Last year I wrote a popular blog post entitled "OMG! I Love That Song!: A Guilty Pleasure Playlist" where I confessed my song shame only to find out that many of you shared the exact same musical taste. Than this past February, several of my choices also ended up winning Grammys. I should have named that blog "A Not-so-Guilty Pleasure Playlist" instead. This year this post is once again a "no judgment zone" and I am declaring my love for the songs that I have on constant replay and can't get out of my head. Chances are they're on your player too and if they're not they should be. Okay, now I'm judging you.
Feel This Moment – Pitbull ft. Christina Aguilera
Off Pitbull's juggernaut of a party album, Global Warming, "Feel This Moment" is definitely catchy. I think I was singing along to it before I even knew what the song was or who was singing on it. Shout out to Lindsy for finally telling it was Xtina, who I have missed. So I yes, I love this song. A LOT! Bonus points to Pitbull for referencing Fifty Shades of Grey in the lyrics "She like books/ Especially about red rooms and tie-ups." Classy.
Mirrors and Pusher Love Girl – Justin Timberlake
JT is a Prince of Pop. When he announced his new album The 20/20 Experience I think I squee'd. I know I wasn't the only one. (Just admit it. You did.) But would it be any good? It's been years since he released his last album and now he's old and married! Would he have the same mojo? Luckily, he's still got major chops and there is not a bad song on the entire album. "Mirrors" is by far my favorite track and the catchiest and "Pusher Love Girl" is pure slow-jam groove.
C'mon, C'mon, Loved You First and I Would – One Direction
To say I love One Direction is an understatement. In truth, MY LOVE for Harry, Louis, Liam, Niall and Zayn can only be expressed in ALL CAPS and EXCLAMATION POINTS!! But I digress... I adore their second album Take Me Home and deciding which songs to highlight is very stressful for me. "C'mon, C'mon" is probably my favorite track on TMH. It's definitely one of the catchiest and the danciest. I've also recently become obsessed with "Loved You First" which is so lovely and boy-bandey and I add "I Would" because it has some of the wittiest lyrics on the entire album. Personally, I think their very best song is "Irresistible" but that can only be found on the special Target edition of the album. Natch.
Troublemaker and Army of Two - Olly Murs
This 2009 X Factor UK runner-up has plenty of white boy cool. His R&B tinged pop just makes me want to get up and dance. "Troublemaker" the first single off his third album Right Place, Right Time is bouncy fun with a cool vibe. I recently became enamored of the harder-edged track "Army of Two" which has the chorus lyric of: "soliders follow my lead / repeat after me / faith is the bullet / hope is the gun / love is all we need." Which I just think is money but that's just me. It's time he broke America folks. Lets help him.
I Knew You Were Trouble and 22 – Taylor Swift
I have a love/hate relationship with Miss Swift. There is no doubt that she is talented and can write catchy tunes but she drives me BANANAS with all her relationship drama—which she clearly encourages. Take "I Knew You Were Trouble"—she recently said that it was about her ex Harry Styles (of One Direction) when—according to their relationship timeline (which I have researched)—that is clearly impossible! (FYI It's about ex John Mayer) But gosh darn't if isn't super catchy and kinda awesome. The same can be said for the entire Red album, including, the girls-night-out anthem of "22"—in the video she wears Harry's usual outfit of a white tee and a beanie and it seriously bugs me. I seriously don't like that I like her music! Ugh, stupid Taylor! Stop writing such good songs!
Radioactive and How We Do - Rita Ora
Rita Ora deserves to be more famous in the States then she is. A protégé of Jay Z this Kosovo born UK singer has talent and a definite "It" factor. She's worked with Drake, Kanye West, Tinie Tempah, The-Dream among others. "Radioactive" is probably my favorite dance track of the spring. It begs to be danced to under strobe lights and a mirror ball. Her debut album Ora has a cool, dance vibe and you will probably recognize the track "Hot Right Now" which was big club song last year. Last summer, one of my favorite songs was the party anthem of "How We Do" which features the familiar Notorious B.I.G. refrain of "Party and B*llSh**". This particular song just begs to be sung from the rooftops or out the windows of a car.
It's Time and Radioactive - Imagine Dragons
Indie-rock band Imagine Dragons burst onto the Billboard charts last fall with their album Night Visions and first single "It's Time" and they haven't left. Their music is a mix of edgy rock with a pop sensibility or is it edgy pop with a rock sensibility? No matter, the entire album is full of catchy hooks and lyrics you want to sing along to at full volume. They are the 2013 equivalent of fun. and we all know how big they got.
Lego House and Kiss Me – Ed Sheeran
To be honest many people may know Ed Sheeran, an award winning British, singer/songwriter, more for his song writing collaborations with Taylor Swift and One Direction, than his own stuff, which just means they aren't trying hard enough. Ed has been around for years playing gigs with just his guitar and loop pedal but creating a HUGE sound. With his debut album +[Plus Sign] and hit single "The A Team" he is finally going mainstream. I love every song on +[Plus Sign]. Somehow he combines funk, hip-hop and rock with extremely personal and heartbreaking lyrics to create his own special sound and vibe. Every song has you singing along but I have a special place in my heart for both "Lego House" and "Kiss Me"—which P.S. will probably be played at a million weddings this summer.
Next To Me – Emeli Sande
Tell me if this sounds familiar: a big voiced UK singer with a retro sound singing about love and loss. Adele? Amy Winehouse? Nope. It's the Scottish born Emeli Sande. Who strikes it out of the park with her album Our Version of Events, which just won the Brit award for album of the year. In "Next to Me" Emeli stands by her man and has you dancing and singing along. There is no reason that Emeli has not made it big in the States except that maybe there isn't room on American radio for more than one UK singer with a retro sound. Are there really people out there who have yet to buy Adele's 21 and want to? It's time to move on people! It's time to put Adele in the box labeled 2011 and try something new.
Scream & Shout – Will.I.Am ft. Britney Spears
Confession: I hated this song when I first heard it song last fall. I was like, "What's the point Will?" and "What's with the monotone Britney?" Was Will.I.Am just crazy or a crazy genius? I think we all know the answer to that now. Off his upcoming album #Willpower, "Scream & Shout" is full of irresistible beats, hooks and bass lines that just have you dancing and moving. And that Britney monotone? It pretty much makes the song. I've learned my lesson: I'll never pre-judge Will.I.Am again.
Entertainment – Phoenix
The French alt-rock group is BACK! With their lush pop sound, the band just brings on sun, blue skies, and endless summer days. Their last album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (2009) spawned the hits "1901" and "Liztomania." With their newest single "Entertainment," off the brand new Bankrupt! (2013). they prove that their absence has only sharpened their pop skillz.
This is the New Year - Glee Cast
While my devotion to Glee cast member Darren Criss is well documented, I honestly hadn't planned on including this song. But yesterday I listened to it a gazillion times as I skipped down the street. True story. Decision made. A cover of the Great Big World tune, "This Is the New Year" is about acceptance, friendship, tolerance and is everything a a Glee song should be—namely, uplifting and catchy. The bad news? It has yet to be released on a Glee soundtrack but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying it!