Friday, December 23, 2016

Twostepcubchart's Best of 2016: Part Five - #60 to #51...


We're at part five of my year-end countdown of the biggest hit songs on my weekly music chart for 2016. You can click over to check out part one, part two, part three, and part four to catch up...

#60 - "Shame" - Tyrese
          from the album Black Rose (2015)
          Highest rank (in 2016): #14 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart (in 2016): 16 (was on for 26 weeks in 2015)
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: did not chart, "bubbled under" at #103
          Songwriters: Tyrese Gibson, Warryn Campbell, DJ Rogers Jr, Sam Dees, Ron Kersey


The second of three songs to make a repeat performance on my year-end top 100, this was at #26 last year, reaching the top-20 and slowly moving down the chart, before reversing course back up, helped by its return to #1 on the Adult R&B chart in Billboard magazine. Epic video featuring Jennifer Hudson, who sings backup on the single, the emotional sponge of a track interpolates Atlantic Starr's "Send For Me"...

Killer lyric: Have I learned, that's your question,
                    And my answer I have,
                    But if you're expecting perfection,
                    Then we're not gonna last...

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


#59 - "Smooth Sailin'" - Leon Bridges
          from the album Coming Home (2015)
          Highest rank: #15 (one week)
          Weeks on the chart (in 2016): 17 (was on for 4 weeks in 2015)
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: did not chart
          Songwriters: Todd (Leon) Bridges, Austin Michael Jenkins, Chris Vivion, Joshua Block


2016 was a good year for blues and soul inflected music, and this young artist who was nominated for a best-new-artist Grammy brings out the best of Motown and Stax in this party fave that was his second single from his stellar Coming Home album.

Killer lyric: I don't really know her destination,
                    But I got a feeling I got to be your passenger...

#58 - "Think Of You" - Chris Young featuring Cassadee Pope
          from the album I'm Comin' Over (2015)
          Highest rank: #17 (one week)
          Weeks on the chart: 23
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #40
          Songwriters: Chris Young, Corey Crowder, Josh Hoge


This song, which paired the winner of the first Nashville Star singing competition show with the winner of the third season of The Voice in this epic swirling heartbreak/regret anthem that was the second single from Young's I'm Coming Over album (the title track hit the top 10 right at the end of 2015 and barely missed the top 100). Easily the best thing Pope's done in the country field, and one of the best fast two-step songs of the year. Young did make last year's top 100 with "Lonely Eyes" at #92 from his previous set A.M..

Killer lyric: We used to be the life of the party,
                    We used to be the ones that they wished they were,
                    But now it's like they don't know how to act,
                    Maybe they're like me and they want us back...

#57 - "You Should Be Here" - Cole Swindell
          from the album You Should Be Here (2016)
          Highest rank: #5 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart: 18
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #31
          Songwriters: Cole Swindell, Ashley Gorley


Cole made it personal in his title track and lead single from his second album, lamenting the passing of his father right as his musical career was soaring. A touching yet not maudlin ballad that put him in another level of male singers in the genre. (Swindell was on the 'also ran' list at #112 with "Ain't Worth The Whiskey".)

Killer lyric: You'd be taking way too many pictures on your phone,
                    Showing them off to everybody that you know back home,
                    And even some you don't...

#56 - "Piece By Piece" - Kelly Clarkson
          from the album Piece By Piece (2015)
          Highest rank: #3 (one week)
          Weeks on the chart: 17
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #8
          Songwriters: Kelly Clarkson, Greg Kurstin


In 2015, the first American Idol's Piece By Piece album, her last with RCA, placed two songs in the top half of the year-end countdown, with "Heartbeat Song" at #50 and "Invincible" at #44. This year, she sent the title track into the Billboard top ten (and top-3 on my list) helped by an emotionally raw "stripped" performance on the Idol show, giving millions a chance to look into her life and her relationship with her estranged father and how she overcame her heartbreak. Simply amazing, cathartic and hopeful at the same time.

Killer lyric: And all of your words fall flat,
                    I made something of myself and now you wanna come back,
                   But your love, it isn’t free, it has to be earned,
                   Back then I didn’t have anything you needed so I was worthless...

#55 - "On My Mind" - Ellie Goulding
          from the album Delirium (2015)
          Highest rank: #3 (one week)
          Weeks on the chart (in 2016): 15 (was on for 9 weeks in 2015)
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #13
          Songwriters: Ellie Goulding, Max Martin, Savan Kotecha, Ilya Salmanzadeh


British pop singer Goulding, who in 2015 took the #15 spot with her 50 Shades Of Grey soundtrack offering "Love Me Like You Do", and was featured on the #87 song on the year-end, Calvin Harris' "Outside", returns this year twice; first with this churning midtempo slice of synthpop whose chorus steamrolls right over you, framing the verses about a vixen who falls a little too much...

Killer lyric: It's a little dirty how the whole thing started,
                    I don't even really know what you intended,
                   Thought that you were cute and you could make me jealous...

#54 - "Lost Boy" - Ruth B
          from the EP The Intro (2015)
          Highest rank: #10 (one week)
          Weeks on the chart: 19
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #24
          Songwriter: Ruth Berhe (Ruth B)


Canadian ingenue came from the cold outposts of Alberta to conquer fans hearts with Vine and YouTube videos which eventually got this DIY gem noticed. The second Peter Pan song of the year (see Kelsea Ballerini at #95), this simple ballad with piano was a breath of fresh air from the over-produced young sounds usually emanating from the internets' new stars.

Killer lyric: As we soared above the town that never loved me,
                    I realized I finally had a family,
                   Soon enough we reached Neverland,
                   Peacefully my feet hit the sand...

#53 - "Hell No" - Ingrid Michaelson
          from the album It Doesn't Have To Make Sense (2016)
          Highest rank: #9 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart: 19
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: did not chart
          Songwriters: Ingrid Michaelson, Barry Dean, Luke Laird


One of my favorite female pop singer/songwriters returned with another infectious single that was a kiss-off needed for this whole damn year. Co-written with two pros that specialize in country music (Dean worked with her before on "Girls Chase Boys", which made my 2014 year-end), which makes the wordplay extra-tight.

Killer lyric: Straight up, don’t blame you,
                    You’re not the Cash and I’m not the June,
                    I’ll never be the one to make you better,
                   Whatever...

#52 - "Pillowtalk" - Zayn
          from the album Mind Of Mine (2016)
          Highest rank: #15 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart: 25
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1
          Songwriters: Zayn (Malik), Levi Lennox, Anthony Hannides, Michael Hannides, Joe Garrett


The first departure from the boy-band juggernaut One Direction, Zayn released his first solo album in the spring of this year, a cold R&B experiment far from what his former bandmates were doing. This slowed-down drum-and-bass track was intoxicating to the point of madness, not sure where he was (and probably still nobody knows). Still, it gave him a #1 hit in America, something 1D still hasn't done.

Killer lyric: So we'll piss off the neighbours,
                    In the place that feels the tears,
                    The place to lose your fears...

#51 - "We Don't Talk Anymore" - Charlie Puth featuring Selena Gomez
          from the album Nine Track Mind (2016)
          Highest rank: #10 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart: 18
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #9
          Songwriters: Charlie Puth, Selena Gomez, Jacob Hindlin


Tropical house goes to breakupville in this swaying and soulful third single from New Jersey native Puth, who had landed his debut hit "Marvin Gaye" with Meghan Trainor at #43 on the 2015 year-end chart. This time he's paired with Selena Gomez, which felt like a Bieber rebound since she didn't even end up on the video (a near look-alike does), insinuating the lyrics tell more that maybe they should.

Killer lyrics: I just hope you're lying next to somebody,
                     Who knows how to love you like me,
                     There must be a good reason that you're gone...

This brings us up to the halfway point on this year's recap...this weekend I'll take a break from the list and roll out the songs that almost made the chart, including some real winners from a returning New Edition-er, a song from Vinyl, and an alt-R&B star comes back murderously.

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