2013 is coming to a close. Musically, new acts made a name for themselves and pop veterans returned to the scene. The next 30 songs burned up radio, tore up the clubs, or blew up in the blogosphere this past year. It's a mix of songs you've most likely heard with tracks you ought to know. The list concludes with Drake, Miley Cyrus, Sky Ferreira, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake.
No. 5 Miley Cyrus “Wrecking Ball” / “Bangerz” (video)
Following her wild performance of “We Can't Stop” at this year's MTV Video Music Awards, Miley Cyrus became the most talked about pop star of 2013. Some wrote her off as not being a serious artist but she hit back accordingly with the single “Wrecking Ball.” Looking past the music video that has become a novelty, Cyrus delivers one of the best vocal performances of her career. She gets emotional on this sophisticated slice of synth-pop, reflecting on a loving relationship that sadly went sour. Cyrus digs deep when singing, “Don't you ever say I just walked away / I will always want you,” and she rises to the heartbreaking occasion.
No. 4 Drake featuring Majid Jordan “Hold On, We're Going Home” / “Nothing Was the Same” (video)
Canadian hip-hop star Drake returned this year with his album “Nothing Was the Same.” He first introduced the set with his rags-to-riches rap tune “Started From the Bottom.” On follow-up single “Hold On, We're Going Home,” Drake shifted gears as an artist. The synthy, '80s-inspired jam sees Drake take the smooth operator route as he sings his lady all the way home. He put his raps on hold to croon, "I got my eyes on you / You're everything that I see / I want your high love and emotion endlessly." Usual Drake collaborator Noah "40" Shebib and duo Majid Jordan back the rapper with atmospheric production that took “Hold On” to a whole other level.
No. 3 Justin Timberlake “Mirrors” / “The 20/20 Experience” (video)
Pop singer Justin Timberlake made his highly-anticipated comeback in 2013 with “The 20/20 Experience” album. While “Suit & Tie” was a fun first single, the song “Mirrors” is what really solidified his triumphant return. Timberlake is overjoyed with love on the synth-layered ballad. He delivers an emotional performance over the Timbaland-produced track's massive pop production. As a married man, he showers his wife Jessica Biel with affectionate verses. “Baby, you're the inspiration for this precious song / And I just wanna see your face light up since you put me on,” Justin croons in falsetto that only gets better with time.
No. 2 Britney Spears “Perfume” / “Britney Jean” (video)
Britney Spears got more hands-on this year with her eighth studio album “Britney Jean.” In co-writing all of the record's songs, she seemed to tackle heartbreak from last year the most. Singer-songwriter Sia helped Spears draw out something special from that experience on the track “Perfume.” She opens up both lyrically and vocally about marking an unfaithful lover with her fragrance. “I put on my perfume / Yeah, I want it all over you / Gotta mark my territory,” Britney belts on the elegant synth-pop tune. Spears was quite the bold balladeer on her first two albums and she finds her voice again with this beautifully vulnerable moment.
No. 1 Sky Ferreira “I Will” / “Night Time, My Time” (video)
After dropping a few singles and EPs over the past three years, indie pop singer-songwriter Sky Ferreira released her debut album “Night Time, My Time.” Ferreira has been to record label hell and back so she aired her grievances and channeled that frustration into a solid album. On “I Will,” a rollicking synth-rock track, Sky sonically unleashes her angst. She takes on those in the industry who tried to change her image in a very captivating performance. “When it's with me you're messing / I'm gonna teach you a lesson / I will,” Ferreira sings with a fiery determination. Her struggles culminate to a magnificent moment of empowerment. Sky's time came and she finally seized it.
Did your favorites make the cut? Thank you for following the countdown! Enjoy the holidays and happy New Year!
Here's the list for Nos. 6-10: link
Here's the list for Nos. 11-15: link
Here's the list for Nos. 16-20: link
Here's the list for Nos. 21-25: link
Here's the list for Nos. 26-30: link
For our Top 30 Songs of 2012, click here
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