Best Of 2017: Singles Through January
I am still messing with what to include in this monthly update. I want to keep it for only songs released as singles. Unfortunately, the decisionmeans Sundara Karma, Cherry Glazzer and especially sad Idina Menzel were removed. I also took down a Wiley single which was released in 2016. The urge is to tighten up my favorites list:
At The Purchasers Option – Rhiannon Giddens – Based upon an advert dating from the time of slavery where a woman was being sold with her baby optional, Rhiannon imagines the decency of the slave in question. A true insight into the hell of slavery and a work of Americana that makes sense of the terrible genre. Also, just musically, that chorus is killer.
Issues – Julia Michaels – Justin Trantner’s partner in writing is ready to step out and if this is the quality of song she os writing, there should be zero problems. A tuneful, well rhymed, excellently drum motifed, minimal beat brilliance. A terrific song and if she has many more like this for the album (ad she should), expect Julia to be our net big pop star.
Napalm – Conor Oberst – That famous vomiting of lyrics Dylan invented provides Conor with his best song in years. The bon mots are relentless; “I lost my inhibitions, I think I may have lost my wallet too”, “I guess I should defend your virtue but the truth is I’m still on the fence”… really just about every couplet is quotable, plus the song rocks and the tune is a kicker.
To Be Without You – Ryan Adams – Off the best album of the year, a terrific Neil Young soundalike that sounds like Ryan Adams.
Shape Of You – Ed Sheeran – The doctored piano motif is excellent and the song is a huge hit as it hooks you ten ways to sundown. This is the way you push yourself back in.
I Could Have Told You – Bob Dylan – I know you are sick of the Sinatra covers. At least in theory, so am I. But in practice they are extremely felt and thought out adaptions of the Great American Songbook to for a good to great Americana band and a singer who does whatever he damn well chooses.
Unswayable – Shinobi Ninja – This is textbook Shinobi as far as energy and attack are concerned, but there is a rootsy undercurrent to it that feels like am exquisite leap into their future.
Paris – The Chainsmokers – The reason this EDM duo is so popular is because, like “Closer”, their songs are very good. The chorus here is killer.