Did you guys see Jewel tear apart Ann Coulter? Totally not a sentence I expected to be typing in 2016, but there it is, and boy was it marvelous. But that’s just got our gears a-grindin’ for next year’s roast and what wacky, delightful, unexpected musician/political personality burns we might get to see. Perhaps Sheryl Crow will call out James Carville! Or maybe Lisa Loeb will take down Wolf Blitzer! Maybe we’ll finally get to see Natalie Imbruglia really insult Rush Limbaugh! We can dream. Until then, we’ll just have to get lost in the dream world of a new batch of 10 excellent tracks.
10. Sia feat. Kendrick Lamar – “The Greatest”
There’s an unwritten requirement for pop stars that says they must write an empowering anthem, one that lifts you up and encourages strength in the face of difficulties. Sia stepped up to the plate this week with her own pick-me-up: “The Greatest”. The gentle hit uses airy instrumentals to speak about perseverance and brings Kendrick Lamar on board for a verse of his own on the topic. “Letdowns will get you/ And the critics will test you,” he raps. “But the strong will survive/ Another scar may bless you.” The song’s music video — a reprise of Maddie Ziegler and 49 dancers who work through a tribute to Orlando shooting victims — gives even more meaning to the song, reminding listeners that, as any good pop song should, it’s theirs to mold, and Sia’s has the right structure to make it listenable for hours on end. –Nina Corcoran