The xx's third album I See You dives deeper into the club than the trio ever has before. Electronic backbone Jamie xx took more of the reigns in the creative process, and the result is languid, extraordinary and honest music good enough for crying and dancing both. As a whole, the LP works through the band members' personal issues as life-long best friends who found themselves in the spotlight before graduating high school. “Say Something Loving” in particular is a beautiful moment of vulnerability featuring a thoughtful vocal sample from the Alessi Brothers' 1976 song “Do You Feel It (Reprise).” -- K.B.
24. Selena Gomez & Marshmello, "Wolves"
"Wolves" is one of several hits in the electronic space this year co-written by Andrew Watt (watt), whose tracks easily meld guitar pop and dance music. He provides the plaintive, finger-picked intro, and Marshmello inserts himself during the shrewd hook: The building waves of electronic handclaps suggest that this song is about to lift off, but instead of flooring it, Marshmello pushes the hook forward in half-time, which is wonderfully disorienting. Gomez is endlessly adaptable, pleading next to watt's delicate filigree and smearing long exhales on top of Marshmello's beat. "There's ways to use the guitar that make you feel something classic that you love, but you mix it with 808s and drums in ways that make it fresh," watt told Billboard. "A lot of people love that drop." Sure enough, "Wolves" reached No. 1 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs last month. -- E.L.
23. Hailee Steinfeld, & Alesso feat. Florida Georgia Line & watt, "Let Me Go"
"Let Me Go" is one of the year's boldest cross-genre collaborations, a collision of dance music, country and pop. If that sounds strange on paper, don't tell Andrew Watt, who also co-wrote this record. "I want to hear a song with Alesso and Florida Georgia Line and Hailee Steinfeld," Watt told Billboard. "That's something so different to me, and it's never been done before: An EDM super-producer, a pop star and a country act on a record together. We know how to make these records events." So Steinfeld and Florida Georgia Line trade lines about romantic frustration, gliding over gentle guitars, a tropical house-inflected trill, rat-a-tat hi-hats and a chorus of shouting kids. Make sure you make it all the way to the end, where Steinfeld lets loose what watt called "the best vocal of her career thus far." "Listen to how she's singing that last chorus with just the guitars," he added. "I get chills when I think about that moment in the studio." -- E.L.
22. DJ Snake feat. Lauv, "A Different Way"
Lauv tries to assuage his partner's fears in "A Different Way," skipping over plinking drums with a cadence reminiscent of Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You. (No coincidence, as Sheeran and his "Shape of You" co-writer Steve Mac worked on this track.) "I will come running when you call my name," Lauv assures his lover. "Even a broken heart can beat again/ Forget about the one who caused you pain." A sudden interjection of dancehall energy offers optimism — maybe starting over is possible, and these two can wipe the slate clean and move on unencumbered by the past. But if you listen to Snake's next single, the melancholy "Broken Summer," you guess how the story ends: History tends to repeat itself. -- E.L.
21. Robin Schulz feat. James Blunt, "OK"