Whew. This year has been a year. Seems like it's been tough for some, if not all of us. One bright spot is there has been some great pop music released, so I felt like putting together a list of songs that just make me feel good. Because sometimes good music can be a great remedy for a bad day. (Or year).
In no particular order:
Lizzo - "Good as Hell"
I recently discovered Lizzo’s new EP, Coconut Oil, and the standout single “Good as Hell”. The whole EP is golden, but this song is the first thing I want to hear in the morning every morning for the rest of my life. Can that be arranged?
Rihanna & Drake - "Work"
This song WILL NOT QUIT. I must have listened to it at least 500 times since it was released and it never gets old. Anti was one of my favorite albums of the year, because we see such a different side of Rihanna. This song where the pop princess and deep, true musical artist merge. Plus, the verse from the the love of her life, Drake is straight fire.
Bruno Mars - "Magic"
How can this song NOT make you want to get up and dance? The album of the same name was recently released, and it’s already a classic in my collection. But the lead single is where the real good stuff is. Bruno Mars knows it’s been a hard year. He's got our back.
Chance the Rapper, Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz - "No Problem"
Is Coloring Book the best rap mixtape of the year? All I know is that I couldn’t not include a Chance track on this list. His latest music is layered for sure, but I know one of those layers is just pure joy. Plus, how can you not love a Wayne verse?
Jon Bellion - "Overwhelming"
Jon Bellion is a new find for me this year. His album, The Human Condition, is a new brand of pop music. Overwhelming is a short track, but I think the lyrics make it so so good. I was bumpin’ Chilli Peppers all up in my Nissan all summer.
Justin Timberlake - "Can’t Stop The Feeling"
Justin Timberlake released this single for the Dreamworks film Trolls, but it’s giving me life and hope for a new album. This jam played in my car all summer, and I can’t imagine 2016 without it. Thanks JT, we needed this one.
Tinashe - "Superlove"
Oh hey Tinashe. Even though "Superlove" wasn’t included on her latest album Nightride, it was released as a single this summer. Her pop style is one of my favorites and the percussion on the song! Also the video is something out of my 80’s daydreams.
Sir the Baptist & ChurchPeople - "Raise Hell"
I'm not super familiar with Sir the Baptist, but somehow this song made it on my running playlist and it’s one of those that increases my running speed by at least 12%. The Chicago-based rapper doesn’t have an album out yet, but I will be for sure adding his songs to my running playlist when it drops.
Lady Gaga - "A-YO"
The first time I heard the entirety of Joanne, I cried. I just knew that it would be an album that I would love forever and ever amen. I just want to personally thank Stephanie for this gift because I will treasure it. A-Yo is the second track (which is always the best track) and it’s just one of my favorites on the album and this year. Her vocals! The guitar! The clapping which can sometimes be cheesy but I love it!
Betty Who - "I Love You Always Forever"
A dreamy cover of the of the ‘96 Donna Lewis hit, Betty Who SERVES. We haven’t heard much music from her this year, but if you’re asking me, this is enough. She’s a slightly underrated pop artist who I think has some low-key bangers. I can’t wait to see what she gives us in 2017.
Sia - "Unstoppable"
I couldn’t leave this list without a Sia track. With her “pop-song rejects” album, This is Acting, she really gives us an iconic anthem in "Unstoppable." Good pop music just flows out of Sia, and this song is no different. It’s rumored that this song was written for either Beyonce or Selena Gomez, but I love the way Sia interprets it. I think it’s a good note to end on.
Congrats on making it through the end of this list and also to the end of 2016. Here’s to a great new year.
Malory Craft is one of the hosts of The Dates of Our Lives, which airs every Sunday, from 10-11 p.m. on The Spy on KOSU.