December 2016 (Secular):
I'm not solely listening to Christmas carols right now, so neither should you.
1. Bruno Mars - "24K Magic"
While not the instantly likable "Uptown Funk," I think I was hooked after three listens.
2. Sing Street - "Drive It Like You Stole It"
I was charmed by John Carney's coming-of-age film when I saw it over Thanksgiving break. I'd recommend the movie (currently streaming on Netflix) and this Hall & Oates-inspired ditty.
3. The Game feat. Too $hort, Problem, AV, & Eric Bellinger - "Or Nah"
Sorry if it's a little crass, but it's got that beat. Eric Bellinger's hook is smooth AF too.
4. John Legend feat. Brittany Howard - "Darkness & Light"
Legend enlists Alabama Shakes' frontwoman for the sultry title track of his fifth studio album (sixth if you count his collaboration with the Roots).
5. Neil Young - "Here for You"
Back in September, this was the father-daughter dance at my friend's wedding. I really liked the choice, and Neil's catalog is finally available on Spotify.
6. Johnny Marr - "Easy Money"
7. Jim James - "Same Old Lie"
While it may feel like our current political climate is drastically different than what we've come to expect, Jim reminds us that in fact, "it's the same old lie."
8. Syreeta - "I Love Every Little Thing About You"
Syreeta recorded this cover of Stevie Wonder's song in the midst of their divorce, one-upping the original and adding a whole new layer of depth.
9. Jack Garratt feat. Anderson Paak - "Worry"
I'm not a big Jack Garratt fan, but Paak throws down one of his top verses here.
10. Mike Doughty - "I Can't Believe I Found You in That Town"
This was on my Top 40 of 2015 list when it was merely a demo on Mike's Drip.fm feed. While I still prefer the stripped-down original over the DJ Good Goose production that you'll hear here, the effective lyrics remain unchanged.