Obviously, some music was released during the 12 months that we as humans have decided to name the year 2013. Almost as obvious as the last point, some music released over the past year was better than others. Similarly, some music released over the past year was a lot less better than others. Some songs were absolutely terrible and made you despair for the future of music; The Fox, mainly.
Last year there were approximately 21 songs that warranted being named songs of the year. 212 was the best song released in 2012, obviously. This year, as you can see, there are 30 songs. These things generally don’t follow a pattern at all; this is not actual fact that better music was released in 2013 than 2012 but Natalia Kills, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Britney ‘Goddamn’ Spears didn’t just choose this year by accident to launch their albums (some better than others) now did they? We’ll let Beyonce off this once because she’s Beyonce and can do whatever she wants because she is not a mere mortal of this earth.
Anyway, since you don’t really want to scroll down a huge web-page filled with 30 paragraphs about how brilliant songs are (do you?), here are (IN REVERSE ORDER ‘BTW’) the 30 songs of the year; numbers 30-15, mathematically speaking.
I mean come on, Beyonce, it’s not that hard to release a song now is it.
30. Disco Love – The Saturdays
The Saturdays seemed to come into their own this year; they scored their first number one single (with Sean Paul’s help, sadly), found their feet with their second single Gentleman – although it was too brilliant to succeed – and released this more radio friendly, and altogether better, third single before their album dropped. And it flopped a bit but never mind that. Disco Love is one of the better Saturdays singles and managed to help them regain some chart footing at number 4. Its video was desperately terrible, however. There are reasons the fashions of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s stay in the past.
29. Blind – Hurts
Hurts you may know from that bedazzling Calvin Harris song that went to number one a couple of weeks ago. Even before then, Hurts were slightly (just ‘slightly’) amazing in terms of the pop world. Their first album was mildly successful but there were high hopes for its successor. The album was a solid 6/10, let’s be honest, but the true standout (the true P O P standout) was this track; Blind. A blistering ode to a failed – almost bad – romance, here Hurts plead with you to ‘Cut out my eyes and make me Blind.’ Obviously do not listen to them or you will get arrested.
28. Royals – Lorde
Neon Jungle – a group you will become acquainted with further down the list at some point – covered this song on some tastemaker website in the summer. It was recorded before Lorde had even been heard of in the UK but was making waves in the US. Cut to a few months after, Royals has been at number one in the US for about 12 years and it was number one here too. Who do we have to blame for that? Well Lorde, obviously for making an addictive song about the downfalls of the modern pop lifestyle on society. Then Capital FM for killing the song. And finally Neon Jungle, because let’s be honest their cover is just a little too good.
27. Chocolate – The 1975
Sometime during the year you may hear a song on Radio One. A very good song. ‘Hmmm’ you may think, ‘I like this song but it all seems a little bit too “indie” for the public to really catch on to but at least I like it.’ And then the song charts, everyone goes nuts and suddenly The 1975 have a number one album and you realise you were conned massively. Well done everyone.
26. Hold On We’re Going Home – Drake ft. Majid Jordan
As much as he probably wants to deny it, Drake is a popstar and this song is the best song he’s ever recorded. Is it because it’s a beautifully produced song with heartfelt emotion poured out into the lyrics by Drake? Or is it just because he doesn’t rap in it. Tough choice.
25. I Was A Fool – Tegan and Sara
Apparently before they went all ‘pop’ Tegan and Sara released seven albums. But their newest album, Heartthrob, contains collaborations with the genius of Greg Kurstin, drags the girls into the wonderful world of electro-pop and contains belters such as Closer and also more subdued and infinitely more special moments like this song.
24. Unconditionally – Katy Perry
It took a lot of people by surprise when Katy Perry released her third album, Prism, this year. Partly because she had made no mention of it up until about June and because it wasn’t an emo-fest of dark post-divorce pain most had expected. Katy Perry let the light in on Prism and the album’s most glorious moments remains this heart-felt ballad with the vocals in all the right places. And on key, because that does help so.
23. La La La – Naughty Boy ft. Sam Smith
Naughty Boy once won some money on Deal or No Deal to fund his producing work. And now he has a number one with this deliriously chilled-out tune with Sam Smith, who has just won the Brit’s Critic’s Choice Award, so expect to hear a thing or two from him. So, all in all, we have Noel Edmonson to thank for one of the songs of the year. Cheers, Noel.
22. Perfume – Britney Spears
The main problem with Britney Spears now is she is actually no longer a human; just a robot who spouts whatever songs, words and fragrances her label desire for her to spout. She’s basically just a walking, talking robot who looks a bit dead inside. It would all be a lot sadder and a lot more helpful to Britney if she actually released bad songs (the albums are always filler, you know this to be true). This beautiful Sia-penned ballad just re-inforces that the automaton that is Britney Spears can still occasionally spout out the odd excellent song when it’s required of her.
21. Applause – Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga is the greatest pop-star in the world when she gets things right. One thing she didn’t get right was ARTPOP, her newest album. Promising a hybrid work of both artistry and pop music, Gaga delivered the fairly standard EDM-pop album with the occasional masterpiece (see G.U.Y, MANiCURE, Gypsy and Dope) but the campaign and Gaga herself were far too hardcore-fan focused and annoyed everyone else in-between. But nothing or no-one can take the first moment when you heard Gaga’s first single in 2 years blasting out from the radio. If there’s one thing Gaga got right this year, it was Applause.
20. Rock’N’Roll – Avril Lavigne
Avril Lavigne continues to be amazingly post-modern with her single releases. This song not only references one of the greatest lines of pop music ever (you know the line from Girlfriend that everyone says time and time again) but contains one of the most infectious beats, verses and choruses of Lavigne’s career.
19. Hard Out Here – Lily Allen
Now you weren’t expecting this were you. Fresh from her success as the annual John Lewis singer lady, Lily Allen returned in fashionable and controversial style with this Greg Kurstin-produced banger parodying all this Robin Thicke in the world of music. In a year filled with images that constantly degrade and sexualise women, the song itself is a breath of fresh air.
18. The Apple – V V Brown
Sometimes the greatest success comes from continued failure. Such was the case for V V Brown, back in the year 2009, her song Shark In The Water was amazing yet underrated and she casually faded from view preparing a new album. When this didn’t materialise and she subsequently left her label, Brown went independent and turned what is normally the kiss of death for most mainstream acts into a much needed breath of life into her music. Her album Samson and Delilah is a dark and sensual electronic delight and it second single, The Apple, channels Grace Jones and Brown muses over her independence over French-infected beats. Glorious stuff.
17. Come and Get It – Selena Gomez
Once part of a band that was basically just Selena Gomez and some other nameless blokes who were never seen or heard from, Gomez went ‘solo’ this year with a song that Rihanna rejected. Setting most of the world alight with its infection bhangra beats and Gomez’s on-point vocal performance, Selena’s second stab at mainstream success was off and the album was surprisingly excellent.
16. American Girl – Bonnie McKee
Previously a failed pop-rock star and now a superstar songwriter for most of Katy Perry’s best songs, Bonnie McKee went solo this year with this startlingly fresh and infectious debut single. While the celeb cameo video never went as viral as it was intended, McKee got all the right people listening with this exceptional debut ready for her second solo album next year.
15. C O O L – Le Youth
Cassie is one of Pop’s forgotten gems and her 2000-odd slow jam Me & U was given a sparkling 2013 re-vamp by British DJ Le Youth this year. Whilst the song only uses about 20 seconds of the actual song, they are the best 20 seconds and it’s well worth a listen to just discover how much of a pick-me-up the original song actually needed.
Stay tuned for the countdown of the rest of 2013’s best songs!
Related Article: The 12 Songs You Need To Hear