Top 89 of 2019: Iman Jafri, associate blogger


Top 89 of 2019
Top 89 of 2019 (MPR Graphic)

Top 10 Songs of 2019

In no particular order:

Ariana Grande – "NASA"

Ariana Grande's groove in the name of alone time is smooth and a little cosmic. It makes lying in bed alone in the name of self-care feel glamorous.

Taemin – "Want"

There is a lot I could say about this song; every time I listen to this song or I watch its music video, I notice something new. More than anything, it makes me want to wear pointed-toe boots as I walk into the darkness of a mysterious and charged night, and this is a good thing.

Lizzo – "Jerome"

Any song on Lizzo's Cuz I Love You could have been on this list. This tune in particular showcases Lizzo's growth as a vocalist, and it features a diss that made me audibly gasp upon first listen: "Can't let a pretty face distract me from business/ And God as my witness, your ugly ass won't either." Nice.

Normani – "Motivation"

Normani has always been incredibly talented, and it was so satisfying to see this song signaling showcasing her as the pop queen she has the potential to be. It is a also just joyous.

Chance the Rapper – "Zanies and Fools (feat. Darius Scott and Nicki Minaj)"

This song is full of nostalgia. Its title refers to Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical Cinderella, and when I think of this musical, I think of the 1997 version starring Whitney Houston and Brandy. This film was magical not only because it is a story about actual magic but because its cast was amazing, in particular featuring a black Cinderella and a Filipino prince. Chance manages to bring some of the magic of that particular film into this song.

Lewis Capaldi – "Someone You Loved"

I am a sucker for a piano-accompanied song about disappointment that still manages to have a BPM over 100. In this way, "Someone You Loved" hit many notes.

Eric Nam – "Love Die Young"

I spent a lot of 2019 feeling burnt out, and "Love Die Young" captures that feeling while also incorporating the internal push back that often accompanies it ("I am exhausted, but I don't want to let it become my whole being"). Plus, it is an earworm.

Yuna – "Forevermore"

Yuna's ode to how growing up in a small Malaysian town lit a fire in her to flourish incorporates traditional Malay beats and poetic influences from the get-go. What feels particularly dope, though, is how its sound builds in a way that corresponds to the song's themes of personal growth and Yuna's every expanding international reach.

Calum Scott – "Around the World"

Sometimes you just want a simple musical romance that makes you feel like you're drifting through the blue sky in a hot air balloon. This cover wormed its way into my heart such that 2019 would not be complete without it.

PRETTYMUCH – "Gone 2 Long (Choir Version)"

This bittersweet bop is full of love and longing, two things I want to see more of in 2020.

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