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Year-End List 2014: 25 Songs

In 2014, it was all about the booty, and that bass, and that anaconda, who preferred the buns, hun. We had one less problem, we claimed to be fancy, and we were all introduced to the Starbucks lover. We wanted to swing from the chandelier, we were so happy we were clapping endlessly and chanting on Michelle Obama. Yes, that's probably the best way to sum up another year for mainstream pop music.

Just like every year, these are my picks for the 25 Songs of 2014: endless songs about butts, an ode to the father-in-law, and even tunes about someone's drinking problem and getting high. These are the songs that I've shared on this blog at some point over the past 12 months.

Of course, this is admittedly a subjective list based on my personal judgments and preferences, but this list should also be a great conversation starter and feel free to agree or disagree. Either way there is a lot of great mainstream music - again, take note, MAINSTREAM MUSIC - to be found here.

Enjoy! 

25. All About That Bass
Meghan Trainor

"Yet its candy-coated, doo-wop-inspired cuteness is only part of the story – the true selling point is its unswerving body-positivism." - The Guardian

24. Fancy
Iggy Azalea (ft. Charli XCX)

"The record has a Bay Area feel that can be heard in the Invisible Men’s minimalistic drums and synths. Charli XCX also provides a very potent chorus that women will be chanting in their clubs, cars, and the like." - Hip Hop Wired

23. Sweater Weather
The Neighbourhood

"You probably wouldn't expect a song called "Sweater Weather" to be such a perfect summer soundtrack, but that's exactly what The Neighbourhood's jam is." - Complex Magazine

22. Anaconda
Nicki Minaj

"If Nicki Minaj's Anaconda single artwork caused a stir, the song itself is going to cause heads to explode. Somehow, the snake got loose, and now we can hear the Young Money star rapping over an oh-so-appropriate sample of Sir Mix-a-Lot's Baby Got Back." - Spin

21. Scarecrow
Alex & Sierra

"The folk-infused track is instantly infectious. Their incredible dynamic, coupled with their clear, beautiful voices, makes for a stunning song." - PopCrush

20. Bo$$
Fifth Harmony

"Filled with urban music influences, Bo$$ shoes a markedly more mature Fifth Harmony, with tribal beats swooping beneath the track's female-powered flare." - Music Times

19. Animals
Maroon 5

"The song plays off of its sinful undertones and an aggressive and fast melody is complemented by the lightning-quick guitar and the rapid snapping of the snare drums. The electro-hums and bass sync with the the lyrics that lead to the well-crafted narrative of a predatory-being going after his prey." - CultNoise Magazine

18. Talk Dirty
Jason Derulo (ft. 2 Chainz)

"Unlike his latest hit The Other Side, the new song finds the pop singer taking risks with a horn-based hook that leans into his R&B influences." - Billboard

17. Thinking Out Loud
Ed Sheeran

".. sleek update of Marvin Gaye's Let's Get It On, with Sheeran declaring, "Darling, I will be loving you till we're 70!" His voice pushes this bold stab at romance past its sappiest moments, and ends the album on a likable note." - Billboard

16. Blank Space
Taylor Swift

".. an out-and-out pop song with an intriguingly skeletal undercarriage. There is a rewarding pen click when Swift prepares to write down this man’s name." - The Guardian

15. Drunk In Love
Beyonce (ft. Jay Z)

"There’s a radio-ready pop single buried somewhere within the Jay Z feature Drunk In Love, yet Beyonce and Boots embellish it with enough strange grace notes and recitatives to create a much stranger monster than one might expect." - Variety

14. Rude
MAGIC!

Rude, its hit, is about asking a woman’s father for her hand in marriage and being rejected, and it’s one of the band’s better and more complex songs." - New York Times

13. Habits (Stay High)
Tove Lo

"If Habits has had a slow burn, it’s nonetheless earned its spot on radio: the song is a hazy paean to post-breakup debauchery that sounds like nothing else in the mainstream." - Time Magazine

12. Jealous
Nick Jonas

"Jealous kicks off with a round of steady drumbeats, setting the listener up for an emotional music rollercoaster. Jonas pulls out his falsetto for the chorus, adding to the song's '70s flavor, all while keeping things contemporary with a driving, synthetic drumbeat." - Music Times

11. Shake It Off
Taylor Swift

".. a lot of fun vocally and lets that charming, catchy choral phrase twirl around some flavorful new elements, like skronking horns, some live drums, the '50s hand-claps." - HitFix

10. Uptown Funk
Mark Ronson (ft. Bruno Mars)

"It's a definite step towards more classic funk for Ronson, who has a history of dabbling in heavy horn sections and walking guitar solos. Mars' voice keeps things light and bubbly though, making Uptown Funk the kind of song you'll be unable to escape on the radio in a matter of days." - Spin

09. Rather Be
Clean Bandit (ft. Jess Glyne)

".. one of the most likable pop singles in years, a fizzy mix of strings, synth-pop and 70’s dance music. Even if Clean Bandit never dents the Top 10 again, the group produced one song that feels like it will last forever." - Billboard

08. Take Me To Church
Hozier

"The blues roots of the song are easy to discern, with Hozier adding an almost gospel element to the performance. Softly intense, quietly provocative" - Clash Music

07. Problem
Ariana Grande (ft. Iggy Azalea)

"A dramatic reinvention. Grande’s enviable pipes are still the centerpiece, but she also invites a sax-drunk loop, sexy whisper tracks, and Azalea’s Jay Z-referencing high -peed verse to the party as well." - Entertainment Weekly

06. Chandelier
Sia

".. she strikes a note all her own during the song’s bombastic chorus: the palpable, doom-struck desperation she conjures differs from the vein of party-specific nihilism her contemporaries like to access. The result is a disarming, unforgettable listen that’ll make you glad Sia kept this one for herself." - Time Magazine

05. Dark Horse
Katy Perry (ft. Juicy J)

"Dark Horse, seems like the antithesis of the singer-songwriter’s usual hopeful material. A break from fist-pumping sing-alongs like I Kissed a Girl, Firework, and Roar, the Dr. Luke produced track is dark and sleazy without the morning after guilt." - Vibe

04. Stay With Me
Sam Smith

".. slightly over-sentimental chorus, as it swells into an emotional crescendo; his soulful voice far outstripping its rousing backing." - Digital Spy

03. Happy
Pharrell Williams

"Happy is a rather.. well.. happy affair with a cheerful beat and exuberant vocal that would indicate that the former N.E.R.D singer is finding a lot of lighthearted fun to be had in both music and life." - Renowned for Sound

02. All of Me
John Legend

"At heart, All Of Me is a simple, classic, romantic love ballad." - About Entertainment

01. Bang Bang
Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj

"Composed of piercing vocals courtesy of two contemporary crooners, as well as rapid-fire spitting from the hottest female MC on the planet, Bang Bang rests tidily. The chorus is all sass and brass, the handclaps zip by and fly back like a boomerang, and Nicki Minaj sneers, "It's me, Jessie and Ari / If they test me, they sorry." - Billboard
Year-End List 2014: 25 Songs Reviewed by DAM on 11:53 PM Rating: 5

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