1. Leave Your Lover – Sam Smith – This isn’t one of the great songs of our time, it is one of the great songs of all times; a song of unrequited love where Sam’s tactile vocal seems like a shroud of the love affair. A standard in waiting.
2. Rollercoaster – Bleachers – This feels like a one off now, I’ve listened to the album a number of times and none of it clicks like this 1970s glam rock triumph.
3. Head – Lydia Loveless – I almost dropped it out of the top five when I realized she was discussing giving and not getting head and because she kinda blew it on stage. But it’s too good. I can’t do it.
4. Rather Be – Clean Bandit – You could hope this might change the rules for EDM, the addition of a classical music string arrangement, and it does, but while remaining exactly the same. Which is why it is so good, it is also why it’s been a hit.
5. Longer Than You’ve Been Alive – Old 97’s – The night I saw em earlier this year they were checking the clock and here they aren’t even close to doing -a rock and roll autobiography.
6. Sour Times – The Civil Wars -If this cover of a Portishead track doesn’t make you seriously, seriously miss this duo nothing will: the electronic dubbing deep sink of the original is replaced by organic instrumentation and a vocal tour of her deep soul by Joy Williams.
7. Problem – Ariana Grande – The reason why this doesn’t feel as big a summer “Fancy” is because, well, “Fancy” is bigger, but it is plenty big as kiss offs go.
8. Fancy – Iggy Azalea – sure, it is all about that bass lick –
9. Thinking About You – Ed Sheeran – Singer songwriters don’t get strokes like this all the time, indeed once every three years is a miracle.
10. Stay With Me – Sam Smith – The second of three flat out masterpieces from an album without a weak link. This one was the hit. The third is “Not In That Way”.
11. Platinum – Miranda Lambert – A very funny pun with the song to match it, maybe beat it.
12. Oboe Concerto – Morrissey – This albums “Speedway” -a song so good you wonder why the rest aren’t.
13. Salad Days – Mac Demarco – everything a singer songwriter song should be except insincere.
14. 0 To 100/The Catch Up – Drake – Odd as it might sound, is possible young Drake is actually… a single artist? Over an album he can self-immolate but on this self portrait, what happens once you reach here, he nails it for four minutes.
15. Child’s Play – SZA – Featuring Chance The Rapper for some new R&B
16. NSA Man – Peter Stampfel – A full own smack down of being spied upon to a ridiculous degree.
17. Once Upon A Dream – Lana Del Rey – Right song meet right singer -if the movie had been half as bad.
18. Make It Look Good – Mariah Carey – Love the fake ending, love the cascading orchestra, love the Stevie Wonder vibe, most underrated album of the year,
19. Good Kisser – Usher – Light and hard at the same time
20. Zigzagging Toward The Light – Conor Oberst – The circumstances on him, and who knows where the transition will take conor, but this song suggest he is just biding his
21. As Long As I Got You – Lily Allen – Her Drake ish self-portrait, Lily makes it from the bottom. Plus zydeco.
22. She Looks So Perfect – 5 Seconds Of Summer- So they definitely have one in them!!!
Comment: This best songs is in order of preference, this is where I stand song wise and most of these are singles as well, though I don’t think the top two will change much in the next five months, If you Have spotify, give it a listen.
distinct and wondrous without being obvious or obnoxious
except for the title track the songs are on vacation
simultaneously self-effacing and egomaniacs
essentially a disco remix of “Rocket Man” featuring one of the the UK’s biggest stars…
“I literally really need you to jump up and down”
Friday night might kill us but Thursday evening is a blast
it just isn’t the triumph she needed after six years
an impressive sonic ride.
a high-spirited Post Pandemic anthem