Music of 2016: The Top 50 Songs

Hi there! Apologies for not posting as much as I did before, I got too much on my hands. But I made sure not to miss this annual tradition of presenting to you my favorite songs of the year. This time, it’ll be one part only, with me reviewing just the top 20 songs.

Again, some notes:

a. If your favorite song is not in here, then I probably forgot about it or don’t like it. I mainly listen to Top 40, so don’t expect tracks which only you know in here.

b. Some of the songs here may have been released in 2015 but have charted or reached its peak in 2016.

c. I only considered singles, both official and promotional.


TOP 50 SONGS OF 2016

50. Hailee Steinfeld and Grey – Starving (feat. Zedd)

49. Daya – Hide Away

48. Drake – One Dance (feat. Wizkid and Kyla)

47. Little Mix – Secret Love Song (feat. Jason Derulo)

46. Adele – Send My Love (To Your New Lover)

45. The 1975 – The Sound

44. Martin Garrix & Bebe Rexha – In the Name of Love

43. X Ambassadors – Unsteady

42. The Chainsmokers – Closer (feat. Halsey)

41. DJ Snake – Let Me Love You (feat. Justin Bieber)

40. Adele – Water Under the Bridge

39. Ariana Grande – Into You

38. The Chainsmokers – Roses (feat. Rozes)

37. Taylor Swift – New Romantics

36. Lady Gaga – Perfect Illusion

35. Calvin Harris – This Is What You Came For (feat. Rihanna)

34. G Eazy and Bebe Rexha – Me, Myself & I

33. Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop the Feeling!

32. Alessia Cara – Scars to Your Beautiful

31. Haley Reinhart – Better

30. Kelly Clarkson – Piece by Piece

29. Imagine Dragons – Not Today

28. Selena Gomez – Hands to Myself

27. Coldplay – Up & Up

26. DNCE – Cake by the Ocean

25. Charlie Puth – One Call Away

24. Sia – The Greatest (feat. Kendrick Lamar)

23. Coldplay – A Head Full of Dreams

22. DJ Snake – Middle (feat. Bipolar Sunshine)

21. OneRepublic – Let’s Hurt Tonight


 20. Twenty One Pilots – Heathens
from the album Suicide Squad

This song, which was featured on the movie Suicide Squad, puts a twist into the “me and my friends” theme by going for a darker, edgier choice of music and words.


19. Bastille – Good Grief
from the album Wild World

Bastille shows us what they do best: providing a fun, catchy beat with a dark and not-so-fun message in its words, this time about death.


18. Justin Bieber – Love Yourself
from the album Purpose

Justin Bieber, backed up by Ed Sheeran’s genius songwriting, shows us a very fulfilling way on how to get back at your ex. At first listen, you would think that this song is such a sweet ballad to sing to your lover, but listen to the words very well or you might end up breaking your relationship.


17. Zayn – Pillowtalk
from the album Mind of Mine

We (or some of us) all loved Zayn when he was in One Direction, but admit it or not, he works best at this song and this genre. Many have described this song as such a slick and smooth track, and I have to agree.


16. A-Yo, by Lady Gaga
from the album Joanne

This ridiculously catchy track from Gaga’s latest album is less like her previous work and more like a funky country-rock tune, which, in my opinion, suits her voice very well.


 15. Shawn Mendes – Treat You Better
from the album Illuminate

What I like about this song is that it’s not too different from his previous hit “Stitches” (which I really loved). Though his sound is getting a little predictable, it’s not yet time for him to make a dramatic turn in terms of sound as he is still fairly new to the industry.


14. The Weeknd – Starboy (feat. Daft Punk)
from the album Starboy

This edgy track about being a celebrity is much more refined and sleek compared to his previous works. This lead single off the album of the same name exudes more confidence, and perhaps a little more arrogance, than his previous works, but in a way that isn’t too off-putting. .


13. Fifth Harmony – Work from Home (feat. Ty Dolla Sign)
from the album 7/27

“Work from Home” is light, cool, and calm, which is perfect for the radio. It sucks that one member has left the group already, because to me, this song showed us a preview of more mature material from them.


12. Lukas Graham – 7 Years
from the album Lukas Graham

First of all, if you don’t know already, Lukas Graham is a band, not a solo artist. What made this song stand out, aside from the heart-wrenching lyrics, was the vivid imagery. The lead singer delivers the vocals so well, as if he was really telling a story not just with the words, but with the emotion he wraps them with.


11. Charlie Puth – We Don’t Talk Anymore (feat. Selena Gomez)
from the album Nine Track Mind

This song works so well mostly because of the beautiful blending of Selena Gomez and Charlie Puth’s vocals. It’s also probably the most laid-back and relaxed breakup song ever.


10. James Bay – Let It Go
from the album Chaos and the Calm

Just like in “Hold Back the River”, what makes this song such a beauty is the sincere and honest delivery by James Bay. His voice tells a story in itself, and together with the poetic lyrics, makes such a masterpiece.


9. Mike Posner – I Took A Pill in Ibiza
from the album At Night, Alone.

Ironically, this song about wasted opportunities became Mike Posner’s biggest single. What stood out the most is how honest the lyrics are, which reflect his own personal experience.


8. Alan Walker – Faded

“Faded” for me is electronic perfection. It is catchy without being generic, unlike most of the EDM songs made nowadays. The piano intro sets up for a sonically magical song, supported by the angelic vocals by Iselin Solheim.


7. Troye Sivan – Youth
from the album Blue Neighbourhood

This track is very simple and straightforward, but Troye Sivan’s flavorful baritone does the work. It has all the right kinds of awkwardness to make it work very well.


6. The Chainsmokers – Don’t Let Me Down (feat. Daya)
from the EP Collage

For me, this is the best work of The Chainsmokers to date. This song is very instant to me; I loved it the first time I heard it. Daya is a very impressive storyteller here, especially for someone who is just 17 years old. At a young age, she is able to gracefully fit her vocals in the music like a glove.


5. OneRepublic – Kids
from the album Oh My My

“Kids” tells us that the past may be beautiful, but there are much more beautiful things to look forward to in the present and in the future. What I like most about OneRepublic is that they are in constant desire to innovate and evolve, and this song definitely shows how they have upped their game.


4. Sia – Cheap Thrills
from the album This Is Acting

This song is very easy on the ears. “Cheap Thrills” was actually written for Rihanna (most of Sia’s songs were written with other artists in mind), but I believe it was for the best that Sia got this one.


3. Coldplay – Hymn for the Weekend (feat. Beyoncé)
from the album A Head Full of Dreams

“Hymn for the Weekend” is one song that gives you the sensation of flying high. This funky tune, which features minimal yet very effective vocals of Beyoncé, shows off how Coldplay makes a party-esque song.


2. Lady Gaga – Million Reasons
from the album Joanne

Probably Lady Gaga’s most honest work to date, Million Reasons is about finding that one reason to stay in a relationship (or perhaps her career as a singer?) no matter how the circumstances tell us otherwise. Gaga’s delivery is heartbreaking and soulful, which proves just how versatile Mother Monster is.


2015 2014 2013 2012 2011


1. Twenty One Pilots – Stressed Out
from the album Blurryface

I think this song speaks for all of the people around my age. “Stressed Out” perfectly carves the emotions and frustrations of an adolescent turning into a full-time adult with all the responsibilities,  reminiscing the glories and joys of childhood. This track is a slap of reality, telling us to wake up from our fantasies and work for our future.


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