Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The Best Songs of 2014

So, I have a little tradition where, each year, I make a playlist of my favourite songs of the year. Even though I've called this post 'The Best Songs of 2014', obviously that's not entirely true, one, music is sooooo subjective, and two, I can't say that I've listened to every single song that has come out this year. So, with that in mind, this post should really be renamed 'A List of Songs That I Have Heard, Liked, and Remembered The Name Of, That Came Out in 2014'. With that, enjoy ...

Touch | Shift K3Y

This is probably my most played song of the year - I LOVE IT! It's perfect for psyching me up in the morning, or keeping me motivated at the gym, or dancing to on the tube, this song is my jam. I have no doubts that this song will continue to climb my most played list in 2015 (it's currently at no. 12).

Champagne Kisses | Jessie Ware

Jessie Ware's album was one of the best of the year, so in some ways it was hard to choose just one song to put on this list (yep, maybe I need to amend the post's title again to 'A List of Songs That I Have Heard, Liked, and Remembered The Name Of, That Came Out in 2014, Limited to Just One Song Per Artist'). However, Champagne Kisses is a particularly stand-out track on this album. I have a weakness for people singing in falsetto, so this, along with the do do dos, make this song a keeper. 

Rather Be | Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne

This song really kicked off this year, and for good reason. To me, it perfectly sums up where music is right now, and, in some ways, also where it should be. It's a mixture of electronic beats, strong (female) vocals, and strings, which you can never go wrong with. This is one of those songs that, so far, is yet to get old. I've heard it so many times, whether on my iPod, on the radio, or on TV, but I am still able to listen to it all the way through. 

Best Mistake | Ariana Grande feat. Big Sean

Oh how I love Ariana Grande (see: this entire post dedicated to her), and although I don't love her new album anywhere near as much as I the first, I still give appreciation where it's due, namely 'Best Mistake'. This song is so different from anything Ariana has done before, and, long story short, it's really good. I really like Big Sean's part in this song, and I really need to check out his solo stuff (because I've been a fan of his features for ages, 'Mercy' anyone?).

Don't | Ed Sheeran

Until 2014, I really didn't like Ed Sheeran. I thought he was overrated, and frankly, not that good. However, that all changed when I watched his performance at Glastonbury (on TV of course). The way he managed to captivate an audience of god-knows-how-many people with just him and his guitar sold me on his talent. I then went on to download his new album, and the rest, as they say, is history. When I first got the album I thought 'Thinking Out Loud' would have been the song to make this list, but, due to it being MASSIVELY overplayed, and covered so badly by so many people, I've kind of come to hate it. So, second choice, Don't, what's better than an entire song dedicated to slamming Ellie Goulding? (Mwahaha I hate her.) I also love the unique sound that Ed's got going on this new album, he's kept to his roots, but also managed to turn it up a dial. #thisreviewistoolong

Tell Me It's Okay | Paramore

It's OK! So, I'm the biggest Paramore fan, they are my life, and so when they announced they were releasing the deluxe version of their album 'Paramore', including a grand total of ONE NEW SONG (!), my body was ready. This song isn't my favourite Paramore song, but, as the song seems to know itself, it's OK! Whatever Pmore's new song had been I would have put it on this list, because NEW MUSIC!

All The Ways You Let Me Down | Candy Hearts

Another of my favourite albums of the year came courtesy of Candy Hearts. It really was hard to choose a single song for this list, but the chorus of this song kills it. I'm trying not to write a lot here, because I have a whole Candy Hearts post planned.

Seal Me With A Kiss | Jessie J feat. De La Soul

As you guys know from this post, I've been a fan of Jessie J for a long time, but have been more than a little disappointed with her second and third albums. This song however, is a stand out, and I love it. It's funky and upbeat, and Jessie's voice is showcased flawlessly. GIVE. ME. MORE.

Wrapped Up | Olly Murs feat. Travie McCoy

So, I'm kind of embarrassed to put this on my playlist, because it really is a guilty pleasure. I'm on a happy music trip at the moment (what with the 1975's 'Girls' compiling approximately 50% of my music listening this year), and this song is all about happy. It just makes me want to dance.

Uptown Funk | Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars

What, what!? This song is this shiz. It's equally Michael Jackson and something futuristic, iPhone 6? I really hope this song sparks a music revolution in 2015. Bring. Back. The. Funk! Fleur's version of this should have won her The X Factor. Just sayin'.

Steal My Girl | One Direction

1D's  new album is the cat's pyjamas, and choosing one song was hard. It was a choice between this, Stockholm Syndrome and Where Do Broken Hearts go, but the video for this song (minus Niall and his general awfulness) sold it to me. Harry and Zayn look soooooo goooooood, and yep. That's all. 

Ain't It Fun (Live at Red Rocks) | Paramore

(OK, the title needs another amendment: 'A List of Songs That I Have Heard, Liked, and Remembered The Name Of, That Came Out in 2014, Limited to Just One Song Per Artist, Unless That Artist is Paramore'. Great, glad we cleared that up.) I didn't think Ain't It Fun could get any better, it's in my top 20 most played twice (album version and leaked album version -  sorrynotsorry), because of its funkiness and Hayley's voice, and the choir and the bass and just everything, so when they came along and released this live version, I was floored. It's SOOOOOOO good! Hayley ups the vocals 200000 times, the bass is turned up <3, and there's a lil' baby child singing in the middle that adds cuteness. This live version is amazing, and the perfect song to end my 2014 Best Of Playlist with. 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Best of the 80s | Timeless Classics

This playlist, unlike the last in this series, comprises songs from the 1980s that I listen to on a regular basis. They blend seamlessly into the more modern music that I listen to, and are, in my opinion, timeless. Be warned: it's a bit of an eclectic mix. Just like me ;) As usual, this is just a selection, and I tried to keep it to one song per artist, which was hard when it came to Madonna and Prince!

  1. Like A Prayer | Madonna
  2. Dirty Diana | Michael Jackson
  3. Purple Rain | Prince
  4. Human Nature | Michael Jackson
  5. Endless Love | Diana Ross & Lionel Richie
  6. Love Come Down | Evelyn King
  7. I Feel For You | Chaka Khan (When I was researching this I found out that Prince wrote this song! No wonder I love it so much!)
  8. Running Up That Hill | Kate Bush
  9. Saturday Love | Cherelle & Alexander O'Neal
  10. Ride On Time | Black Box

Friday, 5 December 2014

My Favourite Christmas Songs

White Christmas | The Drifters 
This song is in The Santa Clause, and is, in my opinion, the best version of this song. I just love the doo doo doos at the beginning. 

Carol of the Bells | John Williams
Again, I first heard this in the film The Santa Clause (i.e. the best Christmas film), and I love it so much. One day I will record myself singing all the parts and be a one woman choir.

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) | Michael Buble
It's no secret that I love Mr Buble (at uni me and my friends had a Michael Buble Fajita Party where we made fajitas and listened to every MB song ever. It was perfect, and we need to do it again ASAP!), and, where it's hard to choose my favourite Christmas song of his, I went with this one because I think it's the best ever version of this song. 

All I Want For Christmas Is You | Mariah Carey 
Most Christmas pop songs, in my opinion, don't stand the test of time, and really shouldn't be played year in year out. However, All I Want For Christmas Is You manages to always feel fresh. I don't know if it's just me, and my love of 90s R'n'B, (and the fact that this song is in Love Actually,) but this song feels like it will always be good. 

The Christmas Song | Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole has one of the best voices of all time, one that I could listen to for days. It's incredibly sad and unfair to know that he had to deal with continual, often violent, racism throughout his career, and I would like to say that he'd be better off in today's world, but with Ferguson bringing race to the forefront of many peoples' minds (at last), I'm not sure he would. 

Angel's Carol | John Rutter
I've been in choirs all my life, unfortunately not in the past few years, but I  loved it, and I love choral music. This is one of my all time favourites. John Rutter is my main man. 

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year | Andy Williams
Andy Williams is fantastic, and this song is perfect. It's festive without being cheesy, and cheerful without being silly. 

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas | Judy Garland
Judy Garland is perfection. She was beautiful, and had the most gorgeous speaking voice to go along with her incredibly emotive singing voice. I love her, and, as happens so often, she passed well before her time. I find it hard to listen to this (and the Sinatra) version without getting incredibly emotional. 

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas | Luther Vandross
You may think it's gratuitous to have the same song on this playlist twice, but to be honest with you, these two versions are so different they may as well be different songs. Judy's version is raw and emotive, and where Luther's version also invokes emotion in the listener, I find that it's a lot more hopeful. (The point that gets me in this song every single time is the line 'through the years we all will be together'.)

Every year this season reminds me how much I love music from the 40s and 50s, and how fantastic music is full stop. I can't, and wont, imagine a life without music. On a different note, seeing as I'm working pretty much full time at the moment, I'm going to reduce my posts to twice a week. Hopefully this wont be forever, but I just feel like at the moment I'm seeing quantity as more important that quality, and it most certainly isn't. 

Monday, 1 December 2014

Best of the 80s | Guilty Pleasures

So I was just flicking through the music channels (which is literally all I do with the TV nowadays), and Careless Whisper came on. I freaking love that song! So, I thought, how can I share my love of this song with my readers? Aha! An 80s Guilty Pleasures Playlist ... enjoy! (To view the playlist in YouTube, click here.)

Careless Whisper | George Michael 

Take On Me | a-ha

True | Spandau Ballet

Only You | Yazoo

Don't You Want Me | The Human League 

Livin' On A Prayer | Bon Jovi

The Power of Love | Huey Lewis

Wind Beneath My Wings

Against All Odds | Phil Collins

The Winner Takes It All | ABBA

I do feel like a bit of a fake writing this because I wasn't born in the 80s, but then I remember how many people love the Beatles. So ... meh. Also, when I say 'best of', I mean a) songs that I like, b) songs that I can remember, and c) songs that I classify as 'classically' eighties (hence why Purple Rain isn't on here). What do you think, do you agree? I'll be making a 'cooler' 80s Playlist soon, including the likes of Madonna, Prince and Michael Jackson.