Where has 2018 gone? We have reached that point in time for me to deliver my second most beloved Don’t Blink December tradition. Tonight I employ my impressive music credentials (psych! I don’t have any) and countdown my best 5 favorite songs of the year.
I have the same gripe this year as I have had for basically every other song countdown in the past: minimal prospects. I had to take a couple days to really reflect on songs I enjoyed over the last 11.5 months and I am sorry to say I was scraping the bottom of the barrel.
Perhaps the lack of depth makes the 2018 countdown interesting? Sorry, had to see if I could spin it some way. Enough with the rambling! Here is Brent’s Best 5 Songs of 2018.
5. “No Tears Left to Cry” – Ariana Grande
When I heard this song in May, I looked at Sidney in the car and said “This just sounds like summer.” In the ensuing few months it would be our soundtrack for the season. Whenever the track came on the radio, we embraced the catchy tune and jammed out to it as the air conditioner roared and our tires gobbled up sun-soaked pavement.
“No Tears Left to Cry” is just so fun, so addictive, and so Ariana! I never wanted to say “thank u, next” to this song because it represented such a fun and carefree time of the year.
4. “One Kiss” – Dua Lipa and Calvin Harris
What a year Dua Lipa had! It seemed like she had multiple major singles playing simultaneously on the radio throughout the past 12 months. I liked them all but “One Kiss” stood out to me. She never overperformed the lyrics and just seemed to let her natural talent shine through from the moment she entered the song after that long instrumental intro. Dua Lipa has a distinctive, recognizable voice and I think it fit perfectly for this song.
Of course the true star of “One Kiss” is the talented Calvin Harris. The beat of this song will take you on a ride! The intro and verses are slow and then the chorus speeds up, providing an interesting listening experience. With an old school feel, the track even made someone who never has the desire to dance (me) want to dance.
3. “Girls Like You” – Maroon 5 f. Cardi B
Looking back on 2018, if there is one song I heard more than any other, it has to be “Girls Like You.” Luckily for me, I really like it! This song has an incredibly smooth beat that lends itself to easy and reflective listening. “Girls Like You” could come on the radio and immediately relax me, allowing me to tolerate the nasty Myrtle Beach traffic and be at ease.
The guitar strings, the long notes, and the “yeah yeahs” make this song stand out. It is original and meaningful. But fear not, I am not giving Maroon 5 full credit for the success of “Girls Like You.” Cardi B comes through with the best guest vocal collaboration of 2018. Who doesn’t anticipate her entrance into the song and who doesn’t blurt out So who you gonna call? Cardi, Cardi. Come and rev it up like a Harley, Harley. She brings value to “Girls Like You” and makes a good song even better.
2. “In the Middle” – Zedd, Maren Morris
Although it isn’t my personal best song of the year (see below) or the song I heard the most on the radio during 2018 (see above), I think “In the Middle” could very well be classified as America’s song of the year. Talk about staying power! It was released in January but can be heard regularly on the radio to this day. Of course this is all for good reason. “In the Middle” is a superb song, good enough for the runner up spot on my list.
Catchy and straight forward, “In the Middle” is a track you want to sing along with. Who doesn’t jump in when Maren Morris sings Take a seat or Take a step? Not unlike fellow DJ Calvin Harris, Zedd is a master at creating a beat that takes the listener on a journey, switching up the melody throughout the track. This is definitely on display with this song as Zedd provides different components throughout the three minutes, allowing Morris to impactfully tell a story.
Speaking of Morris, can we talk about her for just one minute? She is a country singer – you know that, right? The fact that she was able to crossover and perform “In the Middle” in a way that got so many people addicted to the song is a big testament to her. And trust me, she isn’t a wishy-washy Taylor Swift country singer either – she is hardcore. Just listen to her newest single, “Rich.” It is about as country as you can get (and an extremely good song). Great work to both artists on this collaboration and I will make sure to meet all of my readers in the middle!
1. “Woman, Amen” – Dierks Bentley
Pride. That is the word I think of when I hear this song and I am not even talking about the lyrics yet. Listen to the melody and rhythm of “Woman, Amen” and you know right away that you have a special song. It is upbeat but not over the top; powerful but not overbearing. Like seriously, if I ever put together another slideshow of Sloan, I could use the “Woman, Amen” track without lyrics and be very satisfied.
But of course it is the lyrics that makes “Woman, Amen” my undisputed favorite song of 2018. You outdid yourself with this one, Dierks. Calling the song “more of a prayer” than a song, it is an homage to his wife…and that is an understatement. When Dierks played this song to his better half for the first time she must have melted and given him unconditional forgiveness for every single stupid guy thing he is bound to do for the rest of his life. It is honestly that beautiful. I wouldn’t be surprised if she has it eternally on replay throughout their house.
Even if we didn’t write the song, I think us other guys can sure appreciate it. I know I do. I mean come on, just listen to the lyrics…
Every night I should be on my knees/Lord knows how lucky I am/I’ll never say it near enough/Thank God, for this woman, amen.
Or what about…
Thanks for the moon and the stars up above/Forgiveness of sin and your undying love/Every twist, every turn for the way you made sure/All my roads led to her.
Okay, I could quote the whole song if I wanted to but I will stop there. Let me just say this: “Woman, Amen” motivates me to want to be the best husband humanely possible. It has given me a spark throughout the year and I thank Dierks (and God) for that.
Another year of music in the books! Who knows what 2019 will bring but right now I think I am going to slip away and listen to a certain song. Don’t Blink.