The best songs we heard this year reflected a deep sense of collective need. For safety, for respect, for self-definition. For money or sex or revolution. Maybe we just hear what we crave, but on huge hits and semi-obscure album cuts alike, it seemed that musicians in 2017 were facing down eternity or the possibility of annihilation. Both Sylvan Esso and Jason Isbell linked love with death. Kendrick Lamar gave us his most tender song yet, as well as his harshest condemnation. Ibeyi and Kesha gave us righteous anger and forgiveness. Sharon Jones faced the end.