2014 Favorites: Music Part 1

Presented without any particular order in mind, the first part of a five part series featuring my favorite songs of 2014.

Love Never Felt So Good - Michael Jackson ft. Justin Timberlake

I turned my nose at a 2014 MJ album, but it turned out a lot better than I thought.  And so did this 80's throwback that's almost impossible for you not to sing along with.
All We Do - Trey Songz

Y'know what RnB's been missing?  Fucking music.  During the era a friend of mine dubbed as "the neverending party", where all the genres are blending together and rappers wanna be singers and singers wanna be rappers, everyone's so busy trying to get you "turnt" that no one's making music for what happens once you leave the club.   Enter "All We Do", a song that would put you in the mood if you were in traction. 

Good Kisser - Usher

Say what you will about the rest of Usher's singles leading up to his new album, but "Good Kisser" was a slam dunk.  From the minimalistic video to the instantly recognizable, impossibly catchy song itself.  I couldn't tell you whether U R will be the next Confessions (I'm lying, I can: it won't be), but I do know this was a monster of a way to start off his promos.

Gust of Wind - Pharrell

Pharrell used 2013 to create one of the catchiest earworms ever, then followed that up in 2014 by showing people how to do pop music right with his G I R L EP.   Not bad for a guy who's been in the music biz for over twenty years already.  

Often - Weeknd

I had a friend say "Weeknd's music makes me feel like I should be high on cocaine having a foursome with three chicks.  In slow motion."   Not an inaccurate assessment.   Either way, for my money he's one of the most interesting people in RnB right now, getting away from all the ballads and the party music and doing something different with the genre.  

Maryann - Landing

The self-styled "Bae God" had a great first effort with the "This Is What The Moon Sounds Like" EP, and this is one of the best tracks from it, featuring a delightfully atmospheric melody matched with hauntingly beautiful vocals.  To say I'm looking forward to what she does next is an understatement.

Pop Thieves - Childish Gambino
The KAUAI EP isn't the first time Donald Glover has tried crooning, but never has he done so to as great effect.  If the rapping thing doesn't work out (it's not like he's, y'know, winning grammy nominations or anything), I wouldn't be opposed to seeing him do a turn as a pop music artist later in his career.

She Knows - Ne-Yo feat. Juicy J

I'm not usually a Ne-Yo fan, so you could say it was this ridiculous, hilarious video that helped me become a fan of this...but I'd be lying if I said this wasn't catchy as all hell. 

$NITCHES - Lupe Fiasco ft. Ty Dolla $ign

Lupe went on a string of high-quality "loosie" releases in the run-up to Tetsuo & Youth, out later this January, but this track featuring XXL freshman Ty Dolla $ign just might be my favorite.  Lupe didn't let the message get in the way on this one, so its just two artists at their best creating quality music.


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