Skip to main content

Top 10 Songs of 2016

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.


Popular posts from this blog


Ok, we're now three-fourths of the way through this year's calendar, so I thought I'd rank the thirty-eight 2017 movies I've seen so far.

Here they are....

1. A Quiet Passion
2. Baby Driver
3. Dunkirk
4. Get Out
5. Kedi
6. A Ghost Story
7. Wonder Woman
8. Columbus
9. Brad's Status
10. Marjorie Prime
11. Maudie
12. Logan
13. Spider-Man: Homecoming
14. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
15. Brigsby Bear
16. Atomic Blonde
17. The Big Sick
18. Split
19. Kong: Skull Island
20. It
21. Wind River
22. A Cure for Wellness
23. The Hitman's Bodyguard
24. Norman
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
26. Logan Lucky
27. Alien Covenant
28. Ghost In the Shell
29. War for the Planet of the Apes
30. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
31. Life
32. Annabelle: Creation
33. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
34. My Cousin Rachel
35. Baywatch
36. The Bye Bye Man
37. mother!
38. It Comes at Night

It will be interesting to see what the last three months of the year brin…

If You Could Read My Mind

Dance clubs are a funny thing. They contain within their walls a life force and vibrancy sometimes unmatched anywhere else. When dusk settles and the lights come on, people will flood the dance floors to gyrate to music with hypnotic beats and songs about love, lust and fun at the disco. At gay bars, this sort of scenario usually increases ten-fold. It isn't for everyone, but for many it is a respite from the harsh realities of the real word. It is a place that isn't just a structure, but a sanctuary where folks -- minorities in their own communities -- can take shelter and unwind with abandon, at least for a few nighttime hours.
As someone who benefited greatly from such an aforementioned gay dance club, you can imagine my dismay at news of the closing of Chester Street Bar. In business for over three decades, gay-owned and operated, there was a time when C-Street (as it was known by most) was the only haven for those in the LGBT community, near and far, to enjoy themselves …


"Step out from the mask you stand behind Fearful lost and blind Time to take the time The pressure’s on you Hide away, hide away No tomorrow, just today"
- Brilliant, Ultravox
Today was National Coming Out Day, so of course it gives some pause for reflection on my own coming out story. It was in April 1993, my junior year of high school (go Chargers!). In the six years of writing this blog, I have alluded to how I came out, but never really delved into the intricacies of how it came about. What better day to do so than today?
My first (small) indications of homosexuality manifested in grade school. While in first grade, I thought a fifth grader looked cute. In fifth grade, I would stare, longingly, at a boy in class, until he caught me looking at him. There were some infatuations with boys in middle school, and a first sexual experience during freshman year of high school. Everything up to that point had been, for the most part, based in the physical realm. I liked the way certain…