2017 was a year, like many preceding years, in which lots of people recorded themselves saying words and playing instruments to then put in public domain and make some money so they could buy things that they needed. Ed Sheeran proved to be the best at this particular technique this year as he did some songs about castles and shapes and having red hair, and this was important because people like to listen to songs about these particular topics. Another person who was good at this was Puerto Rican man Luis Fonsi who made a song that nobody cared about until he asked Canadian man Justin Bieber to sing some of it and then lots of people cared about it.
What people didn’t realise is that listening to these songs so much would ruin the already ruined “UK Top 40”. It wasn’t really that exciting for people to see Ed Sheeran or Luis Fonsi at number one for the entire year, and so the six people who did care about the charts stopped caring about them. Luckily, the popular poem-listening service Spotify realised that people would listen to whatever they put in their own chart, which they creatively named “United Kingdom Top 50”, because a lot of people like to do things that other people tell them to do. The downside to this was that Spotify also wanted everybody to listen to Ed Sheeran and Luis Fonsi and that made it very difficult for humans to listen to songs that were not by those two. Despite this complete fiasco lots of famous people and less-famous people carried on making songs that people could listen to if they looked hard enough.
I was one of the people who chose to listen to music this year, and these are nine of my favourite songs.
A national poll at the start of the year found that whilst people like music, what they really craved was a song with indistinguishable lyrics that they could kind-of sing along to but at the same time not really. Rita Ora, who everyone has heard of but can’t recall anything she has done except maybe present an award at the Brits one time, decided to capitalise on this and unleashed Anywhere – a song that perfectly combines the opening lines of The Teletubbies theme tune with some lyrics about the colonisation of Mars or something like that maybe idk. Either way it’s great, and sales of poppers went through the roof because that drop goes off.
After realising that nobody was here for Country-Ga, our friend Stefani from Manhattan took the unprecedented but wise step to completely fuck off her latest album and release a totally unrelated single called The Cure. This song is about the protagonist (in this instance Lady Gaga) speculating that if she can’t find the cure to an unspecified ailment then she will simply use her love and skills of singing lullabies. Whilst this goes against everything we know of medical science, the sentiment was there at least. The general public liked this song because it was an anonymous pop track with a catchy hook that could basically have been sang by anybody, and it showed none of the personality and artistry of any of Lady Gaga’s previous songs which they had grown a bit tired of.
In the midst of smoothly organising a Eurovision Song Contest without any hiccups or difficulties whatsoever, Ukraine also had the small matter of choosing a song to represent them in a contest they had no money to host. TAYANNA (who doesn’t care for lower case letters) clearly had the song that would bring our scrupulous host nation their best result, and she went as far as employing a wind machine to hoover up her dress mid-performance to create the illusion of vulnerability, but mainly to appeal to the male audience. However, nothing went exactly to plan because on the same evening that Ukraine decided that they didn’t particularly want to do well at Eurovision 2017, TAYANNA realised that she couldn’t actually sing live very well. This was good because it meant that voters who were going to vote for her didn’t vote for her and instead voted for another song which ultimately got the most votes.
Three ladies who looked nothing like each other but insisted they were sisters decided that they would fly the Dutch flag at Eurovision this year with a song about the scientific phenomenon that we know as lights and shadows. The song was unique in the sense that it wasn’t actually about lights and shadows, but instead focused on things like angels, crimes, and rating scales. This was the first time in history that a song had been given a title which was unrelated to its content, but such a boundary-pushing idea proved to be problematic because the song didn’t do very well with the Eurovision televoters who decided they liked a man with a beard instead.
Belgium’s Eurovision 2017 representative, Blanche, took to the stage in Kyiv with what was the most contemporary and exciting piece of pop music in this year’s contest, and it’s only right that she be commended for draining all of the life and excitement out of it in just three minutes. Our girl Blanche, also voted happiest person of the year, clearly couldn’t have given any less of a shit about the whole charade and would probably have preferred being pushed off a skyscraper than doing anything Eurovision-related. Nevertheless, she finished in a very honourable fourth place – and I’m sure she was absolutely over the fucking moon about that.
The world was shaken to its very core back in December 2016 when Camila Cabello decided to leave Fifth Harmony, AKA the most successful pop group of all time. Upset fans took to the streets to hold demonstrations which quickly turned into mass riots, and numerous governments were overthrown after their attempts to appease their unhappy populations were futile. The global consensus on this issue was that a Fifth Harmony with only four members was the last straw. With her newfound identity and solo aspirations Camila released a couple of songs that were a bit shit and made the whole situation worse, but then she threw down the absolute bop (“el bop absoluto” in Spanish) Havana and everyone forgot what they were fighting about.
2017 marked the return of our Saviour and Queen of Light, Dame Taylor Swift, after she had spent a few years pissing off celebrities and talking to Kanye West on the telephone rather than making songs and doing things that people like her for. After the absolute fucking mess that was Look What You Made Me Do, myself and seven billion other people were like “oh well this album is probably going to be a bit rubbish then”, but thankfully it wasn’t. Delicate, a song about those exciting first few weeks of a new relationship (before it inevitably becomes bollocks) would prove to be the standout and every single person who has heard it agrees.
Dua Lipa, who is everybody’s favourite London-born-Kosovan, rewrote everything we knew about pop and relationships in 2017 when she threw this absolutely massive jam sandwich out there in the summer. Having previously lived by old rules, which we can only assume were no longer fit for purpose, Dua wrote down some new ones and shared them with everyone else, showing herself to be a very generous and selfless member of the community in the process. New Rules is a song for those people who have had the misfortune to romantically spend some time with a nice person who was actually just a complete gobshite all along – and because everyone has done that, it was a very big success.
Signal is a song in the brand known as K-Pop, in which the “K” stands for Korean and the “Pop” stands for popular music, the dash in between doesn’t stand for anything but is a common way of joining two words together. I have no idea what Signal is about but I do know that it’s very great and catchy and has good choreography. The first time I heard this song I was eating garlic bread, and so it has nice memories attached to it – every time I listen to this song I think about garlic bread.