GRAMMYS 2019: Who Should Win and Who Will Win?

The 61st Grammy nominations are officially here, and with them came mass uproar, shock and questions about the changing industry. While the hours since the reveal of the nominations have been spent discussing who got snubbed, who wasn’t deserving and who exactly some of the nominees even were, it’s time to turn our attention to an even more important question – in a  very different race than many thought it would be, who is taking home those megaphones come next year?

RECORD OF THE YEAR

The Nominees:

Cardi B – I Like It

Brandi Carlile – The Joke

Childish Gambino – This Is America

Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper – Shallow

Drake – God’s Plan

Kendrick Lamar & SZA – All the Stars

Post Malone & 21 Savage – Rockstar

Zedd & Maren Morris – The Middle

Probably one of the least shocking categories this year was Record of the Year, where really the only major players who missed being Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran (and Beyoncé), and Ariana Grande. Without them it seems like this is even more of a landslide for Gambino’s ‘This is America’. Drake and Kendrick Lamar could give him a run for his money given the support the academy has shown the two in this year’s nominations. Same could be said for Carlile who came out of nowhere to secure this nod, but at the end of the day, ‘This is America’ is the deserving, and most likely winner.

SHOULD WIN: ‘This is America’ – Childish Gambino
WILL WIN: ‘This is America’ – Childish Gambino

SONG OF THE YEAR

The Nominees:

Kendrick Lamar & SZA – All the Stars

Ella Mai – Boo’d Up

Drake – God’s Plan

Shawn Mendes – In My Blood

Brandi Carlile – The Joke

Zedd & Maren Morris – The Middle

Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper – Shallow

Childish Gambino – This Is America

This one was a bit more shocking than the Record. Major players that missed were pop’s main girls Taylor Swift’s ‘Delicate’ and Ariana Grande’s ‘No Tears Left To Cry’. Another contender should have been Maroon 5’s ‘Girl Like You’, which was relegated to the pop field. Again, this seems like a slam-dunk for Gambino, particularly given the trend of awarding one artist both awards in the past few years. However, in a ridiculously unpredictable year, anything could happen. Carlile’s support here is shocking and could well give her a win. Lady Gaga is having an amazing year and that could get her over the line. Additionally, Lamar and Drake are always there in the background. Given Lamar’s status as one of the most snubbed artists in recent memory, and SZA losing all five nominations last year, it could be ‘All The Stars’ that takes it home.

SHOULD WIN: ‘The Joke’ – Brandi Carlile
WILL WIN: ‘This is America’ – Childish Gambino

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

The Nominees:

H.E.R. – H.E.R.

Brandi Carlile – By the Way, I Forgive You

Drake – Scorpion

Various Artists – Black Panther: The Album

Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour

Post Malone – Beerbongs & Bentleys

Cardi B – Invasion of Privacy

Janelle Monáe – Dirty Computer

Arguably, the most shocking of all the nominations from this morning was Album of the Year. Album of the Year staple Taylor Swift missed with reputation, her first LP since 2010’s Speak Now to fail to secure a nod here. Beyoncé and Jay-z’s Everything is Love also didn’t get a nod, despite their status as music’s king and queen. Elsewhere, Chris Stapleton’s From A Room: Vol 2, as well as Grande’s Sweetener and a number of other contenders. Instead, the 8 nominees are divided into commercial smashes and critical darlings and it’s hard to know who will prevail. Drake’s Scorpion was the second highest selling album of the past year, while Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy and Post Malone’s Beerpongs and Bentleys had solid debuts with huge hits to help bolster their profile here. Perhaps its Lamar’s years to finally take the trophy home for Black Panther, which was also one of the biggest movies of the year and is set to be a huge awards contender itself. On the other hand, Musgraves produced one of country’s finest LP’s in a long time, H.E.R’s self-titled debut was critically adored, and Carlile appears to have huge industry support. In the end, one LP stands well above the rest. Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer was a masterful exploration of sexuality, race and patriotism that is perfect from top to bottom and is more than deserving of the trophy.

SHOULD WIN: Dirty Computer – Janelle Monae
WILL WIN: Black Panther: The Album – Various Artists

BEST NEW ARTIST

The Nominees:

Chloe x Halle

Luke Combs

Greta Van Fleet

H.E.R.

Dua Lipa

Margo Price

Bebe Rexha

Jorja Smith

This was Dua Lipa’s to lose from the get-go. With the snub of her biggest contender Ella Mai, Lipa seems like a sure thing. Best New Artist is an odd category given its ever-changing rules, but realistically, her only competition here is Rexha and H.E.R. As for who should win, Chloe x Halle had a wonderful debut album, Luke Combs had some big songs on the country charts and Jorja Smith got acclaim for her debut album. However, the Academy likes to award the next big thing here, and that is most certainly Lipa. Don’t be surprised if you see a major upset given this year’s unpredictability, but for now, it’s Lipa’s to lose.

SHOULD WIN: Dua Lipa
WILL WIN: Dua Lipa

Leave your predictions for the 61st Grammy Awards below.

 

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GRAMMYS 2019 Predictions: Beyoncé, Gambino and more eye the Big Four

As award season draws ever closer, it is once again that time to think about who will be a major player at music’s biggest night. Last year was one of complete unpredictability but with the expansion of the main four categories to 8 nominees instead of the usual five, it is slightly easier to take a stab at guessing who will be honoured at this year’s ceremony. Here are Alternatively Pop’s predictions for the 2019 Grammy Award Nominations:

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

the carters

Album of the Year is the biggest award of the night and arguably the least competitive this year. There seems to be no clear frontrunner with every contender being hampered by some aspect or another. The closest thing to a frontrunner is The Carters’ Everything is Love which received critical acclaim, although slightly less so than Beyoncé’s Lemonade and Jay-Z’s 4:44. The pair should be a lock for a nomination, with five nominations between them in just the last ten years. The biggest obstacle in the way of music’s reigning king and queen is that the album was not received well commercially, opening at number two behind 5 Seconds of Summer’s Youngblood, with 123,000 units of which only 70,000 were pure, marking a huge decline from both artists previous efforts. Given the Academy’s tendency to award big commercial hits such as Bruno Mars last year, Adele in 2017 and Taylor Swift in 2016, this could be one obstacle The Carter’s can’t clear. Speaking of Swift, she’s back in the ring for the first time since her Album of the Year win with 2014’s 1989. 2017’s reputation was a divisive piece of work but still garnered enough acclaim to grab a nomination. The album was a commercial powerhouse and it’s supporting tour was even more so and that should be enough to give her a lock and her fourth nomination, but given her recent win, don’t expect her to take home the award. Another commercial success is Drake’s Scorpion, which debuted to huge sales earlier this year and spawned three number one hits. Unfortunately for the rapper, the album received underwhelming reviews from critics. That combined with the recent report that 82% of the album’s total streams are made up of six of its twenty-five tracks, could be enough to deter a Drake win here, and in fact may be enough to knock him out of the top eight completely should the academy choose to go a more alternative route. Other contenders include Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy and Ariana Grande’s Sweetener, with both artists coming off huge years. However, with IOP being Cardi’s debut and Grande’s upcoming follow-up Thank U, Next threatening to overshadow Sweetener, I can’t see either of them walking home with the award. Grammy favourite Sam Smith could be in with a chance with The Thrill of It All getting good reviews and decent commercial success, but would be an underwhelming winner given the inoffensive nature of the record and with neither huge sales or huge critical support to propel him to the front of the pack, he’s another nomination with no win. After a controversially male year last year, the Grammys will be looking to include a more female presence this year, which could be wonderful news for critical darlings Kacey Musgraves and Janelle Monae. Musgraves Golden Hour is her most critically adored album of her career and would also be a winner that would be supported by the industry and fans alike. Although not a huge commercial success, Musgraves did take home Album of the Year at the CMA’s, indicating strong industry support. Monae’s Dirty Computer has also been critically adored and given her veteran status in the industry and the comparisons to her late mentor Prince, Dirty Computer could be a dark horse in this race yet. Alongside the more traditional albums, soundtracks had a big year. The Greatest Showman was a runaway hit and should be a huge contender in the Motion Picture categories, while Black Panther offers the Academy to honour one of the most commercially and culturally significant movies in history.

Final Predictions: Everything is Love, reputation, Invasion of Privacy, Golden Hour, Scorpion, The Thrill of it All, Dirty Computer, Black Panther

 

RECORD OF THE YEAR

gambino

Unlike Album of the Year, Record of the Year has a clear frontrunner. Childish Gambino’s ‘This is America’ is everything the academy could want. Massively successful and critically adored, it should be a slam-dunk. However, many would have said the same about Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Humble’ last year and he left without the award. If the Academy decides that ‘This is America’ is too politically charged for them to award, they could turn to equally popular efforts in Cardi B’s ‘I Like It’ and Drake’s ‘God’s Plan’ which provided each artist with huge hits this year. Neither have the critical support of ‘This Is America’ but neither were close to panned, being received similarly to last year’s winner ‘24k Magic’. Many are predicting that Maroon 5’s ‘Girl Like You’ could also be a contender for Cardi B, but given the unoriginality of that track, and the fact that there are other ways to award Cardi, I don’t see ‘Girl Like You’ giving the band it’s first main field nomination since their first and last with Best New Artist thirteen years ago. The Carters’ ‘Apesh*t’ should also be in with a shot of a nomination, but given its lack of commercial support and no major critical push, I would say nomination is all it will get. Beyoncé’s duet with Ed Sheeran on ‘Perfect’ could grab the pair a nod, but given the fact that Sheeran was completely shut out of the main field last year despite much buzz, I wouldn’t hold my breath. The pop field should produce a number of contenders – Ariana Grande’s ‘God is a Woman’ could be nominated, but given its slightly controversial nature, it probably won’t be enough for a win. Zedd’s ‘The Middle’ could be one that sneaks into that top eight with ease, along with Bebe Rexha’s ‘Meant to Be’ and Post Malone’s ‘Rockstar’. Finally, soundtracks could provide a number of potential nominees here as well. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s ‘Shallow’ could be a dark horse here, particularly given that the pair will be running the song’s Oscar campaign simultaneously. The track was also released just as the eligibility period closed, so it’s fresh in the voter’s minds. Kendrick Lamar and SZA’s ‘All The Stars’ and Keala Settle’s ‘This is Me’ could also contend for those top eight spots.

Final Predictions: ‘This is America’, ‘I Like It’, ‘God’s Plan’,’Apesh*t’, ‘The Middle’, ‘All The Stars, ‘God is a Woman, ‘Meant To Be’

 

SONG OF THE YEAR

Delicate-Video

Song of the Year is an odd category this year. Like Album of the Year, there is no clear frontrunner but there are a number of tracks in contention for the award. Again ‘This Is America’, ‘Apesh*t, ‘The Middle’ and a variety of others from Record of the Year will contend here as well, but other tracks will most definitely break through. Breakout star Ella Mai could well be in the race with ‘Boo’d Up’ being a huge hit for her. While Record of the Year has favoured more R&B tracks in the past few years, Song of the Year has embraced other genres particularly pop. Maroon 5’s ‘Girls Like You’ could fare better here given its message and its mass appeal. Ariana Grande’s ‘No Tears Left To Cry’ could be a major player for a nomination, and even the award should the Academy decide that this is the year to anoint her. My only pause for concern is the mammoth success of her latest effort ‘Thank U, Next’, both commercially and critically, which could lead to the Academy regulating Grande to nominations or a win in the pop field, instead choosing to award her in the main field next year. Additionally, Grammy favourite Taylor Swift could be in the mix with ‘Delicate’. While she fell out of favour last year with the controversial ‘Look What You Made Me Do’, ‘Delicate’ has been critically acclaimed and was a big enough hit with the industry with massive radio play and holding strong on the hot 100 for 35 weeks. Although this isn’t the flashiest of entries, Swift has never won here despite being a three-time nominee in this category, and this could be the Academy’s chance to award one of this generation’s greatest songwriters. ‘This is Me’, ‘All The Stars’, and ‘Shallow’ could all be in with a shot here as well. Drake could also contend with ‘God’s Plan’ and even ‘Nice For What’. XXXTentacion could also be in with a chance at a posthumous nomination here with ‘SAD!’ and given his polarising career, it will be interesting to see if the Grammys are able to ignore him. Fringe contenders such as Kacey Musgraves (‘High Horse’), Sam Smith (‘Pray’), Demi Lovato (‘Sober’) and Dan + Shay (‘Tequila’) could also factor in if the Academy decides to snub some of the more heavy hitters.

Final Predictions: ‘This is America’, ‘No Tears Left To Cry’,’Boo’d Up’, ‘Nice For What’, ‘Delicate’, ‘The Middle’, ‘Shallow’, ‘Girls Like You’

 

BEST NEW ARTIST

Dua-Lipa-New-Rules

Best New Artist finds itself in the same situation as it always does. The rules are messy and poorly applied, leaving the top contenders out of the running after Cardi B, Post Malone and XXXTentacion were all deemed ineligible for the award. That leaves it as a two horse race between pop’s latest princess Dua Lipa and R&B breakout Ella Mai. Both have had monumental years, with a number of hits under each of their belts. Lipa would probably be my choice for the frontrunner but Mai is nipping at her heels. This award has often been the kiss of death for a number of artists, while a number of the world’s biggest stars have been nominated and not won in the past, so the pair may be wishing the other luck in the end. While Lipa and Mai are in a tight race for the award, there aren’t too many other locks for a nod. Juice Wrld could be their closest competition but I can’t see the Academy awarding him. There is often a country nominee and with eight nominees this year, a few will certainly be in contention. Luke Combs, Brett Young and Carly Pearce could all fill that slot or even take more than one spot. Troye Sivan, Hayley Kiyoko, Bebe Rexha, Marshmello and Billie Eilish will all be aiming to get into those pop slots, while niche artists H.E.R and Greta Van Fleet will also be hoping to garner genre bids.

Final Predictions: Dua Lipa, Ella Mai, Juice Wrld, Luke Combs, Troye Sivan, Great Van Fleet, Carly Pearce, Bebe Rexha

Nominations for the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards will be announced in all 84 categories on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018.

ALBUM REVIEW: ‘reputation’ – Taylor Swift

Swift marvelously bounces from love to scorn on the a perfect and cohesive pop record that builds on her work but is nothing like anything she has done before.

taylor cover“They’re burning all the witches, even if you aren’t one” isn’t a typical lyric you would expect to find on a Taylor Swift album. Then again, neither is “But I stay when you’re lost and I’m scared and you’re turning away”. However, both feature on the resident queen of breakup anthem’s latest full length effort reputation, where she leaves the relationship post-mortems behind in favour of a mix of angry clap backs and lovesick lullabies. Somehow kept almost entirely a mystery until its release, reputation is Swift’s first record since 2014’s 1989, and god, has a lot happened since then. To her credit, Swift never blinked, she never deviated from her plan. When she said “There will be no further explanation. There will just be reputation”, she meant it.DIC_q8vUMAA4Yf-

Swift truly allows the music to speak for itself on reputation, and she doesn’t shy away from letting it tell all. ‘This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things’ is a trap-pop masterpiece, dripping in sarcasm, all but explicitly saying Kanye West’s name. Swift sounds defiant and unbothered, as she fabulously declares “Friends don’t try to trick you/ Get you on the phone and mind-twist you”. This track perfectly encapsulates the record as a whole – it is Swift not caring what happens. She isn’t censored, or worried about saying what she thinks. This attitude continues on album highlight ‘I Did Something Bad’, easily one of the best songs of Swift’s career, where she sneers at the men she’s left behind and it is this confidence that pulls the album tightly together as a cohesive unit.

121369reputation experiments with the synth-pop of 1989, with cuts like ‘Getaway Car’ and ‘Gorgeous’ retaining that fizzy 80’s influence that was so affluent on 1989. The former track is a marvellous sequel to 1989’s ‘Style’, with low, brooding verses that build with Swift’s passion filled vocal performance to a heavenly chorus. Speaking of heavenly, Swift incorporates the slightest of gospel tinges on the dark and beat heavy ‘Don’t Blame Me’,  and less so on the ever so fragile ‘Delicate’, where layering her own vocals over and over again results in a hauntingly beautiful opening that releases into a tropical beat. That tropical influence also appears on ‘…Ready For It?’, the album’s second official single. The track is a pounding assault of bass and brilliance filled with Swift’s breathy vocals and incredible production that transcends the track to new heights, while simultaneously producing one of the best lyrics of her career, referencing the overexposed but defiant love of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.

taylor-swift-look-what-you-made-me-do-868x680In fact, the lyricism of reputation is where, unsurprisingly, Swift truly shines. Swift’s writing has grown with her and her maturity is evident on tracks like ‘So It Goes…’, where she recalls “scratches down your back”, and ‘Dress’, which she only bought “so you to take it off”. Notably, the album’s closing track ‘New Year’s Day’ sees Swift return to the realm of balladry. Here, Swift quietens to a mere piano and her voice. Yet, somehow, the ballad is just as loud as any other track. Swift’s skill as a writer is on full display here, as she returns to her country roots to tell a story before crooning “Hold on to the memories, they will hold on to you”. Ultimately, that line summarises the album. It is about not forgetting, whether it be the good or the bad, you should hold onto things. You should hold onto the moments you feel angry, when you feel sad, when you feel defiant and especially when you feel loved. Swift doesn’t deny or confirm her reputation on this LP. She instead owns it and every single emotion that comes with it. And it is truly something to behold.

ALBUM REVIEW: ‘The Thrill of it All’ – Sam Smith

Ultimately, Smith’s second album, The Thrill of it All, is a solid effort with more brilliance than mediocrity, but is burdened by the growing pains of leaving his prior effort behind.

alt pop sam smithSam Smith is a music industry tale as old as time. A voice first heard featured on some inescapable song (Disclosure’s ‘Latch’), followed up by their own even more inescapable stand-alone hit (‘Stay With Me’) and the blockbuster album that follows (‘In The Lonely Hour’). However, on his sophomore effort, Smith strays from the formula, because The Thrill of it All, unlike many second LPs, is nothing close to a disappointment.

The Thrill of it All builds on everything that worked so brilliantly on its predecessor, exploring themes of heartbreak and longing that just match the marvellous voice behind them. But Smith does not remain stagnant, instead experimenting and developing his sound. Notably, the electronic-tinged ‘Say it First’, that sees Smith plead for someone to tell him he loves him, and the doo-wop, motown-esque flow of ‘One Last Song’ and ‘Baby, You Make Me Crazy’ that sounds marvellously like Amy Winehouse.

The album has moments where you wonder just how far Smith has developed his sound. ‘Too Good At Goodbyes’ and ‘Midnight Train’ sound like tracks that were cut from In The Lonely Hour, the former being a grating, hollow track with a choir backed chorus that just doesn’t work. SamSmith_avatarIn fact, the use of gospel choirs on this album is anything but subtle. It works slightly better in the final chorus of ‘Burning’, a piano ballad that, along with ‘Palace’, bridges the gap between Smith’s debut and sophomore efforts that are neither brilliant nor terrible.

However, the album’s second half contains some of Smith’s strongest work to date, as it takes a more passionate approach, replacing the mournful vocal that Smith is so accustomed with and replacing it with a more powerful, raw and angry vocal as he muses about religion. ‘HIM’ is the album’s strongest track lyrically, adopting a similar story-telling technique to that of Taylor Swift’s earlier work, addressing Smith’s experience in openly loving someone of the same sex and the judgement that comes with that. ‘Pray’ also discuss Smith’s relationship with religion and incorporates a trap-like beat and gorgeous deep vocals. The album’s lone collaboration, featuring YEBBA, is a polished pop song that matches a spectacularly chill beat to the pair’s passionate vocal performance, a pairing that works incredibly well on the album’s standout track.NO REUSE Sam Smith Credit: Ruven Afanador

Ultimately, Smith’s second album, The Thrill of it All, is a solid effort with more brilliance than mediocrity, but is burdened by the growing pains of leaving his prior effort behind. That being said, the album only further proves Smith’s incredible talent as a vocalist and when he wants to be, a great songwriter.

 

TRACK REVIEW: ‘Gorgeous’ – Taylor Swift

zmtkxMUTLess than a month out from the release of Taylor Swift’s hotly anticipated sixth full-length effort reputation, and the world remains relatively in the dark surrounding the contents of the album and the direction its unpredictable creator decided upon when putting it together. Lead single ‘Look What You Made Me Do” was a dark, unrelentingly angry anthem of a woman sick of being painted as a monster, while the first promo single ‘…Ready For It?’ was a peppy pop anthem that experimented with Swift’s production and vocal delivery. ‘Gorgeous’ follows a similar pattern in that it is entirely different to anything the two releases that came before it.

A bubbly, fizzy lovesick pop song about just how beautiful a boy is, ‘Gorgeous’ is the weakest of reputation’s pre-releases thus far. That being said, the track is a hypnotic earworm that gets stuck in your head like only Swift can. Its production is a mash-up of 80’s synth poptaylor 2 (most notably the chorus) plucked straight from Swift’s own 1989 and Carly Rae Jepson’s EMOTION. Lyrically, the song delivers what it is supposed to but nothing revolutionary, mostly let down by the chorus with its pre-choruses and verses being its main stars, a common trend in reputation’s tracks so far. Vocally, Swift explores a higher, airier register on the chorus reminiscent of her collaboration with Zayn on ‘I Don’t Want To Live Forever’.

Overall, the track is a strong pop song, but isn’t as brilliant nor hit-worthy as ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ or ‘…Ready For It?’. However, it is a perfect promotional single, only adding to the mystery surrounding the question on everyone’s mind – what exactly Swift’s reputation is going to be?

Make sure to listen to the track below and comment your thoughts:

 

Swift’s ‘reputation’ is available here:http://smarturl.it/reputationTS

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TRACK REVIEW: Taylor Swift – Look What You Made Me Do

Hell hath no fury like a Taylor Swift scorned

Taylor_Swift_-_Look_What_You_Made_Me_Do

They say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. That saying was proved very right when Taylor Swift dropped her latest single late last night. After a series of cryptic social media moves – including an entire wipe of all her social media accounts – the track followed on the heels of the announcement of her upcoming sixth album reputation. The track and new era sees Swift stray from her usual strategy. ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ is as obtuse as the PR, or lack thereof, that Swift has utilised to usher in her newest era, and it is that odd nature that makes it all the more engaging.

Electropop at its core, ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ is more experimental and unforgiving than anything in Swift’s back catalogue. The track’s production is a stand out, billing itself as a film noir type affair, engaging an intense and twisted build through its verse and pre-chorus as she growls “the role you made me play/ Of the fool”. The chorus is an entirely different animal as Swift zags exactly when everyone expects her to zig. Here she samples the wonderfully random ‘I’m Too Sexy’ by Right Said Fred for an incredibly refreshing reinvention of the 80’s classic, while also adding that slight vintage staple that served her so well with 1989.

DIC_q8vUMAA4Yf-Overall the track’s acts as her firmly taking back the narrative, and taking the character assassination – literally stating the old Taylor is ‘dead’ in the songs bridge – which she has been subject to in the recent past, and turning that role up to an eleven. Although not her strongest effort to date, ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ is all but a sure-fire hit and an unapologetic comeback, but most importantly, an intriguing and exciting preview of just how inventive Ms. Swift can be when she’s backed into a corner.

Five Female-led Tracks That Deserved To Be Hits

With the current lack of female led hits, here are five songs that should have been bigger than they were

It is no secret, that as of right now, women are having a rough time on the charts. The last time a female artist was credited as a lead artist on a song that sat atop the Billboard Hot 100 was Sia a year ago with “Cheap Thrills”. The start if July brought the end of a 12 week run where not a single female was credited on any of the top five, lead or otherwise, when Rihanna featured on “Wild Thoughts”. However, this lack of female presence in the chart’s top places isn’t for lack of good female songs, and here are examples of female led songs that should have been hits.

Primadonna – Marina & the Diamonds

The lead cut from her sophomore album, “Primadonna” was an electric piece of pop music that deserved much more than it got, reaching a peak of 11 in the U.K. while failing to chart in the US whatsoever. So, while the track can be credited as the artist’s big break, this camp earworm never reached the heights that it should have.

Runaway With Me – Carly Rae Jepsen

The fact that Jepsen will be remembered by the general public as the girl who brought the horror that was “Call Me Maybe” in to our lives, instead of as the genius behind one the greatest tracks of this decade is a shame. It failed to make any real impression on any chart, but will always have a special place in the hearts of those who have experienced its 80s pop brilliance.

Green Light – Lorde

This one really hurts. The lead single of her second album and the first track from Lorde in four years and no one had the decency to make this a hit. Its modern lyrics and slick and inspired production that matched that of the smash-hit that was “Royals” made this track a standout for music fans everywhere in 2017. It is also one of the most critically-acclaimed singles of 2017, which just adds insult to injury when you consider that this track reached a peak of 19 before retreating back down the Hot 100.

Into You – Ariana Grande

Unlike the other tracks on this list, this one just screamed hit. Unfortunately, very few people heard those screams. A certified earworm, “Into You” should have easily been the song of the summer, but instead was relegated to moderate success, reaching the top 20 on both sides of the pond. However, with its flawless pop structure, mainstream artist and addictive hook, this track should have been one for the books.

Fuck Apologies – Jojo (feat. Wiz Khalifa)

After years out of the spotlight and surrounded by lawsuits and a fight to regain her voice as an artist, Jojo made a triumphant return with this R&B-infused bop. Despite the usual commercial draw that is a rap feature, this return to the industry failed to reach anywhere near the heights that her younger self had soared to.