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The 12 Most Underrated Songs by Popular Artists

I take great pride in my music taste. I like to consider myself a miner, sifting through the soil and gravel to find gold in the form of new songs to share with my friends. One of the best ways to do this is by taking a popular artist and listening to their entire album. Chances are that if you enjoy listening to one song, you’ll find more you’ll like. Unfortunately, not everyone takes the time to appreciate the process. Luckily, you have me to guide you through.

Just to prove to you how important it is to listen to an album as a whole, I present to you a list of the most slept on songs by popular artists. These are the songs that would have fared well as singles, sometimes better than the ones that were actually released from an album.

1)   Miley Cyrus – Do My Thang

“Do My Thang” is really just iconic. The lyrics are great and it switches between this Bad B*tch rap vibe and a fun chorus worthy of your best karaoke night. It picks up momentum, then appropriately drops the beat in the transition to verses. There are so many quotable moments for your daily life, too. I probably sing “Stay in yo own lane, b*tch” to cars on average twice each morning. And despite overplay of “We Can’t Stop” and “Wrecking Ball,” honestly the whole album Bangerz is well… full of bangers.

2)   One Direction – Change Your Ticket

The controversy with this song is that it sounds so 1975-esque that some fans are wondering how they got away with it. Either way, I don’t really care if Harry Styles keeps crooning the lyrics, “Come get back in bed, we still got time left”. Not only is the song musically catchy as far as guitar riffs and drum beats, but there’s something about the way 1D begs us to “c’mon let me change your ticket home” that really just can’t be denied. They really just set the scene for a hotel room rendezvous (you’re welcome) during which they love you so much they want to financially support you and your decision to stay with them longer. Don’t fly out! They got paper! They’re willing to spend it on you and they want to cuddle! They’re telling you in song form! *Swoon*

3)   Taylor Swift – All You Had To Do Was Stay 

Okay, so we all know the actual most slept on Taylor Swift song is “All Too Well,” but she did play that once at the Grammys or something and since EVERYONE knows that and fights for justice, I chose one that’s slightly less familiar. My friends take issue with this song  because there’s some odd little “stay!” chants in the background that sound like they were squeezed from Alvin, Simon and Theodore as they were held hostage in a recording studio by Taylor Swift. Otherwise, though? That song is a jam. There’s this sort of odd timing to the lyrics that give them their own beat for emphasis. It’s fun to sing the words in such a staccato fashion and as per usual, the it’s a lyrical masterpiece. Simple enough to be relatable, yet well crafted enough to sound like poetry. “People like you always want back the love they push aside and people like me are gone forever when you say goodbye…”

4)   Rihanna – Fire Bomb

A song from the Rated R album, “Fire Bomb” is the track listed just before the hit Rude Boy. I’ll forgive you all for missing out on this one. “Fire Bomb” incorporates some rock elements that mix great with Rihanna’s voice. Everything just flows really well in that signature type of Rihanna way. Plus the song matter itself is about a girl wronged by a guy and the heartbroken revenge she fantasizes about taking. It’s sort of heart-wrenching, actually. “I just wanna set you on fire so I won’t have to burn alone, then you, then you’ll know where I’m coming from.”

5)   Beyoncé – XO

Why was this song not played on the radio repeatedly? I had to do all the work myself on this one, honestly. “XO” is such a simple song: no hidden message, no crazy riffs, no social justice (though those songs kill it, too, obviously). This song is just about a girl who loves a guy and wants to express it. She loves him like “XO,” guys. The first time I heard this song, I knew it was the one for me. It’s just so feel good you can’t help but want to dance!

6)   Ellie Goulding – Figure 8

The beauty of this song is how much it motivates you. You could slay a dragon to the tune of this song, or maybe just kill it in a workout. Really, the choice is up to you. But with some great electronic elements mixing with Goulding’s whimsical voice, there’s no way not to love this song. The bass-line is bumping and the tune’s catchy as hell. You’ll be adding this to all your workout playlists from here on out, I can nearly guarantee that.

7)   Ed Sheeran – You Need Me I Don’t Need You

I’ve had the privilege of seeing Ed Sheeran live a total of three times, and there’s a reason I keep coming back. Not only is he an incredible performer, but something overtakes him when it’s time to play this song. It’s staccato acoustic with quick-libbed lyrics and a self-motivating message. It’s a challenge to sing along to, but once you master it, no feeling in the world compares. The lyrics are clever, and the most impressive part may be that this ginger crooner can actually pull off a rap song.

8)    Katy Perry – Hummingbird Heartbeat

This song has been a favorite of mine for years. I admit that Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream album wasn’t exactly a masterpiece, but this was a diamond in the rough. Sure, the song is a not-so-subtle celebration of sex, but it’s just so damn catchy. This has been on all of my happy-go-lucky playlists since it was released and it’s a great feel-good song to bump around Valentine’s Day as well. Or anytime, truthfully.

9)    Sam Smith – Like I Can

I don’t know what it is about this song, but it just really hits me. It stands above the rest of Smith’s (incredible) album. While the rest of the album has slow, lamenting love that never was or never would be, “Like I Can” is upbeat and fun. Perfect for screaming the words to and re-enacting an angsty music video. Not that any of us have ever done that, though. Right?

10) Fall Out Boy – Alone Together

This song is fantastic to scream from the top of your lungs, lungs, lungs. From Save Rock and Roll, the song has classic FOB vibes mixed with their re-incarnated pop sound. It’s not only a banger, but a head banger.

11) Maroon 5 – Stutter

From the 2010 album Hands All Over, this song evokes strong feelings about red lipstick, leather jackets, and studded heels. I mean, Adam Levine just wants to be with me always,. How are you not supposed to take that to your ego? I used to start every morning by listening to this song during my sophomore year of high school  and I promise there wasn’t a single time I ever regretted it. If you need a pick me up or a boost before seeing that kid in your English class you’ve been crushing on, this is the jam for you.

12) Hozier – From Eden

While most of the other songs on this list have been upbeat and dance tunes, Hozier has always stood apart with his style of music. “From Eden” is no different in that aspect. It’s a musical representation of blue skies and warm weather. When I close my eyes and listen to this song, I see yellow. This song is yellow. This song is springtime: soft, bright, beautiful. If it makes you want to dance, it’s in a different way than the other songs on this list. Grab a loved one and twirl through the living room to this song together.

Hannah Strader graduated from the University of Kansas in December 2018 with a degree in journalism and creative writing. She has past experience as both a writer and editor for high school and collegiate level newspaper staff and spent the summer of 2017 in London working with Healthista, an online women's health magazine. Her passions include but are not limited to Harry Styles, Taco Bell, witchcraft and books. She has two cats and can recite all the U.S. presidents in order. She's proud to call herself a Her Campus alumni. Formerly the Editor in Chief, Senior Editor, and staff writer at Her Campus KU.
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