Best Songs of 2014… So Far (Part 2)
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It’s now time for the second part of my top 50 songs of 2014 countdown – see part one here.
25) Röyksopp & Robyn – ‘Do It Again’
Released: 28th April 2014 Charted: #75
A collaboration that no one was expecting, this is the best song in Robyn’s back catalogue and the most surprising from the usual laid back Röyksopp but it’s a great singable number.
24) Pixie Lott – ‘Nasty’
Released: 7th May 2014 Charted: #9
Originally recorded by Christina Aguilera in 2010 but not released due to sample clearance issues, it finally appeared from Lott in 2014. It might be over-sexualised but the spelling of the title and general vibe – thanks to that sample – hook you in.
23) 5 Seconds Of Summer – ‘She Looks So Perfect’
Released: 21st February 2014 Charted: #1
With another couple of good singles under their belts, it was this debut from the Australian boy band that brought them into the big time, and it’s still as catchy four months on.
22) American Authors – ‘Best Day Of My Life’
Released: 29th April 2014 Charted: #17
Having a delayed journey to these shores, this feels like an instant classic with a real rip-roaring chorus.
21) Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne – ‘Rather Be’
Released: 17th January 2014 Charted: #1
The song that shot the group to fame, this is a good summary of everything that makes the band interesting. ‘Rather Be’ was a solid start to a new year of music.
20) Maximo Park – ‘Leave This Island’
Released: 5th January 2014 Charted: N/A
The Geordie indie band returned this year and though the album was so-so, this emotional single release was as just as good as any of their more heartfelt numbers.
19) Klaxons – ‘There Is No Other Time’
Released: 16th January 2014 Charted: #42
Speaking of returning indie bands, this stormer from Klaxons was a change in direction for them but a welcome one.
18) Arctic Monkeys – ‘Snap Out Of It’
Released: 9th June 2014 Charted: #82
It’s not often the sixth single from an album is still a good one, but here is a rule breaker. It might not have troubled the charts but musically its chorus is a real plus.
17) Jacqui Abbott and Paul Heaton – ‘D.I.Y’
Released: 20th March 2014 Charted: #75
The former Beautiful South singers teamed up this year for this classic sounding pop number.
16) Matt Cardle – ‘Hit My Heart’
Released: 6th April 2014 Charted: #20 (Indies)
Proving that some reality discoveries can find musicality after they escape the shackles of the show, this is the third great pop song in a row for Cardle.
15) Kylie Minogue – ‘I Was Gonna Cancel’
Released: 22nd April 2014 Charted: #59
Though struggling in the charts, this is Kylie at her poppy best and deserved to have more uptake than this.
14) Shaka Ponk – ‘Wanna Get Free’
Released: 16th January 2014 Charted: N/A
Though the song is as eccentric as the video, this eclectic song with its video game feeling, production trickery and heavy guitars, just wins with its madness.
13) Grouplove – ‘Ways To Go’
Released: 9th February 2014 Charted: N/A
Though its slow opening means the song takes a while to get going, you’ll soon learn why as it’s a well-timed juxtaposition to the poppy chorus and almost rap-like post-chorus. Very catchy. And the video’s hilarious.
12) Cruzmatik feat. Cait La Dee – ‘#Godzilla’
Released: 17th June 2014 Charted: N/A
With a great balance of rap, rnb and a poppy chorus, this very quickly catchy. From the memorable chorus to the ‘going, going, gone’ hook, this has many highlights.
11) Zedd feat. Hayley Williams from Paramore – ‘Stay The Night’
Released: 19th February 2014 Charted: #2
Though the way Hayley is credited on the record suggests that they’re playing on the Paramore audience buying it, they needn’t have worried, as this indie-dance number is solid enough to stand on its own two feet.
10) Tinie Tempah feat. Labrinth – ‘Lover Not A Fighter’
Released: 2nd February 2014 Charted: #16
Tinie Tempah is always at his best when he works with producer Labrinth, and this is no exception. Feeling like ‘Earthquake’ part two, its Daft Punk influences are obvious and there’s still enough production tricks left in Labrinth’s bag to pull this one off.
9) Vance Joy – ‘Riptide’
Released: 19th January 2014 Charted: #10
With a feeling of the Avalanches at times, this song is as catchy as the video is inspired. You won’t be able to stop singing along to this.
8) Gary Barlow and Elton John – ‘Face To Face’
Released: 20th January 2014 Charted: #69
I’m still not sure how a song featuring two musical heavyweights like this can miss the top forty, but still it’s a cracking fast-paced pop song that begs to be on a karaoke setlist.
7) Crystal Fighters – ‘Love Natural (Radio Edit)’
Released: 5th January 2014 Charted: N/A
Here’s the possible definition of a sunny, positive, up-beat number. If this doesn’t feel like summer, I don’t know what will.
6) Foxes – ‘Let Go for Tonight’
Released: 23rd February 2014 Charted: #7
With ‘Holding Onto Heaven’ a contender for the top fifty, it’s up to her second single to give her some presence here. A perfect slice of pop, this was a great start for Louisa Allen’s 2014 with a Doctor Who appearance coming soon too!
5) Pitbull feat. Ke$ha – ‘Timber’
Released: 29th December 2013 Charted: #1
Though it sort of pains me to put a Pitbull song so high up, especially one that plays on so much casual sexism, but you can’t deny it’s a catchy, singable track that kicked off 2014 on the radio.
4) Rita Ora – ‘I Will Never Let You Down’
Released: 31st March 2014 Charted: #1
Finally Rita Ora released a song that was much more radio-friendly than her previous singles. The electronic riff and the build-up as the song heads up the chorus, as well as the pseudo-guitar of the chorus, work in its favour. A great tune.
3) Katy B – ‘Crying for No Reason’
Released: 26th January 2014 Charted: #5
After the tonally different but just as great 5am of 2013, Katy B came back with this touching, well produced, strong ballad. Musically and lyrically poignant.
2) Kaiser Chiefs – ‘Bows & Arrows’
Released: 31st March 2014 Charted: N/A
Released as the pre-cursor to their new album, ‘Bows and Arrows’ proved that the band could survive losing their main songwriter and still come back with a darker, less commercial but no less great single.
1) Chromeo – ‘Jealous (I Ain’t With It)’
Released: 4th March 2014 Charted: N/A
If there’s one song that has summed up the first half of the year it’s this funky number from the Canadian duo. The music, lyrics and singing all come together to create a catchy, singable number that doesn’t grow old.
So, what do you think of my top fifty? Any that I should have included, or songs that are too high or too low? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section!
- Single Review: “Time of Our Lives” by Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo (Nov 13, 2014)
- Single Review: “Grateful” by Rita Ora (Oct 23, 2014)
- Pitbull to host American Music Awards 2014 (Oct 21, 2014)
- Watch: Arctic Monkeys cover Tame Impala’s ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’ (Oct 5, 2014)
- Single Review: “Real Love” by Clean Bandit & Jess Glynne (Oct 1, 2014)