Top 100 Songs of 2017 (80-71)

Click here for songs 100 – 91
Click here for songs 90-81


80. “Weak” – AJR

Well, if this isn’t the story of my life, I don’t know what is. “Weak,” by New York based, Indie-pop band AJR, is about fighting the urge to give in to temptation. For anyone like me, that has the self-control of a four year old with a severe case of ADD, “Weak” will resonate with you and put you at ease knowing that you are not the only adult that needs a full-time babysitter.


79. “Call the Police” – LCD Soundsystem

“Call the Police” is LCD Soundsystem’s lead single off their fourth studio album, American Dream. Clocking in at just over seven minutes, it at times feels like LCD has me on an LSD psychedelic trip.

Don’t worry about not being able to sing along, however, as “call the police” is about the only words that I can make out, which directly relates to why I have no clue what the song is about. Nor do I care.It is a relaxing, laid back track that will make your mind wander free as a bird.

*Also, just for the record, mom, I have never been on an LSD psychedelic trip, I am just imagining that this song would be perfect playing in the background if I ever decided to pick up the habit.

78. “The Day I Die” – The National

Only The National’s lead singer, Matt Berninger, can sing about death and dying, yet have such a soothing, calming voice that makes the song almost happy and uplifting.

In “The Day I Die” Berninger mentions his deceased Great Uncle Valentine. A “sweet and happy” bachelor who loved his pizza and beer. However, when he had too many beers he got cranky and didn’t want to hang out with family, so he always pulled an Irish goodbye and snuck out the door when nobody was looking.

You hear that nephews, Andrew and Liam? One day when you start writing and performing music, I expect a song written about being a sweet, happy man that loves pizza and beer, but gets loud, annoying and wildly inappropriate when he drinks to much at family gatherings.


77. “Miracle” – Story of the Year

Story of the Year just released their first album in seven years, and they picked up right where they left off. “Miracle” is pop, punk, alt-rock, emo, and hard-rock all rolled into one four minute track.

Story of the Year has matured since their massive hit “Until the Day I Die” back in 2003, but they still have the distinct sound that make them stand out from many of the bands that have come and gone since the early 2000’s. Hopefully “Miracle” is a sign that the band can be the rock comeback “story of the year” in 2018.

76. “Every Day’s the Weekend” – Alex Lahey

Alex Lahey, the twenty-five year old singer-songwriter from Melbourne, Australia quickly became the international breakout star in the alt-rock world this year.

“Every Day’s the Weekend” is a fun, energetic rock track about the beginning stages of a relationship, and the feeling of only wanting to spend time with your significant other, and do nothing else.

Lahey says the track has a “oh I’m just going to pull a sickie and hang out,” kind of vibe. Who doesn’t love “pulling a sickie” when they are not “sickie?” I am welcoming this Aussie to the States with open arms.

75. “Seven Sticks of Dynamite” – AWOLNATION

“Seven Sticks of Dynamite” is the latest single off AWOLNATION’s upcoming third studio album, Here Come the Runts. And if “Dynamite” is any indication, we are in for yet another killer album from the band.

The track begs to be sung along to, and after watching the video, I am pretty sure I need to recruit six friends, sit at a bar, and put the song on TouchTunes until we nail every last lyric.

Also, if Duff McKagan from Guns N’ Roses agrees to appear in your video, you know it has to be a pretty damn solid rock track.

74. “Back in Your Head” – Tegan and Sara (feat. Ryan Adams)

Back in October, Canadian indie rock duo, Tegan and Sara released The Con X: Covers, which is a track by track reworking of their 2007 album, The Con. 

Each song is covered by a different artist, and “Back in Your Head” had the honor of being remade by the king of covers himself, Ryan Adams. Like just about everything Adams touches, “Back in Your Head” is pure gold and dare I say, is even better than the original.


73. “Bedroom Floor” – Liam Payne

2017 was the year of former One Direction guys, and perhaps the most surprising success story is that of Liam Payne. Payne, often regarded as the least recognizable of the One Direction guys, had three hits including “Strip That Down” and “Get Low.”

But it was “Bedroom Floor,” his third single, that confirmed him as a legit solo artist, and gave reason for Payne to be in the conversation about the best solo act from the former boy band.

“Bedroom Floor” tackles the issue of infidelity in a relationship, and showcases Payne’s ridiculously impressive falsetto. “Bedroom Floor” is solid proof that Payne could easily become the Timberlake of One Direction.

72. “Sit Next To Me” – Foster the People

Foster the People sure know how to get the party started. If “Sit Next To Me” doesn’t get you shaking your shoulders and swaying your hips, you’re either dead, or even worse, a complete dud.

Not since we were asked to “stomp our feet” in 1900’s “If You’re Happy and You Know It” has a song about sitting down gotten our blood flowing like “Sit Next To Me.” In fact, I’d be willing to bet money that this may be the most dance-worthy song about sitting down in the history of music. Brilliant, Foster the People. In summary, to quote your revolutionary predecessors, “Sit Next To Me” makes me very happy, and I know it.

71. “The Death of You & I” – Isaac Gracie

The first time you hear “The Death of You & I” by UK artist, Isaac Gracie, you are going to have to do a double take to make sure that the station didn’t change, or your Spotify didn’t skip to the next song.

In fact, “The Death of You & I” is like three songs all rolled into one

thrilling 5-minute track. Based on the hauntingly, almost hypnotizing opening minute and twenty seconds, you would never suspect the full-on electrifying rock scream-o, mosh-pitter’s dream song it quickly becomes. Throw in some Eddie Vedder’esque rock/rap/spoken word brilliance towards the end, and you got an epic song that begs to be played to a sold out arena.


70 – 61 Coming Friday


Top 100 Songs of 2017 (90-81)

Click here for songs 100 – 91


90. “Broken” – lovelytheband

No song this year encapsulates the ole’ saying “misery loves company” better than lovelytheband’s debut single, “Broken.”

Vocalist, Mitchy Collins says of the track, “This song is about finding someone who is just as f—ed up and lost as you are, but somehow you make it work together. Everyone is a little bit broken inside, nobody’s perfect. This song is an ode to the broken ones.”

I can imagine if you are broken and lonely, the last person you want to fall in love with is someone that is not broken or lonely. It seems to me as though comparing yourself to your superior partner would just make you even more broken, and consequently, more lonely. Lovelytheband may be on to something here.

Even if you are not broken or lonely, you should certainly be looking forward to hearing much more of lovelytheband in 2018.

89. “The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home” – Declan McKenna

Declan McKenna may be the most mature 18 year old that has ever existed. Over the past two years he has released more deep-thinking, soul-searching, politically charged songs than most people that have been in the business for decades.

McKenna says “The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home” is a song I wrote about being a young person in the modern world. It’s about wanting to challenge fears and be part of a movement of change, and looking for hope despite a lot of dark and horrible things happening around the world.

I fully support McKenna’s musical career, but should it not pan out for him, I would also fully support his political career.

88. “On Hold” – The xx

If you have ever let someone carelessly slip away from you, “On Hold” by The xx will bring back all of those feelings of self-hate and regret. If you want to have a pity party for yourself, this song needs to be on repeat all night.

87. “Sweat” – The All American Rejects

What better way for the All-American Rejects to “swing, swing” back onto the scene five years after their last album, Kids In The Street, than to have an 11 minute music video of lead singer Tyson Ritter playing a high-heeled prostitute.

I can’t think of any.

“Sweat” embodies the fun, catchy, anthemic rock that All-American Rejects have been known for since their self-titled album was released over 15 years ago.

86. “Holy Mountain” – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

Not since Cain and Able have two brothers not been able to get along as much as the Gallagher brothers.

And to be honest, as long as they both continue to put out music as addicting as they did this year, I don’t care who’s fault it is that Oasis can’t get back together. “Holy Mountain” is proof that sometimes two bands may be better than one.

85. “Galway Girl” – Ed Sheeran

Not since Scarlett O’Hara’s “fiddle dee dee” outburst in 1939’s Gone With the Wind has the use of the word “fiddle” been so prominently featured in pop culture.

As if you needed any

assurance, “Galway Girl” is proof that Ed Sheeran can sing about anything and turn it into a pop-rock masterpiece. This song happens to be about a girl from Galway, Ireland that plays a fiddle in an Irish band. But I am fairly confident that Sheeran could sit down for a pint of Guinness and by the time he was finished have written the next Billboard chart toping hit about a guy from the Australian aboriginal region of Nitmiluk that excels at playing the didgeridoo.

This aboriginal Australian man playing the didgeridoo could very well be the inspiration for the next big Ed Sheeran hit. (photo cred: wikipedia.)


84. “Breaking Free” – Night Riots

Upon first listening to “Breaking Free,” one would be certain that the latest hit from the California rock band, Night Riots, is about going through a messy break up.

“You’re not my savior, just someone I used to see
I am broken
Something’s wrong inside of me
I feel violent
Like I’m dying
I feel broken
Maybe I’m just breaking free”

However, using my journalistic detective skills, I cannot help but make a very strong correlation between the lyrics to this song, and how I feel during the work week.

See for yourself…

My thoughts while at work:

Monday: I am broken, something’s wrong inside of me
Tuesday: I feel violent
Wednesday: Like I’m dying
Thursday: I feel broken
End of work on Friday: I’M JUST BREAKING FREE!

Any way you slice it, the song is pretty damn intense, and some of Night Riots best work yet.

83. “Love Me Better” – Love Thy Brother (feat. Ariel Beesley)

While technically released in 2016, “Love Me Better” by sibling duo, Love Thy Brother gained popularity in 2017. In my opinion, however, it is a travesty how little exposure this song has received so far. It has some of the best vocals of the year (with special guest singer Ariel Beesley,) a hell of a great beat, and a “bloody” interesting music video.

I’m prepared to riot in 2018 if Love Thy Brother release more gems only to be relatively ignored by mainstream radio.

82. “Cross My Mind” – A R I Z O N A

Technically “Cross My Mind” by A R I Z O N A could be considered a “break-up song,” but it is more of an “I’m sorry that I was such a jerk that you were forced to break up with me – can we please get back together – I promise I will be better” song.

“Cross My Mind” is a little bit rock, a little bit electronic, and a little bit of whatever the hell Matisyaho is.

More than just about any band on the countdown, I am most excited to see what A R I Z O N A will bring to the table in 2018, as they seem to be at the beginning of a potentially very long career in the rock-electronic-Matisyaho world of fantastic music.

81. “Machine” – MisterWives

What do you get when you throw 2 parts Shakira, 2 parts Dolores O’Riordan (of The Cranberries,) and 1 part Gwen Stefani into a blender? The result is a delicious “Machine” frozen cocktail powerful enough to knock you on your ass.

MisterWives’ lead singer Mandy Lee passionately belts the message that they will not be part of anybody’s machine. It’s a song about individuality and the freedom to express yourself, and could not be a more perfect song to sum up 2017.

(On a side note: how much fun does hanging out with MisterWives look like? I may have to sneak my way backstage at their next New England show and go on an epic, Mad Max-style road trip with them.)


Songs 80-71 coming this weekend!

Top 100 Songs of 2017 (100-91)

To any music fan, the best part about the end of every year is not holidays, vacations, or time spent with family and loved ones: it is the end of the year music countdowns. This year, to commemorate the 8th year of Ryan’s Countdown’s “Best Songs of the Year”  there will once again be a Top 100 Songs of 2017 Countdown.

Top 100 Songs of 2016 Countdown
Top 100 Songs of 2015 Countdown

Each list of 10 songs will be released every few days throughout the month of December, until the reveal of the #1 Song of 2017.

While the majority of the Top 100 Songs of the Year are all rock based, there is still a wide array of sub-genres represented in this years countdown. The list is littered with alt-rock songs, including indie rock and folk rock. There is, however, also a significant showing of pop-rock, country-rock, hard rock, and even a dusting of electric rock songs.

Certainly the lines of what is considered “Rock” may be blurred, but each of these listener friendly songs, were either released in 2017, or released in 2016, but gained notoriety in 2017.

Please feel free to chime in (comments section) and let me know whether or not you agree with my well thought out, carefully selected, and correct choices. Enjoy the countdown, and Happy Holidays!


100. “Live in the Moment” – Portugal. The Man

“Live in the Moment,” the latest single from Portugal. The Man’s eighth studio album, Woodstock is a rock sing-along that is sure to get the party started, and a reminder that life is short, so make the best of the time that you have.

99. “Hideaway” – Dan Owen

“Hideaway,” the soulful, bluesy rock track from up and coming UK artist, Dan Owen, has enough passion and grit to fill an arena the size of Rhode Island. Expect big things from this guy in 2018.

98. “Suit And Jacket” – Judah and the Lion

“Suit and Jacket” is about wanting to live life to the fullest despite time going by and everyone getting older. “We can not control the time we die, but we can control what we do with the time here,” says Judah.

Who hasn’t wished time would slow the hell down and ease up on us every now and then?

97. “Down” – Marian Hill

Despite teetering on the verge of being overplayed for a few months in the spring, I am still very much down-da-da-down-da-da-down with this catchy as hell track from the Philadelphia duo.

96. “The Way You Used To Do” – Queens of the Stone Age

I’m pretty sure the makers of Guitar Hero are giddy with excitement every time Queens of the Stone Age release a new hit. I’m not sure if Guitar Hero is still a thing, but if it is, when the next version is released you can fully expect to spend countless hours trying to get past the guitar solo of this song before throwing your plastic guitar into your flatscreen TV and giving up on life altogether.

95. “Slow Hands” – Niall Horan

Since when has Marvin Gaye become a blonde haired, blue eyed, British twenty-something?

It seems as though One Direction was very good to the young lads in the UK boy band, especially when it came to teaching them how to write the most sensual songs since “Let’s Get It On.”

94. “She Said” – Sundara Karma

To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what this song is about. It kind of hurts my brain to even think about it. I am picking up on some “Somebody told me you had a boyfriend, who looks like a girlfriend that I had in February of last year” vibes from The Killers. And comparing anything to The Killers is about the highest musical compliment I know how to give.

93. “War” – Good Charlotte

Just in case you may have thought that the killer track “Makeshift Love” was a fluke back in 2015, Good Charlotte gave us a swift kick to the balls this year and reminded us that they still haven’t gone anywhere. “War” is proof that the Madden brothers have grown up, but still know how to rock out just as hard as they used to.

92. “Everything Now” – Arcade Fire

I totally understand that “Everything Now” may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I don’t think I have ever disliked anything as much as this Spin contributor hates this entire album.

For me, I find “Everything Now” nearly impossible to not sing along with. It is fun, upbeat, and a perfectly enjoyable song to listen to while driving down the highway with the top rolled down. Also, its damn near impossible to mess up on the lyrics for like 85% of the song, so sing along in confidence, my friends.

91. “Bottom of the Deep Blue Sea” – MISSIO

As if just the thought of the bottom of the deep blue sea isn’t creepy enough for you, MISSIO made sure that you would have nightmares after watching their horrifying video for the dark, bone-chilling follow up to their breakout hit “Middle Fingers.”

Showing a completely different side than the catchy “Middle Fingers,” MISSIO has proven this year that they are not a one-tick pony. They are a band to keep your eyes and ears on in 2018.


Songs 90-81