My top 10 best songs of 2018

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My top 10 best songs of 2018

Photo illustration. Fair use.

Photo illustration. Fair use.

Natalie O'Dell

Photo illustration. Fair use.

Natalie O'Dell

Natalie O'Dell

Photo illustration. Fair use.

Natalie O'Dell, Business Manager

Overall, 2018 was a decent year for music.  Not every hit song was a masterpiece, but I was able to find 10 of them that I am sure I’ll be listening to for years to come.

At the number ten spot is Selena Gomez’s “Back To You”.  I tend to find Selena’s music appealing, but this stands out in particular to me.  The beautiful guitar strums against the quiet , somber vocals create a calm, almost folksy tune that I often listen to on repeat.

In ninth place is Rita Ora’s “Let You Love Me”.  Rita Ora is a hit or miss artist for me. Some are great, but others are uninteresting and unmemorable.  Fortunately, this track is of the latter. The song’s highlights are the lyrics, which are written in a way that clearly and directly conveys her internal struggle.  The instrumentals and production also help make it strong, with breaks long enough to be memorable but short enough not to feel boring and repetitive.

    In the eighth spot is ZAYN and Sia’s duet, “Dusk Till Dawn”.  I have no strong feeling on ZAYN one way or another, so my enjoyment of the song is completely random.  Probably the highlight of the song is the way the two artists’ voices harmonize, working with each other to create a very pleasant and soothing song.  Mixed with the instrumentals and tone, the song truly embodies to feel of shining, dimming light, just like the title would suggest.

Most teens are probably familiar with the seventh entry through its popular use in memes, which is probably what helped it rise to the music charts.  This song is none other than Bazzi’s “Mine”. Even though the song is well recognized, the nature of its fame tends to be ironic, which in a way is unfortunate, because, when listened to in full, it’s actually a genuinely good song.  As is apparent with his other singles this year- “Beautiful” and ‘Myself”, Bazzi is a master at conveying emotion through music. In this track, he uses whimsical lyrics, a quick, poppy tempo, and a simple melody to create a lighthearted, lovestruck tone, and the result is an enjoyable, replayable song.

    Last year, I included Camila Cabello’s “Havana” on my top 10 songs of the year list, and I said I was looking forwards to hearing more of her music in the future.  I was right to be excited, because her song “Never Be The Same” is in the sixth spot on my list this year. There’s not a lot I can say about this song other than that it’s great.  The verses and chorus match each other well and flow into each other nicely, and her vocals pair well with the instrumentals. The song’s pace is fairly slow, but still manages to be fun to listen to and very replayable.  As much as I loved “Havana” last year, she has outdone herself this year with this song.

The number five spot is taken by Ariana Grande’s “God is a woman”.  In the past, I’ve tended to enjoy her music, but this year, as much praise as it’s gotten from her fans, “no tears left to cry” was a bit of a letdown for me.  I found the song flowed poorly and felt very awkward, so I was not pleased with the new direction of her music. Then, this track came along. The song’s production and melody matches the majesty of the god imagery in the lyrics, and it is very fun to listen to.

The fourth song on the list is Hailee Steinfeld’s “Capital Letters”.  Hailee is an artist who tends to hover around the spotlight, always having a song just outside of mainstream popularity.  With work like this, I think she deserves to rise from that position. The song’s lyrics are sweet, and the instrumentals work with them to create a beautiful, endearing song.

The number three spot is taken by an artist featured last year, Halsey, with “Without Me”.  However, my general enjoyment of the artist has gone down since the point I write that story.  That being said, this songs sounds a lot different than her other work. It is well written and amazingly produced, and is simply beautiful to listen to.

The song to take the second spot is Imagine Dragons’ “Natural”.  Its amazing use of metaphors, clashing instrumentals and intense vocals give a cold, harsh song that perfectly conveys the story it wants to tell.  

My number one song of the year is “Happier”, by Marshmello and Bastille.  Unusual for EDM, the best part of the song is the highly effective, beautifully written lyrics that clearly tell a conflicted story and convey its emotions flawlessly.  Also uncharacteristic of the genre, the instrumentals do not take away from the song’s emotion, instead lifting it up.

2018 has been a long year, but fortunately, I have some great songs to take away from it as it comes to a close.  I am excited for the music 2019 has in store, and I’m also excited to hear what our readers are listening to. What are your favorite songs from this year? What do you think of this year’s music as a whole? Let me know in the comments!

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