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EXHALE TOP 100 of 2021 - Full list revealed


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#72 - La Niña de la Escuela
Lola Índigo, TINI and Belinda

Spain, Argentina and Mexico got together for this urban up-tempo song, La Niña de la Escuela, a single off Lola's second studio album La Niña produced by Andy Clay and Luis Salazar. The story of the ugly duckling that turns into a beautiful swan is what Lola narrates in her song, telling the guy he has no chance with her after reminding him she's that girl he rejected back in school, but now that she's grown up she's too good for him. "Baja de la nube, que no eres Goku" they sing on the bridge of the song and in a pink-colored video we can see the three songstresses and their kid versions dance together for a school competition.

 

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#71 - WITHOUT YOU
The Kid LAROI.

This 18 year old from Australia appears on this list with the single WITHOUT YOU, released on December 2020 as part of **** Love (Savage), the deluxe edition of his debut mixtape. Written by him along with Billy Walsh and the producers of the song, Blake Slatkin, Omer Fedi, the emo rap reached the #8 on the Billboard Hot 100, and even got a version featuring Miley Cyrus that stayed faithful to the original, talking about the aftermath of a breakup.

 

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#70 - Deeper Love
Nick Jonas

Back in March, Nick Jonas released his fourth studio album Spaceman. Track No. 8, Deeper Love, was produced by Greg Kurstin and co-written with Nick and Mozella. The chill track has Nick constantly yearning for, well, a deeper love, reassuring his loved one he'll follow her wherever she goes, 'cause it only gets better.

 

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#69 - Million to One
Camila Cabello

In 2021, Camila Cabello starred on the Amazon Prime original film Cinderella. An accompanying soundtrack including several songs performed by the cast of the movie was released in September, and Million to One was the first promotional single off the record. Written by Camila and Scott Harris, who also produced the song, Million to One talks about the conviction of Camila, or her character in the film, about the bright future that awaits for her, being that one in a million that's gonna have it different than the rest. An official video directed by Kay Cannon, the director of the movie, was released to accompany the song.

 

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#68 - Follow You
Imagine Dragons

Follow You is the lead single off Mercury - Act 1, Imagine Dragons' fifth studio album. It was produced by Joel Little and written by the members of the band, along with Francisca Hall and Elley Duhé. According to frontman Dan Reynolds, the song was inspired by a text message he received from his wife after seven months of not talking, while he was on his way of finalizing the divorce. They ended up getting back together and the song was the result of this realistic love story, "one where love isn't perfect but it endures".

They went for the comedy route with the music video, which features Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney, stars of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which go to a private concert of the band and start imagining different scenarios while watching the performance, until both fantasies mix up, which include Dan and Rob going shirtless, and a bald Kaitlin playing the drums. 

 

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#67 - 24 Hours
Agnes

Swedish singer Agnes released 24 Hours as the second single off her fifth studio album Magic Still Exists. It was produced by the duo Vargas & Lagola and it counted with a retro-futuristic video that compliments the disco rhythms of the uptempo track. In the comments section of the video, Agnes wrote: "When we need to process a dramatic change in our life, we go through different stages of emotion. The video for 24 hours is based on that journey, and the different personalities that it brings to light. All tailored to help us cope with everything from sadness and frustration to anger and grief. It’s not pretty, but without them we wouldn't be rewarded with the powerful energy that then helps us move forward".

 

 

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#66 - Kiss My (Uh-Oh)
Anne-Marie and Little Mix

Kiss My (Uh-Oh) was released in July as the last single off Anne-Marie's second studio album Therapy. The English singer teamed up with Little Mix for this song produced by Peter Nappi and Mojam, which samples Lumidee's Never Leave You (2003). A mixture of calypso and electropop, Kiss My is about being fed up with a toxic relationship, a big F U for the guy that didn't appreciate what he had when he could. The music video for the song was directed by Hannah Lux Davis and it was inspired by the 2011 film Bridesmaids. Among other scenes, we see Anne-Marie going out to the club with Jade, while the heavily pregnant Perrie and Leigh-Anne stay at the hotel room.

 

 

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#65 - MONTERO (Call Me by Your Name)
Lil Nas X

The lead single off Montero, Lil Nas X's debut album, this track was produced by Take a Daytrip, Omer Fedi and Roy Lenzo. With very explicit *******ual lyrics, the song also draws inspiration from the 2017 film Call Me by Your Name which centers on a gay romance. It debuted at #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100, topping 20 other charts around the world, besides the Global 200. The music video, directed by Lil and Ukrainian director Tanu Muino, shows him playing different characters across various biblical and mythological scenes. He even descends to hell in a stripper pole to give Satan a lap dance, only to snap his neck and crown himself with his horns. According to Lil Nas X, he got inspired by SpongeBob SquarePants as well as FKA twigs. Besides the biblical references, we also see a nod to Britney and Justin's all-denim outfits that they wore at the AMA's in 2001.

 

 

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#64 - no body, no crime
Taylor Swift ft. HAIM

Released in January as the second single off Taylor Swift's evermore, the country-pop-rock song was written by Taylor, who co-produced it with Aaron Dessner. The song is a fictional story about the murder of a woman named Este by the hands of her own cheating husband after she discovers the infidelity. The narrator, who's a friend of Este, not being able to prove the husband is the killer of her friend, since her body is missing, then proceeds to kill him and erase any evidence, framing his mistress as the main suspect after she took out a life insurance.

 

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#63 - Lovesick Girls (Japanese Version)
BLACKPINK

Originally released in 2020 as the last single off their first Korean studio album titled THE ALBUM, Lovesick Girls got a re-release in July in its Japanese version. The song retains the essence of the Korean track, which reached the #2 position on the Global 200 chart. The music video also got re-released to match the Japanese version, where we see the girls dealing with lovesickness in various ways, singing along this EDM bop where they confess they were born to be alone, but are still looking for love.

 

 

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#62 - If I Fall
Nick Jonas

Another song from Nick Jonas' Spaceman, this time is the turn of album track No. 9, If I Fall. It follows the same songwriting formula of Nick Jonas, Mozella and Greg Kurstin, produced by the latter, but this time they give us a more uptempo, yet still dreamy production where Nick promises her it'd be the last time he's falling in love, since he realizes everything before was just a waste of time.

 

 

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#61 - On the Ground
ROSÉ

BLACKPINK's ROSÉ released On the Ground as the lead single off her debut solo album R back in March. The electropop-rock song was produced by Jon Bellion, Ojivolta, Odegard, Teddy Park and 24. In its melodic verses, ROSÉ reflects on her career and the hard work she's put in reaching the top, only to realize that everything she needed wasn't up there, but down on Earth. "Sometimes when you’re always kind of on that roll, you kind of forget to take care of what actually matters to you most, and it’s just a song that says that everything we need is already within us. There’s no need to go out and look for it", she explained about the meaning of the song. A music video was released to accompany the song, and it was directed by Han Sa-min.

 

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#60 - Die for You
Justin Bieber ft. Dominic Fike

Justin and Dominic would do anything for their loved one even if that means losing everything, including their lives, in this new-wave song produced by Andrew Watt and Louis Bell. The track No. 8 off Bieber's Justice, Die for You is a dance-pop jam where the singers swear eternal love, a recurrent theme from the male artists of this list.

 

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#59 - Take My Breath
The Weeknd

Abel co-produced and co-wrote this song with none other than Max Martin, aided by Oscar Holter and rapper Belly. Take My Breath is expected to be the lead single off The Weeknd's fifth studio album, still to be released. The catchy feeling of this uptempo disco track is fun enough to make you ignore the rough activities this couple fantasizes about in this romantic, yet dangerous relationship. It managed to peak at #5 on the Global 200 chart and #6 at the US Billboard Hot 100, appearing in many other countries' charts around the world. In a post COVID-19 pandemic world, Take My Breath may take another meaning, and whether intentional or not, oxygen masks make a cameo in the music video for the song, directed by Cliqua, where The Weeknd's love interest, played by Shaina West, almost chokes him to death with her braids in the middle of a nightclub.

 

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#58 - Call On Me
RAYE

Call On Me is an uptempo dance song produced by Andrew Wells, Billen Ted and Wez Clarke. In this song, the British 24 year old artist offers you unconditional support, understanding and compassion, "Everything that hurts you, it hurts me too". A message of hope that reassures you that patience will reward you and she will be by your side every step of the way.

 

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#57 - Angels like You
Miley Cyrus

In March, Miley Cyrus released Angels like You as the third and final single off her 2020 Plastic Hearts album. Another Louis Bell x Andrew Watt production on this list, the pop-rock ballad describes the hardships of a relationship that is not meant to be, with some speculating the lyrics are about her ex Kaitlynn Carter. The music video was shot during her Super Bowl pre-game performance, endorsing COVID-19 vaccination with a written message at the end.

 

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#56 - Sacrifice
Bebe Rexha

Co-written with Pablo Bowman and Peter Rycroft, Bebe Rexha demands full attention from the man she put her eye on in this dance pop club banger produced by Burns, a stand-out from her Better Mistakes album released in May. The music video for the song was directed by Christian Breslauer, where Bebe plays a vampire woman that along with her vampire friends assault a blood bank to take shots of blood from the donations, continuing the party at a club to where she invites her hunk friend which she just converted at the beginning of the video. A shower of blood pours from above as they continue partying, in a scene reminiscent of Britney's 2011 Till the World Ends video, you know, except for the whole vampire theme.

 

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#56 - No
Little Mix

The British group now sing No after saying "yes" too many times in this song produced by Tre Jean-Marie and MNEK. This women's empowerment anthem fights oppression, the girls are tired of feeling scared to speak their truth and they couldn't care less if the others like it or not. In the music video for the second single off Between Us, we see the band changing the roles with their man-babies after they read the MAN-ual and find the way to pick the settings with which their men will start doing all the house chores.

 

 

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#55 - It Don't Matter
Alok, Sofi Tukker and INNA

DJ Alok teamed up with the duo Sofi Tukker and singer INNA for It Don't Matter, a deep house club banger co-produced with Lewis Hughes and OHYES. The lyrics compare the love interest to a catchy song stuck in one's head, "It don't matter where I'll go, it don't matter where I'll be. 'Cause you're always in my head like my favorite melody". The collaboration peaked at #27 on the US Hot Dance/Electronic songs chart.

 

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