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The Top Ten Best Hit Songs of 2014

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Date Aired
January 31, 2015 (Part 1)
February 1, 2015 (Part 2)
Running Time
15:09 (Part 1)
15:03 (Part 2)
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IntroductionEdit

Todd plays American Authors' "Best Day of My Life"[1] on the piano.

THE TOP TEN BEST HIT SONGS OF 2014
A very late year-end retrospective

Todd: I'm not thrilled with this list.

Clip from DJ Drybones's "Top Pop Songs Of 2014 Mashup (How I Feel)", which serves as the interlude throughout the countdown.
Pharrell: It might seem crazy what I'm about to say

Todd (VO): I really loved every song on my last Best of the Year list. This year, the pickings were... kinda slim. And these are all gonna be songs I like; I'm just saying I don't know how many would've made it on my Year-End list in better years. There's just... not a lot of strong competition. Matter of fact, I think 2014 might set a record not only for the worst hits, but also for the least hits. You remember how I mentioned in a video how static the year was, right, for like weeks and weeks and weeks? Yeah, that fact...

Todd: ...did this list no favors. I feel like I had a lot less music to choose from somehow. I'm not even...

Todd (VO): ...sure how Billboard even managed to release a Year-End 100. Shouldn't it be like a Year-End 53?

Todd: But you know what? It is what it is. I still listen to Top 40 stuff more than I listen to anything else. Surely, this year wasn't a total waste. Well, we'll see. This is...

Vinz: ...just how I feel

Todd (VO): The Top Ten Best Hit Songs of 2014!

#10Edit

Todd (VO): #10.

Video begins...
Ariana Grande: Tell me something I need to know
Then take my breath and never let it go
[Todd is entranced]
If you just let me invade your space
I'll take the pleasure...

Todd: I'm sorry, what were we talking about?

#10. Ariana Grande ft. The Weeknd - "Love Me Harder"[2]

Ariana: 'Cause if you want to keep me, you gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta, got to love me harder

Todd (VO): I feel bad that I've talked such smack about Ariana Grande's ability to be sexy because...yeah, this is doin' it for me.

Todd: Hey, I get to be gross every once in a while, all right? I don't do it that often.

Ariana: And if in the moment I bite my lip

Todd (VO): Ariana Grande is a beautiful young woman who is singing about how you need to love her harder, and that is not a double entendre. That means a total of one thing...

Todd: ...and it's exactly the one you think it means.

Ariana: ...you gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta, got to love me harder

Todd (VO): Yeah, not a lot of room for interpretation in this one. Yeah, this one works for me in all the ways [clip of...] that "Bang Bang"[3] didn't—sexy where the other was embarrassing, low and seductive where the other was noisy and overbearing.

Ariana: Oooh-ooh, love me, love me, love me

Todd (VO): As a matter of fact, Ariana Grande needs to do a lot more cooing and a lot less belting because restraint is a good look on her. Also, the slower tempo means she doesn't sound like she's trying to sing and brush her teeth at the same time.

Todd: I can actually understand what she's saying.

Clip of "Break Free"[4] (with interpreted lyrics)
Ariana: This is the part where (This is the pot whale)
I say I don't want ya (I say Otto on ya)

Todd (VO): This would be higher, but I did get the feeling that Ariana's still growing into adulthood, although I hope she keeps up this direction. But more importantly...

Todd: ...who the hell is this guy?

The Weeknd: I know your motives and you know mine
The ones that love me...

Todd (VO): Um, I'm sorry, I don't see the big deal about this guy, The Weeknd... the weakened. Just another one of those guys who are trying to be Romeo despite having a voice like a leaking balloon.

The Weeknd: When I get you moaning, you know it's real

Todd (VO): Trying to brag about how good he is, like, I don't know if I buy it, considering the whole point of this song is that he's not doing it hard enough.

The Weeknd: So what do I do if I can't figure it out?
Ariana: You got to try, try, try again, yeah.

Todd: Sounds to me like The Weeknd is over much too quickly, if you follow. [Rimshot] More like The Weaknd, am I right? [Another rimshot] I'll stop.

Ariana: 'Cause if you want to keep me

Todd (VO): Yeah, this goes back to the Ariana I like, not the Christina Aguilera wannabe that we got for most of the year. And while we're talking, I need to apologize for mispronouncing Ariana Grande's name in a billion different ways.

Todd: Who knew there were so many ways to mispronounce a person's name? Yeah. Well, anyway.

Ariana: Love me harder, harder, harder

Interlude

#9Edit

Todd (VO): #9.

Todd: So it's 2012...

Clip of Despicable Me

Todd (VO): ...and I'm watching a kids' movie on Netflix, and this is what I hear.

Pharrell: I'm having a bad, bad day
It's about time that I get my way
Steam rollin' whatever I see

Todd: Who is that? [Promo pic of Despicable Me featuring Pharrell] Oh, no, I liked that guy.

Todd (VO): Wow, his career is over. When you've reached the Randy Newman phase of soundtracking kids' movies, you might as well pack it in, especially if you work [track listing for soundtrack, circling "My Life" by Pharrell and...] with that Robin Thicke guy. That guy's never gonna have a real hit.

Todd: And with that, I have officially reached [cash register sound] 5,000 bad predictions in a row! [Cheers from audience as Todd throws hands in the air] I could not have reached this milestone without the support of my loyal fans who have given me the courage to keep failing over and over.

Video begins
Pharrell: It might seem crazy what I'm 'bout to say
[Todd dances in his chair]
Sunshine she's here, you can take a break

Todd: Doesn't seem crazy at all. Seems pretty reasonable.

#9. Pharrell - "Happy"[5]

Pharrell: Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof

Todd: I'm happy. I'm happy, too. I wanted Pharrell to have his big comeback because, fun fact I've never shared with you guys, I...I actually went to the same high school as Pharrell.

Clip of The Clipse - "Grindin'"
Pharrell: The world is about to feel...

Todd (VO): Not at the same time, obviously, but he was just getting famous when I was in school, [clip of "Frontin'"] and some of my teachers would talk about having him as a student, he'd show up at homecoming games, [picture of Pharrell wearing...] he'd wear his high school jacket on TV, so...

Todd: ...me and Pharrell, we go way back. Yeah, Va Beach was all about the Neptunes. [Picture of exit sign for "Va Beach"] We call Virginia Beach "Va Beach." And at my prom, the DJ kept shouting "Star Trak what!" which is...you know, [Star Trak logo] it's the name of Pharrell's label, Star Trak, and everyone was throwing up the Star Trak sign, which is...it's the Vulcan [picture of Pharrell giving the sign] "long live and prosper." Holy cow, I never realized how dorky this all is.

Todd (VO): But you know, the song is dorky. In 2014, he decided that his trademark was gonna be a stupid hat and a hit song about being happy. Happy about what?

Todd: Nothing! Just happy.

Pharrell: Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do

Todd: He wrote a song about, "if you're happy and you know it, clap your hands." [Claps his hands]

Todd (VO): But while I do appreciate pretty much every retro-soul fluke hit that gets big, this one I like primarily because of Pharrell's voice.

Pharrell: Clap along if you feel like a room...

Todd (VO): Yeah, most of these, you know, neo-soul guys that model themselves on, you know, Barry White or Marvin Gaye or a young Michael Jackson; Pharrell is going for a more Smokey Robinson or Curtis Mayfield. You know, smooth, relaxed, utterly secure in its own awesomeness.

Todd: It's just a song I'm glad exists, although I'm not sure what emotion I'm supposed to project on "a room without a roof."

Pharrell: Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof

Todd: Uh...I feel [picture of run-down house with the roof caved in] dreadfully incomplete, useless, and unable to deal with the weather. So yeah, I guess that describes me. [Claps and dances happily a little more]

Pharrell: ...that's what you wanna do
Come on

Interlude

#8Edit

Todd (VO): #8.

Clip of Justin Timberlake - "TKO"
Justin: TKO

Todd: Justin Timberlake's comeback has been a colossal disappointment.

Clip of "Suit & Tie"

Todd (VO): Now, I liked "Suit & Tie." No, I loved "Suit & Tie." But I have not been even a little impressed [clip of Justin performing "Not a Bad Thing" on The Tonight Show] with any of his other new singles, and it's ridiculous because Justin Timberlake is still very much our model for pop singers. We want Justin Timberlake songs, we need Justin Timberlake songs.

Todd: And if Justin Timberlake isn't gonna give us any good Justin Timberlake songs, we'll just have to get them from somewhere else.

Clip from 2013 Much Music Video Music Awards
Taylor Swift: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage Ed Sheeran.

Todd: Okay, let's not be silly.

Clip of Ed Sheeran performing the song on BBC
Ed Sheeran: It's late in the evening
Glass on the side

Todd: Are...are you serious?

Video for...
Ed: I need you darling
Come on set the tone
If you feel...

Todd: Did the best Justin Timberlake song of the year come from Ed Sheeran? The world is upside down!

#8. Ed Sheeran - "Sing"[6]

Ed: Sing!
Oh-oh-oh...

Todd (VO): Okay, that round-faced dork you see here is not a pop star. He's a folk singer, he plays acoustic guitar.

Todd: The last time I saw an acoustic folk singer try to remake themselves as a hot, young pop star was [picture of...] Jewel, and it was bad.

Clip of Jewel - "Intuition"
Jewel: Follow your heart
Your intuition

Todd (VO): It was real bad.

Todd: Ed Sheeran's...

Todd (VO): ...pop makeover should have been a disaster along those lines, and yet, it's surprisingly credible.

Ed: Let it go until our roads are changed
Singing we found love in a local rave

Todd (VO): In fact, I think it's better than "Like I Love You," [brief clip of same] the Justin Timberlake song it's obviously based off of. But even more than Justin, am I the only one...

Todd: ...that's reminded of Flight of the Conchords here?

Clip of Flight of the Conchords performing "It's Business Time"
Flight: It's business
It's business time

Todd (VO): And it reminds me of another person who tried to pull off this white boy guitar-playing folk rapper shtick.

Todd: Jason Mraz.

Clip of Jason Mraz performing "Curbside Prophet" with John Popper
Jason: I’m pickin' up my pace and makin' time like Space Ghost

Todd (VO): He doesn't do that anymore, largely because I think he's figured out it was entirely embarrassing; his intricate rhymes were just meaningless gibberish.

Clip of "Wordplay"
Jason: Because, because
I am the wizard of ooh's and ah's and fa-la-la's
Yeah the Mister A to Z
They say I'm all about the wordplay

Todd: What are you talking about? My God, this is lame.

Todd (VO): Ed, meanwhile, folk-raps about going to a club and getting laid. That's what you rap about.

Todd: Congratulations, Ed, you get the [picture of a thumbs-up trophy] "most improved" trophy of 2014. I just can't over this—the party jam of the year...

Todd (VO): ...came from this dork. And he's still very clearly a dork, he just...he just added an awesome dance jam to his music.

Todd: Okay. Good on you, Ed. Keep it up.

Ed: Oh...ooh...
Sing!

Interlude

#7Edit

#7. Ed Sheeran - "Don't"[7]

Ed: Ah lahmlahlah
Don't fuck with my love
That heart is so cold
All over my home
I don't wanna know that, babe

Todd: Oh. I...I guess he did keep it up. How about that.

Ed: Ah lahmlahlah

Todd (VO): Okay, a good hook forgives everything. That's basically the reason this is higher than "Sing," which didn't really have a chorus. Instead of being a club banger, this one is a breakup jam about the girl who broke his heart.

Ed: And I never saw him as a threat
Until you disappeared with him to have sex, of course

Todd (VO): And this is the exact kind of song that makes WGWAGs so insufferable, and this one in particular is way oversharing.

Todd: Like, he's pretty clearly talking about a specific person, someone who's also famous.

Ed: But me and her we make money the same way
Four cities, two planes the same day

Todd (VO): Because we have the Internet, you can find out [brief clip of Ellie Goulding - "Lights"] who it is pretty easily. You can also find out who [promo pic of One Direction, with arrow pointing at Niall] the other dude was. If this was played as a regular acoustic guitar song, this would be insufferable. Matter of fact, I still don't like that I can see a little bit of that college douche whininess starting to creep back in towards the end.

Todd: If Ed had just been trying to make me feel sorry for him, he would have failed.

Ed: And I wasn't looking for a promise or commitment
But it was never just fun and I thought you were different

Todd (VO): Oh, your kinda, actually not really your girlfriend slept with a guy from One Direction. [Clip of "Little Things"] Well, that's karmic payback for giving One Direction that awful song you wrote instead of flushing it down the toilet. But the hook is what makes it okay. It just doesn't register like a guy whining about his ex because a slinky, dark R&B jam makes this work way better than a "woe is me, oh I'm so sensitive" folk song. It's about the groove, and that's what keeps the song going. And...

Todd: ...Ed, I'm actually starting to like you and think that you're talented. [beat] This is confusing and weird and I don't like it. Can we just go back to the boring Ed Sheeran I remember?

Clip of "Thinking Out Loud"
Ed: Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love
Will your eyes still smile from your cheek

Todd: There we go. Whew! I was getting worried there for a while. Everything is back to normal.

Interlude

#6Edit

Todd (VO): #6.

Todd: You know how after you get out of a bad relationship, it tends to feel good, right? You know, yay, freedom, I can do whatever I want and see whoever I want to see and I can do so much. But then, after a while, you remember how much being single sucks and you start getting lonely, and then suddenly, you start to look back and, you know, maybe it wasn't that bad, right? And you know, hey, maybe, you know, we can hang out, maybe we should get back together, give it another try and it'll work this time.

What I'm saying is, there's a Katy Perry song on this list.

#6. Katy Perry - "Birthday"[8]

Katy: Boy, when you're with me
I'll give you a taste
Make it like your birthday everyday
I know you like it sweet
So you can have your cake
Give you something good to celebrate

Todd: Katy Perry's whole career is based around being just tasteless enough.

Todd (VO): It's a tough line to walk, as demonstrated by the fact that she seems to have lost the ability to find that right balance these last couple years.

Clips of "Roar"...
Katy: I'm already pushing off the dust

Todd (VO): Not tasteless enough.

..."Dark Horse"[9]...
Katy: This love will make you levitate

Todd (VO): Too tasteless.

..."Unconditionally"...
Katy: Unconditionally

Todd (VO): Not tasteless enough.

..."This Is How We Do"...
Katy: It's no big deal
It's no big deal
It's no big deal

Todd (VO): Okay, way too tasteless. I'm not sure why. Holy God, this song makes my skin crawl.

...and back to "Birthday"
Katy: So make a wish

Todd (VO): There we go. Just right.

Katy: Pop your confetti
Pop your Pérignon

Todd (VO): Mostly, this is the only halfway decent song Katy Perry has released in years. God, it's nice to know that Katy Perry can still find it in her to be entertainingly loathsome.

Todd: Now let's see her try some comedy.

Yosef Shulem: [Katy dressed as a Jewish MC] Did you hear about the rabbi who did free circumcisions? He only did it for tips!

Todd: As deaf to hand as always, madame. And to think they gave the Oscar hosting job to Ellen this year. [Poster of Oscars featuring Ellen Degeneres] Pfft.

Katy: Happy birthday

Todd (VO): Yeah, this is exactly what Katy Perry is good at—making bright, glittery music that's sexy in a tacky, awful kind of way. I don't know how she's managed to pull it off as many times as she has. I mean, these double entendres, they're pretty shameless.

Katy: So let me get you in your birthday suit
It's time to bring out the big balloons

Todd: Wait, say that again?

Katy: It's time to bring out the big balloons

Todd: Oh. I guess Katy Perry does have a song about her own boobs.

Clip of Jason DeRulo - "Trumpets"[10]
Jason: Is it weird that your bra
Remind me of a Katy Perry song

Todd (VO): Ugh. Sorry, Jason DeRulo, you weren't making that song up; I take that one back.

Todd: The rest stands.

Todd (VO): To be honest, just like a birthday only comes once a year, Katy Perry is probably best enjoyed sparingly, and I'd happily go without her the other 364 days.

Todd: At least it's better than [brief clip of...] that third-rate idiot Jeremih's "Birthday Sex." Yeah, I'll take Katy any day.

Katy: Give you something good to celebrate
Katy and kids: Happy birthday!

To be continued--->

#5Edit

Interlude

Todd (VO): #5.

Todd: This is the hardest rock song to become a hit this year.

Video begins...

Its lead instrument is a xylophone. Pfft.

#5. Paramore - "Ain't It Fun"[11]

Hayley Williams: Ain't it fun
Living in the real world

Todd (VO): The first time I heard Paramore, a friend of mine dubbed them "Fall Out Girl." But whatever else you want to say about them, though, they're a much more direct band than Fall Out Boy ever were. Fall Out Boy would never, ever write a song about living in the real world, and if they did, they'd stuff it full of parched, trying-too-hard metaphors that don't make sense.

Todd: And I mean that in a loving way. I like a lot of Fall Out Boy's songs because of all those things. Please don't hurt me. [Gives a thumbs up attempting to back everybody off]

Hayley: I don't mind

Todd (VO): The continued existence of Paramore in 2014 was confusing. We don't have a lot of real rock bands anymore—[Clip of Paramore performing on Good Morning America] real rock bands who release songs that are unequivocally rock songs. Apparently, the way to make rock songs and still get on the radio is making them sound like Sheila E and Miami Sound Machine.

Hayley: So what are you gonna do
When the world don't orbit around you?

Todd (VO): In many ways, "Ain't It Fun" sounded like pretty much no other big hit of the year because it was a rock song, and because it was a weird mix of styles I'd never heard before, and most of all, because it was really good.

Hayley: Ain't it good?
Being all alone

Todd (VO): I think it's impressive that even after losing two key members, Paramore still sounds like a real band and not The Hayley Williams Show. I'd daresay they emerged from that band trauma the tightest they've ever been.

Todd: The only reason I was a tiny bit down on this song is, I wasn't quite sure who she was making fun of. Probably me, I figured.

Paramore: Don't go crying to your mama
Cause you're on your own in the real world

Todd (VO): But it turns out the person who couldn't handle the real world was Hayley herself. After all the band trauma, they relocated from Nashville to [picture of Hollywood sign] L.A., and she found she was no longer the big fish in the pond.

Todd: Apparently, on the showbiz hierarchy, being in a successful rock band makes you [footage of, with pictures pasted on of...] less important than Kourtney Kardashian's plumber's dog. So this was her way of telling herself to tough up rather than cry about...

Todd (VO): ...not being the most popular girl in school anymore.

Hayley: Ain't it fun
Ain't it fun

Todd (VO): I'm not sure Los Angeles counts as the real world, but I get the point regardless.

Hayley: Ain't it fun

Todd (VO): Tough up, don't whine. It's inspiring, really. "Ain't it fun living in the real world?"

Todd: To that, I can say unequivocally...[music abruptly stops] no. Screw the real world. [Cut to Todd playing a game] If I get 100% completion, I can unlock all the concept art!

Interlude

#4Edit

Todd (VO): #4.

Todd: Hey, Paw!

PawDugan: Hello?

Todd: Wanna hear the new song from that [video begins] indie chick you like, Sia? [Paw sighs] It's about drinking, and partying! YOLO!

Paw: Nope, bye. [hangs up, despondent]

Todd: Hey, where you going? Come here and check out this Autotune, it's great!

#4. Sia - "Chandelier"[12]

Sia: Throw 'em back, til I lose count
I'm gonna swing
From the chandelier
From the chandelier

Todd (VO): Uh, the little girl you see there is not Sia. Matter of fact, I'm not entirely sure Sia is a real person. Are we sure she exists? I mean, where is she? Prove it. She's not in this video.

Clips of "Titanium"...
Sia: I'm bulletproof, nothing to lose

Todd (VO): Not in that one, either.

...and Flo Rida - "Wild Ones"
Sia: Hey I heard you were a wild one

Todd (VO): Nowhere to be seen here! Maybe on the album cover? [cover of Sia - 1000 Forms of Fear album, which is just a wig] No? Let's check out Billboard.com. [picture of "Elastic Heart" and "Chandelier" right next to each other on the Hot 100, at #32 and #33 respectively, which have a person with a paper bag over their head] Nope? Hm... Wait a minute.

Todd: What happens if you play this song backwards?

He does just that

Todd (VO): [as if his voice was a hidden message in the song] "Sia died in 2010 and was replaced by a sound-alike imposter."

Todd: HA! I knew it.

Sia: Party girls, don't get hurt
Can't feel anything

Todd (VO): At least Ed Sheeran was famous in the mainstream before going pop. Sia was not. She was strictly underground and then all of a sudden, she started writing pop songs. And not artsy, indie pop; I mean regular, mainstream, Hot 100 club shit. [clip of Rihanna - "Diamonds"] She's been writing behind the scenes for Christina Aguilera and Rihanna for a while, so much so that it's difficult to say whether Sia is trying to sound like Rihanna or Rihanna started sounding like her.

Todd: And yet, despite this, she doesn't seem to want to be...

Todd (VO): ...a pop star. Which is a shame, because she's one of the best we've had in a long time.

Sia: One two three, one two three, drink
One two three, one two three, drink

Todd: Mostly I like this one because it's such a brutal display of sheer raw power.

Sia: I'm, gonna fly
Like a bird through the night

Todd (VO): Goddamn operatic is what it is. She's not just gonna swing from the chandelier, she's gonna take it off the ceiling and shatter all the windows.

Clip of Tove Lo - "Habits (Stay High)"[13]
Tove Lo: I gotta stay high, all the time
To keep you off my mind

Todd (VO): We actually had two songs about women dealing with pain via substance abuse, but "Chandelier" is by far the better one. "Habits (Stay High)" was just a little too on the nose. Also, if her drug problem is this bad, I think it has a deeper cause than a breakup. And also, she makes being high sound miserable.

Todd: If this is the way being high makes her feel, why does she keep doing it?

Todd (VO): But "Chandelier" captures everything—the fun and the thrill and the regret and the horrible messiness of it all. In fact, it's just an incredibly messy performance all-around, and...messy is exactly what the song calls for. [Brief clip of "I'm Not the Only One" by...] Sam Smith plays everything so tight and controlled that his songs never come to life, but Sia is alive. Maybe not alive for much longer, if she doesn't get down from that chandelier, but yeah, for the moment, she sounds alive. I don't know if Sia really wants to continue with this pop stuff, maybe she doesn't. Like I said, she doesn't seem all that comfortable with being a pop star.

Todd: But whatever she does after this, I'm sure she'll be happy regardless if she never troubles the Hot 100 again. ...Not that that's really her.

Sia: On for tonight, on for tonight

Interlude

#3Edit

Todd (VO): #3.

Clip of Calvin Harris - "Summer"[14]
Calvin: When I met you in the summer

Todd: I've said many times before that I'm not a fan of producer driven techno-pop.

Todd (VO): I just don't like you, Calvin Harris. I don't like your face, I don't like your voice, I don't like your stupid, terrible music; [respective pictures of...] I don't like you, David Guetta; I don't like you, Swedish House Mafia; I don't like you, Avic...eh, you're okay, Avicii.

Todd: But for the most part, the genre doesn't do much for me.

Todd (VO): It always feels like it's missing something; some kind of spark and personality that just isn't there.

Todd: But in 2014 I think I started to warm up to it, like...

Clip of Disclosure ft Sam Smith - "Latch"

Todd (VO): They made a lot of good music this year. Producers sure got better work out of Sam Smith as a featured artist than he got out of himself.

Todd: [song begins in background] But there's one song that really put it over the top. A song so...perfect, I really don't know what to say about it. Just play it.

#3. Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne - "Rather Be"[15]

Jess: If you gave me a chance I would take it
It's a shot in the dark but I'll make it
Know with all of your heart, you can't shame me
When I am with you, there's no place I'd rather be

Todd (VO): "Rather Be" is almost inhumanly good. Like, when I say this genre doesn't have personality, that's still true; it's just that here, it's a good thing. It's kind of too flawless to be sullied by stupid human hands, it's just immaculate.

Todd: In fact, I'm at a loss here. I don't know if I have any real entry point into this. I mean, it has lyrics, but I'm not sure what any of them mean.

Jess: We're different and the same, gave you another name
Switch up the batteries

Todd: That literally meant nothing. Well, literally, it meant literally nothing. Symbolically, it somehow meant everything.

Todd (VO): If anything, it's that violin that keeps it tethered to Earth, and a much better example of acoustic instruments in techno than "Wake Me Up" was, if I might say. [Brief clip of "Shatter Me" featuring Lzzy Hale by...] I heard that YouTube star Lindsey Sterling is making a foray into mainstream pop, but as far as I'm concerned, she'll never be able to top this one.

Jess: Yeah-e-yeah-e-yeah-e-yeah-e-yeah, yeah, yeah

Todd (VO): Look, "Rather Be" is most enjoyable if you don't try to think about it at all. Like the best techno, it doesn't have to be about anything, it's just mood music.

Todd: It's really good mood music that puts me in a really good mood.

Jess: N-n-n-no, no, no, no place I'd rather be

Todd: So there you go. I love this song.

Jess: When I am with you, there's no place I'd rather be

Interlude

#2Edit

Todd (VO): #2.

Clip of Carly Rae Jepsen - "Call Me Maybe"
Carly Rae: I threw a wish in a well

Todd (VO): Back when I reviewed "Call Me Maybe," I criticized it a lot for being, quote...

Todd: [making air-quotes] ..."girly."

Todd (VO): Now, there have been some people who have gotten on my case for that, like, "hey, what's wrong with being girly?"

Todd: Well, I'll tell you what. Nothing, you got me. Fine.

Todd (VO): I had a point in there somewhere that got lost, but I didn't mean to say that girly is...

Todd: ...automatically bad. I like plenty of girly things.

Video for...
Charli XCX: Boom! Boom! Boom! Clap!

Todd: For example.

#2. Charli XCX - "Boom Clap"[16]

Charli XCX: Boom! Clap!
The sound of my heart
The beat goes on and on and on and on and
Boom! Clap!
You make me feel good
Come on to me, come on to me now

Todd (VO): Charli XCX is, I guess, the version of [brief clips of "Royals" by...] Lorde who isn't too good for pop music. That's not a knock against either of them. God knows I like Lorde a lot, and [...and "Fancy"[17] by...] she's probably smart enough to never collaborate with Iggy Azalea.

Todd: It's like they recorded "Fancy" specifically to vindicate "Royals." Ugh.

Todd (VO): But I suspect Lorde's career will take her far away from pop music, while Charli XCX seems pretty dedicated to making pop music and making it right. And this was by far the best thing she's ever done. "Boom Clap" was gonna be the #1 on this list for the longest time. I love this song.

Charli XCX: You make me feel good
Come on to me, come on to me now
[Todd gets down to it]
Boom! Clap!
The sound of my heart
The beat goes on...

Todd (VO): I first heard "Boom Clap" in [poster of...] The Fault in Our Stars, the unbearably, beautifully romantic movie about children...

Todd: ...dying of slow, horrible diseases.

Todd (VO): Not my genre, but it was pretty good. But the thing that really stuck with me was this song, which I started listening to immediately. And that's saying a lot from me because I have...

Todd: ...kind of a bad knee-jerk reaction to the words "boom" and "clap."

Clip from Hannah Montana: The Movie
Miley: Boom-boom clap
Boom de clap de clap
Boom-boom clap
Boom de clap de clap

Todd: I might have mentioned.

Todd (VO): I guess the difference between this and "Call Me Maybe" is that this isn't light giddiness, which is cheap and forgettable. This is a love song about full-on, actual love, which sticks with you, or it does for me, at least. I would forgive a dozen more Iggy Azalea collaborations if we get more of these. There's probably no song I listened to this year more than this one.

Charli XCX: Oh!
Boom! Clap!

Todd: I really did intend for this to be #1 this year up until the wire with my #1, but before we get to why it isn't, some honorable mentions...

Honorable MentionsEdit

Coldplay - "A Sky Full of Stars"[18]

Chris Martin: 'Cause you're a sky, 'cause you're a sky full of stars

Todd (VO): Weird to say, but I like Coldplay's EDM sell-out way more than nearly anything they released when they were big. I'm not sure why this is credited to Coldplay and not Avicii featuring Coldplay, though.

Todd: Full disclosure: I might like this song because ESPN used it [footage of...] pretty extensively in their World Cup coverage this year, so this is basically a jock jam to me.

Oh, and speaking of disclosure...

Disclosure ft. Sam Smith - "Latch"[19]

Sam Smith: Got you shackled in my embrace
I’m latching on to you (never)

Todd (VO): You're lucky these Disclosure guys came along, Sam Smith, or you would be one of my least favorite artists of this year.

Naughty Boy ft. Sam Smith - "La La La"[20]

Sam Smith: I'm covering my ears like a kid
When your words mean nothing, I go la la la

Todd (VO): Oh, wait, there was this one, too. Good stuff, Sam Smith; stop making your own music.

Todd: I do like that we have a song about doing [sticks fingers in ears] the "la la la, I can't hear you" bit like a ten-year-old.

DJ Snake ft. Lil Jon - "Turn Down for What"[21]

Lil Jon: TURN DOWN FOR WHAT!

Todd: YEY-AH!!!

Nicki Minaj - "Anaconda"[22]

Nicki: "Where my fat ass big bitches in the club?"
Fuck those skinny bitches

Todd (VO): Told you it'd be on here. Honestly, I'm starting to wonder if I should've bumped it up to a place on the list.

Todd: [beat] Is that all I have? I...I usually have more. God, this was a bad year! All right, anyway, let's end this with...

Interlude

#1Edit

Todd (VO): #1.

Clip of Mark Ronson ft. Amy Winehouse - "Valerie"
Amy: [lip-synced by actress in video] Well sometimes I go out by myself
And I look across the water

Todd (VO): We may never know how much great music we lost with the death of Amy Winehouse in 2011. She genuinely was one of the most interesting, dynamic performers of the 2000s, and who knows what else she could've done? And she seemed to bring out the best in her collaborators, too. For example, this guy over here had his biggest success working with Miss Winehouse. They just...they just seemed simpatico, you know? He liked retro, she liked retro. The two of them, they just clicked. [Clip of montage tribute at 2011 MTV VMAs] They might have kept working together, too, if not for Amy Winehouse's tragic death. [Clip of performance of "Valerie" at same event, answering the following question...] 'Cause after all, what singer could ever be able to match Amy's style? Who else could pull off a song like this?

Bruno Mars: Valerie
Valerie

Todd: Hmm, that guy seems to be pulling it off. Maybe he should work with that guy and see what comes out of it.

Video for...
Backup: Doh doh doh, doh doh doh, doh doh

Todd snaps along...

Bruno: Don't believe me, just watch
Come on!

...and thrusts!

#1. Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars - "Uptown Funk"[23]

Backup: Doh doh doh, doh doh doh, doh doh (Hah!)
Bruno: Don't believe me, just watch

Todd (VO) And to think Bruno Mars ever wasted his time writing garbage like "It Will Rain" or "Grenade." I mean, that's just baffling. And even though those songs had a style that was undeniably his, I choose to believe that the real Bruno Mars is the one pretending to be other people because he's far, far more convincing stealing moves from James Brown than he is doing his own thing.

Bruno: Gotta kiss myself I'm so pretty

Todd (VO): In this case, having already blown through Earth, Wind & Fire and Prince, he's now decided to be Morris Day and The Time.

Bruno: Julio! Get the stretch!
Ride to Harlem, Hollywood, Jackson, Mississippi

Todd (VO): Just like [brief clip of Jason DeRulo's...] "Wiggle"[24] kept topping itself with a new low point every couple seconds, "Uptown Funk" kept amazing me by piling up a great moment one after another. You can't take apart a song second by second and evaluate each of them separately. But I assure you, if I could, I'd give every single one of them a 10 out of 10. Everything about this is great.

Bruno: I'm too hot

Todd: [singing along] Hot damn!

Bruno: Called a police and a fireman
I'm too hot (hot damn)
Make a dragon wanna retire, man
I'm too hot
[Clip of Smaug backing away]
Smaug: Well, I should pack it in. Can't get hotter than that.
Bruno: Don't believe me, just watch
Don't believe me, just watch
Don't believe me, just watch
Don't believe me, just watch

Todd (VO): This came along right at the end of the year, just in time to be on the list and snatch the #1 spot. And while I was writing this list, the best song of 2014 became the first new #1 single of 2015, and thank Christ for that. I don't know what's gonna happen this year, but it's already six billion times better than the last. Let's hope for more of this in 2015, am I right?

Todd: Don't believe me, just watch. Come on!

Bruno and backup: Uptown Funk you up, Uptown Funk you up (say whaa?!)
Uptown Funk you up, Uptown Funk you up
[Todd keeps dancing]
Uptown Funk you up
Mark: Aaaaaaow!


Closing tag song: Nico & Vinz - "Am I Wrong"[25]

THE END
This video is owned by me
This year's mashup: "How I Feel" by DJ Drybones

Note: If Honorable Mentions are not counted, this is Todd's first Top 10 of any kind to feature more female-fronted songs than male-fronted songs.

FootnotesEdit

  1. #31 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  2. #56 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100 for 2015, did not appear on 2014 list
  3. #27 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  4. #37 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  5. #1 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  6. #56 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100. Pharrell provided uncredited background vocals.
  7. #52 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  8. #80 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  9. #2 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  10. #61 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  11. #47 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  12. #25 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  13. #32 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  14. #33 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  15. #41 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  16. #34 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  17. #4 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  18. #51 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  19. #28 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  20. #82 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  21. #15 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  22. #36 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  23. #1 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100 for 2015, did not appear on 2014 list
  24. #40 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  25. #14 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100

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