Top 2019 song releases climb charts

“Old Town Road” Lil Nas X Featuring Billy Rae Cyrus

Controversy and conversation around Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” over the last few weeks has largely led to one important question: does the song really live up to the hype? It certainly is infectious country trap that doesn’t take anything too seriously. As Lil Nas X sings of decamping for the grasslands of an unsettled America and fleeing on horseback, he is portraying “country” as a meme, and not only that, but also as an ideal. Billy Ray Cyrus, of all people, has joined forces with Lil Nas X to label the new hit a new cut of country, “Old Town Road.” While Billy Ray hopping on the remix lends a bit more credence to the idea that “Old Town Road” is a country song, his contribution is something unexpected. His verse is out of lockstep with X’s, and his lines about riding a Maserati down Rodeo Drive and buying his baby diamond rings and Fendi sports bras, contradict the other lyrics: leaving big city modernity behind for simpler living, marrying the bravado of trap with Western tropes (“Ridin’ on a horse/You can whip your Porsche/I been in the valley/You ain’t been up off that porch,” etc). For Cyrus, the song is merely an opportunity to position himself as a new type of outlaw. For Lil Nas X, it was about wanting to “leave everything behind,” about freedom. They have much different agendas. Still, as they collaborated on this new hit, we can’t help but wonder if this new trend of “mixing genres’ will gain popularity.

“I Don’t Care” Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber

Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber’s single “I Don’t Care,” the first new song in a few years from either musician. It could also be considered the sound of two of the world’s most popular bros proclaiming to be wallflowers. A rhythm from the producers Max Martin, Shellback and FRED hints that the singers still believe that the “tropical pop” fad that both Sheeran and Bieber previously cashed in on still has relevance. Fidgety and merry, with a darting melody, the music captures a sense of awkwardness that could give way to abandon. It also makes for a pretty catchy soundtrack, “I’m at a party I don’t wanna be at,” Sheeran begins in a fast, rap-y tune. “And I don’t ever wear a suit and tie, yeah / Wonderin’ if I could sneak out the back.” Then he switches to his soulful rasp, which has come to rule playlists: “Don’t think I fit in at this party / Everyone’s got so much to say / I always feel like I’m nobody / Who wants to fit in anyway?” The is self-parody, intentionally or not. The new hit cultivated hit by two of the most highly praised male vocalists was sue to make the top eight for sure.

“Sucker” Jonas Brothers

It’s been a long six years since we last heard new music from the Jonas Brothers, and toward the end of their run, it seemed like they had already lost the muse that made them one of the catchiest, funniest and most-charming acts to come out of their class. It was clear they wanted to grow up: Their core audience was getting older. Within a couple of years, two of the three JoBros had scored hits that showed the inspiration they’d been sorely missing — Nick Jonas with “Jealous” and, particularly, Joe Jonas in the pop group DNCE with “Cake by the Ocean.” With assistance from Ryan Tedder, “Sucker” is an impeccably pleasing to the ears listen consisting of a pop-rock tune that could be reminiscent of the hits the JoBros churned out during their first take at being a band. Of course, they’ve done a lot of growing up and can now express different angles in their songs than in their wholesome youth, but that just makes them more appealing, right? With less to lose now than when they began attempting a more adult sound in their music as a younger group, the Jonas Brothers have the type of cheerful and careless fun that hooked their fans in the first place.

“Talk” Khalid

Khalid never fails to disappoint on a new single. His voice has roughly the same uniqueness that you would relate to being quirky but yet so addictive when you start listening to it. His most recent album climbed to number one with his Rhythmic Radio hit “Better,” and with this new song, “Talk.” I highly doubt that this will be his last number one on any musical chart. “Talk” was produced by Disclosure and has such a feel-good vibe attached to it, something that Disclosure is well known for – fusing electronic music with pop music that leaves fans hungry for more. “Talk” could definitely be one of the top songs of the summer — the electronic, “Feels”-type of vibe that the song gives is for sure not going to go unnoticed as we head into the summer months. On the track, Khalid’s voice skates flawlessly through the song, and he lures you into the question, repeatedly asking “Can we just talk?” The song is almost like a plea to simply resolve mistakes made through rushed love, and now he honestly just wants to talk. The song itself is rather simple, but it’s Khalid that makes “Talk” worthy of constantly replaying; his voice is the main attraction here. Khalid is known to never miss a mark on a song, and he somehow keeps delivering fresh new music to become addicted to, and “Talk” is no exception.

“Bad Guy” Billie Eilish

On March 29, 17-year-old Billie Eilish released her debut album, “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?” For the past few years, the only music fans had gotten from Eilish were covers of her favorite songs, and a few singles featured in other productions. Her song, “Bad Guy,” for which she released the music video in March, leads with an upbeat tempo paired with taunting and playful lyrics. Aside from the overall powerful vibe, the breakdown and amplification depict Billie as a proud villain. It allowed her to play into the “scary” role that people see Eilish as. The highlight of the devilish song are the biting lyrics that get you thinking. Se weaves in sweet melodies and an infectious chorus that’s guaranteed to stick in your head. Countless assumptions of what the singer must be like, based on her wardrobe, friends and photos of her would seem to get to just about anybody, but Eilish makes it clear that she intends to stick to her values and not be influenced by certain lifestyles sometimes seen in the music industry. Lyrics aside, the production of this song makes it a certified standout. The heavy bass, low volume and twinkling cleanness in the verses make it a gem that truly highlights and encapsulates her energy, voice and personality, like all of her songs have a way of doing.

“Sunflower” Post Malone

Two of rap’s bigger names, Post Malone and Swae Lee, join forces on the single, “Sunflower.” “Sunflower” appears on the soundtrack for the forthcoming film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” The lush, rhythmic production of the song makes it a listen you’ll want to play on repeat. Naturally, Swae Lee is made for this cut, with his chill persona and his melodic abilities. Following a brief intro, he delivers a smooth first verse, as well as a memorable chorus. Post Malone is also melodic, though he tends toward a different finesse as Lee. Even so, the contrast is surprisingly appealing, and furthermore, he has really notable vocal harmonies going on within the top hit. “Sunflower” is packed full of vibes that vary from a soothing, slower general tone and beat of the song and then makes its way to a more upbeat and unpredictable style before switching back. This technique ensures that you never tire from the fun listen that’s breaking top charts everywhere. By the end of Post Malone’s final chorus, you still find yourself yearning for something more.

“7 Rings” Ariana Grande

Ariana’s hit luxuriated and focused in the joy of being young, beautiful and wealthy on her newest single “7 rings,” where she expresses that same sentiment from a far more malicious stance. The rhythm stays super consistent throughout the progression of the track as Ariana uses layers in the instrumentation to build up the song’s sound and messages. As we get to the chorus, there’s a slight beat drop mixed with trap music. The tempo from verse to chorus remains mirrored as it allows the song to drop down and then pick itself up over and over again. The lyrics of this track focus on themes of money, wealth and friendship. Ariana begins the track by singing about some of her favorite things that correspond in pattern to the 1959 show tune “My Favorite Things.” Within the lyrics, the singer boasts about many luxuries including money, houses and diamonds. The track’s title “7 Rings” is a reference to that fact that Ariana and six of her friends got matching diamond friendship rings. Once again we hear something from the star like nothing she’s provided before as she continues to reshape and change the way pop music is sounding year by year. Her personal flair is quite apparent while listening to her new “Sweetener” album. Her personality shines through as fun, upbeat and unpredictable, which is what captivates young listeners’ attention.

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