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Phil’s Top 100 Music Singles of 2013: #100 – #81

Over the past twelve months I have reviewed 752 singles and EPs on my weekly All-Noise single reviews column so hopefully that puts me in a good position to create a best of list for 2013, comprised not necessarily of songs that have sold the most or charted the best, but have been the most interesting, well produced and enjoyable songs of the year.

With over 500 downloaded, and a list whittled down first to my top 300 and now to my golden 100, here are my century of best songs from 2013. As always, please leave your comments about the choices and what you think are your favourites of the past twelve months.

So let’s kick it off with #100 – #81…

100. Biffy Clyro – ‘Biblical (Released: March, No. 70)’
They had a strong selection of releases from their latest album including ‘Black Chandelier’ and ‘Victory Over The Sun’, which both made my final 300, but it’s this driving forward second single which was their best of the year.
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99. Hot Natured feat. Anabel Englund – ‘Reverse Skydiving’ (Released: May, didn’t chart)
A low-key release but one that employs a great balance between some bouncy, unusual lyrics and a catchy rhythm. Very singable.
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98. Blondie feat. Beth Ditto – ‘A Rose By Any Name’ (Released: June, didn’t chart)
Taken from an album that has yet to be released (it’s due in March), this release proves that Blondie continue to make great music thirty plus years since their golden era. Combined with the great vocals of Ditto this was an underappreciated release.
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97. Caro Emerald – ‘Liquid Lunch’ (Released: May, No. 70)
Though ‘Tangled Up’ made my final 300, it’s this second single from her second album that grabbed my attention, mixing up a modern lyrical set about a drinking session with a listenable, funky retro sound.
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96. Dido – ‘No Freedom’ (Released: January, No. 51)
With ‘End of Night’ and ‘NYC’ also making my shortlist, it was this first cut from her latest album and then subsequent greatest hits that appears in the countdown, with its familiar Dido sound and gentle chorus winning over a new generation of fans as well as pleasing her old crowd.
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95. Bloc Party – Ratchet (Released: August, didn’t chart)
Returning to my favourite Bloc Party sound, set up in songs like ‘Hunting For Witches’ and ‘Flux’, this electronic number with a strong rough riff was their best single in years with a very clever video.
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94. Disclosure feat. AlunaGeorge – ‘White Noise’ (Released: February, No. 2)
The second single from their debut album, Disclosure’s ‘White Noise’ proves to be their best song, mainly thanks to the cute, memorable lyrics of Aluna Francis who headed up the great ‘Your Drums, Your Love’ in 2012 and a selection of other great tunes in 2013. ‘F For You’ also made my 300-strong shortlist.
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93. Muse – ‘Panic Station’ (Released: May, didn’t chart)
The fifth single from their latest album, this was the first song from the band that had grabbed my attention in a long time. Unique, camp and inspired by several Queen songs, this was an under-rated early summer hit that showed that Muse weren’t stuck in singing bland dark songs about space.
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92. Nina Nesbitt – ‘Way In The World’ (Released: July, No. 55)
With a new album out in spring 2014, this bouncy pop hit from Nesbitt set the mood back in July. With her sultry Scottish vocals making the record, it had a great memorable chorus. ‘Don’t Stop’ and ‘Stay Out’ were also in my final 300.
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91. Celine Dion – ‘Loved Me Back to Life’ (Released: September, No. 14)
Taken from an album of the same name, Celine Dion’s comeback single had everything in it that we love from her: catchy verses, powerful singable chorus and a very radio friendly feel.
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90. Boy George – ‘King of Everything’ (Released: September, didn’t chart)
Returning with a new album, this touching ballad proved George still had plenty of talent outside of Culture Club. A soaring emotional song with a hook-filled chorus, this deserved to get more publicity.
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89. Elton John – ‘Home Again’ (Released: July, No. 143)
You can always rely on Elton to create some great songs and ‘Home Again’ is no exception, a piano-led lyric-heavy ballad that pulls at the heart strings, and sounds as good as any of his huge ballads.
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88. 2 Chainz feat. Wiz Khalifa – ‘We Own It’ (Fast & Furious) (Released: June, No. 6)
Taken from the latest entry in the ‘Fast & Furious’ series, this feels like the best work that the two artists have done. Capturing the mood of the film well with a catchy, hard-hitting chorus, it’s interesting production holds it together.
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87. Tom Odell – ‘Another Love’ (Released: June, No. 10)
A touching piano-led ballad from Odell rode high in the charts in June, picking up the baton from Passenger’s song earlier in the year and making this the love song of the summer.
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86. James Blunt – ‘Bonfire Heart’ (Released: July, No. 4)
Presumably coming from a record label discussion where they felt there weren’t enough songs to play at firework parties, this is one of Blunt’s best numbers, ticking off the hallmarks of his songs but proving him to be still a great singer-songwriter.
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85. Frightened Rabbit – ‘The Woodpile’ (Released: August, didn’t chart)
Though it was originally the music video with a great twist that first hooked me in, the song soon showed its warm side, a smooth building number with an indie, but still catchy, chorus.
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84. Keane – ‘Higher Than the Sun’ (Released: September, didn’t chart)
Cut from their greatest hits, ‘Higher Than The Sun’ is very familiar Keane territory but when they have nailed such a warm, enjoyable style, why change?
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83. Arctic Monkeys – ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?’ (Released: August, No. 8)
2013 was a great year for the ‘Arctic Monkeys’ with their AM album spawning their best singles since their first two albums. With ‘Do I Wanna Know’ and ‘One For The Road’ also making my 300 shortlist, the dark bassy beat of this song and the chantable lyrics made this the best of their three releases.
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82. Avicii – ‘You Make Me’ (Released: August, No. 5)
Though it was ‘Wake Me Up’ with Aloe Blacc that scored high for Avicii, it was the raga-piano and helium vocals of ‘You Make Me’ that proved the best use of his familiar formula and wasn’t quite as over-played as ‘Wake Me Up’. With the Dan Tyminski featuring ‘Hey Brother’ also in my 300 shortlist, it was a good year for Avicii injecting some variety into a stale dance scene, though confined by a formula of his own.
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81. Bridgit Mendler – ‘Ready or Not’ (Released: March, No. 7)
A poppy number from the debut album of Disney actress Mendler, this got my foot tapping earlier in the year. Unashamedly poppy and catchy, a nice slice of cheesy pop.
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So what do you think of my choices so far? Let me know with your comments below. Back soon with my next twenty choices!