Move over Grammy Awards, it is mid-December and that means it is my turn to tell the music industry what struck a chord (pun intended) this year. Yes, for the sixth time in Don’t Blink history, I am back to offer up Brent’s Top 5 Songs of the Year.
In 2019, it seemed to me that musicians actually started to do their jobs and make good music. Seriously! For the past three years I have complained that my countdowns were hard to populate due to lack of worthy tunes. But this year is a little different. Whereas I had a tougher time crowning one song as my undisputed favorite, the countdown from top to bottom is much stronger. So, without further ado, here is my annual list…
5. Shallow – Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper
Although “Shallow” was released in October of last year, it had a major impact in early 2019 as “A Star Is Born” mania spread across the country. I can’t say that it is a song that I can listen to over and over, but it has something that really makes it stand out: emotion.
The passion in this song is obvious to anyone who listens to it, even a tone deaf musical doofus like me. When I watched Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper perform it at the Oscars I made a mental note that the song would make this list. For those of us a little clueless on what a duet should be, we just need to listen to “Shallow.” Although “A Star Is Born” would probably rank higher than #5 on my top list of films for 2019, its title track bringing up the caboose on this “prestigious” top song list isn’t anything to scoff at.
4. “Here With Me” – Marshmello f. Chvrches
Sidney and I were at SunTrust Park this past May watching an Atlanta Braves game, one of our favorite weekends of the year. Between the sixth inning, the public address announcer encouraged those with small children to raise them in the air or put them on their shoulders as part of a Chick-fil-A promotion. After the prompt, “Here With Me” by Marshmello started playing as the video board showed children hoisted in the air.
As cheesy as the promotion was, the song made it work and it immediately stuck out to me. It was my first time hearing it and the melody combined with the enthusiasm of the parents in the stadium who participated really made Sid and I wish that Sloan was with us so we could also raise her in the air.
On our way back to Myrtle Beach the next day we looked the song up. We played it throughout the drive and it kind of became the mantra of our weekend. The good memories the song brings back every time I hear it gives it a spot on this year’s countdown.
3. “Never Really Over” – Katy Perry
This was our song of the summer. Its quick tempo, electronic beat combined with Katy Perry’s fast but signature vocal performance made it a fun song to listen to during the hot months of 2019. It kind of reminded me of a roller coaster; Perry starts off slow with the first several verses, seemingly building up momentum, until she starts spewing out lyrics at a rapid pace as the chorus takes over.
Just like with “Here With Me,” this Katy Perry hit takes me back to good times during the year. I used it for a couple highlight videos of big summer family events and I can’t help but think of my sister-in-law’s wedding or my brother’s July visit when I hear it. Easily one of my favorite Perry songs ever, I am happy to declare it one of my favorite tunes of 2019.
2. “Beautiful People” – Ed Sheeran
Talk about smooth. “Beautiful People” by Ed Sheeran is a song that makes for easy, yet sophisticated, listening. It has a relaxing and unique beat that lends itself to a track I don’t mind listening to regardless of the situation. It makes someone like me who is probably too old for Top 40 feel cool.
The song also tells an endearing story about staying true to oneself and denying materialism. It is about not selling out and never taking yourself too seriously. I can appreciate the message as well as every word that composes it. If you have time, just read through the lyrics themselves––no music is necessary, the pure poetry is beautiful enough.
In another year, this song could be in the top spot. But I don’t feel too bad for Ed because he topped my list in 2017. I look forward to listening to this song many more times in 2020 and beyond because it has qualities that will allow it to stand the test of time.
1. Sunflower – Post Malone, Swae Lee
If “Beautiful People” makes for sophisticated listening, “Sunflower” by Post Malone and Swae Lee makes for contemplative listening. I mean it, you can turn the track on and just get lost in the melody and on-point lyrics. Although I would classify its sound as completely unique, sometimes it does take me back about 12 years to “Don’t Matter” by Akon, a song I loved as well.
Throughout the year, this song would fill our house as Sidney played it on our Echo Dot. As “Sunflower” would play, literal beams of sunshine would come through the large windows in Sloan’s playroom. It was always a soothing experience, one that will always make me associate “Sunflower” with happiness and positive vibes.
Just like with Gaga and Cooper, Malone and Swae both contribute in big ways. If either performer was not on this track it would not be the same. Despite two stars crooning out lyrics, “Sunflower” proves that you can be short and sweet. It is only 2:39 but the singers make every single second count.
As I said above, after a few years of disappointment, I was impressed with 2019. Thanks to the talented artists who made some great music this year and helped shape some of my memories from the past 12 months. Although I might not know music per se, I do know feeling. Don’t Blink.