Many great pop songs were released this year and I could not just pick the best 10 of them. Here are my Top 25 (or more?) songs for the year that is about to end. Did your favorite make the list? (Updated: January 9, 2015)
LATCH by Disclosure feat. Sam Smith
2014 is Sam Smith’s year and he made great impressions with the songs that he released via In The Lonely Hour. This spot should have been for Stay With Me, but I thought it would be good to put Latch instead. He first proved to be a force to reckon with when he was featured in this Disclosure club hit. Combining stalker-ish lyrics with head pumping house music, Latch is a great record that hit the top during the year.
“Now I got you in my space, I won’t let go of you
Got you shackled in my embrace, I’m latching onto you.”
BANG BANG by Ariana Grande, Jessie J, Nicki Minaj
A silly shift in its purported good meaning cannot prevent this anthemic song by three great singers, Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Nicki Minaj, to slip into the list. Hustling all throughout the song with their snappy lines using their big pipes, the three incredibly delivered this decade’s Lady Marmalade.
“See anybody could be bad to you, you need a good girl to blow your mind”
BAILANDO by Enrique Iglesias feat. Sean Paul, Gente de Zona, Descemer Bueno
This Spanish-tinged dance song (Bailando means dancing) by popular Latino singer, Enrique Iglesias, reminds me of his early hit, Bailamos, that made him very popular. Combining dance beats and sugary lyrics, this song has charmed a lot of music-hungry ears for the past year.
“Girl, I like the way you move
Come and show me what to do”
KILOMETRO by Sarah Geronimo
The first single from the pop star princess’ latest album called Perfectly Imperfect, Kilometro is a great pop record with hints of EDM and R&B that is currently rocking the airwaves.
“Gagawin ko ang lahat upang sa huli, sa huli, sa huli ay tayo
Kung kailangan kong hatakin ang kilome-kilome-kilometrong layo”
TRY by Colbie Caillat
Delivering a powerful message about acceptance to oneself and not just try to fit in, Try is only one of the many inspirational songs that were released in 2014. Its edge relies on its simplicity, putting the strength of the empowering ballad’s lyrics into the highlight.
“Wait a second, why should you care what they think of you?
When you’re all alone, by yourself, do you like you, do you like you?”
RATHER BE by Clean Bandit (feat. Jess Glynne)
When I first heard the song being covered in the latest season of The Voice (U.S.), I found it cool to the ears but not ultimately likeable. I was wrong because there is no problem with the song but probably with how the contestant sang it. Thank goodness I searched for the original version because it was very far from what I was expecting: a pop gem that’s so pleasing to the ears. Those beautiful sounds created by violin, bass, keyboard and synths combined perfectly well with Glynne’s crystalline voice. It’s a love song hidden in a dance track.
“When I am with you, there’s no place I’d rather be.”
LOST STARS by Adam Levine
Maroon 5 has had strings of mediocre pop hits with Maps and Animals this year. However, their vocalist, Adam Levine, released Lost Stars (via Begin Again soundtrack), a power pop ballad that talks about a forlorn love affair. Strumming guitars and beating percussion and drums blend perfectly with Levine’s high-pitched voice.
“But are we all lost stars trying to light up the dark?”
SHAKE IT OFF by Taylor Swift
The song that declares Taylor Swift as the new pop royalty is the first single from her record-smashing album, 1989. This great pop record shuns off all her detractors, some of which said before that she’s a pop star pretending to be a country singer. Now, they did get what they want (and probably, deserve) because Tay’s gone pop all the way!
“Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.”
THINKING OUT LOUD feat. Ed Sheeran
Probably the most mainstream of his songs, Thinking Out Loud is also the best song that British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has released. This made me not just like his music, it also me love it.
“Place your head on my beating heart
I’m thinking out loud, maybe we found love right where we are”
SA’YO by Silent Sanctuary
The Filipino pop rock band is back on their great form with this charming and beautiful ballad about blossoming love. It’s so great to the ears I can listen to it in a loop for a long time.
“Tumingin sa aking mata, magtapat ng nadarama
Di gustong ika’y mawala dahil handa akong ibigin ka
Kung maging tayo, sa’yo lang ang puso ko”
LET IT GO by Idina Menzel
I am guessing you are tired of hearing this song all year long but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the best songs that popped in 2014.Nobody can deny its greatness; even the kids sing it with their hearts out. Let It Go‘s strong and powerful songwriting about letting go of things that have been holding you back for so long is backed up by great instrumentation. Many people prefer Idina Menzel’s version over Demi Lovato’s because of a good reason: it’s definitely better.
“It’s time to see what I can do, to test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me, I’m free!”
BIRTHDAY by Katy Perry
This Katy Perry song would make you want to eat her birthday cake and pop her party balloons! Kidding aside, that’s how party-sounding this song is. Saccharine-filled and induced with silly but fun lyrics, Birthday is a great pop record.
“But when you are with me, I’ll give you a taste
Make it like your birthday everyday”
SUPERHEROES by The Script
The Script delivers their most inspiring music to date via Superheroes, the first track off their latest album, No Sound Without Silence. The song is about all the unsung heroes of the world and the band has successfully incorporated heart and music with this song.
LOVE RUNS OUT by OneRepublic
Fresh from the success of their chart-topping single, Counting Stars, OneRepublic made waves this year by releasing Love Runs Out, a stomping and head-beating pop rock song about to what extent can one love someone. Their other song called I Lived is making waves as of the moment and let’s see if it’ll pick up and end up on the top list next year.
“And we’ll start a fire, and we’ll shut it down
Til the love runs out, til the love runs out”
POMPEII by Bastille
Just by hearing a lot of eh-oh’s in the intro, you’d know you’re into something interesting. Pompeii is about the Roman town of the same name that met its dreadful fate with the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius hundreds of centuries ago. The song rules with its commanding vocals, plus its piano track is mesmerizing while its beating drums would make you head-banging (See what I did there? Hehe.) The British rock group made a great impression worldwide with this rocking song.
“But if you close your eyes, does it feel like nothing changed at all?”
BEAUTIFUL AND WILD by Kris Allen
Kris Allen released his latest album called Horizons this year and chose Prove It to You (feat. Lenachka) as his first single. However, it’s another track from the album called Beautiful and Wild that really showcases Allen’s great skills in songwriting skills and making music. Brimming with uplifting vibe and positive energy, this song is a great addition to musical playlists.
“If only we could see the world through the new eyes of a child
If only every boy and girl will just stay beautiful and wild”
CENTURIES by Fall Out Boy
Fall Out Boy’s first single off their upcoming album, American Beauty/American Psycho, Centuries is proving to be better than their second single called Immortals. With lyrics commanding you to remember it, the song reverberates with Patrick Stump’s soaring vocals amidst the profoundly strong punk rock sound. The lyrics of the song are somewhat provocative, and this is another testament that Fall Out Boy has this uncanny ability to write a dark song and make you like it.
“Some legends are told; some turn to dust or to gold,
But you will remember me, remember me for centuries”
TEAM by Lorde
The second single off Pure Heroine, Team edges Royals with its beautiful lyrical content while still maintaining Lorde’s eccentric musical style and oddly charming vocal delivery.
“Living in ruins of a palace within my dreams,
And you know, we’re on each other’s team”
MAHAL KO O MAHAL AKO by KZ Tandingan
Winner of this year’s Himig Handog’s P-Pop Love Songs competition, Mahal Ko O Mahal Ako showcases KZ Tandingan’s incredible vocals into a ruminating ballad about love. Will you choose the person who loves you (but you don’t love) or the one whom you love (but doesn’t love you back)? Such great dilemma is aptly presented in the power ballad.
“Sino ang iibigin ko? Ikaw ba na pangarap ko o siya bang kumakatok sa puso ko?
Anong paiirallin ko, isip ba o ang puso ko? Nalilito, litung-litong-lito.
Sinong pipiliin ko, mahal ko o mahal ako?
WORD CRIMES by “Weird Al” Yankovic
It is ironic that this parody is infinitely better than Robin Thicke’s 2013 single, Blurred Lines. Changing up the humiliatingly sub-par lyrics from the original to a master class of grammar, Word Crimes succeeds in helping Yankovic’s album, Mandatory Fun, to the top of the charts.
“I hate these word crimes, like I could care less
That means you do care, at least a little”
LOVE ME HARDER by Ariana Grande (feat. The Weeknd)
Probably the best song off Ariana Grande’s second album, My Everything, Love Me Harder is a great collaboration between pop’s current pop princess with PBR&B’s (alternative R&B) The Weeknd. Venturing into something she’s never really delved into before, Grande showcased maturity with use of her sultry vocals, which matches The Weeknd’s sexy masculine voice. With a straightforward message addressed to a lover on how she should be loved, Love Me Harder displays a frisky yet loveable dance music.
“What do I do if I can’t figure it out? You got to try, try and try again.
What do I do if I can’t figure it out? Then I have to leave, leave, leave.”
LOVE NEVER FELT SO GOOD by Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson may be dead but his music lives on. If his first posthumous album did not generate a real hit, this one corrected that flaw. Off his second posthumous album called Escape, Love Never Felt So Good shines with lovely beautiful lyrics with a sweet and danceable melody. I prefer MJ’s solo version of the song more than the version with Justin Timberlake.
UNCONDITIONALLY by Katy Perry
A lot of people do not like this song but thankfully, I am not most people. Unconditionally transcends both lyrically and musically because not only does it write about unconditional love in a beautiful form, but Katy Perry also sings it in a way like she’s a force of nature, sweeping off everything that goes in its path. It is unsurprising that I always remember God’s love for us, mankind, whenever I hear this song.
“There is no fear now, let go and just be free
I will love you unconditionally”
LET HER GO by Passenger
A song that can surely turn you up into a dramatic mood is this Passenger (real name: Michael David Rosenburg) track off his third album, All The Little Lights. The wistful lyrics are backed up by a good combination of guitar, violin and drums, turning it up into folk rock/ indie pop genre. The chorus is repeated 5 times in the song and this highlights Passenger’s cold yet searing voice while singing about love lost and gone.
“You only know you love her when you let her go… And you let her go.”
CHANDELIER by Sia
Dubbed as the YOLO song of the year by some critics, Chandelier rightfully owns a place on the best song list of 2014. Sia’s soaring voice alone already made the song a force to reckon with, but the song’s powerful lyrics that deal with a party girl’s alluring yet self-destructing life in a juxtaposition of electronic, pop and reggae sounds sealed the deal. Seriously, the song’s beats and churns that cover Sia’s unfaltering vocals would make you want to play it more and more.
“But I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down, won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ‘cos I’m just holding on for tonight”
A SKY FULL OF STARS by Coldplay
A Sky Full Of Stars is like a silver lining in a cloudy sky as it brings a positive sound to a relentlessly dark and melancholic atmosphere brought about by Coldplay’s latest album, Ghost Stories. Exploring new music territories with their latest album, Coldplay teamed up with DJ Avicii to tune a song about great love into EDM, making it so beguilingly catchy and danceable. Coldplay’s first foray into the upbeat electro-pop sound is well worth it.
“You’re such a heavenly view”
SOMETHING IN THE WATER by Carrie Underwood
This back-to-roots song of American country singer, Carrie Underwood, definitely puts her back on the map of a few legitimate artists who give inspiration not just only by their work but also for who they are. A crossover success in country, pop and Christian charts, Something In The Water showcases Underwood’s soaring and stunning vocals that matches the song’s very powerful message.
“And now I’m singing along to Amazing Grace
Can’t nobody wipe this smile off my face
Got joy in my heart, angels on my side
Thank God Almighty, I saw the light”
BLANK SPACE by Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift’s biggest single to date, Blank Space boasts great production values with its electronic pop sound. In this song, Tay’s great songwriting skills were put in the fore amidst the fuzzy yet delicious synth sounds. An ear candy to many including me because of it very catchy hooks and poppy beats, the song seems like a satire as to how Swift is presented in the media. Just in the media? Perhaps.
“It’s gonna be forever or it’s gonna go down in flames”
PROBLEM by Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea)
One of the biggest summer songs is this bombastic song from singer Ariana Grande and Australian rapper Iggy Azalea. The uptempo song oozes with sexy saxophone sounds, drum conundrum, fascinating vocals by Grande and riveting rap chops by Azalea. The buildup of the song bursts into an anticlimactic whisper (by rapper Big Sean) accompanied by an amazingly catchy saxophone loop. It’s a shame Grammy didn’t recognize this great dance-pop, R & B song!
“I got one less problem without you”
I can’t make up my mind about which of these two songs really triumphed the spirit of year 2014.
Might as well list them both down as Number 1!
ALL OF ME by John Legend
Even before hitting it big, I have predicted early on that this song is going to be phenomenal. Spending 3 weeks at #1 in the US Billboard Hot 100, All Of Me is a great power ballad from American singer-songwriter John Legend. Hitting straight into the heart with its very emotional lyrics backed by a beautiful piano music, All of Me is one of the most romantic love songs that the world has ever heard. Another great song that gives me eargasm, this is rightfully tied with Happy at the #1 spot of the best songs of the year.
“All of me (loves) all of you
(I) love your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections”
HAPPY by Pharrell Williams
Starting up with an energetic beating and soaring high with its great anthemic chorus, Happy deserves to be called the best song of the year 2014. Brimming with positivity, this song will almost always heighten your mood. Lyrically vibrant and deliciously catchy, this song is one great song that gives me what I want to call eargasm (you’re familiar to it by now if you have been reading my best song list for the past few years, hehe). The midtempo soul song gives a funky atmosphere that would likely make you dance happily, and those handclaps, voice blends and Pharrell Williams’ dry but charming falsetto in the chorus are sure to make you like the song more.
“Clap along if you know what happiness is to you”