The Top 10 English songs of 2016
1. Heathens by Twenty One Pilots
Featured in the DC movie Suicide Squad, Heathens is one of Twenty One Pilots best work. It peaked at number 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and it is the band’s highest peaking single, tied with “Stressed Out“.
The lyrical makeup of the song follows most Twenty Pilot songs, in that it has a depressed undertone, covered in a pop-y catchy tune. The lyrics are of course connected to the corresponding movie, but at the end of the day, it is still a Twenty Pilots song. Tyler Joespeh even said, ”I want this song to be a Twenty One Pilots song first”
2. Starboy by the Weeknd ft. Daft Punk
Released as the first single by Canadian artist The Weeknd, from his third studio album, Starboy was instant success. The song marks the first collaboration between Daft Punk and Abel, and the formers first song since 2014. It topped the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, where it became The Weeknd’s fourth number one single. Additionally, it peaked in many countries, including Canada and France.
Lyrically, the song uses themes of the luxury associated with a celebrity lifestyle, as well as how the celebrity lifestyle can make an artist fragile. Genres of Electro, pop, and R&B are mixed to create a catchy number that is not to be forgotten.
3. Closer by the Chainsmokers ft. Halsey
This year has been a very active one for the American duo, the Chainsmokers, starting with this retro electronic number. It was also the first song in which Andrew Taggart, one half of the band, used his own vocals. In the United States, this became both The Chainsmokers and Halsey’s first number one single on the Billboard Hot 100. The song stayed at the top spot for 12 consecutive weeks.
It has been labeled as the millennial romance anthem, celebrating heartbreak and youth. On Twitter the duo dedicated the number to everyone who got back together with their ex, and remembered all the reasons why it didn’t work out in the first place.
4. 24K Magic by Bruno Mars
The lead single from Bruno Mars’s third studio album of the same name. It is a “synth-heavy” funk, disco and contemporary R&B song, influenced heavily by hip-hop. This was the first original song that he released in four years, and it was a banger.
Mars himself called it “an invitation to the party” that will be his album. It has a nonstalgic 80s vibe, with a funky theme, that gave us a catchy, head-bobbing number that will not be forgotten.
5. Let Me Love You by DJ Snake ft. Justin Beiber
Featured in the DJ’s debut studio album Encore, the song features the vocals of the pop-boy Beiber. It debuted at number 12 on the Billboard hot 100 list. It became DJ Snake’s third top 10 and Bieber’s twelfth top 10 single.
The lyrics speak about holding on to a relationship that one party is ready to let go off. With an electronic and pop beat, it creates a relatable artist piece that resonates with all.
6. One Dance by Drake ft. Kyla and Wizkid
A single from Drake’s fourth studio album Views, it became the top streamed song on Spotify. It’s an R&B song, with a dance-rhythm, featuring vocals and chords from Kyla’s 2008 “Do you Mind?”
The message of the track is pretty straightforward: it’s a tribute to the dance floor, to losing yourself as you melt into your dance partner.
7. Perfect Strangers by Jonas Blue ft. JP Cooper
Released in June, the song peaked at number 2 on the UK Singles Chart. It featured the vocals of JP Cooper, and became certified platinum in the UK.
It is a light and airy summer jam about not overthinking romance. The tune harkens back to the tropical house sound of Blue’s 2015 breakthrough single: Fast Cars.
8. The Sound by the 1975
The English band released this song, earlier in the year, but without it, this list would be incomplete. The indie pop number was named by Rolling Stonemagazine one of the 30 best songs of the first half of 2016.
9. Formation by Beyoncé
With the music icon’s sixth studio album, came the Black Power Anthem that shook the world. A Rolling Stone journalist penned that “in the era of #BlackLivesMatter, ‘Formation’ felt downright necessary” and added that it was “a powerful statement of black Southern resilience”. The song was later placed at number one on the magazine’s “50 Best Songs of 2016” list.
The official genre that it falls under is Bounce, but to me, it sounds like a mix between R&B and hip hop. Either way, it is one that is completely Beyonce, and completely (something)
10. Ivy by Frank Ocean
After a four year hiatus, Frank Ocean gave us his sophomore album, and it was worth the wait. He sings a tale of heartbreak, in the R&B tune, that we didn’t know we craved.
It’s a guitar-pop track, focusing on themes of youth, love and sex. Ocean sets this one apart from other intimate numbers with the sheer force of his voice, and his high pitched squeal. All in all, this list would be incomplete without Frank Ocean.