Saturday, July 1, 2017

10 Best Songs of 2017...So Far!

2017 is halfway done...and the time is at hand for a roundup of the best songs of the far!

Here are my picks for the Top Ten.

This has been a strong year for what used to be called singles and it was hard to choose. There were a lot of close runner-ups...but lists are arbitrary, so here is mine.

#10 Joey Bada$$ - Land of the Free

An intense and justly angry song with powerful lyrics and an equally powerful video.

#9 - Lady Lamb - Salt

This deeply felt ballad is both sad and affecting. Beautifully written and made compelling all the more by her exceptional vocals.

#8 Lana Del Rey - Love

Lana Del Rey is back with this terrific tune that manages to be both wistful and oddly haunting.

#7 Iron & Wine - Call It Dreaming

Beautifully written and performed this is the best thing Iron & Wine has done since Flightless Bird, American Mouth.

#6 Future Islands - Ran

In a list this year heavy with sad songs, this is another one perfectly realized by this terrific Baltimore trio.

#5 Benjamin Booker feat. Mavis Staples, “Witness”

Powerful, powerful song that not only sees the return of Booker but also features the exceptional gospel vocals of the iconic Mavis Staples. Packs a hell of an emotional and lyrical punch in under 3 minutes.

#4 Arcade Fire - Everything Now

Arcade Fire has unequivocally exploded back on to the scene with their new releases that include this deceptively mainstream sounding song that belies underling dark themes. Terrific on every level and not the last Arcade Fire entry on this list.

#3 May I Have This Dance - Francis and the Lights feat. Chance the Rapper

An incredible song is an obvious homage to Phil Collins though it would be a Collins at his very, very best. It is bittersweet in the best sense and is a duet with a standout middle act from Chance the Rapper that steals the show.

#2 Hurray For The Riff Raff - Pa'lante

This is an incredible, incredible song.

Anthemic, rousing, revolutionary, sad, despairing, hopeful, it even features a sample of Pedro Pietri’s poem “Puerto Rican Obituary”.

Profoundly moving it is sure to become a leftist anthem:

"From el barrio to el assyeo, ¡Pa’lante!
From Marble Hill to the ghost of Emmett Till, ¡Pa’lante!
To Juan, Miguel, Miradros, Manuel, ¡Pa’lante!
To all who came before, we say, ¡Pa’lante!
To my mother and my father, I say, ¡Pa’lante!
To Julia, and Sylvia, ¡Pa’lante!
To all who had to hide, I say, ¡Pa’lante!
To all who lost their pride, I say, ¡Pa’lante!
To all who had to survive, I say, ¡Pa’lante!
To my brothers, and my sisters, I say, ¡Pa’lante!
To all came before, we say, ¡Pa’lante!"

#1 Arcade Fire - Creature Comfort

Visceral, challenging, intense and breathtaking...a stunning song that is both a throwback and an announcement while also a devastating piece of social commentary...Arcade Fire never ceases to amaze and 2017 has its first mini musical masterpiece.

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

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

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