2016 Future Mainstream Classics

Side To Side by Ariana Grande featuring Nicki Minaj[Image Credit: Side To Side Official Video]

2016 low-key slays.

There might not be an obvious instant classic like “Uptown Funk” or “Rolling In The Deep” this year, but there are plenty of slow-burners which warm into our hearts and demonstrate staying power.

And staying power is all what Future Mainstream Classics is about. In this fifth installment, seven songs are crowned. Find out which!

[For complete list of all songs STAMPED as Future Mainstream Classics, follow this Pinterest board.]

Justin Bieber – Love Yourself

The year it’s no longer uncool to like Justin Bieber. Who would’ve guessed one day he’d be crooning a beautiful song with a tasteful, stripped-down electric guitar arrangement? All those years of putting up with his annoyingly catchy tunes… finally JUSTIFIED.

Selena Gomez – Hands To Myself

Another coming-of-age from a former pop-royalty-in-training. Selena takes her experimentation up a notch, while knowing well her strengths and limits, showing that she’s completely IN THE ZONE. The crowning jewel of her self-exploration is this smokey R&B-pop jam.

Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna – This Is What You Came For

Unlike the duo’s last collaboration, this tune doesn’t hit you in the head right away. But just like how a good drug works, its pop mantra and hypnotic grooves slowly creep on you. All of a sudden, you’re hooked and you find yourself in a hopeless place.

Ariana Grande feat. Nicki Minaj – Side To Side

Young Ariana has been teasing us for years now, so when she finally dirrties it up with this reggae-ménage anthem, we’re more than ready to bop along.

Machine Gun Kelly & Camila Cabello – Bad Things

Literally a classic, “Bad Things” borrow directly from the immortal “Canon in D”, but the best part of the song is when Camila goes off the score and bend her notes to masterfully create dissonance amidst the harmonious chords.

Ariana Grande – Into You

2016’s best pop moment captures that very precious second just before all the heavy petting as your heart pulsates. It’s dangerous. It’s electric. It’s seductive. And it oozes with so much brilliance.

Okay… I know this one is not from 2016. But it’s the single most glaring omission from the original list I can’t believe I missed it!!! Time to give it its due:

P!nk – Who Knew

Grit. Pain. Vulnerability. This sleeper hit may have started as a slow-burner, but it continues to take on new meanings every year. Easily one of the most perfect sad-pop songs from the 2000s.

What are your favorite songs from 2016?

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