It was an excellent year for women with a sense of humor and ingenious ideas about how to remake classic styles in their own radiant image (Cardi B, Pistol Annies, Courtney Barnett).
And a fine one for pop songs that questioned worn out sexual and social identities (Janelle Monae’s “Make Me Feel,” Hayley Kiyoko’s “Curious,” Christine and the Queens’ “Doesn’t Matter”); artists from Latin America (Karol G), continental Europe (Rosalía) and Asia (BTS) made the music scene feel like a global conversation; Sheck Wes fuck-shit-bitched his way into our heart; Carly Rae Jepsen kicked ecstatic self-care; and everyone from Lucy Dacus to Ariana Grande to Troye Sivan had us catching feelings we couldn’t shake.
#50. Weezer, “Africa”
Wait, you didn’t expect the one song from 2018 that would truly gather us all together to bask in the glow of our shared humanity would be Weezer covering a Toto tune? Well, that’s on you, dummy. Rivers Cuomo rocked his yacht straight into the dark heart of our collective pop culture consciousness with this uncannily wondrous cover of one of the Eighties’ most mysterious Top 40 classics. Can’t wait to find out which song he chooses to capture the spirit of America with in 2028.
#49. Arctic Monkeys, “Four Out of Five”
The Monkeys’ latest album is a laudable but suboptimal detour into spacey lounge-pop. But Alex Turner’s approach to lyrics on the LP – piling up signifiers in a half-amused lizard-croon — suits this standout track, which is propelled a sinewy slow-burn groove that recalls the band’s 2013 hit “Do I Wanna Know.” Turner sings about a taco shop on the moon called the Information Action Ratio, a phrase lifted from Neil Postman’s 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. By the time you wonder what exactly it means that there’s a well-reviewed taqueria in space, you’re lost in the witchy undertow.
#48. Teyana Taylor, “Gonna Love Me”
The recipe for “Gonna Love Me” is pretty simple: Take Teyana Taylor — singer, actress, Kanye West muse — and a Delfonics sample (here, a warped flip of their 1970 track “I Gave to You”), and let the two cook for as long as necessary. On Taylor’s K.T.S.E., the final album in West’s run of late-spring mini-albums, the end result is a touching portrait of a relationship on the rocks, with Taylor’s weathered voice imbuing late-hour-weary lyrics with pathos while evincing just enough hope to let her lover know she’ll be keeping the light for at least another hour.
(Excerpt) Read More at: RollingStone.com