What a weird year! AM I RIGHT?! How strange and varied. This year we have seen trends emerging that had been anticipating for years. The album format is already considered an endangered species, and digital sales are prepared for imminent risk. Streaming has managed to take over the entire musical monopoly, for better and worse, changing the way people understand music, revolutionizing charts and creating extremes in this rich universe. The massive and singular success of a song has been extended for months thanks to word of mouth and the way of understanding the music of mass society. And today more than ever, music does not come alone: the digital era, with its memes, videos, tik-toks, etc. has helped the consumer discover and listen more and more. All this has made artists touch the sky and resist here, although their next songs don’t have the same impact. Secondly, we have seen how moderate success is the success sought, and this has taken over most of the songs. It is better to throw a lot of musical material so that they can listen to you, and be on the agenda (you know a lot about this subject, right Nicki Minaj?). The great successes have been enormous, and have occupied for weeks the tops of the charts. Either you win big or you stay swarming the top10 or 20, adding up gradually. This has helped that an evolutionary trend has hatched in a striking and beautiful way: a year where variety, freedom, self-being has also reigned. Pop is no longer pop, R&B is no longer R&B, dance is no longer dance. Everything is something else, everything has the unique touch of each artist. We have seen how a huge number of artists have presented a more personal sound, the record companies are beginning to bet on the vision of the artist (thank you!). Thousands of shapes, bodies, faces and sounds have come together in our ears, listening to endless musical genres reinvented and evolved. The originality has gained ground to the generic in many ways (and I no longer speak only of music), so I appreciate this good year, which, without standing out from the rest for its lack of highlights, is presented as a good and unique harvest. New artists have taken the revelation of the legends, which are presented as musical avant-garde, able to offer novelty and inspire. Taking music to a new level. This year presents a new hope for everyone who wants to be heard. 2019, the year of the visionaries.
Note: make it clear that this is a personal top where you have taken into account own taste, quality and success.
1. Charli XCX ft. Christine & the Queens – Gone
Charli XCX wins the gold medal with an extreme, tense song that almost conveys rage, but at the same time has been achieved in an exquisite way. An explosive pop where Charli and Christine and the Queens (icing on the cake) merge into the same human being. A song that reflects on a problem (like many of the songs on his outstanding album), in this case loneliness. Good game of contrasts. Bravo, gay rights!
2. Lana del Rey – The Greatest
Lana Del Rey has signed one of the best albums of the decade and within this we find true jewels that swarm between nostalgia and orchestral and harmonic sounds. Among all, the highlight is ‘’The greatest’’, where the American shows everything she is capable of doing while criticizing the present and extolling the past.
3. FKA Twigs – Cellophane
One of the most magical and disturbing creatures on planet Earth, FKA Twigs, has offered us an album as vulnerable as experimental, which highlights, along with ''Sad day'', the fragile ballad ''Cellophane'', accompanied by an impressive and warm video clip. A song of extreme beauty, to listen alone, snuggle and even feel, among their whispers, like a tear runs down your cheek.
4. Lizzo – Juice
Hurricane Lizzo, one of the (late) discoveries of society, which has presented her voluptuous universe where good vibes and self-esteem reign. ‘’Juice’’, which should have been the song that would have led her to the highest, is full of funk, joy and desire to dance. And this hurricane thinks to destroy everything, blame it on her juice henny!
5. Joy Crookes – Since I left you (demo)
Not many know this young London promise of neo-soul and R&B. But Joy Crookes has a talent of yesteryear, those that are no longer seen or heard and an innate taste to give their songs a retro and nostalgic air. ‘’Since I left you (demo)’’ is a heartbreaking and sad song about love and freedom that leads directly to the heart to wound you a little and then you can’t help crying. I can only thank fate for being able to hear this song and heal with it.
6. Carly Rae Jepsen – Want you in my room
7. Billie Eilish – bad guy
8. Sam Smith ft. Normani – Dancing with a stranger
9. Grimes & i_o – Violence
10. The Weeknd – Blinding lights
11. Mark Ronson ft. Lykke Li – Late night feelings
12. Harry Styles – Lighst up
13. Claire Laffut ft. Yseult – Nudes
14. Tinashe ft. Ms. Banks – Die a little bit
15. Mabel – Don’t call me up
16. Clairo - Bags
17. Teyana Taylor ft. King Combs– How you want it?
18. Tyler the creator – EARFQUAKE
19. Tove Lo ft. Kylie Minogue – really don’t like u
20. Yuna, Little Simz – Pink youth
21. Ari Lennox – BMO
22. Miley Cyrus, Swae Lee, Mike WiLL Made-It – Party up the street
23. ROSALÍA, J Balvin ft. El Guincho – Con altura
24. Saweetie – My type
25. Summer Walker with Bryson Tiller – Playing games
26. Yseult – Corps
27. Ariana Grande – Bloodline
28. Paloma Mami – Fingías
29. Iggy Azalea - Started
30. Marina – True
31. Shay – Notif
32. Kim Petras – Personal hell
33. Doja cat – Juicy
34. Caroline Polacheck – Ocean of tears
35. Jorja Smith – Be honest
Following what we have explained above, the top35 of our favorite songs of 2019 is mostly composed of artists at the beginning of their career, but from the first moment they have been able to demonstrate and defend their own universe and sound. There is no genre or musical style that stands out, another proof of the rich garden in which the musical world has become. Few ''veterans'' are found here: The Weeknd appears in the top10 with her latest single, Ariana Grande sneaks into the top30 thanks to an album that took her out from Olympus of the Gods, or her former friend, Iggy Azalea, in her constant (and well carried out) struggle to prove that her music is worth it. The beloved and equally hated ‘’Party up the street’’ by Miley Cyrus's failed project or the exuberant Teyana Taylor are also part of the highlights of the year, as well as the eighties ‘’Want you in my room’’, from fabulous Carly Rae Jepsen’s Dedicated, almost at the top5. A large number of artists have come out that we have known for less than five years and that demonstrates their original potential every day, these innovators we talked about: Jorja Smith, Doja Cat, Tove Lo, Tinashe, Tyler, Grimes or Harry Styles are some of the examples that have made us enjoy (and surprise). The new pop by Kim Petras or one of the most explosive songs of this year, Mabel's ‘’Don't call me up’’ join more discreet and elegant songs such as ‘’Dancing with a stranger’’ or ‘’Late night feelings’’. Highlights among them the new sensation, Billie Eilish, who has managed to move the whole world with a universe of her own full of pessimism and darkness, ‘’bad guy’’ is in # 7. And, finally, a good part of the list is also composed of relatively new artists who follow the example (or exceed) of the previous ones: the revolution that ROSALI’A has supposed is undeniable, getting her ‘’Con Altura’’ to be the video most watched female of the year. Or Summer Walker, reliving the most sensual R&B of the 90s. What do you say about French music? Claire Laffut, Yseult and Shay corroborate with the refreshing ‘’Nudes’’ and the explosive ‘’Notif’’ that we should pay more attention to this music. For their part, Caroline Polacheck, Paloma Mami, Yuna, Saweetie, Ari Lennox or Clairo make it quite clear that the next decade is promising.
1. Billie Eilish
3. Ariana Grande
5. Lana del Rey
6. Summer Walker
7. Kim Petras
8. Charli XCX
9. Iggy Azalea
10. FKA Twigs
11. Melanie Martinez
12. Doja Cat
A 17-year-old girl has been the queen of this year. A girl who, with her way of thinking, maturity and musical taste has been able to captivate, brighten and sadden millions of people. The sinister universe that surrounds Billie Eilish has managed to establish a total and pure connection with us, despite the pessimistic environment her soul drinks. With ´´bury a friend´´, ´´when the party is over´´, and, above all, ´´bad guy´´, the singer has placed her debut when we all fall asleep, where do we go? at the top of every list that exists. An artist who has gone further and despite her differences has managed to unite many. Same example, but to a lesser extent we have the second winner: Lizzo, who has made her curves her attack and defense to encourage thousands of young people to feel comfortable with her body through songs they invite to enjoy. Bronze medal for Ariana Grande, who at the beginning of the year positioned herself as the goddess of pop, presenting an anticipated album, but full of good songs made to succeed. ROSALÍA highlighting the Spanish brand worldwide with its mix of pop, latin and flamenco, and Lana del Rey, presenting the best album of the year and her career, finish the top5. The rest of the top is made up of women, boss ladies, who have managed to have control over their career: Iggy Azalea for continuing to work despite the bullying suffered and demonstrating what is worth, Melanie for presenting a movie as a video clip, Charli for finding the balance between its commercial and experimental facets, Summer Walker for fully reviving R&B, Kim Petras simply for being herself. I can only thank you for making me dance and sing these 365 days.
1. FKA Twigs – Cellophane
2. Tove Lo – Glad he’s gone
3. Cardi B – Press
4. Iggy Azalea – Started (‘’Sally Walker’’, ‘’Lola’’)
5. Taylor Swift – You need to calm down
6. Billie Eilish – Bad guy
7. Katy Perry – Never really over
8. Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – Old town road
9. Claire Laffut ft. Yseult – Nudes
10. Ariana Grande – 7 Rings
11. ROSALÍA – Haute couture
12. Kesha ft. Big Freedia– Old town road
13. Lana Del Rey – doin’ time
14. Blood Orange- Benzo
15. Kim Petras – Icy
I consider a video clip is a very important part of a song. A visual well done (either a masterpiece or something very simple or effective) can make you like a song, change your mind about it or turn a single into a legend. And not. This year we have not had any huge video clips, few have made us put our hands to our heads and leave a face of surprise on our faces for hours. In general, simplicity has reigned this year, with little elaborate video clips that fulfilled their function or original concepts. Only a handful stand out (and with ease) among the rest, considering that, in other years, they would not. ‘’Cellophane’’ is our best video clip. A warm fantastic world, a thousand and one meanings and a wonderful photograph make this one of the best visuals of FKA Twigs, which appears in the three lists of the best of this year. This is together with Tove Lo and ‘’Glad he’s gone’’ the best example of a simple and original concept that has stood out so much this year. The second is based on something as simple as the phone call of a friend who cries why she left her boyfriend. The bloody and judicial story that Cardi B's ‘’Press’’, or the biggest pink washing of the year, ‘’YNTCD’’ by Taylor Swift, are among the few super productions we found. Katy Perry with ‘’Never really over’’ or Ariana Grande with ‘’7 Rings’’ could also fall into this category in less power. Mention of honor and highlighting we find Iggy Azalea with ‘’Started’’ (or any of the visuals she has taken this year), which has made every video to the millimeter with scandal looks. ‘’Icy’’ with a hypersexualized Kim Petras, ROSALÍA becoming the queen of the neighborhood with ‘’Haute Couture’’, the gigantic Lana del Rey, Blood Oange in \”Versailles\” or a sophisticated summer day in ‘’Nudes’’ end the List of the best video clips. AH! I do not forget. Special mention to Melanie Martínez for \”K-12\”, a video clip made movie.
Little more to add, this year marks the end of a year, but also a decade. After writing this article, I reaffirm, it has been a rare year, but in the best sense: it has been the most fruitful and rich. Music is changing the world, it has done it for eons, but now it does more than ever. Get change to society, and more importantly: change it for the better. Who knows what lies ahead next year. The times demand such changes with such rapidity that December 2020 may have meant a radical change in the world of music. I have no idea, but I predict a year of good music, of diversity, of reporting injustices. Music will continue to make our world a little better.