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Steve’s List: The Best Tracks of 2014

Here are my 40 favorite tracks of the year. I hope you’ll enjoy them! You can hear them in either the enclosed Spotify playlist, or from the list below of YouTube links. Sadly, Spotify doesn’t have one of the songs on my list (“My Baby Boy” by The Angelcy), so you can find it at the bottom of the Youtube links.

There are some big hits and some non-hits on the list, some things that were big in other parts of the world, and, oddly, almost no rock. I’m at loss to explain this last point. I guess the Black Keys are rock, and they made the list. Jack White almost made the list. Conclude what you will. Also, “Shake It Off” didn’t make the list. I don’t dislike Taylor Swift’s new album; it just didn’t move me. Which is a shame, because I know Taylor Swift’s music has moved me in the past (“Fifteen,” “Our Song”). Going pop doesn’t have to mean adopting a stance of emotional distance. (Just my two cents.)

DISCLAIMER: I had a hand in the production of one of the songs on this list: “Honey, I’m Good.” by Andy Grammer. I usually don’t include records I helped make, but Andy’s song is so good I just couldn’t leave it off the list.

Happy New Year!

Clean Bandit, Jess Glynne – Rather Be feat. Jess Glynne
Hozier – Take Me To Church
Vance Joy – Riptide
Tune-Yards – Water Fountain
Milky Chance – Stolen Dance
Jim Button – The Big Breakthrough
Lake Street Dive – Bad Self Portraits
The Handsome Family – Far From Any Road
Seven Davis Jr. – Friends
FKA twigs – Two Weeks
Sigma – Nobody To Love
Flavour – Nwa Baby Ashawo – Remix
Mapei – Don’t Wait
The Black Keys – Fever
Cris Cab – Liar Liar
SBTRKT ft. Ezra Koenig – NEW DORP. NEW YORK
Ace Wilder – Busy Doin’ Nothin’
Stromae – tous les mêmes
Miranda Lambert – Girls
Andy Grammer – Honey, I’m Good.
Skinny Fabulous – BTW (Behaving the Worst)
Tove Lo, Hippie Sabotage – Stay High – Habits Remix
Dan Wilson – A Song Can Be About Anything
Klingande – Jubel – Nora En Pure Remix
The New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers
Andrew McMahon in The Wilderness – Cecilia And The Satellite
Jason Derulo – Trumpets
alt-J – Left Hand Free (Lido Remix)
Elliphant ft. MØ – One More
David Broza ft. Wyclef Jean – East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem
Seinabo Sey – Younger
Jenny Lewis – Just One Of The Guys
Labrinth – Jealous
Sia – Chandelier
Cas Stonehouse – Made of You
D’Angelo – Ain’t That Easy
AJR – Infinity
Kendrick Lamar – i
Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass
The Veronicas – You Ruin Me
Modest Mouse – Lampshades On Fire
Lykke Li – No Rest For The Wicked
Nightbus – When The Night Time Comes (Stereo 3-Way)
The Angelcy – My Baby Boy

Steve’s 25 Best Tracks of 2014 (so far)

Here are my 25 favorite tracks of the year (so far). I hope you’ll enjoy them, either in the enclosed Spotify playlist, or the list below of YouTube links. Sadly, Spotify doesn’t have some of the songs on my list. Therefore, you’ll need the YouTube list in order to find Sigma’s “Nobody To Love” and Paloma Faith’s “Only Love Can Hurt Like This”.

Ace Wilder – Busy Doin’ Nothin’
The Black Keys – Fever
Clean Bandit, Jess Glynne – Rather Be feat. Jess Glynne
Cris Cab – Liar Liar
Dan Wilson – A Song Can Be About Anything
Flavour – Nwa Baby Ashawo – Remix
George Ezra – Budapest
The Handsome Family – Far From Any Road
Hozier – Take Me To Church
Jetta – Feels Like Coming Home
Jhene Aiko – The Worst
Jim Button – The Big Breakthrough
Klingande – Jubel – Nora En Pure Remix
Lake Street Dive – Bad Self Portraits
Lykke Li – No Rest For The Wicked
Mapei – Don’t Wait
Milky Chance – Stolen Dance
Miranda Lambert – Girls
Mr. Probz – Waves – Robin Schulz Radio Edit
Paloma Faith – Only Love Can Hurt Like This
Sigma – Nobody To Love
Skinny Fabulous – BTW (Behaving the Worst)
Tove Lo, Hippie Sabotage – Stay High – Habits Remix
Tune-Yards – Water Fountain
Vance Joy – Riptide

Steve’s Top 40 Tracks of 2013

It was the year when EDM not only solidified its grip on the pop scene, but took creative chances and started to evolve in unexpected ways. Thus, my top single of the year is Avicii’s hybrid hit “Wake Me Up.” The melding of electronica with folk elements is not a completely new idea, of course; just a couple of years ago, Hoffmaestro turned the same trick on his track “Highwayman.” But “Wake Me Up” is a killer song, with a great vocal by Aloe Blacc and thus it’s incomprehensible to me why the song was completely ignored by the Grammys. But hey, the Grammy voters gave MackLemore & Ryan Lewis their due, so you can’t really dis them. Speaking of MackLemore, I should point out that the great “Same Love” made my best-of list last year, which is why its not there this year. Had I not been such an early adopter on that one, MackLemore and Ryan Lewis would have had two songs on my list this time around. As it is, “Thrift Shop” alone makes a strong case for MackLewis (adequate hybrid name) as artist of the year. If nothing else, “Thrift Shop” was the first hit rap record in ages in which the artist acknowledged being strapped for cash, a welcome respite from all the economic gravity-defying bling slingers who have defined the scene in the past decade. Along with the similarly-themed “Royals” by Lorde, “Thrift Shop” gave me hope that pop still has the potential to come out of celebrity worshipping fantasy land and deal with a version of life familiar to its own audience, who really are not spending most of their time rocking the VIP. Anyway, enjoy the list–lots of genres represented: hip-hop, rock, dance, R&B, pop, alt, chutney (look it up), etc. Here are my 40 best tracks of 2013: Continue reading “Steve’s Top 40 Tracks of 2013″

Steve’s Picks: The 25 Best Tracks of the 1st Half of 2013

Hard to believe the year’s halfway done! It’s shaping up to be a pretty good year for music. With three months to go until the Grammy eligibility deadline, it appears certain that fans of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis will want to be watching come Grammy night (or they can just catch it on-line afterwards). And who would have expected 2013 to be the year of Daft Punk? In any event, here’s my 1st half of 2013 best tracks list:

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Thrift Shop feat. Wanz
Kodaline – All I Want
Justin Timberlake – Suit & Tie
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – We the Common (For Valerie Bolden)
Disclosure feat. Aluna George – White Noise
Paloma Faith – Picking Up The Pieces
Bruno Mars – When I Was Your Man
Gin Wigmore – Man Like That
Kat Dahlia – Gangster
Youth Lagoon – Dropla
Rhye – The Fall
Dizzee Rascal – Bassline Junkie
Portugal. The Man – Evil Friends
Little Mix – Wings
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – If You Didn’t See Me (Then You Weren’t on the Dancefloor)
Laura Mvula – That’s Alright
Lorde – Royals
Iggy Azalea – Work
Rudimental feat. Ella Eyre – Waiting All Night
Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams – Get Lucky
Valerie June – You Can’t Be Told
Icona Pop – I Love It
Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell Williams & T.I. – Blurred Lines
Passenger – Let Her Go
Avicii vs. Nicky Romero – I Could Be The One (Nicktim)

Steve’s “Best Tracks of the First 1/3 of the Decade” List

April 30th, 2012

As of today, we are officially 1/3 through the decade that will undoubtedly end up being known as “The Teens” (where did the time go?). So here’s my “Best Tracks of the First 1/3 of the Decade” List.  As usual, I’ve excluded S-Curve artists from contention, but Andy Grammer’s “Keep You Head Up,” We The Kings; “Friday Is Forever,” Betty Wright’s “Go” and Joss Stone’s “The Love We Had” were all pretty awesome, in my opinion….

Enjoy!

THE GREATEST TRACKS OF THE DECADE SO FAR:

Lyfe Jennings – Statistics

The Black Keys – Tighten Up

B.o.B – Airplanes (feat. Hayley Williams of Paramore)

Avi Buffalo – What’s In It For

Portugal. The Man – All My People

Broken Bells – The High Road

Bruno Mars – Somewhere In Brooklyn

Sleigh Bells – Rill Rill

Lauren Pritchard – Painkillers

Lupe Fiasco – The Show Goes On

Miranda Lambert – The House That Built Me

Aloe Blacc – I Need A Dollar

Duck Sauce – Barbra Streisand

Adele – Rolling In The Deep

Mark Ronson & The Business Intl – The Bike Song

Girls – Oh So Protective One

Nicki Minaj – Super Bass

The Pierces – You’ll Be Mine

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – We Almost Lost Detroit

Cults – Go Outside

Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi – Two Against One (feat. Jack White)

Adele – Someone Like You

Chiddy Bang – Ray Charles

Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra)

Jay-Z & Kanye West – Otis (feat. Otis Redding)

Calvin Harris – Feel So Close – Radio Edit

Lady Gaga – The Edge Of Glory

Martin Solveig – Hello – Single Edit

Mister Heavenly – Hold My Hand

Rihanna – We Found Love

Timothy Bloom – ‘Til the End of Time (feat. V)

Rudimental – Feel The Love – feat. John Newman

Tame Impala – Feels Like We Only Go Backwards

Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe

Fun. – Some Nights

Alabama Shakes – Hold On

The Shins – Simple Song

Frank Ocean – Thinkin Bout You

David Guetta – Titanium – feat. Sia

Elle Varner – Refill

Jimmy Cliff – World Upside Down

Regina Spektor – Don’t Leave Me (Ne me quitte pas)

K’NAAN – Is Anybody Out There?

Jessie Ware – Wildest Moments

Stooshe – Black Heart

Lianne La Havas – Is Your Love Big Enough?

Jack White – Love Interruption

Rizzle Kicks – Mama Do The Hump

Emeli Sandé – Next to Me

Avicii – Levels – Radio Edit

Best Coast – The Only Place

Drupatee & Machel Montano – Indian Gyal

Dizzee Rascal – Bassline Junkie

Little Mix – Wings

Laura Mvula – That’s Alright

Iggy Azalea – Work – Radio Edit

Daft Punk – Get Lucky (Radio Edit) [feat. Pharrell Williams]

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Thrift Shop – feat. Wanz

Justin Timberlake – Suit & Tie

Paloma Faith – Picking Up the Pieces

Bruno Mars – When I Was Your Man

Swedish House Mafia – Don’t You Worry Child (Radio Edit) [feat. John Martin]

Icona Pop – I Love It – feat. Charli XCX

Calvin Harris – Sweet Nothing

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Artists
Andy Grammer How I Became the Bomb Punch Inc Diane Birch Joss Stone David Broza
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