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EXHALE TOP 100 of 2021 - Full list revealed


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#89 - Solar Power
Lorde

Co-written and co-produced by Lorde and Jack Antonoff, Solar Power is the lead single off Lorde's third studio album of the same name, the first since the 2017's remix of Homemade Dynamite. An ode to the summer, Lorde starts the song by confessing she hates winter and cold ( d8nxnbe-e51d7d72-912d-45fc-92fe-2af81358 ) but then all the tears disappear, along with her clothes, once heat comes and everybody go to dance to the beach, not before her boy takes pictures of her naked body.

Though she thought she was only referencing Robbie William's Rock DJ (2000) with the phrase "Can I kick it?", she later learned the song was actually quite similar to Primal Scream's Loaded (1990), which she had never heard before. She contacted the band's lead singer, Bobby Gillespie who was totally chill about it and gave his blessing. Similarities were also noticed to George Michael's Freedom! '90, but she also received positive comments from Michael's estate.

A music video for the song was directed by Lorde and Joel Kefali.

 

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#88 - Harmony
Mike Williams ft. Xillions

Have you ever had a song stuck in your head? Well, deep in his heart he hears the melody; sing it tonight and be his har-mo-ny. Mike Williams produced this catchy tune, co-written with Oscar Bishop and Shea Duncan. An animated music video was released by Spinnin' Records, which features a teal-haired girl that follows a light, only to have a magical encounter with a glowing tree as she floats through the air. 

 

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#87 - Gasoline
HAIM ft. Taylor Swift

No, sadly it's not Britney's track from her 2011 Femme Fatale album, but it's HAIM's latest single taken from their Women in Music Pt. III album released in 2020. After providing vocals on Taylor Swift's no body, no crime song, they offered her to add her vocals to Gasoline, the song Taylor claimed was her favorite from their album. The remix was released in February, on the expanded version of the record.

 

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#87 - Devotion
D.A.N

Dan Coyle, also known as D.A.N is not only an independent singer, but also turns out to be the head of social media and marketing content of the likes of Nile Rodgers and FKA twigs. He released Devotion back in March, co-written by him and Joe Warriner and co-produced by him and James Coyle. In an interview for The Line of Best Fit, Dan explains the queer anthem was written about a specific time in his life, but he knows a lot of people can relate to it. "The main thing is making sure we have devotion and love for ourselves" he says. About the video, he comments he wanted something chaotic yet beautiful, “as if all the noise in a club stopped and I was given that one chance to say everything that needed to be said.”

 

 

 

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#86 - Mojito
Thalia

Mexican diva Thalia was very busy in 2020, as despite the ongoing pandemic, she kept releasing single after single throughout the year. In 2021, it was revealed all these singles were part of her then upcoming 17th studio album Desamorfosis, released in May, but a week before it dropped, one last single, Mojito, was released to promote the new record. The song, which references the alcoholic beverage, has a very Latin vibe with sensual lyrics filled with double entendres, and a single cover as provocative, depicting two tongues touching each other. It was written Daniel Rondon, Elena Rose and Thalia herself, as well as Rafael Rodríguez, who also produced the track.

The music video shows the romance between her an a beach-side bartender, and it was premiered on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

 

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#85 - The Feels
TWICE

This catchy up-tempo song is the lead single off TWICE's sixth studio album Formula of Love: O+T=<3, and it was written and produced by Justin Reinstein and Woo Min Lee "collapsdone", with additional writing by Anna Timgren and Boy Matthews. It features groovy bass sounds and disco synth beats, and it was intended to cater to international audiences, particularly the US. It peaked at 83 on the US BB Hot 100 and at #12 on the Global 200 chart.

A colorful music video was directed by Oui Kim, which shows the nine girls receiving an invitation to a prom. The music video was the most watched globally the week of its premiere.

 

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#84 - Like a Prayer (Live at the Coliseu dos Recreios)
Madonna

If you thought the Queen of Pop had no business in this list, think again, since her live album Madame X: Music from the Theater Xperience released last October got her an entry with the live rendition of the classic Like a Prayer, originally released in 1989. The music film was shot in January 2020 from her concerts in Lisbon, Portugal. It was directed by Ricardo Gomes and SKNX and it was released through Paramount+ and MTV.

 

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#83 - Cambia el Paso
Jennifer Lopez and Rauw Alejandro

JLo needs no one to be alright, and that's exactly what she sings on Cambia el Paso, the Spanish track that fluctuates between pop and reggaeton, which was recorded after her split from ex-fiancé Alex Rodriguez. Produced by Jonas Jurström and Victor Thell, it features Puerto Rican rapper Rauw Alejandro, who asked to be added to the song after listening to it in a preview of JLo's recorded material that she gave him during their first meeting. The music video was directed by Jessy Terrero and it was shot in Miami Beach.

 

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#82 - Kiss Me More
Doja Cat ft. SZA

The lead single off Doja Cat's third studio album Planet Her, Kiss Me More was produced by Rogét Chahayed and Yeti Beats, with writing by Doja Cat, SZA and Dr. Luke, with Steve Kipner and Terry Shad**** being credited too since the song interpolates Olivia Newton-John's Physical (1981). The song appeared in the Top 10 of many charts around the world, including a #1 in Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and the US Mainstream Top 40 and Rhythmic charts, peaking at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The futuristic music video was directed by Warren Fu and it features American actor Alex Landi as an astronaut that explores "Planet Her", with Doja Cat and SZA playing seductive aliens.

 

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#81 - Baila Conmigo
Selena Gomez and Rauw Alejandro

Baila Conmigo (Dance with Me) was released as the second single off her Revelación EP back in January, featuring Rauw Alejandro, who appears one more time on this list only two positions after his other entry. The song has more co-writers than Revelación has tracks, but it was produced by Albert Hype, Jota Rosa, Neon16 and Tainy. The seductive track is a slow reggaeton that asks the listener to dance with them, just like the girl does in the music video directed by Fernando Nogari. About the video, Selena commented "The video portrays the sense of isolation we all are experiencing right now and how music truly does connect us all no matter where we are in the world."

 

 

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9 hours ago, PokemonSpears said:

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#81 - Baila Conmigo
Selena Gomez and Rauw Alejandro

Baila Conmigo (Dance with Me) was released as the second single off her Revelación EP back in January, featuring Rauw Alejandro, who appears one more time on this list only two positions after his other entry. The song has more co-writers than Revelación has tracks, but it was produced by Albert Hype, Jota Rosa, Neon16 and Tainy. The seductive track is a slow reggaeton that asks the listener to dance with them, just like the girl does in the music video directed by Fernando Nogari. About the video, Selena commented "The video portrays the sense of isolation we all are experiencing right now and how music truly does connect us all no matter where we are in the world."

 

 

The shadiness :orangu_orangutan_ape:

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#80 - Let Them Know
Mabel

A very up-tempo dance song, Let Them Know was produced by SG Lewis, who co-wrote it along with Mabel, Raye and MNEK. It was released in June as the lead single off Mabel's second studio album. According to her, the inspiration for the song came from the film Paris is Burning and the TV series Pose and RuPaul's Drag Race, with the instrumental's rhythm even reminiscing RuPaul's 1992 Supermodel (You Better Work). In the music video directed by Isaac Rentz, we see her going back to the club to recover the phone she lost the previous night, which we can see in flashbacks; "it was wild" she admits to the taxi driver. 

Is it me, or there's a lot of references to Britney's various choreographies throughout the video? Even the 2016 VMA's performance and outfit seem to be part of the inspiration. 

 

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#79 - Angel Baby
Troye Sivan

This "gushy juicy doting adoring power bottom gay ballad" as described by Troye when it was first announced, was produced by Jason Evigan, who also co-wrote it with Troye, JHart, Sarah Hudson and Michael Pollak. Angel Baby transports us to the 80's with a sound that reminds us of Take My Breath Away (1986) and similar classic songs from that era; according to Troye, we need more of that music. The videoclip was directed by Luke Gilford and shows us clips of various romantic stories in a retro cinematic style filled with nostalgia, lots of skin and guys showering in food. 

 

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#78 - Bite Me
Avril Lavigne

After announcing her new deal with Travis Barker's record label DTA in November, she hinted "Should I drop my first single next week?" And release a single she did: Bite Me represents the return to her pop-punk roots, produced by Travis himself, John Feldmann and Mod Sun. Avril had previously worked with Mod Sun on his single Flames, released in January (which only made it to the Bubbling Under of this list), and she also collaborated with Travis on Willow's track G R O W (also appearing at 155 on the Bubbling Under).

With this song, Avril lets us know our worth and what we deserve, as she noted, it's about not giving a second chance to someone who doesn't deserve you. Hannah Lux Davis directed the accompanying music video, and it later received a second one directed by Mod Sun for the acoustic version of the song. It may not be very high on this list, but Bite Me has been quite popular on our weekly Top 20, becoming the first winner ever of our countdown, and repeating the feat on Week 3. 

 

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#77 - Your Heart Is My Home
Foster the People

Written and produced by the band members Mark Foster and Isom Innis, the song passes by in a dream within a dream, a promise of eternal love where the couple can look back at themselves and remember the old times with laughter. "Your heart is my only home" Mark confesses, his reflective thoughts captured in a visualizer directed by Nikoli Partiyeli and Carlos Medina where we see him meditatively sitting at a diner's table. 

 

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#76 - Oxytocin
Billie Eilish

The fan favorite Oxytocin, track No. 5 on Happier Than Ever, Billie's second studio album, is an EDM tune with an industrial pop and techno vibe, described by the critics as her ***iest song yet. Co-written with her brother FINNEAS, who naturally, produced the track as well, was not released as an official single off the album, but it did manage to peak at the Billboard Hot 100 at #72. Billie declared she was thinking of s** while recording the track, where she sings about doing things "God doesn't approve of if she saw us", and that it was intended to be that song that would be insane to perform live.

 

 

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#75 - Ghost
Justin Bieber

The sixth single off his sixth studio album Justice, Ghost was written by Justin Bieber along with the producers of the track Jon Bellion and The Monsters & Strangerz, with additional writing by Michael Pollak. The pop rock ballad was intended to give a message of hope according to Bieber, "the trauma and the hurt that you feel isn't gonna last forever". He also noticed in an interview that the hook of the song "I miss you more than life" also works for the times of the COVID-19 pandemic, where a lot of people have lost their loved ones, as well as the overall sentiment of isolation during the quarantine. In the music video, directed by Colin Tilley, actress Diane Keaton plays his grandmother. 

 

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#74 - Josh
Peach PRC

The Australian social media influencer's first major label single Josh is a true story according to Peach, who wouldn't stop receiving phone calls from her ex Josh who wanted them to be back together. Shaylee Curnow, Peach PRC's real name, co-wrote the track with Liam Quinn, the producer of the song. A colorful music video directed by Josh Harris (not the Josh from the song) shows Peach intruding her ex's television to kindly suggest him "I thought you were blocked, **** off stop calling me, Josh". 

 

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#73 - Pose
Red Velvet

Pose, track No. 2 off Red Velvet's sixth EP Queendom, is a Korean/English dance-pop song written by Lee Seu-ran and produced by Fabian Torsson, Harry Sommerdahl, Ylva Dimberg and Cazzi Opeia. The music has an energetic, military-esque drum and the girls reference Maddona's Vogue (1990) with the phrase "strike a pose". The lyrics suggest the listener to treat life like a runway and to be the main characters of their own life, ignoring what others may think of them.

 

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