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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.