10 Best Songs of 2017 (So Far)

Hi Guys!

We’re almost half-way through 2017 and already we’ve had a few great radio hits. Here is my list of the 10 best songs of the year so far.

10. Kissing Strangers – DNCE ft. Nicki Minaj

DNCE’s “Cake by the Ocean” was a massive hit last year. “Kissing Strangers” contains all of that summery dance feel with a sweet hook and a great rap from Nicki. It’s pure fluff, but it’s fun fluff.

9. Slow Hands – Niall Horan 

Harry Styles “Sign of the Times” may be the bigger hit with its Beatlesy sound, but I prefer this song by another One Direction alum Niall Horan. It’s great for a weekend drive, so clap along right with the lyrics.

8. Low – Todrick Hall ft. Ru Paul

At #8, I want to give a shout-out to Todrick Hall for his song, “Low.” This is a strong dance number with intelligent, hilarious lyrics surrounding a Wizard of Oz theme. Plus, it features RuPaul!

7. Cloud 9 – Jamiroquai 

Most people know Jam (yes, I’m calling him “Jam”) from his 90s hit “Virtual Insanity.” This upbeat, funky tune is a great showcase for his unique sound and a good song to dance to.

6. I Feel it Coming – Daft Punk ft. The Weeknd

Daft Punk always finds a way to breath life into repetitive dance tunes. They did it again here with The Weeknd. Perfect for a slow-dance under the stars.

5. Bom Bidi Bom – Nick Jonas ft. Nicki Minaj

From the “Fifty Shades Darker” soundtrack, this Nick/Nicki collab is just ripe for shakin’ those hips! It didn’t get released as a single, but this stands as one of the sexiest songs of the year.

4. Rockabye – Clean Bandit ft. Anne-Marie and Sean Paul 

Clean Bandit always offers great music. From their first big hit with “Rather Be”, I’ve seen them spawn strong dance tunes ever since. This one, with its message about the lengths a mother will go to provide for her family, is another solid entry. Anne-Marie’s vocals add a nice touch. Can’t wait to hear more from them!

3. Stay – Zedd and Alessia Cara

Honestly, I don’t like either Zedd’s or Alessia’s music separately. But when they came together, they created this catchy little gem. The chorus is strong, and it captures the direness of the singer’s plea to keep her lover with her. I’m sure this one will “stay” on the charts for awhile.

2. Shape of You Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” is probably the biggest hit of the year so far, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s catchy, it’s unique, and it’s by Ed Sheeran. Luckily, this song is only a taste of how great his album “Divide” is. Definitely check it out!

1. Bad Liar – Selena Gomez

And finally, we get to my pick for the best song of the year so far — “Bad Liar” by Selena Gomez. Talk about catchy! If you’re not singing this chorus after hearing it, you must be deaf! It’s so fun, Selena sounds great, and there’s so many twists and turns in this pop gem, it’s worth a few listens. And I ain’t lyin’!

 

What do you think? What’s your favorite song of the year so far? Tell me in the  comments!

 

More fun. . .coming soon!

UNDERRATED SONG: PEARL

Hi everyone,

In honor of Katy Perry’s new single, “Swish, Swish”, and her upcoming album, Witness, I thought I’d go back and give you what I think is her most underrated song. It’s called “Pearl.”

 

From her album, Teenage Dream, “Pearl” is a charming ballad that shows Katy’s softer side. Never released as a single, it nevertheless holds a place in my eyes as one of her best songs. Katy sings about a girl that was ruined by a guy, a girl that was once as beautiful as a pearl, but allowed her relationship to change her. The mood is cold and dark to demonstrate the girl’s sadness.

The twist? Katy’s that girl! Despite this revelation, it ends on an empowering note, that she’ll move on and get stronger, and other women can too.

 

What do you think? What’s your favorite underrated Katy Perry song? Tell me in the comments.

See you later!

UNDERRATED SONG: THE FALL

Hey everyone!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted an underrated song, I know. It has been on my mind. So today, I’ve got a whole new song for you. Well, a whole old song, but one you hopefully will enjoy as much as I have. It’s from, you guessed it, ELO. Wait, did you actually guess it? Props!

This gem is taken from the Xanadu soundtrack. For those who don’t know, Xanadu is an 80s disco musical starring Olivia Newton John. It flopped big-time at the box-office, but the soundtrack is actually really great. One of its biggest hits is the song “Magic” by Olivia herself.

However, my favorite song off the album is “The Fall.” ELO provides a few other songs for the soundtrack, but even though it was never released as a single, I love this one the most. It’s about a relationship that’s gone under and the singer is the one taking the blame for it, or rather, “the fall.” The tune is melodic, and yet comes with those chorus punches that get you right in the gut. It reinforces the idea of being awoken from the dream of a wonderful relationship – POW! And it ends on a strong note too.

Whether you’re familiar with ELO or not, this is a beautiful song that deserves more attention. I hope you’ll “fall” in love with it like I did.

What do you think? Do you have an underrated ELO song? Tell me in the comments!

See you again, real soon!

 

Underrated Song: The Way It Was

Hey guys!

I know it’s been awhile since my last underrated song, but it’s back! Who gets the honor of being my first underrated song of 2017? The Killers!

“The Way It Was” is a beautiful, soaring song from The Killers’ fourth album Battle Born released in 2012. For some reason, it was never released as a single. I don’t know why — it’s unforgettable! Brandon Flowers’ voice is heart-wrenching, asking if his relationship with his girlfriend could ever return to the state it was before. He talks about the past, as though it were a drive in the desert at night. Dark, hot, endless.

Without a definitive conclusion, the singer simply wonders — Can we be what we were? Can we go back? Can we love like each other like we once did? Is it possible?

You know what is possible? That you’re going to love this song!

What’s your favorite underrated Killers’ song? Tell me in the comments.

This is the Pop Culture Grinch, signing off!

Underrated Song: Scheibe

MOOO HAW HAW! Happy Halloween, everyone!

To celebrate this momentous day, I have a song from the one and only Mother Monster herself, Lady Gaga. It’s time to get creepy, it’s time to get scary, it’s time to get. . .German?

The “Scheibe” is in! This is a song from Gaga’s album Born this Way, and it’s a stand-out! “Scheibe” is an odd mishmash of faux German and fun dance beats. It reached number 6 on the Dance/Electronic Digital Songs chart and number 11 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart as well. When this album first released in 2011, “Scheibe” and “The Edge of Glory” were my favorite songs immediately. Both songs are so full of life and crackle with energy. “Scheibe” didn’t chart nearly as high as “The Edge of Glory”, but the charts don’t tell all. Next time you need something different at the club, try this weird pop powerhouse!

What do you think? What’s your favorite underrated Gaga song?

Oh, and shout-out to Gaga herself. Congratulations on the new album, Joanne!

Well, that’s October done. I hope you’ve enjoyed some overlooked gems in the music world. I’ll be back with more overlooked gems soon.

Bye for now!

Underrated Song: Breaking Hearts (Ain’t What It Used to Be)

Hello!

For this week’s post, I thought I’d focus on of my favorite artists of all time, Elton John. He has produced great songs from “Little Jeannie” to “I Want Love” and is one of the world’s greatest musical acts. Elton was the first artist I ever really fell in love with (excluding Weird Al) and his music has  been a constant remember of those early days when I was discovering music for the first time.

For years, there’s been one song that I’d always thought was special that never got enough credit. I’m presenting that song here today. It’s called “Breaking Hearts (Ain’t What It Used to Be.)”

Ever heard of this one, guys? Unless you’re a big Elton John fan you probably wouldn’t. It wasn’t even released as a single. It’s from his album Breaking Hearts and boy is it, heart-breaking. A beautiful ballad about the realization, later in life, that loneliness is the consequence of all the heart-ache the singer caused in his relationships. The song soars to an angelic height, and finally rests in a resigned state. Essentially, this is what I’ve done, and this is what I get.

What do I get out of it? A great song to share with you!

 

So, what do you think? Am I wrong? Is it just another cheesy ballad? Tell me in the comments.

Next week, an underrated song from Mother Monster.

 

Underrated Song: No Not Much

Hi peoples,

If Mariah Carey wasn’t to your liking (for some reason, I’m not sure why), today I have a great little ditty from Mr. Addicted to Love, Robert Palmer. It’s called “No Not Much.”

 

It was originally recorded in  1955 by The Four Lads. Here’s that version for comparison:

The original is slower and more yawn-inducing, but what I love about the song is the theme. Despite the fact that this woman is hard to love at times, the singer wouldn’t be better off without her. Reminds me of the Shakespeare poem “My Mistresses Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun.” Similar concept.

As far as the cover goes, the song is more lively and snappy. It’s something you could dance to. To me, Robert is such an underrated artist. I never hear anybody talk much about him, except when it pertains to his videos. The girls get more credit than he does and they don’t even sing! It’s a shame too. Palmer’s got a great growl in his voice that seduces the listener. He deserves to be rediscovered.

What do you think? Is his cover an improvement? What’s your favorite underrated cover? Underrated artist?

 

Next Week: A criminally underrated song by Mr. Fantastic.