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 continues with A Great Big World, Belinda, Daft Punk, Lady Gaga and Carrie Underwood.
No. 15 Carrie Underwood “See You Again” / “Blown Away” (video)
Country superstar Carrie Underwood dropped her album “Blown Away” last year but she released the beautiful track “See You Again” as a single in 2013. Originally meant for the 2010 movie “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of Dawn,” “See You Again” did not end up making the soundtrack. Luckily, Underwood kept the tune for herself. The former “American Idol” winner deals with a loved one's passing on the massive ballad and remains hopeful that they will someday be reunited. “I will see you again / This is not where it ends / I will carry you with me,” she sings in a very passionate performance. Death is not an easy subject to approach but Underwood does her best to ease the pain.
No. 14 Belinda “En La Obscuridad” / “Cartasis” (video)
Spanish-Mexican pop singer Belinda returned this year with her album “Catarsis” (English: “Cartharsis”). She first previewed the record last year with “En El Amor Hay Que Perdonar” (“In Love One Must Forgive”), but the campaign became especially exciting with the single “En La Obscuridad” (“In the Dark”), a track that was a lot bubblier than its predecessor. Over an electro-pop sound reminiscent of Rihanna's “We Found Love,” Belinda sings about how incredibly head-over-heels she feels for her man. That giddyness and passion is conveyed well with her powerful yet playful vocals. Belinda does a great job of bottling up that “mad about you” feeling on the thrilling and jubilant pop song.
No. 13 Lady Gaga featuring R. Kelly “Do What U Want” / “ARTPOP” (video)
Lady Gaga came back this year with her album “ARTPOP.” On the song “Do What U Want” with R. Kelly, she took aim as her critics and still produced a quality bedroom banger. Over some hypnotic beats, Gaga digs deep vocally to get her point across loud and clear. "You can't have my heart and you won't use my mind, but do what you want with my body," she sings on the electro-R&B track. R. Kelly later takes on the naysayers with her in his soulful verse: "We taking these haters and we ruffing them up and we laying the cut like we don't give a f**k." Both Gaga and R. Kelly go in for the kill on this sensual track and they hit all the right spots along the way.
No. 12 A Great Big World featuring Christina Aguilera - “Say Something” / "Is There Anybody Out There?" (video)
At the tail end of the year, pop duo A Great Big world made a big splash with “Say Something.” Members Ian Axel & Chad Vaccarino first recorded the somber song alone but pop singer Christina Aguilera later requested to sing it with them. On the delicate piano ballad, Axel sings, "And I will stumble and fall / I'm still learning to love / Just starting to crawl." Aguilera supports Axel throughout and she pulls back from her usual vocal acrobatics for a lighter yet still heartfelt performance. She gives more voice to Axel's impassioned plea. It was an unexpected collaboration but Christina perfectly compliments A Great Big World. The single became even more spellbinding with her in the mix.
No. 11 Daft Punk featuring Julian Casablancas - “Instant Crush” / “Random Access Memories” (video)
Famed electronic act Daft Punk returned to the spotlight this year with the album “Random Access Memories.” Members Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter collaborated with an eclectic bunch of artists like Pharrell Williams, Giorgio Moroder and The Strokes' frontman Julian Casablancas. On the standout track “Instant Crush,” the duo's disco sound received a rock music edge. Casablancas' low croon is digitized throughout as he sings over the electronic and gloomy production. It's just one of many surprise collaborations on "Random" that looks weird on paper but sounds amazing when heard.
Did your favorites make the cut? Stay tuned tomorrow as the 2013 countdown continues with Nos. 6-10!
Here's the list for Nos. 30-26: link
Here's the list for Nos. 21-25: link
Here's the list for Nos. 16-20: link
Here's the list for Nos. 6-10: link
Here's the list for Nos. 1-5: link
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