My Top 100 Songs: 60-51

60. Prayer Of The Refugee – Rise Against

One of the most catchy and easily recognisable tracks Rise Against have ever written in their career, this song is an absolute gem. It shows them at their furious, political best.

Find it on: The Sufferer And The Witness (2006)

59. Holding On To You – Twenty One Pilots

I love an intense song, and this is definitely one of those. It mixes all the best aspects of Twenty One Pilots’ work, mixing soaring melodies, intense rapping and great electronic influences to create a song that once you hear, you won’t get it out of your head.

Find it on: Vessel (2013)

58. Ocean Avenue – Yellowcard

This song is yet another example of early 2000’s pop-punk. Great vocals and guitar are combined with one of the most easily recognisable choruses of all time to make an incredible song.

Find it on: Ocean Avenue (2003)

57. Smile Like You Mean It – The Killers

This is one of the songs I’ve liked for the longest on this list. I always had it in my head when it first came out, but I only found out what it was called after discovering The Killers later on in my life. An amazing song.

Find it on: Hot Fuss (2004)

56. Team – Lorde

2013’s Pure Heroine was an incredible album, but I feel like this is the best song from it. Not only does it bear all of Lorde’s trademark incredible writing and production, its chorus can get in my head like no other song.

Find it on: Pure Heroine (2013)

55. Stacy’s Mom – Fountains Of Wayne

I may lose my credibility to a lot of people by saying this, but I love this song. It’s as catchy as anything I’ve heard, but not only that, it’s possibly one of the funniest songs ever written.

Find it on: Welcome Interstate Managers (2003)

54. I’m Made Of Wax Larry, What Are You Made Of? – A Day To Remember

I mentioned loving intense songs earlier, but this is something else. It feature incredible screamed vocals and an incredible chorus, the best of both worlds between hardcore and pop-punk.

Find it on: Homesick (2009)

53. Lost In Stereo – All Time Low

From one catchy chorus to another, this is one of the best songs in All Time Low’s discography. It contains one of the best vocal performances too!

Find it on: Nothing Personal (2009)

52. I Could Have Lied – Red Hot Chili Peppers

There is a beautiful acoustic track nestled in amongst all of the smash hits in Blood Sugar Sex Magik, and it’s this song. It’s serene, beautiful, and features some of John Frusciante’s best guitar work.

Find it on: Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991)

51. This Is Letting Go – Rise Against

This part of the countdown is started and finished by Rise Against, but the songs couldn’t be any more different. While ‘Prayer Of The Refugee’ is filled with anger, this is much more reflective and thoughtful. The lyrics are some of Tim McIlrath’s best work as well.

Find it on: Endgame (2011)

Come back in a fortnight for more of my favourite songs!

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My Top 10 Songs Of The Year So Far

We are about halfway through the year now, and loads of great music has already been released. In this post I’ll count down my favourite songs of the year so far, to show you some of what the music world has to offer at the moment.

10. Sharp Edges – Linkin Park

When I saw Linkin Park’s first new single this year, I never guessed one of their songs would make this list. But after approaching their album with a more open mind I began to love it, this song especially. It really showed the talents of the band, adapting their sound even more to make an almost country sounding song. A joy to listen to.

9. Black Magic – The Amazons

This song comes from my second favourite album of the year so far, only just beaten by Lorde’s Melodrama. It also features some of the best guitar work on this list, and promises to be an anthem for The Amazons for years to come.

8. With Or Without Me – SAINTE

When Tay Jardine of We Are The In Crowd announced that she’s be pursuing a poppier, more colourful sound in her new project, I was immediately excited – I thought it’d really suit her. And I wasn’t wrong either, as both songs she’s released have been excellent, and incredibly catchy. This is the pick of the two.

7. House On Fire – Rise Against

Rise Against produced yet another politically-charged masterpiece this year, but oddly enough it wasn’t one of the political songs that made this list. House On Fire, a more introspective look at the struggles of parenting not only had a lot of emotion and meaning, but sounded great.

6. No Way Out – As It Is

Here’s a song from the first ever album I reviewed on this blog – okay. by As It Is. It was undoubtedly the best song on the album too, with an incredibly emotional monologue from frontman Patty Walters halfway through. And trust me, it’s even better live.

5. Bottom Of The Ocean – Blink-182

The first song on this list from Blink-182’s incredible deluxe version of California, this showed a completely different side to the band, adding more electronic elements and a darker side to their sound. It worked perfectly.

4. Kiwi – Harry Styles

Yeah, I’m as shocked as you that Harry Styles appears on this list, but the truth is, he created a great album earlier in the year, with a range of rock and pop songs. Kiwi was the best of these, showing that rock music suits him a lot more than anyone would think.

3. 6/8 – Blink-182

If Bottom Of The Ocean showed Blink-182 straying from their roots, 6/8 shows themselves experimenting even more. Written in a 6/8 time signature (hence the name), and featuring shouted lyrics and heavy guitars, this is the most experimental song Blink-182 have ever created. And I love it for that!

2. Hard Times – Paramore

Well this is definitely the catchiest song of the year so far. The fantastic vocals, great bassline, and catchy guitar all blend together to make a great song. There’s not much else to say really.

1. Liability – Lorde

What a song this is! It is slow, haunting, and completely different from the usual electronic elements Lorde uses. It was completely unexpected, but that’s fine, because it is executed perfectly, and is the best song of the best album of the year so far.

Album Review: Lorde – Melodrama

Lorde’s first album is one of my favourite albums of all time. The minimalistic style and incredible production made for an amazing listening experience, and I have been waiting for this follow up at least. When ‘Green Light’, the first single from the album came out, I was initially shocked at the change in style, to a fuller production, with more instrumentation, but after a few listens, it felt like the natural progression for her as an artist. If possible, it made me even more excited for Melodrama. Here are my thoughts:

The album starts of with a track I know well now – ‘Green Light’, the main single. This incredible track serves as a statement of intent, setting an incredibly high bar for the rest of the album. This is followed by ‘Sober’, which is haunting, but not in the usual way. The low synth sounds and echoes of Lorde’s voice in the background are major factors in this, making yet another incredible listen. ‘Homemade Dynamite’ has a more uplifting feel to it despite the lyrical content, with warm synth sounds, and an unconventional, but incredibly catchy chorus. This is followed by a massively diverse listen in the form of ‘The Louvre’. There is a massive mix of different styles, including some guitar playing, some piano, and even sections of the song that it feels like you’re underwater while listening to. A more conventional form of song (and I don’t mean that as an insult), is ‘Liability’, the album’s second single. It is a powerful piano ballad, and the fact that so much emotion can be conveyed through only Lorde’s vocals and a piano is a testament to her talent. ‘Sober II (Melodrama)’ is another curveball, backed with an incredible string arrangement and hard-hitting lyrics. It is so different from the first iteration of ‘Sober’, and perfectly emphasises that divide between the night of a party and the morning after. A much more energetic song is ‘Supercut’. The fast paced synths and driving drum beat make this incredibly catchy, before fading off with an almost dreamy sound, reminiscent of bands like The 1975. The album is closed by ‘Perfect Places’, the album’s third single, and yet another incredible listen. The chorus on this song is anthemic, with a simple but effective melody guaranteed to be a singalong when played live.

In conclusion, Melodrama eclipses Pure Heroine, and that’s not something that I say lightly, considering the latter was on my list of favourite ever albums. This is a perfect step forward for Lorde, creating a fuller sound than her previous album, and with that, bringing a collection of incredible songs. This is the best album I have listened to this year so far, and I can’t see anything beating it either.

Best Song: I genuinely can’t choose.

Score: 10/10

My Top 20 Albums: 20-11

Since I wrote up my list of favourite artists a couple of weeks ago, I decided I should follow up on this by writing more about my favourite music. So, next up are my favourite albums:

20. Yellowcard- Ocean Avenue

In my early years of discovering pop-punk, I came upon a song that would capture my imagination for years to come. This song was ‘Ocean Avenue’ by Yellowcard. The catchy chorus, powerful guitar, and the odd edition of a violin mixed together created a truly incredible song. I didn’t listen to the album until years later, but when I did, I was truly lucky to experience a list of songs that were just as good.

19. All Time Low – Nothing Personal

I had to pick an All Time Low album in this list; I love all of their albums and think they’re all packed with great songs, but overall I think this album just beats Don’t Panic as their best. What an I say other than it’s full of excellent, super-catchy pop-punk.

18. Enter Shikari – A Flash Flood Of Colour

Again, what would this list be without an Enter Shikari album? The problem is, I think all of their albums push the boundaries of rock music, and are incredible to listen to. Out of all of them, this one probably just edges it, but I recommend all of their albums – each is an amazing listening experience.

17. Halestorm – The Strange Case Of…

This album is definitely Halestorm’s best work, and captures them at their angry, confident best. The heavy guitars, along with vocalist Lzzy Hale’s excellent vocal work blend together to create a mix of great songs. Arejay Hale’s drumming is also a high point.

16. A Day To Remember – Homesick

Homesick truly captures A Day To Remember at their best, showcasing all of their talents, from angry, screamy madness, to a smooth acoustic singalong. And it is all pure gold. Definitely one to listen to when you’re angry at the world.

15. Lorde – Pure Heroine

The first non-rock artist in this list, I truly believe Lorde is the queen of dark pop. I first discovered her when Rise Against vocalist Tim McIlrath covered ‘Tennis Court’, and from there I found this album, a collection of work dripping with moodiness and darkness. I was instantly hooked and have never looked back.

14. Jimmy Eat World – Bleed American

I discovered this album after hearing main single ‘The Middle’ on one of the Guitar Hero video games and I had to discover more. This album really shows off the Jimmy Eat World’s variety and talent, creating an incredible mix of songs. It is rightly considered one of the greatest emo albums of all time.

13. AFI – Sing The Sorrow

From one of the greatest emo albums of all time to another, Sing The Sorrow is a fantastic blend of AFI’s punk roots, and a new more melodic edge that they started to bring in around this time. It strikes a perfect balance between these two elements, and is AFI’s best work to date.

12. PVRIS – White Noise

White Noise is a mix of moody lyrics and synths, along with beautiful melodies, all tied together by vocalist Lynn Gunn’s beautiful voice. This package of dark synthy rock is a must-listen for fans of any type of music, really.

11. Green Day – American Idiot

Honestly, what rock fan has never heard of this album: it is a masterpiece. Every element of it adds together to make one of the best rock albums of this century altogether. Billie Joe Armstrong’s lyrics are excellent, and along with Tré Cool’s drumming and Mike Dirnt’s bass playing, everything adds up to make a truly great rock album.

Come back in a couple of weeks for the conclusion of this countdown!