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.
Best songs of 2016: (15-11)
15. Aminata “Fighter”
What we said: Fans of Aminata’s music won’t be disappointed as the mini but mighty warrior does not veer far from what she does best — infectious electronic beats that allow her voice to shine. “Fighter” allows Aminata to show off those mesmerising vocals as she belts out a powerful chorus. The song is about perseverance as Aminata tells us “I’m a fighter for the rest of my life”.
The music video tells the story of the song through the life of Aminata as a boxer. She trains hard, gets up when she is knocked down and keeps fighting until she comes out on top. Simple yet effective — whether she’s boxing or she’s singing, Aminata slays. (Antranig)
14. Sergey Lazarev “Idealniy Mir”
What we said: Combining electro elements with pure pop and the tiniest splash of tropical beats, the single is easily Sergey’s most current sounding song for a long time. And it’s a real earworm too. It might be sung in Russian, but the “idealniy mir…” refrain is infectious in any language.
With Brexit, Trump and who knows what else looming large, the song is particularly timely. The “You Are The Only One” hitmaker sings of a utopia where men and women are both strong and gentle. His world is “imperfectly perfect”, but difference and risk-taking are encouraged as ultimately all is forgiven. (Padraig)
13. Donny Montell “Fly”
What we said: Dancing to the upbeat soul-influenced pop of “Fly”, Donny and his dancers can be found busting some moves in the big square at Sergels Torg.
Donny and his friends move to other locations, showing an edgy side to urban Stockholm. He also makes an appearance in the square right between Globen Arena and the building used as the Eurovision press centre. And while it doesn’t quite have the same feeling as it had in May, Donny still brings a cool energy. (Robyn)
12. Eric Saade “Colors”
What we said: The song takes the listener back to the ’80s, but with a fresh production that gives it a 2016 feel. With slightly deeper lyrics and a synthpop sound, the new single is something completely different from Eric — and it really is a refreshing change.
Eric has made the dance pop sound his trademark so at first “Colors” might not be something for the fans of his old sound. However, the song is good, and it might just be the best Saade track ever.
The lyrics deal with the pressure of modern life. He sings, “It’s spinning round like one million pills in my mind/I can feel my dream slowly coming to life.” It’s all getting too much, and he concludes, “I need to recover from black and white to colours”.
“Colors” shows that Eric can do much more than just disposable pop for teenage girls. (Sami)
11. Serebro “Chocolate”
What we said: Just like its namesake, the single is absolutely delicious.
They’ve used the finest ingredients to come up with a sophisticated yet breezy pop song which literally screams summer — “my love for you tastes like summer”.
The laid back sound is distinctly ’90s, and bears a strong Ace Of Base feel — only classier.
The track marks an interesting change in direction for the
band brand. Because while they’ve always been capable of producing top notch summery fare, it’s never sounded this stylish. (Padraig)
How’s the list shaping up? Are these among your best songs of 2016? Let us know below.