Thursday, December 22, 2016

Twostepcubchart's Best of 2016: Part Four - #70 to #61...

We're chugging along on my countdown of the 100 biggest songs of 2016 on my weekly chart, as I tally who went the highest and/or stayed the longest. You can check out the first three parts of my recap by clicking here...

#70 - "Off The Ground" - The Record Company
          from the album Give It Back To You (2016)
          Highest rank: #10 (one week)
          Weeks on the chart: 18
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: did not chart
          Songwriters: Chris Vos, Alex Stiff, Marc Cazorla (The Record Company)

It was a good year for blues rock, with notable releases from the likes of Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Blues Pills, and this trio, whose debut album is a great driving play. This groovy opener, which topped the Adult Alternative Songs list, had such a fluid guitar hook I still can't get it out of my head, and lyrics that are more aspirational than a hundred fake Joel Osteen missives.

Killer lyric: Well, my head is heavy and my heart is empty,
                    But my spirit is strong and my legs are ready...

(Click below to see the rest of the post)

#69 - "My House" - Flo Rida
          from the EP My House (2016)
          Highest rank: #36 (four weeks)
          Weeks on the chart: 25
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #4
          Songwriters: Tramar Dillard (Flo Rida), Ross Golan, Johan Carlsson, Marco Borrero, Roy Hammond

It's interesting that Flo Rida's most straightforward pop offering this year samples the beat of the classic soul nugget "Impeach The President" (from Roy Hammond who gets writing credit). Ironic that his video is rather, well, over the top like one reality show dipshit that is going to be president in January.

Killer lyric: Make yourself at my home, tell me where you been,
                    Pour yourself something cold, baby, cheers to this...

#68 - "Break Up In A Small Town" - Sam Hunt
          from the album Montevallo (2015)
          Highest rank: #2 (one week)
          Weeks on the chart (in 2016): 13 (was on for 2 weeks in 2015)
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #29
          Songwriters: Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally, Zach Crowell

Last year country-pop newcomer Sam Hunt came in at #16 on my 2015 year-end list with his crossover hit "Take Your Time". However, this bit of rap and twang was Hunt's masterpiece, combining the rawness of his pain with the claustrophobia of his surrounding to paint a picture that's as much spoken-word poetry as it's commercial radio fodder.  Should've been a major pop hit, but I guess they thought they blew their wad on "Take Your Time"'s success. And I can go for days about that beard.

Killer lyric: She's so far gone, but she didn't go far,
                    She was over me before the grass grew back where she used to park her car,
                    She's leaving those same marks in someone else's yard,
                    In someone else's arms right down the road...

#67 - "Wherever I Go" - OneRepublic
          from the album Oh My My (2016)
          Highest rank: #5 (one week)
          Weeks on the chart: 15
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #55
          Songwriters: Ryan Tedder, Brent Kutzle, Noel Zancanella

The pop/rock band from Denver fronted by songwriting master Ryan Tedder returned with their best album yet, Oh My My, that was inexplicably downplayed by the media (even though it charted the highest in their career). This lead-off track also missed the pop top-40 (and the Adult Top-40 top ten) but not for lack of trying, especially with one of the best videos of the year, featuring actor Ken Choi from The Last Man On Earth TV series. The group was on my 2015 countdown at #72 with "I Lived".

Killer lyric: Some people lie but they're looking for magic,
                    Others are quietly going insane,
                    I feel alive when I’m close to the madness,
                   No easy love could ever make me feel the same...

#66 - "Bang Bang" - Green Day
          from the album Revolution Radio (2016)
          Highest rank: #2 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart: 14
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: did not chart, "bubbled under" at #104
          Songwriters: Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, Tre Cool (Green Day)

The pop-punk pioneers came back this year louder and more angrier than ever with this anti-gun throwdown that blames the American culture as much as its perpetrators, as it should be. One of the most vital acts in rock music, we need them more than ever before now.

Killer lyric: I want to be like the soldiers on the screen,
                    It's my private holy war,
                   Oh baby baby this is viva vendetta,
                   For this is love or it's world war zero...

#65 - "Mountain At My Gates" - Foals
          from the album What Went Down (2015)
          Highest rank: #6 (one week)
          Weeks on the chart: 16
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: did not chart
          Songwriters: Yannis Philippakis, Jack Bevan, Jimmy Smith, Walter Gervers, Edwin Congreave (Foals)

The English indie-rock group broke through big in the States with this hypnotic number that sported a 360 degree-shot video (you can see it here), but even without this epic single is still worthy of topping the Alternative Rock radio chart this past spring.

Killer lyric: Show me the foothold from which I can climb,
                    Yeah, when I feel low,
                    You show me a signpost for where I should go...

#64 - "Dancing On My Own" - Calum Scott
          from the TBA album (2017)
          Highest rank: #20 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart (in 2016): 20 (still charting)
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: did not chart (yet)
          Songwriters: Robyn, Patrik Berger

This emotionally powerful cover of the dance-pop classic by Robyn from 2010 first got noticed when Calum used this to audition for Britain's Got Talent in 2015. It got him a spot on the show, where he didn't win, but the video kept getting passed around, and eventually, after releasing this on his own, it slowly and surely gained an audience in the UK, then worldwide, to make this one of the biggest hits of the year in Britain. Now with a lite-dance remix by Tiesto its starting to reach American ears, already peaking in the top-20 on the "easy listening" chart and starting to impact pop radio. Cross your fingers, this deserves to be a hit in the US. And special kudos for not changing the sex of who he's singing to, making this Robyn gem a true "gay anthem".

Killer lyric: So far away but still so near,
                    The lights come up, the music dies,
                    But you don't see me standing here,
                    I just came to say goodbye...

#63 - "Ex's & Oh's" - Elle King
          from the album Love Stuff (2015)
          Highest rank (in 2016): #6 (two weeks) (was #1 for 2 weeks in 2015)
          Weeks on the chart (in 2016): 13 (was on for 26 weeks in 2015)
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #10
          Songwriters: Elle King, Dave Basset

One of three singles that was on the top 100 recap last year that did the same in 2016, this was all the way up at #14 in 2015, while it still carried on at the beginning of this year when she was nominated for two rock Grammys for the song. This female heartbreak caught a lot of deserved attention, and never used her dad's fame to push her career, but a bit of man-candy didn't hurt, either...

Killer lyric: Now, there's one in California who's been cursing my name,
                    'Cause I found me a better lover in the UK,
                    until I made my getaway...

 #62 - "Stay A Little Longer" - Brothers Osborne
           from the album Pawn Shop (2016)
           Highest rank: #2 (one week)
           Weeks on the chart (in 2016): 14 (were on for 9 weeks in 2015)
           Billboard Hot 100 peak: #46
           Songwriters: John Osborne, TJ Osborne (Brothers Osborne), Shane McAnally

To show how effd up and backwards this pathetic year has become, we started 2016 with this amazing country song that sported a video that featured a real-life gay couple in the mix, and co-written by an "out" songwriter in McAnally, breaking barriers in the genre. Still among the best duo acts out there, they will go down with Brooks and Dunn and the Bellamy Brothers if history is just.

Killer lyric: One more drink leads to another,
                    You slide up close to me,
                    Tear the t-shirts off each other,
                    Your hands all over me...

#61 - "Beautiful Drug" - The Zac Brown Band 
          from the album Jekyll + Hyde (2015)
          Highest rank: #3 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart: 17
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #52
          Songwriters: Zac Brown, Niko Moon

The country jam band returned in 2015 with the amazingly diverse Jekyll + Hyde album, which hopped genres with ease like skipping stones in a stream. Last year the opening salvo, the traditional country anthem "Homegrown" came in at #71 on my year-end list, and this time out the dance party raver "Beautiful Drug", which still was able to top the country airplay chart, made it into my top-3. It may have alienated some fans, but the ride was definitely worth it.

Killer lyric: Addicted and I’m dying for a hit of your love,
                    Got a death wish baby,
                    Don’t want you to save me...

That's it for today's installment...we're getting closer to the halfway mark; tomorrow I'll take to the water with a blues singer, look for Tinkerbell with an Canadian songwriting ingenue, and hit the sheets with a departed boybander.

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