You know I couldn’t just write about 52 songs again, right? 60 seemed about right and I honestly could have picked at least a hundred tracks, but I had to be semi-reasonable. As always, this list is 1000% subjective and representative of the top 60 songs I couldn’t get enough of in 2014. Here we go.
60. Michael Jackson – Place With No Name
I don’t typically love posthumous releases (Biggie Duets anyone?), but the Stargate-produced jam captures MJ’s enthusiasm and sounds relevant in today’s pop landscape. That bass line will get ‘cha.
59. The Griswolds – Beware The Dog
I’m always a fan of ways in which artists can make unhappy events seem not so depressing. Aussie outfit the Griswolds made sure their epic break-up anthem was as catchy and sunny as possible.
58. Weezer – Back To the Shack
Rivers Cuomo and co. deserved plenty of eye rolls after pop experiments and, well, all of Raditude. However, I think new and old fans of Weezer can agree, the guys came back with a vengeance on Everything Will Be Alright In The End and the guitar-wielding fun of “Back To The Shack”.
57. Lana Del Rey – Brooklyn Baby
Lana had many excellent moments on Ultraviolence, but managed comical and musical heights on “Brooklyn Baby”. Whether intentional or not, her details of feathers in her hair, beat poetry and guitar strumming boyfriend were satirical and the hook was impossible to ignore.
56. Ed Sheeran – Don’t
I wasn’t very familiar with Sheeran aside from “A-Team”, but his sophomore album x was for more interesting with hits like “Sing” and of course, “Don’t”. The cheater anthem features an inescapable Benny Blanco/Rick Rubin beat and Sheeran’s rapid-fire lyrics that would make anyone get over such heartbreak.
55. Calvin Harris ft HAIM – Pray To God
I’m not a Calvin Harris hater by any means, but the best part about “Pray To God” is that it sounds like more of a HAIM track than a Harris dancefloor beater. Harris’ trademark bass and keys make appearances, but he mostly lets the sisters HAIM do their thing: harmonize and drop amenable driving guitar rhythms.
54. SBTRKT – Temporary View ft Sampha
Singer/songwriter Sampha has the potential to steal any song he guests on (see Drake’s “Too Much”), so producer SBTRKT took the smart route and let him handle the vocals. Sampha shines is soaring fashion, but SBTRKT’s stellar future&B production cascades with buzzy keys, bass and other intergalactic sounds.
53. The Kooks-Bad Habit
I essentially knew I loved “Bad Habit” as soon as “ooh ooh ooh’s” started. Then came the handclaps. After that came Luke Pritchard’s instantly recognizable vocals. Then the rolling percussion. And finally the see-saw guitar riffs and euphoric tamborine. Essentially all the elements to reel me in from the get-go.
52. Chromeo – Jealous (I Ain’t Wit It)
Despite the poorly chosen title, White Women had hits galore and a near-perfect marketing campaign. In the end, “Jealous (I Ain’t Wit It)” was the pop gem that finally pushed Chromeo to the mainstream with a home-run hook, nostalgic perfection and trademark charm.
51. Snakehips-Days Without You
Snakehips’ remixes were in constant rotation for me all year, but his original “Days Without You” was the most replay worthy. Sinead Harnett’s airy vocals were perfect for the breezy, beach-ready production.