Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Top 20 Songs of 2016 w. Beyonce, Vic Mensa, Drive-By Truckers & more!

The annual round-up of this year's list was actually unusually hard for me. There were about 10-15 songs that could easily have made it...stuff from Weezer, Solange, and others...but, like all lists, it is arbitrary!

So, without any further ado...the twenty best songs of 2016....

#20 Sleep on the Floor - Lumineers

Great song. Very moving video. The path not taken.

#19 Adore - Savages

The least convincing life affirming song ever. A nihilist manifesto.

#18 I Need You - Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds

A devastating song about loss and sadness.

#17 - Good As Hell - Lizzo

What a wonderful, feel good song!

"If he don't love you anymore, just walk your fine ass out the door" is easily one of the very best song lines of the year!

#16 Joanne - Lady Gaga

I was torn between two great Lady Gaga songs this year. This one and Million Reasons, but this raw, emotional, powerful and vocally exceptional country ballad wins out by a nose.

Her best song in years.

#15- In a World Possessed by the Human Mind - The Tragically Hip

A real return to form and a great song. Overshadowed, of course, by tragedy, but what a wonderful piece of music.

#14 Drive It Like You Stole It - Sing Street

A marvelous song from one of the year's best movies, the moving musical Sing Street. (There were two more songs from the soundtrack that easily could have been here!). If you haven't seen the it will put this video in quite a different context!

#13 The One Moment - OK Go

Another gimmicky, but terrific, video from OK Go...but also just a seriously terrific song.

#12 Sorry - Beyonce

The first, but not the last, entry from Beyonce's artistic masterpiece, Lemonade.

This is a brick through a plate glass window song that delivers an emotional wallop.

#11 Shut Up Kiss Me - Angel Olsen

An interesting and, to say the least, intense take on a love song!

#10 Sit Still Look Pretty - Daya

"This queen don't need a king"

#9 Valley Clouds - Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop

Wonderfully bright and bittersweet.

#8 33 "God" - Bon Iver

Unnerving and yet emotional. A crisis of faith perhaps. And an amazing song from an ever better band.

#7 All Night - Beyonce

A powerful, stunning statement. Beyonce is an artist of great depth and great insight and her embrace of what Harvey Milk called "the us'es" is as significant as all the other artistic narratives at work in Lemonade.

#6 Stadium Pow Wow - A Tribe Called Red

This song makes my heart beat a little too hard and a little too fast.

#5 The Greatest - Sia

It is difficult to overstate how powerful this song and video are.

#4 "R.E.D." - A Tribe Called Red Ft. Yasiin Bey, Narcy & Black Bear

Closely related to #6, obviously, this is a straight up masterpiece.

#3 What it Means - Drive By Truckers

This is a searing, incisive and really amazing political and musical statement.

They confront the racist brutality of their own society head on in a way that does not attempt to whitewash or make excuses.

Lyrically stunning, musically perfect.

#2 16 Shots - Vic Mensa

The song and video are a body blow. An expression of fightback and resistance.

The interpretative dance about the police murder is one of the most powerful things I have ever seen.

A fuck you to the racist police state.

#1 Formation - Beyonce

Is there really any doubt?

This song is a masterpiece on basically every level. A stunning, confrontational, angry, reverential, historic, amazing piece of art.

Perfect in every regard it has led to both praise and criticism and sometimes both had equal merit. It is self-contradictory and yet anthemic. It is a song that stresses individualism and that yet came to symbolize the resistance of a people.

This, whatever its supposed flaws, is as good as it gets.

Mesmerizing, beautiful, magnificent.... All Hail Beyonce.

"You know you that bitch when you cause all this conversation"

One for the ages.

See also: The Fifty Best Songs of the Decade...So Far #30 to #11

See also: The 50 Best Songs of the Decade...So Far -- The Top Ten!

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