Top Ten Non-Hip Hop Songs of 2017

Martin_Canine
2017 is a strong year for hip hop. Jay-Z, Tyler the Creator and Kendrick Lamar released albums which were widely praised. Apart from Jay-Z that might not be what I am into when it comes to hip hop - I don't enjoy this recent artsy, avantgarde-ish hip hop all too much, I prefer my hip hop to be straightforward - but I acknowledge their quality. Also German hip hop couldn't be any better, the genre gets bigger per year and the quality just keeps on increasing. Sick lyrics by rappers trying to outdo each other with punchlines and rhyming, epic beats and ambitions that start to become incredibly huge. I mean, an 18 and a half minute lead single with a choir-filled beatwork released from a 2 hour double album with constant rhymes throughout is hella ambitious.
That being said, I think I didn't appreciate this year's music of other genres enough. So that's why I created this list, excluding hip hop.

Regarding the artist Casper, who made one of the greatest, most praised and most thought provoking German albums this year, I decided not to include any song by him because you could argue it's hip hop. Casper was always more indie rock than hip hop this decade, and now he also included industrial elements, distancing him further from the genre, but many still see him as a rapper which he simply isn't anymore since the 00s ended. But classifying him is impossible, so I decided to not include him. But you can if you feel that he fits on the list.

The Top Ten

1 Feed the Machine - Nickelback

Their newest album has Nickelback finding back to form after 2 disappointing albums. Its title track is a great and powerful rock song abut not following the one who offers the easiest solutions, and is unusually political for Nickelback, who have had their share of thoughtful songs but never addressed such big issues, especially not backed up by such a heavy yet melodious instrumental. - Martin_Canine

2 Love - Lana Del Rey

What Lana del Rey offers on "Love" is a musical experience existing out of time and space, having a somewhat nostalgic vibe that will send many people in their 50s back to their youth yet also capturing the indie spirit of the modern generation. Its slow, almost meditative melody, the soft singing and echoing instrumental form thr perfect music for the lyrics about living out your personality yet making sure not to overdo it. Del Rey has very mature views yet understands what many young people feel like, and always have felt like. - Martin_Canine

3 Dream On - Amy MacDonald

For ten years Amy MacDonald brought us wonderful guitar anthems, songs you could sing along to yet always having strong songwriting craft that deserve a close listening and much appreciation, but I think "Dream On" is the most alive, energetic and uplifting song she has ever released. Who doesn't feel like running through the world all excited and happy singing "I'm on top of the world and I won't look back" to everyone around? - Martin_Canine

4 Stamina - Anastacia

Probably the most remarkable aspect of Anastacia is that despite having become a big mainstream superstar she never lost her personality. "Not that Kind" is from 2000, "Evolution" is from 2017, and despite the title Anastacia didn't lose anything that initially made her so good, if anything she expanded on her ideas, and actually reduced the amount of pop with increasing success. "Stamina" is a ballad with attitude. It couldn't come from anyone but her. She doesn't try to please any mainstream, she is just writing and performing the kind of music that she likes, being a strong yet still vulnerable woman. - Martin_Canine

5 The World is Yours - Arch Enemy

That's very cool, the list gets more diverse like this, not so pop heavy. - Martin_Canine

I know you aren't a metal fan, Martin, but since metal isn't hip hop and fits the bill, I thought 1-2 metal songs would spice your list with something different. Moreover, in this song a very beautiful woman growls (death metal vocals) and I think this is pretty unusual and interesting.
This is one of my favorite metal songs of 2017. - Metal_Treasure

6 Broken - Falling in Reverse

For everyone for whom they were too emo - may I introduce you to Falling in Reverse in 2017? You know, I like several emo bands, probably because I am not biased because they weren't a thing over here (If you look into German Amazon reviews of BVB and FIR, you'll find rockers reviewing), and I always thought Falling in Reverse were awesome, they had both angstly and fun sides and it worked out very fine. But this new indie rock style shows that they are developing as artists. The arrangements became more complex, the lyrics more thought out and all the poppy elements completely vanished. I liked their older music (except for that "Fashionably Late" slip), and I like this one as well. - Martin_Canine

7 Look What You Made Me Do - Taylor Swift

You know, Taylor Swift was always a clear case of "I acknowlede and respect her talent, but it isn't exactly my music" for me. I really liked her lyrics and also how several of her songs sounded like, country or pop, but never felt like listening to her songs all over again or getting one of her albums. But this song really is addictive, from the verses to the pre-chorus, the rapped chorus, and the beat. It is catchy as can be, and it has attitude and personality, which is something needed for good pop. I might dig a bit deeper into her discography from now on. - Martin_Canine

8 Seven Headed Whore - Iced Earth
9 Cherry - Lana Del Rey

"Cherry" probably is the most modern moment of her much praised "Lust for Life" (one of the most acclaimed 2017 albums in Germany), starting off fairly dark, almost psychadelic, then adds dominant trap drum kits over the song that is sung in three-quarter time. I wouldn't see Lana del Rey as a pop artist, she never really made music remotely mainstream, she made indie music that happened to gain mainstream success, but nevertheless, she made perfect artpop with this song. - Martin_Canine

10 Kill Your Ego - Sinners Are Winners

Often I wonder if people really hate this guy's more recent music or just try to degrade him for personal reasons. "Kill Your Ego", as much as the rest of the album, is just a perfect and fine Industrial song. The lyrics consist of quotes from the masterpiece "Fight Club" and the musical 90s flashback just adds to capturing the dark and boiling atmosphere the movie offered. Dahvie furthermore seemed to have realized how to use his voice best. While he is a very limited singer, the way he voice acts on the album is just fun. He also has quite a pleasant screaming voice, he isn't shrieking, nor is he growling, it just sounds like anger - an emotion he probably really feels all too often. - Martin_Canine

The Contenders

11 Imperfection - Evanescence

The reduction of the guitar and adding of a more electronic outfit will probably cause many decade long fans to be disappointed, but on here, I see no sell out and only evolving artistic ambitions. The sound also became much more orchestral, going perfectly with Amy Lee's strong, clear semi-classical vocals. The soundscape is overwhelmingly aesthetic, elegant and emotive. Of course, the distortion of a guitar gives a certain heaviness, but I think this was intentionally omitted to give more focus on melody and beauty. - Martin_Canine

12 Sticks and Stones - Nelly Furtado

Like Anastacia or P! nk, Nelly Furtado never really made pop music that felt like pop music, instead of being silly dance tunes, her songs were driven by personality, and only happened to have the catchiness of pop. Furtado had a variety of different influences, genre-wise and culture-wise, and that made her so exciting. It's no secret that I was heavily disappointed by the bleak and somewhat cold sound of her comeback album "The Ride", that was not what made me love her. But "Sticks and Stones" is the exceptions. It's not overly complicated and artsy like the rest, it feels very alive and fills the room with charme and charisma. This is the sound I always loved her for. - Martin_Canine

13 The Departure - Falling in Reverse
14 The Invocation - Sinners are Winners
15 Swish Swish - Katy Perry & Nicki Minaj
16 Boomerang - Anastacia
17 Chained to the Rhythm - Katy Perry
18 Coin for the Ferryman - Nickelback
19 The Betrayal (Act III) - Nickelback
20 Coming Home - Falling in Reverse
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List StatsUpdated 18 Oct 2017

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Top Remixes

1. Feed the Machine - Nickelback
2. Love - Lana Del Rey
3. Dream On - Amy MacDonald
Martin_Canine
1. The World is Yours - Arch Enemy
2. Seven Headed Whore - Iced Earth
3. Stamina - Anastacia
Metal_Treasure

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