If you haven’t got the dedication or commitment to fully listen to the new albums by artists that you like, you might have ended up missing some of their best work! Since the dawn of pop music, some excellent deep album cuts have slipped away from the public consciousness. With our list of the twelve best from last year, we’ll make sure that we’ve got you covered when it comes to the hidden gems of 2017.
12. Walls Could Talk / Halsey
Taken from Halsey’s second album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, “Walls Could Talk” is a blast of a pop song that speeds through its short 1.42 running time, sounding like 2002 era Britney Spears on speed. It’s a non single highlight of a great album that doesn’t deserve the dust it gets due to people’s general dislike for Halsey as an artist.
11. Daddy Issues / Demi Lovato
“Daddy Issues”, track five of Lovato’s sixth album Tell Me You Love Me, is a real treat in terms of production value and vocals. It sounds like it wouldn’t be out of place on Taylor Swift’s reputation, and that is a massive compliment. If the pounding synths on the chorus as Demi blasts out the words “I got all these daddy issues” doesn’t stir something inside you, then you’re broken!
10. Smoking Section / St Vincent
St Vincent’s transition from indie to alternative pop with her excellent album Masseduction really hits home with album closer “Smoking Section”. The moodiest track on this list, the song lingers with you like the smoke that lingered by the roof of smoking sections in restaurants before the ban. The song is cinematic, it’s theatrical, it’s sweeping and it’s just begging to be contemporary danced to. Listen to it as soon as you can.
9. Save It Till Morning / Fergie
Okay. Fergie sang the National Anthem terribly. This is something we are all in agreement of. But we can’t let one bad performance cloud our judgement of a very talented singer, and a really underrated pop girl! “Save It Till Morning” is vocally impressive, and it really is the “Big Girls Don’t Cry” moment of Fergie’s completely ignored but brilliant sophomore album Double Dutchess. The track feels like a great pop ballad from the early 2000’s, and has an amazing music video to go with it.
8. Room For 2 / Dua Lipa
“Room For 2” is only available as a bonus track on Dua Lipa’s huge self titled debut album, and that alone is a miscarriage of justice! “Room For 2” is Dua at her dark pop best. The chorus is haunting, with an almost nursery rhyme sounding tone and pace to it, and the bridge is gorgeous. If Dua decides to release an eighth single (yes. EIGHT singles. That’s how much this album bangs) please let it be this.
7. hey you got drugs? / Tove Lo
As the closing track from Blue Lips (lo’s way to describe the female equivalent of “blue balls”), the sequel album to 2016’s Lady Wood (meaning female erection), and with other tracks titled “Disco Tits” and “B*tches” – it’s obvious to say that Tove Lo is a pop star unafraid to turn heads. She’s unabashedly open about her sexual prowess and hard partying, but beneath the initial provocation is excellent pop music with meaning and not just shock value. “hey you got drugs?” is surprisingly raw. What starts as an electronic ballad switches halfway through into what is an unforgettable ending. Repeating the phrase “hey you got drugs?” on loop over truly impressive vocal ad libs, Tove changes from the queen of the party on the hypnotic album opener “Disco Tits” to desperate and tender on it’s closer. It’s gorgeous.
6. Getaway Car / Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift has had a love/hate response this year kicked off by the polarising response to “Look What You Made Me Do”. But critics and fans nearly unanimously agreed that reputation as an album was truly brilliant pop. Whilst both the edgier and old school sides of Swift produce bops, “Getaway Car” is classic Taylor. sounding like a forgotten track from her equally stellar 1989, the song is romantic and endearing. Truly an album highlight on an album consisting of only highlights.
5. God Bless America – And All The Beautiful Women In It
/ Lana Del Rey
Despite the initial eye roll that a title this long and cliche Del Rey might produce, this gorgeous track is truly the centrepiece of the Lana’s wonderful fourth album Lust For Life. The song feels satirical and it’s both wry and heartbreaking in the way it sends up Trump-era America in its faux patriotism. The gun shots in the chorus really hit hard, now even more so than ever after recent events in the states. There really is no one else like Lana in the way that she melds genres and writes lyrics. “GBAAATBWII” deserves a cinematic and powerful music video to go with its strong message.
4. Delicious / Charli XCX
Charli XCX is one of, if not the, most interesting and hardest working pop stars making music right now. Releasing two mixtapes that XCX has said are “basically albums” (only called mixtapes so she can release them out of her album contract deal), the huge single “Boys” and being a featured singer on several tracks, Charli releases new material fast and is never really out of the studio. Out of the two excellent mixtapes, Number 1 Angel and Pop 2, it is the latter that reigns supreme. Delicious, a roller-coaster of a track featuring Estonian rapper Tommy Cash, is the best song on the mixtape. It changes and evolves over its run time, going from sonic and repetitive, to Tommy’s rap, to a surprising and brilliant interjection of “Boom Clap”, to a heavenly choir ending… “Delicious” has to be heard to be believed.
3. Boots / Kesha
2017 was a great year for Kesha, and this bop from her Grammy nominated album Rainbow is her at her absolute best. “Boots” is the perfect blend of pop and country, its acoustic and toe tapping whilst also being club ready. It’s the kind of song that’s begging to be a single, and it’s a wonder why it’s not. It’s the most danceable song on this list but never sacrifices Kesha’s impressive vocals in favour of a dance beat or drop. The lyrics come thick and fast, especially the final bit of the tongue twisting bridge, yet “Boots” stands as one of Kesha’s best and most catchy songs yet.
2. Roll With Me / Charli XCX
Whilst Pop 2 is the superior mixtape as a cohesive whole, all of its ten tracks pale in comparison to the SOPHIE produced pop masterpiece that is “Roll With Me”. The definition of a BOP, “Roll With Me” is simple, repetitive and infectious. It needs to be played at full volume or not at all. It is both Charli and SOPHIE at their best – PC beats with Charli’s spoken/sang lyrics over the top. The two artists are made to go together. They create their best work when they collaborate. Put it on, turn the volume loud, throw a party and get your entire life.
1. Supercut / Lorde
This song is a work of art. The way Lorde merges a heartbreaking, classic ballad with a beat and drop that still makes you want to dance feels equally familiar and completely original and fresh at the same time. It’s the perfect breakup song, highlighting the turmoil one goes through when feeling unbelievably exposed and fragile to partying to forget about how you feel. Taken from Melodrama, Lorde’s critically acclaimed, Grammy-nominated second album, Supercut still manages to shine brightly amongst songs as wonderful as “Green Light” and “Perfect Places”. The fact that a song this magnificent isn’t a single is a testament to the calibre of artist Lorde is. And she’s still only 21. “Supercut” makes you feel excited for the future direction that pioneers like Lorde are going to take pop music in years to come.