The 50 Best Songs of 2020

30. Megan Thee Stallion “Savage Remix” (feat. Beyoncé)


At the end of 2020, when we look back, it is undeniable that the artist who grew the most in the year was Megan Thee Stallion. Since the release of his third EP, SUGA, in March, Stallion has been working on a golden path, participating in legendary and memorable collaborations and increasingly daring projects. Throughout this journey, the remix of one the tracks from her EP, “Savage,” with Beyoncé, is one of the highlights of Megan’s great year. Undoubtedly, Beyoncé got in tune with Megan on this song as they both talk about their sex appeal, their intelligence and their success ― ironically, they make you feel part of it all. And although the sound of the song hasn’t changed that much, Beyoncé, along with her sharp verses, also brought her vocals that spoke very well with Stallion’s voice and some sound and synth embellishments. After everything Megan Thee Stallion faced ― shootings and humiliation ―, “Savage Remix” emerges as her way of showing how strong she is, but, like all of us, that she can get hurt sometimes but always get up again. ― Leonardo Frederico

29. Bill Callahan “The Mackenzies”


Among car drivers who take newlyweds after marriage to cranky men angry with today’s songs, the boldest, most challenging and magical moment of Gold Record is “The Mackenzies.” On the track, Callahan embodies a man who tries to start his car but fails. With that, he draws the attention of an old neighbor who says that forcing the car to start would only make it worse. After that, the man who is characterized by himself as antisocial (“Who sees a neighbor outside/And stays inside and hides,”) is invited by the old man for a drink and dinner. However, it is here that the Bill’s narrative begins to confuse the line of the imaginable and metaphorical with the real. At the house, after the couple’s insistence, he goes to a room to rest. On the way he sees a picture of a boy who he assumes is the couple’s dead son. After a quick nap, he wakes up and sees the couple at the door saying, “Son, it’s okay.” There is a certain complexity here that seems to go much further than something material. While this story plays with our minds, strings play the same chords in repetitive ways while synthesizers play in the background, giving an air of unreal and real at the same time ― but isn’t life really like that? ―Leonardo Frederico

28. Creeper “Poisoned Heart”


It becomes a difficult task to choose only one good song within the second release of Creeper. In the midst of the Romanticized Catholic Apocalypse that they build throughout Sex, Death & the Infinite Void, we have tracks in which they sound like passionate teenagers, self-conscious adults and even lost children. However, the track that draws the most attention turns out to be “Poisoned Heart,” due to the fact that this is the most diverse song in the entire project. While Will braids a romantic lyrics that is too tragic to become a hit film ― “Drown with me, darling, drown with me/I’ll take you to the edge of everything/Burn with me, darling, burn with me,” he sings in the chorus ― we can see him assuming several sonic facets. At first, he looks like a kind of copy of Elvis Presley, singing in a “real adult man” style. However, in the chorus, he becomes this teenager who likes to create music with friends in the garage. It is these variations that make the track, which was already catchy, memorable, romantic and even beautiful in a way, even better. ―Leonardo Frederico

27. Soccer Mommy “circle the drain”


In the midst of so many intimate and sentimental songs, none stands out as much in color theory, Sophia Allison’s fourth album, as in “circle the drain.” In this honest confession, Allison works on depression in a metaphorical way, painting scenes that try ― since depression is often something abstract and sometimes inexplicable ― to convey her lowest points. She sings in the second verse, “I’m trying to seem strong for my love/For my family and friends/But I’m so tired of faking.” However, despite the track having a really heavy lyrics, the sound doesn’t seem to be that sad. Featuring guitar solos, a calm velvet voice and synthesizers, Allison makes the song feel much more positive than it really is. Ironically, it fits right here, creating this mix that is perhaps smarter than it really looks: the lyrics say terrible things, however, its sound, in a role of savior, tries to play something that says “everything will be fine.” We hope so. ―Leonardo Frederico

26. Jessie Ware “What’s Your Pleasure?”


Being the strongest track on Ware’s fourth release, the album’s title track, “What’s Your Pleasure?”, Carries the primary essence of the entire record and everything Jessie wanted to deliver with this project. The track starts with beating synthesizers, something that easily looks like something that could have been playing in a gym in the 70s/80s. Quickly, Ware appears with her voice, almost whispering in our ears. She sings, “Is this love too hot to handle?” However, the strongest point of the track is on the hook, when all the instruments and lyrics paint sex scenes without being explicit. While everything sounds extremely sexy and hot, she sings, “Push. Press. More. Less,” and then continues, “Stop. Go. Fast. Slow.” At that point, you almost feel an orgasm. No one could have done something as accurate and realistic as that. ―Leonardo Frederico

25. Dua Lipa “Levitating”

2020 • POP • WARNER

One of the main factors that make “Levitating” the best song of British singer Dua Lipa’s second release, Future Nostalgia, is its ability to have and convey all the essence and visual and sound aesthetic that the album carries. In a simple and direct way, throughout the song ― which has retro instruments that are futuristic, ironic, no? ―, you can imagine and visualize Dua Lipa arriving by a flying car in a vintage bar floating in Earth orbit. When you get there, you can see the neon, checkered floors and people in modern clothes. While she sings, “I got you, moonlight, you’re my starlight/I need you all night, come on, dance with me/I’m levitating,” you managed to see Dua on top of the counter while choreographing with the waitresses in rollerblades. Everything here is so vivid, well-produced, well-written, realistic and fun. ―Leonardo Frederico

24. Waxahatchee “Can’t Do Much”


No other song on Saint Cloud sounds as good, simple, true and passionate as “Can’t Do Much.” In front of captivating and energetic guitar and drum solos, Crutchfield indulges in love in the most memorable, striking and entertaining song on her entire record. She begins to paint the importance of love for her in such a simple but true way. She sings, “In my loneliness, I’m locked in a room/When you see me, I’m honey on a spoon/Do you think that you were reading my mind?” Then she completes, “Love you ’til the day I/Love you ’til the day I die/I guess it doesn’t matter why.” This track may not carry a production as sharp as all the other tracks on Saint Cloud, however, it is the sincerest track on the album. ―Leonardo Frederico

23. Bruce Springsteen “If I Was The Priest”


As part of the group of songs that Springsteen discarded in the 1970s, “If I Was the Priest,” ends up not only being the best song in Letter To You, but also one of the best, strongest and most creative of his career. Indeed, Bruce has always talked about politics in unusual ways ― the irony of “Born In the U.S.A.” ― however, here he seems to take everything to an even sharper level. Mixing religion and Christian characteristics with social and political problems, Bruce builds an incredible parallel that takes your breath away. He sings, with well-constructed layered vocals, “Now if Jesus was a sheriff and I were the priest/If my lady was an heiress and my Mama was a thief.” However, the best part is not only the lyrics that are very well written, but also the sound part that is excellent as well. Undoubtedly, working alongside guitar solos, bass lines and harmonicas, Springsteen polished a perfect Rock/Country symphony and, in addition, delivers true, firm, strong and unmistakable vocals. Here, he threw his own level to an even higher place. ―Leonardo Frederico

22. Perfume Genius “On the Floor”


Although most of Hadreas’ songs are focused on the experience you feel while listening to them, this does not mean that some tracks from his new album, Set My Heart on Fire Immediately, are not instant hits that make you want to dance and run around the house. This is the case of “On the Floor,” which works around synthesizers that imitate samples and retro beats from past decades that are played by industrial-music standards ― at times, it seems that we are in a stylized Modern Times. The track, in fact, is about spinning and throwing yourself on the floor, but not in an attempt to celebrate, but in an attempt to forget about love. With the help of a captivating church choir, he sings, “How long ’til this washes away?/How long ’til my body is safe?/How long ’til I walk in the light?/How long ’til this heart isn’t mine?” In a way, it generates in us the need to express ourselves bodily for his musical expression. ―Leonardo Frederico

21. Cardi B “WAP” (feat. Megan Thee Stallion)


When Cardi B first played “WAP” for Atlantic Records executives, they were surprised and concerned. The track, without doubts, is very explicit. According to Cardi, they even asked to make some changes to the song to try to make it less “adult.” Fortunately, Cardi said not since it is all the sexuality of both singers, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, that makes the song as strong as it is. The song starts with a sample of the song “Whores in This House” by Frank Ski’s (“There’s some whores in this house”). Then Cardi appears singing, “Extra large and extra hard/Put this pussy right in your face/Swipe your nose like a credit card,” and Stallion completes, “Ask for a car while you ride that dick/You really ain’t never gotta fuck him for a thang.” All this explicit content shows that Cardi and Stallion are strong and confident of themselves, of course in their own way. Cardi attacks with the best part of the song, “I don’t wanna spit, I wanna gulp/I wanna gag, I wanna choke/I want you to touch that lil’ dangly thing that swing in the back of my throat.” In short, the track is very fun, sexy, catchy, memorable and shows a feminine power that only Cardi and Stallion know how to show. ―Leonardo Frederico

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