We are in December and that means it is time to reminisce a bit on the year that was (and still is for about 25 more days). I am known to offer up my “Brent’s Top 5 Best Songs” around this time of the year so that is what you will get tonight.
Each year I seem to sound like a broken record (notice the music pun?) because I complain that the selection of eligible songs is slim. Hate to say it, but I feel the same way this year. Although I had identified a couple songs as shoo-ins for this list, I had to really reflect on the other few songs that I actually enjoyed enough to include. As you will see, this 2017 list is dominated mostly by dudes. Enjoy…
5. “Ready For It” – Taylor Swift
Some thought I was tough on Taylor in a blog post I wrote last month so hopefully her inclusion on this list will dispel any notions of a Don’t Blink bias. Underwhelmed by Swift’s first song off her album, “Look What You Made Me Do,” her follow up single was much more to my liking. I feel “Ready For It” is a great representation of Swift’s versatile, catchy style.
Although I am lukewarm about her rapping sequences throughout the song (well at least I think that is what they are) I enjoy it when the melody changes tempo, especially when it gets to the In the middle of the night… sequence. Yes, this song is about one of Taylor’s ex-boyfriends and the lyrics describe silly fantasies, but it is a really good song to listen to while driving.
4. “Something Just Like This” – The Chainsmokers and Coldplay
I once told Sidney that I didn’t like Coldplay. She then started naming off some of the band’s songs and I realized I might not dislike them as much as I thought I did. Thanks to Sidney’s history lesson, I wasn’t as surprised when I found myself really liking “Something Just Like This.”
I really enjoyed the message of the song. It references superheroes and amazing feats but gets the message across that in order to win over your loved one, you don’t need to be extraordinary or on a different level from everyone else. Rather, you just need to be yourself, and you also need to be able to risk the ups and downs that come with devoting everything to someone. The musical rifts throughout the song are outstanding and I can feel the emotion throughout its entirety.
I almost included “Something Just Like This” as the third song in the video we did for my parents for their 60th birthday party but ended up choosing something else that would be more familiar to everyone. Still, I think it is a great song that describes their lives and marriage.
3. “Thunder” – Imagine Dragons
With Coldplay, I didn’t know for sure if I liked them. With Imagine Dragons, I knew for a fact I didn’t like them…until this song came out.
The song “Thunder” is just so different compared to most songs on the radio. It is original and fresh and uses great audio effects throughout its duration. Although the lyrics aren’t too creative (it probably says the word “thunder” about a thousand times), it is catchy and the female vocals add a lot to it. It was one of those songs that I liked immediately the first time I heard it.
Also, adding to my affinity for the song is the fact that I made a video of Sloan set to “Thunder.” Now, whenever I hear the song on the radio, which is a lot, I immediately think of Sloan! How could I not enjoy that?
2. “Ask Me How I Know” – Garth Brooks
Oh Garth, you do it again. The reason why country music is the best genre is because so much of the songs tell meaningful stories. When you can take someone with a once-in-a-generation voice and pair it with great storytelling, you have something extremely special.
That is why Garth Brooks has been a superstar for so many years and also why “Ask Me How I Know” is such an incredible song. I love the story that is told. The premise of the song is the advice from an elder, who is speaking from experience, to a younger person to not mess up with a girl “you swore you’d never find” because you will regret it for the rest of your life. Although I can’t speak about the messing up part, the way Garth sings about this particular girl completing this particular younger man is how I feel about Sidney completing my life. I can relate!
But let’s not forget that voice. Garth Brooks has not lost a shred of talent and the way he presents this song leaves absolutely no doubt about it.
1. Castle on the Hill – Ed Sheeran
This one is special! Sidney and I listened to this song during the last couple months she was pregnant, and even watched the music video on our Apple TV. Then, after our little girl was born, Sidney would sing the song while dancing with Sloan. Trust me, I have video.
But it just isn’t sentimental reasons for why “Castle on the Hill” by Ed Sheeran is my top song of the year. As with “Thunder,” it just has a unique sound to it. Both Sheeran’s voice and the song’s melody make it a very moving piecee. This is a great song to go to bed to and one to wake up to as well. It just works.
As for the lyrics themselves, they are pretty good. Of course it is simply a song of reminiscing about the past and reporting how the people who played a role in it are doing in present day. The song is kind of like a high school reunion. So sure, a little corny, but still can’t take away from the power of the song. For me, it is the cream of the crop of 2017.
Another recap of music’s best in the books! Did I make a decent list this year? Let me know. Also, hold on, because I might have more music hot takes later this month. For those who are longtime readers of this blog, you know what I mean. Don’t Blink.