“Call me Ron. I’m a straightforward sort of pup, me – what you see is what you get. But when I’m not out clubbing with my six older brothers, I do get to wondering what it’s all about. You know. Life. Death. Sardines. It’s all just a game of chess at the end of the day, isn’t it? Good versus evil, light versus dark, rockism versus poptimism – society would have us carve ourselves up into ever-smaller and ultimately-arbitrary factions, each believing we are on the side of righteousness, solitary brothers and sisters fighting pointlessly amongst ourselves to avoid having to think too hard about the impending apocalypse. I guess many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view!”
Thanks Ron, if indeed that is your real name. On to our Top 10!
10. Justin Timberlake – “Can’t Stop The Feeling”
Remember Justin gatecrashing the Eurovision interval? It was with this song! Sunny bop with the sort of sustained piano chord favoured by the tropical house merchants. I didn’t like it at the time but it’s grown on me since then.
9. Tegan & Sara – “Boyfriend”
I still can’t tell them apart.
8. Beyonce – “Hold Up”
BEYONCE SMASH. Well done everyone for putting my favourite Lemonade track so high up despite vote-splitting all over the place. I love the monastic monologue at the beginning and I love the air horns at the end, but most of all I love how I get genuinely frightened that Beyonce is going to step right out of the Youtube screen and punch me in the face. You’d be a brave man to give Beyonce even an inkling of an idea that you might be two-timing her…
7. Kero Kero Bonito – “Lipslap”
I saw KKB the day of the US election result and it was extremely cheering! Elsewhere I have described them variously as “if nu-rave had been good” and ”the musical equivalent of the eight weeks of arsing around between finishing your A-levels and going to university”, but in reality most of KKB’s album sounds like the Italo mix of Schnappi Das Kleine Krokodil. They’re honestly much more banging live – except “Lipslap”, which is banging at all times.
6. Pet Shop Boys – “The Pop Kids”
All aboard the nostalgia bus. If Kero Kero Bonito have just done their A-levels, Neil and Chris are in the full throes of Fresher’s Week, raving it up to Bizarre Inc in the big city.
5. DNCE – “Cake By The Ocean”
Technically a 2015 release but no-one voted for it last year, did they? For those who haven’t been following, one of the Jonas Brothers has decided to form his very own Son of Dork. This song gets played on my office stereo a lot.
4. Solange – “Cranes In The Sky”
Solange goes about solving her problems in a slightly more introspective way than her sister. The “La Ritournelle” drumbeat and unresolving bars give a very real sense of worrying away at something that you can’t tell anyone about.
3. Mike Posner – “I Took A Pill In Ibiza (Seeb remix)”
On paper this is obviously an appalling idea. I’ve never managed to get past the second line before without reaching for the skip button, but JUST FOR YOU LOT I listened to it all the way through just now and I guess the crow-playing-a-kazoo noise is okay, I guess?
2. Ariana Grande – “Into You”
Ariana’s done quite well out of sultry bangers that might have been written with Jennifer Lopez in mind, despite making inevitably terrible videos to go along with them. Let’s all give thanks that there was no ‘ft Pitbull’ on this one.
1. David Bowie – “Lazarus”
I think this our first ever post-humous winner. Fitting, I guess, for a year where everyone seemed obsessed with death: celebrities carking it, the dissolution of democratic ideals, Bake Off moving to Channel 4 etc. To me it feels like “Lazarus” is more about free will than about facing/fearing death specifically. Standing on the precipice and making a choice about what happens next – a final flick of the Vs, or just another transformation into something new? Bowie’s earned the right to do whatever he pleases in the next life and appears to be rather looking forward to it. As the rest of us will surely each face our own turning point soon enough, we could do worse than to follow his example.
That’s your lot! Thanks to everyone who voted. I’ll try and dig out some stats for the comments in a bit.