It is time for the Top 20 Songs of 2018. My previous post, if you missed it, was the Top 20 Rock Songs of 2018. Go check it out by clicking on the link. These 20 songs are all genres other than rock. Some were popular and chart toppers and others were not. They are my favorites, that touched me in some way so don’t expect any indie bands or anything trendy. If you want that go to one of the cool sites out there, this ain’t it.
Let’s get started…
#20 – “Space Cowboy” – Kacey Musgrave off the album ‘Golden Hour’: I am not huge into today’s country music, but Kacey is different. She is doing things her way, pushing boundaries and sounds. I love her voice and her songs are always interesting and worth diving into lyrically. This one is no different. It is more pop than country, but still good.
#19 – “Say Hello” – Rhett Walker Band off the ‘Rhett Walker Band E.P.’: Rhett’s a Christian rock band and this song comes off with the power of Church Revival and gets you up out of you chair, hands in the air and give it your all. If you want to get moving, this will do it.
#18 – “Little Demon” – Rick Springfield off the album ‘The Snake King’: It is a hard, rocking song with some heavy blues influence which is unusual from his more pop/rock songs. Rick sounds great and he can still deliver the goods. The highlight of the song is the music as you can see below, there are not a ton of lyrics. The song is very guitar heavy and at over 5 minutes is a really long song that we are not accustomed to from Rick. He is definitely stretching himself artistically. This could have fit on the Rock list easily.
#17 – “Well Done” – The Afters off the album ‘The Beginning & Everything After’: As you might now if you follow my site, I dig Christian music almost as much as Rock and the Afters are one of the bands I enjoy. They are a pop band at heart and can deliver the pop ballads and this one borders on power ballad. Any song that can make you feel good is good in my book.
#16 – “Until the Hurting is Gone” – Billy Raffoul off the E.P. ‘1975’: This is one of two songs from this E.P. so it is that good of an E.P. The simplicity of the song is beautiful. A guitar and his vocals is all that is needed, but there is some percussion and piano added in for good measure. You can feel the pain he has knowing he can’t help the girl who is hurting, but he is there for her no matter what. Cool!
#15 – “Naturally Pretty Girls” – Elle King off the album ‘Shake the Spirit’: Elle is not quite like the other ladies on the radio. She is a little gritty and rough around the edges just like this song. She is so much better than everything else on the radio. She is a breath of fresh air from all that sugary pop crap the woman today seem to spew out. Thanks Elle!!
#14 – “Mine” – Matt Nathanson off the album ‘Sings His Sad Heart’: The opening track with the hand claps and full on pop beats immediately grabs you and sucks you in. I love listening to his lyrics as they are put together perfectly and he pays attention to how the words sound as much as the say. This is why he is my favorite artist right now.
#13 – “Still in Love” – Thirdstory off the album ‘Cold Heart’: The song reminds of old school R&B. The guys harmonize so well and those smooth voices scream motown. I catch myself closing my eyes, sitting back and digging their sound. Too bad they don’t get any recognition as they are talented.
#12 – “Bridges Burn” – Needetobreathe off the E.P. ‘Forever On Your Side’: Needtobreathe have a way about them that draws you in, not only to the music, but the message they are conveying. What I am getting from the song is that you need to let go of your past and everything from it that is weighing you down needs to be let go and put to pasture. This will allow you to move forward in new directions.
#11 – “Wasted on Each Other” – James Bay off the album ‘Electric Light’: James Bay second album saw him branching out from the guitar heavy debut album. But he didn’t totally abandon it as this song has a nice little riff while showcasing his new more electronic pop sound. A great opening track to the album as well.
#10 – “Joy” – For King and Country off the album ‘Burn the Ships’: Another Christian band and they are pure pop, but on the heavier side for this one. This one is so bombastic and could easily be a cross-over hit. It has all the elements needed for a radio friendly song. It will get you moving both physically and spiritually.
#9 – “Dying in LA” – Panic at the Disco off the album ‘Pray For the Wicked’: Panic usually has more upbeat songs, but this ballad was the best song on the album. Brendon Urie’s vocals are spot on and the piano accompaniment is a lethal combination. Might be my favorite song they have done.
#8 – “Girlfriend” – Anderson East off the album ‘Encore’: One of my favorites from the album is the upbeat song “Girlfriend” which feels like he is in church testifying his love to the congregation using horns and synthesizer (organ sounds) to give it that churchy feel.
#7 – “In My Blood” – Shawn Mendes off the album ‘Shawn Mendes’: This kid is super talented. This song jumps from soft to powerful and loud at the chorus as Shawn really gets into the vocals. You can’t help be grabbed by the song and the message about not giving up. Thanks to my kids for this one.
#6 – “Shallow” – Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper off the album ‘A Star Is Born (Soundtrack)’: There were a bunch of songs on this album that could make this list, but I went with the duet as it showcases both Bradley and Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga’s performance is nothing short of amazing and highlights her incredible voice.
#5 – “You Are the Reason” – Calum Scott off the album ‘Only Human’: The song came out in November 2017, but was released on his debut album in March 2018 so it counts. I love a good love song and this is just that. A tender, emotional love song with piano accompaniment and Calum’s smooth and powerful voice. If this doesn’t tug at your heartstrings you are dead inside.
#4 – “Starcrossed Losers” – The Fratellis off the album ‘In Your Own Sweet Time’: A modern day Romeo & Juliet that takes everything the band has done and combines it in to one song. It is a great pop/rock track and Jon’s falsetto is on stellar display with this song. The song gets you moving and makes sure that you have a good time.
#3 – “You Say” – Lauren Daigle off the album ‘Look Up Child’: What a voice Lauren has. The song is so heartfelt and the Christian message behind is so powerful. I song of truth and love and hope. Songs like this don’t come around very often.
#2 – “Used to Be” – Matt Nathanson off the album ‘Sings His Sad Heart’: You get two from Matt today. His lyrics sound so familiar, they sound like that long lost friend, that comfortable feeling that makes the songs and the album feel like home. His words are so relatable and are exactly what everyone has felt at one time or another in your life. The song was so catchy and has stuck with me since I first heard it. I can’t help sing it.
#1 Song of the Year:
“I’m Not A Saint” – Billy Raffoul off the E.P. ‘1975’: The music is mostly acoustic sounding, it sounds gritty and I saw one description as smoky and that fits it perfectly. His vocals feel like he has been drinking and smoking a lot as it has this added texture that flows so well with the lyrics (think Jeff Buckley). At only 25 or so years of age, the maturity in his sound is incredible. Additionally, the song was co-written by Julia Michaels and she does the backing vocals on the song as well.