19. Charli XCX, “1999”
Arguably the best pop songwriter of her generation, Charli XCX regained her stride in 2018 with a series of triumphant singles. Sure, “1999” makes folks like me feel super old; after all, we grew up hearing Prince anticipate 1999, and now a 20something artist is remembering her own childhood in 1999. But that feeling is fleeting, because Charli (and some guy called Troye Sivan) pulls off a wonderfully bubbly homage to a time when CDs sold by the tens of millions, TRL ruled the pop world, and there wasn’t the pervasive sense of dread in the world that we have today. Oh, and don’t miss the reference-laden video. It’s wonderful.