Top Songs of 2013 (So Far)
Now that the Grammys, the BRITs, and all of the big music award shows celebrating 2012 are over, it’s time to start tracking the Top Songs of 2013. The year is still young, but already we’ve seen noteworthy hits from superstars and new artists alike.
Rihanna, Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars are among the big names who released albums late last year that have continued to produce hits well into 2013. The big comeback story this year is Justin Timberlake, who has stolen the headlines with his ‘The 20/20 Experience’ album, but Mariah Carey also returned with an excellent new collaborative song.
Count along with PopCrush as we run down the top songs of 2013 so far.
Chris Brown is a modern-day Michael Jackson on his electro-soul single 'Fine China,' where he croons, "When you're mine, I'll be generous / You're irreplaceable / A collectible, just like fine china." From the video to his ad-libbing, it's clear Breezy had the King of Pop in mind while recording the 'X' track. Even the smooth, midtempo beat has that throwback MJ vibe, but it still feels contemporary with the urgent backing synth and heavy percussion. This top song of 2013 is a groovy, dance floor jam that will keep your head bobbing and toes tapping.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis scored the surprise hip-hop smash of early 2013 with their ode to finding discarded treasure in the second-hand store. While Lewis spins an unstoppable beat and Wanz provides the baritone hook, Macklemore spits about scoring fox furs, zebra pajamas, a velour jumpsuit and a broken keyboard. The Seattle rapper made an intentional decision to contradict the typical hip-hop themes of living large and spending millions, and it worked out as fans everywhere embraced the tribute to budget living.
Demi Lovato doesn’t want to let herself fall in love, but she’s struggling to resist the charms of one particular guy. That’s the story behind ‘Heart Attack,’ the lead single from her next record. Supported by acoustic guitar and thumping electronic hand claps, the ‘X Factor’ judge sings, “Puttin’ my defenses up / ‘Cause I don’t wanna fall in love / If I ever did that / I think I’d have a heart attack.” Our favorite moment is when she brags that when it comes to guys, “I can play ‘em like a Ken doll.”
'When I Was Your Man'
Bruno Mars has a lot of regrets in ‘When I Was Your Man,’ when he thinks back to a special girl who moved on to another guy. Mars sings that he didn’t mistreat her, but he didn’t go out of his way to make her feel special. “I should’ve bought you flowers / And held your hand / Shoulda gave you all my hours / When I had the chance,” he sings. The song was the second straight Top 5 hit from the Hawaiian crooner’s ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’ album.
'Started From the Bottom'
As one of the hottest MCs in the game, with multiplatinum records and a recent Grammy Award for Best Rap Album on his resume, Drake has earned the right to look back and marvel at his success. Next up on our list of the Top Songs of 2013 is Drizzy’s autobiographical ‘Started From the Bottom,’ which chronicles his journey growing up from a modest background in Toronto to becoming an international hip-hop superstar.
For the fourth single from her ‘Red’ album, Taylor Swift chose to release one of the poppiest songs of her career, ’22,’ a joyous anthem about being carefree while she's young. She does just that in the music video, dancing around with her girlfriends, hanging out on the beach at sunset, bouncing around on trampolines and partying late into the night. Swift sums it up: "We're happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time / It's miserable and magical."
What do you get when you mix the silky smooth vocals of Miguel, with the breathy, heavenly voice of Mariah Carey? One of 2013's top songs! Over some bass that sounds like it could've been ripped from an old Western or a Tarantino flick, some muffled, reverberating percussion and minimal yet resounding guitar strumming, the duo trade sweet, melodious verses on '#Beautiful' (although we don't get this hashtag song title trend). The production is also gorgeous, as the easy-going pop track has a simple, organic sound with some throwback R&B vibes mixed in.
Daft Punk's absence is over, and the French duo are back at it in a big way on 'Get Lucky,' their first hit single since 2007. Instead of going for in-your-face EDM beats, Daft Punk recruited Pharrell Williams to croon on this disco-esque, lighthearted jam, an easily digestible and danceable tune not just for electro fans, but music lovers in general. After the second verse, where Pharrell sweet-talks a lady with his breezy voice ("The present has no rhythm / Your gift keeps on giving"), there's a killer breakdown that is one of the funkiest things we've heard in a long time.
Critical reception to Justin Timberlake’s comeback single ‘Suit & Tie’ was mixed, but even those who didn’t appreciate the retro soul track seemed to enjoy JT’s next offering, ‘Mirrors.’ The crooner sings that he’s found his soulmate: “It’s like you’re my mirror / My mirror staring back at me / I couldn’t get any bigger / With anyone else beside me.” The eight-minute track ends with three minutes of falsetto cooing, reminding listeners that Justin is still the king of modern soul-pop.
Rihanna leads our list of the Top Songs of 2013, a familiar position for an artist who’s used to hitting No. 1. Normally RiRi makes us dance, but ‘Stay’ is a vulnerable ballad using little more than piano and vocals to describe a tortured relationship. The song introduces the world to the voice of Mikky Ekko, who co-wrote the track, and features one of Rihanna’s most impressive vocal performances as she reveals a more personal and intimate side.