1. Selena Gomez, “Bad Liar”
Going back to Sugababes’ “Freak Like Me” many moons ago, I’ve always enjoyed pop music that deconstructs an existing piece of music and transforms it into something completely new. That’s exactly what Selena Gomez, songwriter Julia Michaels, and producer Justin Kirkpatrick do on the innovative and brilliant “Bad Liar”. Unlike so much American pop music, “Bad Liar” strips the song down to skeletal form, built solely around the bassline of Talking Heads’ classic “Psycho Killer”. The fact that they’re able to take a distinct sample from one of the most famous rock songs of the 1970s and create something new an almost unrecognizable is marvel to hear. Couple Gomez’s restrained singing and her coy, spoken word cadence, it made for a welcome dose of originality and inventiveness in a derivative and cookie-cutter pop landscape.