Incredibly, 2016 is almost up. And that means one thing — the return of our annual Top Tracks countdown!
As usual, the team from wiwibloggs voted for their favourite 2016 releases and recordings by and featuring Eurovision stars. Songs which competed at Eurovision or national finals were excluded (they’ve been analysed to death in our jury reviews), as were artists who’ve yet to compete on the Eurovision stage (sorry [insert name of your favourite national final act]).
After considering well over 100 songs, we finally settled on our top 50. And now we’re ready to share it with y’all. We’ll publish five tracks daily for the next ten days. Then on Christmas Eve we’ll announce our number one, giving you just enough time to send any last requests to Santa.
Our best songs of 2016: (45-41)
45. Boston Bun feat. Loreen “Get Into It”
What we said: The single sees the Swedish Eurovision 2012 winner join forces with the up-and-coming French DJ Boston Bun (or Thibaud Noyer to his mum). Together, the pair create a piano house track which finally moves Ms Talhaoui away from the tired anthemic template used in almost all her post-“Euphoria” songs.
The lyrics strip her bare – “I believed that you believed in me, but I guess there wasn’t enough” – and rather than reaching out to the masses, they take us on a personal journey.
“Get Into It” isn’t going to be the song that returns Loreen to the heady heights of “Euphoria”. Nevertheless, the very fact that it takes Loreen out of her comfort zone, whilst avoiding the pretentiousness of “I’m In It With You”, is a very good thing. (Padraig)
44. Margaret Berger “Running With Scissors”
What we said: “Running With Scissors” suggests daring and danger with perhaps a dash of foolishness. And so it begins, with an atmospheric opening giving way to Margaret’s icy sweet vocals. Therein ends the excitement.
A knee-jerk reaction would be to question whether the singer is referring to safety scissors. Because, sonically at least, the track offers nothing new or interesting. But such a dismissive attitude would be short-sighted.
Simply put, this is Margaret’s most personal song yet. It has an autobiographical feel. Singing of high stakes and high hopes, the track bears more than a passing resemblance to her real life split from Universal Music and her subsequent forays as an independent artist. This new artistic freedom allows Margaret to essentially give us a piece of her soul. (Padraig)
43. Anna Rossinelli “King Mustafa”
What we said: The feel-good factor is turned up even higher on “King Mustafa”, a Caribbean flavoured tale of whimsy. It’s all about letting your hair down and living life to the fullest as worries and stress are placed to one side — “the king without his heavy crown, never felt so free”.
The music video embraces the message, showing Anna and the boys dancing on the streets and encouraging the locals to get down with them. It’s plain and simple fun which requires just one thing — a smile. (Padraig)
42. Amir “Ma vie, ma ville, mon monde”
What we said: “Ma vie, ma ville, mon monde” is significantly lighter, albeit not as throw-away as “J’ai cherché”. It’s slick, modern guitar pop and with a little tweaking wouldn’t be out of place on a Kendji Girac record. (Padraig)
41. Guy Sebastian “Candle”
What we said: “Candle” is a slice of dark, electro-funk soul. Sorry in advance to all of you who may have fallen for Guy, because this song shows he’s all about just one woman.
Guy’s soulful vocals may never have sounded better, enhanced by a killer beat. The song is definitely at its best when the electro beat is at its hardest in the chorus. It’s not a sound you’d usually associate with Guy, but he sells it perfectly.
It’s a love song without any of the usual schmaltz: no other woman can hold a “candle” to Guy’s wife, after all. As great as Guy can be on a conventional ballad, this goes to show that he wouldn’t need those to woo anyone. (Chris)
How’s the list shaping up? Are these among your best songs of 2016? Let us know below.