There's still a little bit of time left in 2017, but it's never too early to start keeping a list of truly memorable bangers. And later on down the line, when Taylor Swift releases Reputation and swallows up every available inch of the radio, you'll be glad you have a list to remind you, "Oh yeah, DJ Khaled did make a song with Beyoncé and Jay Z in 2017."
1. “Love,” Lana Del Rey
If you're not into Lana's particular brand of Instagram-filtered nostalgia, then I'm sorry your life is so joyless, but if you are, "Love" is everything you've ever wanted from your queen. It's somehow more cinematic than even her most cinematic songs, and comes with a music video where people go to space or something? Also, she's traded her flower crown for loose daisies strewn all over her head, and it's flawless.
2. “Green Light,” Lorde
Lorde has said that the first single from Melodrama is about her "first major heartbreak," a fact that's clear in lyrics like, "She thinks you love the beach, you're such a damn liar." She must have written this after the wallowing period was over, though, because "Green Light" is almost impossible to listen to without dancing in your seat.
3. “Slip Away,” Perfume Genius
This song is truly everything, and that's all there is to say about that.
4. “Pleasure,” Feist
"Pleasure" starts off quiet and sparse, but eventually builds up to a raw, guitar-filled climax that's PJ Harvey–like in spirit and sound.
5. “Flame,” Tinashe
Tinashe's second album Joyride may or may not come out this year, but for now, she's at least blessed us with "Flame," a dramatic but still upbeat ode to one of those relationships you're holding on to even though you know it's over. Please, please let Joyride come out this year.
6. “Shether,” Remy Ma
No matter where you stand on Nicki vs. Remy, there's no denying that this nearly seven-minute takedown is epic in scope and execution. The same can't be said for the follow-up "Another One," but they can't all be winners.
7. “No Frauds,” Nicki Minaj feat. Drake and Lil Wayne
Nicki waited almost two weeks to respond to "Shether," but the wait was worth it. Not only did she come up with barbs of her own ("what type of bum bitch shoot a friend over a rack?"), but she enlisted her friends Drake and Lil Wayne to make sure the song is as big a hit as possible.
8. “Shakedown,” Valerie June
A lot of Valerie June's best songs are plaintive ballads about love and loss, but "Shakedown" is all party - the bluesiest, hand-clapping-est party you've ever attended.
9. “Show You the Way,” Thundercat feat. Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald
This genius collaboration between Thundercat and yacht rock legends Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald is almost too smooth to be believed. By the time Thundercat introduces Kenny with the line, "Tell 'em how you feel, Kenny," you'll think you've taken a time machine back to the most chill 1970s boat party you can imagine.
10. “Chained to the Rhythm,” Katy Perry feat. Skip Marley
If you were feeling generous, you could maybe point to inspirational anthems like "Firework" and "Rise" as Katy Perry's "political" songs, but with "Chained to the Rhythm," she's finally getting a little more explicit. The song and the video are about distracting yourself with music when everything's going to shit, which might sound familiar if you've paid any attention at all to the news this year. It's not exactly a protest song, but it is catchy as hell.
11. “Selfish,” Future feat. Rihanna
Future has already had a super-prolific 2017, releasing not one but two albums in February, because doing only one album every couple of years is for slackers. One of the standouts is this HNDRXX duet with Rihanna, who has a knack for improving every song she's on by about 5,000 percent.
12. “Shining,” DJ Khaled feat. Beyoncé and Jay Z
The perennially whispered-about Beyoncé and Jay Z collaborative album is still mythical, but at least DJ Khaled managed to unite them for this one track, which is exactly the type of song you might want playing as you're driving your Jet Ski around in the dark Miami night. Major key alert, get a Jet Ski with speakers.
13. “Despacito,” Luis Fonsi feat. Daddy Yankee
There is no one on the planet who feels lukewarm about this song - you either hate it or you’re incapable of playing it any less than six times a day. Whether you were on board from day one or came around once Justin Bieber got involved, there’s no question that “Despacito” was the song of the summer.
14. “New York,” St. Vincent
St. Vincent is known for pushing the boundaries of what a guitar can do, but this first single from her new album Masseduction is a plaintive, pared-down piano ballad that’s the blend of melancholy and sass. In a perfect world, she’d be the biggest pop star on the planet.
15. “Praying,” Kesha
After a very long and very public legal battle with Dr. Luke, Kesha returned with this gorgeous, cathartic ballad about gaining strength from the darker moments in life. It’s one of many great songs on her latest album Rainbow, and finds her stretching her vocals to new and impressive heights.
16. “Young Dumb & Broke,” Khalid
Of the many extremely catchy songs on Khalid’s delightful debut album American Teen, “Young Dumb & Broke” is the one most likely to get stuck in your head three or four times a day.
17. “Sign of the Times,” Harry Styles
Perfection. End of story.
18. “Slow Hands,” Niall Horan
Every time I hear this song I forget for a second that it’s Niall and think, “Whose sexy voice is this, seducing me over this sultry beat?” Then I remember that it’s Niall and am delighted all over again that Niall (1) exists and (2) didn’t stop making music after 1D went on hiatus.
19. “Boys,” Charli XCX
A song perfectly designed to make you feel like a swooning 9th-grader passing notes about the cute guy in your chemistry class.
20. “Bad Liar,” Selena Gomez
“Selena Gomez sampling the Talking Heads” doesn’t seem like the kind of thing that should or could work, but “Bad Liar” proves otherwise. The video, in which Selena plays a bunch of different characters decked out in ’70s fashion, is also a winner.
21. “Malibu,” Miley Cyrus
After dabbling in glitter and psychedelia on Dead Petz, Miley returned to her country roots with this adorable love song that’s almost definitely about Liam Hemsworth. The song’s only flaw is that the music video doesn’t features just one of her dogs instead of all of them.
22. “Cut to the Feeling,” Carly Rae Jepsen
Carly Rae can do no wrong.
23. “HUMBLE.,” Kendrick Lamar
You’ll never hear the phrase “sit down” the same way again.
24. “Wild Thoughts,” DJ Khaled feat. Rihanna and Bryson Tiller
Sorry to those of you who never wanted to hear the guitar riff from Santana’s “Maria Maria” again, because it’s back and it’s even better than it was the first time. Bless you, DJ Khaled.
25. “I’m the One,” DJ Khaled feat. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, and Lil Wayne
It’s DJ Khaled’s year, OK? Deal with it.
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