My Favorite Songs of 2014

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Feature Image Via SoundIsStyle

When you live in a big city and spend an absurd amount of time on public transit, your iPod is your best friend–My iPod is actually my longest-lasting relationship. And as you may know, my musical tastes could use some Adderall, but these are the 50 songs that kept me most sane this year.

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I’m so glad Sam Smith took up where Adele left off in 2014. This song just sucks you in the minute it starts with that booming drum. And who doesn’t know all the words to this one? Radio didn’t really give us a choice. It was like, “You will listen to this song 20 times a day and you will like it.” We did.

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I don’t really have a long list of ex-lovers to really relate, but according to a Buzzfeed quiz, I’m capable of smashing a guy’s car with a golf club. I see it. Is anyone else really happy T-Swift finally switched over to pop? It’s also refreshing that the whole truck bed and fireflies era is over. I like psycho Swift. Good work.

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Happiness. This was my official morning song for a month straight this past spring. I’d wake up on the weekend, turn on this song and just take in the morning light. That’s all it took for me to be happy. Imagine being Jessica Beal and actually having that same morning, except JT is actually next to you.

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Heeeey-ey-ey! One Direction wasn’t the only boy band stirring up 9-year-old girls’ tears this year. 5SOS and their ode to American Apparel underwear (which sadly passed without any A.A. sponsorship–their loss) had me jamming like a fool. I also learned to be super careful with my Snapchat from these guys. Thanks for the song and the help, guys!

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Oh, John Legend. This song gives me so many feels. I JUST WANT TO BE CHRISSY TEIGEN. If any of you saw his performance at the Billboard Music Awards, you’d maybe understand the aura I feel: a beautiful man, a polished, black piano and dimly-lit retro light bulbs. It is magical.

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So, from sweet and loving to hard and dirty. An ode to R. Kelly’s hit debut album, this song features two of our most suave R&B fellas joining forces to take our pants off for us. I ain’t mad. If you want a good slow jam with a killer hook, this is it.

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Last year I didn’t bat an eye at this song from Prism. Then when it became an official single this year, it stuck, and then I couldn’t get enough. I was humming it. It was my ringtone. I craved tacos like crazy. Katy Perry is capable of creating audible cocaine and I don’t know how she does it. An ode to besties and all of the shenanigans you got into (orand still do, hopefully), this song has a catchy swag you can’t shake.

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It wasn’t even intentional for TWO 5SOS songs to end up in my top ten, but, damn, it happened. I don’t know what it is about this song, but it’s perfect. Part throwback to the days of Good Charlotte, Bowling For Soup and All-Time Low, part chill production, “Never Be” was a perfect gem off of their debut album.

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There was no better hook in music in 2014 than the first ten seconds of this summer jam: Dun, Dun-Dun. Buh-duh Dun Dun-Dun. Buh-duh Dun Dun-Dun, Buh-duh Dun–“First thing’s first, I’m the realest.” BOOM. Iggy Iggz was all up in our face outta nowhere. And then the hilarious Jimmy Kimmel skit happened. To me, this was the most iconic song of 2014 and one of those tracks that you will always remember for the rest of your life–love it or hate it.

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First of all, the album art is perfection. Look at those fine ass headlights and taillights. That alone accounts for 10% of a great single. This song is so euphoric to me and makes me feel alive. It came at a time when I was away with some close friends on a weekend trip to Palm Springs and would play every time we were in the car. From there it just developed this whole piece of nostalgia itself which carried me through the rest of the year. EVERYBODY FIST PUMP.

Top Ten: Summer Songs

Technically, summer isn’t here yet, but when school’s out, it’s 80 degrees and we’re in June, it’s summer. I said so. While laying poolside the past two days and listening to my summer essentials playlist, I got to thinking: “What are my top ten favorite summer songs?” We all know I’m a freakazoid when it comes to lists and I will agonize and spend countless neurotic hours perfecting these lists until I can sleep tight, so I decided to subject myself to such intolerable cruelty to bring to you my top songs of summer:

10. Let’s Run Away / Haley Reinhart

The former “American Idol” contestant hit such a sweet, tropical jackpot with this song from her debut album, Listen Up. If you don’t find yourself smiling at least once during this song, you’re not human. It’s magical.

9. I Like It / Enrique Iglesias Ft. Pitbull

Auto-tune at it’s finest. This song just makes me so happy as soon as the synthy intro drops. And with the assistance of Mr. I-Can-Name-Nearly-Every-Country-In-The-World Pitbull, it’s like a Miami dance party on the beach.

8. Gin & Juice / Snoop Dogg

I don’t even think I need to explain this one. Classics are classics.

7. California Gurls / Katy Perry Ft. Snoop Dogg

Even though this song has only been out for four years, it is already Billboard’s No.1 summer song of all time. It’s fun, it’s flirty, and a diabetic coma ready to happen. And it’s all about sunny California! What more could you want? A whipped-cream dispensing bra? Yeah, it has that too!

6. If It’s Lovin’ That You Want / Rihanna

Awww, how sweet and innocent were Rihanna’s Barbadian princess days? It’s a taste of the tropical and will forever be one of my favorite Riri tracks.

5. Summer of ’69 / Bryan Adams

Just a summer classic. It has this innate nostalgic appeal that makes you so happy without really knowing why. Maybe it’s because it came from a time when a summer jam could be made without referencing sex, naked men/women and alcohol…

4. Summer Love / Justin Timberlake

Just another great track off of the great Future Sex/Love Sounds album. It’s the perfect daytime cruising song with the windows down and swag all the way up. Does anyone actually dislike this song, though?

3. Standing On the Sun / Beyonce

After being used for an H&M ad campaign last summer, the song never made the final setlist for Beyonce, which I still don’t understand. Regardless, the song is cracked out on major summer endorphins and is so relaxing to the ears. You literally feel like you’re standing on the sun–which doesn’t actually sound relaxing, but whatever.

2. Rock the Boat / Aaliyah

Arguably the smoothest artist of all time, Aaliyah dropped major summer dopeness with this island jam. It’s so bittersweet listening to it though, considering the tragedy that unfolded after filming the video, but it’s still one of those songs that puts me in sunny, breezy bliss.

1. Honey / Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey is the queen of summer music: Heartbreaker, Touch My Body, #Beautiful, etc. This woman knows how to make a smooth jam for those chill summer vibes. And how amazing does she look in this video? It’s kind of the first time we saw Mariah bust a move too. This was also the song where she turned black and never looked back.

2014 BBMAs Top Male Artist Finalists Lead By Example

Click: 2014 BBMAs Top Male Artist Finalists Lead By Example

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Music Trend: The Summer That Disco Returned

summer_tumblrAs spring is in full bloom and the good vibrations of summer begin to kick in, it’s time to break out those sunny summer playlists. Mariah Carey’s “Honey,” Aaliyah’s “Rock the Boat,” Katy Perry’s “California Gurls,” and Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” are some of my staples for chillin’ poolside with my shades on and a cherry limeade by my side. But this year, we all have some updating to do because it is all about disco. Yes, you heard me right. It’s time to “Saturday Night Fever” our brains out for the next few months as 70’s funk comes surging back in 2014 via a wave of new music that is unleashing the disco ball on pop music. Sure, Bruno Mars, Daft Punk and Justin Timberlake have been paving the way for a year now with their R&B-funk vibes, but it is only escalating–perhaps to an even truer, more authentic disco sound–Barry Gibbs and Diana Ross would be oh, so proud. Now get out there and shake your groove thing to these new jams, but leave the bell bottom jeans at home, please, for our sake.

Katy Perry / “Birthday”

The colorful Cali gurl has just unleashed a possible summer smash with this flirty, sexy and insanely saccharine single. (And my birthday is in two weeks, so it’s like a personal message directly from her to me.)

Blake Lewis / “Disco In Space”

The former “American Idol” runner-up has been keeping busy with the upcoming release of his third album, Portraits of a Chameleon. “Disco” is just one of the many shades Blake is showing off of the set here and it’s groovy, man.

Michael Jackson & Justin Timberlake / “Love Never Felt So Good”

The King of Pop has posthumously returned to his earlier days with this smooth, disco track, reminiscent of “Don’t Stop Til’ You Get Enough.” And with the help of modern throwback-er JT, this makes for one fine collabo.

The Saturdays / “Disco Love”

The U.K. girl group have put on their rollerblades and they are skating to Donna Summer all-year long.

Jesse McCartney / “Back Together”

Yes, he is still around! And good for us because this song is pure magic. The song was released on a four-track EP late last year, but will be included on a new album this spring, according to Billboard.

Karmin / “I Want It All”

They just need one more night. And if that night is anything like the lavish 70’s-themed party at the end of the video, I’m so down.

Pharrell Ft. Justin Timberlake / “Brand New”

If “Happy” already has you dripping with infectious swag, this collabo with JT (He is everywhere) will not let you down.

Bruno Mars / “Treasure”

Yes, I know this was out last summer, but it’s just that good. If this doesn’t scream “SUMMER” to you, you must be from northern Siberia, or just flat-out weird.

Foster the People / “Best Friend”

Indie rock does disco. Trumpets and requisite use of falsetto.

 

2014 Grammy Nominations are IN

jayzgrammysMusic’s Biggest Night is just around the corner. The nominations for the 56th Annual Grammys were announced on Friday during a concert at L.A.’s Nokia Theater. Good news artists: Adele is NOT nominated (other than Best Song for Visual Media)! *music industry rejoices*

Jay-Z leads the field with nine nominations, but Hova will have stiff competition from newbies Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis and Kendrick Lamar, who are each nominated seven times and in most of the same categories. Also in the seven-nominations group is Justin Timberlake and Pharrell.

Eligibility for this year’s awards opened on Oct. 1, 2012 and closed Sept. 30, 2013, so some big releases like Katy Perry’s “PRISM,” Lady Gaga’s “ARTPOP,” Eminem’s “Marshall Mathers LP2,” and Paul McCartney’s “New” were not considered this year.

Also making a strong showing is first-timer Lorde, who boasts four nominations including “Record” and “Song of the Year.”

And now for the nominations….The pop and rap, at least, since that is all I can speak for; I need to brush up on my regional Mexican (including Tejano) music.

Record of the Year

  • “Get Lucky” / Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams
  • “Radioactive” / Imagine Dragons
  • “Royals” / Lorde
  • “Locked Out of Heaven” / Bruno Mars
  • “Blurred Lines” / Robin Thicke Ft. T.I. & Pharrell

My vote: “Royals.” Such a massive hit. Fresh. Cool.

Grammy vote: “Royals.” It’s very Adele-like and we all know the Grammy’s are OBSESSED with Adele.

Album of the Year

  • “The Blessed Unrest” / Sara Bareilles
  • “Random Access Memories” / Daft Punk
  • “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City / Kendrick Lamar
  • “The Heist” / Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis
  • “Red” / Taylor Swift

My vote: “The Heist”

Grammy vote: “Random Access Memories” Something just tells me this is getting it.

Song of the Year

  • “Just Give Me A Reason”
  • “Locked Out of Heaven”
  • “Roar”
  • “Royals”
  • “Same Love”

My vote: “Same Love.” It’s our civil struggle in 2013, beautifully illuminated by a hip-hop artist?

Grammy vote: “Same Love.” It has to win. Point-blank.

Best New Artist

  • James Blake
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Ed Sheeran

My vote: Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis. They’re so unique and current. Love what they do.

Grammy vote: James Blake. Esperanza Spalding, anyone?

Best Pop Solo Performance

  • “Brave” / Sara Bareilles
  • “Royals” / Lorde
  • “When I Was Your Man” / Bruno Mars
  • “Roar” / Katy Perry
  • “Mirrors” / Justin Timberlake

My vote: “Roar” After the huge success of “Teenage Dream,” and getting snubbed, she deserves this. Since the award’s creation in 2012, Perry has been nominated each year for “Firework,” “Wide Awake,” and now “Roar.”

Grammy vote: “Royals”

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

  • “Get Lucky” / Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams
  • “Just Give Me A Reason” / Pink Ft. Nate Ruess
  • “Stay” / Rihanna Ft. Mikky Ekko
  • “Blurred Lines” / Robin Thicke Ft. T.I. & Pharrell Williams
  • “Suit & Tie” / Justin Timberlake & Jay-Z

My vote: “Blurred Lines” Summer anthem and all around good fun.

Grammy vote: “Get Lucky” There seems to be a lot of love for Daft Punk this year and not so much for JT.

Best Pop Vocal Album

  • “Paradise” / Lana Del Rey
  • “Pure Heroine” / Lorde
  • “Unorthodox Jukebox” / Bruno Mars
  • “Blurred Lines” Robin Thicke
  • “The 20/20 Experience–The Complete Experience” / Justin Timberlake

My vote: “Paradise”

Grammy vote: “Paradise”

Best Rap Performance

  • “Started From the Bottom” / Drake
  • “Berzerk” / Eminem
  • “Tom Ford” / Jay-Z
  • “Swimming Pools (Drank)” / Kendrick Lamar
  • “Thrift Shop” / Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis

My vote: “Tom Ford” You cannot say Tom Ford without saying it like Hova. Try.

Grammy vote: “Thrift Shop” It’s an easier “rap” song for the old peoples’ ears, so I think this will find their vote.

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

  • “Power Trip” / J.Cole Ft. Miguel
  • “Part II (On the Run) / Jay-Z Ft. Beyoncé
  • “Holy Grail” / Jay-Z Ft. Justin Timberlake
  • “Now or Never” / Kendrick Lamar Ft. Mary J. Blige
  • “Remember You” / Wiz Khalifa Ft. The Weeknd

My vote: “Power Trip” Love. Love.

Grammy vote: “Holy Grail”

Best Rap Song

  • “F***in’ Problems”
  • “Holy Grail”
  • “New Slaves”
  • “Started From the Bottom”
  • “Thrift Shop”

My vote: “Started From the Bottom”

Grammy vote: “Thrift Shop”

Best Rap Album

  • “Nothing Was the Same” / Drake
  • “Magna Carta…Holy Grail” / Jay-Z
  • “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City” / Kendrick Lamar
  • “The Heist” / Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis
  • “Yeezus” / Kanye West

My vote: “Nothing Was the Same.” This album was just dope. End of discussion.

Grammy vote: “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City.” It snagged an “Album of the Year” nom, so chances are pretty good for this one.

Last thought: I am NOT happy Britney did not get a Best Music Video nom for “Work Bitch.” That video is EVERYTHING.

You can catch the 56th Annual Grammys Jan. 26, 2014 on CBS.