Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My favorite songs of 2013...

As I've said numerous times before, music is a huge part of my life. I listen to the radio whenever I'm in the car, I'm attached to my iPod when at the gym or on an airplane, and of course, I tend to find myself singing—a lot—whenever the opportunity allows. So, as I did last year, I've assembled a list of my top 20 favorite songs of the year (no small feat, this), and linked to a YouTube video for each.

While this list is in random order, my favorite song of the year is:

1. Same Love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Mary Lambert: In January of 2013, I wrote about how much this song moved me, and it still does, every time I hear it. I am grateful to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for bringing this message to mainstream radio. "I might not be the same, but that's not freedom 'til we're equal, damn right I support it."

2. The Wire by HAIM: I love so much about this song, and everything about this trio of sisters. This song has an awesome 70s-ish vibe mixed with a terrific hook. Check out their entire album.

3. Wake Me Up by Avicii: You cannot escape from this song on the radio these days, plus they're fond of playing it in spin classes at my gym. But you can't miss with a beat like this, or Aloe Blacc's uncredited vocals.

4. Beneath Your Beautiful by Labrinth feat. Emeli Sandé: This is a fantastic pairing of newcomer Labrinth and the sublime Emeli Sandé, whom I would let sing me anything she wanted to just to hear her voice. Plus I think the lyrics are far less insipid than so many other songs out there right now.

5. Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell & T.I.: Yeah, yeah, I know. The lyrics are misogynistic, and Robin Thicke might not be the most upstanding gentleman out there. But I haven't been able to get this song out of my head since I first heard it, although I have refrained from asking, "What rhymes with hug me?" Gotta love a song that has generated so many parodies.

6. Cups (Pitch Perfect's "When I'm Gone") by Anna Kendrick: I was a little late to discover the magic of Pitch Perfect, but I am no stranger to the appeal of Anna Kendrick. Makes me want to pick up some flip cups, or something.

7. Brave by Sara Bareilles: Another awesome song with a terrific message that took the airwaves by storm this year. I've been a fan of Sara Bareilles' for years, and I'm thrilled about her success, as well as the popularity of this song. Be brave.

8. Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars: Whether you think Bruno Mars is a spectacular talent or a Michael Jackson wannabe (and I definitely fall into the former camp), this song is almost guaranteed to make you start moving at least one part of your body. (Or at least do the refrain along with him. It's okay. I won't tell.)

9. Thrift Shop by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz: Hell, yeah. The song that single-handedly made thrift shops cool, plus an unbelievable hook. This is, indeed, f--king awesome.

10. Don't You Worry Child by Swedish House Mafia feat. John Martin: Yes, another song you can't get out of your head. But how can you hate on a song with a lyric like, "Don't you worry, don't you worry child, see heaven's got a plan for you"?

11. Feel This Moment by Pitbull feat. Christina Aguilera: Pitbull is another artist that some are hot and cold about. (Count me in the hot category.) And as much as I love the beat and the lyrics and Christina Aguilera, you know that being a child of the 80s, what I love more than anything is the hook from Take On Me. Whatev.

12. Best Song Ever by One Direction: Yeah, yeah, don't judge me. The video annoys me, but the song hooks me. Every. Freaking. Time.

13. Just Give Me a Reason by P!nk feat. Nate Ruess: They played the hell out of this song this summer, to the point where I had to change the station anytime I heard it (and there were at least a few times when every radio station in my presets was playing it simultaneously). But it's an amazing song. P!nk has never sounded better, and I'm a huge fan of Nate Ruess' voice.

14. Madness by Muse: I'm a big fan of all of Muse's music (say that five times fast), but the open refrain of this song hooks me every time.

15. Fare Thee Well (Dink's Song) by Oscar Isaac and Marcus Mumford: I loved the Coen Brothers' new movie, Inside Llewyn Davis, as I wrote in my review a week or so ago, and think this song from the movie is pretty mesmerizing. I've waxed poetically on the star quality of the film's star, Oscar Isaac, and Marcus Mumford is a musical genius.

16. Scream & Shout by feat. Britney Spears: This is one of the most played songs on my iPod for a few reasons. First of all, I usually put it on repeat when I'm on the elliptical machine, and second of all, it's and Britney (b--ch). 'Nuff said?

17. Can't Hold Us by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton: Clearly for me, this was the year of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, as you can tell from my list. Couldn't get this song out of my head, and how can you pass up a song that name drops Bob Barker, Cosby's sweaters, and Plinko?

18. Celeste by Ezra Vine: This may be one of a few songs on my list you've never heard of before, and I have one of my favorite blogs, kenneth in the (212) to thank for introducing me to it. Super catchy, no?

19. Best I Ever Had by Gavin DeGraw: Given how much of my life revolves around the gym recently, it seems only natural that I first heard of this song thanks to spin class. I've been a Gavin DeGraw fan since he first hit the music scene, but this is fun as well as creative and catchy.

20. Still Into You by Paramore: I never was that into Paramore's music, as I've found it a little shoutier than I usually like, but something about this song really resonates with me. Hayley Williams' vocals are on point here.

Honorable Mentions:
Closer by Tegan and Sara
Demons by Imagine Dragons
My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light 'Em Up) by Fall Out Boy
The Spark by Afrojack feat. Spree Wilson
Troublemaker by Olly Murs feat. Flo Rida
Treasure by Bruno Mars

Thoughts? What were your favorites this year?

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