With no new album and only one or two singles from his last sent to urban radio 2014 was a quiet year for Drake. Or it would have been if 0 To 100/The Catch Up didn’t become the sleeper rap hit of the year. A song with two definite halves Drake exudes confidence for the opening, but suddenly goes introspective for the second half. It’s a showcase of everything that he’s mastered in the last 5 years and a track I’m yet to get tired of. Drake and 40 are a killer team and this has fast become one of my favourite songs by them.
I must admit I’m very skeptical when it comes to new Girl Groups. The problem is that most of them are pretty bad. For every Little Mix you have a Parade. For every Girls Aloud you have a Girls Can’t Catch. For every The Saturdays on record you have The Saturdays performing live (Okay that one was a bit mean). What I’m saying is that not all girl groups can cut it and after some failed attempts at hits I thought G.R.L. were the same. Ugly Heart changed my mind. Here was a song that stood way ahead of just about everything else girl groups released in 2014. It’s sad that the tragic circumstances that followed its release have led to Ugly Heart becoming a bittersweet success, as this could have been the start of something truly great for the upcoming group.
Yes everyone. I’ve included a song from a TV show on my end of year list. 2014 was the year that Nashville hit its musical peak, both DPDOMGJY and Black Roses brought incredible moments of TV, but I’ve opted for the Juliette Barnes hit here. The lines blurred so much on Nashville this year that I feel like Juliette’s storming performance at the Oprey was a real thing that happened. She really accepted an award to hit back at her haters. She really debuted her new song with current boyfriend Avery Barkley to stunned faces. It was one of the best moments of 2014. I can hear you shouting ‘But Sam, that’s not real, it’s only a TV show’. To those people I say ‘It’s gonna take more than that to pull me under’ while I stomp around my house to the #1 country hit that never was, Don’t Put Dirt On My Grave Just Yet.
‘IIIIIIIII’M GONNA SWIIIIIINNNNG FROM THE CHANDEELLLLIIEEERRRRRR’ What a chorus.
Ghost is a big deal. You only need to hear the song to know that it’s a big deal. This is the moment where an X Factor ‘loser’ becomes so much more than the show itself. Even on its own, this is a massive Ryan Tedder hit worthy of comparison to tracks like Halo and Bleeding Love. With someone like Ella Henderson singing it though it becomes much more. This is current, it’s original, it’s epic, it’s one of the best songs the X Factor has ever seen so is it any wonder it was EVERYWHERE in 2014?
Calvin+Ellie=Pop gold. We knew it back in 2012 when I Need Your Love debuted and 2 years later we know it’s true with Outside. I love that this isn’t a complete retread of that other collaboration, the strings really add something to make this not just another Calvin banger. These two know their way around a pop hit and Outside is no exception.
YES. I can hear the groans. I quite like* this song by Ed Sheeran, can we leave it at that please?
(*I absolutely love this song. I can often be found singing the chorus to myself down the road on my way home from work.)
‘Of course sometimes shit goes down when there’s a billion dollars on an elevator’ Beyoncé managed the impossible in 2014. After destroying the internet when she ‘Beyoncé’d’ her album about this time last year I thought 2014 would hold no more surprises. When a remix of standout track Flawless appeared online with Nicki Minaj it achieved near enough the same level of attention, despite feeling so much more organic. The single cover art explains exactly what makes this remix so special, selfies the two sent to each other stuck together to create something personal yet effortless. Nicki swerves in halfway through, still leaving enough room for Bey to deliver the rap verse of her career.
Another year, another Lady Antebellum single at the top of my ‘Most Played’ list for the year. Bartender is a TUNE. It’s literally just a song about going out for a drink and a dance to get over an ex lover, but that’s really all you need from a Lady A record isn’t it? Hilary owns it on Bartender, even more so than on last year’s Downtown, you can hear her strutting around the stage on the chorus, the amazing bridge into the final chorus kicking you right between the teeth. I love Lady Antebellum, possibly more than any other artist on this list and Bartender was definitely one of my highlights of the year.
Wrong Club was the Get Lucky of 2014 and none of you bought it. It’s as catchy as the Pharrell/Daft Punk hit but it manages to feel so much more personal. Everyone has felt like they’ve been in the wrong club, listening to shit music; literally or metaphorically no less. Something just clicked with me and Wrong Club a standout single from an act I thought were long gone. I doubt anybody predicted that The Ting Tings would release the massive disco tune of 2014.
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