Saturday, January 4, 2014

Best songs of 2013

I've been making lists of my 50 favorite songs for a whole decade this year.

1. Drake - Hold On, We're Going Home

I’m a sucker for a good pop song, and this year was full of them. But unlike “Mirrors” or "Royals" or “Wrecking Ball,” I never tired of hearing this Drake track. His voice is so smooth here, soothing his girl into knowing it is going to be all right. It’s kind of dancey, kind of pretty and very catchy.

2. Disclosure f/ London Grammar - Help Me Lose My Mind

Her voice is so pretty on both ends of the register. Disclosure managed to make a timeless track on its very of-the-moment album.

3. Ciara - Body Party

There’s a handicap in Ciara’s favor here: “My Boo” is one of my favorite songs of all time. But any other pop star might have trudged all over my beloved hook. Ciara and Mike Will Made It instead elevated it. Shout out to the video, which we replayed at the end of every hangout.

4. Waxahatchee - Swan Dive

I love the lyrics here -- the words, yes, but also the way Katie Crutchfield bends them over lines. She has a funny way of enjambing, where the middle of sentences rise up, and I love it.

5. Chance the Rapper - Chain Smoker

I have never heard a rapper use words the way he does. This track is stuffed full, packed with internal rhymes that would make Rakim proud.

6. Jason Isbell - Cover Me Up

I always listen to the lyrics over the instrumentation, and I love the story this song tells. His voice sounds great, too. I wish I had thought of this line, in particular: So girl leave your boots by the bed, we ain't leavin' this room til someone needs medical help or the magnolias bloom.

7. Mikal Cronin - Weight

This song just makes me happy.

8. Kanye West - Bound 2

In an era of Kanye innovation, this was old school, a reminder of how good it felt to listen to him in the College Droupout days. Plus, there's a Martin reference! I'm especially fond of the live performance with Charlie Wilson on Jimmy Fallon.

9. Daft Punk - Instant Crush

Julian Casablancas never sounded so good. So smooth and moody.

10. Vinnie Dewayne - Nowhere

Y'all watch out for this Portland rapper. He looks and sounds like Kendrick Lamar, but I think he has something special of his own to add, too. He's bringing rap back to storytelling.

11. Arcade Fire - Afterlife

12. Vampire Weekend - Step

13. Justin Timberlake - Mirrors

14. Local Natives - Mt. Washington

15. J. Cole - Power Trip

16. London Grammar - Strong

17. Kanye West - Blood on the Leaves

18. Disclosure - Latch

19. Janelle Monae f/ Erykah Badu - Q.U.E.E.N

20. Kanye West - Hold My Liquor

21. Jason Isbell - Songs that She Sang in the Shower

22. Lana Del Ray and Cedric Gervais - Summertime Sadness remix

23. Vampire Weekend - Hannah Hunt

24. Neko Case - Night Still Comes

25. Janelle Monae - What an Experience

26. Daft Punk - Doin' It Right

27. Neko Case - Local Girl

28. Blood Orange - It Is What It Is

29. Justin Timberlake - Let the Groove Get In

30. Tegan and Sara - I was a Fool

31. Waxahatchee - Lively

32. Earl Sweatshirt f/ Frank Ocean - Sundah

33. Vampire Weekend - Diane Young

34. Jhene Aiko f/ Childish Gambino - Bed Peace

35. The National - I Should Live in Salt

36. Janelle Monae f/ Miguel - Primetime

37. Sampha - Without

38. James Blake - Retrograde

39. J. Cole - She Knows

40. Mariah Carey f/ Miguel - #Beautiful

41. The Killers - Just Another Girl

42. Drake - f/ Jhene Aiko - From Time

43. Glenn Waco f/ Mic Capes - Paradise

44. Youth Lagoon - Dropla

45. Lady Gaga f/ R. Kelly - Do What You Want

46. Torres - Honey

47. the Internet - Dontcha

48. Volcano Choir - Byegone

49. Tegan and Sara - Closer

50. Rhye - Open

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