1. "Higher," Rihanna
Earlier this year, Rihanna told Vogue she recorded this song at 4 in the morning. You can tell: It has the hazy, careening quality life takes on after midnight but before dawn. A synthesis of old (those strings from producer No I.D.) and new (that tipsy-text vibe), "Higher" is unassuming and peculiar. On first listen, you might think the two-minute track ends right before it really gets going -- or you might think the vocals sound strained. But spend some time with it and the ANTI highlight reveals itself as a plea, an apology, and a confession. Like "I Want to Hold Your Hand" or "Let's Go Crazy," it's an invitation. Why not answer the call?