This is not a list from the podcast, unless I can convince Keith to do one of his own later. So there’s only one list.
2014 was a terrible year in pop music. There was nothing groundbreaking, earth-shaking, or anything resembling edgy. The top of the charts were dominated by female solo artists, and they were all, to a woman, low-key. None of them, save one, brought any energy to the music. There was way too much hegemony. I admit that it’s not my cup of tea, and I may be in the minority this year, but I promise you… I guarantee that our children, and future generations are going to look back at 2014 in pop culture, and laugh their asses off.
Before I get to my list, here are my year-end awards for the year in music.
The Song specifically written for Bonnaroo Award: “Tennessee Mud” by Trigger Hippy. Self explanatory.
The Obvious One-Hit Wonder Award: “Selfie” by Chainsmokerz. Is this even a song?! I enjoy spoken word tracks more than the average listener, but this is just an unfunny joke.
The Not-So-Obvious One-Hit Wonder Award: “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor. This song hit all the checkmarks for one-hit wonderdom. An auto-biographical song, Check. (The only exception being Eminem.) A song about the posterior, Check. (Granted 2014 was the year of the #BUTTS, but everyone else had a few hit singles under their belt before their butt song.) I know Meghan wants to be the next Adele, but she does not have her voice. In fact, her video and look reminds me of a plus-sized version of the singer from Aqua. (Another one-hit wonder.)
The “I almost took you seriously for a second” Award: “The Heart wants what it Wants” by Selena Gomez. Question, how many syllables does it take to sing the word, “wants”? If you said anything greater than 1, then I’m afraid I’m going to have to relegate you back to the Radio Disney channel.
The Alanis Morissette Award: “Fancy” by Iggy Azalia. I busted out my Random House Dictionary. Definition #4 of “fancy”: an idea or opinion with little foundation; illusion. Or take definition #16: to believe without being absolutely sure or certain. I think Iggy is spot on here.
The “Party’s Over” Award: “Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and “Human Anime Character” Nicki Minaj. This had the potential to be a fairly decent party song. Or at least a “girl power” anthem. Jessie mistakes screaming for energy. Ariana mistakes wailing for passion. Only “The Human Anime Character” is able to bring any semblance of fun to the song. But it is too little, too late.
The Sturgeon’s Law Award: “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift. Dear Taylor, there are haters, and there are folks who know that 90% of everything is crap. By equating legit music critics to internet trolls, you have just legitimized the worst of the worst of cyber bullies. Also, by publicly announcing that you have forsaken country for pop, you are basically stating that you are pandering to the lowest common denominator. The best singer/songwriters never pandered.
My Guilty Pleasures: “Ain’t it Fun” by Paramore; “Boom Clap” by Charlie XCX; “Centuries” by Fall Out Boy; and “Habits” by Tove Lo. Holy moly! This is the first time since the 90’s that I almost used up my annual quota for guilty pleasures.
So just how bad was 2014? Well, my Top Ten list features two songs that should have been guilty pleasures. And two songs that technically were before 2014, (but wasn’t released in the US until 2014). The top rock song of the year was a literal overnight sensation from Ireland.
And now, my Top Ten Songs of 2014:
- 10. “Happy Idiot” by TV on the Radio
- 9. “Left Hand Free” by Alt-J
- 8. “Fever” by The Black Keys
- 7. “Something from Nothing” by Foo Fighters
- 6. “Coming of Age” Foster the People
- 5. “Cool Kids” by Echosmith
- 4. “West Coast” by Lana Del Ray
- 3. “Gimme Something Good” by Ryan Adams
- 2. “Lanterns” by Birds of Tokyo
- 1. “Come with me now” by Kongos
Oh well. Here’s to a better 2015. Cheers!