Pop music's best wasted no time getting into formation this year, with major releases from a galaxy of our brightest stars cluttering the calendar's opening months. But even with so many established huge names taking up space on the marquee, what really made the last twelve months in pop special was how they also found room for the lesser-known little guys; a Desiigner for every Drake, a Kiiara for every Kanye. Soundtracking a period of seemingly limitless real-world disagreement and strife, these artists big and small provided us with rare moments of much-needed unity, ones we all would've actually wanted to freeze time on. Here are the pop songs that pulled us closer in
It served as the album's lead single , released on February 6, through Parkwood Entertainment to critical acclaim. Critics praised its depiction of African-Americans not frequently seen in mainstream media; however, it received a polarizing response for its alleged anti-police stance, which the singer denied. The song was placed at number one on several critics' year-end lists, and in was named the greatest song of the decade s by several publications. This has always been a big part of her identity; it's not one that the mainstream focus is on. People talk about her not centering it. In , Essence  and Parade  named "Formation" the greatest song of the decade s. Consequence of Sound ,  Insider ,  and Tampa Bay Times  listed "Formation" as the third greatest song of the s. For Pitchfork  and Rolling Stone  it was the fourth best of the same period, while for Stereogum it was the 8th best,  and for NME , the 11th best. From over 35 outlets, global critic aggregator Acclaimed Music went on to rank "Formation" the 5th greatest song of the s. After the release of Lemonade , "Formation" set new peak positions on the charts.
American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift has released four video albums and has appeared in fifty-five music videos, five films and three television shows. From her eponymous debut studio album ,  she released music videos for the singles " Tim McGraw ", " Teardrops on My Guitar ", " Our Song ", and " Picture to Burn ", all directed by Trey Fanjoy and released from — During her acceptance speech, she was interrupted by rapper Kanye West , which sparked controversy and received much media attention. Swift's third studio album Speak Now spawned the single " Mine ",  whose music video was directed by herself and Roman White , who previously directed two of her videos. This was followed by " Back to December ", a video that laments the aftermath of a break-up, and " Mean ", which tells the story of bullying. Swift's fifth studio album produced the music videos for " Shake It Off " and " Blank Space ", in , with the latter becoming the fastest video to reach one billion views on Vevo ,   " Style ", " Bad Blood " and " Wildest Dreams ", in , " Out of the Woods " and " New Romantics ", in Ready for It?
The music video might never achieve its golden-age omnipresence again, but when done right, it could still be just as impactful. Over the decade to follow, countless artists would follow their examples, with music videos both casual and epic that managed to cut through the Internet's content overload and capture the national imagination like the Buzz Clips of yore. Here are of the biggest reasons why the music video feels in a far healthier place moving into the s than it did a decade ago -- with a YouTube playlist of all at the bottom. Kiesza, "Hideaway" dir. Canadian-born singer-songwriter Kiesza had a sadly brief cameo in the U. Chance the Rapper, "Same Drugs" dir. Jake Schreier, Adele, "Hello" dir. Xavier Dolan,