Adam's Top 100 of 2016! [020-001 ARTISTS]

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Which is my No.1 song of 2016?

Adele - When We Were Young
7
33%
Alessia Cara - Here
3
14%
Biffy Clyro - Animal Style
1
5%
Blonde & Craig David - Nothing Like This
0
No votes
Fifth Harmony ft. Ty Dolla $ign - Work From Home
1
5%
Gorgon City ft. Vaults - All Four Walls
1
5%
Kiiara - Gold
0
No votes
Mollie King - Back To You
3
14%
Olly Murs - You Don't Know Love
1
5%
Panic! At The Disco - Victorious
1
5%
Two Door Cinema Club - Are We Ready? (Wreck)
2
10%
Zara Larsson - Ain't My Fault
1
5%
 
Total votes : 21

Postby JakeP » Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:12 pm

king_oxymoron wrote:049. Clean Bandit ft. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie - Rockabye
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The current UK number one, looking to make it SEVEN weeks at the top tomorrow, as a Christmas number one! Mental. Honestly, it is a great song but probably doesn't deserve that length of time there. Relatively to 'One Dance' though, it deserves more! I do have cons for this song, despite it being so high, and that is that it veers too far from Clean Bandit's unique selling point of being updated classical music. The classical feels lost here, and I wonder if that's why Neil left.
Plus sides. it's an undeniable banger anyway, Anne-Marie sounds AWESOME on it (and did on their X Factor performance too), and even Sean adds a lot, their harmonised part in the second verse is amazing! Great unique storyline and I'm glad they continue to succeed!

048. Louisa Johnson - So Good

043. Charlie Puth ft. Selena Gomez - We Don't Talk Anymore

042. Justin Timberlake - Can't Stop The Feeling!
Image
Nobody was really expecting JT to come back with a song this 'pop' in nature due to the nature of the last album, but thanks to the Trolls soundtrack we have a stormer! I think due to massive radio play it's lost a BIT of it's charm and replay value, but compared to some of the other songs in the chart, not as much. I would still absolutely get down to this on a night out. The chorus is completely delicious and it's great to see JT's falsetto making a big return. It's not matching up to his absolute classics (Mirrors) but we needed another JT song to keep his discography going strong and this is certainly one that, while one of his most throwaway, will be one of his most remembered. Now someone get me a beer and a dancefloor, stat!
LOL indeed who would've thought Rockabye would be the christmas #1 when it first topped the UK chart seven weeks ago. Its looking set for an 8th weeks at #1 this Friday and with no real competition most likely a 9th the week after. Amazing! :lol:

I think we should all be thankful for Trolls as CAN'T STOP THE FEELING! (why was the song title all in capitals on iTunes? :lol: ) was one of my songs of the summer. It always sounded brilliant driving round in the sunshine back in June/July time. Such a shame this was denied UK #1 status because of Drake and his Spotify dominance.
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Postby JakeP » Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:20 pm

king_oxymoron wrote:040. Ariana Grande ft. Nicki Minaj - Side to Side

039. Alessia Cara - Here

038. M.O - Who Do You Think Of?

036. Selena Gomez - Kill Em With Kindness

king_oxymoron wrote:035. Lady Gaga - Million Reasons
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This is a funny one as it appears to really divide opinion, but I think it comes alive when it is sung live (depending on how she sings it, the less of a country twang the better for me). it's just the belt that GaGa has on her that really makes the whole thing shine, especially in the line '... reasons to walk awaaaaaaaaaaaay'. It's one of those moments that makes you stop, sit up and take notice. The rest of it might need time to grow on you, but even in the verses the repetition of 'giving me a million reasons, about a million reasons' is really catchy from the get go. I really like the chorus in it's entirety actually, I think it really tells a story, is well sung and has deserved a lot more acclaim and success that it's gotten for her. I think this might end up being a standout in her career. I hope so anyway.

034. Dua Lipa - Hotter Than Hell

033. Charlie Puth - Dangerously

032. OneRepublic - Kids

031. Flume ft. Kai - Never Be Like You
Your comment about Million reasons is spot on. In my chart it started off at #12 then exited my chart. That was based on listening to the studio version. Then Lady Gaga released a live performance from her dive bar tour and hearing the song performed live, it just clicked so much more. That led to the song re-entering my chart at a far more impressive #4. Then along came the Royal variety show and Lady Gaga performed the song there accompanied by a large orchestra and its this live performance which has become my absolute favourite.
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Postby JakeP » Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:30 pm

king_oxymoron wrote:028. OneRepublic - Wherever I Go

027. Matoma & Becky Hill - False Alarm
Image
A song that never really 'kicks off' now, but is so comfortable in it's own brilliance, it doesn't need to. Production is nice, but it's not Matoma who makes this tune (you could argue more easily that he is the key ingredient in his new sing;e with the Vamps) - it's Becky's glorious vocal. The whole vocal line is a glorious melody, but never before has any song on my chart hinged so fully on ONE note before. It really does make the whole entire song. We are so used to Becky Hill's stunning deep vocal that when she hits that one second high note on the word 'false' it really is a MOMENT. I do slightly exaggerate as the verses have their beautiful moments too, the melody on 'I never get my hopes up, cause then I never get let down' is glorious. But it's that high note that makes it a complete 10. Such a great chilled out track.

026. Anne-Marie - Alarm

024. Lady Gaga - Perfect Illusion

023. Years & Years - Meteorite

022. Emeli Sande - Hurts

021. Hailee Steinfeld & Grey ft. Zedd - Starving
Image
And finally for today, once again Hailee comes and plonks herself in my year end top 30 with her ONE single of the year. (Okay Rock Bottom, but sssh, did we even get that in the UK?). She is certainly choosy about her releases and she knows a pop stormer, she must have quite an ear. This isn't exactly unique as it mirrors a lot of trends and some of the Chainsmoker songs, but for me, this one does it best. Her subtle voice is perfect for the guitar strings only minimalist feel of the first verse, Some great lyricism in it too 'I was so much younger yesterday' - simple but effective. Later on 'by the way, right away, you do things to my body' also contributes to the simple catchy songwriting. It's the one song this year that takes the trend but really builds a song around it that could stand up on it's own even if the influences weren't there. I can imagine Hailee doing the full thing solo acoustic, no production and still the components are there for a big hit. Still, I won't argue that I can also get my groove onto it in the club. Top tune.
YES at the love for False alarm. It spent 3 weeks at #1 in my chart and i was convinced i was the only person doing a chart who liked it. <3 :cry: So yes i'm delighted to see this so high up your chart.

Starving also spent 3 weeks at #1 but in Hailee's case i wasn't a fan of Rock bottom or Love myself so naturally based on her first two singles i wasn't in a hurry to check out her new single. It started doing well on Spotify and it was only when it went top 10 in Australia i started to pay more attention to thought "hmm, let's give this a listen then" and there was only an audio clip on YouTube. From there it progressed 15-06-02-01 in my chart putting to end to Sia's run at #1 which i was convinced was going to last about 7 weeks (The greatest and Starving both entered my chart the same week with Sia smashing in at #1 :wink: ).
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Postby Thriller » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:24 pm

A strong batch.

MK, Matoma (both largely owing to Becky), Emeli and Lady Gaga the best of the lot.

I don't get your fascination with OneRepublic, I find them so beige!
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Postby Thriller » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:24 pm

A strong batch.

MK, Matoma (both largely owing to Becky), Emeli and Lady Gaga the best of the lot.

I don't get your fascination with OneRepublic, I find them so beige!
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Postby Tansike » Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:13 am

029. Walking On Cars - Speeding Cars
028. OneRepublic - Wherever I Go
024. Lady Gaga - Perfect Illusion
023. Years & Years - Meteorite
022. Emeli Sande - Hurts
021. Hailee Steinfeld & Grey ft. Zedd - Starving
"Speeding Cars" has great verses, however that chorus is too cheesy for me.
Glad to see some love for the underrated "Wherever I Go". I think it's a great tune from them and even like it more than "Kids" now.
"Perfect Illusion" may be good, but is still one of my least favorite tracks by GaGa so far. "Meteorite" keeps on growing on me lately, such a catchy tune, shocked it wasn't even a hit in the UK :-?
"Hurts" and "Starving" are both good. Can't wait to hear what Hailee will do in 2017, she's definitely an artist to keep an eye on.
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Postby king_oxymoron » Thu Dec 29, 2016 11:40 pm

Wow thanks for all the comments and for catching up Jake, really appreciate you joining in! Sadly I have no weekly chart so make the most of this one! :lol: (I agree with you on the best GaGa performance, and also I'm still anticipating Niall's album most, though a couple of Zayn's ranked higher, Niall remains my fave!

020. Mollie King - Back To You
Image
A lot of people around here know that The Saturdays are absolutely my favourite pop group, in terms of those you couldn't call a 'band' anyway. But it's not a guarantee that their singles would make the upper echelons of the chart or that their solo work would make me fall in love (Vanessa had a good single in the 60s of my least end of year chart, but didn't trouble the top). This, though, surpassed all my expectations. Mollie is generally considered among the weaker vocalists in the group, so it wasn't apparent whether she could carry a whole solo song. Well.. she can. When we got the preview for this and it seemed a spectacle of great production, with a catchy hook AND an expensive video, I couldn't believe it was actually happening. What a shame then that nobody really played it, and she never promoted it. Have we even heard her sing it? :(
The song itself though... first listen I was SLIGHTLY disappointed that the chorus was so repetitive and that, though well produced, the song didn't seem to ascend too much, but I grew to love it's subtlety. Mollie's voice has always been softly softly so that actually suits. There's a part in the bridge 'why you? why you?' where she sounds hauntingly fragile. And actually there is ascension... in the second chorus rather than just the repeated 'why do I keep coming back to you?' it is interspersed with a background 'don't wanna feel this way' which adds to the effect. I love the change in melody in the hook when she sings 'I' at a much higher pitch every other line, it's a cute little nuance.
Give this a go, so well produced and a cracking video. I hope we get more. Not my number one though for the two who guessed this!



019. Charli XCX ft. L'il Yachty - After The Afterparty
Image
A fairly new addition to the chart now, one that's only been hanging about a couple of months. So deliciously addictive though. It totally lulls you into a false sense of security with how minimalist it is, you don't expect it to turn into a big balls out party anthem! I love that unpredictable nature when it seems as if the song is building up onto to return to the stripped back version of the chorus before - oh, we are going full production after all, I think it's such a nice touch. I also love the descension in the melody of 'I can't remember why I love it but I need it, baby, clap, bring on the encore' - but I always wish baby was 'boom' in reference to her biggest hit! L'il Yachty adds nothing at all but Charli can overcome that as AFTER the rap she has ANOTHER exploding hook in her 'RiRi on replay' segment which genuinely goes off once it gets going. So much good melody and songwriting, I just wish it would bloody take off in the UK! Up and down iTunes like a yoyo but never bloody charts (except one week!). Hopefully after Christmas is her time.

018. Alessia Cara - Wild Things
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I have absolutely FALLEN for this girl this year..She is an absolute wordsmith and a brilliant vocal and songwriting talent. While most are rhyming 'night' with 'morning light' (yuck), Alessia throws in the rhymes 'pious', 'bias', 'buyers' and 'pioneers' into the FIRST FOUR LINES. With such ease. With this ability, it's easier to tell a good story or share a message and that's exactly what she's good at. This anti-Mean Girls 'well, we don't want to sit with you, we're cooler than you anyway' message is superb. Within the first verse, I'm sold, but it's the bridge that's the winner. 'So, eh, we brought our drums and this is how we dance' - so melodically defining and a continuation of a great message. The chorus is left to be the least exciting part of the song but is a perfectly competent centrepiece. The second verse is my fave, 'I lose my balance on these eggshells you tell me to tread, I'd rather be a wild one instead' - particularly in the acoustic version her vocal soars, and I adore it. For such a laid back guitar number this packs SUCH a punch and has so many memorable parts. As the middle 8 proudly and catchily suggest, 'we will carve our place into time and space;.. I hope this girl continues to.

017. Ariana Grande - Into You
Image
Shocker. Like, EVERYONE has this song high up. But is it a surprise when it's such a pop monster. Probably among the choruses of the year, it's just so all-encompassing, like the entire sound is flowing all over you. Such a 'big' sounding chorus. It doesn't start 'big' though as Ariana sensually whispers 'I'm so into you' (great to have the title done within four words) 'I can barely breathe'. A powerful, punchy way to open the song. It's a song that just *gets* what pop music is about, it's classy, it's grown up but essentially it is just an absolute earworm. It's hard to know what to write about a song so obviously brilliant that it speaks for itself. I remember where I was when I first heard it, and I remember dancing immediately.. the good signs were always there.

016. Clean Bandit ft. Louisa Johnson - Tears
Image
Clean Bandit are a very interesting one. How were they going to follow up an album which had four top ten singles but didn't sell massively well? Would anyone care? Well, it certainly got my attention when it was announced they were coming back with X Factor winner Louisa. Would NEVER have called it. Great move for her, but would it be for them? 100%. While she might have the talent show stigma, where is no doubting Louisa's vocal prowess, and she absolutely SOARS and shines on this. This was an instant banger for me and one which was definitely a contender to top this chart at some point. The slow start is another which gives you a different impression to the final result, as within seconds she's pulling off a tongue twister of a quickfire lyric bridge - my favourite part of the song. The chorus took longer for me to 'get' but once it kicks back in with the 'I'll get over you' part kicks in with Clean Bandit's trademark of modern dance production and classical music, all is right. Louisa sounds assured throughout, but when she lets rip at the end, wow. A real surprise success story here.
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Postby king_oxymoron » Thu Dec 29, 2016 11:40 pm

015. Fifth Harmony ft. Ty Dolla $ign - Work From Home
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Another song nobody will be surprised to see high up, and another that was sniffing around the top spot at some point but has fallen - only slightly though. This is absolutely one of the defining hits of the year, the Daniel Bedingfield melody of bloops makes it instantaneously recognisable before the girls stamp it with their identity. As a fan in the Reflection era, to see this get released on air on sale in the UK and hold, not drop, but actually start to climb and become another megahit was a huge surprise, even though I knew it was worthy of it.
Who would have thought a chorus almost entirely consisting of 'work, work, work' etc could be so catchy. Done so much better than Rihanna! I love the flirty, innuendo laden lyrics of the verse and the girls sultry delivery. For it to be such a stripped back song but such a banger simultaneously is quite something. A triumph for the now 4 piece. Not my number one though!

014. Two Door Cinema Club - Ordinary
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I would love so much if some of you took to Spotify and checked this song out.

The parent album 'Gameshow' is laden with so many disco-inspired gems and this is a subtle version of that. The guitar riffs are delicious and the verses offer another example of how an isolated falsetto note can be so effective. 'You said you're DRUNK, I said I know - such a good line. The musicianship as the mood changes through the bridge where things relax, back into the jaunty catchy chorus is sublime. The real masterstroke is when the second chorus is actually not the chorus at all - but a guitar led instrumental version OF the chorus. I adore this moment. And when the third chorus comes around and it's this amped up instrumental coupled with the vocal it just seems all the more powerful. So many moments of superb musicianship and real thought going into the song make this current single a real gem. Please seek it out and have a listen!

013. Nina Nesbitt - Chewing Gum
Image
Nina Nesbitt has certainly changed. From guitar-led singer songwriter to sex-kitten sleek electropopper, it's quite an evolution but as they say, get you someone who can do both. She sounds just at home here, her sultry low vocal accompanying a verse that doesn't strike dissimilarly to the way 'Into You' does. The background drums that provide the instrumentation for the bridge are divine, 'hanging round my neck saying romance isn't dead' is one of the catchiest pop melody moments of the year, and the falsetto that leads us into the chorus follows suit. The contrast between the low voice of the verse and the chorus falsetto is beautiful. So catchy, and 'I'm just chewing gum, until the flavour's gone' is a really cool song idea.

IF you like female driven pop, check it!



012. Olly Murs - You Don't Know Love
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Olly Murs, this is your best ever single, take a bow. As I attested to before, it was surprising to see Olly take this midtempo route but I am so glad of it. Such maturity, class and a complete unexpected lead single. He sounds like this is what he wants to be doing. Beginning with the trend of distorted vocal/production sounds that nobody knows what the hell they are, the verse is actually quite dark, straight in with 'I don't wanna be your lover'. The piece de resistance though is definitely the bridge, really simple with it's 'lies lies lies'/'dies dies dies' rhymes but just so effective. The chorus is very uplifting, despite it's subject matter and it's so good to not hear Olly chasing a trend or a hit. He sounds so assured and that makes the track really endearing. I hope he does explore more of what he clearly enjoys doing and doesn't feel the need to revert to obvious pop tunes just to get back to No.1 - fortunately the album is selling well so he might be encouraged to make more tunes like this! Two people guessed this, but you're wrong!

011. Ariana Grande - Dangerous Woman
Image
And finally for today, back to Miss Grande... yes she actually has a tune higher than Into You. While that fits the 'perfect pop hit' mould, I like something a bit left of field and, like Olly, to come back with the midtempo risk of a tune was something that ticks my boxes far more. Her sultry, whispery delivery of the almost shy first verse is really great and really in contrast to the place the song ends up. The melody of those verse lines is just to die for too. The bridge too is just a thing of beauty, I love the ascension and how she places those notes she begins to let the vocal do a bit more of the talking - she is letting us know that it's coming, she's teasing us. The first chorus doesn't take it there, but just keeps switching the amp up that tiny little bit more.. I love that she doesn't just give it all straight away. Such well written verses too - so many cool moments - 'I wanna savour, savour for later, the taste the flavour, cause I'm a taker, cause I'm a giver' - what an innovative twist on the first verse melody and a great little segment. By the end when she is let rip it is just amazing and you have got what you have waited for and deserve. I love a well made, by numbers pop hit as much as the next guy but I love it so much more when it seems like heaps of thought has gone into every nook and cranny of the song and this is one where it just feels like every attention to detail has been taken to make an interesting piece of art. Love it.

STILL TO COME?
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Postby JakeP » Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:08 am

king_oxymoron wrote:Wow thanks for all the comments and for catching up Jake, really appreciate you joining in! Sadly I have no weekly chart so make the most of this one! :lol: (I agree with you on the best GaGa performance, and also I'm still anticipating Niall's album most, though a couple of Zayn's ranked higher, Niall remains my fave!
Aww, no worries Mr King, i just love that for the most part we have similar tastes in music and even i can only agree with your commentary. :wink:

king_oxymoron wrote:017. Ariana Grande - Into You
Image
Shocker. Like, EVERYONE has this song high up. But is it a surprise when it's such a pop monster. Probably among the choruses of the year, it's just so all-encompassing, like the entire sound is flowing all over you. Such a 'big' sounding chorus. It doesn't start 'big' though as Ariana sensually whispers 'I'm so into you' (great to have the title done within four words) 'I can barely breathe'. A powerful, punchy way to open the song. It's a song that just *gets* what pop music is about, it's classy, it's grown up but essentially it is just an absolute earworm. It's hard to know what to write about a song so obviously brilliant that it speaks for itself. I remember where I was when I first heard it, and I remember dancing immediately.. the good signs were always there.

016. Clean Bandit ft. Louisa Johnson - Tears
Image
Clean Bandit are a very interesting one. How were they going to follow up an album which had four top ten singles but didn't sell massively well? Would anyone care? Well, it certainly got my attention when it was announced they were coming back with X Factor winner Louisa. Would NEVER have called it. Great move for her, but would it be for them? 100%. While she might have the talent show stigma, where is no doubting Louisa's vocal prowess, and she absolutely SOARS and shines on this. This was an instant banger for me and one which was definitely a contender to top this chart at some point. The slow start is another which gives you a different impression to the final result, as within seconds she's pulling off a tongue twister of a quickfire lyric bridge - my favourite part of the song. The chorus took longer for me to 'get' but once it kicks back in with the 'I'll get over you' part kicks in with Clean Bandit's trademark of modern dance production and classical music, all is right. Louisa sounds assured throughout, but when she lets rip at the end, wow. A real surprise success story here.

015. Fifth Harmony ft. Ty Dolla $ign - Work From Home

012. Olly Murs - You Don't Know Love

011. Ariana Grande - Dangerous Woman
Into you is such an amazing track, no denying that. However, it had to settle for #2 in my chart as it was up against one Justin Timberlake who won that battle with his joyous track Can't stop the feeling!. But yes, it seems that most people were really into Into you! :P

Again, can't argue with your commentary for Tears. It leaked the night before it was released and i remember listening to it out of sheer anticipations as i love Clean Bandit and Louisa was my favourite contestant from X factor last year. It was definitely the best possible move to help establish Louisa whilst the song itself really does sound like a modern day classic. It spent two weeks at #1 in my chart.

I know its predictable but Troublemaker remains my favourite Olly Murs song even if it did rip off Maroon 5. :lol: :oops:
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Postby Blondini » Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:28 am

You don't have to quote pictures and entire texts all the time, Jake - isn't there a rule that we shouldn't be doing that?
It gives people eye-strain seeing the same thing replicated. Just quoting the song and artist is enough. :D Bit late now though, of course. :lol:

Voted Zara cause i haven't the foggiest! :lol:

Agree about Zayn being pleasant surprise and about 1975's Somebody Else.
Rihanna's KIB brill.

Too many of the rest to catch up with so i'll stick to top 20:

Nina fantastic, shocking that radio ignored it.
Mollie's song was good but not v good. (for the record, i've charted all the Sats' with their solo releases recently and Mollie was the highest peak at #18 on my weekly charts. Though i'm expecting the most of Una's album. Vanessa could go either way).

The first Ariana track i liked there.

And i love Charli to bits but that's a really blatant stab at the mainstream and way below what's she capable of. Especially compared to the Vroom Vroom EP. I did chart it but only at #12 and it left after 5 weeks.
Louisa was behind her at #14 and it's her first genuinely good single. There's hope for her yet.
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Postby king_oxymoron » Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:24 pm

Blondini wrote:Voted Zara cause i haven't the foggiest! :lol:
.
Afraid she was somewhere in the part you didn't check out :lol:
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Postby Thriller » Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:33 pm

Some belters in that lot - Ariana has certainly had a superb year; Fifth Harmony slaying everyone with that ultimate bop; TDCC have really caught my interest with this album; Olly potentially had his best ever song with YDKL.

I hadn't heard the Nina Nesbitt song but I like her so I checked it out and it's good! Added to my car playlist.

Mollie's song was terrible sorry :lol:
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Postby heppolo » Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:52 pm

Two Door Cinema Club - Ordinary
I like this one a lot :)
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Postby JSparksFan » Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:07 am

I completely endorse the "Into You" praise, of course! Definitely one of the big pop moments of the year. I'm not as sold on "Work from Home", but that one was a good one too.

The bridge for "You Don't Know Love" is its highlight indeed. It's been a while since Olly's put out a single I really cared for, and I think if this had more time to sit with me, it would've ranked higher on my countdown.

Hmm...I have heard a number of those neat little segments you pointed out in "Dangerous Woman", but I suppose I don't appreciate them quite as much as you do. Still, it was a solid song, though her weakest single for me this year.
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Postby Tansike » Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:38 am

017. Ariana Grande - Into You
015. Fifth Harmony ft. Ty Dolla $ign - Work From Home
012. Olly Murs - You Don't Know Love
011. Ariana Grande - Dangerous Woman
Four awesome tunes. "Into You" is massive, one of the best pop songs of the year. A shame it wasn't a bigger success for her, but it seems like her critically acclaimed tunes aren't her most successful ones, as i remember that many people also loved "Break Free" yet it wasn't the biggest success.
Also love "Work From Home", will be tough for the four remaining girls to top this now. "You Don't Know Love" is great and took ages to grow on me, now it's even one of my faves on his newest album. A shame the follow-up "Growing Up" was so cheesy. Loved "Dangerous Woman" when it came out, however i got over it rather quickly.
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Postby king_oxymoron » Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:15 pm

Thanks for all your comments - into the top 10!

010. Shawn Mendes - Mercy
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There's one song every year that starts off at a certain point and then every time you go to update, you go 'no, this deserves higher'. This year it was Shawn Mendes, but with the smallest of his three UK top 40s thus far. It should be said first of all that I am falling into a very deep and innapropriate love with Shawn, but the reason for this is not ALL aesthetic/personality based. He's an incredibly competent and gifted vocalist and musician.
What this song boasts that his bigger hits 'Treat You Better' and 'Stitches' lack is a real mood and atmosphere. From the very first restrained hums of this track, you get an idea of the tone of the track, and his (sexy) low register in the first verse both continues this and gives room for growth going into the chorus, which is the absolute best part of the song. As he he sings 'please have Mercy on me' you can really hear in his vocal the story he is telling, it's like he's punching out with his voice. At the end when there's a sort of breakdown qith a background choir the narrative is ramped up yet again. I just think that as well as this being a catchy song, this is a real triumph of storytelling. LOVE this song, and such a grower.

009. AlunaGeorge ft. Popcaan - I'm In Control
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You've seen me mention in this countdown songs which I adored at the start of the year but lost their shine and fell tens and tens of places on the countdown. Well, here's one that was sniffing around the top of the chart at the start of the year and remains sniffing around the top at the end - it hasn't lost a THING of it's charm. I think it is probably the best instrumental bit of music in the entire year, the fact the chorus has no vocal but managers to be the best part of the song is no shade to Aluna's voice as there is PLENTY of glory in that, but testament to the production (does George still do that?)
Aluna's sickly sweet bridge is in stark contrast to her lower register used on the verse which is gorgeous, and Popcaan adds a Carribbean flair to proceedings, also boasting some of the catchiest parts of the song ('all night give me a try-a love'). The song just screams summer and the instrumental part will really get you up and dancing. The whole song is dripping with cool and credibility and has such lasting power, I could listen to it for another year straight!

008. Zara Larsson - Lush Life
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Speaking of songs that have kept their lasting appeal for the year, today is officially the one year anniversary of the first time I ever heard Lush Life. It was an instant hit with me and I loved her style of dancing in the video. To see it become a massive hit here in the UK was such a joy, probably remained being one of the best things about 2016 actually :lol: Like AlunaGeorge, it's another song that just screams summer, the chorus is just absolutely effortless, it's like she's not even trying, it just flows so beautifully. Definitely the highlight of the song, althought the 'went low, went high' runs it a close second.
Zara is such an excellent popstar, she just has something, not only in her vocal and performance and in her personality. I do think she's gone slightly too generic with the latest releases and would love to see her return to something which seemed as natural to her as this did. It is just the real perfect fit and to me is her best and defining hit. Such bop.

007. NEIKED ft. Dyo - Sexual
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One of the surprise hits of the year now but I am so glad it has been. I remember seeing it hanging around somewhere high on iTunes but not having heard it, and quite remarkably it is still sniffing around the UK iTunes top 10. Definitely a stayer hit.
When I finally DID give in and listen, I was blown away. It is so bright and breezy (that seems to be a theme across this top ten, with the exception of Shawn, clearly I was feeling good mood music this year), and Dyo's vocal is just outstanding. I love the fact she goes up what seems an entire octave between the verse/bridge and the chorus - the high notes she hits really makes it feel like a special, standout song. I adore the 'you are, you are, you are, you are, you are' part - obviously on paper that looks terrible but it's structured so cleverly that it becomes a real highlight. The best part though is obvious, when we reach the final chorus and rather than give us timid falsetto, she absolutely BELTS OUT the chorus and the production hits it's peak and the whole thing just goes off - glorious! Have a listen!



006. Craig David & Sigala - Ain't Giving Up
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And just before we hit the top 5, ANOTHER summery, breezy, uplifting 2016 dance anthems, I definitely seem to have a type this year! Sigala is the absolute king of this type of track it seems, and Craig David is 2016's ultimate comeback kid, so it's no surprise we have an absolute belter on our hands. The song itself is not very long at all but it absolutely packs it in, and each of the components is key.
1) the slow start, muted production, a slower melody, room for growth
2) the BEAUTIFUL melody of the bridge and my favourite, the lone falsetto note. 'feeling empty, feel used, it's like we're running on fumes' - probably my favourite part of the song, definitely the bit that made me sit up and take notice. Craig has a great ear for melody.
3) the repeated line of the chorus over the not yet fully taken hold production
4) the chorus really goes off with a bang as ALL the production kicks in. One of the big pop moments of the year for me.

With five songs like these, definitely time for me to go and have a party!
None of those were options though, so still between these three...

STILL TO COME?
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Postby Blondini » Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:43 pm

I liked Zara more before she was famous.
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Postby heppolo » Sat Dec 31, 2016 8:12 pm

Blondini wrote:I liked Zara more before she was famous.
I like Craig David after he has been famous
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Postby Tansike » Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:38 pm

010. Shawn Mendes - Mercy
008. Zara Larsson - Lush Life
007. NEIKED ft. Dyo - Sexual
"Mercy" and "Sexual" are both nice but not more, unfortunately. Well, Shawn's track keeps on growing on me lately as it's getting more and more airplay over here, so maybe it will do something for me in 2017.

"Lush Life" is clearly the best in that batch for me. Pop at its best, and still her second best single to date for me, only behind "Never Forget You". "Lush Life" was sooo good, and i still don't get why they didn't release the album on the back of that track.
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Postby innocenteyes » Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:13 pm

Great to see Lush Life so high. It left me cold at first but it's grown on me a lot at the beginning of the year. Not a fan of Zara but this song is just pop perfection that is perfect for summer days.

Sexual is good too, full of catchy hooks.
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Postby JSparksFan » Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:21 pm

I definitely agree that with "Mercy" Shawn delivers his most convincing vocal performance, but the song itself isn't quite as hot as "Stitches" or "Treat You Better" for me.

"Sexual" is terrific! It was a rather random discovery for me, but definitely one of the highlights of dance music in 2016.
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Postby king_oxymoron » Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:21 pm

Thanks all, into the top 5!

005. Little Mix - Touch
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While the record buying public has gone mad for some of Little Mix's more generic-pop moments (Black Magic, Shout Out To My Ex), I prefer when they have their slightly edgier moments - not that I'm suggesting this isn't straight up pop, just that it has more bite - 'Salute' made the top 20 of my EOY chart a couple of years back, to give you an idea of the Little Mix I love.
What I love is the progression from first verse (stripped back, beautiful vocals from Leigh-Anne), to having a bit more 'go' in the catchy bridge, to the 'sunken' version of the chorus (with great bassline backing) to the full out, balls out, sing it out second go-round of the chorus where it all finally kicks in!
The best part of that when it all kicks off is ABSOLUTELY Jade's high harmony which breathes a fresh new life into the whole thing and is just completely stunning. The double effect chorus is such a dancefloor jam, the first half is perfect for coy, sultry moves (not that I have any) and the bigger, pop chorus you can just let it all go. I think that second chorus is one of the best pure pop moments of the whole year. All the girls sound great and this is a killer bop, especially when including the hair flip breakdown from the X Factor showing. JAM.

No video but this song is equally epic acoustically!

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Postby king_oxymoron » Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:22 pm

004. Two Door Cinema Club - Are We Ready? (Wreck)
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At four, a song that was very much a grower for me. At first only part of it sold itself to me, but now the more subdued parts make so much more sense as part of the wider picture, building up the final product. The first verse is cool lyrically 'we are the sacred cow' and the high notes on the words 'wonderful' are a real nice moment, but it's the bridge where the tempo picks up and things get going. 'You get paid, don't need any respect' leads us nicely into the chorus, punctuated by drums as the tempo slows again for 'we've made a mistake, we've lost our mind, we've lost our memory;.
Second verse, the tempo picks up straight away and from then on it's just an attack on the ears. LOVE the middle 8 rhyming and lyricism 'the war's a whore and all the stores are bored with all your money' and LOVE the layering up as they repeat the bridge, then repeat it again with the chorus layered on top, it really all leads up to a great, fast-paced, catchy as hell crescendo, and I love it. Two Door have long been known for frenzied, upbeat, catchy guitar riffs - they moved away from that a touch this year, this is the moment that keeps Two Door of former eras in mind the most. Not my number one, for the couple who guessed it!

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Postby king_oxymoron » Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:26 pm

003. Alessia Cara - Scars To Your Beautiful
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Now, you know I love a song with a message, and nobody has mastered that better this year than Alessia. The lyricism from this girl is ASTOUNDING.

Oh she don't see the light that's shining
Deeper than the eyes can find it
Maybe we have made her blind
So she tries to cover up her pain, and cut her woes away
'Cause covergirls don't cry after their face is made
The way the words and rhymes sit on the rhythm is just mindblowing to me, and she does it exquisitely numerous times per song. Her voice is easy to listen to, soothing and comfortable in it's great ability. The chorus is both catchy but with an outstanding message that is very easy to listen to, I really think that she is going to make a difference in young girls' and even boys' lives with her message of self acceptance. You get the impression from this, Here and Wild Things that she's been there herself. The second verse is equally full of lyrical greatness and she lets the vocal fly a bit more too..

She has dreams to be an envy, so she's starving
You know, "Covergirls eat nothing."
She says, "Beauty is pain and there's beauty in everything."
"What's a little bit of hunger?"
"I could go a little while longer," she fades away
She don't see her perfect, she don't understand she's worth it
Or that beauty goes deeper than the surface
So well written, and the middle 8 'no better you than the you that you are' is catchy and shows she knows she is writing for stadiums of people to sing it back at her. I adore in the chorus when it hits the catchy 'oh ohh ohhs' and yet loops back round to the best hook of the song 'you don't have to change a thing' - she knows this song, what works best and songwriting in general intricately. It's just brilliant, to have a songwriter this polished who ALSO can sing the way she does. Superb. I fell in love this year.

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Postby king_oxymoron » Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:35 pm

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