Music And Television Superstars That Came From Boy Bands

30 Best Songs Of 2014 (So Far)

Brent M Faulkner Brent M Faulkner
July 8th, 2014 8:00pm EDT
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Beyonce performs live in concert at the O2 during 'The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour'. Husband and rapper, Jay Z joined her on stage for a special guest appearance London 03/05/2014 © WENN

2014 has delivered a wealth of exceptional new songs.  Some songs truly captivate with their songwriting, while others are ‘records’ which standout because of their sound.  Choosing only 30 songs out of a sea filed with truly terrific songs is difficult; this list provides 30 of the best songs from January through June 2014.  

1) Sam Smith, "Stay With Me"

from In the Lonely Hour

The 2014 Parklife Weekender - Day 2 - Performances Manchester 06/08/2014 © WENN

Maybe he’s ‘too emotional’ and 'sucks at one-night stands' as he sings, but Sam Smith can definitely sing – that’s the understatement of the year. The soaring, highly relatable “Stay With Me” exemplifies Smith’s talent.

2) Pharrell Williams, “Happy”

from G I R L  

Serpentine Gallery Summer Party held at Kensington Gardens - Arrivals. London 07/01/2014 © WENN

“Happy” had everybody dancing and, well, feeling ‘happy.’  Sure, the Academy-Award nominated song from Despicable Me 2 has been slightly overplayed, but can you blame radio? It’s infectious!

3) Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea, “Problem”

Ariana Grande seen arriving and rehearsing for the MuchMusic Video Awards in Toronto Toronto 06/14/2014 © O'Neill/Todd G, PacificCoastNews

Forget about Grande’s “The Way” from 2013, there’s a new, bigger, and ‘swaggier’ hit in town! “I’ve got one less problem without ya!” Add hot female MC Iggy Azalea to the mix and “Problem” is pop gold.

4) Aloe Blacc, “The Man”

from Lift Your Spirit

Aloe Blacc in Concert at Rehab Dayclub in Las Vegas - April 19, 2014 Rehab at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 4455 Paradise Road Las Vegas, NV, USA 04/19/2014 © PRN / PRPhotos.com

Rarely does an R&B song crossover as successfully as it does on the confident hit “The Man.” Soulful and incredibly catchy, Aloe Blacc flexes manliness like a champ on “The Man.” 

 

5) Lykke Li, “No Rest for the Wicked”

from I Never Learn 

Museum Of Modern Art's 2014 Party In The Garden New York 05/14/2014 © WENN

Alt-pop rarely links to commercial pop or urban music, but “No Rest for the Wicked” does so fantastically. A remix of the song gets an assist from A$AP Rocky, but Lykke Li successfully ‘creates her own shots’ without needing help.

6) St. Vincent, “Digital Witness”

from St. Vincent

29th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony - Pressroom Barclays Center Brooklyn, NY, USA 04/10/2014 © Daniel Locke / PR Photos

“Digital Witness,” another alt-pop song, covers the topic of how powerful social media is within society.  Whether that message is absorbed by listeners or not is almost secondary – the sound and vibe of “Digital Witness” is magnificent. 

7) Beyoncé, "Partition"

from Beyoncé

Beyonce performs live in concert at the O2 during 'The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour'. Husband and rapper, Jay Z joined her on stage for a special guest appearance London 03/05/2014 © WENN

“Partition” receives a nod, despite the fact Beyoncé’s self-titled surprise album arrived in late December 2013. “Partition” was released as a single in 2014, and continues to play up Queen Bey’s naughty side: “Driver, roll up the partition please / I don’t need you seeing ‘Yonce on her knees…oh he so horny, yeah he want to – ”  

 

8) Lana Del Rey, “Shades of Cool”

from Ultraviolence 

Glastonbury Festival 2014 - Performances - Day 3 - Lana Del Rey Glastonbury 06/28/2014 © WENN

Lana Del Rey’s second full-length album Ultraviolence is filled with moody hits, but arguably none eclipse the haunting “Shades of Cool,” where she sings, “Cause you are invincible / I can’t break through your world / cause you live in shades of cool / your heart unbreakable.”

9) The Roots featuring Raheem DeVaughn, “Tomorrow”  

from …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin

Festival Sudoeste TMN 2012 Music Festival - Day 4 Herdade da Casa Branca Zambujeira do Mar, Portugal 08/04/2012 © Rui M. Leal / PR Photos

Critics and listeners were divided on The Roots’ ambitious …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin, but there was near-universal love for the Raheem DeVaughn assisted “Tomorrow,” a memorable, uplifting, contemporary soul song.

 

10) Phantogram, "Bill Murray”

from Voices

Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter of American electronic rock band 'Phantogram' at Wrong Bar. 0x00000000: 254700 -% 12/11/2010 © WENN

Electronic duo Phantogram definitely make the most out of a soul sample (The Chi-Lites“The Coldest Days of My Life”).  One of the most underrated songs of the year, the poetic “Bill Murray” is mysterious, spacey, and lush.  Most of all, it’s “simply beautiful.”

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Photo Credits: © WENN, © O'Neill/Todd G, PacificCoastNews, © NBCUniversal, Inc, © BET Networks, © Universal Music Group, © Winston Burris / PR Photos, © Xclusive, PacificCoastNews, © PRN / PRPhotos.com, © Daniel Locke / PR Photos, © Rui M. Leal / PR Photos, © Landmark / PR Photos, © Epic


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