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Best new music 2018

Our countdown is complete, and top spot goes to a timely blast of identity pop — adding to a fine selection of albums that range from the socially conscious to the political, as well as pure slices of ecstatic rock and cutting rap. Fri 21 Dec Read our full review. Soon after Robyn released her era-defining album Body Talk, similar armour-plated bangers about female empowerment duly took over the charts. But pop moves fast and a new, woozier kind of tune by the likes of Ariana Grande and Dua Lipa has made such coldly strident numbers seem old-fashioned. So how would Robyn stay ahead of the game? A record about womanhood, and black womanhood in particular. In letting go of her old alter ego and opening up, she created her best work yet. But what has made Invasion of Privacy a success a year later, the novelty of her debut having worn off, is her personality: steely realness shot through with a bolt of humour. With Be the Cowboy, Mitski continues to disrupt and update the conventions of indie rock.
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Luckily, that also made this one of the most exciting years for singles on the charts and in our own personal playlists in recent memory -- one in which the biggest hits were also some of the most challenging and rewarding, and in which the more conventional pop songs that did break through on a massive scale felt fresher than they have in a long time. From the "Shallow" to "The Middle" to the highest of "High Hopes," music was captivating at all levels in Here are the Billboard staff's favorite songs of the year.

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When talking about so far at Billboard , it's hard to avoid the fact that the chart year has only had 24 editions of the Hot , and Drake has been No. It's the most that any one artist has dominated the listing's top spot in a year's first six months this decade -- though shout-out to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' combined 11 weeks on top in the first half of -- and it essentially leaves the non-Drake part of the field wide open when it comes to discussing the year's best and biggest singles. But that's fine. Beyond the Drakening, has been a year of pleasant surprises on the charts: All-Star teamups we didn't see coming, previously unknown artists coming out with left-field hits, and a handful of big-name comebacks taking us to unexpected new places, all of which made the predictability at pop's highest level forgivable. And besides, those two Drake songs are pretty great too: You'll see them both below as we recount our 50 favorite songs of so far, with a Spotify playlist of all 50 at the bottom. The moment fans have been waiting for since Timberlake and Stapleton collaborated at the CMA Awards finally came in , and it's as special as that instant-classic performance. Not only did the song take JT and Chris' bromance to the next level, it made it very clear that their CMA team-up was no fluke. Jade Bird, "Lottery". Singer-songwriter Jade Bird's brilliance lies in her ability to mesh her British roots with Americana style to create a unique genre Britana? Snail Mail, "Pristine".

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In , it felt hard to reach consensus on anything—including music. The heavy-hitters of pop and hip-hop returned, but many disappointed; in fact, sometimes, they were just confounding cough Kanye cough. More than ever, music felt like a playing field where new, exciting artists were sharing the discussion with the veterans, if not taking it over outright. A sea change was underway, the borders eroded—and music was better for it. December 11 December 10 December 19 December 5 December 12 December 27

The excellent young New Zealand band take part in the grand power-pop tradition of addictively buoyant songs about crummy romance. The Danish punk boys come on like bastard sons of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, with a smoldering venture into mutant American roots-rock from their excellent fourth album, Beyondless.

Guitars sulk and kick like Eighties Def Leppard, while the blocky bass lines are tenacious enough to compete with Atlanta hip-hop; brusque rapping tugs against intricate, swooping singing. And alongside Robyn, it was more proof that American pop acts can learn a lot about emotional depth from their EU peers. This song, which mirrors the sort of mood-swings familiar to many of us in , is an outburst of chiming joy modulated by unshakable clouds.

The finale of her warmest LP yet caps a virtual mixtape of ecstatic dance floor melancholy. During her post-teen-pop phase, Hayley Kiyoko has transformed herself into a queer-pop auteur, directing and starring in her own videos for pulsing anthems. Lil Baby and Gunna are the princes who were promised. The Turbo produced song is a tumbling, Western that features Baby and Gunna rapping about dripping and drowning and waves.

Pistol Annies have made their name crafting songs about women desperate to break free from their drunk, dejected husbands. The Swedish singer and candidate for Catchiest Artist Alive makes falling back into the arms of someone you swore off sound wickedly fun. The Captain Cuts-produced track, is a delicious exercise in pop simplicity: no big tricks or trends needed when the hook and melody work this well. This highlight from Be the Cowboy is her big Smithsian confession: Mitski hits Morrissey-esque high notes, while her guitar goes for Johnny Marr-style drama.

Rumors swirled for years that one day the biggest music power couple of all time would release a collaborative album together. The pair delivered on that hope this summer with a surprise drop, a few dates after they had already launched their On the Run II tour. Xtina has spent the millennium searching for her sound — she went drrty then retro then robotic in the process. Pop savant Teddy Geiger is responsible for this moving, gorgeous ballad about dreaming of a white wedding and finding the right person to dream about it with.

As for the unsung star of the song? That would be its slinky, bedspring squeak-turned-beat, which needs no translation. Vile noodles around with a frayed sense of wonderment as his band the Violators settle into the pocket, and he turns Meat Puppets-style stoner pastoralism into an epic journey — from sun up to sunset, from the bay to the beach, from the grass to the sky above the grass.

You wish it could go on for ten minutes more. Do you believe in love at first sight? Nicky Jam and J Balvin do — and they have a super sensuous, bordering-on-salacious way of saying it. The Latin pop titans combine their lovers rock with dancehall swagger, marked by a head-spinning, synth-horn doodle. Right after her Pete Davidson engagement crashed, she celebrated with a Number One smash with kind words for her exes, including the late Mac Miller.

Who else but Ari could turn the whole audience into bridesmaids at her own personal I Turned Out Amazing ceremony? Thank U, Ariana. The sound of heroically, gloriously definitively telling off some toxic-masculine asshat as a disco song rumbles through the bar. Pretty soon own sliver of teenage wasteland starts feeling like the center of the universe. Taylor turns her late-night booty-call whispers into an obsessive synth-pop gem — the kind of masterpiece that just gets more and more resonant in heavy rotation.

The whole Taylor aesthetic, summed up in one perfect song. And their seven-minute reggaeton jaunt upgraded to an international smash success thanks to this remix, featuring Latin pop heavyweight champs Ozuna, Bad Bunny and Nicky Jam. Lots of artists cite Prince as an influence, but no one channels his radiant purple truth quite like Janelle Monae. I just wanted to take another look at you!

Oscar contenders Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper team up for an edge-of-glory power ballad, holding the spotlight with just acoustic guitar and their voices. Mostly hers, but he holds his own. The ultimate summer hit, right after the music world decided we had entered a post-summer-hit era. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter. Weezer, "Africa" UMG.

Playboi Carti feat. King Princess, "" Adam Benn. Suffo Monclea. Heji Shin. Hayley Kiyoko, "Curious" Amanda Charchian. Lil Baby feat. Gunna, "Drip too Hard" Tor Derricotte.

Kurt Vile, "Bassackwards" Marina Chavez. Shawn Mendes, "Nervous" Griffin Lotz. Taylor Swift Premium PR. Drake Caitlin Cronenberg. Newswire Powered by. Close the menu. Rolling Stone. Log In. To help keep your account secure, please log-in again. You are no longer onsite at your organization. Please log in. For assistance, contact your corporate administrator. Arrow Created with Sketch.

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