From “Fetish” To “Friends,” 25 Songs That Should Have Been Bigger In 2017

Mike Nied | January 8, 2018 4:17 pm
The 50 Best Songs Of 2017
From "Slow Hands" to "Bad Liar," we round up the best pop songs of 2017.

2017 delivered an abundance of sparkling pop songs. Last week, we revisited the 50 best songs of the year, but today we’re honoring the pop anthems that didn’t quite get their due. Every year, we hear instantly catchy gems that sound huge. Some of them, like “Despacito,” manage to reach their full potential. Others, like Fifth Harmony’s irresistible “He Like That” or Noah Cyrus’ rebellious “Stay Together,” are not as fortunate. We have compiled a list of 25 songs that deserved to find a bigger audience in 2017 below.

25. “There For You” – Martin Garrix feat. Troye Sivan

Love is a road that goes both ways

Martin Garrix and Troye Sivan teamed up for a promising collaboration that seemed destined to conquer the charts like “In the Name Of Love” in 2016. Unfortunately, their amiable bop provided easy listening but missed out on the expected critical acclaim. They were there for us, but where were we in their time of need?

24. “Paper Love” – Allie X

Come on watch my heart turn to pulp

Dark-pop princess Allie X deserves to be a chart force as evidenced by the brilliant “Paper Love.” Those haunting whistle notes sink their claws into you and her beguiling voice is at maximum effect on the brooding single.

23. “Take Me” – Aly & AJ

I’ve been spending my attention on you

Their long-awaited return of Aly & AJ should have signified another “Potential Breakup Song”-sized smash. The sisters more than delivered their side of the bargain. “Take Me” is an ’80s-tinged, synth masterpiece.

22. “Switch” – Iggy Azalea feat. Anitta

Is Iggy the ziggy-iggy the baddest of ‘em all?

It should have been Iggy SZN in 2017, but you let her flop twice. For the rapper’s second single of the year, she teamed up with Brazilian superstar Anitta and delivered an atomic bop that would have been a chart-topper for any other artist.

21. “The Cure” – Lady Gaga 

I’ll fix you with my love

Lady Gaga tossed aside her pink cowboy hat and returned to the dance floor for a slice of pristine-pop on “The Cure.” After debuting it at Coachella, the incandescent single slipped through the cracks largely due to a lack of promotion. (Where’s the video, Stefani?)

20. “Younger Now” – Miley Cyrus 

I’m not afraid of who I used to be

2017 was a time of change for Miley Cyrus. After dabbling in hip-hop beats on Bangerz and giving psychedelic rock a shot on Dead Petz, she returned to her roots with a series of pop-country crossovers on Younger Now. The general public did not pick up on the sound, but it is hard not to love the title track.

19. “Bedroom Floor” – Liam Payne

Your clothes say different on my bedroom floor

With 1D on hiatus, 2017 saw an influx of solo projects from the boys. Liam Payne kickstarted his solo career with the clumsy “Strip That Down” and somehow scored a massive hit. He got it very right on “Bedroom Floor,” but the song tanked. Go figure.

18. “New” – Daya

I don’t want new, I want you

Heartache has never felt more fresh than it does on Daya’s “New.” One of 2016’s breakout artists continued to showcase her growing artistry on the fraught breakup ballad turned swirling mid-tempo. Unfortunately, the song never had its moment on radio.

17. “Instruction” – Jax Jones feat. Demi Lovato and Stefflon Don

Bitch, I don’t need introduction, follow my simple instruction

The breakaway success of “Sorry Not Sorry” in 2017 overshadowed a killer club collaboration from Demi Lovato. The Jax Jones and Stefflon Don-assisted “Instruction” boasts fiery production and commanding lyrics, but never soared as high as it should.

16. “Dead” – Madison Beer

So why aren’t you dead yet?

Although she is still just dipping her toes in pop, Madison Beer delivered 2017’s defining bad bitch anthem with “Dead.” The frosty kiss-off is the alt-pop cousin to “New Rules” and should have made a similar impact on pop culture.

15. “Swingin’ With My Eyes Closed” – Shania Twain

Fist up in the air, oh like we don’t care

Shania Twain celebrated her return to the forefront of pop culture by doing what she does best: unleashing an infectious crossover bop. The fact that this summery anthem did not climb the charts and define the warmest months of the year is borderline unforgivable.

14. “Say It To My Face” – Maty Noyes

Make me go insane

Maty Noyes is destined to break big. In 2017, it look like “Say It To My Face” could be the song. The fiery banger is her brightest pop moment to date, but failed to gain traction.

13. “You Already Know” – Fergie feat. Nicki Minaj

Life’s a movie let the camera roll

Fergie’s Double Dutchess fizzled on the charts, but “You Already Know” should have turned things around. A collaboration with Nicki Minaj, the ’90s-house bop had all the elements to be massive. It truly deserved.

12. “He Like That” – Fifth Harmony

Pumps and a bump

2017 did Fifth Harmony so dirty. “He Like That” is one of the girl group’s best singles to date, but it was DOA.

11. “Friends” – Justin Bieber & BloodPop

I was wondering ‘bout your mama

Justin Bieber emerged as the uncontested king of the charts in 2017. Everything he touched turned to gold with the exception of his best release of the year, the Bloodpop-assisted “Friends.” Even a remix featuring co-writer Julia Michaels was not enough to take this to its rightful spot at the top of the charts.

10. “Love So Soft” – Kelly Clarkson

Break it, then you buy it, and it sure gonna cost ya

Kelly Clarkson turned her back on the pop/rock that made her a household name in favor of an old school R&B sound on Meaning Of Life. The project’s lead single, “Love So Soft,” sounded like a chart-topper. Cruelly, this never happened.

9. “Fetish” – Selena Gomez feat. Gucci Mane

If I were you, I’d do me too

Selena Gomez proved to be one of the most experimental pop stars of 2017. With its clever sample and cute chorus, “Bad Liar” won rave reviews, but it’s time to stop sleeping on “Fetish.” In a dream world, this would define the direction pop music takes in 2018.

8. “1 Night” – Mura Masa feat. Charli XCX

I just want to go back to where we were

Lusting after a one-night-stand has never sounded more relatable or more enjoyable than it does when Charli XCX is singing about it. Teaming up with Mura Masa, the twosome delivered one of the year’s most compelling smashes that no one heard.

7. “I Don’t” – Mariah Carey feat. YG

Pity party of the year

Mariah Carey did what she had to do on “I Don’t.” Unfortunately, her cash-strapped Lambs couldn’t part with the $1.29 needed to make this a hit.

6. “Mo Bounce” – Iggy Azalea

Mo bounce in the mother fuckin’ house

Iggy Azalea unleashed the defining twerk anthem of 2017, and we let it flop. Shame.

5. “Cut To The Feeling” – Carly Rae Jepsen

A chemical reaction, take me in your arms

It should come as no surprise that Carly Rae Jepsen fronted one of the most under-appreciated pop songs 2017. “Cut To The Feeling” is the synth-pop masterpiece we did not deserve. Thankfully, Carly is a generous hitmaker who will not punish us by withholding similarly great bops in the future.

4. “Stay Together” – Noah Cyrus

I shattered my phone on the cement, but I don’t give a fuck

As one Cyrus sibling tossed aside her giant foam finger to embrace her Americana roots, another rose up as the most rebellious and unforgettable new voices in pop. On “Stay Together”, Noah Cyrus introduced herself as a fun-loving, fucks-free pop princess and unleashed her first of many under-appreciated bops.

3. “Breathe” – Astrid S

Did you slip me a magic pill?

Budding Norwegian superstar Astrid S effortlessly captured the joy of falling in love on her bubbly “Breathe.” The adorable anthem was a diamond-selling smash in a parallel universe where good music is appreciated.

2. “Uh Huh” – Julia Michaels

It’s my emotions going in for the kill

Julia Michaels fell victim to her own success when the very, very good “Uh Huh” failed to take off while “Issues” was still charting. Talk about a missed opportunity.

1. “Bon Appetit” – Katy Perry feat. Migos

Fresh out the oven, melt in your mouth kind of lovin’

As polarizing as Witness is, it’s completely disingenuous to deny the greatness of bops like “Bon Appetit.” Subtract the Migos feature, and it’s one of the defining bops of 2017.

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