Because I have been listening to and reading all the Best of lists for 2014, and because whenever I listen to “All Songs Considered” and other pop culture commentary type podcasts and think I might have missed my calling…as a commenter of pop culture, what's comin' your way tonight is my Top 20 songs for 2014.
I know, I know a) this is exciting news and b) 20 seems like a lot, usually these are top 10. BUT, not all of these songs came out this year. These are the Top 20 songs in the life of Jenny 2014, because is it really about how “good” the song is? Or is it really how “good” the song makes us feel? As a working parent in the daily grind, my hour and ten minutes in the car to and from work each day is when i get to really sit and listen, so if a song can make me forget that I have been sitting the car for 45 minutes with 30 more minutes to go in traffic, that’s a win in my book.
That being said, ladies and gentlemen Jenalawz (look me up on spotify) Top 20 (not in any order) songs for 2014:
Rather Be feat. Jess Glynne - Clean Bandit - Won’t ever get sick of this one. Makes me think of my family and my kids. I listened to the rest of the Clean Bandit album and nothing even close to as catchy as this song. I like Jess Glynne’s voice so much, I hope she does more than just rule on other people’s songs.
Problem - Ariana Grande - The sax thing kills me. Couldn’t get it out of my head for at least a month, and i still crank it way up in da cah. I loved her first album, she definitely can sing, definitely went to the Mariah School of Melisma, but I love it.
Right Now - Mary J Blige - You know, ‘cause, Mary. She’s a boss. This song is great.
Dangerous (feat. Joywave) - Some spotify playlist introduced me to this song on the way to work one day in the spring and within the first 30 seconds I was driving way too fast and bobbing my head like a doofus.
Always Alright - Alabama Shakes - I was so far behind the curve in seeing “Silver Linings Playbook”, which I loved from start to finish…actually even past the finish when this song kicks in during the credits. I love their first album and cannot wait for the second, whenever that is.
Uptown Funk - Bruno Mars/ Mark Ronson - Have never disliked anything Mark Ronson has done, and I can’t figure out why this song isn’t on the radio every 10 minutes, because it is so awesome. My kids love it, and if toddler music taste isn’t an indicator of a hit, I don’t know what is people!
Dangerous - Jennifer Hudson - A song I listen to on the way to work when I know the day has a high likelihood of sucking/being stressful. Also makes me want to drive fast and put on the dance face…sometimes at the same time.
Sea Legs - The Shins - I am literally a decade behind on The Shins. I work in a small office, with a very open concept, which most of the time drives.me.crazy. However, the one good thing that sometimes happens is that somebody is playing music that I have not heard/never gave a good listen to. One day this past spring, one of my co-workers was playing “Australia” and I got sucked into listening to “Wincing the Night Away”. “Sea Legs” became my hands down favorite, I must have listened to that million times this summer. Love it.
Love Never Felt So Good - Michael Jackson - Usually the unreleased stuff was not released for a reason. This song however, makes me think of my favorite 1980’s Michael Jackson songs. There is a version with Justin Timberlake, the full original demo, and then like a stripped down vocals + piano + finger snaps demo version. All awesome.
Ring Off - Beyonce - Bow down people. I am one of those people that was psyched about her surprise album, and the deluxe version has this gem on it. About her parent’s divorce, or really more about/tribute to her Mom and the way she dealt with it.
White Winter Hymnal - Pentatonix - First time I listened to their new Christmas album, I got stuck on this one. Over and over, and its not a long song. I thought it was a traditional carol that I had never heard before (which would be kind of crazy, because my family is a bunch of nuts/experts about all things Christmas carol). Turns out it is a Fleet Foxes song, so that then turned me onto the Fleet Foxes.
White Winter Hymnal - Fleet Foxes - See above. Just very different then most things I listen to, and I now love this album because of the Pentatonix version.
Hunter - Pharrell - This entire album is awesome, but there is something about this song. Its kind of like “Hey Ya”, not everyone can pull something like this off” “Duck Dynasty’s cool and all/but they ain’t got nothin’ on the female call/I’m a hunter”. Trust me.
Callin Out Lyrics Born feat. Joyo Valerda - I think it was a spotify playlist that introduced me to this one, but the bass line alone is enough to listen to the whole thing…and then “People are you reaadyyy/let’s start the show”. (Reminds me a little of the bass line from “For the Love of Money”.)
Know Who You are - Pharrell, Alicia Keys - The bass line on this song, and its 2 artists I love. I sang really loud to this one back and forth to work each day.
Inside Out - Spoon - I made a playlist of this album in June…then never listened to it. That’s one problem with Spotify, sometimes its an embarrassment of riches and you get hung up on which of your 500 new albums/playlists to listen to. All Songs Considered had it on their top 10, so i listened to it and loved this song especially. I listen so passively these days, just because I don’t have a lot of time to sit and listen, but today I listened to this with headphones and it was totally worth it.
Water - The Roots - I read QuestLove’s book on a work trip this summer and came back with a list of things to listen to. All the Roots albums were on the list and this became one of my instant favorites. Live drums on hip hop should be the rule.
Fancy - Iggy Azalea - First thing’s first, this song can turn a middle aged mother into a rap star for 2 minutes in the car each morning. What’s better than that?
You Don’t Know What to Do - Mariah featuring Wale - Of course Mariah was going to make the list! When I saw her perform it on the Today show early in the summer I thought it would catch on the radio. It definitely did not, but still a great dance song.
Sugah Daddy - D’Angelo - Ok, I’m on my third glass of champagne, so my ability to describe why i love this song is diminishing. It has horns, piano, handclaps, and D’Angelo’s cool voice. Check.it.out.