10. Fun. – We Are Young
You might know We Are Young for a multitude of reasons. There’s the unforgettable clip, which recreates the perfectly normal behaviour of a party that runs out of booze. You might know it for the ridiculously epic chorus, that no matter how stupid you’re going to sound singing it – you have to. Chances are, you know it because it has been no.1 on every country on Earth for eternity.
However, demerit points for hiring one of the most talented singer/songwriters in the world right now and doing absolutely NOTHING with her. A corn on the cob could have contributed as much as Janelle Monae’s bridge.
9. Nicki Minaj – Starships
There are two types of people. There are those that understand the berserk amazingness of Starships, and then there are fucking idiots.
Starships was a risky move for Nicki Minaj. Although she can’t decide whether she wants to a pop princess who scales the charts with tracks like Super Bass or the fresh indie mixtape maker, Starships cemented her as the former – in fact, Starships just broke a record by spending more consecutive weeks in the Top 10 than any other song in history.
The song makes zero sense, the lyrics could have been written by a foul-mouthed pre-schooler and the vocal-free chorus sounds like a robot orgy, but I love the shit out of it. NB, her next single Pound the Alarm is exactly the same song except for…no, it’s exactly the same.
8. Santigold – Disparate Youth
I make no secret of my love for Santigold. She’s realised two incredibly high-calibre albums and when I saw her live at Parklife last year – she was simply remarkable – and the highlight of the event.
Her most recent album was another success and deservedly I gave it a glowing review. Sandwiched between a shitload of amazing songs was Disparate Youth, an R&B/rock fusion that has Yeah Yeah Yeah’s fingerprints all over it.
To me, Santi is the perfect artist. Commercial enough to be accessible to the masses but credible and indie enough to change the game, it’s no wonder I dress up like her on a Saturday night and sing into an empty Shiraz bottle.
7. Florence & The Machine – Never Let Me Go
Lungs was an out-of-the-blue triumph for Florence & The Machine. Refreshing then that the band survived sophomore album syndrome when they released an arguably superior Ceremonials. Managing to find the happy medium between giving their fans more of the same and also challenging by taking us in a slightly different direction, Florence & co nailed it.
Never Let Me Go is a remarkable achievement. In an album where the filler is more capable than most lead singles from other artists, it manages to hold itself on par with tracks like Shake it Out, a track that isn’t disposed of the second it leaves the charts.
While most popstars bang on about getting drunk in a club, rooting around and how fast their cars are, Florence (and her machine) leave this as their legacy, “In the arms of the ocean, so sweet and so cold, and all this devotion I never knew at all, And the crashes are Heaven, for a sinner released, and the arms of the ocean, deliver me.”
NB: Spectrum and Breaking Down are also proper amazing.
6. Icona Pop – I Love It
Sweden. It’s fucking cold. There are lots of Vikings. For a country with not much going on beyond icy rape and pillage, they sure do churn out amazing musicians. Robyn, Miike Snow, The Cardigans, Lykke Li, Kleerup, The Knife as well as The Hives, Peter Bjorn and John – not to mention ABBA?!
The latest Swedish global threat comes in the form of electro-pop duo Icona Pop’s I Love It. Written by Charli XCX (also amazing), the track is a monster. The girls are the epitome of cool, the semi-spoken singing has that head banging 80s feel and the whole production is perfection.
Unfortunately the song has been attached to Snooki & JWoww’s new reality show, which means you now have to secretly like it. Sad face.