The 24 Best Songs Of 2017

No one could top 'Despacito.'
PHOTO: (LEFT) Youtube/Cardi B, (RIGHT) Instagram/champagnepapi

Listed in no particular order, except for number one, which is exactly where it's supposed to be.

  1. "Despacito" – Luis Fonsi feat. Daddy Yankee

    There is no one on the planet who feels lukewarm about this song—you either hate it or you're incapable of playing it any less than six times a day. Whether you were on board from day one or came around once Justin Bieber got involved, there's no question that "Despacito" was the song of the year.

  2. "Love" – Lana Del Rey

    If you're not into Lana's particular brand of Instagram-filtered nostalgia, then I'm sorry your life is so joyless, but if you are, "Love" is everything you've ever wanted from your queen. It's somehow more cinematic than even her most cinematic songs, and comes with a music video where people go to space or something? Also, she traded her flower crown for loose daisies strewn all over her head, and it was ~flawless~.

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  3. "Green Light" – Lorde

    Lorde has said that "Green Light" is about her "first major heartbreak," a fact that's clear in lyrics like, "She thinks you love the beach, you're such a damn liar." She must have written this after the wallowing period was over, though, because "Green Light" is almost impossible to listen to without dancing in your seat.

  4. "Slip Away" – Perfume Genius

    This gorgeous baroque-pop gem perfectly captures the feeling of being in love, but also touches on what happens when that love isn't universally accepted. "There are still a lot of really horrible things going on right now," said Perfume Genius mastermind Mike Hadreas. "So there's a joy to this song, but it's a protest too."

  5. "Bodak Yellow" – Cardi B

    Christian Louboutin may as well change their brand name to Bloody Shoes because no one's ever going to think of them as anything else again.

  6. "Shakedown" – Valerie June

    A lot of Valerie June's best songs are plaintive ballads about love and loss, but "Shakedown" is all party—the bluesiest, hand-clapping-est party you've ever attended.

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  7. "Show You The Way" – Thundercat feat. Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald

    This genius collaboration between Thundercat and yacht rock legends Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald is almost too smooth to be believed. By the time Thundercat introduces Kenny with the line, "Tell 'em how you feel, Kenny," you'll think you've taken a time machine back to the most chill 1970s boat party you can imagine.

  8. "New York" – St. Vincent

    St. Vincent is known for pushing the boundaries of what a guitar can do, but "New York" is a plaintive, pared-down piano ballad that's the perfect blend of melancholy and sass.

  9. "Praying" – Kesha

    After a very long and very public legal battle with Dr. Luke, Kesha returned with this gorgeous, cathartic ballad about gaining strength from the darker moments in life. It's one of many great songs on her latest album Rainbow, and finds her stretching her vocals to new and impressive heights.

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  10. "Young Dumb & Broke" – Khalid

    Of the many extremely catchy songs on Khalid's delightful debut album American Teen, "Young Dumb & Broke" is the one most likely to get stuck in your head three or four times a day.

  11. "Sign of the Times" – Harry Styles

    Perfection. End of story.

  12. "Slow Hands" – Niall Horan

    Every time I hear this song I forget for a second that it's Niall and think, "Whose sexy voice is this, seducing me over this sultry beat?" Then I remember that it's Niall and am delighted all over again that Niall (1) exists and (2) didn't stop making music after 1D went on hiatus.

  13. "Boys" – Charli XCX

    A song perfectly designed to make you feel like a swooning 9th-grader passing notes about the cute guy in your chemistry class.

  14. "Malibu" – Miley Cyrus

    After dabbling in glitter and psychedelia on Dead Petz, Miley returned to her country roots with this adorable love song that's almost definitely about Liam Hemsworth. The song's only flaw is that the music video features just one of her dogs instead of all of them.

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  15. "Cut to the Feeling" – Carly Rae Jepsen

    Guaranteed to cause spontaneous, involuntary dancing, no matter where you are or how you're feeling.

  16. "HUMBLE." – Kendrick Lamar

    You'll never hear the phrase "sit down" the same way again.

  17. "Wild Thoughts" – DJ Khaled feat. Rihanna and Bryson Tiller

    Sorry to those of you who never wanted to hear the guitar riff from Santana's "Maria Maria" again, because it's back and it's even better than it was the first time. Bless you, DJ Khaled.

  18. "Passionfruit" – Drake

    Drake called his 2017 release More Life a playlist instead of an album, which, fine, whatever, but at least it produced "Passionfruit," a song so annoyingly catchy that you almost hate it but just can't because it's so freaking smooth.

  19. "Lemon" – Rihanna and N.E.R.D.

    Please let 2018 bring more incidences of Rihanna rapping.

  20. "Mask Off" – Future

    RT if you also spent at least 60 percent of 2017 with that flute loop stuck in your head.

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  21. "Friends" – Justin Bieber and BloodPop

    After teaming up with Justin for the Purpose hits "Sorry" and "I'll Show You," producer BloodPop reunited with Mr. Bieber for this bouncy song about staying friends with an ex. (It's even more meta now that Jelena is a thing again.)

  22. "Pay Gap" – Margo Price

    Channeling classic political country songs like Loretta Lynn's "The Pill," Margo Price distilled a persistent and complex problem into an incisive but hummable tune that's just one of many standouts from her album All American Made.

  23. "Appointments" – Julien Baker

    This spare, deeply moving song about the difficulties of maintaining a relationship while dealing with mental illness is both beautiful and haunting. "The song is about the isolation of thinking that you’re incapable of communicating the emotions in your head while you’re also trying to exert the effort to be there for someone else, and to be what they want," said Julien in a Pitchfork interview.

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  24. "The Weekend" – SZA

    While a lot of SZA fans originally thought this song was about one woman knowingly entering a relationship with a man who had a partner at home, SZA explained that the song is actually about three women sharing one man. Either way, it's an excellent song that sounds even better live—watch her perform it on SNL and be amazed.

Follow Eliza on Twitter.


This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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