The year 2021 came with a lot of challenges, most notably the rampaging coronavirus pandemic. However, many of the songs were about picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and trying again. These tracks gave us a shoulder to cry on, but also, crucially, a kick in the pants when we needed it most. They were the soundtrack to our 2021, and we have a feeling we’ll keep turning to them in better times yet to come. Here’s our top five from top online casino.
5. Taylor Swift: ‘All Too Well’ (Taylor’s Version)
When Taylor Swift announced she was re-recording her 2012 album, Red, “All Too Well” was a hotly anticipated track. The song, an achingly beautiful breakup ballad that has received cult classic status thanks to fan speculation that it’s about Swift’s split with Jake Gyllenhaal, has, in 2021, matured and grown into a 10-minute epic with new, keenly recognized lyrics that not only explores first love, but questions the imbalanced power dynamics of the relationship. The extended version is an improvement on a design that Swift has made her own over the course of her career—that is, ballads on the ins and outs of love—but with Taylor’s version of “All Too Well,” we bear witness to a woman who is reclaiming her narrative and taking up her time and space. It’s a journey that’s well worth 10 minutes.
4 – Wizkid ft Tems: ‘ Essence’
Wizkid’s massive international hit offered the best vision possible of our eternally shrinking world: at once local and global, intimate and universal. On it, the Nigerian singer, one of the most popular pop artists in Africa, embraced one of his country’s newest talents. Their performances are distinct yet seamless, joining together over a melange of Nineties American R&B, U.K. Afroswing, and percussive Nigerian Afrobeats. “Essence” hit the top of several U.S. charts in 2021 after it got a Justin Bieber remix this summer, but its reach was wide well before. “I want everyone to understand [the song],” said P2J, one of its producers, “but still understand the essence of the music is from Africa.”
3 – Caroline Polachek: ‘Bunny Is a Rider’
Who is Bunny? In Caroline Polachek’s vision, she is a figure of undeniable intrigue. Sexy and beguiling, untraceable even by satellite, she goes where she wants and is beholden to no one. You wish you were Bunny; we all do.
Casting off the gossamer avant-pop of 2019’s Pang, Polachek and producer Danny L Harle opt for a sound that is both commercial and weird: a deep, juicy bassline befitting of the Top 40, a “yoo hoo” whistle, a sample taken from Harle’s giggling baby, even marimba plinks that conjure an island vacation with Kygo. It’s a characteristic display of PC Music alum Harle’s impulse to simultaneously send-up and pay homage to popular forms, with results too deliciously crisp to read as a joke.
Meanwhile, as if recreating the slipperiness of Bunny, Polachek darts through various images (blazing fireworks, a wet palette, a cut check), never resting long enough for you to grasp what’s next. She enters a new dimension in the chorus, switching from narrator to first-person, trading a Drake-like rhythmic delivery for her usual lithe, crystalline singing. She may be channeling the want to be immaterial, the ability to evaporate like a wisp of smoke, but when she sings “I’m so nonphysical,” it comes with embodied longing, as if she’s aching for touch. The thrill of the song is wrapped up in how it skirts any pressure to lay out its intentions, how it moves at its own whims. Bunny keeps you guessing.
2 -Olivia Rodrigo: ‘Good 4 U’
In early 2021, a little-known singer-songwriter called Olivia Rodrigo became the most talked about teen on the planet. Her stunning debut single ‘Drivers License’ came – almost out of nowhere – to conquer; topping the UK chart for nine weeks and breaking countless records along the way. Far from a one-hit wonder, Rodrigo’s debut album ‘Sour’ (released in May) was a veritable treasure trove of tunes, ranging from the emotive stripped-back moments (‘1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back’), to alt-rock indebted stompers (‘Brutal’). This is a song many users on meilleur casino en ligne listen to while playing games this year.
It’s ‘Good 4 U’ that really stood out, though. The ferocious tune that saw Rodrigo eye-roll “Well, good for you, you look happy and healthy” over thrashing instrumentals is a killer. “We wanted to take an early 2000s pop-punk song and sort of twist it and find a way to make it 2021,” Rodrigo told NME earlier this year in her cover story – a brief she more than fulfilled on the Dan Nigro-assisted tune. Not just setting the standard for the joyous nostalgia-embracing pop-punk sound that’s dominated the mainstream in 2021, it’s a masterclass in songwriting, matching a real rock earworm with Rodrigo’s brilliant, pithy lyrics.
1 – Farruko – ‘Pepas’
No song better captured the supreme ecstasy of re-emerging in the world after a long year of social distancing than the exhilarating, exuberant “Pepas,” from the Puerto Rican artist Farruko. The dance track, which relies on an intoxicating reggaeton beat and an energizing shot of guaracha (an offshoot of Latin America’s tribal house music), begins with slow crooning before devolving into a triumphant chorus, spiked with a healthy dose of EDM. The ecstatic appeal of “Pepas” has propelled Farruko to the top charts, but its true effect can be felt in the instant burst of energy it summons when it’s blasted out of the window of a car driving by or played on a packed dance floor.