The Best Tracks of 2018, #16


16. Charli XCX, “Five in the Morning”

I normally cannot stand trap music – one of those hip-hop offshoots that is best left to children – and I was hugely, hugely disappointed when Lykke Li, an artist I have loved for the last decade, co-opted the style as the basis for a failed attempt at fashionable crossover. While Lykke Li sounded like she was chasing a trend, Charli XCX takes on trap on “Five in the Morning” and makes an otherwise repellent sound come across as genuinely inviting. As she sings, she’s going all in, and even though her character is on verge of crashing hard (“We on a roll, we don’t stop ’til the bottles all popped and the pills got me wasted”) this murky, crack-of-dawn song entices the listener to keep going along with her.