Monday, January 22, 2018

Imagine Dragons (4) – Week Of January 20, 2018

Hey guys! Last week, I set up a poll where you guys voted for your favorite song from my Top 5 of 2017. Out of the 56 votes, it looks like Something Just Like This just barely rose to first place, with Praying only being one vote short of tying. I just wanted to see what people thought of my Top 5. These two songs are definitely fan favorites and frankly there's nothing to not love about them. I also set up a new grading scale for the Top 20 Reviews. My old system was identical to the grading system in school. But I decided to change it to make it more fair. This new system begins this week and will be the new permanent grading scale. Before we get to this week's Fresh 45, here are the songs we're saying goodbye to this week.


  • Zedd/Alessia Cara – Stay (#42) [4 Weeks At #1]

Last Week's #1 Song: Ed Sheeran – Perfect
The Countdown
45. The Shadowboxers – Hot Damn (#41)
44. Taylor Swift – Look What You Made Me Do (#44)
43. Harry Styles – Kiwi (#45)
42. P!nk – What About Us (#37) [1 Week At #1]
41. Charlie Puth – Attention (#40) [1 Week At #1]
40. Ed Sheeran – Shape Of You (#39) [9 Weeks At #1]
39. Niall Horan – Slow Hands (#38) [3 Weeks At #1]
38. Maroon 5 – Wait (DEBUT)
37. Liam Payne – Strip That Down (#36) [2 Weeks At #1]
36. Kesha – Praying (#33)
35. Zayn/Sia – Dusk Till Dawn (#32)
34. Symon – Lonely Girl (#27)
33. Bruno Mars/Cardi B – Finesse (#30)
32. Ed Sheeran – Galway Girl (#31) [4 Weeks At #1]
31. Taylor Swift – ...Ready For It? (#35)
30. MAX/Gnash – Lights Down Low (#43)
29. Demi Lovato – Sorry Not Sorry (#28) [1 Week At #1]
28. Shawn Mendes – There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back (#29) [5 Weeks At #1]
27. X Ambassadors – Ahead Of Myself (#21)
26. Liam Payne – Bedroom Floor (#26)
25. Fall Out Boy – Hold Me Tight Or Don't (#19)
24. Eminem/Ed Sheeran – River (#14)
23. Justin Timberlake – Filthy (#24)
22. Louis Tomlinson – Miss You (#34)
21. G-Eazy/Halsey – Him & I (#20)
20. Sam Smith – Too Good At Goodbyes (#13)
19. Lauv – I Like Me Better (#18)
18. Portugal. The Man – Feel It Still (#23)
17. Post Malone/21 Savage – Rockstar (#16)
16. Maroon 5/SZA – What Lovers Do (#15)
15. Taylor Swift/Ed Sheeran/Future – End Game (#22)
14. Imagine Dragons – Believer (#17) [3 Weeks At #1]
13. Selena Gomez/Marshmello – Wolves (#8)
12. Walk The Moon – One Foot (#25)
11. Dua Lipa – New Rules (#12)
10. Kelly Clarkson – Love So Soft (#7)
  9. Macklemore/Kesha – Good Old Days (#10)
  8. Hailee Steinfeld & Alesso/Florida Georgia Line/watt – Let Me Go (#4)
  7. Niall Horan – Too Much To Ask (#11)
  6. Camila Cabello – Havana (#5) [1 Week At #1]
  5. Ed Sheeran – Perfect (#1) [2 Weeks At #1]
  4. Halsey – Bad At Love (#3) [2 Weeks At #1]
  3. Bebe Rexha/Florida Georgia Line – Meant To Be (#6)
  2. Charlie Puth – How Long (#9)
  1. Imagine Dragons – Thunder (#3) [4th Week At #1]

#1 Song This Week One Year Ago: Hailee Steinfeld & Grey/Zedd – Starving (4)

Biggest DROP!!!... Of The Week: Eminem/Ed Sheeran – River (–10)

Biggest Jump Of The Week: Tie Between Walk The Moon – One Foot and MAX/Gnash – Lights Down Low (+13)

New Entrants
~ Our lone new entrant this week comes from Maroon 5 with the follow-up to What Lovers Do. This one is Wait and there really isn't anything exciting about this one. It's definitely better than Don't Wanna Know and Cold, but it's not the Maroon 5 I used to know. Once upon a time, they used to be my favorite band. But they've been disappointing me lately. Like I said when this debuted on Hit-Bound, Adam Levine has essentially taken over the band. They used to be pop-rock and you could tell there was a band. But here they're just pop and anyone that's somehow not familiar with Maroon 5 probably wouldn't know that this is a band, as opposed to a solo artist. I find this ironic since it seems that are more members now than there were before. Of course I'm just making an assumption. I don't know anything for sure. But I don't remember there being seven band members. They're literally Maroon 7. You'd think this would mean that they'd be more pop-rock. But nope. Like I said, it's better than Don't Wanna Know and Cold. Adam does decent on the vocals. The chorus is kind of catchy. I don't love the production overall. The song itself is okay, but nothing memorable. Frankly, I'm just glad they didn't bring in some mediocre rapper or a singer that does not sound good with the band like they did on Cold and Help Me Out.


Hit-Bound
~ Here is the Hit-Bound list.


  • NF – Let You Down
  • Kesha/The Dap-King Horns – Woman
  • Camila Cabello – Never Be The Same
  • Alan Walker/Noah Cyrus/Digital Farm Animals – All Falls Down
  • P!nk – Beautiful Trauma
  • Spencer – Whatever
  • Troye Sivan – My My My!
  • Clean Bandit/Julia Michaels – I Miss You
  • Imagine Dragons – Whatever It Takes
  • The Chainsmokers – Sick Boy (DEBUT)
  • Wolves – Animal
  • All Time Low – Last Young Renegade
  • AJR/Rivers Cuomo – Sober Up
  • Sofi Tukker/NERVO – Best Friend

~ It took me a few listens to grow into Sick Boy. While it's no Something Just Like This, I like this song. Andrew Taggart takes on the vocals once again and I think he sounds good here. The production is pretty good and the song is catchy. I'll talk more about it when it debuts.


Top 5 Hit-Bound Picks
1. P!nk – Beautiful Trauma
2. Troye Sivan – My My My!
3. Imagine Dragons – Whatever It Takes
4. Clean Bandit/Julia Michaels – I Miss You
5. Kesha/The Dap-King Horns – Woman


Beautiful Blurbs
~ I know it may seem like I grew to hate Thunder very quickly. But the truth is, I never actually loved this song. I only took it because it was better than Believer at the time. But even at first, I found it quite mediocre. It took several listens for me to be able to tolerate it. But now that I've come around to Believer, Thunder became extremely mediocre again and the fact that it's so popular really only makes matters worse. So I'm not very thrilled to see it back at #1. I'll take any song in the Top 10 over this any day, even Love So Soft even though I'm not a fan of that one either. But Thunder is basically Imagine Dragons hitting rock bottom. Though my opinions on this and its predecessor have changed a lot, I'm believe my thoughts currently will remain as they are.

~ Jumping up to #2 this week, we have Charlie Puth – How Long. I'm not too surprised by this given how successful its predecessor was. While I don't like this as much as Attention, I'd certainly be cool with this reaching the top spot. Charlie Puth has shown some true potential with these two songs and I'm glad they're both successful.

~ To some people's distaste, we have Bebe Rexha/Florida Georgia Line – Meant To Be at #3 this week. I know I have the unpopular opinion among the critics. But I can't find anything to hate about this song. I get that some may not like Florida Georgia Line essentially taking over the song. I do recommend this version if you're one of those people. But I like this song and I want to see it at #1. It's a big deal for Bebe Rexha and she's very talented. I'm glad she finally has a big hit.

~ Walk The Moon – One Foot made a really nice jump this week into the Top 15. I'm glad to see this one becoming a hit. It's very deserving and it's one of the best songs out there right now. It may not hit the height of Shut Up and Dance, but it's still a whole lot of fun.

~ Louis Tomlinson – Miss You also made a nice jump into the Top 25. It seemed like it wasn't really going to go anywhere, but I'm glad it was able to make that leap. This song is very underrated.

~ MAX/Gnash – Lights Down Low made an interesting jump this week back into the Top 30 from the Bottom 5. I'm okay with this. I still like this song as strange as it may seem. There's just something about it that makes it such a good song.

~ As far as our exit goes, I'm pleased to see this one make its departure. It was certainly long overdue and was never even anything special to begin with. But at least it's finally gone.

~ I've been really enjoying both Him & I and One Foot this past week. So I consider them both to be the best song on the countdown. Fun fact: Both songs have the "cross my heart, hope to die" lines in the chorus.


Top 20 Review
0 – Crap:
20. Imagine Dragons – Thunder

1 – Bad:
19. Post Malone/21 Savage – Rockstar
18. Lauv – I Like Me Better

2 – Mediocre:
17. Kelly Clarkson – Love So Soft

3 – Decent:
16. Portugal. The Man – Feel It Still

4 – Good:
15. Halsey – Bad At Love
14. Camila Cabello – Havana
13. Dua Lipa – New Rules

5 – Great:
12. Sam Smith – Too Good At Goodbyes
11. Niall Horan – Too Much To Ask
10. Maroon 5/SZA – What Lovers Do
9. Charlie Puth – How Long
8. Hailee Steinfeld & Alesso/F.G.L./watt – Let Me Go
7. Selena Gomez/Marshmello – Wolves
6. Taylor Swift/Ed Sheeran/Future – End Game
5. Imagine Dragons – Believer
4. Bebe Rexha/Florida Georgia Line – Meant To Be
3. Ed Sheeran – Perfect
2. Macklemore/Kesha – Good Old Days

BONUS: 6 – Best Song On The Countdown:
1. Walk The Moon – One Foot

Overall Score: 80/100 = 80% (A)


Throwback Pick Of The Week: Britney Spears – ...Baby One More Time

Most Missed Countdown Song: Maroon 5 – Love Somebody

#1 Recommendation For Hits 1: Tie Between Carrie Underwood/Ludacris – The Champion and Troye Sivan – The Good Side

Favorite Countdown Song This Week One Year Ago: Jon Bellion – All Time Low (#10)


My Top 5 Picks
1. TIE: G-Eazy/Halsey – Him & I
1. TIE: Walk The Moon – One Foot
3. Macklemore/Kesha – Good Old Days
4. Ed Sheeran – Perfect
5. Eminem/Ed Sheeran – River

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Year-End Special: 25 Best Songs of 2017 That Missed Hits 1

Hits 1 usually picks up a good chunk of the best songs of each year. But they don't pick up every good song. And some songs that end up being the best of the year are ignored. So I would like to recognize the 25 best songs of 2017 that did not make it on to Hits 1. For a song to be eligible for this list, it needed to have not entered Hit-Bound nor the Weekend Countdown. Songs from the YouTube15 are eligible since these songs are not in Hits 1 regular rotation.

Keep in mind that these are not all of the good songs that missed Hits 1, but simply the twenty-five best. Some of these you may recognize because they were big hits that simply failed to make it on to Hits 1 for whatever reason. But there are some songs you may not know. Some of these were not actually released as singles. These songs are from a multitude of genres. So I encourage you to read this post with an open mind and possibly even listen to a few of these songs. You may find something you like. Who knows? So now I will present to you, the twenty-five best songs that did not make it on to Hits 1 during the year of 2017.





  • Kendrick Lamar – Humble
This one was a pretty obvious choice and it was a very big hit outside of Hits 1. It ended up being the #4 song of 2017 for Billboard. Kendrick Lamar is definitely one of the most talented rappers of our time, especially compared to all the mediocre trap rappers we have dominating the charts nowadays. This man is one of the few people that gives me faith in the rap genre. Humble is a fantastic song and was very well-produced. Kendrick is a very good rapper and he shows it here on this song. I like the lyrical content. I really like the chorus. The song is short, but it's very good and it'll leave you wanting more. I was satisfied with how it did on the charts. It was well-received by the public and I'm glad. Kendrick Lamar is one of the few rappers I can bear to listen to.



  • French Montana/Swae Lee – Unforgettable
I'm not big on French Montana overall. But Unforgettable is a definite stand-out from 2017. It's not your every day trap song. It actually has some dancehall influences. The production here is on point throughout the whole song. The beat had me captivated. French Montana's verses are actually not bad. Rae Sremmurd's Swae Lee actually sounds really good in the chorus. I think I like the song a lot more than I should. But it's undeniably catchy. It had my attention from start to end. This was a big hit as well peaking at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, which I think is good. This is one of the few rap songs I really liked from 2017. It's much better than some boring, repetitive trap song that sounds just like everything else from that genre. Unforgettable was a stand-out from the rap genre during 2017.



  • Kygo/Ellie Goulding – First Time
This song came after It Ain't Me, which ended up being ranked my #1 song of 2017. I had high expectations and I was most certainly not disappointed. Kygo has almost never failed to disappoint me, at least not yet. The production is very good during the whole song. Ellie Goulding's vocals shine like they always do. I really like the chorus and I think the drop sounds pretty cool. They are some cool chopped-up vocals towards the end of the song that remind me of this song's predecessor. It's a shame that this didn't get as big as It Ain't Me. It was certainly worthy of it. But it seems as though Kygo may simply be a one-hit wonder in the United States. As much as I don't want that to be, it's probably the reality. But despite this failing to take off, it is definitely one of the best songs of the year.



  • Clean Bandit/Zara Larsson – Symphony
This was another song that failed to take off in the United States, yet was successful in other parts of the world. Being the follow-up single to Rockabye, I thought it was just as good as its predecessor. Unfortunately, the public apparently didn't feel the same. I love the production here and how there were some classical elements thrown into it. That's what makes Clean Bandit stand out from other groups. It's a shame people don't notice these things. Zara Larsson was an excellent choice for the guest vocalist spot as she is very capable of hitting every high note in this song. That being said, her voice sounds amazing throughout the whole song. I really like the lyrical content. The music video was cool as well. Like I said, it's a shame this didn't take off. But it's still fantastic and it only made me like Clean Bandit more.



  • Thirty Seconds To Mars – Walk On Water
It didn't take long for me to fall in love with this song after its release. Jared Leto, while being a great actor, is a fantastic singer and I've enjoyed a lot of what Thirty Seconds To Mars have released. Walk On Water is definitely an anthem. The chorus is fantastic and while it seems repetitive, it's undeniably catchy. That's also when Jared Leto's voice shines the brightest. I love the addition of the gospel choir in the background and while their part also seems repetitive, I think it sounds really cool. And I love how the song is called Walk On Water. The only person that can walk on water is Jesus Christ and Jared Leto actually looks a lot like Jesus, which I thought was a little funny. Overall, great song. I wish it was more successful.




  • Keith Urban/Carrie Underwood – The Fighter
I can picture this song being on many people's worst of 2017 lists, especially those reviewing country music. Sure, this is the furthest thing from country I've heard all year. But I just really like it. I can't say I entirely know why. It has a very catchy hook. I think Keith Urban sounds good for the majority of the song. I like the addition of Carrie Underwood in the chorus and the way the vocalists switch back and forth with each line. I have a thing for duets like that, especially with songs like Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men. This song sounds a little country, but it's mainly a pop track and that's really not a bad thing, at least for me. I love a catchy pop tune and that's pretty much what The Fighter is for me. I've certainly heard worse "country" songs this past year.* Overall, I was pleased with how this song turned out. While both artists have done better, their duet is a lot of fun regardless. This barely made it on to the Billboard Year-End chart for 2017. But I'm glad it did and that it was somewhat successful.



  • Avicii/Rita Ora – Lonely Together
After the major success of Wake Me Up and the minor success of Hey Brother, I was certainly interested in hearing more from Avicii. His second studio album, Stories, came out in 2015 and I wasn't a huge fan of Waiting For Love, but I liked some of the songs like Broken Arrows, which had some country influences from Zac Brown Band. In 2017 he released an EP, of which Lonely Together is a single from. While it's not as good as what Avicii has previously done, it's definitely an enjoyable song. I like the production and Rita Ora sounds really good here. I didn't even know this song existed until I stumbled upon it on YouTube. I'm very glad I did because it is a very good song. I wish Avicii could have another big hit like Wake Me Up. But unfortunately, that probably won't happen.




  • Lorde – Homemade Dynamite
I'd like to start off by apologizing for my confusing thoughts on Green Light. It's actually a really good song that I wish had done better. Melodrama is a really good album and Homemade Dynamite is a favorite of mine. It reminds me of some of the songs from Pure Heroine. Lorde has a very interesting voice that I didn't think sounded great in dance-pop song, which is probably why I disliked Green Light at first. But it sounds fantastic on a song like this. Her vocals are almost mysterious in a way, especially in the chorus, which I love. The production is interesting and stands out as well. It's a very dark song and I think it works very well for Lorde. I can't picture any other artist pulling off a song like this. It's no wonder why this song as well as the album was critically acclaimed. I wish this was a bigger hit.



  • Demi Lovato – Tell Me You Love Me
I find it mind-boggling that this did not get as big as Sorry Not Sorry, yet it's so much better. Sorry Not Sorry was a mess all around with strange production and pitchy vocals. It didn't sound like her. But Tell Me You Love Me was a huge step up in my opinion. This type of song is very fitting for Demi Lovato as she has the perfect voice for it and sure enough, she definitely showcases her vocal capabilities here. She sounds really good all throughout the song, especially when she reaches her usual big note towards the end of the song. The production here is exceptional as the song is filled with horns that sound great and cool hand-claps in the chorus. It's very possibly the best song I've heard from Demi Lovato since Heart Attack. Sure, she's had a bunch of good songs since then. But none of them amazed me as much as Tell Me You Love Me did. It's a shame this didn't really take off even after the release of the music video.



  • J Balvin & Willy William/BeyoncĂ© – Mi Gente
This may be an unpopular opinion within the blogging community. But I choose to stand by this song. The first time I heard it was when it came on my Pandora station. It was the original version, but I found it quite catchy and enjoyable. I told myself that I wouldn't mind seeing it become a hit. Sure enough, it did, but partially because of the remix with Beyoncé, who I think sounds really good here. I think the song has a really cool beat. As someone with a Latin background, I have a thing for Latin songs like this one and artists like Ricky Martin, Prince Royce, and Enrique Iglesias. So that may have something to do with why I like this song. But honestly, I just think it's really catchy. Everyone sounds great on here. I'm glad it was a hit even though it failed to make it on to Hits 1. This song has some really good things about it that will make it remembered by me.



  • Lindsey Stirling/ZZ Ward – Hold My Heart
This song as well as Lindsey Stirling's previous single, Something Wild, got some radio airplay on stations like The Pulse (SiriusXM channel 15). But aside, it really wasn't a hit at all. For those that don't know, Lindsey Stirling is an America's Got Talent alumni from season 5. She's a violinist, dancer, and composer. She's very talented and her music is very good. I was first exposed to Shatter Me, which featured Lzzy Hale from Halestorm, and I loved that song. Stirling is a pro at what she does. I've never heard the violin incorporated into music the way she does it. Something Wild was like your everyday pop song, but with the addition of the violin, it made it sound so much better. She showcases her talent well here on Hold My Heart. I love the chorus. I think it's really catchy. ZZ Ward sounds really good. She has a good voice and I'm glad she was able to show it off here. The production is really good. I thought this was a great song and I wish more people would recognize the amount of talent that goes into everything she releases.



  • All Time Low – Dirty Laundry
The predecessor to Good Times definitely caught my attention the first time I listened to it. It wasn't a favorite among some of the YouTube critics. But it was definitely a favorite of mine. I get that this song doesn't really have much to it and that people probably expected more. But I appreciate the song for what it is. I like the way first chunk of the song is a bit quieter. I think it compliments Alex's vocals very nicely. Then when we get to the final chorus, we still get hear him scream a little as the song gets a little louder. But I love how it builds up to that moment. The song was organized very nicely and it was well-produced. When I reached the end of the song the first time I listened to it, I knew it was well worth my time. In a way, the song reminded me of Missing You, another song from this band that I enjoyed. I wish this was a bigger hit. But at least Good Times was somewhat successful, at least on Hits 1.



  • PVRIS – Heaven
I really like this song and this band. Their most recent album, All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell, was definitely a favorite of mine in 2017. I think what makes PVRIS stand out from other bands for me is how they have a female vocalist, Lynn Gunn. There aren't very rock bands with female lead vocalists aside from Evanescence. Amy Lee is a very talented singer. She's one of my favorites and Lynn Gunn is not that far away from being a favorite of mine as well. She has a very powerful voice and she really shows it here on Heaven, which was the lead single from their most recent album. I think she sounds fantastic on this song as well as pretty much every other song from the album. I love her voice. The instrumentation here is really good as well. I think the band sounds great. I really like the lyrical content. All in all, it's a great song. I think PVRIS is underrated and I've been a fan of them for a little while. I liked their first album, White Noise, and songs like You and I. Their new album definitely impressed me and this song was one of my personal favorites.



  • Fall Out Boy – The Last Of The Real Ones
Like I've said before, MANIA seems to be a mixed bag for me. I'm not a fan of their experimental singles. This song and Champion were really the only ones that appealed to me because they really felt like the Fall Out Boy I like. I'd argue that this is even the better song between the two. The Last Of The Real Ones takes me back to a time when Fall Out Boy were a bit more rock. The instrumentals here sound fantastic. I love how loud and fast-paced the song is. Patrick Stump's vocals sound amazing in this song. I'm disappointed that this song failed to make it on to Hits 1. They picked up Champion, but skipped this and went right to Hold Me Tight Or Don't, which is a shame because I don't like that song and I love this one. Apparently, the entire MANIA album is available for preview listening. My brother was playing each song for me and they all sounded pretty mediocre. So this is one of the only good songs from that album. I wish the public treated it better. It was worthy of being a hit in my opinion.




  • N.E.R.D/Rihanna – Lemon
I'm probably going to have a hard time defending this song. I don't know what is about this song, but I just love it. Obviously, it's more of a guilty pleasure, at least for me. It's been a long time since I've heard from Pharrell's side project. I actually hated this song at first. I thought it was stupid and annoying. But I gave it more listens because I was quite fascinated by Rihanna's contribution. I don't think I've ever heard her rap like that. In time, I grew into the song. The production isn't much. But the vocals are decent. There isn't any actual singing here, but both artists sound good rapping. There isn't much to this lyrically and the music video is quite strange. But there's just something about this song that has my undivided attention. It's probably Rihanna because I doubt I'd like this song as much as I do if it didn't have her. But I have to say, it was a good comeback for N.E.R.D. The song is entertaining and actually kind of fun to listen to. I can understand if some don't like this, but it's definitely something I've actually gone out of my way to listen to. It's that catchy.



  • Papa Roach/Skylar Grey – Periscope
I've never been too drawn into Papa Roach's music. I've always thought they were okay. They have a few good songs every now and then. Their most recent album, Crooked Teeth, came out last May. I didn't listen to the whole thing. I skimmed some of the tracks. But I thought Periscope was a stand-out. Jacoby Shaddix sounds really good all throughout the song, especially when he shouts "Through a periscope!" I really like the chorus. I love that they brought Skylar Grey as a guest. She's very underrated, yet talented. I remember this was the first song I'd heard from her since Cannonball featuring X Ambassadors. She sounds really good on here. I love her voice and I think she and Shaddix sound good together. I like the production and instrumentation here. I think it's a cool song overall. It's a favorite of mine from Papa Roach.



  • Fitz & The Tantrums – Roll Up
HandClap was obviously a big success. I first heard Roll Up on Alt Nation and I soon became addicted. HandClap was one of the catchiest songs of 2016 and Roll Up is one of the catchiest songs of 2017. Fitz & The Tantrums have pretty much always produced catchy music. I thought Out Of My League and The Walker were both really catchy. Roll Up has some cool production. It may sound a little goofy. But I love it. It fits the band very well. Michael Fitzpatrick really shows off his vocals here. He sounds really good all throughout this song, especially in the chorus. The repetition of "Roll Up" sounds cool. This song had me hooked from the first listen and I still love it. Definitely one of my favorites this past year. I wish these guys had more hits because they are very talented.



  • Cold War Kids – Love Is Mystical
Cold War Kids have never released something that stuck with me, at least not as much as Love Is Mystical. This song is definitely their best song in a long time. I love the production here. The song was put together very well. It has a stomping chorus that sounds amazing. The vocals here are really good and I really like the lyrical content as well. I really don't have much else to say about this song. It's one of those songs that you kind of have to listen to to understand what I'm getting at. But I definitely recommend taking a listen if you haven't heard it yet.



  • Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness – Fire Escape
I've kind of been a low-key fan of Andrew McMahon ever since I first heard Cecilia & The Satellite on Alt Nation. I was a big fan of that song and then I heard Something Wild by Lindsey Stirling, which Andrew was featured on. I loved that song as well. It was very beautiful track with a nice incorporation of the violin. Andrew has a very good voice, which is why I became a fan. When Fire Escape was released as the lead single from his most recent album, Zombies On Broadway, I was instantly a fan. I love the use of the piano in this song. The chorus was louder than I expected, but it sounds amazing. Andrew's vocals sound really good as they have in the past. The lyrical content is really good. I love the repetition of the line, "Swinging from the fire escape." I think this man is very talented and I'm glad he's been successful on stations like Alt Nation and The Pulse. Whether this song is as good as Cecilia & The Satellite, I don't know. But Fire Escape has been a very enjoyable listen this past year.



  • Shinedown – How Did You Love
Shinedown's 2015 album, Threat To Survival, definitely had some singles that stuck with me, this being one of them. Cut The Cord, the lead single, is easily one of the band's best songs. It's loud, it's energetic, and it gets you pumped. How Did You Love doesn't reach that level, but it definitely gets the job done, which is not surprising for Shinedown. I usually find myself enjoying their music, even if it's not the best they've done. How Did You Love is a really good song in my opinion. I think the instrumentation and production is really good. Brent Smith's vocals sound fantastic. He's definitely one of the strongest singers I've ever heard not just in rock, but in music in general. I love the original album version, but I also love the piano version. That version really highlights Brent Smith's vocals and it makes him sound even more amazing. I love when an amazing singer like him does a piano track that really showcases his voice. It just made me love the song even more. I was pleased with how this song did on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart as it peaked at #1, which is nothing new for Shinedown being their 11th number one hit. But overall, I'm definitely a fan of the band and this song.



  • Wrabel – The Village
I've been a fan of Wrabel since he was featured on the song Teen Feet Tall by Afrojack. I thought he had a really good voice and I wanted to hear more from him. He collaborated with Marshmello on the song Ritual, which was a favorite of mine last year. That was another song with great vocals from him. We even got a few solo singles like 11 Blocks, which I heard frequently on The Pulse. I loved that song. After a few more singles and an EP, we got The Village, which I fell in love with from the first listen. It's a beautiful song about acceptance. The lyrical content is fantastic and I love the music video. The video is about the struggle of a transgender teen and it was made shortly after President Trump's ban on transgender individuals serving in the military. We need more songs like this that support equality for all people no matter race, gender, or sexual orientation. I'm glad Wrabel took on this song. He sounds fantastic as always. I love his voice. He's very underrated, which is unfortunate because he is so talented. His songs are all really good. He's also featured in Kygo's new album, Kids In Love, and it's one of the best songs on the album partially because of his amazing vocals. But yeah. The Village definitely stood out to me. I look forward to hearing more from him.



  • The Killers – The Man
This is hands-down the catchiest song of the year, at least in my opinion. I love The Killers. I grew up listening to these guys, especially their album, Day & Age, which is really good. I really like The Man. It's a little different for The Killers, but man is it catchy. I first heard this on Alt Nation and I've loved it ever since. I'm glad it was successful on their Alt-18 countdown. The production here is on point. Brandon Flowers' vocals still sound as good as they used to.  It's a very interesting song that I simply cannot help but love. I've loved The Killers for quite some time now. This song is no exception. It may even be one of their best songs along with songs like Human, Spaceman, and Mr. Brightside. It's seriously that good. Like I said, I'm very pleased with how successful it was on Alt Nation. The rest of the album, Wonderful Wonderful, is really good as well. But The Man was definitely something.



  • Imagine Dragons – Walking The Wire
I've been pretty mixed on Imagine Dragons' latest music. I hated Believer at first, but now I love it. I loved Thunder at first, but now I hate it. It's not even that I got sick of Thunder. I realized it's just not a good song for Imagine Dragons. It lacks what made Night Visions stand out. But Walking The Wire is fantastic. It's probably the best song from Evolve along with songs like Whatever It Takes. This song feels so powerful the way it was produced and the way Dan Reynolds belts out the chorus. It kind of gave me chills the first few times I listened to it. The lyrical content is really good. It's an amazing love song that I wish got more attention. This should've been released as a single, not Thunder. This is the more powerful song that has so much more meaning. It's also not one of those songs that gets annoying after hearing it so much. Dan Reynolds really shows what he's capable of vocally in this song. It was very well put-together. I wish it was released as an official single. But sadly, it's not more than a promotional single. These kinds of songs tend to get overlooked.



  • Kygo/Justin Jesso – Stargazing
I did not expect this song to come out when it did. But as you probably guessed, I fell in love with this song from the first listen. It's very similar to It Ain't Me, which I also loved. The production here is really good. Kygo impressed me yet again. I love the chorus and I think the drop is really catchy. The chopped-up vocals fit nicely. Justin Jesso sounds really good all throughout the song. I like the lyrical content. The music video was a little emotional for me. Along with this original version, there's also an orchestral version, which I think sounds really cool. Justin's vocals sound a bit more raw and we get to hear Kygo on the piano with a beautiful-sounding orchestra in the background. It puts a cool spin on the song. Overall, I love this song. It's not Kygo's best, but it's definitely one of his best. As someone that has been a fan since Firestone and Stole The Show, I think this is quality work from Kygo. He makes tropical house something that is really enjoyable and I love that he was able to get his name out there in 2017 with It Ain't Me (thanks to Selena Gomez). I definitely his latest album if you haven't heard it. But yeah. Stargazing was a big stand-out towards the end of the year.



  • Linkin Park/Pusha T/Stormzy – Good Goodbye
The final song on this list is also possibly the best one (not that the rest of these were in any particular order). It comes from Linkin Park from their latest album, One More Light. I didn't love that album, but it had a few good songs like this one. I love Linkin Park's incorporation of rap into their pop-rock style. We finally get to hear Mike Shinoda's rapping again. I think his verse sounds really good and I'm honestly just glad that he even had a verse because he's one of the reasons I love Linkin Park. I really like Pusha T's verse as well. It sounds cool and he sounds very good. I don't love Stormzy's verse. It's okay. But I would've much preferred a second verse from either Mike Shinoda or Pusha T. Chester Bennington takes on the chorus as expected and I think he sounds really good here. He shows off his voice very nicely in this song. I love the song's production. It's definitely not like the old Linkin Park, but it's an interesting new direction. This is probably the best off of the album along with the title track. I remember when this was first released as a promotional single, I thought it was a lot better than the other pre-releases. Then after hearing the rest of the album, it became a favorite of mine. Once again, I want to say rest in peace to Chester. It's still very heartbreaking. He and Chris Cornell were two of the biggest losses in music in 2017. I'm glad Linkin Park were able to get one more album out and while it may have been torn apart by fans, I appreciated it for what it was. I didn't love it. But I applaud them for taking their own path and doing what they want. Good Goodbye turned out to be a really good song, one that I will definitely remember.




You have finally reached the end! Those were the 25 best songs of 2017 that failed to make it on to Hits 1 that I wanted to acknowledge. Unfortunately, I didn't get every good song from this past year in this list. But these were the 25 best. Anyway, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed! The Hits 1 Year-End ranking is next. But before I go, I want to talk about something.


One of our readers who is part of our blogging community (he goes by the name ".") has created something called the 2017 Hits 1 Year-End Rankdown. The concept of this game was taken from the Pulse Music Board, which he is part of. Basically, he has a form for you guys to fill out where you rank every song from Hits 1's Top 45 of 2017 based on your opinion. #45 is your least favorite, while #1 is your favorite. Then what he does is he takes the average ranking for each song and counts down the Top 45 based on those averages. Then at the end, he does some calculations and shows whose ranking was the most accurate. If you want to get a better idea of what I'm talking about, feel free to check out the rankdowns for 2015 and 2016.


We're still looking for participants for the 2017 ranking. I myself am participating. All you have to do is enter your name (or remain anonymous) and rank every song from Hits 1's 2017 Year-End ranking based on your opinion. It's very simple. Then after he gets the list together, he'll update this page on a daily basis and reveal five songs at a time. Like I said, it's simple and I think it's cool to see how everyone ranks a certain song. This is not mandatory by any means, but if you want to participate, which I encourage, you have until this Saturday, January 20 at 3:00 PM EST to submit your list. The links you need are down below.


The main page where the results will be posted (any questions can be addressed here): http://countdownguyblog.blogspot.com/p/2017-hits-1-ye-rankdown.html

The form to submit: https://goo.gl/forms/GlcR525SW83xddpY2


*Body Like A Back Road

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Ed Sheeran (2) – Week Of January 13, 2018

Hey guys! I apologize for the lack of Year-End posts. I'll hopefully have two for you guys this week. In the meantime, here's the countdown post. Things really didn't get any better this week. We lost three great songs and the Top 20 isn't looking as good as before. But at least we have a great #1 song. Before we get to this week's Fresh 45, here are the songs we're saying goodbye to this week.


  • Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill (#27) [x2] {3 Weeks At #1}
  • Cheat Codes/Demi Lovato – No Promises (#38)
  • Macklemore/Skylar Grey – Glorious (#43)

Last Week's #1 Song: Imagine Dragons – Thunder
The Countdown
45. Harry Styles – Kiwi (#41)
44. Taylor Swift – Look What You Made Me Do (#42)
43. MAX/Gnash – Lights Down Low (#45)
42. Zedd/Alessia Cara – Stay (#36) [4 Weeks At #1]
41. The Shadowboxers – Hot Damn (#30)
40. Charlie Puth – Attention (#43) [1 Week At #1]
39. Ed Sheeran – Shape Of You (#44) [9 Weeks At #1]
38. Niall Horan – Slow Hands (#35) [3 Weeks At #1]
37. P!nk – What About Us (#31) [1 Week At #1]
36. Liam Payne – Strip That Down (#32) [2 Weeks At #1]
35. Taylor Swift – ...Ready For It? (#22)
34. Louis Tomlinson – Miss You (#36)
33. Kesha – Praying (#26)
32. Zayn/Sia – Dusk Till Dawn (#21)
31. Ed Sheeran – Galway Girl (#11) [4 Weeks At #1]
30. Bruno Mars/Cardi B – Finesse (DEBUT)
29. Shawn Mendes – There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back (#29) [5 Weeks At #1]
28. Demi Lovato – Sorry Not Sorry (#28)
27. Symon – Lonely Girl (#39)
26. Liam Payne – Bedroom Floor (#24)
25. Walk The Moon – One Foot (#18)
24. Justin Timberlake – Filthy (DEBUT)
23. Portugal. The Man – Feel It Still (#24)
22. Taylor Swift/Ed Sheeran/Future – End Game (#34)
21. X Ambassadors – Ahead Of Myself (#20)
20. G-Eazy/Halsey – Him & I (DEBUT)
19. Fall Out Boy – Hold Me Tight Or Don't (#33)
18. Lauv – I Like Me Better (#23)
17. Imagine Dragons – Believer (#16) [3 Weeks At #1]
16. Post Malone/21 Savage – Rockstar (#8)
15. Maroon 5/SZA – What Lovers Do (#6)
14. Eminem/Ed Sheeran – River (#19)
13. Sam Smith – Too Good At Goodbyes (#13)
12. Dua Lipa – New Rules (#12)
11. Niall Horan – Too Much To Ask (#15)
10. Macklemore/Kesha – Good Old Days (#14)
  9. Charlie Puth – How Long (#7)
  8. Selena Gomez/Marshmello – Wolves (#10)
  7. Kelly Clarkson – Love So Soft (#9)
  6. Bebe Rexha/Florida Georgia Line – Meant To Be (#17)
  5. Camila Cabello – Havana (#4) [1 Week At #1]
  4. Hailee Steinfeld & Alesso/Florida Georgia Line/watt – Let Me Go (#5)
  3. Imagine Dragons – Thunder (#1) [3 Weeks At #1]
  2. Halsey – Bad At Love (#2) [2 Weeks At #1]
  1. Ed Sheeran – Perfect (#3) [2nd Week At #1]

#1 Song This Week One Year Ago: Maroon 5 – Don't Wanna Know (2)

Biggest DROP!!!... Of The Week: Ed Sheeran – Galway Girl (–20)

Biggest Jump Of The Week: Fall Out Boy – Hold Me Tight Or Don't (+14)

New Entrants
~ First up this week, we have Bruno Mars debuting with his remix of Finesse featuring Cardi B. I'd like to apologize for my review last week. I've given it several more listens these past few days and I've come to realize it's actually not that bad of a song. It's nothing amazing to me, but it's somewhat enjoyable. I do think Bruno Mars has a great voice and I'm glad that he uses it well here. Like I've said before, I don't love this kind of music. But the song is catchy in a way. I don't love the lyrical content. I also don't love Cardi B's contribution to the song. Her part isn't bad, but I feel like it could've been done better by a more talented artist. Cardi B was likely only picked because of her relevancy as she had a #1 last year, which was also one of the worst songs of the year. But this track seems to be a grower for me. It could potentially be in green sometime soon. Of course it'll probably end up being the next That's What I Like. But we'll see how this song does.

~ Next we have the big Justin Timberlake return as we approach his big Super Bowl halftime show performance. Making its debut this week is Filthy, the lead single from Man Of The Woods. Like I said last week, this song was a lot to take in. It's much different than any song I've ever heard from him. But Justin Timberlake has always been one to take risks. Suit & Tie is a good example of that and while I didn't necessarily love that song, it performed well. This new album is essentially supposed to be him going back to his roots. But this new song makes that statement a little questionable. The production is quite strange for the most part. But it definitely caught my attention. His vocals aren't as strong here as they usually are, which is a little disappointing. But he does still sound good. Like I said, this song was a risk and it kind of worked out, but there are definitely ways in which this could be improved upon. But this song is a grower. I've listened to it several times and it has gotten better with each listen. It could be in green soon. But for now, I don't hate it, nor do I love it.

~ Finally we have G-Eazy making his return after Good Life featuring Kehlani only lasted one week. Fortunately, this new song seems like it's bound to be a hit. We have Him & I featuring Halsey. I must say, G-Eazy and Halsey is a collab that works out very well. It feels like these two artists collaborating was meant to be (no pun intended). These two sound really good together and I was quite impressed with how Him & I turned out. The production here is really good and I think G-Eazy, being one of the only good rappers these days, sounds really good. I like his verses. Halsey sounds really good in the chorus. I can't picture any other singer taking on that part. I don't have as much to say here as I did with the previous two songs, but this is definitely the best debut of the week in my opinion. I'm glad it was the highest debut as well.


Hit-Bound
~ Here is the Hit-Bound list.


  • Sofi Tukker/NERVO – Best Friend
  • P!nk – Beautiful Trauma
  • Alan Walker/Noah Cyrus/Digital Farm Animals – All Falls Down
  • Clean Bandit/Julia Michaels – I Miss You
  • AJR/Rivers Cuomo – Sober Up
  • Maroon 5 – Wait
  • Kesha/The Dap-King Horns – Woman (DEBUT)
  • Spencer – Whatever
  • All Time Low – Last Young Renegade
  • Imagine Dragons – Whatever It Takes
  • NF – Let You Down
  • Troye Sivan – My My My! (DEBUT)
  • Camila Cabello – Never Be The Same
  • Wolves – Animal

~ Woman definitely reminds me of Kesha's older music. I like the vibe here and it's a fun song overall. Hopefully, this can be another hit for Kesha. My My My was definitely something I was anticipating as I really like Troye Sivan. I'm very pleased with how this song turned out. His voice sounds really good, especially in the chorus. More on this when it debuts.


Top 5 Hit-Bound Picks
1. Troye Sivan – My My My!
2. Imagine Dragons – Whatever It Takes
3. Clean Bandit/Julia Michaels – I Miss You
4. P!nk – Beautiful Trauma
5. Kesha/The Dap-King Horns – Woman


Blurbs & I
~ I'm glad Ed Sheeran got to spend another week at the top with Perfect. This is definitely one of my favorites at the moment. I much prefer this at the top over Thunder, Havana, and Bad At Love. So hopefully this can hold for a little while.

~ As far as our Top 10 entrants go, we have Meant To Be and Good Old Days. I'm pleased with both songs entering the Top 10. I think they're very deserving of it and hopefully they stay for a little while. I expect Good Old Days to be as successful as Glorious at the very least. I'm pleased with how quickly this rose to the Top 10.

~ It was definitely expected to see both End Game and Hold Me Tight Or Don't take big jumps this week as they're from two of Hits 1's favorite artists. I'm okay with one of them doing well. The other I'm hoping doesn't stick around.

~ Ed Sheeran – Galway Girl took quite a big drop this week. I expected it to drop pretty soon, but not as much as it did. I was losing interest in it though. So I'm kind of glad it dropped this much. Though I'm sure it won't be leaving anytime soon.

~ Speaking of Ed Sheeran, it was this week one year ago that Shape Of You made its debut on this countdown. Happy one year anniversary!

~ Our exits this week consisted of three songs that all made it on to my Top 45 songs of 2017. They were all amazing in their own ways and I'm glad each of them were as successful as they were. I enjoyed them all throughout their time on the countdown. Thank you all for being great songs. You will certainly be missed.


Top 20 Review
0 – Crap:
NONE

1 – Bad:
20. Imagine Dragons – Thunder
19. Post Malone/21 Savage – Rockstar
18. Lauv – I Like Me Better

2 – Mediocre:
17. Kelly Clarkson – Love So Soft
16. Fall Out Boy – Hold Me Tight Or Don't

3 – Decent:
NONE

4 – Good:
NONE

5 – Great:
15. Camila Cabello – Havana
14. Halsey – Bad At Love
13. Dua Lipa – New Rules
12. Niall Horan – Too Much To Ask
11. Charlie Puth – How Long
10. Sam Smith – Too Good At Goodbyes
9. Maroon 5/SZA – What Lovers Do
8. Imagine Dragons – Believer
7. Selena Gomez/Marshmello – Wolves
6. G-Eazy/Halsey – Him & I
5. Bebe Rexha/Florida Georgia Line – Meant To Be
4. Hailee Steinfeld & Alesso/F.G.L./watt – Let Me Go
3. Ed Sheeran – Perfect
2. Eminem/Ed Sheeran – River

BONUS: 6 – Best Song On The Countdown:
1. Macklemore/Kesha – Good Old Days

Overall Score: 83/100 = 83% (B)


Throwback Pick Of The Week: Justin Timberlake – Rock Your Body

Most Missed Countdown Song: Zedd/Foxes – Clarity

#1 Recommendation For Hits 1: Mono Mind – I Found My Soul At Marvingate (Sofa Tunes Remix)

Favorite Countdown Song This Week One Year Ago: Martin Garrix/Bebe Rexha – In The Name Of Love (#31)


My Top 5 Picks
1. Macklemore/Kesha – Good Old Days
2. Walk The Moon – One Foot
3. Eminem/Ed Sheeran – River
4. Kesha – Praying
5. Ed Sheeran – Perfect