20 Songs Of 2014

Just like last year and the year before and a year before before, lol, I was able to compile a competent yet very subjective list of songs that I personally thought peaked in the year of 2014.

In 2014, we saw new artists emerged from out of nowhere and gave us some LSS-worthy of pop tunes. The staples of music industry are still there and an emergence of the male version of Adele has just won the hearts of many and a lot of award giving bodies.

Now here is my list of the yearly 20 Songs Of – this time – 2014:

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Fifth Harmony – Boss; Ariana Grande (ft. Zedd) – Break Free; Nicki Minaj – Anaconda; Iggy Azalea (ft. Charli XCX) – Fancy; Tove Lo – Habits; Sam Smith – I’m Not The Only One

20. ALL ABOUT THAT BASS
Meghan Trainor

– In a battle of “Body empowerment” songs, two of them stood out and even if Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda missed my list, I still applaud her for that. But what really sided me with Meghan’s song more is the reto infused she put on the track. It felt fresh even if there is a touch of vintage sound from the quality of her tone to the production of the song. More so, it has a hook infectious enough to make you sing along.

19. SHE LOOKS SO PERFECT
5 Seconds Of Summer

– The emergence of 5 Seconds of Summer could’ve been a serious threat to One Direction but what I like about them is that they took a different route. Taking the pop-rock genre which has been vacant recently forces them to enjoy their own spotlight. She looks so perfect is the perfecf summer jam. With a rousing hook to a light rock anthem, the track is probably the best introduction of what the band can offer.

18. ANIMALS
Maroon 5

– From the moment lead singer Adam Levine opened the song on that chorus, making his thin yet sexy inflicted tone more noticeable and appealing. Look, Adam may be an underrated vocalist, but his voice really worked in this song that is filled with innuendos and animalistic appeal.

17. SHAKE IT OFF
Taylor Swift

– Playful yet catchy! Taylor Swift has found a niche of writing songs that seems to be too indulgent yet you can’t help but be caught to it. From the repetitive words of “shake shake shake” to the words “break break break”, you can just find yourself singing along.

16. TALK DIRTY
Jason Derulo (ft. 2 Chainz)

– In my ears, it was so smart to play with the trumpet sounds as it distinguishes right away a tune that is probably remembered in Jason Derulo’s book. It was catchy and infectious and the whole song was just a joy to dance to.

15. DRUNK IN LOVE
Beyonce (ft. Jay Z)

– There’s an effortless sexiness in this Beyonce’ tune that I adore. It’s not affected nor insulting to any gender. Also, it is nice to hear Beyonce tackle another genre – well not actually another – but to my ears it was a refreshing urban-R&B gem.

14. RUDE
Magic!

– The silliness and hilarity of its story telling in lyrics is backed up with a reggae flavor that I thought easily a hit. The beat is simple and the hook is just catchy. Who would have thought that such genre could win the hearts of the current music industry.

13. PROBLEM
Arina Grande (ft. Iggy Azalea)

– Ariana Grande followed up her successful debut last year with another pop tune and this time she is assisted with new hip-hop artist, Iggy Azalea. Though she’s been criticize for her poor enunciation and a second rate Marij Carey sound alike, Ariana proved that she is a viable pop artist here. With the track boasting some solid beats and a rousing pre-chorus that leads to an almost whispery yet hook-laiden chorus. This is a win. Plus, that rap verse from Iggy is quite impressive.

12. TAKE ME TO CHURCH
Hozier

– It’s a wonderful contrast! This Hozier single is such a solid debut. With the lead vocalist’s tone distinctively making an impression, Take me to church is a gorgeous pop rock effort.

11. JEALOUS
Nick Jonas

– The youngest of the Jonas Brothers, Nick made an impression when he define himself in a whole new package. Taking out any traces of the boyband appeal, Nick is now sexy, manly and oozing with so much confidence. Jealous is a perfect introduction to that change and his vocals were effortless. It has that Justin Timberlake sexy sound, a Robin Thicke falsetto combination and a grit that created a texture on the whole song.

10. RATHER BE
Clean Bandit (ft. Jess Glynne)

– The retro vibe of such dance-electro-pop tune is what made this song a solid offering. Not to mention, Jess Glynne was actually a joy to listen to. The backdrop of the music is simple and not overpowering. It’s a brilliant combination and I am not complaining.

9. DARK HORSE
Katy Perry (ft. Juicy J)

– The song demands attention with the beat giving us a pulsating rhythm then comes in Katy Perry’s vocals that is just underrated. Juicy J’s rap verses is actually a lovely combination as it didn’t deviate much to the beat that the whole song faithfully classified.

8. BLANK SPACE
Taylor Swift

– Have you heard that “Starbucks lover”? Yeah apparently we all misheard it and for me that was a brilliant lyric play as it gave another level of attention to the song. The song itself is infectious already. It is relatable, simple and catchy. Noone can’t fault that to Ms. Swift as she does continue to make LSS-worthy songs.

7. THINKING OUT LOUD
Ed Sheeran

– It’s like the modern day Romeo & Juliet theme. Thinking Out Loud is sweet, sincere and with a voice like that of Ed Sheeran? He easily sold the song with such classic, simple and lovely impact.

6. CHANDELIER
Sia

– Sia is one hell of a songwriter and a vocalist as well. I could never really think of somebody else nailing such hard song other than her. Chandelier is infectious with a rousing chorus and a series of verses that demands attention. The song itself is a lyric genius with a sense of realism.

5. BANG, BANG
Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj

– Given three big artists come together to give us an infectious, catchy and vocally bombast song? I am very much pleased. The beat pulsating to our eardrums with so much gusto and demand. Then Nicki Minaj fireplay that rap verse like no other? I am done. Bang Bang is a solid uptempo track that is filled with dynamics.

4. UPTOWN FUNK
Mark Ronson (ft. Bruno Mars)

– In a year where the inflection of retro sound, Mark Ronson’s collaboration with Bruno Mars easily wins it among the rest. It was infectious and catchy. The song is such a perfecf jam with Bruno Mars’ vocals undeniably a solid trend. And even if the track dropped in almost the end of the year, with such momentum and steam.. I am pretty sure this winning combination will carry out til next year.

3. HAPPY
Pharrell Williams

– Pharrell is not the best singer at all, let me get that straight but Happy is simply a track that makes you happy. It is a catchy and unassuming and the clap beat is an added touch that I really think worked given the theme of the song.

2. ALL OF ME
John Legend

– John Legend’s All of me is a sincere and genuine ode to a love one. It is sweet, lovelg and beautifully writtend albeit cheesy love ballad. And as the piano-driven track reaches a crescendo, John Legend explodes to a thousands of floating hearts and an emotional track is produced in the end. Lovely!

1. STAY WITH ME
Sam Smith

– Is he the new Adele? Look, let’s be fair to Sam as he is literally the breakout star of 2014 in terms of music. His vocals were effortlessly beautiful! And this track is an emotional pop ballad tht features the beauty in his voice and Stay with me is just gorgeous! In an almost gospelic approach, the song is a winning piece from a up and coming music star.

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The Voice US 7: 20 Best Performances (Wrap-Up)

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Season 7 is turning out to be a tad underwhelming season not until out of nowhere Chris Jamison and Matt McAndrew rose to the occasion and deliver great to fantastic performances.

In a nutshell, we saw Pharrell finding it hard to use the current music book and managed to give his artists some of the most outdated song choices to date. Gwen is so sweet and lovely and she turns out to be a pretty interesting coach. Some front runners suddenly fell in the loser bin and end up if not getting eliminated early, they didn’t even reached top 12. And of course the biggest story told in this season is how Blake won his fourth reign and how he absolutely won the competition despite being against a full team of Adam in the finals. Country voters rock!

Nonetheless, here are what I thought were the 20 best performances of Season 7.

Here you go.

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20. Toia Jones
Crazy In Love
Knockouts

– The performance is full of energy and fun and her delivery is an entertainment at its best. Not mention, her vocals didn’t suffer that much despite her working the stage. Too bad nobody stole her.

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19. Ricky Manning
Lay Me Down
Live Play-Offs

– Sure, he was a little wobbly in the beginning but once he picked up, he never looked back. Ricky’s tone sounded lovely and there is a delicate satisfaction in his delivery that I find endearing. His falsettos – not perfect – but soaring when not affected.

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18. Reagan James
Try
Live Play-Offs

– I never really thought this will work but it did. Her performance isn’t perfect but it has qualities that were pleasant and strong. The arrangement highlighted Reagan’s tone and her voice is simply front and center.

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17. Team Gwen
Riptide
Results Night

– This has been the best group performance since Team Adam’s “Shake it out”. The individual verses sounded beautiful and once they sang together, it was lovely. The production looked nice and their harmonies sounded really gorgeous.

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16. James David Carter
Nobody Knows
Blind Auditions

– The silky quality in his voice is divine. His phrasing is smooth and there is something about his audition that drawn me in so much interest. He is a country singer and it is rarely I enjoy performances of such but JDC made me root for him.

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15. Chris Jamison
Uptown Funk
Live Shows – Top 10

– It was a risk for Adam to give this song to Chris because 1) it is not yet that known and 2) it is wordy, which was Chris’ problem during the Play-Offs. But then somehow, Chris worked on his phrasing. His tone sounded significantly gorgeous. His performance is simply a joy to watch. Plus, there is confidence in his delivery that is quite endearing.

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14. Anita Antoinette
Redemption Song
Live Shows – Top 12

– Her intonation sounded beautiful. There is so much passion in here that I think really work in translating the message and connecting it with so much emotions. She’s a believable story teller and her pitch was on point.

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13. Chris Jamison
Sugar
Live Shows – Top 5

– Beat that Adam! Chris sounded way better than the original. Haha. Although I still love Adam, there’s no denying that Chris pulled this one with flying colors. He grew well on the competition and his stage presence is oozing with so much charisma. His vocals were great as well.

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12. Ricky Manning
Wrecking Ball
Knockouts

– Seriously? Pharrell lets go of him? Haha. Such a shame. Ricky surprised me this week. He totally outdone Elyjuh. His vocal dynamics were superb. Her tone sounded gorgeous. And everything just worked pretty much well here. And that glory note? Woooh! Crazy good.

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11. Jean Kelley
Chandelier
Knockouts

– There’s enough drama in here that worked pretty well. Her vocals were mostly on point. Her phrasing, a little airy, sounded lovely still. Plus, she connected well with the song and with her audience that she was able to create an inviting presence while singing.

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10. Taylor John Williams
Royals
Live Shows – Top 8

– The arrangement, I never thought will work but it smartly did. There is a different vibe created in here and TJW sounded really well. His vocals were front and center and this is the first time I really got why people were so drawn with him.

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9. Chris Jamison
Jealous
Live Shows – Top 12

– This is the moment where we were reintroduced on who Chris is. His delivery is simply impeccable. The vocal choices were on point. He sounded really great and he worked his stage pretty well.

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8. Matt McAndrew
Make It Rain
Live Shows – Top 5

– The element of dark, core-inviting worked really well in this Ed Sheeran track. Matt absolutely killed it from his well vocal dynamics to his solid delivery.

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7. Chris Jamison & Adam Levine
Lost Without U
Finale

– Perfect! Chris and Adam sounded beautifully great in their duet. The individual verses were strong and their harmonies sounded divine. This could be their record and I am for sure it will sell like hotcakes. Plus, they both exudes that sexy yet gentleman quality in their delivery that made me swoon over and over again.

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6. Matt McAndrew
Wasted Love
Finale

– It was the best written and produced original song of the season. After performing this, Matt clearly has the best track and could potentially sell records post season. His vocals were front and center. The track has the qualities that define what kind of artist Matt is.

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5. Troy Ritchie
Out Of My League
Blind Auditions

– Probably the most underrated performance of the season. This audition speaks volumes of great quality, radio-friendly stylings and a solid cover. Troy is a riveting artist and it shows here. His personality is there. His vocals were fantastic. The vocal choices were superb. Why did only Gwen appreciated this? I am still weirded out by the other coaches lack of judgment.

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4. Taylor Phelan
Sweater Weather
Blind Auditions

– BEST. AUDITION. SO. FAR. Taylor provided color in this cool-inspired track. The warmth was put in another level of warmth and I didn’t bother. It was confidently deliver. It was lovely in whole parts. And the vocals were simply outstanding!

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3. Matt McAndrew
Take Me To Church
Live Shows – Top 12

– Where did this came from? I thought Matt is just that acoustic crooner but he shed his inner alternative rock artist in this performance. It was riveting, solid and vocally stunning!

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2. Chris Jamison
Cry Me A River
Finale

– This was the moment a lot were waiting for since Chris was always compared to JT. At first, I wasn’t sure with the song choice and would prefer “Mirrors” instead but somehow, during the live shows, everything just clicked! His vocals were on point. His phrasing is solid. His delivery is probably his most confident ever. Chris should win this whole thing because his growth is just spectacular!

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1. Chris Jamison
When I Was Your Man
Live Shows – Top 5

– Simply. THE. BEST. PERFORMANCE. OF. THE. ENTIRE. SEASON. This is really FANTASTIC!!!

X Factor UK 11: 20 Best Performances (Wrap-Up)

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In the past seasons of this franchise, I never enjoy watching it that much. I mean, there are great talents but I was never really that glued to them. Even during the stint of One Direction, where they were so horrible back then, I didn’t fully dedicated a time watching every single episode. But there is something about season 11 that draws me naturally and I must say, I stick to the show from the room auditions episode to the finale night.

Season 11 brought us amazing talents, big boyband, Stevi Ritchie, Chloe Jasmine, Mel B’s fiestiness, judges’ banters and surprisingly pretty good set of performances. The themes were tired but tested. The acts were from nervous breakouts to those who deliver week by week by week.

Now, with no further adieu, here are the 20 best performances of season 11. This is completely bias so I don’t expect you all to agree with my choices.

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20. Stereo Kicks
Don’t let the sun go down on me
Top 7

– The individual verses sounded fantastic and even during the chorus — though the backtrack drowned them a bit — sounded pretty nice. The inflections of Jake Sims and Tom Mann towards the end added color on the performance as well.

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19. Paul Akister
Try a little tenderness
Top 12

– Paul’s vocals were mostly on point here. The arrangement is interesting but I did enjoy every bit of his performance. Solid enough for him to sail to next week.

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18. Fleur East
Will you be there
Top 9

– Finally! Underproduced performance is what I needed from Fleur. Mostly because in the past, I find the production and choreography were doing all the job for her (I’m entertained, don’t get me wrong) but here she proved she can really sing. Her vocals were front and center and I must say, she sounded really nice.

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17. Only The Young
Monster Mash
Top 11

– Fun, energetic, the whole production is simply entertaining. Plus, their vocals especially the guys sounded pretty good.

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16. Jay James
Changing
Top 16

– I was expecting another ballad from Jay after his auditions, boot camp and judges’ house performance but he showed a different side of him. This was good to be honest. Not perfect but he created some nice dynamics in his performance that is in particular compelling.

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15. Stereo Kicks
You are not alone
Top 9

– The individual verses, yet again, sounded nice. Without that stage intruder, this is a pretty solid performance from this group who week by week in proving to be a viable and relevant boy group in the music scene.

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14. Paul Akister
If you don’t know me by now
Top 14

– Paul is a fantastic vocalist and this proves to be his niche. It was vocally strong and he managed to connect with the audience and the song quite well. Solid performance from Paul!

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13. Stereo Kicks
Everybody
Top 11

– Who would’ve thought? On paper this could potentially be a trainwreck (see: their performance of “Roar”) but somehow something clicked this week and the guys showed how much work they’ve put each and every week. The production looked nice. The choreography – cheesy – but solid. The vocals were on point, and I must agree with Simon here: James Graham’s vocals were right on the money!

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12. Ben Haenow
Man in the mirror
Top 9

– The rawness of the first verse is solid and grit-beautiful. Sure, he missed the tempo at first but that actually put color texture in this performance that turns out to be strong and compelling.

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11. Andrea Faustini
Earth song
Top 16

– Passionately beautiful. Strong Vocals. Solid performance!

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10. Stereo Kicks
Run
Top 5

– The dramatic production is chilling and beautiful. It adds effect on this performance that vocally sounds strong and the individual verses pretty much created dynamics to this that it needed. All in all, this group proves to be a solid one given the right coaching and song choice.

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9. Ben Haenow
Thinking out loud
Top 5

– I don’t know why Mel criticize this because I thought this was insanely strong. Sure it wasn’t as smooth as Ed Sheeran but Ben’s grit was dialled down here. His vocal choices were nice and this is an honest, genuine and raw performance from him that I personally adore.

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8. Lauren Platt
Happy
Top 16

– The first part was genius. Her vocals were front and center. Once the beat got to the uptempo level, though she lacks energy, was fully impeccable.

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7. Ben Haenow
Highway to hell
Top 11

– There’s a grit in this performance that is undeniable and beautiful. His delivery is out of the world strong and infectious. His stage presence is oozing with so much charisma and his vocals were spot on.

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6. Andrea Faustini
Chandelier
Top 5

– Andrea should sing more of these current pop songs because he sounds really good with them. Here, Andrea showed his fantastic vocal range but still delivering on those vocal dynamics that was needed in here.

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5. Jay James
I’m gonna be (500 miles)
Top 14

– The performance is polarizing (obviously, Cheryl felt odd) but I thought this is Jay’s best performance to date. It was smartly rearrange, his vocals were front and center and there is delicateness in his delivery that is beautiful and smooth.

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4. Stereo Kicks
Let it be/Hey Jude
Top 12

– This is the group’s breakout moment that they needed so that they can prove to the world that they could work. The individual verses sounded fantastic. The dynamics were pretty strong. The harmonies were tight and beautiful. And oh my God, James Graham!!!

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3. Lauren Platt
What a feeling
Top 14

– It was, in its simplest and genuine words, beautiful! The vocals were front and center. The delivery is divine. The production worked pretty well with how she perform this song. I thought it would be a snoozefest, knowing Lauren’s inability to work the stage, but she proved me wrong.

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2. Fleur East
Uptown Funk
Top 4

– This is the time when I appreciate all this production bonanza happening in a Fleur performance because everything just worked. Her choreography tied up with her solid vocals just work all together perfectly. Donnt believe me? Just watch. Ha!

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1. Ben Haenow
Jealous Guy
Top 14

– Solid. Beautiful. Fantastically done! It’s official, Ben is my act to rally behind for the win. Haha.