax without yelping over a balls-to-the-wall instrumental burst – a skill she best exhibits on the vocoder-laden "Need You." The most notable element of its ambient backing track, a drumbeat nods along beneath her muddy puddle of robotic vocals.

22. "Top of the World" by Kimbra

In preparation for her third studio album, Kimbra continues to do what she does best: take an organic approach to electronic-influenced pop music. "Top of the World," the second cut from her upcoming third studio album, is a hypnotizing tribal-beat track that was co-produced by Skrillex. On the track, Kimbra shies from modesty to reflect on what she has earned as an artist – and everything there is yet to conquer. She sing-raps just slightly off-kilter, signaling vocoders in and out of the mix to haunting results, before the song resolves into a chanted hook.

21. "Magnetic" by Chlöe Howl

Man, this may be the year's most underrated pop gem. On "Magnetic," singer-songwriter Chlöe Howl barrels over a spellbinding track that sweeps listeners in a sea of sound. It pulsates below her commanding pipes as she unleashes a melody that is impossible not to yell alongside in the car, no matter how much damage may have been done to your vocal cords in the process. After having fallen from pop culture's consciousness a few years ago, this track is a triumphant return.

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