Selena Gomez – Bad Liar

Selena Gomez has long been the most sonically experimental of her generation of Disney alumni, an avant-gardist in a pop-star costume, and she proved it this year with “Bad Liar,” an electropop tune that’s deceptively sparse: It’s just Gomez’s whispery-sweet vocals over a sample of “Psycho Killer” by Talking Heads. The result is a retro-futuristic track that’s as catchy as it is unexpected, veering away from the traditional pop production and light EDM touches of her contemporaries. “I’m trying, I’m trying, I’m trying not to give in to you,” Gomez chants tenderly over a pared-down beat. The song wasn’t a hit, but the allure of her understated performance is unmistakable. She flits nimbly between rap-sung verses and featherweight vocal runs, giving this weird, delicate song an edge that made it too cool for the charts. Therefore we have it on number 6 of the top 10 songs of 2017.

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