A Bit of Pop Music’s Fan Panel discusses: The Best Of 2016

Beyonce Formation Tour

2016 has come to an end and with A Bit of Pop Music’s Fan Panel we look back at all the highs and lows of the year for the very last time. Tim, Marjolein, Jarrod and Zuheir selected their favourite albums and singles and made quick predictions on who will make it big in 2017!

TIM (27), THE NETHERLANDS

Best Single: Rihanna – Love On The Brain
“Wait: this one wasn’t released as a single, was it? Yes. It was. But almost nobody knew about it. A damn shame, ‘cause this might be the best thing Rihanna has ever done musically. The production is awesome, the lyrics are truly strong and her singing is better than ever before. Could and should have been a worldwide #1.”

Best Album: The Weeknd – Starboy
“I’ve been a fan of The Weeknd for years already. What I love about him the most is that he’s never changed his formula, although he’s a huge pop star now and no longer a semi-underground Canadian musician. Like last year’s Beauty Behind the Madness, Starboy is filled with melancholic yet catchy ‘R&B on narcotics’.”

Best Video: Sia – The Greatest
“Sia‘s ‘The Greatest’ that truly moved me while watching for the first, and second, and third time. Relevant, well-executed and touching, it’s Sia’s most amazing video so far (and, in combination with young dancer Maddie Ziegler, she made quite a lot of amazing videos).”

Most Anticipated Comeback for 2017: Lorde
Pure Heroine will turn 4 next year and she recently told fans on Instagram that she’s been working “like a dog for a year” on the new record. Which means she’s taking her time. Which means she’s not taking the easy road. Which means album number two might be even more genius than her debut.”

Newish Artist to Watch in 2017: Anderson .Paak
“Most of you probably already know him: his solo album Malibu received critical claim in 2015 and his latest effort – Yes Lawd! with producer Knxwledge – was hailed as a musical masterpiece last October. Add to that that Andersons name is getting mentioned more and more in mainstream music media and that he’s up for Best New Artist at the 2017 Grammys, and he might really blow up big-time with his next record.”

To check out Tim’s top 3 lists for best singles, albums and videos, check out his panel page.

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MARJOLEIN (21), THE NETHERLANDS

Best Single: Bastille – Good Grief
“After endlessly playing their hit ‘Pompeii’, Bastille finally came back with new music. The comeback single ‘Good Grief’ immediately got stuck in my head and never really left. The lyrics are beautiful and they have created such a special sound. Without a doubt my favourite song of 2016!”

Best Album: Lady Gaga – Joanne
“I was so happy when Lady Gaga finally made her return and the album completely made my day when I first heard it. I have to admit I didn’t fall head over heels in love with every single song, but most of them are great, with some seriously meaningful lyrics!”

Best Video: Sia feat. Sean Paul – Cheap Thrills
“I have to admit I wasn’t impressed with the music videos this year, but there was one that I can keep watching over and over again: ‘Cheap Thrills’ by Sia and Sean Paul. I have probably seen it over a 100 times and every single view I see some new details. And I know what you are wondering right now… Did she try those dance moves herself? Yes, I did!”

Most Anticipated Comeback for 2017: Lea Michele
“As a big Glee fan (yes I do own all dvd boxes and I know every single episode by heart), I am really excited for Lea Michele’s comeback. I was sad when the series came to an end but luckily Lea was there to save the day with her debut record Louder. The follow up is coming in 2017 and I’m curious to see and hear in what direction she is going.”

New(ish) Artist to Watch for 2017:
“I would like to tip Dutch girlband O’G3ne. After winning The Voice of Holland they will represent the Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev and hopefully they will gain some international success, just like The Common Linnets did.”

To check Marjolein’s full top 3’s and read more about her choices, check her very own panel page on A Bit of Pop Music.

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JARROD (24), NEW ZEALAND

Best Single: Work (Rihanna), Formation (Beyoncé), Into You (Ariana Grande)
“My three favorite pop songs of the year are ‘Work’ by Rihanna, ‘Formation’ by Beyoncé and ‘Into You’ by Ariana Grande. All three songs just happened to come from some of the most popular artists of 2016. There’s no way you haven’t heard these songs and for that reason I would like to talk about three other pop songs you might not know of that I’ve had on repeat in 2016.”

Best Album: Ariana Grande – Dangerous Woman
“A lot of pop artists under the age of 25 seem to be struggling to find a sound that works for them or a way to tell their story through music. Ariana Grande is not one of them. Through this album she talks about being optimistic, knowing her self worth and learning from heartbreak whilst flaunting her confidence and sexual side. I’m completely head over heels for 10 out of 15 songs on this album. My favorite songs off Dangerous Woman are ‘Be Alright’, ‘Into You’, ‘Sometimes’ and ‘Knew Better/Forever Boy’.”

Best Video: Beyoncé – Formation
“I loved everything from the costumes to the hair and locations but most of all the choreography. This video wasn’t groundbreaking or anything new from your usual pop video by a female artist but this was the most impeccable music video I’ve seen all year.”

Most Anticipated Comeback for 2017: Katy Perry
“I’m looking forward to Katy Perry‘s comeback. In my opinion she’s one of the most underrated artists of today. She must be under a lot of pressure seeing as her most recent album Prism didn’t quite match the success of her previous album Teenage Dream. Here’s hopping she doesn’t provide us with a dull personal album and gives us a record filled with immaculate pop songs that will dominate the charts.”

New(ish) Artist to Watch in 2017: Kehlani
“An up and coming artist I’m hoping gets more exposure in 2017 is Kehlani. She’s more R&B than Pop but I think she has what it takes to be constantly played on top 40 radio. She is covered in Tattoos and is naturally masculine which makes her stand out from other female artists. Check out her songs ‘Distraction’, ‘CRZY’ and ‘The Way’.”

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ZUHEIR (25), MALAYSIA

Best Single: Chainsmokers feat. Daya – Don’t Let Me Down
“It is hard to narrow down top 3 songs, but I know I can not have one without this song in mind! This song is by far, the one that I enjoyed (and still do!) the most from this year. I still find myself moving my hips uncontrollably everytime I hear the song, not just by the insanely catchy hook but by Daya’s amazing vocal tone that truly is the foundation of the song. You can have Olivia O’brien sing the part, and it still wont be as good, imho.”

Best Album: JoJo – Mad Love
“After 10 years, Jojo made a comeback to mainstream pop with the release of her third album. And her comeback was strong. For the people who only know her from her early work (Leave, Get Out anyone?), they’ll be in for a good surprise when they see how mature she is nowadays.  It is not just in her vocal skills, but also her musical direction. Instead of reliving her good-natured pop style that brought her to fame, Jojo took a risk by being more risqué and more direct in her presentation- a gamble that proved to be a success with critics and more importantly, to me.”

Best Video: Beyoncé – Formation
“My favourite music video of the year was Beyoncé’s ‘Formation’, pretty much for the creative direction of the video., the sense of black pride and women empowerment that were emphasized in the fashion style and dance moves. The dance! Damn that was some nice choreography. I am also particularly fond of the videography, the mixture shot of the affluent in the bayou and the urban ghettos. and that swag pose on the new orleans cop car half sunk in the flood, who can say that that is not cool? honestly, love every inch of the music video.”

Most Anticipated Comeback for 2017: Kelly Clarkson:
“2017 seems to be the year of comeback for most old-timers! As one of the best pop singers of the 2000s, Kelly Clarkson’s return to the music scene is clearly highly anticipated. Clarkson never failed to produce chart-hitting singles ever since her winning Fox’s American Idol and her decision to take a breather to focus on her family in 2016 surely left some fans missing her. Thus, her return scheduled for early next year would surely be a nice way to start the new year after almost a year of wait.”

New(ish) Artist to Watch in 2017: Zara Larsson
“I am mainly interested to see what the artists who were naimed the next big thing in the past few years will achieve next year. It will be interesting to see what will happen with Zara Larsson after the success of singles like ‘Lush Life’ and ‘Ain’t My Fault’. I’m really excited to hear more from this young Swedish pop sensation.”

To read more about Zuheir’s choices, his full top 3’s and more, check his own page.

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