The fact that 2016 is such an amazing year in music is undeniable. Starting from January, when we all got the long anticipated Rihanna’s album and the final album from the legend David Bowie. As the months fly away, we all see Beyoncé dropping Lemonade, The Avalanches arising from the dead, Radiohead wiping their internet persona as a teaser for A Moon Shaped Pool, and more Kanye West. In summer, Carly Rae Jepsen gives us the side B of legendary Emotion and Frank Ocean returns from the abyss. American Football also arises from the dead in autumn and Solange Knowles gives us the best R&B album of the year. Who would’ve thought? I won’t allow this amazing year to end before getting a chance to rewind some of this year’s finest songs in 100 Best Songs of 2016.
100. The Chainsmokers, “Closer (feat. Halsey)”
The success of The Chainsmokers reminds me of LMFAO. Both are duo that come to prominence with one huge number one hits. Even if The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” is the most over-played song of the year, it is never on par with the level of obnoxiousness that LMFAO had in 2011. Part of it is because Halsey’s vocal is transfixing and “Closer” is the ultimate song for lost love that’s finally found, making it the perfect autumn jam as the autumn leaves fall and old love comes for Thanksgiving.
99. Japanese Breakfast, “Everybody Wants To Love You”
98. ceo, “Kill Count”
97. Carly Rae Jepsen, “Store”
“Store” is everything we need from a Carly Rae Jepsen’s song: a song about crumbling relationship, a sassy way to say good bye (despite Jepsen keeps telling, “I’m not that good at good bye), and something that can accompany you when you’re shopping in Wal-Mart. Shopping groceries has never been this fun, thanks to Carly Rae Jepsen.
96. Empire of the Sun, “High and Low”
95. Drake, “One Dance (feat. WizKid & Kyla)”
94. Porches, “Car”
We tend to overlook the mundane thing that we always see every day, such as car, but for Aaron Maine, car is fascinating. In this ode for automobile, he’s full of awe and wonder (how can “it takes us from where we are”?) of this mode of transportation, like an ecstatic kid who just rides a car for the first time. Only Maine who’s able to write a song for car, but still sounds fanatic.
93. Rihanna, “Work (feat. Drake)”
92. Kamaiyah, “Come Back”
91. Yeasayer, “I Am Chemistry”
90. Ariana Grande, “Side To Side (feat. Nicki Minaj)”
I have got to be honest, watching “Side To Side” kind of turns me on. It’s not just because the lascivious theme of video, but also because Grande finally shows maturity in her music. It’s unbelievable to think that in just less than four years, Grande transforms from a sweet and innocent yours truly into a dangerous woman. “Side To Side” paves Grande’s path to her adulthood, proving that Grande is now ready to slay all of your favorite.
89. Snakehips, “Money On Me (feat. Anderson .Paak)”
88. Chairlift, “Crying In Public”
87. Danny L. Harle, “Super Natural (feat. Carly Rae Jepsen)”
The true star of “Super Natural” is Harle, one of PC Music’s producers, the member of Dux Alliance with A. G. Cook. It’s already a recipe of amazingness. Long fan of Jepsen, when Harle asks Jepsen to fill the vocal for “Super Natural”, it’s a dream comes true, and “Super Natural” lengthens the streak of Jepsen’s superb songs. It’s no surprise when you listen to Harle’s sick beat, it reminds you of A. G. Cook’s work, with its twinkling beat and multilayered 80’s synth. Jepsen is the perfect choice to fill the vocal, as her voice twirls between Harle’s irresistible beat (and quirky charming smile). “Super Natural” describes an effortlessly matching couple, that’s perfectly meant for each other, and in some other ways, it’s exactly what’s this collaboration is.
86. The 1975, “The Sound”
85. Joyce Manor, “Last You Heard Of Me”
84. Justin Timberlake, “Can’t Stop The Feeling”
83. Minor Victories, “A Hundred Ropes”
Minor Victories is a supergroup which consists of Slowdive‘s singer/guitarist Rachel Goswell, Mogwai‘s guitarist Stuart Braithwaite, and Editors‘ guitarist Justin Lockey, plus his brother James Lockey who barely spent time together to discuss the music in same room. But, their first single “A Hundred Ropes” still highlights the best qualities of each band member, It starts with a dusky bassline, with thumping synth pattern. “A Hundred Ropes” features Goswell’s powerful and spooky voice. “We’ve got to find our own way out,” she repeats on the hook. The song is accompanied by a dark video which features a plethora of samurais that charge toward the screen, bringing death in their katanas.
82. Sylvan Esso, “Radio”
81. Kanye West, “No More Parties In L.A. (feat. Kendrick Lamar)”
80. Whitney, “Light Upon The Lake”
Whitney is a supergroup actually, formed by Max Kakacek, Smith Western’s ex guitarist, and Julien Ehrlich, the ex drummer of Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Their debut album, Light Upon The Lake, sounds nothing like Smith Western or UMO. In lieu of sounding more rock or psychedelic, Light Upon The Lake sounds much sweeter where acoustic guitar predominantly can be heard throughout the album. It’s no surprise that the title track of the album is the most gorgeous song of the album. “Light Upon The Lake” may be a song of contemplation. “Fire across the planes/ light upon the lake lonely haze of dawn/ when old days are gone,” Ehrlich speaks tenderly. Between the strings, Ehrlich continues in chorus, “Will life get ahead of me?” The chorus may only contain one sentence, but it’s the sentence efficaciously makes us think about our life.
79. Gallant, “Bone + Tissue”
78. Big Ups, “National Parks”
77. Ryan Hemsworth, “Wait (feat. Keaton Henson & Mitski)”
Adult Swim Single Series finally makes the collaboration between Ryan Hemsworth and Mitski happen. Both have been friends for a long time and it’s clear that they admire each other’s work. But, it’s in “Wait” where they truly collaborate and create an amazing track. We won’t hear vigorous Hemsworth’s synth-beat here, but he tones himself down to match the tender Henson and Mitski’s voice instead. It’s not his typical club-banger, but it’s a nice to see Hemsworth trying something new like this.
76. Ariana Grande, “Into You”