When talking about so far at Billboard , it's hard to avoid the fact that the chart year has only had 24 editions of the Hot , and Drake has been No. It's the most that any one artist has dominated the listing's top spot in a year's first six months this decade -- though shout-out to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' combined 11 weeks on top in the first half of -- and it essentially leaves the non-Drake part of the field wide open when it comes to discussing the year's best and biggest singles. But that's fine. Beyond the Drakening, has been a year of pleasant surprises on the charts: All-Star teamups we didn't see coming, previously unknown artists coming out with left-field hits, and a handful of big-name comebacks taking us to unexpected new places, all of which made the predictability at pop's highest level forgivable. And besides, those two Drake songs are pretty great too: You'll see them both below as we recount our 50 favorite songs of so far, with a Spotify playlist of all 50 at the bottom. The moment fans have been waiting for since Timberlake and Stapleton collaborated at the CMA Awards finally came in , and it's as special as that instant-classic performance. Not only did the song take JT and Chris' bromance to the next level, it made it very clear that their CMA team-up was no fluke. Jade Bird, "Lottery".
Unbridled Ambition and Self-Preservation
There is no single song that defines We live in an age in which music is more accessible and easier to make than ever before. A kid with a computer could become the most popular artist in the country over night. This is a time when Spotify averages 13, new songs every month. Instead, we bring you 55 songs from —unranked—that provide a cross section of the music that commanded the charts, pushed the boundaries of genre, and captured the political and cultural zeitgeist of You can also listen to the playlist on Spotify. That album marked the moment when the young Odd Future-affiliated rapper started to find his own identity. He had already defined himself as a brilliant, versatile lyricist, but his sound was still something majorly in the works. Earl is very much back. And while it might seem bizarre for a young rapper to focus on a dying medium, Staples seems to be commenting for the most part on how we consume pop music.
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1. The 1975, ‘Love It if We Made It’
The excellent young New Zealand band take part in the grand power-pop tradition of addictively buoyant songs about crummy romance. The Danish punk boys come on like bastard sons of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, with a smoldering venture into mutant American roots-rock from their excellent fourth album, Beyondless. Guitars sulk and kick like Eighties Def Leppard, while the blocky bass lines are tenacious enough to compete with Atlanta hip-hop; brusque rapping tugs against intricate, swooping singing. And alongside Robyn, it was more proof that American pop acts can learn a lot about emotional depth from their EU peers. This song, which mirrors the sort of mood-swings familiar to many of us in , is an outburst of chiming joy modulated by unshakable clouds. The finale of her warmest LP yet caps a virtual mixtape of ecstatic dance floor melancholy. During her post-teen-pop phase, Hayley Kiyoko has transformed herself into a queer-pop auteur, directing and starring in her own videos for pulsing anthems.
Guardian music writers have picked their favourite songs of the year — from UK drill breakthroughs to pure pop anthems — and put them all on a giant playlist. Mon 3 Dec K icking off our roundups of the best music of , polled from votes by more than 50 Guardian music writers, we count down our favourite tracks of the year — topped by a man who managed to unpick US racial politics, launch a thousand thinkpieces and reach No 1 in the US charts, all with a single track. Read about the top 20 below, and hear the whole top in playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.