Top 10 Songs of 2014


Katie Matthews, Entertainment Editor

This year, music has seen some breakthrough concepts and new albums from some of the best artists. From Beyonce’s surprise midnight release to U2’s free, automatically-downloaded album, there is no surprise that there were many contenders for my top 10 songs of 2014. The list was extremely hard to narrow, but here are the 10 I finally decided on.

  1. “I Want to Dance With Somebody” Ben Rector — Now, I know a cover of a song probably shouldn’t be considered a top song for the whole year, but this cover is so good I couldn’t resist. The classic song originally by Whitney Houston makes me want to, well, dance everytime I hear it. While the cover doesn’t beat Houston’s original, Rector does a fantastic job doing the song the justice it deserves. Another reason the cover is so good is that it is from Rector’s new live album. Generally, I’m not a huge fan of live albums; however, the crowd’s energy is almost tangible in this cover making the song that much better. Also, Rector’s personality comes out in the little introduction he gives to the song which is also a bonus because Rector is a pretty cool dude.
  1. “Night Changes” One Direction — Normally, I’m not a One Direction fan, but there’s something different about this song. Their songs are usually pretty pop-y and upbeat, but this song is much slower and sweeter than other songs that I’ve been exposed to which surprised me and made me wish they would produce more music like this song. Another reason this song may have changed my opinion of One Direction and why they ended up on this list is that the lyrics are touching. “Even when the night changes/ It will never change me and you.” This really captures the idea that love lasts through everything. From the lyrics to the tempo and simple instrumental behind their vocals, the song is sweet and not what I expected from what I thought was an over-rated boyband. Maybe with more material like this song, I could really become a Directioner.
  1. “Jealous” Nick Jonas — I was pretty skeptical about this song at first because it’s a Jonas brother and it’s pretty pop-y which is not my forte, but I was pleasantly surprised. Nick is actually really talented and hearing his familiar voice reminded me of good times I spent with friends dancing to Jonas Brothers’s songs in middle school. Thankfully, however, the song isn’t quite the same as an original Jo-Bros song. I like that Nick branched out from his brothers and came up with this hit. It’s super catchy, and once I hear it, it’s stuck in my head for the whole day. I don’t know if it’s the lyrics or the beat, but I can’t get enough of the song and I can’t wait to see what Nick’s next hit will be.
  1. “Hold You Up” Shane Harper — After hearing this song in the movie God’s Not Dead, I was immediately in love. It’s such an uplifting song, so anytime I feel sad or discouraged, I listen to it and my mood instantly changes. Also, Shane Harper’s voice is so unexpectedly good that I just had to keep listening to it. I knew he was an actor on Disney Channel, but I had no clue he was such a good singer. I hope one day he’ll release some more original work because he could really be successful.
  1. “Stay With Me” Sam Smith — I don’t know if words can describe how much I love this song. Sam Smith’s voice is smooth like butter, and the song is so intimate that the combination is breathtaking. The lyrics may not be the most romantic or touching, but the tempo, instruments, and voice make the song feel like a cozy night by the fire. The only reason this song isn’t any higher in the list is because radio stations started over playing the song to the point where I couldn’t listen to it for months without getting extremely annoyed, but once I took a break from listening to it, I was once again able to love the song like before. So, this one may not be one to play on repeat, but it’s definitely a song that deserves to be heard at least once.
  1. “Riptide” Vance Joy — As soon as I heard this on the radio, I knew it was going to be a song I would constantly be listening to. I think it was because of the ukulele and Vance Joy’s voice because the two mesh so well together. The combination also reminds me of the summer. The sound of the ukulele gives an upbeat and summery vibe to the song, and Joy’s voice sounds like an artist that would be playing in a summer festival. Maybe it’s just me, but the song makes me reminisce about summer and look forward to warmer weather. Also, the first line of the song really interests me because why would Joy decide that “I was scared of dentists and the dark” was the best opening line to this song? Regardless of the reason for that line, the song itself is phenomenal and it’s perfect to listen to when that summer fever hits.
  1. “Bad Blood” Taylor Swift — I honestly didn’t expect Taylor Swift to appear on this list because of her background of cliché country and gradual move to cliché pop, but her album 1989 truly surprised me because of how good some of the songs are. There is the cliché “Shake It Off”, but “Bad Blood” is one of the many gems of the album. The song may at first appear to be pop-ish and completely cliché, but once I really listened to the lyrics and found out the reason behind the song, I really fell in love with it. The song’s rumored to be about Swift’s conflict with Katy Perry, and I can see how that could be the reason she wrote it, especially with the line “Bandaids don’t fix bullet holes/ You say sorry just for show”. No matter Swift’s reason behind the song, it’s really great to listen to when I want to dance and feel sassy about conflicts that are bothering me.
  1. “Thinking Out Loud” Ed Sheeran — Ever since I first heard Sheeran’s first album +, I’ve been a huge fan, so I was delighted to hear that Sheeran would be releasing a new album in 2014. After falling in love with +, there is no surprise that I fell in love with x. There were many, many contenders for this slot in the top 10, but I eventually decided on “Thinking Out Loud” because of how sweet and loving the song is. It’s about loving someone unconditionally for forever and the idea that that kind of love exists is so idealistic and romantic that I can’t help but fall in love with the song every time I hear it. Sheeran’s voice along with the idea of the song makes this one of his best pieces and hopefully 2015 will have another great addition to Ed Sheeran’s repertoire.
  1.   “Shoot Love” Maroon 5 — I’m finally at the point in this list that I can talk about my favorite band ever. After a rough patch with their previous album Overexposed, their latest, V, takes them back to their roots as a rock band while also keeping their pop qualities. It’s essentially the perfect balance, and I couldn’t be happier with this album. Many songs were in the running for the number two position on this list (similar to trying to decide on what Ed Sheeran song to pick), and I finally settled on “Shoot Love” because it represents the balance between rock and pop that the album has. It just has a really cool vibe, and I often find myself singing it all day long. The beat is one of those that I just have to drum out with my fingers or shake my foot to and the chorus is especially catchy. (I just started singing it now.) Anyway, Maroon 5 has definitely had a good year and this song is so good that I had to make it number two.
  1.   “XO” Beyonce — Finally, number one on the list is of course the Queen. Beyonce shocked the world with her surprise midnight release of Beyonce, and all I can say is that the songs are perfection. Since all of the songs are so, so good it was impossible to pick which one should take the number one spot, but I had to go with the one that I couldn’t stop listening to on repeat and that’s “XO”. There’s something about how incredibly good this song is that I can’t fully explain. I could listen to the song all day because of Beyonce’s killer voice and the musicality the song has. It gets better every time I listen to it. Beyonce managed to blow the public away again, and that’s no surprise because she makes such incredible songs. That’s the reason “XO” (and really any one of the songs from the album) is the number one song of 2014.