I've been making lists of my 50 favorite songs for a whole decade this year.
1. Drake - Hold On, We're Going Home
I’m a sucker for a good pop song, and this year was full of them. But unlike “Mirrors” or "Royals" or “Wrecking Ball,” I never tired of hearing this Drake track. His voice is so smooth here, soothing his girl into knowing it is going to be all right. It’s kind of dancey, kind of pretty and very catchy.
2. Disclosure f/ London Grammar - Help Me Lose My Mind
Her voice is so pretty on both ends of the register. Disclosure managed to make a timeless track on its very of-the-moment album.
3. Ciara - Body Party
There’s a handicap in Ciara’s favor here: “My Boo” is one of my favorite songs of all time. But any other pop star might have trudged all over my beloved hook. Ciara and Mike Will Made It instead elevated it. Shout out to the video, which we replayed at the end of every hangout.
4. Waxahatchee - Swan Dive
I love the lyrics here -- the words, yes, but also the way Katie Crutchfield bends them over lines. She has a funny way of enjambing, where the middle of sentences rise up, and I love it.
5. Chance the Rapper - Chain Smoker
I have never heard a rapper use words the way he does. This track is stuffed full, packed with internal rhymes that would make Rakim proud.
6. Jason Isbell - Cover Me Up
I always listen to the lyrics over the instrumentation, and I love the story this song tells. His voice sounds great, too. I wish I had thought of this line, in particular: So girl leave your boots by the bed, we ain't leavin' this room til someone needs medical help or the magnolias bloom.
7. Mikal Cronin - Weight
This song just makes me happy.
8. Kanye West - Bound 2
In an era of Kanye innovation, this was old school, a reminder of how good it felt to listen to him in the College Droupout days. Plus, there's a Martin reference! I'm especially fond of the live performance with Charlie Wilson on Jimmy Fallon.
9. Daft Punk - Instant Crush
Julian Casablancas never sounded so good. So smooth and moody.
10. Vinnie Dewayne - Nowhere
Y'all watch out for this Portland rapper. He looks and sounds like Kendrick Lamar, but I think he has something special of his own to add, too. He's bringing rap back to storytelling.
11. Arcade Fire - Afterlife
12. Vampire Weekend - Step
13. Justin Timberlake - Mirrors
14. Local Natives - Mt. Washington
15. J. Cole - Power Trip
16. London Grammar - Strong
17. Kanye West - Blood on the Leaves
18. Disclosure - Latch
19. Janelle Monae f/ Erykah Badu - Q.U.E.E.N
20. Kanye West - Hold My Liquor
21. Jason Isbell - Songs that She Sang in the Shower
22. Lana Del Ray and Cedric Gervais - Summertime Sadness remix
23. Vampire Weekend - Hannah Hunt
24. Neko Case - Night Still Comes
25. Janelle Monae - What an Experience
26. Daft Punk - Doin' It Right
27. Neko Case - Local Girl
28. Blood Orange - It Is What It Is
29. Justin Timberlake - Let the Groove Get In
30. Tegan and Sara - I was a Fool
31. Waxahatchee - Lively
32. Earl Sweatshirt f/ Frank Ocean - Sundah
33. Vampire Weekend - Diane Young
34. Jhene Aiko f/ Childish Gambino - Bed Peace
35. The National - I Should Live in Salt
36. Janelle Monae f/ Miguel - Primetime
37. Sampha - Without
38. James Blake - Retrograde
39. J. Cole - She Knows
40. Mariah Carey f/ Miguel - #Beautiful
41. The Killers - Just Another Girl
42. Drake - f/ Jhene Aiko - From Time
43. Glenn Waco f/ Mic Capes - Paradise
44. Youth Lagoon - Dropla
45. Lady Gaga f/ R. Kelly - Do What You Want
46. Torres - Honey
47. the Internet - Dontcha
48. Volcano Choir - Byegone
49. Tegan and Sara - Closer
50. Rhye - Open