Brent’s Top 5 Best Songs of 2016

Although I am not passionate about music, I do listen (or rather “hear”) to it a lot. Whether driving in my car, working out at the gym, or shopping at the grocery store, my ears are treated to the typical mainstream top 40 mix on a daily basis. It is because of this constant consumption of popular music that I feel at the end of the year I can make some declarations.

Tonight I present to you Brent’s Top 5 Best Songs of 2016. As was the case last year, I felt it was slim pickens when it came time for me to decide this year’s list. Nothing that came out over the past 12 months truly impressed me but something did surprise me. With that said, here are five songs released this year that I kind of liked.

5. “Hands To Myself” – Selena Gomez

I think it is a requirement that each year I must put a young female pop star on the list. However, I try to save whatever shred of masculinity I have left by placing that particular choice at the beginning of the countdown. In all seriousness, I did enjoy “Hands To Myself” by Selena Gomez. For me, the fast paced nature of the song kept me engaged. I also like Selena’s voice and this track just seemed fresh to me.

However, there is one part in the song that I especially like and it is a big reason why it earned recognition in this blog post. Throughout the whole track, Selena sings I can’t keep my hand to myself and the beat just continues to play. However, toward the end of the song she breaks from protocol and follows that line by half singing/half saying the words I mean I could but why would I want to? It makes Sidney and I laugh every time.

4. “Let Me Love You” – DJ Snake featuring Justin Bieber

I will be honest, I think Justin Bieber is extremely talented. Once he grew up a little, I started liking most of his singles. I think his vocal performance in “Let Me Love You” is top quality and worthy of a listen each time it happens to play.

But while I appreciate Bieber, the real show stopper in this song is the person who the track is credited to, DJ Snake. His skills are on display in grand fashion throughout the entirety of “Let Me Love You” but nothing is better than when he does his breakdown at the end of the song. The solo starts and it is the same solid beat that is featured the whole song but then it totally drops and goes a different direction. It is awesome. If you know what I am talking about you are nodding your head as you read this. If you don’t know what I am talking about, you really have to listen to the song.

3. “Peter Pan” – Kelsea Ballerini

My favorite newcomer to the country music scene is Kelsea Ballerini. Her music is fun, catchy, and contemplative. Before “Peter Pan” came out, I pretty much liked all of her stuff after just the first listen. Interestingly enough, it took this song a few listens before it really grew on me. But once it did, this track had cemented itself as one of my favorites of 2016.

The lyrics are really interesting to listen to. Even though the meaning of the song has nothing to do with Peter Pan, the lyrics are written so well that it uses Pan themes effectively to tell the story of an immature significant other. The metaphor makes perfect sense and it is easy to follow when listening to. The song also became a favorite to me because after Ballerini sings the chorus the second and third times, there is a short instrumental solo (probably only five seconds long) that I really enjoy.

2. “24K Magic” – Bruno Mars

Remember how I mentioned a surprise at the beginning of this post? Well, here it is. I have made it no secret that I am not a Bruno Mars fan. In fact, “Uptown Funk” made my worst songs list last year. However, I immediately liked “24K Magic” the first time I heard it and I will always give credit to an artist for a song I like whether I usually tend to enjoy his music or not.

I would describe this song as simply “a good time.” It has an old school ring to it but it doesn’t seem gimmicky. That was my biggest problem with “Uptown Funk,” it just didn’t seem authentic to me. With “24K Magic” it gives a nod to the past but it also has originality as well. It is catchy and fun. It is a no-brainer that  the song will eventually lend itself to a suave/hip movie scene one of these days. Until then, I will continue to let it make me feel special. Full disclosure here, I kind of feel like a force to be reckoned with when the song is playing in my car and I am driving along the highway. It is this energy and positivity that makes me like “24K Magic” so much.

1. “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” – Justin Timberlake

Above I mentioned that Justin Bieber is very talented. However, I don’t want “The Biebs” to get too big of a head because there is a sobering truth: He is not the most talented Justin in the music business.

In my opinion, Justin Timberlake is on a whole different level from others when it comes to God-given ability. When you take the singing talent of Timberlake’s and combine it with a decently written track, the result is a #1 song on the yearly list of a blogger who knows nothing about music.

To be fair to Mr. Timberlake, I am sure “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” will make many other lists not written by me.

The song of the summer was “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” and with good reason. The beat, the lyrics, and the performance deliver a major jolt of pure fun. The track just made me feel good and I always looked forward to hearing it no matter where I was at. The message is positive and when Timberlake performs it there is no doubt that he himself has “the feeling” that he is singing about.

“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” reminds me of Summer 2016. You know, the summer when I got married, went on my honeymoon, and had the opportunity to host my whole family down here in Myrtle Beach. When one song is able to conjure up so many awesome memories, it is easy to put it at the top of a list.

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Agree or disagree? I would love to hear your thoughts regarding both my list and where you stand on your own favorite songs of 2016. If you don’t criticize my taste in music too much, I might discuss my worst songs of 2016 tomorrow. Have a good evening. Don’t Blink.

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