Top 100 Songs of 2016 (Part 9) #20-11


#100 – 91       #90-81     #80-71       #70-61       #60-51
#50-41      #40-31     #30-21

20. “Still Breathing” – Green Day

“Still Breathing,” by punk rock royalty, Green Day is about looking on the bright side even when you are down on your luck. Hey, your life may completely suck, but at least you’re not dead, right?

A gambler about to lose him last dime, a soldier that dodged a bullet on the battlefield, and a mother that is barely keeping it together are three of the characters Green Day uses to tell the story of survival.

“‘Cause I’m still breathing
‘Cause I’m still breathing on my own
My head’s above the rain and roses
Making my way away”

After 30 years as a band, Green Day has proven time and time again that just because they are getting older does not mean they can’t rock just as hard as when they were kids.


19. “Death Of A Bachelor” – Panic! At the Disco

Brendon Urie, lead singer of Panic! At the Disco, wrote “Death of a Bachelor” as a tribute to the late great Frank Sinatra, who would have turned 100 years old in 2015 (when the song was written.) Not only is it a tribute to Sinatra, but to the end of the era that died when he did.

“His music has been a major player in the soundtrack of my life. So it’s only right that I return the favor and/or pay it forward…Death Of A Bachelor” is very important to me. It expresses the bittersweet (but mostly sweet) end of an era. A look back at a part of my life now deceased. An “It’s A Wonderful Life”-esque look into a possibly different future. But mostly an appreciation for the present.”

“Death of a Bachelor” is vastly different from anything on the radio today, a tribute that Sinatra, and the rest of his rat pack buddies would be proud of.

18. “She’s Out Of Her Mind” – Blink 182

If the video for “She’s Out Of Her Mind” doesn’t make you feel nostalgic for 1999 nothing will. In their latest track off their album California, Blink 182 recreates their infamous video for “What’s My Age Again?” in which the boys in the band run through the streets causing ruckus while completely naked. This time, the video features three beautiful woman running through the streets and mimicking Mark, Tom, and Travis’ every move.

The song is so damn catchy though, that the video only adds to the enjoyment of having Blink 182 releasing their best music in over a decade. Blink 182 for comeback of the year!

17. “Nobody Wins” – Brian Fallon

If you are a fan of Gaslight Anthem, you are already familiar with Brian Fallon, the lead singer of the band (currently on an indefinite hiatus.) I was pretty distraught when I heard that Gaslight Anthem was parting ways, but Brian Fallon’s amazing album, Painkillers, was just what I needed to kill the pain.

Not only is this track, “Nobody Wins,” beautifully endearing and painfully honest, but it can hold a candle to just about any Gaslight Anthem song. Give it a listen, you will not be disappointed. DISCLAIMER: Ryan’s Countdowns’s is not responsible for you crying and embarrassing yourself in front of your co-workers. You should have waited until you got home to watch it.


16. “Run Or Hide” – Run River North”

Described as a Korean-American indie folk-rock band, Run River North formed in 2011 and had their biggest hit to date with 2016’s “Run Or Hide.”

“Run Or Hide” is big, loud, and dynamic. From the first listen you will be captivated, and every time thereafter. I will never “change my mind” about how good this song is, not “a million times,” and not even once.

15. “You & I” – Colony House

“Maybe the world isn’t crazy, maybe it’s you and I” sings Colony House in the first song off their debut album “Only The Lonely,” which is set to drop in January of 2017.

“In a time in history that feels so fragile we feel like this song takes a different perspective,” says the band about the radio friendly track. Colony House has a lot to live up to in 2017, and I for one, can’t wait to see them do it.

14. “Tidal Wave” – Taking Back Sunday

Yes, Taking Back Sunday is still around, and yes, they are still releasing insanely good music. “Tidal Wave” may be a little harder than you remember the “Makedamnsure” guys being, but it is just as damn catchy as anything they have ever put out there.

“Tidal Wave” is so good that I once spent an entire 90 minute car ride listening to the song on repeat, and trying to nail all of the lyrics without messing up. After an hour and a half I had perfected the vocals, and I still couldn’t wait to sing along with it again the next day.

13. “Trouble” – Cage, the Elephant

I am convinced that Cage the Elephant can do no wrong. Year after year they continue to release hit songs. While they have a style all of their own, they still manage to make each song unique in its own right. “Trouble” is one of the slower songs from Cage in recent years, but it just goes to show you that these guys are limitless.

12. “Shovels & Dirt” – The Strumbellas

Continuing their campaign for “Band of the Year,” Canadian rockers, The Strumbellas just keep getting better. “Shovels & Dirt” is one of those songs that is impossible to not love. Seriously, if someone told me they didn’t love this song I would question their hearing, taste in music, sanity and why the hell I am talking to them in the first place.

The repeating phrase of “I put a banjo up into the sky/
It keeps us moving, it keeps us moving” and the way it leads the song to its climax, is arguably one of the best parts in music this year. I am desperately looking forward to what The Strumbellas come up with in 2017.


11. “Better Love” – Hozier

No artist today sings with more passion that Hozier. Upon first hearing, I brushed off “Better Love” as another movie soundtrack dud. But, after each additional listen, I fell in love with the song more and more.

Bottom line is, “Better Love” is not meant to be background music, it is meant to be an experience that makes you feel so hard it hurts. And nobody does that better than Hozier.

Top 10 Songs of 2016 Coming Tomorrow!

Top 100 Songs of 2015 (10 – 6)

Songs 100 – 91     Songs 90-81     Songs 80-71     Songs 70-61     Songs 60-51                   Songs 50-41         Songs 40-31     Songs 30-21     Songs 20-16    Songs 15-11

10. Go Big Or Go Home, American Authors

Adding to their list of hit songs that are impossible to not sing along with, Boston band, American Authors hit it out of the park this year with “Go Big Or Go Home”. The ultimate song about living life to the fullest, “Go Big Or Go Home” will get the party started and help justify having one more beer…. before having one more beer…… before having one more beer…. before going home.

9. Blame It On Me, George Ezra

George Ezra, the 22 year old singer-songwriter from the UK, is known for his big vocals, and deep voice. His 2014 hit, “Budapest” became a worldwide smash hit, and launched his musical career. “Blame It On Me,” however, shows off his musical range even more, and confirms that this kid is the real deal.

The amount of passion Ezra is able to exude through his voice is well beyond his years. Combine that with his likability and sense of humor (as portrayed in his music videos) and a new singer-songwriter superstar is on the horizon.


8. Get Me Out Of Here, Third Eye Blind

Not only is “Get Me Out of Here” one of Third Eye Blind’s best songs in years, it has the potential to be one of their best videos in their nearly 20 year career.

Stephen Jenkins and the boys put their acting abilities to the test in “Get Me Out of Here”and despite Jenkins being his typical overly-dramatic self, they make it work. The video is a tribute to the 40th anniversary of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show”, which helps the band relay their intended meaning of the song, which is “a personal story of introspection after a dark beginning”.

Even without the music video, “Get Me Out of Here” is an anthem. It is epic. And it is Third Eye Blind at their best.

7. Someone New, Hozier

Just when you think this song could not get any better, Hozier releases the music video featuring Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer (AKA Margaery Tyrell) as an ultra sexy vixen that trots around town and falls in love with every person she meets. If the Oscars awarded trophies to the Best Actress in a music video, Dormer has my vote.

At an iHeart Radio live event, Hozier says the following about “Someone New”….

“This next song is a fun one, it’s about love at its most… futile and shallow and useless,” he said. “And, awkwardly, I wrote it with an ex-girlfriend.”

“Someone New” is so lighthearted and carefree that even people with the coldest, blackest hearts, will fall in love with it.

6. Songs I Can’t Listen To, Neon Trees

There are few lead men in Alternative Rock today that are more genuine than Tyler Glenn, lead singer of Neon Trees. While you should never wallow in someone else’s relationship mishaps, any true rock fan secretly thanks the Lord that Glenn has had less than amicable breakups. “Songs I Can’t Listen To” is the latest end-of-relationship rock gem from Neon Trees, and who does not have at least one song makes you sweat because it reminds you of someone from your past that you no longer are on speaking terms with?

“And it’s all because of you. I got a list of songs, I can’t listen to. And it’s all because we’re through, I got a list of songs I can’t listen to.”

While it will be difficult for Neon Trees to attain the worldwide success the

y had with “Everybody Talks”, they continue to produce fun, energetic music, and have solidified their place in the world of alt. rock.

Top 100 Songs of 2015 – Part 9 (Songs 20-16)

Songs 100 – 91     Songs 90-81     Songs 80-71     Songs 70-61     Songs 60-51                    Songs 50-41         Songs 40-31     Songs 30-21

20. Nothing Without Love, Nate Ruess

The debut single from Nate Ruess, “Nothing Without Love,” proved that this guy has the ability to shine as a solo artist while his band, Fun, is on hiatus. With one of the most distinctive voices in the business, it is obvious from the first few notes that it is Ruess passionately perfecting the vocals on this memorable track.


Awolnation’s latest track, “I Am” was born from the rejection lead singer, Aaron Bruno felt upon initial feedback of their recent album, Run. 

“I Am” is about being an individual, and standing out from the crowd. Fittingly, the song was used in a Red Bull commercial about athletes excelling in their sport. “I Am” will pump you up and get you motivated to face your fears and take on the world.

18. Ditmas, Mumford and Sons

Mumford & Sons finally released Ditmas as a single right at the end of the year, making it the third Mumford release in 2015, and the third to make the top 40 in this countdown. Named after a neighborhood in Brooklyn where the track was recorded, Ditmas is a stand out track on an album that is filled with gems.

If someone has been hibernating for a year and not heard any of the new tracks on Wilder Mind, “Ditmas” would be the first track I would play for them, as it fully embodies the new direction that the band is taking. Gone are the days of banjo heavy tracks. Say hello to the new electric, rock and roll Mumford & Sons. A very, very warm welcome indeed.

17. Jackie & Wilson, Hozier

This is for all the naysayers who doubted that Hozier would be anything other than a one hit wonder after the smashing success of last year’s “Take Me to Church”. Not only has Hozier followed up “…Church” with “From Eden”, “Work Song”, and the recently released “Someone New”, this gem of a song has not even officially been released as a single, but it is still getting radio play.

“Jackie and Wilson” is Hozier’s homage to the late R&B singer, Jackie Wilson, whom he idolizes.

“We’ll name our children Jackie and Wilson, raise them on rhythm and blues”, is as much of a compliment as an artist can give to their inspirations. In fact, if Hozier can record another album as phenomenal as Hozier, I may feel the need to have a child and name him Hozier, and raise him on, well, Hozier.

16. Can’t Deny My Love, Brandon Flowers

“Can’t Deny My Love,” the debut single off Brandon Flowers’ sophomore solo album, The Desired Effect, is synth-pop rock at its very best. Not many people can pull off epic, the way Flowers can, and “Can’t Deny My Love” is a perfect example.

Brandon Flowers, arguably the most talented front man in music today, has proven that he can do it all, from writing killer (pardon the pun) songs, and flawlessly nailing vocals, to playing the keyboard, and even being the lead actor in his music videos.

All you Killers fans can take a deep breath, because they are expecting to begin work on their fifth studio album in 2016, and Brandon Flowers is sure to lead the guys to continued success.