Some key things to think about when discussing this year in music. Happy by Pharrell Williams was Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 5 weeks. This is by no means a record but weirdly this was a bit of a theme this year. Any song that got to number one took over so completely and stayed for so long that there were only 11 number one single this year. Here to help us remember those top songs is the wonderfully adorable ‘Us the Duo” with their roundup of the year in music.
The songs I am about to list are not the 11 number ones in question but a selection of my favourite chart hits of 2014. For a song to qualify it music have made the billboard Hot 100 list at any number in 2014.
N.B. These songs are in my opinion, the 14 greatest songs that made it in to the billboard Hot 100 at any stage this year. This does not mean that I believe they are the best song released this year. That is next weeks blog.
Its going to be amazing.
- Bang Bang- Jessie J
From that clapping intro this song is a stomper. Anything that samples ‘Wham” is going to get my attention and with three of the biggest stars in pop howling it out together. This is the best pop collab since Lady Marmalade.
- Rather Be- Clean Bandit ft Jess Glynne
Though I was a bit irked by this song at first. Too polished, sounded strikingly familiar to the bridge of Emeli Sande’s Next To Me. The more I reviewed the yer in music for this post the more this song kept popping into my head. The layering is quality, the vocals are stunning and not autotuned to shit, which is a relief. All around uplifting, good track.
- All about That Bass- Meghan Trainor
Massive caveat: I do not agree with many of the lyrics in this song. Ok so on the surface this is a positive song which rails against standard ideas of beauty for women and obviously that it terrific. However there are a number of issue with the lyrics of this song, womens bodies are not ‘better’ because they have curves, or skinny or any particular. Womens bodies are brilliant regardless of how they look. A best implies a worst and that’s bullshit. Bodies are like snowflakes and everyone is a ride to someone.
Now: to the song. This is an incredible little pop song. Its tight, it has flow. It is bouncy and fun and I adore it,
- Shake It Off- Taylor Swift
I feel like this was Taylor Swifts year. I tried to avoid her for ages out of music snobbery but this new popstar fun loving Swift is brilliant. Her self awareness and confidence is so joyful. You do you Taylor.
- Fancy – Iggy Azalea
As my wonderful partner would say “There is nothing subversive about you being FANCY Iggy you are a privileged white girl from Australia”.
This is the most astute reading of this song I have ever hear and I cannot add anything more constructive to it. However, I will defend this unbelievable TUNE. From the intro of that synth line totally hooked.
- Happy – Pharrell
By now I am completely absolutely sick of this song, but considering its dominance of pop culture this year and also how much I liked it when I heard it first, it had to be included. It is also refreshing to see that there is another side to the man behind the most date-rapey misogynic piece of piss music from last year. Still would let him date my daughter, but in misogynist im going to ignore the underlying issues by being charming and encouraging women to smile.
I see through your shit Sir.
- Let it Go – Idina Menzel (Adele Dazem)
Idina Menzel was amazing in Wicked wasn’t she, do you think we could re-write the music from that but for kids? –some grown-up at Disney.
Yes, Lets do that, and make millions! Ta-dah!
That’s not a criticism. I love Wicked, I love Frozen, I love self actualization and empowerment and acceptance. It’s a winning formula.
- Everything is Awesome – Tegan and Sara.
Ok so the last few song choices have maybe been frustratingly positive, however I promise I am also currently writing a ‘total shit songs of 2014’ for all you cynics out there. But for the moment ‘EVERYTHING IS AWESOME”.
The verses here that Lonely Island provided are loads of funny and really silly and sure lets just embrace the madness.
- Magic- Coldplay.
I never really liked Coldplay but this song really caught me this year. I think if I was going through a break-up this would be the first song I would be playing on repeat. Its so gorgeous and pining. There is so much love in this.
- Do I Wanna Know? _Arctic Monkeys
Well look who grew up and still have their fingers on the pulse. Arctic Monkeys have always been so clever about the way they craft their sings and this is no different. The unusual rhythm and poetic pattern that made their first album so unique is back to life in this song, with run on lines and beats that stop you in your tracks.
- Boom Clap -Charli XCX
After writing “I Love IT” with Icona POP and featuring on “Fancy” by Iggy Azeala it was only a matter of time that Charli XCX punched her way into our heart. This song is destined to stick in many peoples mind long after 2014 as it was featured in the insanely popular emotional manipulation machine that is The Fault in our Stars. No doubt its legion of fans will keep this song on life support for many months to come.
- Take Me To Church – Hozier.
Re-appropriating someone else’s struggle for your own notoriety, who is this guy Macklemore?
As a big queer, I fairly obviously take issue with this. However, as a now lapsed Irish catholic homosexual I guess I empathize with the sense of this song and it’s a nice little fuck you that I can scream along to in the shower, so fuck it. Fire away there Hozier, though maybe chill out on the gay bashing in the video, it scares kids back into the closet and can be really detrimental to their emotional health. Best of luck with the career though sweetheart, you have a lovely auld voice on ya.
- The Hanging Tree- Jennifer Lawrence (written by Lumineers)
This eerie little ditty is from the latest installment of the Hunger Games, a surprisingly watchable dystopian childrens movie. The song and lyrics are apparently in the book with music provided for the film by the Lumineers. This will no doubt be a hit (she says crossing her fingers and waiting for time to prove her wrong).
It is a creepy compelling tune. In the narrative of the book, from my understanding, it is a banned folk song. I like that it sound like that in execution. It sounds old and time warn and the tune is catchy and bleak. Congrats movie, you win at songs!
- Uptown Funk- Bruno Mars (Mark Ronson)
Do you remember in 2008 when Mark Ronson ruled everything. He had this crazy Pharell Williams-esque musicial Midas touch. Anyway, I really hope that this is the signal of his return to the top. This song (highly recommend by my awesome housemate Matt) is the bitches tits.
It bursts into action, I’m half expecting someone to scream BRICKHOUSE!
It sounds like the real deal some light but still rocking it Funk but with a little accessible pop buzz to get it in the door of 2014. I really enjoy this tune.
So that is it really. These are my favourite CHART songs of 2014. Soon to come are “the 14 Worst Chart songs of ‘14” and also ‘ the Best Songs of ‘14”.
Please follow me on twitter and spotify @greenissac.
Hope your year was fabulous and full of music.