2017 was a year of new trends, new artists, some really great music…and some really awful music. We had huge powerhouse artists release complete and utter let downs like Taylor Swift and Eminem (don’t agree? Don’t care. It’s my list. I do what I want.) We also had some great new comers like Khalid and SZA release hit singles, and a huge congratulations to 2017 radio stations for overplaying songs to their grave more than any other year beforehand thanks to the help of songs like “Shape of You”, “Despacito”, “I’m the One”, “That’s What I Like”, and “1-800-273-8255”. What an accomplishment! For the songs that were too good to be ruined by radio, the songs that either got the party started or got you lying in your bed regretting every decision you’ve ever made, we’ve got a lot of good material to choose from. Here’s my Top Ten Songs of 2017.
10. “Feels” -Calvin Harris feat. Pharrell, Katy Perry, & Big Sean
I’m sure some people may find this #10 choice hypocritical after talking about songs that have been destroyed by radio repetition, but c’mon, this song is so freaking good. Get a little groovy reggae vibe going, pair it with Pharrell’s smooth sexy vocals and you’ve got yourself a certified jam. The chorus to this song is the best thing to come out of Katy Perry’s mouth since “Firework”. Everyone hated her this year but somehow my boy Calvin crafted the perfect vessel for her to stay afloat in 2017. Toss in a great verse from Big Sean and a sweet trippy music video and you’ve got easily one of the best tracks of the year.
9. Television/So Far So Good -Rex Orange County
This entry on the list comes from maybe my favorite new artist of 2017. Rex Orange County has such a great combo of alternative rock elements that come together for a sound I think everyone can appreciate. Songs like “Best Friend”, “Loving Is Easy” and “Never Enough” show his fast-paced fun sides, but he also shows his emotional sad boy side on songs like “Nothing” and, well, basically the rest of the album Apricot Princess. I’ve probably listened to this song twice a day for the past 2 months because it perfectly displays his talents in both the fun and sad side. An unbelievable singer/song-writer who has found an incredibly unique voice at a crazy young age. Definitely check him out if you haven’t yet, I see him going places.
8. “Ice Melts” -Drake feat. Young Thug
It’s 9pm. You’ve got all your friends together and you’re getting ready for a night of fun. Someone tosses you the aux. How do you ensure the place gets popping off? Play this bad boy. Everyone likes this song. It’s the perfect balance of trap/hip-hop/reggae/singing-Drake/and Crazy Thug. The lyrics are easy, the beat is flames, and it’s not a dark trap song. Everyone can smile and dance to this. One of my favorite Drake songs of all time and the best song of More Life, which is saying a lot.
7. 8Teen -Khalid
American Teen is filled with some of my favorite songs of 2017. It was hard to narrow down what the best one was but after listening to this album again the one I wanted to listen to again and again was “8Teen”. First of all, I love how fun the lyrics are. The carefree sentiment perfectly matches the simple production of the song but it makes for a great song to play whenever. I would put this on every time I got the car this summer and belt it out with my windows down and shades on. Nothing felt better. An underrated song from the album but one I think will stand the test of time.
6. Tell Me You Love Me -Galantis & Throttle
First time I heard this I got chills. When I heard the drop I audibly said to myself “Woo!!!” and dancing. It brings the positivity that only Galantis can bring. They channel Jackson 5 vibes and accompany it with Throttles signature vocal mixing and fun horn-oriented drops for this 3 minute 22 second anti-depressant injection. Again, a great song to put on at a party and get everyone happy and excited and just one of the most underrated songs of the year. Tell your friends about this song so I can hear it everywhere in 2018, I don’t see this getting old for me any time soon.
5. DUCKWORTH -Kendrick Lamar
I’m going to start off with what makes this song good: classic flow from Kendrick, an unreal old-school beat with a flawless transition, and some clever rhymes. What makes this song great? The story. And it’s one only Kendrick could weave together so perfectly in a single track. The connection Lamar makes and the chain of events that led to his stardom is literally incomprehensible. It truly opens your eyes to the FACT that Kenny was destined to be one of the most influential rappers of our generation. Coincidentally, he proves that exact fact on this song with it’s perfection.
4. “Glory Days (Party Pupils Remix)” -Sweater Beats feat. Hayley Kiyoko
This is the only one on the list that I think the majority of people won’t know but I love it so much that I couldn’t NOT put it on. I’ve been following the EDM duo Party Pupils on Soundcloud for a while and wrote a post on them a few months back because they are absolute FLAMES. Their remixes are all fun high energy heaters and this song continues the trend. It takes a relatively average song from Sweater Beats and adds a flume-y drop to accompany the nostalgic vocals that have been an anthem for me my senior year of college. Please give this a listen and love it as much as I do. Also, great song for a Spring Break video all you Go-Pro-ers out there, you’re welcome.
3. Biking -Frank Ocean feat. Jay Z and Tyler, the Creator
This song couldn’t be bad. With Frank to lead the pack, the legend Jay Z to deal out a verse, and Tyler ON TOP OF THAT? You knew this had to be gold. Starting off with a drowned out verse from Jay to match Frank’s dreamy singing and guitar strums, this song moves from an acoustic soft effort to a mellow verse from Tyler and some crazy nonsense from Ocean at the end that somehow is one of the most beautiful things I’ve heard in a song. I can’t really explain what earned this song such a high spot on the list besides the fact that I listened to this like a billion times this year. Whether I was doing homework, driving in the car, or just lying in bed, this usually made it’s way in the rotation. A great Frank single that was desperately needed after I had listened to Blonde for the thousandth time in a row.
2. Love Galore -SZA feat. Travis Scott
Bring one of the hottest new artists of the year and pair her with one of the hottest rappers in the game and you get the magnificence that is Love Galore. The beat is so simple but that’s what makes it so catchy. The easy base line, basic drums, and slight synths in the background bring out how beautiful SZA’s voice is. Her lyrics are so honest and relatable to so many people. They come out in such a smooth rhythmic way it’s hypnotizing. Then Travis comes in with one of his best verses of all time. Showing a different side of the story, he raps/sings to match SZA and his style fits the beat perfectly as well. Although this song got so big, I never heard of anyone getting sick of this song, and it’s easy to see why. It’s just that good.
1. Slide -Calvin Harris feat. Frank Ocean & Migos
Yup, I did just put another Calvin Harris song on the Top Ten. Like I said in my list of the Top Ten Albums, after listening to this song thrice, I knew it was song of the year. The bass itself is so catchy that you gotta get up and start swinging the hips. He gets Franky Ocean on the track to give one of his most spirited fun verses in a long time and then Migos to spit their peak rhymes straight on their Culture high? You can’t dislike this song. I ask you to try. I will listen to this song till the day I die. I want this to be played at my funeral. The composition, the lyrics, the fun: it’s hard to describe my affection for this song. I’d legally marry it if I could. Treat it right. Raise a couple of kids together. Take care of it when it gets old. Die peacefully by its side. Too much? Nope. Not enough.
There you have it guys. My Top Ten Songs of the Year. If you haven’t yet, check out my Top Ten Albums of 2017. Again, any thoughts just let me know on twitter @djchickenparm or on Facebook in the comments, but before you get too pissed off at my choices, see if yours came up in the honorable mention section below.
“Boredom” -Tyler, the Creator
“Family Feud” -Jay Z
“Spice Girl” -Amine
“What Do I Know” -Ed Sheeran
“Castle on the Hill” -Ed Sheeran
“Bring Dem Things” -French Montana feat. Pharrell
“What Lovers Do” -Maroon 5 feat. SZA
“Loyalty” -Kendrick Lamar
“The Way Life Goes” -Lil Uzi Vert
“Stay” -Alessia Cara & Zedd