Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best of 2013 - Top 10 Pop Songs

This year, Your New Favorite Song won't be doing it's annual Top 50 Artists list. Instead I decided to do FOUR separate Best Of lists (maybe five if I'm actually motivated to think on New Year's Day). As always, my lists are based solely on what I like. Chart success/sales/critical acclaim have no place here.

Yesterday, we looked at my favorite concerts of the year. Today, let's take a look at my Top 10 Favorite Pop Songs. To qualify, the single had to be released in 2013 (even if the song appeared on an album released prior to 2013).

10. Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines - I could have easily put Miley's Wrecking Ball or Selena's Come and Get It in the No. 10 spot as all three songs are catchy as all hell. In the end I had to go with Dr. Jason Seaver's kid.

9. Katy Perry - Roar - Katy Perry is one of my favorite pop singers. While Roar is one of my favorite songs this year, I had to dock her some points due to it sounding way to similar to my No. 1 (spoiler).

8. Natalia Kills - Problem - This is one of the coolest songs of the year. If you haven't heard it and you like songs with a bit of an electronic edge definitely check it out.

7. Lorde - Royals - She's this year's younger, more immediately likable Lana Del Rey.

6. Lady Gaga - Applause - Everyone seems to be trashing Art Pop, but I'd put Applause up with there with Gaga's finest.

5. Icona Pop (feat. Charli XCX) - I Love It - The song title says it all.

4. OneRepublic - Counting Stars - I picked up their Native album on a whim for $3.99. Counting Stars was an immediate favorite.

3. Taylor Swift - 22 - This song, about the joys of being 22, is pure pop bliss.

2. P!nk (feat. Nate Ruess) - Just Give Me A Reason - I thought this was an odd pairing when I first heard about it, but P!nk and the singer from fun. sound tremendous together on this song about trying to hold a relationship together.

1. Sara Bareilles - Brave - While Sara wrote Brave about the struggles of a friend of her's coming out, this song should be a call for everyone to simply be true to themselves.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Best of 2013 - Top 10 Concerts

This year, Your New Favorite Song won't be doing it's annual Top 50 Artists list. Instead I decided to do FOUR separate Best Of lists (maybe five if I'm actually motivated to think on New Year's Day). As always my lists are based solely on my tastes. Chart success/sales mean nothing to me. It's the music I enjoyed in 2013 whether it be popular or not.

Today we will look at my favorite live performances of 2013. I caught about 30-some shows this year at venues ranging from a football stadium to an under 300 capacity venue and everything in between. For this list I decided to focus on the performance and not the tour package (it's hardly fair to compare an all-day music festival to a singer/songwriter playing in a small club). Here it is, along with some brief thoughts and the occasional photo stolen from my wife's camera.

10. Luke Bryan - Luke's show was just a big ol' country party. The beers and hits were certainly flowing that night.

9. Sarah Jarosz - I always make it a point to see Sarah when she comes to town. She's one of the most wickedly talented young bluegrass artists today.

8. Zac Brown Band - It took me a few years to get into the Zac Brown Band, but it finally sunk in for me this year. Performance-wise the band was on fire that summer night. My second favorite tailgate of the year...this has nothing to do with the ranking, I'm just sayin'.

7. The Postal Service - I NEVER thought I'd get a chance to see The Postal Service. Such a thrill.

6. Julie Roberts - A fantastic and intimate show with one of the most soulful voices in country music. It was truly a treat to hear many of the songs that would appear on her fantastic album Good Wine and Bad Decisions.

 5. Keith Urban - A total sing-a-long show. The dude plays a mean guitar.

4. Little Big Town - I still get chills thinking about the moment in Your Side Of The Bed when Kimberly, Karen, Jimi and Phillip all come in on the first chorus, harmonizes a blazing.

3. Miranda Lambert - Musically speaking, this was my favorite show of the year. Nothing better than seeing one of your favorite performers play on your birthday for a second straight year.

2. Taylor Swift - Don't laugh. Taylor is a force. It was more than just a concert, it was an experience. I had a smile on my face for days after this show. The only thing keeping her out of my Number 1 spot was the sheer insanity of the "winner's" performance.

1. P!nk - HOLY CRAP! I probably shouted that about 15 times during P!nk's performance. Like Taylor's concert, it's pure spectacle. Unlike Taylor's concert, P!nk soared above the crowd in a range of different harnesses or bungee cords. Acrobatics aplenty that left many (including myself) gasping. And she did it all while singing her fist pumping hits.