2018 - The Top Songs I've Never Heard

Ah, New Years Eve.


Time to look back on 2018 and reflect on what a year it's been.


But, I've already kind of done that in my Thanksgiving post, so instead, I'm going to focus on those Top 10 lists everyone puts out at the end of the year.


US Weekly's Top 10 Songs of 2018

10. "Barbie Dreams" - Nicki Minaj

9. "Fallin All in You" - Shawn Mendes

8. "Honey" - Robyn

7. "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey

6. "Space Cowboy" - Kacey Musgraves

5. "Sicko Mode" - Travis Scott and Drake

4. "This is America" - Childish Gambino

3. "Always Remember Us This Way" - Lady Gaga

2. "I Like It" - Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J Balvin

1. "Thank U, Next" - Ariana Grande


So, I can only recall hearing like 2 of these songs.


Billboard's Top 10 Songs of 2018

10. "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey

9. "High Horse" - Kacey Musgraves

8. "My My My" - Troye Sivan

7. "Shallow" - Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper

6. "This is America" - Childish Gambino

5. "Nice for What" - Drake

4. "Thank U, Next" - Ariana Grande

3. "Boo'd Up" - Ella Mai

2. "Sicko Mode" - Travis Scott

1. "I Like It" - Cardi B, J Balvin & Bad Bunny


So, there's some overlap, but a few different things on here.

Me returning to my rightful home.

Since Billboard was nice enough to include embedded Vevo videos of all the songs on their list, I guess it's time to check these out.


10. "The Middle" - Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey


Okay, I've definitely heard of Zedd, but who are these other people?


Ah, so it's this song! This song's chorus has been plaguing my workplace all year. I definitely don't hate it, but I am not a fan of the super effected vocal part. According to the blurb on Billboard, Maren Morris is a country music singer. I wouldn't have necessarily guessed that's her main genre based on this song. She definitely has a nice voice. I still don't really know how Grey fits into this whole thing though. Also, their video looked like a very fun set to be on.


9. "High Horse" - Kacey Musgraves


I 100% have never heard this song before and that's actually kind of a shame. This is another country-singer does dance-music song, but it's a bit more evident in this one that that's the case. The country roots are still present in the instrumentation underneath the dance beat as well as in the lyrics. I'm digging the 70's aesthetic of the video, too.


8. "My My My" - Troye Sivan


So we're starting off strong here with a warning that this music video may cause seizures for those with photosensitive epilepsy. I definitely haven't heard this song before but it sounds just like something that I would hear while shopping at Forever 21. Seems like a pretty typical dance song to me, but it's not really my genre. I don't hate it, but I also probably wouldn't go looking for it either.


7. "Shallow" - Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper


So, everyone was going on about how amazing this movie (A Star is Born) is, and I have not seen it. I do remember wondering if Bradley Cooper could keep up with vocally with Lady Gaga, and after listening to this, I guess he pulled it off. It's a nice duet where I'd say Lady Gaga definitely outshines Bradley Cooper a bit, but how could she not? The song itself isn't something I'd normally listen to, but I may have to check out this movie now.


6. "This is America" - Childish Gambino


Oh, man. Does anyone think Donald Glover isn't a genius? Because damn. This song is amazing on so, so many levels. I'm not going to say much about it, because I could not do it justice. If you happen to be one of like 5 people who didn't catch this song and video, do yourself a favor and go watch it right now. And then go download every Childish Gambino album (especially Awaken My Love).


5. "Nice for What" - Drake


Well, there sure are a lot of famous people in that video. I know Drake is generally regarded as amazing. It just doesn't do much for me. I hadn't heard this specific song before, and I probably won't seek it out again. Sorry to any Drake fans!


4. "Thank U, Next" - Ariana Grande


I quite enjoyed this video as it paid tribute to movies like Mean Girls, Bring it On and Legally Blonde. The song is alright. It tops the US Weekly list and I guess I'm just not entirely sure why. It's not a bad song, but I feel like there are probably better Ariana Grande songs let alone better songs in general. Oh well.


3. "Boo'd Up" - Ella Mai


I have never heard of this song or this artist before, but I guess I've been missing out a little. This is a really nice song with an ear-worm chorus. I really enjoyed the phrasing and melody in this track. There's also a good combination of synth pad and a more organic piano sound filling out the instrumentation over the beat. I'll be listening to this one again.


2. "Sicko Mode" - Travis Scott


So, this is not what I was expecting. There is a lot going on in this song and I can totally see why it's so high on this list. It's paired with a visually impressive video, too. I'm not sure why Drake isn't also credited because he seems to play a pretty big role in this song. I'd definitely throw this song on again.


1. "I Like It" - Cardi B, J. Balvin & Bad Bunny


Obviously, I have heard of Cardi B. The rock I live under isn't that big. But, I haven't really taken the time to go and listen to anything by her before. According to Billboard, she is the first female rapper to hit number 1 on the Hot 100 twice (you go, girl!). Anyway, this is a fun song that gets a little help from Pete Rodriguez's "I Like it Like That". I'd put this one on again and I may just have to check out a couple other Cardi B songs.



Anyway, for me 2018 brought Kimbra's Primal Heart as well as Songs from Primal Heart: Reimagined - EP.



Primal Heart dropped in April 2018 after being pushed back from its original January release date. The tour stayed in January and Cisco, Rob & I went up to Boston to catch her show. So the anticipation for this one was high. I would love to say "my favorite song on the album is X" but I just can't choose. Do yourself a favor and listen to this album. And if you ever get the chance, absolutely go see Kimbra live because she is amazing.



Songs from Primal Heart: Reimagined - EP released in October 2018. Kimbra took 4 songs and created hauntingly beautiful versions of each. These stripped down versions really let the songwriting and vocals shine through. The accompanying tour was dynamite and I was so happy to share such a great performance with 9 friends. That has to be the largest group I've ever attended a concert with.


Seriously, do yourself a favor and go see Kimbra next time she's in town.

Alright, hooligans! Enjoy your New Years celebrations and let us know what songs topped your list this year! [ Hint: it should be something from Betwixt & Between ;) ]


Stay safe!


Happy New Year!!

-Kelsey

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