My Top Ten Favourite Hit Songs of mid 2019

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So I can imagine that this is going to be controversial especially given certain picks would make a few worst hits lists if 2019 worst lists were being made now but these are my picks based on the goings on on the Australian ARIA singles chart for January to June 2019.

Now I do want to stress that just because the songs I am about to write about here make this list, it's not a guarantee that they'll wind up on the year end list. This list isn't a guarantee for year end list appearance.

So far 2019 has by far been a more interesting year to discuss music and pop culture with some songs seeing former stars have another moment of glory, Lil Nas X handed Billy Ray Cyrus his first number one in years with a remix of Lil Nas X's massive hit "Old Town Road" while Oscars momentum saw Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper spend two weeks at number one again this year with "Shallow" and while we got a lot of good songs just not many truly great songs but none the less both the merely good and the great need to be recognised so here's the top ten best hit songs of 2019...so far..

2017 was a horrible, horrible year for this woman, not only did her album fail but she had to watch as Hillary Clinton lost the US presidential election to Donald Trump however she returned this year with a song that while not perfect is her best song in some time...

10. "Never Really Over" by Katy Perry

As I said before, this song is not perfect, Zedd's production is something out of 2017 with the ticking clock and unfortunately it doesn't help Katy Perry's vocal production but I'd argue this song made this list is because of Katy Perry herself, she totally throws herself into selling the song about a relationship that ends and then restarts repeatedly and she knows that even if they do break off, he'll be back again. It's a good song, glad to see Katy Perry back on form.

Speaking of being on form, I am really getting to like this guy and when he is releasing pop/songs like this one...well...I may start becoming a fan...

9. "If I Can't Have You" by Shawn Mendes.

Oh I wish this song was a rock song and Shawn Mendes could develop a throaty guttural presence in his voice because this song needed a seriously wild guitar solo and Shawn just absolutely cutting loose as he sings about his apparent obsessionwwith this girl who, because of his career, he is away from so reads her texts and near obsessively thinks about this girl and no matter how hard he tries to forget her, she is still in his head. The production is interesting to say the least, it sounds like a mix between something that could have been on the last The 1975 album with a touch of Jonas Brothers and yeah the hook does work for what it is.

Oohh boy, you are just going to have to go with me on this one...

8."Sunflower" by Post Malone feat. Swae Lee

I tried desperately hard to deny that this song was any good and ignore that it was any good by trying to convince myself that it was "forgettable garbage" but even that didn't convince me because I got to be honest I like the production on this song a lot, it's melodic enough that suits both Post Malone and Swae Lee (if you squint hard enough, Swae Lee souds like The Weekend) and Post Malone's melodic delivery works. It says enough that Taylor Swift appeared to sample this song for her latest single. Great job Post Malone and Swae Lee!

So this is the latest addition to this list and it comes from a relatively unknown Australian act based in Victoria and may well end up being a more controversial addition this list than "Sunflower" but...

7. "Johnny Run Away" by Tones and I

I can imagine a few people wincing when they see this song here but truth be told, I would take "Johnny Run Away" over a pandering train wreck of a song like "You Need to Calm Down" by Taylor Swift every single day of the week largely because of how "Johnny Run Away" handles its advocacy of the LGBT community as it tells the story of how Tones best friend came out as gay to his father at a young age and handling his father's disapproval of his homosexualty and rejection of him. The song is a reminder of the prejudices and judgement that many face not just from the public but even from within their own families

Oh yeah, this kickass song is another reminder that we need more songs in every single genre that tell a story.

So this song being here is more about correcting a pretty terrible oversight when I made my top ten best hits list for 2018 and I somehow left this song off the list so I am going to correct that here and now because it deserves to be here.

6. "Shallow" by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.

You know if there was a song on this list that gives me a lump in my throat and makes me look for lame ass excuses as to why I am crying, it happened with "Castle on the Hill" by Ed Sheeran in 2017 and also with "Healing Hands" by Conrad Sewell last year and again this song probably should have made my year end for the fact that Lady Gaga's vocals brought me to tears, she just sounds incredible on this song. Sure, Bradley Cooper plays his role really well and it kind of surprised me how well he fits in the song but this is Lady Gaga's show so when she enters the song, she just completely dominates vocally. Add to that some fantastic production and you have the ingredients for a song that is likely going to go down as a classic of the decade.

This pick is probably going to make people roll their eyes and wonder 'What the hell?" but truth be told I like my stupid pop music, otherwise I wouldn't be a fan of Spice Girls and S Club 7 (cue nobody taking my music opinions on here seriously), there's absolutely a place where the lyrics cut as deep as a wet lettuce leaf hitting bare skin and at a time when a stupid song was needed, I think this woman delivered.

5. "Sweet But Psycho" by Ava Max

Okay, first things first, if you are taking this song seriously, can I suggest you stop? "Sweet But Psycho" isn't designed for anyone to take remotely seriously but to sit back and enjoy what is blatantly a ridiculously silly but fun pop song about this crazy woman and the longer the song goes lyrically the more ridiculous it gets however the hooks are great and its more than enough to get past how absurd the song is. It's just a dose of ridiculous pop absurdity that's way too much fun and at times when it feels like every artist is trying way too damn hard to be relatable, this song is the perfect antidote.

You know I feel blessed that this song was a hit in Australia, largelybecause the USA ignored it and it was some of the best work the singer on this song has done in a long time.

4. "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart" by Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus

It always stuns me how well Mark Ronson makes music to fit the vocal abilities of the singers imvolved especially on his latest album "Late Night Feelings" with "Nothing Breaks Like A Heart" being the lead single for that album and what a delicious country pop song it is. Miley sounds like she is on her game more so than that EP she dropped some weeks ago. Given this song wasn't a hit in the US, I am very relieved it was a top ten hit in Australia as it deserved to be. Great job, Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus.

I first found out about this teenager back in 2017 when a song of hers appeared on Spotify's New Music Friday playlist and since then she has gone on to become one of the biggest rising stars in pop music since Justin Bieber. and she's on this list.

3, "Bury A Friend" by Billie Eilish

If Billie Eilish doesn't win Best New Artist at the Grammys next year than there's going to be a problem, her album "When We all Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go" is one of the best mainstream album release of 2019 so far and "Bury A Friend" is absolutely one of the reasons why with its industrial sound and a low key catchy hook with Eilish talking to this monster that's under bed, its surprisingly graphic and a tad shocking in its content but that's whole point. Eilish is pushing pop music into darker and very twisted territory with a subtlety that has to be admired.

So it came down to this, an Australian hip hop duo who came up with something close to a rock/hip hop blend or a collaboration between a British soul singer and a American woman fresh out of a all girl pop group and well...

2. "Leave Me Lonely" by Hilltop Hoods

2019 has been the year that I have understood the appeal of Hilltop Hoods and "Leave Me Lonely" with that rock solid guitar and MCs Suffa and Pressure riding the groove of the song as well they rap about not having time to deal with the absolute toxic garbage around them and would rather be left alone in peace. The line "Me and friends, we are not here for your BS" is a line that I think will probably go down in Australian music folklore. If you haven't checked out Hilltop Hoods new album "The Great Expanse", please take the time to do so because it's excellent.

So we've arrived at number one and for awhile I wasn't certain that this song would be my number one pick for the mid year what with two other songs that you could make valid arguments for the number one spot but after listening to it again, I couldn't deny it...

1. "Dancing With A Stranger" by Sam Smith and Normani

Sam Smith has been doing a LOT right lately, he was fantastic on Calvin Harris's "Promises" last year and now with Normani on 'Dancing With A Stranger". A song where its clear that they are both lonely after a relationship breakdown and aren't enjoying it so they'll head out and try to have a dance with a stranger to find some relief in the melancholy they are both feeling. Now what I also like here is the production, its organic with just enough spare guitar to keep the song moving. I cannot wait to hear what Sam Smith releases next and indeed that debut solo album from Normani. This song is great and deserves to top this mid year list.

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