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 Bastille, Lorde, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry and Lana Del Rey.
No. 10 Katy Perry “Walking On Air” / “Prism” (video)
With the release of “Prism,” Katy Perry delivered a more mellow album than 2010's “Teenage Dream.” She still found time to play around, though, like on the flamboyantly fun dance track “Walking On Air.” Perry reaches back into the '90s for a different sound. Her airy voice floats over house beats as she sings, “Tonight I'm walking on air.” The flow of song is interrupted with the clunky lyric “You're reading me like erotica / Boy, you make me feel exotica.” Katy gets back up though when she digs deep vocally and tries to channel those big voiced divas of dance floors past in the line: “Heaven is jealous of our love, oooh yeah.” It's a sweet little love song rich in retro pop goodness.
No. 9 Bastille “Of the Night” / “All This Bad Blood” (video)
U.K. alternative rock group Bastille started making waves stateside this year with the track “Pompeii.” Their debut album has already become a massive hit back home, which warranted the re-release “All This Bad Blood.” The band added their hypnotic mash-up “Of the Night” to the tracklist. Singer-songwriter Dan Smith combines the classic '90s dance tracks “Rhythm of the Night” and “Rhythm is a Dancer” by Corona and Snap! respectively for “Of the Night.” Bastille gives new meaning to the aforementioned hits with their gloomy take. Smith's soulful vocals turn the party jams into a meditative yet enthralling look at life. The rhythm lives on in Bastille's “Of the Night.”
No. 8 Ariana Grande featuring Mac Miller “The Way” / “Yours Truly” (video)
Nickelodeon star Ariana Grande experienced a breakout year with her debut album “Yours Truly.” The record was ushered in with her R&B track “The Way” featuring indie rapper Mac Miller. Grande channels Mariah Carey in the early '90s on the standout single. Vocally, she goes the whole nine yards, effortlessly hitting those high notes like a seasoned pro but never overdoing it. The breezy Big Pun/Brenda Russell sample backs her fun and flirty performance while Mac Miller adds a little something extra. The Mariah comparisons might be getting tired but Grande rightfully warranted the hype with her diva vocal acrobatics.
No. 7 Lorde “Team” / “Pure Heroine” (video)
New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde made an impact worldwide with her sleeper hit “Royals.” That single led to her brilliant debut album “Pure Heroine.” The beautifully twisted track “Team” is undoubtedly the brightest moment on the record. Hip-hop beats usher in Lorde but glowing synths soon kick in after. With her picturesque lyrics, she tells a different kind of fairytale love story. “Living in ruins of the palace within my dreams and you know we're on each other's team,” she sings. Lorde even takes a shot at generic pop songs with the line: “I'm kind of over of being told to throw my hands up in the air, so there.” With this slice of pop grandeur, she still finds time to drill in her witty commentary.
No. 6 Lana Del Rey “Young And Beautiful” / “The Great Gatsby” soundtrack (video)
Lana Del Rey's moody music is often called cinematic. She finally found herself on a film soundtrack this year with Baz Luhrmann's adaption of “The Great Gatsby.” Del Rey's “Young and Beautiful” is particularly chilling when played as characters Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan try to rekindle old flames. On its own merits, though, Lana's sweeping single is absolutely alluring. Her magical and vivid lyricism is presented on grander scale, now backed by a full orchestra. She is never consumed by the major production, but it instead adds weight to her eternal question: “Will you still love me when I am no longer young and beautiful?” Del Rey's vintage vocal sounds at home on this gorgeous ballad.
Did your favorites make the cut? Stay tuned tomorrow as the 2013 countdown concludes with Nos. 1-5!
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. 11-15: link
Here's the list for Nos. 1-5: link
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