2016 was filled with many surprises for better or worse. In terms of the music out this year, many of those surprises were music to the ears. Some artists returned with a vengeance and others continued to crank out great cuts. There were some breakout moments as well. With the year coming to a close, here's a list of the best 30 songs to come out of 2016.
Australian singer-songwriter Troye Sivan re-released "Wild" as a duet with Canadian artist Alessia Cara. It became more of an angst-filled affair with both acts unpacking their baggage and hearts atop the '80s-inspired sound. "Can you make me leave my demons and my broken pieces behind?" Cara sang. "You make my heart shake, bend and break but I can't turn away," Sivan added. Their affinity for the pain and pleasures of love made "Wild" a pop whirlwind.
When he wasn't pushing his debut album, Zayn was using his newfound freedom outside of One Direction to collaborate with other artists. U.K. duo Snakehips pulled Zayn into the colorful "Cruel." Atmospheric sounds with an electronic thump backed him blocking out a dark world with his dirty mind. "Watch you take your dress off / I'll be by myself remembering you," he crooned. Snakehips quenched Zayn's thirst for love with this juicy dance track.
"Dirty Laundry" was a welcomed return to Carrie Underwood's darker side from her Blown Away era. She took on a lover wearing suspicious signs of cheating atop the track's rough-and-tumble sound. "All the Ajax in the world ain't gonna clean your dirty laundry," Underwood sang. Carrie lyrically wrung out the man with no mercy. Instead of Louisville sluggers, "Laundry" was her weapon of choice, unloading a heap of payback that packed quite the punch.
Still high off his comeback from last year's Purpose album, Canadian superstar Justin Bieber continued his winning streak featuring on DJ Snake's "Let Me Love You." The French EDM act supplied the Biebs with pulsating synths and a slithering drop that backed their loving lyrics. "Never let you go / Never let me down / Oh, it's been a hell of a ride," he belted. Justin was true to his word and definitely did not disappoint on the mesmeric monster hit.
Latin pop star Prince Royce teamed up with Mexican-American singer Gerardo Ortiz on "Moneda" (English: "Coin"). The collaboration mixed Royce's bachata music with the traditional Mexican sounds usually found in Ortiz's songs. Both guys gave emotional performances over finding it difficult to move on without the lovers in their lives. Two worlds of Spanish music commiserated beautifully on this ballad that hit the tearjerker jackpot.
Stay tuned tomorrow as the 2016 countdown continues with nos. 16-20!
Here's the list for nos. 26-30: link