Labor Day has come and gone, and that means that the summer season is officially drawing to a close.
This is the time of year when folks break out their fall gear and head to Starbucks for that taste of pumpkin spice. While folks are preparing for the leaves to change colors and to root on their favorite football team, music journalists from all stripes are compiling their lists for the best songs to come out of summer, and AXS will be no different.
So, without further ado, here are the top nine songs that can officially call themselves the “Songs of the Summer.”
EDM has shown no signs that it’s going away anytime soon; so, for those who are not particularly fond of this sound, take another listen and one will hear quality music. “Solo,” the Clean Bandit cut that features the harmonic vocals of Ms. Demi Lovato, is one of those quality tracks It was a nice jam that came out earlier in the summer and gets better with each click of the play button.
After a topsy-turvy couple of years in her personal life -- from living through a terrorist attack at her Manchester concert to getting engaged to SNL alumn Pete Davidson -- Grande returned with force this summer with the fantastic Sweetener LP. The entire albums is a must-listen, but one track that stood out from the pack was the mid-tempo “God Is a Woman,” a modern-day tribute to all the women out there who are being bosses in their world. An empowering and enduring single, "God is a Woman" should be ranked as one of the year's best singles.
This single will probably be best-known for the viral social media challenge that preceded it. While the challenge was on a whole other level, “In My Feelings,” the single, was a gem of a track, and it rightfully blessed every playlist that it touched.
With rap dominating the pop charts this summer, people should not be surprised if the majority of “Best Songs of the Summer” lists are dominated by that genre. While there were some great hip-hop tracks that came out this summer, one has to give a round of applause to Panic! At the Disco, who came out with the sunny “High Hopes” and has stayed with listeners ever since. Seriously, this single is an absolute blast, and it should not be left off of the fall playlist.
There were some rumblings that Khalid, the El Paso R&B crooner who has taken music by storm, may have been a one-hit-wonder with the fantastic “Location.” With “OTW,” not only has Khalid proved that he isn’t a one-and-done by any stretch of the imagination, but he has sent a message that his best music is ahead of him; and it's a been a blast watching his evolution as a hitmaker.
No matter how one spins it, Maroon 5 has become experts at fitting their sound for the times. Heck, they do it better than any of their contemporaries, and they have proven their chameleon-like chops once again with the soft and tender “Girls Like You” What was once a slow-burner on the charts when the original cut was released, “Girls Like You” got a chart-boost thanks to the ever-entertaining Cardi B and the video, which proudly displays the power and value of women in the entertainment industry.
Listeners can always look toward the summer to witness the birth of a star. Summer 2018 birthed Juice WRLD, who had the surprise hit of the summer with “Lucid Dreams.” The dreamy single, which was made as a “therapy session” of sorts for WRLD, was so big that Spotify included the singer as one of the top songs of the summer, and rightfully so.
2. “God’s Plan” by Drake
Drake is at a point in his career where he is more focused on making great music than creating commercial hits. That was plainly evident in “God’s Plan,” which hit the charts this summer and never lost its grip. The video was one of the year’s most inspiring as well, with Drake giving away nearly the entire video budget to people in need throughout Miami. Even gospel stations have “God’s Plan" in its rotation, and it has earned its place as one of the best songs of the summer; and, maybe even the year.
Sunny, fun, and colorful, Cardi B’s “I Like It” should be regarded as one of the best summer songs, not only for 2018 but all-time. Cardi B is a natural entertainer, but she can also rap as well, and the fiercely entertaining “I Like It” showcases her innovative flows with a tropical beat that won over millions of fans, and continue to do so to this very day.