My top 10 songs of 2017

Under fair use.

Under fair use.

Photo illustration by Natalie O'Dell

Photo illustration by Natalie O'Dell

Under fair use.

Natalie O'Dell, Staff Writer

Like every other year, 2017 had plenty of new songs released. Although I found much of this music to be mediocre, I definitely found some that I will be playing for many more years to come. I’ve compiled a list of the best 10 songs of 2017.

The tenth best song is Twenty One Pilots “Heathens” from the 2016 hit film “Suicide Squad”. The song was popular at the beginning of the year, and although I am not a fan of the band’s general style, I found myself really sucked into its haunting atmosphere and lyrics whenever it played.  Despite its slower tempo, I don’t get bored of it like I do with other songs of such nature, despite my preference to faster and upbeat songs. This track belongs to both an artist and style that I generally do not gravitate towards and I still love it, and I have to praise it for that.

Number nine would be Demi Lovato’s “Tell Me You Love Me”. Although initially her bigger hit, “Sorry Not Sorry” was planned for this slot, but I thought this lesser known song was more deserving of this placement.  Demi Lovato is an artist I’ve enjoyed for a while, and although I don’t like her new work as much as what I’ve heard on her previous two albums, “Demi” and “Confident”, I still liked the song quite a bit. In this song she shows some vulnerability, something new in her work, over powerful instrumentation. It doesn’t appeal to my taste as much as her previous work, but has caught my attention well enough to earn itself a spot on my list.

Snagging the eighth spot is Camila Cabello’s “Havana”. I’ve been pretty impressed with this new emerging artist, and “Havana” shows why. It is a catchy tune that flows very well. I love the Latin music influence and the saxophone, aspects that both give the song a lot of individual character.  The song’s drawback is Young Thug’s contribution, which, although it fits into the song pretty well, doesn’t really add anything. Despite that issue, Cabello is a talented singer with a voice distinctive enough to stand out from the crowd while still fitting in with the kind of pop music I like, and I’m very to see what she releases in the future.

Taking the 7th spot is Selena Gomez’s collaboration with EDM group Marshmello, “Wolves”.  In the past I have not been a fan of the young pop star given her past with Justin Bieber, an artist I am not so fond of for many reasons, but I realized that was an irrational viewpoint and I should judge her, and her music, for what it is. This opened mind has allowed me to see the value in her work, and this song shows exactly what I see in her. Her voice is the perfect fit, and although the instrumental breaks are a little bit longer than I’d like, they still sound beautiful and fit the song. The chorus has a great melody, but my favorite aspect of the song is the lyrics because of how they paint a picture representing the song’s story.  

The 6th place is held by Alessia Cara’s “Scars To Your Beautiful”. When I first heard the song, I was absolutely in love with the way the instrumentals complimented the beautiful melody and lyrics, and I was playing it on repeat the entire weekend. I loved it so much I even made a response art piece.  Although I am no longer as enamored with the song as I was then, I still think it is great and can appreciate it for the same reasons I did nearly a year ago.

Halsey takes the number 5 spot with her song “Now Or Never”. Unlike the last entry, I actually wasn’t too crazy about this one when I first heard it. I just didn’t think much of it. However, as the song climbed the charts I developed a strong appreciation of it. Halsey has a very unique way of describing stories in a raw, candid way through her lyrics, and although this sounds a bit more like a typical top 40 song than her previous work, these qualities are still present in the song and still shine.  The minor key common in Halsey songs help give an edge, and it makes for a great and memorable track.

The fourth place in the countdown would go to the collaboration of Coldplay and The Chainsmokers, “Something Just Like This”. Despite their past with the infamous “#SELFIE”, I actually have taken a liking to The Chainsmokers’s work. They proved in 2016 with “Don’t Let Me Down” that they were perfectly capable of creating legitimate music. They had an individual appeal to help them stand out from other artists, but some of this, like their lyrical style, was lost in the fact it is a collaboration with Coldplay, and artist with a very different sound. However, this in no way hurts the song. The lyrics are one of the song’s strongest assets, and it is something we don’t get a lot of in popular music: a sweet, innocent love song  My favorite parts of the song are the  instrumental breaks. They are energetic, catchy and beautiful and carry a feel of triumph.

Imagine Dragons swoops in at third place with their song “Thunder”. This is definitely the song you will not love at the first listen, as it has many vocal effects that seem bizarre, but after about five listens I realized that’s what makes it so great. It is an uplifting song with amazing production and a surging beat and another great song from this band.

Right before the number one spot, Pink’s return to the radio with ‘What About Us” comes in.  The strongest aspect of the song is the production of the instrumentals and the way the beats are pronounced in the chorus. The lyrics are also beautifully written and I love the song’s themes. This is a song I fell in love with at the first listen and still like almost as much as I did then.

The top pick will probably surprise you. You you may not even know it, and it barely even counts as a hit song, only reaching top 60 on the Billboard Hot 100, but I love it too much deny it this spot. That song is Machine Gun Kelly’s collaboration with Hailee Steinfeld, ‘At My Best”. The reason that I love it so much is its lyrics.  They really resonate with me. They are inspirational and carry a powerful message: everyone makes mistakes, but we all have great qualities too. The song does a great job conveying that message. I even find myself really enjoying the rap parts of the song, which is an accomplishment given rap isn’t really my thing. I also love Hailee Steinfeld’s work on the chorus, and that is why I have given this song the top spot.

These are the songs from last year that caught my attention, and I am hoping this year will have even more great songs to remember for years to come.  What was your favorite song last year? What upcoming 2018 music are you looking forward to? Leave a comment and let me know!

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My top 10 songs of 2017