By: Vivian Shillingsburg
2019 was an interesting year filled with TikToks, alien invasions, offended Boomers, and if I’m being honest, some of the best music of the decade. Between the rising artists like Lizzo and bands like the Jonas Brothers, getting back together, like, it’s been a great year for music. For my closing article of the year, I’m going to be sharing some of the best songs of the year. I’m the kind of person who says that every song is my favorite song, so narrowing them down to just ten is going to be difficult. It’s definitely going to be opinionated, but my hope is that you might find your new favorite song!
#10: Lil’ Nas X (ft. Billy Ray Cyrus)- “Old Town Road”
This song is kind of a given. It definitely wasn’t my absolute favorite song of the year, but it holds lots of memories of hanging out with friends, school dances, or just riding in the car. It’s an upbeat, feel good song that will always put you in a great mood. It’s one of those songs that I can see myself listening to with my kids in 20 years while they make fun of me and tell me how awful our music was. The first version of this song, without the iconic Billy Ray Cyrus was only okay. It was short and to the point, but wasn’t much of a bop. When they collaborated, the song blew up. TikTok dances and memes were made and every radio station overplayed it, making everyone hate the song, but “Old Town Road” will forever be an icon.
#9: Billie Eilish- “bad guy”
I don’t know what it is about this song, but I love it. The mellow tone and honest lyrics can really get to you. The song is empowering and intense, while also having a calming effect. This song was #1 on Billboard: The Best Songs of 2019: Staff List. It has a great beat, but what really makes it special is the artist. Billie Eilish, the teenage music sensation, has topped the charts more than once. Her unique affect and relatable ability make her the perfect star. Teenage girls around the world practically worship her. She is a legend. She treats her fans like family and is so real and honest. No wonder this song was Grammy- nominated. Her music is incredible, but so is she.
#8: Dan+Shay, Justin Bieber- “10,000 Hours”
This might be one of the cheesiest songs ever written, but it has so much meaning behind it, and, more importantly, Justin Bieber was a part of it. This song was written as a tribute to all of their wives. It seems basic, but the lyrics can make you cry and leave any girl wishing they had a man like these guys. Not only is the song meaningful, but it’s a good listen. The combination of unreal harmonizing and beautiful vocals really hit different. The mix of country and pop leaves everyone happy. The music video is even more iconic than the song itself. It features each of their wives, and, if I do say so myself, the best parts were the ones with Hailey and Justin. Beliebers were raving about the happy couple in this video. The video is filled with so much love and joy, it’s almost heavenly, and it will leave you in tears.
#7: Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, Ink- “Don’t Check on Me”
There isn’t anything specific about this song that I like, but it has a good rhythm, clever lyrics, and some great vocals. The melody is the kind that will be stuck in your head for weeks, yet you won’t be annoyed by it. It features one of our favorite artists, the Biebs himself, which is probably why I love it so much. It’s definitely a good breakup song too, so give it a listen. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
#6: MAX (ft. Quinn XCII)- “Love Me Less”
This is a classic: “I’ve done bad things, but you still love me” type of song, but it’s definitely one of the best songs of the year. While this song is upbeat and feel-good, it does have a meaning to it. According to an interview MAX did with Billboard, the song was written about a difficult time that he and his wife were going through. An ex of his was upset about their break up, and threatened to have his wife, who is British, deported. While his ex was not serious, her words hurt and put them in a bad place. The song was written to show that love isn’t about your past, it’s about the here and now and just being there, and I think that MAX did a really good job with this. The song has a great energy and a fascinating story, which makes me love it even more.
#5: Juice WRLD- “Robbery”
I obviously have to include Juice, one of the most influential artists of the decade. I don’t know why this song is so good, but I just absolutely love it. Juice’s style is so unique, and none of his songs are the same. This song has lots of energy and the lyrics were clever. It’s just one of those songs that you have on all of your playlists and you can’t stop listening to.
#4: Ed Sheeran, Chance the Rapper, PnB Rock- “Cross Me”
All of Ed’s collaborations this year hit me hard, but this one definitely stood out. It’s fast-paced and has a good rhythm. It was a great summer bop–good for parties, road trips, and even just hanging out with friends. It’s remix feel gives the song a special touch, making it one of my favorite songs this year.
#3: P!nk, Chris Stapleton- “Love Me Anyway”
I’m not crying! You’re crying! This is the most beautiful, heart-warming song of the entire decade. You could never imagine these two insanely talented singers collaborating, but this is by far, the best collaboration ever. P!nk is such an incredibly amazing vocalist, so you already know that she killed this song, but then you heat Chris Stapleton, and somehow the song gets way better. The first time I heard this song I was skeptical. I was like P!nk and Chris Stapleton? No way! But then I heard the amazing harmonizing and Chris Stapleton’s angelic voice, and I was in tears. This song will always be in my top 5. It’s so beautiful and honest, and it always puts a smile on my face.
#2: P!nk- “Last Song of Your Life”
This song is arguably the most charming, unique song of the entire year. It’s less known than the rest of P!nk’s songs that were released this year, but I have no idea why. It’s a mellow slow song that is about how love is not perfect, but it is absolutely beautiful. The lyrics in this song are so truthful and utterly genius. P!nk highlights the calming side of her vocals in this song, completing her Hurts 2B Human album. I can’t describe how moving this song is in just one paragraph, so you’ll just have to go listen to it when you finish reading this article.
#1: Alec Benjamin- “Mind Is a Prison”
This is my number one song of the year. Chances are, you haven’t heard it, but you are missing out. Alec’s unique voice really makes the message of the song. The song is about the consequences of being a person who is stuck in their head or suffering with mental illness. It’s such a relatable song that really speaks to you and makes you feel better and less alone. This is another song that I can’t even bring myself to explain, so I hope you’ll go listen to it and maybe it’ll be your favorite, like it is mine.