Life can be a quagmire of broken-down cars, bad bosses, heartbreaking playoff losses, and plain old heartbreak. Luke Combs knows this all to well, and lucky for us, the affable bar stool bard distilled it all down to a country-rock rager about the one thing that never let him down. Would Combs make a great beer pong partner? Probably, but when you’re out late and life suddenly gets stuck in your craw, the second best pick-me-up has got to be this Country Airplay chart-topper booming from the party speakers. -- C.P.
23. Selena Gomez, "Lose You to Love Me"
When life gives you lemons, turn them into a No. 1 song. That’s what Selena Gomez did when she and her dream team of co-writers, including Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter, chronicled what even casual spectators deduced was a reflection on the demise of her years-long, on-off relationship with Justin Bieber, in the heart-rending ballad “Lose You To Love Me.” Simple and sparse, the song starts with Gomez delicately singing, “You promised the world and I fell for it/ I put you first and you adored it,” over bare piano chords. The song swells -- with strings and layered vocals -- but never goes for the cheap pop explosion, and then it closes as quietly as it began, making it a bold first taste of Gomez’s upcoming album, SG2. -- C.W.
22. Swae Lee & Post Malone, "Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)"
Post Malone’s triumphant run in 2019 began in late 2018 when he fleshed out the summery bop “Sunflower,” alongside Rae Sremmurd breakout star Swae Lee. The sunkissed single beamed with warmth and buoyancy, as Posty and Swae proved to be resilient romantics: Though their lovers are “scared of the unknown," both men provide ample security to be safety nets in their relationships. The Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack hit went No. 1 on the Hot 100 in January this year, and in November, was nominated for record of the year and best pop/duo performance for the upcoming Grammys. -- C.L.
21. Taylor Swift, "Lover"
On the title track for her seventh album, Taylor Swift charms with a simple, unabashedly romantic song about the timeless love of a committed relationship, asking the object of her affection, “Have I known you twenty seconds or twenty years?” With its timeless theme and dreamy tempo, “Lover” encapsulates the endearing memories of one’s last first kiss, and speaks loudest in its whispers and lyrical mastery. At its heart, “Lover” is an unabashedly idealistic ballad, revealing vulnerabilities of the heart while celebrating the inside jokes and mundane moments that make up relationships -- once again demonstrating that when its comes to creating art from life’s experiences, Taylor Swift is in a class of her own. -- D.B.
20. Mustard & Migos, "Pure Water"