Top 50 Tracks of 2017 (10-01)

10. Taylor Swift “Look What You Made Me Do”

Oh Taylor, look what you made us do, putting the lead single from Reputation in our top 10 songs of the year. From its electro-punk beat to Swift’s half-rapped/half-sung lyrics, “Look What You Made Me Do” doesn’t immediately seem like a pop song. After repeated listens, the abrasiveness turns into an earworm. So much so that even the “I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now/Why?/Oh ’cause she’s dead!” doesn’t sound lame anymore – Adam Tercyak-Morgan

09. Destroyer “Tinseltown Swimming in Blood”

With running synth bass and strings, “Tinseltown Swimming in Blood” doesn’t sound like any other Destroyer single but that is the magic of Daniel Bejar. His ability to reinvent himself with every record yet have them all sound distinctively Destroyer. On “Tinseltown Swimming in Blood,” Bejar’s acid-voiced stream-of-consciousness lyricism is in full effect with phrases jumping out at the listener like “I was a dreamer/watch me leave” and “what comes around is going round again” both entering the fray as great Destroyer-isms – Adam Tercyak-Morgan

08. Middle Kids “Edge of Town”

Originally released as a single in 2016 before being included on Middle Kids’ self-titled EP from earlier this year, “Edge of Town” does an excellent job showcasing the myriad talents of this powerful trio from Sydney, Australia. In just over three minutes, the emotive indie pop gem has singer/guitarist Hannah Joy’s outstanding vocals building from a stern, flinty purr to a pitch-bending, glorious yell. As if not to be outdone, Joy’s bandmates follow her every dynamic turn, creating a memorable and exhilarating moment that bodes well for the band’s next move. – Andy Mascola

07. Selena Gomez “Bad Liar”

In part to a bassline lifted from Talking Heads‘ “Psycho Killer,” Selena Gomez released what is her most critically acclaimed song to date. The sultry singing juxtaposes the songs goofy lyrics the beginning of a relationship where obsession meets awkwardness. Lines like “I see your face/oh wait, that’s someone else” and “your touch like a happy pill” almost don’t seem lame when Gomez sings them and then you realize that is exactly why she’s doing it. – Adam Tercyak-Morgan

06. St. Vincent “Los Ageless”

St. Vincent‘s MASSEDUCTION was noted for being her most personal to date yet “Los Ageless” feels so relatable. Earlier this year I moved from Connecticut where I grew up to Los Angeles right around the time “Los Ageless” came out and the song laid out everything an outsider feels when hitting tinseltown. “Winter never comes” and “lost sages hang out by the bar” all feel true when driving through West Hollywood on a 70 degree night in December. Los Angeles is this epic beast that can’t be understood and St. Vincent understands that and articulates it so well – Adam Tercyak-Morgan

05. Cherry Glazerr “Told You I’d Be With The Guys”

Clem Creevy and company deliver a potent cautionary tale regarding the sexes with the excellent lead-off single from their album Apocalipstick, “Told You I’d Be with the Guys”. “Where are my ladies? Nobody has my back,” Creevy sings dejectedly during the song’s stirring opening moments before falling into a dramatic pre-chorus groove. Cherry Glazerr pour every ounce of themselves into the song’s final rowdy minute as Creevy resolutely belts out, “Now I see the beauty, it’s necessary, to give a lady love.” “Told You I’d Be with the Guys” helped to mark a stunning return for Cherry Glazerr, one that showed the California trio still has a lot to offer. – Andy Mascola

04. Kesha “Praying”

Kesha was undoubtedly the feel good story of the year. Her emancipation from Dr. Luke and following success was exactly what the year of #MeToo needed. For all those who suffered at the hand of an abuser, “Praying” sounds like a foot-stomping anthem. Kesha’s mammoth voice switched between enlightened and vengeful, praying for her enemy while absolutely eviscerating him and making it sound amazing in the process. – Adam Tercyak-Morgan

03. Cardi B “Bodak Yellow”

Cardi B cemented herself in the minds of many with a simple line in “Bodak Yellow”: “Little bitch, you can’t fuck with me if you wanted to.” This track is a humble brag, showcasing work ethic and drive that deservedly shot Cardi B to the top. She has paid her dues and then some, lyrically bouncing from metaphor to blatant callouts, reflecting on her time spent as a stripper to then becoming one of the hottest rap acts in town. There’s an ease to her rhymes; she’s confident and she knows she deserves it. “Bodak Yellow” is as much of a jab to wannabes as it is an anthem for hardworking people. Cardi B has taken that theme to the bank. – Julie Sullivan

02. Lorde “Green Light”

Controlled chaos of a devastating breakup is the theme of “Green Light” by Lorde. It’s two songs in one: a party anthem to just let go and a petty callback to the fake pieces of a relationship gone wrong. It’s the perfect table setter for Melodrama as it is a melodrama in and of itself. There’s a manic focus to the lyrics, a hunger and a desire just ready to burst.“Green Light” is complex and sets itself apart from other pop songs yet it embraces the dramatics behind the stereotype of a pop star with a broken heart. Things are not as they may seem. There’s always been a spin of darkness around Lorde’s lighthearted nature, but “Green Light” really drives that issue home. – Julie Sullivan

01. Portugal. The Man “Feel it Still”

If you started off 2017 betting on a Alaskan psychedelic-rock band having one of the years biggest hits, you are a winner. What makes Portugal. The Man‘s success so unlikely is they didn’t need to concede to do so. After spending years in the studio with pop producers, Portugal. The Man shelved that album and instead released Woodstock. A throwback to their love of oldies music, “Feel it Still” sampled The Marvelettes’ “Please Mr. Postman” to give it that neo-soul feel. The track became a number one hit in Mexico and Slovenia and peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Not bad for five dudes from Alaska. – Adam Tercyak-Morgan

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