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As the holiday season draws closer, we begin to think back to the important events and the best entertainment of the past year. Although a few big albums from major artists like Lady GaGa and Avril Lavigne have not been released at this time, there is still plenty of great music to choose from. These are the songs that you constantly heard on the radio.
This top 10 list is limited to ONLY new songs that were released in the past year. The biggest factors in helping in decide what to include were how popular a song was, how frequent it was heard, and how much I personally enjoyed it. As with any other top 10 list, this countdown is strictly opinion-based and is not meant to be taken too seriously. Please enjoy my selections for the top songs from 2013!
13. "The Fox(What Does The Fox Say)" by Ylvis
This sleeper club hit of 2013 is brought to you by the Norwegian comedy duo known as Ylvis. Brothers Bård and Vegard Ylvisåker were successful TV hosts in Bergen before their music video for "The Fox" went viral on YouTube almost two months ago. The song lives on the same great realm of comedy as The Lonely Island and Flight of the Conchords. "The Fox" is very catchy, humorous and original, which are the marks of a great comedy song.
12. Tie between "Brave" by Sara Bareilles and "Roar" by Katy Perry
This place is tied because these songs are extremely similar in both their beats and messages. They’re about standing up for yourself, speaking out, and being strong. Sara Bareilles' song has a motivational tone and Katy Perry's song is more like a personal declaration. “Roar” may be more popular, but I think “Brave," which came out first, is the better song of the two. Either way, each song does deserve its own recognition, even though they’re two peas in a pod.
11. “Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Drake
A nicer alternative to “Blurred Lines." It strikes up a good balance of both innocent and bold flirtation. Despite the potentially problematic line “cause you’re a good girl and you know it," the song is pretty harmless. All of the synthesized elements blend together nicely and the vocals are harmonious. This is the perfect song to help you go up to your crush and make the first move.
10. “Ain’t It Fun” by Paramore
Although “Still Into You” is the more popular song, I prefer this song from their newest self-titled album. I automatically gravitated to its funky rhythm and rock-and-roll-guitar sound. “Ain’t It Fun” is proof that Paramore is just as fresh and extraordinarily sarcastic as ever. It’s a great break-up tune that taunts someone who used to be on top but in stead falls down and must face reality. You can hear the satisfaction of sweet revenge all throughout the song.
9. “Holy Grail” by Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake
A magnificently unique combination of piano ballad and hip-hop poetry brought to you by the two most powerful and influential men in the music industry. “Holy Grail” is a marriage between two styles that are good on their own but work even better together, like chocolate and peanut butter. The Justin Timberlake half of the song is balanced and elegant while the Jay Z half bounces off the walls with the energy of his freestyle. “Holy Grail” also samples the classic Nirvana song “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to great effect.
8. “Berzerk” by Enimem
This song represents a popular trend in music recently: replicating old styles and referencing classic songs. Eminem samples the Beastie Boys and “The Stroke” by Billy Squier and mashes them with his own riffing. “Berzerk” is a great party anthem that can stand tall with the Beastie Boys.
7. “Applause” by Lady Gaga
The reigning Queen of Pop has put out another great dance record. I wasn’t very crazy about this single at first, but it eventually grew on me when I saw how fun it was. It is the lead single from her upcoming album named ARTPOP. Here we get a slightly narcissistic declaration of living for praise as well as the infusion of art in pop culture, which Lady Gaga is all about.
6. “The Way” by Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande, the newest Nickelodeon star to pursue a singing career, actually has a great set of pipes. Her incredibly high register and sweet voice make her worthy of the constant comparisons to Mariah Carey. She is special for being so talented at such a young age and because this fantastic R&B song is a refreshing departure from the bubblegum pop of other Nickelodeon artists who have preceded her.
5. “Wake Me Up” by Avicii
This is one of the most popular songs of 2013. Like “Holy Grail," “Wake Me Up” mixes a gentle ballad with a pounding house music bass. The message of the song really stands out. One would not expect deep lyrics from a song like this, but the song is all about wanting to wake up when the hard stuff is over as a better person who isn’t so lost in the world.
4. “Black Skinhead” by Kanye West
Yeezus put Kanye back on the forefront of hip/hop and this song is the biggest jewel on his crown. Those pounding drums and tribal chants can awaken the wild animal in anyone. The whole song is like the perfect battle cry to send you off to war. It’s an anthem of empowerment and revolution.
3. “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk
This is the ultimate 1970s throwback party song. It was one of the most popular songs this summer for good reason. The song has a great disco beat to tap to, a great hook, and a memorable chorus. More importantly it was one awesome song from Random Access Memories, one of the best albums of the year. It was good to hear such excellent new music from an old school group.
2. “The Wire” by Haim
This is a gem of a song, the first single of an up-and-coming group that is instantly unforgettable and fun. From the first second onward, you’ll be bobbing your shoulders and swinging your hips because the song automatically gets into your heart and will make you dance whether you planned on it or not.
1. “Royals” by Lorde
“Royals” is the single most exciting debut of a new female artist this year. This teenager from New Zealand is so unbelievably mature in her looks, sound and lyrics. The song is both a great pop song and an anti-pop song, which is appropriate because it’s about condemning pop culture and desiring it at the same time. It’ll make you move and make you think. This is the start of an exciting career for Lorde.