I’ve never written so much about so many songs.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a post solely on my top artists, so today I decided to write about the songs by them I could easily write essays on – their most underrated, which usually also happens to my favourite. It’s probably important to note that I’m not apart of all these artist’s fandoms. Sometimes I just like an album, sometimes I have a few songs I like from multiple albums. So it’s not guaranteed that I know exactly what songs are underrated, overrated or appropriately rated.
Lana Del Rey ~ Dark Paradise
Favourite lyric: And there’s no remedy for memory, your face is like a melody
I first heard this song the same time I discovered The Mariner’s Apartment Complex, so throughout December pretty much all I listened to was these two Lana Del Rey songs. Upon first listening to Dark Paradise, however, I wasn’t really acknowledging the meaning of the song, so I scanned the internet the other day to find that it wasn’t about an ex-boyfriend, it was about her boyfriend who died, according to insiders. I honestly don’t think I can listen to the delicate, emotional vocals of this song again without acknowledging the meaning and analysing the lyrics.
Lorde ~ Dominoes
Favourite lyric: I heard that you were doing yoga with Uma Thurman’s mother
Solar Power was possibly the most controversial album of 2021, with news sites like YardBarker claiming that Lorde traded ‘piano-beat pop theatrics’ with ‘nothing but chilled acoustic musings.’ Others, like The Dartmouth, labeled the album as a ’poetic reflection on fame and growing up.’ Personally I like the whole atmosphere of the album, and whilst not loving every song on the tracklist, have a good few songs that I listen to often – including Dominoes. Dominoes is the shortest song on the album, but seems to still tell an interesting story about a man who Lorde likes to expose throughout the song, saying he used to ’do the most cocaine’ of anyone she’d ever met.
One Direction ~ What A Feeling
Favourite lyric: When the air ran and we both started running wild, the sky fell down
Most of my friends and family know that I could recite One Direction’s discography upside down and back to front, so I know exactly what songs are overrated, underrated and somewhere in between. As a whole, I do believe the Made In The AM album is overlooked, and that there should have been more singles, What a feeling being one of them. The perfectly vocal synced melody gives you the same feeling that A Fleetwood Mac song does, which comes as no surprise as both Harry and Niall have claimed to be dedicated fans of the 70s British Pop-Rock group.
Lady Gaga ~ Babylon
Favourite lyric: We can party like it’s BC, with a pretty 16-century style
The ’perfect runway song’ is exactly how me and my cousin described this song, after dressing my lanky greyhound up in a scarf and sunglasses to walk him down my living room in a disorderly fashion. The light modernised Madonna sample of the Vogue bridge on the chorus is an amazing addition to the song, complimenting Gaga’s strong vocals nicely. The only mistake she happened to make on this song was to not make it a single and bring something new to the charts. From this I’ve concluded that Babylon is the Cruel Summer of Chromatica.
Taylor Swift ~ The Last Great American Dynasty
Favourite lyric: She stole his dog and dyed it key lime green
Speaking of Cruel Summer, here is another track that Taylor denied a top 10 place in the charts. Despite being on the tranquil Folk-Indie album Folklore, The Last Great American Dynasty seems to feel really fast, and it’s a challenge to keep up with the captivating storytelling skills Taylor displays through the lyrics. Although there are so many Taylor Swift songs and as an avid Swift ’listener’ and not a self-proclaimed ’Swiftie’ I wouldn’t know which tunes are underrated or overrated, let’s just say that I’ve noticed August and Betty to be Folklore fan favourites and barely see any love for The Last Great American Dynasty – which is clearly the second best on the album after Exile.
The Weeknd ~ Wanderlust
Favourite lyric: They’re in love with this idea of love, it’s a shame that they’ll believe it will come
Within the Xo community, Wanderlust is well known and not really a song I’d call underrated, but also not a song I’d call a fan favourite. In a chart-based perspective, Kissland, and Trilogy for that matter, is not successful and most people who have heard Blinding Lights wouldn’t know of the album, so Wanderlust is underrated in the way that more people need to hear the song! It’s one of those songs where I can’t find anything that needs improving, or adjusting. The Retro Disco sound feels vintage yet modern, dark yet enlightening. Don’t get me wrong, Belong To The World and Tears In The Rain have a similar feel, just not as strong.
Ariana Grande ~ Everytime
Favourite lyric: I keep giving people blank stares, I’m so different when you’re not there
Sweetener is the only Ariana Grande album I’m totally familiar with and is the reason she always makes it to my Spotify top 10, so it would only make sense to do a song from that album. It’s a constant battle between Blazed and Everytime as to which is my favourite track with Sweetener itself coming at a close second, but I decided for this article especially I would choose a song with no feature. Everytime has that addictive sound, particularly at the chorus, where it seems as if you’re expected to mumble along because it’s too hard to sing (it is for me at least). It also comes across as one of those songs that the artist came up with late at night and took to the studio the next morning. Whether that be Ariana or Pharrell who did that I don’t know.
Niall Horan ~ The Tide
Favourite lyric: Those brown eyes, crying in a crowded bar, every time we get this close, it’s always pulling us apart
Just like One Direction, Niall is another artist where I know his discography off by heart, and could give a detailed analysis of each song. This time I happen to be mentioning The Tide, which I feel is never really mentioned in the fandom. Truth to be told, Directioners aren’t exactly the most music-centred fans and they certainly have a tendency to talk a little more about what the members are getting up to and whether they are having a secret reunion than their solo music, but I can recall some fans talking about the upbeat, tuneful Heartbreak Weather or the slow, acoustic Flicker, whereas The Tide doesn’t seem to be massively popular, being somewhere in between musically. This metaphor-filled song has to be in my top 3 Flicker songs (along with On The Loose and Mirrors), and seems to have more similarities to Niall’s unreleased song Wasted than any other song on the album.
Dua Lipa ~ Boys Will Be Boys
Favourite lyric: I know you like this beat, ‘cause Jeff been doing the damn thing
Future Nostalgia had to be one of the most put together, advanced albums from 2020. Each song had its own sound, making the track list unskippable. In fact, I have never seen Disco and Pop blend so nicely together. On the other hand, I was absolutely gutted that Dua Lipa never had Future Nostalgia or Boys Will Be Boys as a lead single, as they have parallel messages. Boys Will Be Boys especially has that refreshing pop sound with delicate instruments used to showcase Dua’s vocals and the irony in her lyrics. Either way, I think this all-rounder astounding album will be hard to upstage and the time for Dua Lipa to release singles for a new album is just around the corner.
Lily Allen ~ The Fear
Favourite lyric: Now I’m not saint but I’m not a sinner, now everything is cool as long as I’m getting thinner
As you may have already noticed, The Fear is the only single on this list. In no way was this song underrated in the UK, landing a number one place not long after it’s release. Allen didn’t seem to crack the US market however, coming in at 80 on The Hot 100. Whilst it’s certainly an achievement to even make the The Hot 100, a song like The Fear with complex, societal lyrics and a fantastic melody deserved a lot more. Maybe the fact that this sarcastic masterpiece actually referenced modern American culture was what got in the way of it becoming the pop-track-that-was-a-little-different that it was in England.