What a difference a year makes.
Most of the time, I have trouble narrowing down the favorite songs of the year into a list of just 10, and typically delay publishing the list until late January or February. Not so with 2016. I pretty much had this list done by October, though kept a flicker of hope alive that the last two months would bring some miraculous onslaught of good tunes. Alas, it was not to be.
Here, then, are my picks for the Top 10 songs from 2016, for whatever it's worth....
10. Cha Cha Bitch, by RuPaul
I like this track. It's fun, sassy and bumpy -- everything one has come to expect from RuPaul. And yet... in a stronger year, it likely wouldn't have been in the top ten. As such, here it is.
9. Can't Stop the Feeling, by Justin Timberlake
A feel-good song if there ever was one. From the summer, it was actually the last song added to this list, as it seemed almost too much of an in-your-face, you-will-like-this bouncy number. Still, it's a lot of fun, and who doesn't love them some JT?
8. Mad World, by Seal
This Tears for Fears song has definitely been covered enough times, but I almost enjoy it, regardless. This rendition, by Seal, is wonderful in its lush, powerful, and commanding production and vocals.
7. Make Me Like You, by Gwen Stefani
I first heard this song when Gwen Stefani performed it live at one of those music awards shows (Grammys? I dunno). Anyhow, it's a cute little ditty, and I like it.
6. Here For You, by Jean-Michel Jarre & Gary Numan
Last year, Jean-Michel Jarre released an album of new material, and each track's vocal was led by iconic '80s artists (Pet Shop Boys, Cyndi Lauper, etc.) This one, featuring Gary Numan of Cars fame, was my favorite. And, yes, I know that Cars was technically a '70s track. Anyhow, it really resonated with me. Dark yet hopeful, Numan's vocals meld perfectly with the synths to create a song about being there for someone when they need you.
5. Just Another Day, by Lady GaGa
Not gonna lie... Lady Gaga's latest album didn't go much for me, except for this track. I love this track. Jaunty, beautiful and optimistic, this is the real deal. I've decided to include the cover version by Honey & Jude. They do a good job.
4. Romeo, by Chairlift
I love this tough, direct poppy number. Could listen to it for ages.
3. Wheels, by Moss of Aura
A lovely instrumental track, with a beautiful soul to it. Another one I put on repeat.
Note: I became aware of this song via an IndieGoGo campaign for UIUC Graphic Design Career Fair: FLUX. You should consider donating to help support their class of 2017.
2. Riddle of the Model, by Sing Street
If you haven't seen Sing Street, one of the best movies of 2016, then you definitely should when you have the time. About a teenager in 1980's Ireland who strikes-up a band to impress a girl, Sing Street features several catchy original recordings, but this one is the best.
1. Say It To Me, by Pet Shop Boys
My favorite music group came back with a solid pop album in 2016, and this track was immediately my favorite of the new material. It just carries me away on an emotional wave. Simple, but good.
And, there you have it. I quite like the top 8 songs on this list. It was just numbers 9 and 10 I was somewhat iffy about.