This has been a tradition since the land before time and Snapchat. While I’ve taken a long break from pop music blogging (the commentary still very much lives on in Twitter), I’m usually tempted to come back to this increasingly unfamiliar Wordpress interface every year and rank, hyperlink and embed my personal favourite tracks of the last 12 months. This year for the first time, I will be blogging with emojis. #downwiththekids
I imagine it’d be nice to scroll back through the passage of time one day to see that once upon a time, Carly Rae Jepsen overtook Robyn as the gays’ new queen of Bubbling Under pop. Once upon a time, Halsey was the flavour of the moment. Popstar of the Future Troye Sivan made an album (how traditional!). They sent troops to Syria but couldn’t extract a record from MKS. Nobody has time for the games Rihanna‘s playing anymore. And two unfuckwithable singer-songwriters in their 20s called Adele and Taylor Swift scrapped everyone’s life force with their massive-selling, Spotify-shunning, numerically titled albums. And where you were when you heard Zayn had left 1D?
Never mind. Here are 30 songs that I really, really liked this year.
Spoiler alert: At some point you might say, this list is really crap. Why isn’t Lana on here?
Iggy Azalea, one of the world’s most in-demand rappers right now, is on a winning streak. Her debut The New Classic has spawned five UK Top 20 hits, including the ubiquitous summer anthem ‘Fancy’ (featuring Charli XCX) and current flame ‘Black Widow’ (featuring Rita Ora), but could she squeeze a few more in with this repackaged edition?
It seems like only yesterday that the Australian rapper was venting her frustration on Twitter about TheNew Classic‘s repeatedly delayed release but now she is finding herself in quite the opposite situation. What a difference a string of global hits makes.
Instead of slowing down to record a full second album, Iggy is reupholstering her debut with five new songs just seven months after it hit stores. All in time for Christmas, of course.
The new body of work is appropriately christened Reclassified and is led by a bossy single ‘Beg For It’ featuring Danish indie-electropop singer MØ. The song builds on the new-generation female brat pack vibe Iggy has fostered with the aforementioned collaborators Charli and Rita with dominant choruses like: “I know you like the way I turn it on. I’m out here with my friends. I’mma make you beg, I’mma make you beg for it! If you don’t do this right, you’re going home alone. I guess you’ll have to beg.” It’s a proven hit formula and not just for Iggy. Just ask Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj and Meghan Trainor. Rhythmic female-led songs with empowering lyrics are what platinum-gilded hits are made of in 2014 – haven’t you heard?
“You’re well done but bitch, I’m rare!” Just some words of truth you’ll hear Iggy Azalea spit on her knock out debut album: The New Classic.
The 23-year old Australian rapper is a curious specimen in the hip hop scene.
Alabaster skin, statuesque figure and platinum blonde hair often snatched up in a fierce high ponytail, she looks more like a runway model than a femmecee that raps with a dirty Southern drawl.
You might’ve seen her name thrown around the blogosphere, paired with mentions of mixtapes, but things didn’t really heat up for Azalea until her UK Top 20 singles ‘Work’ and ‘Bounce’ hit the fan last year.
She started becoming a fixture at fashion shows in London and minutes later, she was opening for Beyoncé on the Mrs Carter World Tour, which gave her greater exposure in her own home country.
You know when your parents start to recognise a internet viral music video that it’s well and truly time for everyone else to move on.
It has been a tremendous week for K-pop sensation PSY‘s ‘Gangnam Style’, not only is it officially the most ‘liked’ video in the history of the internet – the track has also successfully topped the Australian and UK charts to become the first Korean pop single to do so.
Its crossover chart success in the Western market is just mind-blowing, no doubt bringing a whole lot of national pride for South Koreans everywhere.
Elsewhere, it has also been a great week for Pink, Mumford and Sons, Conor Maynard, Brandy and Christina“I think you already know my weight!”Aguilera.
We’ve seen the charts light up like it was Christmas this month, thanks to the heavy flow of new albums taking over the shelves.
For only the second time in history, the entire top six spots on the US Billboard 200 are filled with debut entries. Here in Australia, we have eight new albums scaling our ARIA Top 20, while over in the UK, they have six.
Y’all can obviously expect for it to get even more competitive in the coming months as all the strong sellers come out to play for your seasonal spendings.
This has been a good week for Pink, The Killers, Carly Rae Jepsen, Kanye West and – definitely more than ever – PSY, the K-pop icon responsible for ‘Gangnam Style’.