There are singles-artists, who have smash hit songs followed up with an album of mostly-forgettable tracks that they will never perform again once that album cycle is over (cough… Rihanna… cough cough.)
Then there are album-artists, whose records deserve to be listened to as a complete body of work, not just a few standout tracks.
Taylor is an album queen, which is why it’s so hard to skip songs on the masterpiece that is 1989. I’ve cut three tracks that are forgettable in the context of the album. That’s not to say they’re bad songs, but next to tracks like Style and Blank Space, they just don’t measure up.
Songs cut: All You Had To Do Was Stay, I Wish You Would, and How You Get The Girl.
Best song: Out Of The Woods.
Dua Lipa’s album has been a LONG time coming, with Be The One being released back in October 2015. Since then, Dua (or more accurately her record execs) released single after single but it wasn’t until her smash New Rules dropped in July 2017 that they felt confident to release the album.
The resulting record is a strong collection of singles with a few buffer tracks thrown in. Check it out above!
Songs cut: Genesis, Garden, No Goodbyes, and Homesick.
Best song: I got New Rules, I count ’em.
It was on the release of ARTPOP that critics really turned on Lady Gaga, but she has made a quality album here. We can cut six forgettable tracks to leave a solid nine-track record.
Best song: Do What U Want
Songs cut: Jewels N’Drugs, ARTPOP, Donatella, Fashion!, Mary Jane Holland, and Dope.
Mind of Mine is a moody, sexy masterpiece from start to finish. Zayn surprised everyone when he came out with such a well-defined new direction. As of May 2018, none of his old bandmates have matched Zayn’s efforts.
Songs Cut: Intermission: Flower and Fool For You (which is cheesy enough to be on a One Direction record.)
Best song: Like I Would
Justin Bieber made an excellent return to music and pretty much dominated the charts for all of 2015. With these 11 tracks, the album is a pop masterpiece. You won’t be missing out by skipping the seven cut songs below.
Songs cut: No Pressure and Purpose would be more at home on Justin’s first album. Also removed: The Feeling, Life Is Worth Living, Been You, Get Used To It, and Trust.
Best song: Sorry (or is that just because of the video?)
Britney’s team made her a damn good album with a bunch of disappointing filler tracks. If she had released the cut version above, it would have been a 10/10.
Songs cut: Make Me… is a much too safe choice for a single, especially when there are so many more interesting choices. Also removed: Man On The Moon, Love Me Down, Hard To Forget Ya, What You Need, Better, Coupure Èlectrique.
Best song: If I’m Dancing
Fuckin’ bangerz! Miley comes through with a proper I-don’t-give-a-fuck album—what the ‘Can’t Be Tamed’ era was supposed to be.
Songs cut: My Darlin’ (I’m sorry but Future and Stand By Me just don’t mix). Love Money Party is quite annoying. Drive is nice but there are other songs on the record that do the same thing only better. Rooting for My Baby would be more at home on the Younger Now album. Also Hands in the Air.
Best song: SMS (Bangerz) is so absurdly amazing that you must listen to it three times.
A solid effort from Taylor, with 12 out of 15 songs making the cut here.
Songs nixed: The songs Gorgeous and This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things are both nice songs, but I found myself skipping them on every listen. New Year’s Day is a pleasant piano ballad, but the album finishes much stronger with the romantic slow jam Call It What You Want.
Best song: Delicate