Choosing the best song of the year is a tough one. For example, my personal list means that Britney Spears wins every year. Even when she doesn’t release anything. Music is a very subjective topic and I understand that my top five are probably so far from everyone else’s. Therefore I have made two rules when selecting the top five songs of 2013.
Rule number one: every song on this list has hit the UK number one spot. That way I am sure to please the most people on this list and guaranteed to get the most statistically correct list. My other rule is to get rid of any song that has come on this month from the proceedings. I love Calvin Harris’s new song and the new Lady Gaga, but I am aware that they are so fresh in my memory that they probably don’t deserve one of the top spots on this list. Overall, I am satisfied with my choices, although I welcome a debate in the comments below.
5 – MACKLEMORE – THRIFT SHOP
Fifth place is always a breath of relief, as this is the song that very nearly didn’t make it. There were plenty of other contenders for this place, including Miley Cyrus’s ‘marmite’ songs or Rudimental, who always brings out some amazing tunes. However, Macklemore’s Thrift Song is always on the peripherals of our playlists, even though it was one of the earliest songs to be released this year. It is catchy, fun and Macklemore is the kind of rapper, who has a laugh with his music, rather than trying to build up some hardcore gangster reputation. And this is what makes him one of the most iconic new stars of this year.
Of course, he isn’t a new star per se, but we have only just allowed him into the mainstream. Hipsters rioted at the fact that this is one of his sub-par songs and he has been bringing out amazing tracks for years without anyone noticing. I don’t know about his older material, but I would not describe this as a sub-par song. It is fun, easy to get along with and has become an anthem for the club scene, which it is in a recession.
4 – JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE – MIRRORS
I had to put Justin Timberlake on this list somewhere, as his new album 20/20 amazed everyone who got around to listening to it. Personally, I had my doubts about this song when it first came out. The rest of the album took a while to grow on me, especially this song. It was just so textbook Timberlake, I was sort of disappointed. Timberlake had brought out amazingly original tunes like ‘Sexy Back’ and ‘Lovestoned’ and now he was resorting back to his old style of music. Love ballads. It was a good song, but nothing new.
But then it began getting played more. The lyrics settled into your mind and you ended up falling in love with the song. The power and emotion channelling through Timberlake as he sings it adds an almost epic feel to the tune. The first time you hear this song, you sit back and just listen to it. You let Timberlake take over and control the room’s atmosphere. It is the song of an artist that has been in the music industry for so long he knows what he is doing with precision.
3 – ROBIN THICKE – BLURRED LINES
You either hate this song with a passion or haven’t stop listening to it, since it first came out. Blurred Lines came out of nowhere, instantly making an impact on the charts. It bounced in and out of the number one spot, as each new wave of people discovered it. The truth is that it is such a fun song that doesn’t try to be anything more than catchy. You can instantly get onto the same wavelength with it and enjoy it for what it is: a laugh. The music video isn’t to be taken seriously, nor are the lyrics.
Of course, it is surrounded by controversy. At first, it was the nudity in the video. If you find the original video that is uncensored, most of its running time involves the three women in the video dancing around with no clothes on. It instantly helped it become a cult classic and threw it into the news, even if it was bad press. And then the rape symbolism was figured out. The lyrics are actually very disturbing, when they are thrown into this context. But this was a clever ruse on the producer’s part: this song was talked about for ages. Longer than it should have been. And when the bad press got too much, Robin Thicke let Miley Cyrus twerk onto him and the hate was directed to her. It was like passing a torch of hate between singers.
2 – AVICCI – WAKE ME UP
No one would have thought that country and House would go together. In many ways, both of these genres haven’t made too much of an impact in the mainstream for some time now. Kelly Clarkson and Taylor Swift hardly count as true country and House has been kind of pushed out by the arrival of dubstep. Therefore, it was a risky, but inspired move, by the DJ Avicci to combine these dying genres. He breathed life into them.
Avicci has a habit of impressing me more and more. I loved ‘Levels’ and then he brought out ‘Silhouettes’ which I listen to on a regular basis to this very day. Afterwards, we got ‘Superlove’ which while a little too focused on the beats, rather than the vocals, was still an impressive tune. And there was this. We instantly knew the lyrics, loved the song and wanted this to succeed. I haven’t met one person who dislikes this song. It was very nearly my number one, but at the end of the day, there was already a clear winner. It was the easiest to place on this list. And it is…
1 – DAFT PUNK – GET LUCKY
Daft Punk haven’t really been around for a while now. Some of their older hits seem a little aged by time. I imagine ‘Around the World’ was a lot more fun, when it first came out, but now it is the kind of song you put on to annoy the person next to you. However, when ‘Get Lucky’ came out of nowhere, I got the hype around this band. They really know what they are doing with their music, from the pace of the tune and the decision to put Pharrell on the vocals (Pharrell also is the only person to be on the Top Five of 2013 twice, so I guess he wins musician of the year by default). Everything about this song is amazing and easily earns the top spot here.
I genuinely think that this is one of those songs that we will be listening to for a few years to come now. Honestly, it could be one of the classics of the decade, a song we use to summarise this time in music. It is so memorable, is something we can all dance to and, I know it is far too early to tell, but it already seems timeless. I know that you have all probably listened to it a lot at this point of the year, so I thought that I would change things up a bit and post a link to a nice, little remix I caught online. This is from a French DJ, who blended every decade of music into Daft Punk’s song, so we get this track played in a 60s style and then a 80s power ballad. It seemed like a nice way to spend an article this close to the New Year: celebrating music and how it has evolved through the years.