It was a great year for music. Here are our top songs including Olivia Rodrigo and the Beatles

A year that saw both The Beatles and the Rolling Stones return in a major way could be classified as unpredictable.

The continued emergence of Mexican music and K-pop meant wider mainstream visibility for Peso Pluma, Eslabon Armado, NewJeans and BTS' Jung Kook, demonstrating the continued evolution of the charts spurred by the smorgasbord provided by streaming services.

But it was also a year speckled with plenty of familiarity given the dominance of Taylor Swift, Morgan Wallen, SZA, Olivia Rodrigo and Miley Cyrus, who commanded large chunks of the No. 1 slots on the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200 album chart.

Despite the usual challenge of whittling a list of myriad songs heard throughout the year, here are 10 we haven't tired of yet.

The Beatles 'Now And Then'

This is it. The last unearthed demo that includes all four Beatles. The story behind the song is already well-trod: John Lennon wrote the piano ballad in the late-‘70s, his widow Yoko Ono handed the demo cassette to Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr in the mid-‘90s but even after some tinkering by the remaining Beatles the sound was too cruddy to salvage. Current audio technology – aided by “Get Back” documentarian Peter Jackson – solved that issue. The addition of an orchestral section, a slide guitar solo from McCartney and woven snippets of other Beatles songs (check out the harmonies from “Because” that swoop in near the end of the solo) culminate in a composition that is both simple and grand, wistful and hopeful and a fitting, emotional farewell.

Zach Bryan featuring Kacey Musgraves 'I Remember Everything'

Though it shares a title with a John Prine song, Bryan’s original ballad spotlights his robust, often wrenching, songwriting. The sparse ballad is a wincing conversation between a couple that, unsurprisingly, offers different perspectives. “Strange words come out of a grown man’s mouth when his mind’s broke,” Bryan laments, which is countered by Musgraves’ “You’re drinking everything to ease your mind, but when the hell are you gonna ease mine?” in her woozy cadence. Accompanied only by acoustic guitars and swelling strings, the duo shudders with intimacy.

Miley Cyrus 'Used to Be Young'

Though her “Endless Summer Vacation” album spawned the empowering “Flowers” and wry “Jaded,” this late addition tacked onto the digital version of the album unbuckles Cyrus’ emotional status with clear-eyed realism. Written at the end of her 20s, the lilting song finds Cyrus accepting that the freedom and naiveté of early adulthood are in the rearview (“you tell me time has done changed me/that’s fine, I’ve had a good run”). And regrets? She’s had a few. But, as she sings “those wasted nights are not wasted/I remember every one,” it’s a reminder that even the most cringe-worthy missteps help shape us.

Billie Eilish 'What Was I Made For?'

Metaphorically, Eilish is singing about the flaxen-haired beauty known as Barbie and the existential crisis she experiences in the “Barbie” film. Does Barbie remain in the utopia of doll world or brave the terrifyingly unknown among the humans? But really, Eilish’s words are directed at anyone trying to find their way. Her soft, whispery vocals are different from the lo-fi mumbling that has become her signature sound. Here, Eilish is not only contemplative, but downright sad (“When did it end? All the enjoyment”) as she winds through a maze of feelings.

Foo Fighters 'Rescued'

Most of the band’s 11th album, “But Here We Are,” thrums with an undercurrent of loss, propelled by the death in 2022 of Taylor Hawkins, the band’s drummer and one of frontman Dave Grohl’s closest friends. Singing phrases that emphasize the shock of unexpected death (“It came in a flash/it came out of nowhere”), Grohl sets the scene from inside his heart. A swarm of guitar and drums allow for catharsis, but then in typical Foo Fighters style, the song dips into a beautiful melody on its chorus, Grohl’s voice alternating between jagged rock yowling and honeyed singing. It is a tale of sound and fury, signifying everything.

Dua Lipa 'Houdini'

The first single from the British-Albanian superstar's upcoming third album – due in 2024 – is more groove-infested than previous radio hits thanks to a psychedelic pop dusting from co-writer Kevin Parker of Tame Impala. Lipa is flirty and playful as she warns, “catch me or I’ll go Houdini” over cascading synthesizers and an unrelenting beat. The song, she has said, “embodies that 4 a.m. feeling when the night is coming to a close and you’re a bit sweaty, but you don’t want the party to end.” No argument here.

Olivia Rodrigo 'Get Him Back!'

While much of the sophomore album (“Guts”) from the upstart pop princess lasers in on her vulnerability as she navigates massive fame, there is also plenty of snappy sass. As she half-raps about her headache of a relationship over a delectable, stomping beat, Rodrigo grows increasingly and gleefully spiteful. The double meaning in the song’s title – she hopes to reunite with an ex, but also, “I want to meet his mom just to tell her her son sucks” – is an indication of Rodrigo’s continued growth as a clever songwriter.

Bizarrap and Shakira 'BZRP Music Sessions #53'

The message is clear: Do. Not. Mess. With. Shakira. The Spanish song, crafted in collaboration with Argentine DJ Bizarrap, is a brutal takedown of Shakira’s ex Gerard Piqué, and a towering manifesto on female empowerment. Confident, brash and funny, Shakira unleashes the hissing lines “a she-wolf like me isn’t for rookies” – a nod both to her 2009 hit, “She Wolf” and Piqué’s former career as a renowned footballer – and “I was out of your league, that’s why you’re with someone just like you.” Shakira gets even more personal when she complains that her ex left her with his mother as her neighbor and “a debt with the Treasury.” Meow.

Taylor Swift featuring Ice Spice 'Karma'

At first listen, “Karma” isn’t the most musically intriguing song on Swift’s gazillion-selling “Midnights” album. But that slinky rhythm eventually intoxicates and, more importantly, Swift’s lyrics are a blissful blend of cutting, ominous and simple. “Karma is a cat purring in my lap because it loves me,” she sings sweetly, but then comes another bull's-eye of a bridge: “Ask me what I learned from all those years/ask me what I earned from all those tears/ask me why so many fade, but I’m still here,” her voice defiant on the last four words. As Ice Spice reminds us with a knowing wink, “Karma never gets lazy.”

SZA 'Kill Bill'

This year’s potential Grammy darling earned her first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with the year’s most titillating song. Over a sultry, head-nodding beat, SZA fantasizes “I might kill my ex, not the best idea” as the song shifts from a loping beat into a singsong chorus. It’s hip-hop meshed with R&B in a gloriously demented illusion that shimmers with cinematic depth.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Best songs of 2023 include Taylor Swift, SZA, Olivia Rodrigo