Ballads From 2017 That’ll Give You Those Feels, Vol. 1 | Playlist
Need a good ballad in your life to give you those ‘feels,’ we have 10 of them on our ‘Ballads from 2017 That’ll Give You Those Feels’ playlist – Vol. 1.
There have been lots of stunning ballads released throughout the course of 2017. Ah, there’s nothing better than a big, ole, heartfelt song to give you those ‘feels.’ This playlist, comprised of 10 songs, highlights some of those beautiful ballads that make you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. Furthermore, some of them even give you the “goosies,” to quote Jennifer Lopez. Without further a duo, here are Ballads from 2017 That’ll Give You Those Feels, Vol. 1. We’re only scratching the surface.
1. Keyshia Cole, “Incapable”
Album: 11:11 Reset
Keyshia Cole delivers well-rounded, powerful lead vocals on “Incapable.” Perhaps the best way to describe the performance is as high-flying. One of her best attributes is her upper register, which thrills on the memorable chorus.
“Oh what, oh what a feeling / The one that I thought I needed / Was incapable, incapable of needing me back / Incapable, incapable of loving like that.”
Perhaps there are too many sections in regards to the form of the song, but ultimately, Cole gives too much of a thrilling, heartfelt, and impactful performance to ignore or over-criticize this gem. This is among the best songs from 11:11 Reset.
2. Sam Smith, “Too Good at Goodbyes”
Album: The Thrill of It All
Initially, Grammy-winning, British pop artist Sam Smith is accompanied by piano on “Too Good at Goodbyes.” One lonely chord precedes Smith’s vocal performance, commencing the record abruptly. Vocally, Smith sounds absolutely gorgeous. He has a unique tone, and his falsetto is brilliant. Smith excels at balladry, particularly in relation to love. “Too Good at Goodbyes,” hence, is no different in that regard. The verses are distinct of one another, yet written in similar fashion. A thoughtful refrain, follows both verses, in advance of the pre-chorus.
“I’m never gonna let you close to me / Even though you mean the most to me / ‘Cause every time I open up, it hurts.”
The pre-chorus intensifies the emotions, serving as a pivotal part of the record.
“And every time you hurt me, the less that I cry / And every time you leave me, the quicker these tears dry / And every time you walk out, the less I love you / Baby, we don’t stand a chance, it’s sad but it’s true.”
The production expands on the chorus, with backing vocals supporting Smith. By the end of the heartfelt record, he lets loose with the runs and emotion.
3. Kesha, “Praying”
Previous Playlist Appearance: 5 Songs Where Artists Went from Shallow to Personal
Kesha gave us all chills on “Praying,” the promo single for Rainbow. “Praying” marked her first departure – a stark contrast from her past work. A ballad, it’s clear from the jump she’s aiming for empowerment for herself, and others who’ve been in an unfortunate situation. By the end of the song, the powerhouse vocals are mind-blowing. Where has she been hiding this? The most surprising moment is when she nails a high F that no one – NO ONE – thought she could hit. Judging by the content, Dr. Luke is definitely in the doghouse.
“‘Cause you brought the flames and you put me through hell / I had to learn how to fight for myself / And we both know all the truth I could tell / I’ll just say this is I wish you farewell / I hope you’re somewhere prayin’, prayin’ / I hope your soul is changin’, changin’ / I hope you find your peace / Falling on your knees, prayin’.”
It should also be noted that Rainbow features numerous instances of Kesha ‘stepping up her game,’ opting for empowerment and thoughtfulness over gimmickry and silliness. Her “Tik Tok” days are over.
4. Demi Lovato, “Tell Me You Love Me”
Album: Tell Me You Love Me
“Tell Me You Love Me,” the title track from the album of the same title, features top-notch production work, particularly during the rousing chorus. Next come the voice, as Demi Lovato delivers a terrific performance filled with powerful, heartfelt, high notes. The verses capture your attention, while the chorus hits you right in the chest, face – everywhere. By the time you get to the final iteration, you personally want to tell Demi Lovato, “I love you.”
“Oh, tell me you love me / I need someone on days like this, I do / On days like this / Oh, tell me you love me / I need someone / On days like this, I do / On days like this / Oh, can you hear my heart say / Ooohhhh, ooh / No, you ain’t nobody ‘til you got somebody / You ain’t nobody ‘til you got somebody.”
5. Marvin Sapp, “Close”
Marvin Sapp showcases a beautiful vocal tone throughout the course of “Close,” the crowning achievement of his album of the same title. As the song progresses, the performance grows progressively more rousing, thanks to authentic, emotional lead vocals, backing choral vocals, and dynamic production. Gospel music is naturally filled with the spirit, meant to uplift its recipients, much like the minister at the church “fills up” the parishioners. “Close” packs the same punch, giving the listener the utmost hope and conviction to make it through life’s hardships and many tribulations. In that regard, “Close” is pitch perfect.
“I must be close to my destiny / Extremely close to my victory / ‘Cause here comes / Trials and troubles, jealousy and envy / I must be close to what You have for me / I must be close to my overflow / Extremely close to my miracle / Because here comes / Confusion, problems and enemies / I just believe / That I must be close to what You have for me.”
6. P!nk, “What About Us”
Album: Beautiful Trauma
As always, P!nk sounds top-notch on “What About Us,” the crowning achievement of Beautiful Trauma. Vocally, while she packs a punch, she also exhibits great control on this particular performance. The chorus is a major selling point:
“What about us? / What about all the times you said you had the answers? / What about us / What about all the broken happy ever afters? / What about us / What about all the plans that ended in disaster? / What about love? What about trust? / What about us?”
Interestingly, “What About Us” lacks some of the rock edge of some of her singles. Some may argue this scaling back of rock sensibilities is a con, but all in all, this sound works, giving the artists some modern pop flair.
7. Harry Styles, “Sign of the Times”
Album: Harry Styles
On “Sign of the Times,” Harry Styles impresses with his vocal tone, which is perfectly suited for this rock-pop ballad. As the song progresses, he lets loose, showing great vocal ability, checking off all boxes. Although ambitious at nearly six minutes, “Sign of the Times” is beautiful, conveying a serious message. The first verse tackles morbidity, while the second reflects on the ascent to heaven, transcending earthly pain. On the bridge, Styles places emphasis on the importance of openness as opposed to the devastation of covertness. On the golden chorus, there’s a sense of reaching heaven – escaping the times:
“Just stop your crying, it’s a sign of the times / We gotta get away from here…/ Just stop your crying, it’ll be alright / They told me that the end is near / We gotta get away from here.”
8. Sam Smith, “Pray”
Album: The Thrill of It All, 2017
“You won’t find me in church (no) reading the Bible (no) / I am still here and I’m still your disciple / I’m down on my knees, I’m beggin’ you, please / I’m broken, alone and afraid.”
As aforementioned, Sam Smith excels at balladry. On “Too Good at Goodbyes,” he focuses on the plight of love. On “Pray,” the second single from his sophomore album, The Thrill of it All, he shifts to religion. He expresses his skepticism towards religion, yet feels he needs to pray and try to believe in something.
“I’m young and I’m foolish, I’ve made bad decisions / I block out the news, turn my back on religion… / Lately, that shit ain’t been gettin’ me higher / I lift up my head and the world is on fire / There’s dread in my heart and fear in my bones / And I just don’t know what to say / Maybe I’ll pray…/ I have never believed in You, no / But I’m gonna pray.”
9. Demi Lovato, “You Don’t Do It for Me Anymore”
Album: Tell Me You Love Me, 2017
“I see the future without you / The hell was I doing in the past? / Now that I’ve learned all about you / A love just like ours wouldn’t last.”
“You Don’t Do It for Me Anymore” is the truer ballad than “Tell Me You Love Me.” The record gives Tell Me You Love Me another excellent moment. On the verse, Lovato showcases her lower register, before ascending to her powerful, cutting, upper register on the chorus. Her best vocal moment arrives on the final chorus of the song, where she nails a sick, high A-flat.
“I won’t fall for your games / So don’t hate me when I say / That you / Don’t do it for me anymore / No, you / Don’t do it for me anymore.”
10. Chris Young, “Where I Go When I Drink”
Album: Losing Sleep, 2017
Ballad “Where I Go When I Drink” ranks among the crème de la crème of Losing Sleep. It commences simply with piano accompaniment. Young showcases the sheer radiance of his baritone, with excellent vocal production further accentuating his instrument. Impressively, he never pushes his voice, singings easily, yet effectively. Also, worth noting, is the melody of this song, particularly the chorus, which is lovely. There’s a welcome change of pace on the bridge, that’s contextual; it maintains the balanced and brief nature of Losing Sleep.