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Selena Gomez got droll on this spiky pop song that swipes a sample of the bass line from the Talking Heads classic "Psycho Killer." On that track, singer David Byrne mapped his own anxiety in a state of violent panic; Gomez sounds more laid-back in her vocal delivery here, but if you parse the lyrics, it's clear she's similarly paralyzed by her own neurosis. "I was walking down the street the other day," she sings. "Trying to distract myself/But then I see your face/Oh wait, that's someone else." Romantic obsession rarely sounds this twitchy and hypnotic.  

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No song on this list prompts a physical response quite like "Bodak Yellow," a thundering, blood-covered testament to the power of making money moves. When the beat kicks in, the body activates and motion becomes inevitable. There's no "secret" that explains the song's success. It all comes down to Cardi B, the former stripper and reality TV star who powers this track, and the way she uses her voice to command respect. "If you a pussy you get popped, you a goofy, you a cop," she raps in the second verse. "Don't you come around my way, you can't hang around my block." It's an exclusionary warning that also plays as an invitation: This is a club you want to be a member of.

Few artists do earnest self-reflection quite like Jason Isbell, the former Drive-By-Truckers member turned solo country everyman. On "Hope the High Road," the first single from The Nashville Sound, the 38-year-old songwriter pens a thoughtful op-ed about empathy, identity, and blame in the Trump-era. "I've heard enough of the white man's blues," he sings. "I've sang enough about myself/So if you're looking for some bad news/You can find it somewhere else." Instead, he's looking for real connections and real solutions. Here's to hoping he finds them.

5.Syd, the 25-year-old songwriter and producer, got her start in music as a member of the roving hip-hop collective Odd Future before breaking out as the singer of the neo-soul outfit The Internet. Her first solo album, Fin, is clearly the work of an artist who understands the aesthetic lane she excels in, but also wants to push the boundaries a bit. Fittingly, the lean, muscular single "All About Me" is a brash expression of individuality from a gifted team player. You can't look away. 

"Sorry Not Sorry," Demi Lovato's comeback single after announcing last year that she was taking a break from the spotlight, is like a flipped bird emoji reaching through your phone to poke your eye. The track was produced by Warren "Oak" Felder, who worked on Kehlani's SweetSexySavage -- still the year's best R&B record -- and it's got some of the same strike-a-match-and-watch-the-world-burn energy that's powered countless kiss-off anthems by artists like Sia and Pink. What makes this one special? The combination of flippancy and playfulness Lovato brings to lines like "I'm out here looking like revenge." It's a good look for her.

"I hate the headlines and the weather," sings Lorde in the first verse of "Perfect Places." "I'm 19 and I'm on fire." Like Bruce Springsteen or Johnny Cash, she's on fire -- songwriting doesn't get much more direct than that. Over a bleary synth and chugging drum machine, the 20-year-old singer describes a search for a state of perfection that she's wise enough to know might not exist. This song, the final track from her excellent Melodrama album, is the comedown to the exhilarating rush of "Green Light," the harsh sliver of light peeking through the blinds after a night of adventure. 
"Sorry Not Sorry," Demi Lovato's comeback single after announcing last year that she was taking a break from the spotlight, is like a flipped bird emoji reaching through your phone to poke your eye. The track was produced by Warren "Oak" Felder, who worked on Kehlani's SweetSexySavage -- still the year's best R&B record -- and it's got some of the same strike-a-match-and-watch-the-world-burn energy that's powered countless kiss-off anthems by artists like Sia and Pink. What makes this one special? The combination of flippancy and playfulness Lovato brings to lines like "I'm out here looking like revenge." It's a good look for her.

7.The R&B of Kelela's debut studio album, Take Me Apart, pulsates with life. Though it's possible to interpret an icy, careening song like "LMK" as a missive received from a distant planet, the vocals keep the track from feeling like a song that would play in a Blade Runner-themed nightclub. It's rooted in deft psychological observations and the subtleties of modern communication. ("You don't read between the lines," she sings. "'Bout to leave, can you read my mind?") You've got to read the signals.

"Sorry Not Sorry," Demi Lovato's comeback single after announcing last year that she was taking a break from the spotlight, is like a flipped bird emoji reaching through your phone to poke your eye. The track was produced by Warren "Oak" Felder, who worked on Kehlani's SweetSexySavage -- still the year's best R&B record -- and it's got some of the same strike-a-match-and-watch-the-world-burn energy that's powered countless kiss-off anthems by artists like Sia and Pink. What makes this one special? The combination of flippancy and playfulness Lovato brings to lines like "I'm out here looking like revenge." It's a good look for her.
"Sorry Not Sorry," Demi Lovato's comeback single after announcing last year that she was taking a break from the spotlight, is like a flipped bird emoji reaching through your phone to poke your eye. The track was produced by Warren "Oak" Felder, who worked on Kehlani's SweetSexySavage -- still the year's best R&B record -- and it's got some of the same strike-a-match-and-watch-the-world-burn energy that's powered countless kiss-off anthems by artists like Sia and Pink. What makes this one special? The combination of flippancy and playfulness Lovato brings to lines like "I'm out here looking like revenge." It's a good look for her.