My 51 favorite songs of 2013

Pharell had a hand in writing the two biggest songs of the year, “Get Lucky,” and “Blurred Lines.” Only one of those songs made this year’s list, BUT WHICH ONE??

In 2013, every pop diva but Ke$ha and Taylor Swift released an album (Lady GaGa, Mariah Carey, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears), and it would have still been a pretty big year for the female solo artist had Beyonce not released her surprise self-titled album a couple weeks ago. Rap followed suit: the five biggest names in hip-hop, Jay Z, Kanye West, Eminem, Lil Wayne, and Drake, all dropped an album. The rock hits started flowing once again, as bands like Imagine Dragons, The Neighborhood, Grouplove, and Capital Cities capitalized on the synthesizer’s popularity to bring rock back somewhat into the spotlight. And let’s not forget the littler things: PSY ruled the world once again. Rappers stopped rapping and started singing. Lorde somehow became a thing.

It felt like the year in music started in early March, when Daft Punk released a fifteen second clip of their soon-to-be #1 hit “Get Lucky” on Saturday Night Live. It was a retro technique used to promote a retro song, and it was such a success that it dropped the gauntlet for music promotion for the rest of the year. Kanye West would soon project his face singing “New Slaves” on buildings all around the world. Jay Z ensured his album would go platinum by cross-promoting Magna Carta Holy Grail with 1 million new Samsung phones. Lady GaGa threw a series of Artpop parties around New York City that reportedly cost more than the production of the album. But Beyonce saved the most impressive display for last, debuting her album at #1 despite no advance warning of its release and without selling a single physical copy of the album, instead relying on a series of fourteen music videos all recorded while touring for her previous album 4.

2013 was all about the grand display, and it seems unfair to condense it on such a humble web log, but those are my means, and I intend to use them wisely. On the plus side, I added one more song this year because I was a jerk last year and only counted down 49. I promise you’ll like some of these.

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