Daily Press (Sunday)

‘On My Mama,’ ‘Monaco’ hit right notes to land on top list

- By Maria Sherman

The best songs of the year, in no particular order.

This blockbuste­r single is a loving tribute to the singer’s mom and her daughter, with Monét’s buttery voice and bright brass production carrying throughout. It may very well be the best R&B track of the year — with one of the best samples, utilizing Chalie Boy’s 2009 banger “I Look Good.” It takes a real talent to borrow from such a recognizab­le sound. Monét doesn’t just manage to do that — she makes it her own.

This Latin trap song with a need for speed wouldn’t feel too far removed on the artist’s debut album, 2018’s “X 100PRE.” Benito’s smooth, somber baritone carries the track, as does the rush sound of a Formula One car that bleeds into baroque production.

‘Flowers,’ Miley Cyrus:

There’s a thin line between courageous and corny when it comes to uplifting pop records. But on Cyrus’ first No. 1 hit in a decade, the pop superstar makes magic happen. It’s a summery, retro-pop single teeming with optimism born out of divorce. She finds an emotional solution and musical resolve in her chorus: “I can love me better than you can.”

‘Boy’s a Liar Pt. 2,’ PinkPanthe­ress and Ice Spice:

It is the song of the summer — heck, the year — and it came out in January. The Bronx rapper and hyperpop-punk hero made an examinatio­n of modern dating with an undeniable hook. It is so space-y as to take flight; a lackadaisi­cal remix for the

current moment.

‘I Remember Everything,’ Zach Bryan and Kacey Musgraves:

Bryan’s first No. 1 track is confession­al, rich, balladic songwritin­g amplified by his fullhearte­d voice — those open, resonating notes — and the sweetness of Musgraves’ tone.

Long gone are the burnt orange pop-punk days of Paramore’s youth. This song reflects a propulsive, matured band dancing around a prickly guitar riff. At its core is frontwoman Hayley Williams stretching her vast vocal range, belting out frustratio­ns and excising misguided desires.

‘Crave,’ Paramore:

The pop powerhouse’s single is all falsetto, locker room chants and utopic homoerotic­ism: “I feel the rush/ Addicted to your touch,” a group of men harmonize. Bravado is instituted only to drive home a sort

‘Rush,’ Troye Sivan:

of sweaty sexuality, all fun and light atop house and EDM beats.

‘Dumbest Girl Alive,’ 100 gecs:

Laura Les and Dylan Brady’s musical art is fueled by pixelated chaos. In this cut from the hyperpop duo’s LP “10,000 gecs,” the nu-metal bass lick and distorted vocals deliver unintellig­ible lines like “Put emojis on my grave/ I’m the dumbest girl alive.” It’s 2023’s best song that sounds like getting sucked into a computer simulation, fun and dumb in equal measure.

This tune was the catalyst for the K-pop girl group’s fame, with its addictive trap rhythm, propelled by U.K. garage-inspired production, tasteful cowbells and a sticky staccato synth that lays a strong foundation, brought to the next level by the quintet’s ebullient harmonies

‘OMG,’ NewJeans:

‘Tantor,’ Danny Brown:

The track is prog-rock avant-rap, retro-futuristic hip-hop filtered through, like, “Robocop.” If cyborgs aren’t your thing, look away — but then you’d be missing one of the most welcomingl­y clangorous and charming tracks of 2023.

 ?? ‘On My Mama,’ Victoria Monét:
MARTA LAVANDIER/AP ?? “Monaco” by Bad Bunny, seen Oct. 5, is a Latin trap song that ranks among the year’s best.
‘On My Mama,’ Victoria Monét: MARTA LAVANDIER/AP “Monaco” by Bad Bunny, seen Oct. 5, is a Latin trap song that ranks among the year’s best.
 ?? ‘Monaco,’ Bad Bunny: ??
‘Monaco,’ Bad Bunny:

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