Best Of / Feature

2013 Best Songs: Part III

Hot on the heels of Part II, comes this, Part III of 2013’s most popfoolish songs.

Alive Chase

 20. Chase & Status / featuring Jacob Banks – Alive
UK chart: 

Like ‘Lost & Not Found’, we also took a while to warm up to ‘Alive.’ Having thawed out, ‘Alive’ is quite simply an anthem.

Highlights of the song:
The way the song slowly builds up.
Lowlights of the song:
We would have liked the original song to have been extended.
Best lyric:
‘All my troubles are gone with the wind.’

Charlie Brown Bones19. Charlie Brown – On My Way
Released: 24/03/13
UK chart: #7

Charlie Brown may not sound like a PopStarName, but with ‘On My Way’ this cheeky chappie certainly managed to please Popfools up and down the country. This is an example of a fairly basic song that can do wonders.

Highlights of the song:
Delicious vocals.
We think it sounds a bit like a Jessie J song sang like a bloke.
Lowlights of the song:
It’s a shame there’s not another male British popstar who could have released it instead. In lieu of an obvious viable option, we would have liked to see Union J release it.
Best lyric:
‘You’ve given up the fight / Like the streets that you’re always walking on.’ 
Live it Up
18. Jennifer Lopez / featuring Pitbull – Live It Up
Released: 08/05/13
UK chart: #17

2013’s J.Lo and Pitbull collaboration certainly didn’t disappoint, with ‘Live It Up’ somehow feeling like the duo taking things ‘Next Level.’ Every notch on this song has been turned up to 100%, resulting in not only that undeniably great chorus, but also Pitbull’s rather unsettling ‘Let’s fook tonight.’ Nonetheless, we now treat Pitbull as a novelty act a la The Vengaboys, and thus ignore most of his irrelevant mumblings throughout this song, aside from the hilarious ‘You name it / She’s done it.’

Highlights of the song:
The ‘Oooooo-oh’ that starts off the chorus.
Anything that Jennifer Lopez sings, provided that Pitbull doesn’t holler over it.
‘You name it, she’s done it.’
Lowlights of the song:
Our opinion on Pitbull has mellowed somewhat, see above, but we still can’t help asking ourselves why J.Lo must collaborate with the self-styled Mr 101 rather than another rent-a-rapper. We’re suggesting Flo-Rida or Nelly. Even T.I.
Best lyric:
Rather shockingly it does actually fall to Pitbull with his neat ‘We don’t believe in defeat / That’s why we back for the repeat’ (or maybe even the three-peat if you believe some sources.)
saturdays disco

17. The Saturdays – Disco Love
UK chart: 

We didn’t especially like ‘Disco Love’ when it was first released, and we stand by our slightly brutal deconstruction of the video. However we recognise that the song is extremely popfoolish to a point of excellence. Reference to original-era Britney? Check. ‘It’s never winter when it’s Donna Summer all year long?’ Check. Whilst Daft Punk may have been intent on bringing disco back in 2013, The Saturdays were interested merely in dressing up in slightly retro clothes and paying homage to a disco legend. We think we prefer the latter approach.

Highlights of the song:
Silly, fun lyrics.
Fun. It’s just fun all round. Aren’t those Saturdays fun?
Lowlights of the song:
It does sound a little ‘basic’ at points.
Best lyric:
Clearly ‘It’s never winter when it’s Donna Summer all year long.’

Rihanna Stay

16. Rihanna / featuring Mikky Ekko – Stay
UK chart:

In what was an astoundingly quiet year for Rihanna, she still managed to grab one of the biggest radio hits of the year with ‘Stay.’ The thing about ‘Stay’ was that it was melodic, shimmering, and modestly beautiful. The blend of Rihanna’s and Ekko’s voices worked beyond compare, and we appreciated the simple approach Rihanna took to the song. It sounds stripped back, back to basics, and laid the performer’s voices at the forefront of the song.

Highlights of the song:
Its simplicity.
Lovely blend of vocals.
It felt genuine, a rarity for a Rihanna song.
Lowlights of the song:
Maybe slightly too much piano. But we’re nitpicking.
Best lyric:
‘Not really sure how to feel about it.’
John Newman Cheating

15. John Newman – Cheating
UK chart: 

‘Cheating’ may have been the far less successful follow up to ‘Love Me Again’ – the ‘This Kiss’ to Carly Rae’s ‘Call Me Maybe’ – but in both cases we prefer the former. The retro sounds of ‘Cheating’ result in us wanting to finger waggle and hotfoot our way through the song. We just love love love the backing singers/choir on the chorus, and think that altogether the song is awesome.

Highlights of the song:
The chorus, with all those backing singers and trumpets.
Did we mention the brass instrumentation? We’re assuming they’re trumpets. Maybe they’re horns.
Lowlights of the song:
John Newman’s voice is still a little love-or-loathe.
Best lyric:
‘You are the one who’s creeping / You are the one who’s cheating.’

La La

14. Naughty Boy / featuring Sam Smith – La La La
Released: 18/05/13
UK chart: #1

We thought that Naughty Boy’s album might be one of the best of the year, before we saw how many times Emilie Sandé was on the tracklist. ‘La La La’ has to be one of the biggest smashes of 2013, becoming ubiquitous, and it probably would have ended up higher on the list had we not overplayed the song somewhat and thus dampened our opinion on it. Despite all this, the song was fresh, unique, and extremely catchy.

Highlights of the song:
Sam Smith’s vocals.
The beat.
‘La la la la la la la la la la la la.’
Lowlights of the song:
Being played bloody everywhere all summer long.
Best lyric:
‘I can’t find your silver linings’

13. Miley Cyrus – We Can’t Stop
UK chart:

Here comes the better of Miley’s two singles this year. Yet again, stripping away all the hype, all the attention-seeking stunts, and other associated nonsense, we can see that an extremely good song lies underneath. That the song was originally written with Rihanna in mind somehow makes everything all the more delicious. We love our Miley when she is having fun and singing upbeat pop anthems, and this is almost up there with ‘Party In The USA’ as the finest work of her career thus far.

Highlights of the song:
‘La da di da di / We like to party / Dancing with Miley’
The middle 8, specifically where it sounds like Miley’s voice is breaking.
Lowlights of the song:
That strange man who talks over everything. Or is it Miley’s voice slowed down? It’s freaky anyway.
Miley trying to glamorise drugs.
Best lyric:
‘La da de da di / We like to party / Dancing with Miley.’ Also ‘This is our house / This is our rules.’ ‘We run things things don’t run we.’ Actually the whole thing is pretty epic.

Burn Ellie

12. Ellie Goulding – Burn
UK chart: #1

In the year’s biggest instance of ‘amazing song given to an artist we don’t like but nonetheless we LOVE the song’ comes Ellie Goulding’s ‘Burn.’ Originally destined for Leona Lewis, this probably ended up in the right hands, with Ellie doing the song justice. Except for with that awful X Factor performance (and the even worse dress she wore.)

Highlights of the song:
The song itself. By which we mean the instrumentation and that addictive beat.
Lowlights of the song:
Ellie Goulding’s vocals. Look, we’re not fans of the whole ‘I’m a quirky little girl’ schtick as peddled by both Goulding and X Factor’s Abi Alton.
‘Getting loco till the lights out.’
Best lyric:
‘They gonna see us from outer space / Light it up, like we’re the stars of the human race.’

One D Kiss You

11. One Direction – Kiss You
UK chart: #9

We don’t believe that the 1D boys have ever released anything better than ‘Kiss You.’ Instantly fun, instantly popfoolish, and instantly delectable, we feel a little bit sad that in the name of ‘maturing’ and other suchlike rubbish, the boys seem to have since abandoned this sound. Because this, more than any other, is what fits them as a group and as individual personalities. The video also happened to be one of the pop events of the year, with so many incredible ‘GIFable’ moments. It very narrowly misses out on a top 10 placing.

Highlights of the song:
Literally everything.
Referencing album ‘Take Me Home’ in the lyrics.
‘Na na na na na na na na’
‘And if Yo-ooo-ooou.’
Lowlights of the song:
Nothing. Seriously.
Best lyric:
The album-referencing ‘And you just wanna take me home.’


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