Hey, it’s me… I’m back!
Yes, it’s been over a year since my last post. But as I sit here in my sweatpants on New Year’s Day, I thought it might be fun to revisit some of my favourite songs of the year. That, and someone mentioned they liked my 2017 list. (Hi, Michelle!)
When I saw that Robin Skouteris had released his always-epic year-end mashup, my first thought was “I don’t know about pop music this year…” But then, upon listening, I realized that there were some pretty darn good songs that came out – some of them are in his mashup, and some didn’t make the cut. I also realized that Ariana Grande kind of ruled the music world this year – and I’m totally OK with that. (As the kids say, I stan for Ariana.)
Anyway, without further ado, some of my favourite tracks of 2018 – and no, they’re not all Ariana Grande. So let’s start with this one:
Dance to This – Troye Sivan feat. Ariana Grande
Hey, technically this is Troy Sivan FEATURING Ms. Grande.. So it’s not an Ariana song by definition.
This understated (and underrated) song was my unofficial “song of the summer” – it has an easy flow and the best 80s-style drum break (at 2:45) since, well, the 80s. Ariana and Troye also seem to be having fun – and I kind of love the idea that they’re besties. And speaking of summer songs…
Rosette – Single for the Summer
This one was seriously under the radar (as evidenced by the 1213 views of this video on YouTube), and that’s a shame. It’s got a bit of a retro dance groove that I dig – this song makes me want to drive faster than I should. It’s an excellent companion piece to Semi Lovato’s “Cool for the Summer.” What is it about bending rules for the summer, anyway?
Kim Petras – Heart to Break
As far as bubblegum pop goes, this may be my favourite song of the year. It’s just plain fun, and catchy as all get out. I can’t remember where I first heard this song, but it instantly became a new favourite. Kim Petras is definitely an artist to watch, as she’s a trailblazer… She’s a bonafide pop princess – and she’s also an out and proud trans woman.
Meghan Trainor – Let You Be Right
I’ll admit, mostly due to its being overplayed, I REALLY don’t like “All About That Bass.” For that reason, it’s taken me a while to get into Meghan Trainor. However, this summer she released “Let You Be Right”, a fun neo-disco number that bubbles and percolates… And I think anyone who’s been in a relationship can relate to the theme.
Ariana Grande – thank u, next
C’mon, you knew this was coming…
Everyone has their opinion on Ariana Grande – some love her, some can’t stand her, and some can’t understand what she’s saying – but there’s no denying that “thank u, next” was a bonafide pop culture juggernaut this year. The single came out of nowhere (it wasn’t part of her recently-released “Sweetener” album), and it became her first #1 song (I was surprised about that, too.).
And then the video dropped.
While we all know that “novelty” videos can really suck if they’re not done well, but Ariana NAILS it. The recreations of some of Ariana’s favourite movies (Mean Girls, Bring It On, 13 Going On 30 and Legally Blonde) are spot on… But even more impressive is the number of cameos, Easter eggs and other details that make this video so much more than it initially seems. If you have 12 minutes, this video breaks down most of them – it’s really pretty mind blowing. Jennifer Coolidge is amazing, Kris Jenner is actually pretty funny, and Jonathan Bennett seems to have not aged a day, reprising his role as Mean Girls’ Aaron Samuels.
Add in Troye Sivan, and “thank u, next” ended 2018 with a bang.
There are other great songs that came out this year (some of them don’t even include Ariana Grande), and they also deserve some love. Honourable mentions include:
- Diana Ross’ return to the charts with a mashup remix of Upside Down/I’m Coming Out
- Celine Dion poking fun at herself in both the video for “Ashes”(from Deadpool 2) and a brilliant, hilarious commercial for her new kids’ clothing line.
- Betty Who’s new take on the “All Things” theme song from “Queer Eye.”
- Shawn Mendes looking adorable (and sounding smooth as silk) in the very grown-up “Lost in Japan”
- 90s throwback Juliana Hatfield paying tribute to the legendary Olivia Newton-John with an album of covers. Some covers work better than other, but her version of “A Little More Love” is the highlight of the album.
- Miley Cyrus proving (once again) that she’s more than a punchline (and that she is, indeed, a major talent), with the Mark Ronson collab, “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart” and a kick-ass cover of Ariana Grande’s “No Tears Left to Cry”
So, it turns out 2018 produced a fair bit of pretty great music – here’s to even more in 2019!