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Category: lists (Page 2 of 6)

Listmas 2014: The Top 50 Songs of the Year [#30-21]


In the formidable challenge that is counting down the Top 50 Songs of 2014, today is the day we reach the halfway point and then keep going. The songs are getting progressively better, more epic, catchier, and more emotional. That’s how lists like this work. I hope you’ve enjoyed what’s already been covered in the previous two installments. Click here to see #50-41 in the countdown. Click here to see #40-31. Is there a theme to the set of 10 songs featured in this particular post? Not that I’ve been able to discern. You’ll find a couple of hip hop tracks, a couple of R&B cuts, a couple of synth pop numbers, and some other things that can sometimes feel like they’re straight out of left field. It’s nice to get a little unpredictable from time to time. So here we go: The Top 50 Songs of 2014 #30-21!

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Listmas 2014: The Top 50 Songs of the Year [#40-31]


This Top 50 Songs list is not organized in any other way than by perceived order of excellence, so when you have a look at the set of 10 below, you may be surprised at how thematically related almost all of them are to one another. It was a total fluke things worked out like that, and in fact I didn’t even notice myself until writing up this introduction. The overarching theme is love, whether you’re falling into it, out of it, or somewhere in between, which is a subject matter as old as music itself. I just looked it up, and apparently about 60% of all songs written today are about love, so I guess the similarities aren’t all that shocking after all. Anyways, let’s get right into it, shall we? This freight train keeps rolling on with #40-31 of the Top 50 Songs of 2014! Oh, and in case you missed it, here’s #50-41.

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Listmas 2014: The Top 50 Songs of the Year [#50-41]


Welcome, dear reader, to the official kick off of Listmas 2014! For the uninformed, Listmas is the grand tradition here on the good ‘ol site that celebrates the end of the year with a series of ranked lists. It’s not really a new or novel idea, and in fact pretty much every site that covers music releases their own lists, though I suppose very few put it all together under one broad label like this. Yet the word has also become part of the jargon people use to talk about this list-making season every year. Anyways, it’s my sincere hope that you’ll keep checking back and reading the site over the next couple of weeks while the slow roll out of Listmas takes place. We’re starting this week with the Top 50 Songs of 2014 countdown, and following that up next week with the Top 50 Albums of 2014 countdown. There are currently designs for another extra list or two leading up to Christmas and the site’s annual holiday break, but I won’t go into detail on those yet because there’s still a good chance they might never be written or published. The last couple of years this endeavor has become increasingly difficult to put together, and resulted in delays that pushed a list or two past the holidays. So let’s keep our fingers crossed that everything gets done in a prompt and concise fashion this year.

Today we begin the journey of counting down the Top 50 Songs of 2014. Before we launch into this, a couple of quick notes. This list will be parsed out at the rate of 10 songs per post, ideally kicking off on Monday and ending on Friday. Along with the artist and song title, I’m pleased to provide different ways for you to hear each of the songs on this list. Some will be available for free download, but most will be streams through Soundcloud, YouTube or Spotify. The hope is to make all of this music as universally accessible as possible so you can hear everything should you so choose. Once the list is complete, I’ll include a link to a full playlist on Spotify where you can hear almost everything, as a few artists on this list don’t have or refuse to use Spotify. In regards to what you can expect, I’d say don’t make any assumptions and mentally prepare yourself to be outraged at some point. You’re not going to love every song, and the picks range from the very obscure to the super mainstream, even in the Top 10. No artist is featured more than once, though that rule technically doesn’t apply to collaborations or featured vocal spots. The goal is to spread the love as widely as possible, so hopefully that comes across in the end. So without further ado, please join me past the jump for Faronheit’s Top 50 Songs of 2014: #50-41!

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Class of 2014: 10 Artists to Watch


The “Class of” project originated at the start of 2012, as I spent the week between Christmas and New Year’s attempting to figure out exactly what there was to look forward to in the coming year. Always on the prowl for the next big thing, there was a lot to be excited about. So I decided to choose a manageable 10 artists whose career I would keep close tabs on throughout the next 12 months. When that turned out well, thanks in no small part to now nearly household names such as Frank Ocean and Grimes, the hope was to keep going. 2013 was going to be bigger and better than the previous year, and by all accounts that turned out to be true. Haim, Chvrches and Savages turned out to be the heaviest of the heavy hitters, though in the end nobody really performed poorly. In fact, last year’s class was so successful, I had concerns about 2014. How do you improve on near perfection? The short answer is, you don’t. You close your eyes, keep going, and pray for the best. And truly, I do believe that the Class of 2014 is filled with the best that music has to offer (that I’m aware of). These ten artists are interesting, innovative and actually pretty fun when you get down to it, and I anticipate greater realms of success for each one in the coming year. So join me after the jump, and allow me to introduce you to the Class of 2014!

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Class of 2013: A Look Back


When I first announced the artists that would be part of my Class of 2013, I basically promised that it would be even better than my Class of 2012. You could say that I had high hopes for all of these ten artists, and much to my chagrin, they actually delivered this year. There was plenty of action to be found, and plenty of profiles raised to new heights of popularity and stardom. It’s amazing to think that not only did virtually everyone improve their stature in the music world, but about half of them released full lengths that made my Top 50 Albums of 2013 list, not to mention many others’. In short, I’m exceptionally proud of the work all of these artists did over the last year, and invite you to join me now for a quick recap of what they did across 2013.

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Listmas 2013: The Top 50 Albums of the Year [#10-1]


And just like that, we’ve reached the end of our Top 50 Albums countdown journey. It’s been interesting and a whole lot of fun to put together, and I sincerely hope that you’ve enjoyed this and the other Listmas entries that have helped to wrap up 2013 and start 2014. This has extended far later than I wanted it to go, and all the delays are due to a variety of factors that I don’t care to get into, but at this point I’m just glad we made it. Thank you for bearing with me, and I hope we can still be friends after this. In case you missed anything from this year’s Listmas, let me give you a quick rundown and direct links to the many posts that took over the site in December and this early part of January.

Previously on the Top 50 Albums of 2013:
Part I [#50-41]
Part II [#40-31]
Part III [#30-21]
Part IV [#20-11]

The Top 50 Songs of 2013:
Part I [#50-41]
Part II [#40-31]
Part III [#30-21]
Part IV [#20-11]
Part V [#10-1]

So here they are, my Top 10 Albums of 2013. I genuinely love each and every one of the records listed below, and strongly recommend that you give them a listen or buy copies of them should you have the chance. These albums also make up a great snapshot of 2013, featuring a wide variety of music styles and genres that I don’t want to hint at. Just take it all in after the jump, and by all means enjoy to the fullest extent allowed. Thanks! Drumroll please…

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Listmas 2013: The Top 50 Albums of the Year [#20-11]


We’ve hit the home stretch, my friends. Time to count your blessings and prepare for the end…of this countdown, which will be coming soon. In the meantime though, here’s the next set of ten albums in this Top 50 Albums of 2013 countdown. In case you missed the first few entries, let me help you out with links to those:
Part I [#50-41]
Part II [#40-31]
Part III [#30-21]

It’s been a lot of fun so far, and there’s a lot more fun still on the way. In today’s set, you’ll find a few psychedelic and experimental pop records, along with small touches of electronica and hip hop. Join me after the jump for #20-11. I hope you enjoy them!

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Listmas 2013: The Top 50 Albums of the Year [#30-21]


We’ve now reached the halfway point of this Top 50 Albums of 2013 countdown. In case you missed them, here are links to Part I [#50-41] and Part II [#40-31]. Let me just say that this third part may be the most interesting section of the entire list. I don’t mean to put any other of the sets of ten to shame, but there are just so many oddities and flight of fancy records here that I suspect you may have missed at least a couple of them this year. There’s a lot more obvious stuff as we get towards the finish line, and some relatively popular indie records came before this, so this is the gooey middle where anything goes. We’re talking weird electronica, neo-classical post-rock and gothic drones among the fare you’ll find below. It wasn’t planned this way, I just wrote the Top 50 list and it worked out like this. So please enjoy this bit of strange after the jump, as we continue to forge onward chronicling the year’s best records!

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Listmas 2013: The Top 50 Albums of the Year [#40-31]


My life is a comedy or errors sometimes. You set aside 10 hours to write most of your Top 50 Albums entries, and then somehow come down with food poisoning, which eliminates that window entirely. What are the chances, right? Well, excuses aside, I’m pleased to bring you this second installment in my Top 50 Albums of 2013 series. In case you missed Part 1, which covered #50-41, you absolutely should check that out here. Today’s set of ten albums covers a pretty good variety of genres, from garage rock to folk to electronica to funk, pop and post-rock. The main thing I’d say about these records? Almost all of them are really fun to listen to. So let’s get right on it, and join me after the jump for #40-31!

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Listmas 2013: The Top 50 Albums of the Year [#50-41]


This is the big one. Welcome to Faronheit’s Top 50 Albums of 2013 countdown! Over the next few days, I’ll be revealing my unveiling the full list, 10 albums at a time. We do this every year, and it’s always an adventure. Things are running just a little bit behind schedule at the moment, as I’d hoped to have this up before Christmas, but I appreciate your patience and promise to have everything posted before the end of the year. Did you happen to catch my Top 50 Songs of 2013 list from earlier this month? In case you missed it, all of those posts can be found simply by clicking this link. While I’m always excited to share tracks with you, as evidenced by the daily Pick Your Poison posts, albums hold a special place in my heart. This site was started with the intention of writing long form album reviews, and unfortunately in 2013 strayed further away from that than ever. A combination of factors, from having a really busy schedule to endless amounts of writing and rewriting to bouts of writer’s block prevented me from cranking out more than a few album reviews each month. It’s something I have a strong desire to get back to however, so that’s going to be a primary goal for 2014. As things stand now, all 50 of the albums in this countdown have short paragraph mini reviews to go along with them, so in a sense I’m packing a year’s worth into just a few entries. I hope you enjoy them, and maybe even discover some great records that you missed from this past year. Let’s get started then, shall we? Follow me after the jump for the first set of ten albums, with #50-41!

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Listmas 2013: The Top 50 Songs of the Year [#10-1]

We’ve finally made it to the grand finale of this Top 50 Songs list for 2013. It’s been a wild and fun ride, and I hope you’ve had the chance to go through this full list and discover some songs you may not have heard before. A few shopkeeping notes I’d like to take care of as we wrap this list up. First, next week will mark the beginning of the Top 50 Albums of 2013 list, which is something I promise you won’t want to miss. Secondly, there will be an addendum post that will be up on the site sometime between Christmas and New Year’s which will be called “The Best of the Rest.” In a nutshell, that will contain 50 more songs that I loved from 2013 that failed to make this list, plus a few other small lists dealing with other music-related topics. So call that a Listmas bonus. Lastly, in case you missed any of the other parts of this Top 50 Songs countdown, let me point you in the right direction with some links:

Part I [#50-41]
Part II [#40-31]
Part III [#30-21]
Part IV [#20-11]

A couple of quick stats about the songs featured below. It’s a 50-50 split between male and female vocalists. There is one hip hop track, two tracks by electronica artists, three tracks featuring guest vocalists (if you count David Bowie), and a wbole lot of incredibly addictive hooks. Now if you’ll join me after the jump, here are my 10 favorite songs that appeared on records released in 2013.

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Listmas 2013: The Top 50 Songs of the Year [#20-11]


At this point in the Top 50 Songs countdown, we’re getting into the real meat and potatoes of 2013 music. Looking at the choices that were made below and really across the entirety of this list, what surprises me the most is how different it is compared to my Top 50 Albums list (coming next week!). In the past that’s typically not been the case, however those lists were largely drawn up from memory. This year, I decided to keep track of all the notable songs and singles I heard, and there are two Spotify playlists to help prove it. The first playlist covers the first six months of the year, while the second playlist covers the second six months. Most of the songs that appear on this list were also on those playlists. By being proactive and keeping up with the tracks I really loved, it was far easier to decide on my Top 50 Songs. So I sincerely hope you’re enjoying the countdown so far, and the eclectic mix of styles and genres that come along with it. In case you missed the earlier parts of this list, just go straight to these links:
Part I [#50-41]
Part II [#40-31]
Part III [#30-21]

And now let’s get into Part IV. This set of ten tracks features a handful of rock bands, a genuine pop superstar, and light brushes of R&B and synth pop. If you think that’s eclectic, just wait until the final ten songs, which will be up tomorrow! Until then, please enjoy #20-11.

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Listmas 2013: The Top 50 Songs of the Year [#30-21]


Day number three of this Top 50 Songs countdown, and you could say that we’re really starting to hit a stride. There’s a lot of really great songs that have been covered so far on this list, and a whole lot more still to come. I’m excited to reveal everything to you, even if it is at a rate of 10 songs at a time. For those that are just jumping into this list right now, let me make sure you’re aware of Part I and Part II. Stay tuned over the next couple days for the final two installments! In the meantime, please enjoy the official middle portion of this list, with songs 30-21!

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Listmas 2013: The Top 50 Songs of the Year [#40-31]


On the second day of Listmas, my true love gave to me…ten more songs from the Top 50 Songs of 2013 list! Yes, in case you missed Part I of this countdown, which featured songs 50-41, you can check that out by going here. In Part II after the jump, you’ll find a couple of relaxing yet beautiful synth pop songs, some small doses of electronica and dance tracks, a pair of wordy singer-songwriters, and just a pinch of R&B for good measure. As with every set of ten songs this week, you’ll find quite a bit of eclecticism. That’s about all I have to say in terms of an intro, so let’s get right to it with songs 40-31!

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Listmas 2013: The Top 50 Songs of the Year [#50-41]


It’s here! It’s finally here! Welcome my friends to the beginning of that magical time of year known as Listmas. For the uninitiated, Listmas is the annual multi-week festival here on the site that celebrates everything list-worthy. Think of it as the year of music in review, wherein everything is ranked. So basically this is just like everybody else does, but with that snappy name of Listmas. In the past, Listmas has extended its reach outwards from the onset of December all the way through Christmas, with three full weeks of list-related programming that included ranking live shows, EPs, and other bric-a-brac. As much as I loved some of those smaller, less important lists, they always functioned as the appetizer to the main course, only more difficult to put together than most anyone realized. For example, I don’t listen to many EPs, so if I had to rank at the very least my Top 5 from this year, the entire list would likely be the only five or so EPs I’ve heard so far in 2013. So I’ve decided to do away with some of those less prominent lists and stick to what truly makes Listmas great: songs and albums. Starting today and running through Friday, I’ll be counting down my Top 50 Songs of 2013, 10 at a time. Next week we’ll do the same thing, but with albums. Some people like to throw full lists at you all at once but provide no context for their choices, nor ways in which you might be able to actually hear some of the music that’s mentioned. The reason the Top 50 Songs and Top 50 Albums lists take a week to fully unveil is because I want to write a little something about each entry, and provide proper links for you to look into the music further should you so desire. It’s a little classier than simply cutting and pasting my list onto the site.

Before we get started with this Top 50 Songs of 2013 list, I want to take a moment, as I do every year, to explain the criterion for what you will see across these entries this week. First and foremost, the reason this list is titled “Top Songs” and not “Top Singles” is because simply restricting the list to singles eliminates the many deep cuts that sometimes prove to be better than whatever choice an artist or their management decided to make to release to the general public for immediate consumption. Of course if you look over this year’s list you’ll find a lot of singles anyways. It was a great year for catchy tracks, to be sure. But allowing deep cuts creates some real curveballs, and I hope you’re surprised by some choices on this year’s list. Secondly, artists are restricted to one song apiece on this list. There were some great records this year, some of which have multiple tracks on them I might call part of this Top 50 list, however the one song restriction is in place solely to maximize the potential and number of artists given credit for their hard work. Lastly, only songs released on full length albums or EPs are allowed on this list. If an album released in late 2012 featured a single I didn’t hear until early 2013, I can’t in good conscience include it here. The same goes for new singles released by artists in advance of a 2014 album. These are the Top Songs of 2013, and I’m going to stick to that. And so, without further ado, let’s get this thing started with songs 50-41 on this countdown of the Top 50 Songs of the Year!

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