Spotify says these were my top 100 songs of 2020. Were they really?

At the end of ever year, Spotify makes you a playlist with the songs you listened to the most. That’s nice of them. However, I can’t help but wonder… are the songs you listened to the most often really the same as your actual favorite songs? I know in some cases I listen to an album more if I plan on reviewing it, and I know there are also songs I don’t love that much that I might’ve played a lot because they came from otherwise great albums.

I don’t know exactly what my Top 100 list would look like if I methodically put together my own list based on my own preferences, but I am curious to see if Spotify came even close to being right. So here they are. My Top 100 songs of 2020 according to Spotify and my thoughts about whether or not they earned it.

1. “Lightning Fields” by The Killers ft. k.d. lang

From the album Imploding the Mirage

Oh for sure this is probably my most-played song of 2020. I just wanted to… RUN MY FASTEST AND….. STAND BESIDE YOU AND…. listen to The Killers’ 2020 masterpiece Imploding the Mirage.

2. “My God” by The Killers ft. Weyes Blood

From the album Imploding the Mirage

Definitely didn’t have the same love-at-first-listen here that I had with “Lightning Fields” but by the third or forth listen it was a very close 2nd for me.

3. “my tears ricochet” by Taylor Swift

From the album folklore

Feel like I only listened to this one as often as I did because I was too lazy to switch to something else after my numerous “exile” listens. (“exile” immediately precedes this song on the album). That being said, I 100% believe it’s Taylor’s “breakup song” to Scott Borchetta/her old record label and it’s an even more intricate, fascinating song in that context. Still kind of mad I can never spell “ricochet” right on the first try.

4. “exile” by Taylor Swift ft. Bon Iver

From the album folklore

Figured this one would be here. Easily the strongest folklore song, and one of the few I really went out of my way to listen to apart from full-album listens.

5. “cardigan” by Taylor Swift

From the album folklore

See “my tears ricochet” and now apply it to “the 1” which is a superior song and immediately precedes “cardigan” on the album.

6. “whywhywhy” by MisterWives

From the album SUPERBLOOM

This song bloody slaps and is one of the main reasons I listened to SUPERBLOOM as many times as I did. I mean the other songs are also good but my excitement to hear “whywhywhy” was unmatched.

7. “Daydream” by The Aces

From the album Under My Influence

I discovered this song from listening to the official playlist for The Bold Type soundtrack, a source of several great music finds now. I really couldn’t stop playing it, plus it reminded me how good the Aces are and let me know they had a new album out. Quality track and I want nothing but the best for the Aces.

8. “No Shame” by 5 Seconds of Summer

From the album C A L M

A catchy track about the perils of fame and selling your soul for attention. It’s stuck in my head again now. Thanks, Spotify.

9. “the 1” by Taylor Swift

From the album folklore

Another folklore standout track, but also being the first track of the album probably helped it to get so many plays. There were definitely times I put on the whole album and then got bored after “exile” and changed my mind.

10. “Maniac” by Conan Gray

From the album Kid Krow

I freaking love this song. It has a cathartic energy to it and it’s super easy to sing along with. Definitely had it on repeat back in the spring around the time I first discovered Conan.

11. “Runaway” by The National

From the album High Violet

Fine, I’ll admit I’m one of those people that didn’t really know much about The National until Taylor Swift thrust them into the spotlight. As I started exploring their catalog, I discovered “Runaway” which is is one of the most haunting, gripping things I’ve heard all year though I can’t really explain why. It’s fairly repetitive lyrically yet the ebbs and flows of it… the way it swells into each chorus sounding slightly different than the last chorus… it’s masterful stuff and definitely the first song I revisit whenever I’m in the mood to listen to The National.

12. “Now I’m In It” by HAIM

Single/Bonus Track from Women in Music Pt. III

I’ve never clicked with a HAIM song the way I clicked with this one, but I sure did click. It captures the stress and adrenaline of not knowing where a relationship is headed next, yet still has some calming, serene moments as well. Please make more songs I click with, HAIM, I really want to root for you.

13. “the last great american dynasty” by Taylor Swift

From the album folklore

This is a good song, and I’m all for Taylor applying her songwriting talent to stories beside her own. That being said, it’s only on my “most listened to” list because of all the times I felt like listening to “the 1” and then said “well damn, ‘exile’ is only two tracks away, might as well as just wait for that.”

14. “Games” by Tessa Violet

From the album Bad Ideas

I discovered Tessa Violet because other Spotify friends were listening to her, and damn I’m glad I did. “Games” is by far my favorite song, offering bombastic energy yet still staying emotionally grounded.

15. “In Love With a Camera” by The Struts

From the album YOUNG&DANGEROUS

I love The Struts, but I’d also kinda fallen off the wagon in terms of following new album rollouts. After finally getting around to listening to their 2018 release, YOUNG&DANGEROUS I couldn’t get enough of “In Love With a Camera.” It’s the kind of well-executed glam rock cliché you expect from the Struts, and I also love the vaguely feminist message of a man loving a woman precisely because she loves the way she looks and doesn’t seek male validation.

16. “My Own Soul’s Warning” by The Killers

From the album Imploding the Mirage

Yet another reason why Imploding the Mirage is one of the best releases of 2020, but honestly not one I listen to in isolation all that often, especially compared to “Lightning Fields” and “My God.” It’s here because of its spot as album opener, so all the times my full-album listens were interrupted prematurely, I still got this one in.

17. “peace” by Taylor Swift

From the album folklore

See, I’m noticing a trend where this Spotify thing is biased in favor of songs at the beginning of the album. “peace” is a freaking SPECTACULAR song, one of the most raw, vulnerable songs of folklore, or really any song Taylor’s written ever. No way in hell would I choose to rank it 12 spots below “cardigan” but alas… as track 15 of a 16-track album, “peace” didn’t stand a chance I guess.

18. “Blinding Lights” by the Weeknd

From the album After Hours

I mean we all knew this was coming, didn’t we? Kinda surprised it’s not higher…

19. “happiness is a butterfly” by Lana Del Ray

From the album Norman Fucking Rockwell!

A friend convinced me to revisit Norman Fucking Rockwell! and I’m glad I did, largely because it led me to developing a soft spot for “happiness is a butterfly.” This heartbreaking piano ballad pleads for someone to give you any affection they’re willing to give you, completely disregarding how much you actually deserve. Definitely became a go-to for lying in the dark late at night with my feelings.

20. “Blowback” by The Killers

From the album Imploding the Mirage

Decent enough song, but definitely rode the coat tails of the other Imploding the Mirage tracks to make it into the top 100.

21. “epiphany” by Taylor Swift

From the album folklore

Definitely surprised to see this one here. I listed to folklore a lot so I guess it makes sense, but I didn’t listen to epiphany all that much outside of it. Definitely found this track forgettable at first, but it’s grown to be one of my favorites.

22. “Wish You Were Sober” by Conan Gray

From the album Kid Krow

I love this song, but I also think it’s hilarious how this kid wrote the lyric “19 but you act 25 now” referring to their crush’s party behavior. 25 was when I first rejoiced that a concert was over at 9:30 p.m. 25 is when my friends and I first started complaining about achy joints. It’s cute that 21-year-olds seem to think 25 is the age of getting trashed with strangers.

23. “The Promise” by When In Rome

From the album When In Rome

I heard this song from 1988 on the radio and it stole my heart. It triggered several weeks of ’80s synthpop/new wave shenanigans. If I was going to serenade my significant other who doesn’t exist in a grand gesture a la a ’90s teen romcom, this is the song I would pick.

24. “Caution” by The Killers

From the album Imploding the Mirage

….I’m starting to sense a pattern.

25. “mad woman” by Taylor Swift

From the album folklore

I don’t even like this song that much (check out my full foklore review for all the deets). Did I just… not listen to the middle of folklore? All the tracks so far have been either the beginning or the end of the album. And how has “betty” not come up yet? I don’t understand….

26. “Kiss You” by One Direction

From the album Take Me Home

Surprised this one made the list in 2020, but it’s probably because it’s on my Songs That Help Me Pretend I’m a Morning Person playlist. It takes me back to Spring 2013 when I had an 8 a.m. video class and this was always the song I played at 7:20 to get me ready to face the day.

27. “Heat of the Moment” by Asia

From the album Asia

This song is timeless. Belongs on my Top 100 every year. Do not fight me on this.

28. “Dying Breed” by The Killers

From the album Imploding the Mirage

Yeah, there’s definitely a pattern. Again, here more because it’s on a great album rather than it being great in it its own right, though it’s still pretty good in its own right.

29. “betty” by Taylor Swift

From the album folklore

I KNEW IT HAD TO BE IN HERE SOMEWHERE. Easily one of the best songs on folklore, no freaking clue how it ranked beneath “mad woman.”

30. “Not in the Same Way” by 5 Seconds of Summer

From the album C A L M

One of my favorite songs from a great album! So many people can relate to “I love you, you love me, but not in the same way.” One of the best examples of 5sos’s new, poppier direction and I’m here. for. it.

31. “Solo” by Carly Rae Jepsen

From the album Dedicated Side B

Such an amazing song that will probably be on every breakup playlist I made from here on out. Will jam out to it whenever. There is never a bad time for “Solo” by Carly Rae Jepsen.

32. “When the Dreams Run Dry” by The Killers

From the album Imploding the Mirage

Honestly don’t even remember how this song goes. But ya know, it’s from Imploding the Mirage. So it’s here.

33. “invisible string” by Taylor Swift

From the album folklore

Seriously did I just NOT listen to tracks 6-10 of folklore? I could’ve sworn I did. I don’t get it. “invisible string” is a perfectly fine song, not necessarily among my favorites though.

34. “Break Up Song” by Little Mix

From the album Confetti

I love Little Mix, and I love pop songs that borrow heavily from ’80s pop. Needless to say, I loved this Little Mix song that borrows heavily from ’80s pop.

35. “Best Years” by 5 Seconds of Summer

From the album C A L M

This is a sweet song, especially when you consider that one of the band members got engaged not too long before the album’s release. To be honest, I forget it exists most of the time and I’m surprised to see it here, outranking other C A L M songs I like better.

36. “Fire In Bone” by The Killers

From the album Imploding the Mirage

This is actually one of my least favorite Imploding the Mirage songs. It’s still an Imploding the Mirage song though.

37. “hoax” by Taylor Swift

from the album folklore

I don’t even like this song that much. It is after “peace” which is one of my favorites so maybe that’s why it’s here?

38. “Timebomb” by WALK THE MOON

Stand-alone single

Love this song, and it’s also on my Songs That Help Me Pretend I’m a Morning Person playlist which helped it earn its spot here. Definitely one I can come back to year after year.

39. “Wildflower” by 5 Seconds of Summer

From the album C A L M

One of the standouts of C A L M. Great energy, and another one that’s great for the mornings, though I don’t think it’s made the Songs That Help Me Pretend I’m a Morning person playlist.

40. “Daylight” by Foxworth Hall

From the EP Foxworth Hall

Pretty sure Spotify recommended this song for my Songs I’d Listen to in the Bubble Bath playlist because it’s on the Bojack Horseman soundtrack and I’d included another Bojack song, “Break My Fall” on that playlist. It’s a great one for my folksier moods, and it always makes me sad that the band never seemed to put out a full album (their last release is this EP from 2015).

41. “mirrorball” by Taylor Swift

From the album folklore

I knew I listened to tracks 6-10 of folklore. I’ve always found “mirrorball” to be pretty underwhelming. It’s only here because it’s on an album with a lot of other great tracks.

42. “Every Day’s the Weekend” by Alex Lahey

From the album “I Love You Like a Brother”

Another great find from the official Bold Type playlist. I actually discovered this song last year and loved it so much I ended up seeing Alex Lahey live. She’s great, both this album and her more recent The Best of Luck Club are everything I love about the pop punk I grew up with, but updated for adulthood in the modern era. I know she got some clout with her “Welcome to the Black Parade” cover, but I still consider her to be a fairly underrated artist and everyone should go listen to her. Now.

43. “St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion)” by John Parr

From the album John Parr and the soundtrack to St. Elmo’s Fire

This song will never go out of style, even if I have to personally keep it in style. Again, one of my favorite Songs that Help Me Pretend I’m a Morning Person. My love for this song is maybe a piece to the puzzle regarding my love for “Lightning Fields” from Imploding the Mirage.

44. “Americans” by Janelle Monaé

From the album Dirty Computer

I’ve loved this song since the moment I heard it the day Dirty Computer came out. I love how it re-appropriates the language of patriotism for issues of racial, gender, and LGBT equality. It’s also just super fun to listen to. A grade-A, certified BOP and I require myself to listen to it every 4th of July from now until the day I die.

45. “seven” by Taylor Swift

From the album folklore

Another decent, but relatively underwhelming folklore track. You get the picture by now, right?

46. “i” by Kendrick Lamar

From the album To Pimp a Butterfly

Whenever people insist they don’t like rap, this is the song I point them to. It’s catchy, it’s empowering, it has some great throwback funk in the mix while still feeling super modern. It’s also on Songs That Help Me Pretend I’m a Morning Person, albeit the single version and not the album version.

47. “Walls” by All Time Low

From the album Nothing Personal

Despite liking pop punk in my youth, my love for All Time Low is relatively recent. I started revisiting some of their older stuff and “Walls” is that perfect All Time Low track, caught between sentimentality and angst. I remember playing it on repeat earlier in the year, so it makes sense that it’s here.

48. “I Don’t Want to Wait” by Paula Cole

From the album This Fire

Okay, this one has a longer story. During quarantine, I watched all of Dawson’s Creek with my friend Jess (virtually of course). The problem is that streaming services don’t have rights to its iconic theme song, “I Don’t Want to Wait” by Paula Cole. I oftentimes would mute the theme sequence, and play the correct theme on Spotify, which is why it’s my #48 song of the year even though I rarely listened to all 5:20 of the song. Okay, maybe the story wasn’t as long as I thought.

49. “illicit affairs” by Taylor Swift

From the album folklore

I actually think this is one of the more underrated folklore tracks. Like much of Taylor’s best work, it conveys a feeling I have no personal experience with, yet the song makes me feel like I know what it’s like to have an illicit affair. It’s raw in a way Taylor rarely is in the post-1989 era and that’s refreshing.

50. “Red Desert” by 5 Seconds of Summer

From the album C A L M

The rousing opening track from C A L M, this was one of my favorites for morning walks back at the beginning of quarantine. It got me excited to listen to the album, which is saying something since I thought I’d seen all there was to see from 5sos before this year.

51. “Be Your Shadow” by The Wombats

From the album Glitterbug

I discovered the Wombats/this song/this album last year, but I found myself revisiting it more and more in 2020. It’s the kind of song you listen to when you have a Jack Antonoff craving but are bored with all the actual Jack Antonoff tracks in your rotation.

52. “Could Have Been Me” by The Struts

From the album Everybody Wants

I love this song. It’s the one that first introduced me to The Struts, and I’m a big believer that you always have a special connection to whatever song was your gateway drug into an artist’s catalog, even if it’s not necessarily their best song. “Could Have Been Me” stands the test of time though, and may very well be my favorite song of theirs. It’s still as anthemic and energizing as it was when I first heard it.

53. “august” by Taylor Swift

From the album folklore

One of my favorite folklore tracks. That guitar coming back in on the chorus at the end just makes me feel a certain way, ya know? I’m surprised so many other tracks from the album beat this one.

54. “Lonely Heart” by 5 Seconds of Summer

From the album C A L M

Another standout track from C A L M. It’s upbeat but also sad, and definitely re-energizes the album right at the end when it needed an extra jolt of energy.

55. “Stone Cold Sober” by Paloma Faith

From the album Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?

Genuinely mad that Paloma Faith isn’t more of a thing in the States. She’s fantastic. Imagine the sort of vintage flair of Adele, but with less somber sadness and more sass. This is probably my favorite song by her. Another one from “Songs that Help Me Pretend I’m a Morning Person.”

56. “Running Towards a Place” by The Killers

From the album Imploding the Mirage

I forgot this song existed. But ya know, it’s from Imploding the Mirage so it’s here.

57. “this is me trying” by Taylor Swift

From the album folklore

I think this is the last folklore song, no? But as entry #56 shows, I could be forgetting one. “this is me trying” is great, and I love songs where Taylor admits that sometimes she makes mistakes but she’s trying her best. It’s a refreshing change of pace compared to some of her earlier work.

58. “the end” by MisterWives

From the album SUPERBLOOM

This is the opening track from SUPERBLOOM, and from the first time I heard it, I knew I would love this whole album. That being said, it’s here largely because it’s the opening track on a great album, I don’t really remember listening to it much on its own.

59. “Ready to Call This Love” by MIKA, ft. Jake Savoretti

From the album My Name is Michael Holbrook

This was probably my favorite album of 2019, so it’s natural that some of its songs rode the wave into 2020. I was even supposed to see MIKA on tour until a certain pandemic ruined everything, you know the one. BUT ANYWAY, I love “Ready to Call This Love” and think it perfectly encapsulates the way relationships feel in their early, anxiety-ridden stages. I am however a little surprised it beat out some of the more upbeat songs I love from this record.

60. “Teeth” by 5 Seconds of Summer

From the album C A L M

This is actually one of my least favorite C A L M songs. It being a single, it’s also part of the reason I didn’t expect to love C A L M as much as I did. But ya know, the album as a whole is pretty good so it’s here.

61. “Don’t Take the Money” by Bleachers

From the album Gone Now

This is probably my favorite Antonoff/Lorde collaboration. It storms through so many moods so quickly. The anxiety in the pre-chrous builds into an explosive plea proclaiming how much the relationship means in spite of its trials and tribulations. Everything Antonoff does well is on full display here, which is why I find myself revisiting it so often.

62. “Break My Fall” by Doc Robinson

From the album Deep End

Remember that track I discovered through Bojack Horseman that I put on the bubble bath playlist that lead to me discovering “Daylight” by Foxworth Hall? This is that song. It so perfectly captures the heartbreak of knowing a relationship is toxic, watching it crumble under all the weight you’ve put on it, not knowing how to fix any of the problems, yet still remaining desperate to keep the relationship alive knowing full well it’s not healthy. If you know Bojack Horseman, you can understand why it was picked for that show. Even if you don’t, I think it’s raw and well-executed enough to satisfy any sad folksy craving.

63. “Power” by Little Mix

From the album Glory Days

This is definitely in the running for my favorite Little Mix song, and Little Mix is among my favorite pop act ever. It’s fierce, it’s sexy, it slaps.

64. “Old Me” by 5 Seconds of Summer

From the album C A L M

I wouldn’t say this is among my favorite C A L M tracks, but I do think it kind of epitomizes what this album does well: reflecting on the past and owning your mistakes, while still learning from that past and remaining optimistic for who you can potentially become. It’s fine, nothing I would ever put on a playlist myself though.

65. “Minority” by Green Day

From the album Warning

Man apparently I listened to that Songs That Help Me Pretend I’m a Morning Person playlist way more than I thought. That’s the only context in which I can see myself putting this song on. Don’t get me wrong, I love it and it’s arguably everything Green Day is good at in one song, but I just don’t remember ever being in a Green Day mood this year.

66. “Imploding the Mirage” by The Killers

From the album Imploding the Mirage

Well this was kind of a foregone conclusion by this point, wasn’t it? A strong track, probably would’ve ranked higher if it wasn’t the finale of the album.

67. “Gaslighter” by The Chicks

From the album Gaslighter

Surprised this one wasn’t higher to be honest. This was the first new Chicks/Dixie Chicks song in 14 years, and I was hella pumped for it. Covid put a wrinkle in the rollout for this album, so for a while this was the only new Chicks song, but it more than held its own. It does a great job of maintaining all the charm of older Chicks music while still being updated enough to feel like it’s not just a rehash of something we’ve heard before.

68. “Easier” by 5 Seconds of Summer

From the album C A L M

See my review for “Teeth.”

69. “Us” by James Bay

From the album Electric Light

This is such a good song and it makes me sad that the enthusiasm for James Bay seems all but dead, at least in the States. It was one of my favorites from yet another great playlist I made this year, “Songs That Came Out Too Late To Be on Dawson’s Creek That Otherwise Would’ve Been on Dawson’s Creek.”

70. “Ice Cream” by MIKA

From the album My Name is Michael Holbrook

Great song, mad as hell it was THIS CLOSE to ranking #69 but failed.

71. “Sentimental Teardrops” by Slow Leaves

From the album Shelf Life

I was listening to one of those Spotify “Made For You” playlists and when this song gripped me and refused to let go. It’s more introspective folksy stuff, but darnit when I’m in the mood for that sort of thing, it’s hard to pick a better song for that mood. I really need to listen to those Spotify playlists more often.

72. “Lover of Mine” by 5 Seconds of Summer

From the album C A L M

A decent, but fairly forgettable track from C A L M. Struggling to remember how it goes, and I listened to C A L M yesterday.

73. “Little Bird” by Annie Lennox

From the album Diva

Before 2020, I doubt I could’ve told you a Eurythmics song other than “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” or an Annie Lennox solo cut besides “Walking on Broken Glass.” This year, a podcast introduced me to “Little Bird” and I fell in love. In a year where I went through several life transitions, most notably a new job, it was the perfect soundtrack. It describes not really knowing what the future holds, but embracing it anyway, and trusting yourself to make the most of it. An under appreciated song that deserves the same legacy as “Walking on Broken Glass.”

74. “Run Away With Me” by Carly Rae Jepsen

From the album Emotion

I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear my thoughts over the most epic sax intro in the history of music.

75. “The Bitch is Back” by Elton John

From the album Caribou

Another gem from Songs That Help Me Pretend I’m a Morning Person, but also just a generally fun song that gets me revved up for just about anything. Probably my favorite from Elton John as well.

76. “Thin White Lies” by 5 Seconds of Summer

From the album C A L M

A week ago, I would’ve probably said the same thing I said about “Lover of Mine” except that because I did just listen to C A L M yesterday, I can say that “Thin White Lies” actually does have a decently catchy hook. Still not one of my favorites and not something I ever listen to apart from a full-album listen, but definitely deserves more credit than I usually give it.

77. “Wings” by Little Mix

From the album DNA

…apparently Songs That Help Me Pretend I’m a Morning Person got a LOT of plays this year. “Wings” is still a fun song, but not necessarily one of my go-tos outside this playlist.

78. “Juice” by Lizzo

From the album Cuz I Love You

It’s another great Song That Helps Me Pretend I’m a Morning Person. What can I say?

79. “Five Seconds” by Twin Shadow

From the album Confess

I honestly can’t remember which playlists this song did or didn’t make it onto, but I’ve loved it since a friend first recommended it to me a couple years. Definitely one I see myself revisiting for years to come.

80. “High” by 5 Seconds of Summer

From the album C A L M

I actually love this song, though it’s not one of the first that comes to mind when I think of C A L M. Bittersweet and understated, it’s a great example of how 5 Seconds of Summer can stray from their typical formulas and still make good songs.

81. “Pilot With a Fear of Heights” by Felicity

Stand-alone single

This was another song I learned about a couple years ago from The Bold Type. It’s actually one of the first to make me realize that playlist was a great source of pop music that fits my tastes. It’s an exuberant love song and it makes me sad Felicity hasn’t put out more stuff since.

82. “it’s my turn” by MisterWives

From the album SUPERBLOOM

Another standout track from the amazing album SUPERBLOOM. I love a good pop song about female rage.

83. “Future Nostalgia” by Dua Lipa

From the album Future Nostalgia

Future Nostalgia is one of the most popular albums of 2020, but I’ve always felt the title/opening track was a bit underrated. It’s catchy, and perfectly exemplifies the vintage-yet-modern feel of the album.

84. “Alone Again” by The Weeknd

From the album After Hours

Outside of “Blinding Lights” I really don’t listen to any of the After Hours songs outside of the album. After Hours is its own complete journey and it almost feels like I’m cheating myself to only listen to tiny scraps of it here and there. For that reason, I don’t think I can even tell you what “Alone Again” actually sounds like, but I do know that After Hours is one of 2020’s best albums, and it also helped elevate my view of the Weeknd from “talented guy who makes catchy songs” to “one of the most exciting acts in music right now.”

85. “Paloma” by MIKA

From the album My Name is Michael Holbrook

Another masterpiece from My Name is Michael Holbrook. Sad yet uplifting, gentle yet powerful, it still gives me the same rush of emotions I got the first time I heard it.

86. “Let It All Out (10:05)” by COIN

From the album Dreamland

I discovered COIN a year or two ago when Youtube suggested their single “Talk Too Much” to me. I thought they were a fun pop band in the vein of WALK THE MOON, but not really breaking any new ground musically. Then I heard “Let it All Out (10:05)” from their 2020 album, Dreamland. It so perfectly encapsulates the feeling of being in your 20s, when you don’t really know how to make sense of life but you keep trudging along anyway. The chorus gets me every time, and if it were entirely up to me, this song would’ve ranked way higher than #86. Definitely hoping to see more songs like this from COIN in the future.

87. “Keep the Change, You Filthy Animal” by All Time Low

From the album Nothing Personal

Another one of my favorite tracks from the new-to-me-but-throwback-to-everyone-else album Nothing Personal. It has a darn hook-y hook, and “tell me what your best friend knows that I don’t know” is such a unique, yet universally relatable way of asking someone how they really feel about you.

88. “Too Late” by The Weeknd

From the album After Hours

See my review for “Alone Again.”

89. “Tomorrow” by MIKA

From the album My Name is Michael Holbrook

Another favorite from My Name is Michael Holbrook about living for the moment and chasing after a love interest. It’s one of those songs where the ambiguity makes it special: are they actually in a relationship? Are they just friends and MIKA wants more? Is this a friends-with-benefits scenario or is it real love? It’s anyone’s guess and that’s the best part.

90. “Darkside” by Blink-182

From the album NINE

I sometimes forget how Blink-182 is still churning out Songs That Slap, but luckily I started to remember that in 2020. “Darkside” is such a perfect emo love song that’s still poppy AF in a way that only Blink-182 can blend emo/pop together. I can’t call it “perfect” because Tom DeLonge is absent, though it’s still pretty darn great.

91. “Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t)” by All Time Low

From the album Nothing Personal

This being one of the major singles, I actually did first hear it back in the day when it first came out. Still holds up.

92. “Hardest to Love” by the Weeknd

From the album After Hours

I actually DO remember this song even though I still only listened to it as part of the full album. It’s one of my favorites of After Hours. The Weeknd is really good at self-deprecation, what can I say?

93. “Always Something There to Remind Me” by Naked Eyes

From the album Burning Bridges

I went through a hardcore 1-hit wonder phase in the summer of this year and this was one of my favorites of that phase. One day I’ll actually publish some 1-hit wonder content, this is a good reminder to that. Almost like there’s… always something there to remind me about blog ideas I had but never published.

94. “the other girl” by Kelsea Ballerini ft. Halsey

From the album kelsea

I love this song, and it makes me wish Kelsea would just freaking commit to a pop career the way Taylor Swift once did. As the Side Chick anthem grows into more of a fully formed genre, the Side Chick Duet feels like a natural extension. “the other girl” manages to convey the insecurities of both women as they sing about each other, but without ever antagonizing each other. There’s something fresh yet familiar, which tends to be true with all the best pop songs.

95. “Turn” by The Wombats

From the album Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life

Remember how I mentioned that you always have a special connection to whichever song first introduced you to a favorite artist? With the Wombats, that was “Turn.” It’s a song I always go back to because there’s just no other song like it. Line after line of interesting metaphors and imagery, it’s a love song that’s also beautiful in its tragedy. While the relationship described actually sounds somewhere between “concerning” and “hella toxic”, it feels authentic in a way that most pop songs with this dynamic oftentimes don’t. It’s a love song that’s also mopey and acknowledges the faults of the other person, but also reflects on the good things and how heartbreaking it would be for things to end. That struggle between dark and light is what makes the song interesting.

96. “Scared to Live” by The Weeknd

From the album After Hours

See my review for “Too Late.”

97. “I Know a Place” by MUNA

From the album About U

I’m somewhat surprised to see “I Know a Place” make it into the 2020 list, but I’m glad it did. MUNA makes great synthpop and I’d love to see them become more of a mainstream success. I Know a Place to start discovering their catalog if you’re unfamiliar with them… and it’s “I Know a Place.”

98. “Hard to Concentrate” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

From the album Stadium Arcadium

“Hard to Concentrate” is a delightfully calming love song that always makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. It’s one of my Songs I’d Listen to in the Bubble Bath, and it’s a great reminder that I need to listen to the rest of Stadium Arcadium one day.

99. “Cut to the Feeling” by Carly Rae Jepsen

Stand-alone single/Soundtrack of Leap!

“Cut to the Feeling” was one of the first songs that made me reconsider my opinion of Carly Rae Jepsen, and it helped open my mind to her larger body of bops. Still a fantastically energizing song and yes, it is a Song That Helps Me Pretend I’m a Morning Person.

100. “Until I Bleed Out” by The Weeknd

From the album After Hours

I still kinda forget how this song goes for the most part, but I do know it’s the finale of one of my favorite albums of 2020. I remember it as being one of the slower, somewhat more experimental tracks of the album. It ties together the album with a melancholy feel and leaves you feeling sad and alone just like The Weeknd.

One thought on “Spotify says these were my top 100 songs of 2020. Were they really?

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