Top Ten Dance Pop Songs of the 2020s

80s gloss, 90s rave, early '10s EDM. For quite some years, roughly the second half of the 2010s, dance pop seemed to have been a thing of the past. Too different was the modern idea of a personal pop singer-songwriter to the escapism of the dance floor. However, almost instantly when the 2020s hit, so did a revival of disco, techno and synth pop. It was an explosion for fans of pounding beats, ridiculously catchy melodies and thick layers of synthesizers. The song needn't be happy-go-lucky anymore either: torch songs and songs about drowning heartbreak with music and dancing bloomed like never before. So, let's dive right into the neon pool and talk about our favorite dance pop songs of the 2020s!
The Top Ten
1 Physical - Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa set the tone for what dance pop music would look like in the 2020s. While her self-titled debut album still felt fairly anonymous, her sophomore record "Future Nostalgia" was straight-up historic. It was an uproar in popular music that brought the magic of dancefloors, synthesizers, and neon of past decades back on the map, all while coming across as modern and refreshing. It intelligently tied together the titular components of "Future" and "Nostalgia". It already has a place among the great albums of the world.

No track on it is crafted better than "Physical". Its fast-paced beats, foreboding bubbling synths, dramatic flutes, and ultimately, explosive chorus give it an inimitable "let's have an intimate dance on the edge of the crumbling world" vibe. Brilliant.

2 Addict - Silva Hound, Michael Kovach & Chi-Chi

"Addict" was made by fandom music producer Silva Hound, together with voice actors from the viral pilot episode of "Hazbin Hotel", and became his first overlap with mainstream attention. While a fanon product, it was later acknowledged by creator VivziePop, who gave it an animated music video that's one of the best of the decade so far.

What makes this song go so hard is how it manages to give insight into the characters' traumas and mental scars, which they drown in excess. It's delivered with one of the most expressive melodies of its era and a beat that mimics David Guetta's early 2010s EDM hits. It's a combination that works incredibly well, no matter how all over the place it reads on paper, and results in one of the most emotive and, fittingly, addictive songs of the 2020s.

"Addict" was my number one most listened to song of 2020 and my tenth most listened to song of 2021, culminating in 300 points in my rating system, over 100 points more than the current second place of the decade (as of February 2023).

3 Sleepwalker - Ava Max

Since I'm not as active on here anymore, you probably don't know how much I adore Ava Max. She embodies the very idea of a pop star. She's exactly how it would have looked if the MTV era had smoothly transitioned into today's ideas without multiple counter-movements in between. She combines melodies for the ages with charismatic performances and has a star appeal that we know from Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Christina Aguilera.

"Sleepwalker" is the highlight of her fantastic second album "Diamonds & Dancefloors", an addictive mini-epic of tears and dances. Its chorus is the most memorable, its beats are the most hard-hitting, and the synthesizer solo rivals that of Kylie's "All The Lovers".

4 Raindrops - Katja Krasavice & Leony

Katja Krasavice made an astounding leap from being a "sex YouTuber" who just tried out singing for laughs to becoming one of Germany's foremost pop and rap stars. She excels in both genres and has even collaborated with stars like Doja Cat. "Raindrops" is her fourth number one hit in her home country, all of them in 2021, and it is one of the early 2020s songs with the most replay value.

Admittedly, it is more minimalist and slower-paced than the other songs. The track, whose tune takes credited inspiration from "Ievan Polka" without ever fully copying it, is still an infectious cathartic anthem for the broken-hearted who want to let loose in the grooves of the late hours. Katja is assisted by Leony, the new pop princess on the German music scene. In the original version, the two alternate between German verses and an English chorus.

There exists an "international version" though, with the entirety in English, but its production was also slightly altered. However, the most important thing remained there: the cool outro keyboard solo.

5 Night Crawling - Miley Cyrus & Billy Idol

Miley Cyrus and Billy Idol - a combination that some time ago would have sounded strange, but that sounds fairly reasonable in the 2020s. Miley is no longer seen as a teen star, and also no longer seen as controversial and scandalous. She's become a respected music artist who constantly reinvents herself and achieves acclaim. Even her past efforts have been reappreciated. It makes perfect sense that the rebellious legend of today goes well with the rebellious legend of the past.

We could expect their song "Night Crawling" to rock, which it does. But what we could not expect is how this rock is combined with a pounding dance beat and gloomy keyboards that perfectly mix the world of the clubs with the world of the mosh pits. It's darkly danceable.

6 Forever - Charli XCX
7 Welcome to My Island - Caroline Polachek
8 All Up in Your Mind - Beyoncé
9 Video Fantasy - Roxi Drive

Roxi Drive is a woman on a mission: to bring back the '80s. While earlier in her career, she achieved this through the modern synthwave subgenre, which draws from '80s influences, aesthetics, and to an extent, tropes and stereotypes, it still feels modern in its approach and production.

Nevertheless, later on, after she met the right producers, she not only managed to flawlessly continue the tradition of authentic '80s music (also due to her ability to sing like they did some 40 years ago), but made some tunes that would have stuck out for their pop appeal and quality even back in the day. "Video Fantasy" is such a highlight.

Somewhere between new wave and synth pop, early Kylie, A-ha, and Kim Wilde, it unleashes an upbeat storm of lush production, fast-paced rhythm, and a sing-along chorus. Hear it once, and it's stuck in your ear all day.

10 Break My Soul - Beyoncé
The Contenders
11 Save Your Tears - The Weeknd & Ariana Grande
12 Clouds - Slayyyter
13 Cha Cha Cha - Käärijä
14 Villain - K/DA & Madison Beer
15 This Hell - Rina Sawayama
16 Born Yesterday - Arca & Sia
17 Last Dance - Stefania

If 2020s dance pop stands for one thing that's a harsh contrast to the '90s, where dance music's popularity peaked, it's how the dance pop of the '20s decade is driven by a sense of drama. "Last Dance", Greece's ESC contribution in 2021, feels almost operatic due to the way its chorus is orchestrated like an intense film score - it almost mimics the Saw theme for a bit. It's without a doubt a glorious spectacle, larger than life and with a wistful "let's dance our last dance" as its central chorus line.

18 Vamos a Marte - Helene Fischer & Luis Fonsi

Helene Fischer is the biggest German music star of the 21st century, by any measure. Initially becoming famous as a schlager singer (a genre that lives from a soap opera-style tonality, musically and lyrically), she slowly transitioned into pop territory, culminating in the release of her 2021 blockbuster album "Rausch", a full-blown pop effort.

For the album's lead single "Vamos a Marte", she gathers Puerto Rican superstar Luis Fonsi for a bilingual duet about how the two star-crossed lovers (or in this case, Mars-crossed lovers) speak a "language without words". It's perfectly melodramatic, especially with Fischer's signature strong vocals. Both artists perfectly fit into the early 2020s zeitgeist of emotive dance pop.

19 Okay Okay - Lights
20 Afraid to Feel - LF System
21 Victory Over Truth - Fox Stevenson

Fox Stevenson is one of those artists where you wonder why they never broke through in the mainstream, at least in Europe. His song "Dreamland" from 2019 is such a big moment you'd expect it to be an iconic landmark in popular music. Considering the internet can catapult even years-old songs to retrospective fame, let's not give up hope yet.

His 2022 song only leaves you in disbelief about how it's not all over the radio: the fast-paced beat, the ultra earworm-inducing melody alternating between falsetto and normal singing like nothing, the very likable down-to-earth aura even if singing about a person he does not like. This song is a treat and, like the rest of his output, really deserves more widespread attention.

22 Lose You - Sam Smith
23 Remedy - Leony
24 Diamonds & Dancefloors - Ava Max
25 Here Comes the Night - Tokio Hotel
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