From “Slow Hands” To “Bad Liar,” The 50 Best Pop Songs Of 2017
2017 was an interesting year for pop music. The genre’s elite stumbled, while newcomers came through to take their place. (Or, at least, to compete for fans). Time will tell if we witnessed a changing of the guard or simply a minor correction, but one thing is clear. It’s not an easy time for established pop stars. Streaming services have leveled the playing field and taken radio out of the equation. Now, for better or worse, it all comes down to the song. And anything goes as long as its shareable.
Given the changing pop landscape, predicting trends became almost impossible. (Who could have guessed at the beginning of the year that everyone would be dropping bilingual remixes in the wake of “Despacito”?) Artists that fared best were those that forged their own path. Kesha thrived in the post-genre Thunderdome, Selena Gomezreinvented herself with a Talking Heads sample and Dua Lipa climbed the pop ladder by doling out dating advice over club beats.
Take a deep breath and dive into my list of the year’s best pop songs below. Just don’t pay too much attention to the rankings. They are largely arbitrary, but give a general idea of what made me press repeat the most in 2017.
50. “There’s A Honey” — Pale Waves
I know my heart is killing you, killing you
Pale Waves was one of the breakout acts of 2017 courtesy of shimmering indie-pop anthems like “New Year’s Eve,” “My Obsession” and “There’s A Honey.” Produced by George Daniel and Matthew Healy of The 1975, the latter stands out as the very-promising band’s defining moment to date.
48. “I Don’t” — Mariah Carey & YG
Pity party of the year
Haters will call this flop, but Lambs (rightly) acknowledge “I Don’t” as one of Mimi’s best singles.
45. “Mo Bounce” — Iggy Azalea
Bounce, bounce, bounce
The death rattle of Iggy Azalea was also one of the catchiest pop/rap hybrids in recent memory. Hate if you must, but this still goes harder than anything her critically-acclaimed contemporaries dropped in 2017.
40. “That’s What I Like” — Bruno Mars
Gold jewelry shining so bright, strawberry champagne on ice
After completing his funk odyssey with “24K Magic,” Bruno Mars decided to revive New Jack Swing with the silky smooth “That’s What I Like.” Retro and yet somehow very much of the here and now, this was the crowd-pleaser of 2017.
39. “Magic” — Nelly Furtado
Have you just grown up and given up?
Nelly Furtado did something outrageous in 2017. She had the audacity to make a pop album for adults and sing about taboo topics like the encroaching paralysis of middle age on the hopeful, defiant “Magic.”
29. “New Rules” — Dua Lipa
Rehearse and repeat it
Every now and again, someone drops a pop song so catchy and relatable that it becomes a pop culture phenomenon. That’s the amazing achievement Dua Lipa pulls off with “New Rules,” a track so ingrained in the general public’s consciousness that its dating guidelines have become lore.
11. “Bad Liar” — Selena Gomez
Your touch like a happy pill
This has been on every end of year list with good reason. “Bad Liar” established Selena Gomez as one of pop’s most daring and playful superstars.
10. “When A Woman” — Shakira
And when you think it’s all I got, I’ll bring it up a notch
While Shakira mostly sings in her mother tongue on El Dorado, there were a couple of English-language gems including “When A Woman.” Penned by pop’s dream team (i.e. Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter) and produced by Cashmere Cat, this ruthlessly catchy banger needs to be a single. It’s too good to fall through the cracks like “Chasing Shadows” and “Men In This Town.”
9. “New York” — St. Vincent
New York isn’t New York without you, love
St. Vincent took a cautious step towards pop on “New York.” Co-produced with Jack Antonoff, the lead single from MASSEDUCTION is a melancholy mid-tempo ballad built around lilting piano keys. It’s softer and brighter (despite the lyrical content) than her previous work, but still as truthful and incisive as ever.
8. “Bon Appetit” — Katy Perry & Migos
Fresh out the oven, melt in your mouth kind of lovin’
Katy perry’s Witness album is polarizing, but the general consensus (at least, among the ever-knowledgeable gays) is that “Bon Appetit” holds up against the diva’s multi-platinum smashes. If only the Migos feature could somehow be expunged.
7. “Love” — Lana Del Rey
You get ready, you get all dressed up to go nowhere in particular
Lana Del Rey came through with the best ballad of 2017 and that’s that.
6. “Millionaire” — Chris Stapleton
When the kisses fall from everywhere
This is probably pop-adjacent at best, but Chris Stapleton’s joyous cover of Kevin Welch & The Danes’ “Millionaire” is the country superstar’s most accessible song to date. A simple, stripped-back tune that drips starry-eyed adoration, this is going to soundtrack a lot of weddings.
5. “Imaging My Man” — Aldous Harding
You were right, love takes time (hey, hey)
The most strikingly original pop song of 2017 belonged to New Zealand’s Aldous Harding. The quirky singer/songwriter uses every octave at her disposal, swinging wildly between velvety crooning, wild shouts and jarring runs on this dreamy rumination on comprise and patience. Press play and drift off into the newcomer’s weird and wonderful world.
4. “Finding You” — Kesha
I know that you’ll always be my happy ending
I love every song on Kesha’s Rainbow LP, but “Finding You” is its crowning glory. This is the Your Name (the anime, not the peach movie) of pop songs, an ode to a love that plays out over several lifetimes. Simple, beautiful and moving.
3. “It Ain’t Me” — Selena Gomez & Kygo
I’m gonna leave behind the worst of us
For someone who is technically off-cycle, Selena Gomez really delivered in 2017. I’m only too happy to join the “Bad Liar” circle jerk, but let’s take a minute to appreciate “It Ain’t Me.” Written off a generic club collaboration by some, the track’s unapologetic lyrics struck a chord with me. Breakup songs are a dime a dozen, but few capture the realization that you can’t fix people as acutely as this bittersweet bop.
2. “Anywhere” — Rita Ora
Over the hills and far away, a million miles from LA
I have thrown (more than) my fair share of shade about Rita Ora’s vanishing sophomore LP, but the Brit got the last laugh with “Anywhere.” Sounding like a mid-’90s Eurovision entry, the perky ode to wanderlust offers sunny optimism and the best post-chorus. Possibly ever. Well played.
1. “SGL” — Now, Now
Starry-eyed, I was young and undone
Minneapolis duo Now, Now returned from a five-year hiatus with “SGL,” a hazy, windows-down indie-pop anthem that just happens to be my favorite song of the year. Catchy without trying, pop-centric but only just, everything about this track feels loose and authentic and destined to soundtrack a really good road movie one of these days. Listen to it in my playlist below.
Editado por HarveY, 06 enero 2018 - 16:45 hrs..