Top 100 songs of 2014 (tracks 1-25)

Lost Stars by Adam Levine (From Begin Again soundtrack)
(Still not seen the movie. I wouldn't be surprised if the song gets an Oscar nomination)

Enough by Homeboy Sandman ft J-Live and Kurious
(The president is half listening)

Sunsets by Aunts
(Reminds me of Joy Division. A dark low-fi gem, and you feel his pain. It's almost fitting that the lyrics end in confusion. Feels longer than it actually is. The band have released several EPs)

Dark Comedy Late Show by Open Mike Eagle 
(Such an imaginative idea, which in a humorous way comments on news events in 2014. The year when I started listening to hip hop/rap music, having also played Kate Tempest's new album, and a few others)

Archie, Marry Me by Alvvays
(Not in love with the album, but a single that you remember)

Fancy (ft. Charli XCX) by Iggy Azalea
(A popular summer tune, that defined 2014. I like the chorus, the keyboard is unforgettable. The summer of 2014 also had the unavoidable Problem by Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea

Every Girl by Allah Las
(I love the opening guitar riff. Worship the Sun is a throwback to the 1960s, and similar to what Temples did this year on their album Sun Structures)

I Need You by M83 
(From Divergent soundtrack)

Morning by Beck
(A soothing album to listen to on those morning journeys)

Sugah Daddy by D'Angelo & The Vanguard
(Black Messiah was a surprise release in December, he had not put out an album in 14 years. I can hear Prince in the music. Favorite lyric: "And I just wish that I could open her up, to this deeper place of love")

Meet The Foetus Oh The Joy (feat. Shirley Manson of Garbage and Emily Kokal of Warpaint) by Brody Dalle

Down in The Hole by Bruce Springsteen
War On Drugs pretty much made the best Springsteen album of the year, but The Boss did deliver with this powerful track)

Choices (Yup) by E-40
(They manage to say a lot with the "Yup" "Nope" approach.  E-40 dropped Corner 1 and 2 in December, and have the albums Corner 3 and 4 scheduled for release in 2015)

12.) Rude by MAGIC!
(Bringing back reggae to the mainstream. With over 250 million youtube hits on the official video, an inescapable pop song of 2014)

Be Free by J. Cole
(Tribute to Ferguson, Missouri. Said the Gramophone list Be Free as their no 1 song of 2014)

Shelter Song by Temples

Chandelier by Sia

Johnny and Mary (Robert Palmer cover) by Bryan Ferry and Todd Terje 
(Best cover song of the year)

Digital Witness by St. Vincent

Shake It Off by Taylor Swift
(Love it or hate it, arguably the best song of Swift's career thus far)

Coming of Age by Foster the People

Brooklyn Baby by Lana Del Rey

Disappearing by The War On Drugs
(My favorite album of the year, tough to pick a favorite track as there are so many)

Seasons (Waiting on You) by Future Islands
(A Dream Of You and Me and Back in the Tall Grass are other highlights from the album) 

Happy by Pharrell Williams
(Also listen to Marilyn MonroePharrell’s new album is not as great as his work on 2013's Random Access Memories. Still, there are a number of catchy tunes, and Happy is probably the most iconic song of  2014. As a critic wrote: "it's a lot better than most crap on the pop radio nowadays")

Thanks for following my top 100! Agree or disagree? Have you listened to these albums? Did I miss any great music? As always, comments are welcome. Next, I'll share my favorite Christmas music. Stay tuned!


  1. Awesome to see Lost Stars here! It's so beautiful

    1. @Sati: Glad you approve of its inclusion in top 25!

  2. When I watched Begin Again I was surprised to recognize three or four songs I had happened to hear on the radio at some point, including one or two Keira Knightley was singing and I never realized it was her.

    If you liked the director's earlier film Once then you'll probably like this. It's very similar.

    1. @Chip Lary: I’m curious to watch Begin Again. Will hopefully do so before i compile my year-end list. I did enjoy Once, so that bodes well. Look forward to hearing Keira Knightley sing!

  3. Ugh, I that song "Rude". It's so annoying. It makes me wish Bob Marley or Peter Tosh would both rise from the dead and beat the crap out of those twats.

    1. @thevoid99: Haha, well 250 million youtube hits on the official video suggests some folks enjoyed Rude. Even if it isn’t of the level of the reggae legends. I still think it’s a catchy tune-don’t know about the rest of the album.

  4. Some good choices here Chris.
    I'm not a huge fan of Taylor Swift - I really don't get what the fuss is about - and I hate that Pharrell song! I didn't like Jamiroquai the first time around...

    But i love your St Vincent and Sia choices, one can never get enough Beck, and Fancy really got into my head in a good way. Great albums behind all of them too.

    Thanks for a really interesting and entertaining list.

    1. @lisathatcher: Thanks! Taylor Swift is a singer I don’t usually listen to, Shake It Off I think will be remembered for years to come. Same with Pharrell’s Happy, they both have that broad appeal, that transcends their fan base.
      Glad there are a few albums and tracks we agree on this year. I know what you mean, Fancy does get stuck in your head, so does Sia's song
      You’re welcome!

  5. Is the version of Lost Stars the poppier one? The funny thing is how the song is used in the movie to show that the character's sold out, though it does morph into something different as it goes along. I think you should check out the movie, which I just saw this weekend. Love the attention for The War on Drugs. That album is so good. The song by Future Islands is also one of my favorites from the year.

    1. @Dan Heaton: Love Future Islands song and War on Drugs album! I watched Begin Again, and you’re right, there are different versions of Lost Stars. I think the version I linked to is the one he plays at the end of the movie (not the sell-out version that Keira’s character disliked)

  6. Hey, it's nice (and a bit different) that you have some top chart music in your top 25 fave music of the year. I love Rude but it's a bit overrated somehow. Happy is absolutely the star of the year. M83's I Need You is just hypnotic.

    After enjoying Lost Stars by Levine (the end of the movie version), I also enjoyed the upbeat one (same song, with upbeat rythm).

    Shake it Off is actually a pretty bold and great song from Swift. I think I too will pick it as best of the year. I like the fact that the video is directed by Mark Romanek, solid move!

    1. @Andina: There is chart music that doesn’t appeal to me such as Katy Perry, Sam Smith and John Legend, but I did agree with the charts on Happy, Shake It off, Rude, and others. Nice we have some overlap in our favorites of the year! I’m going to listen to Begin Again soundtrack once again, because now it’s more meaningful after watching the film. Mark Romanek has directed some good movies, didn't know he was responsible for Shake It Off, a fun video, puts you in a good mood :)

    2. Oh you love the movie (Begin Again) then? Nice to know!

      Yeah, it's an excellent clip that Shake it Off :)

    3. @Andina: Begin Again was better than I expected, could make my top 20 of 2014.
      The message of ”Shake It Off”, to shake off negativity, and accept that you can’t control others, has universal appeal. A song/video that’s good for work-outs I’ve heard!

  7. Great series of lists! Love that Lost Stars and Happy made the cut, and that we both have Pharrell at #1. Thrilled to see Digital Witness and Chandelier in the top 10 too.

    Haha, I like to think I don't like Fancy and Shake It Off, but I'm not sure I'm being honest with myself. ;) Problem is one pop track I really liked. It almost made my top 25.

    1. @Josh: Thank you! Yep, we have a few in common, which is great!
      Haha, yeah, it’s ok to agree with the billboard top 100, when the music is good, anyway :)
      For me personally, “Problem” loses its power on repeat listens, and is a tad weaker than Fancy

  8. Ugh. I can't stand Swift or Magic. Happy was fun for about a minute but for me it got overplayed real fast. Cool to see St Vincent and Shirley Manson but I did not care for their songs, sorry

    1. @TheVern: No worries, it’s okay to disagree. Which new (or old) music are you listening to at the moment?

  9. Seasons, yes! I was happy (and surprised) to see that take #1 on Pitchfork's list, too. Awesome to see St. Vincent and Temples make your top ten.

    I'm debating on making a list of my favorite albums. I think this was a better year for music than last year. Lots of great stuff to choose from.

    1. Eric @ The Warning Sign: Seasons Waiting on You deserves to be high up on year-end lists, and if things stay the same Future Islands should feature on my upcoming top 10 albums at #10. Curious to read your music list if/when it happens.

  10. Love Lost Stars, Archie, Marry Me, Johnny and Mary and Seasons.
    I don't feel as strongly as you about Happy. It was overplayed when it got popular and that made me get sick of it easily. But I loved it in its prime.

    1. @Cristi B: Glad we agree on those tracks! Who knows, maybe Pharrell’s Happy was a flash in the pan, time will tell if people still mention/play the song in 15-20 years. I’m not tired of Happy yet :)


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