Whether you’re a die-hard fan for pop music, detest it for all that it represents, or just a casual listener, chances are there are a good number of songs out there that you just know. These songs are like a virus that (let's be honest) everyone wants to catch, even if only for a few of those guilty pleasure moments when no one is around. We’re all too familiar with these types of songs, and if you claim that you’ve never heard of these songs, you’re probably a hermit. Check out this list of recent songs that you know you would absolutely love to hate or hate to love.
10. “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities
The first song on the list comes from indie breakouts, Capital Cities. Though “Safe and Sound” was released in early 2011, it did not receive mainstream recognition until early 2013. Its intoxicating electro backdrop and dope horns made it a radio staple all throughout the summer. It peaked at Number 2 on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 and has Platinum recognition in several European countries.
9. “The Monster” by Eminem featuring Rihanna
For diehard Eminem fans, this song is a throwback to the darkest (and not in the "good Eminem" way) part of his career, AKA Recovery. “The Monster” is pop-y, relies heavily on Rihanna’s sing-along chorus (*cough cough* “Love the Way You Lie”), and you’re bound to get it stuck in your head at least once this week. Regardless of the authenticity of it, Eminem is doing something right, as it was Number 1 on the Top 100 at the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014.
8. “Cups (When I’m Gone)” by Anna Kendrick
Most people don’t know that this song is the third incarnation of “When I’m Gone.” For some added fun check out the original. WHAT? Anyways, Anna Kendrick’s version is so catchy that I’m sure there isn’t an 8-year old alive who doesn’t know every single word and perfected the now-infamous cup beat. Not only did this song from Pitch Perfect generate a popular meme, it also made it to Number 6 on the Billboard Top 100 and went Platinum three times in the US.
7. “Wake Me Up!” by Avicii
This song has become something of a party staple. I’ve had friends tell me that at frat parties down South, people literally punched the walls when this song comes on. While I’ve never seen that strong of a reaction to “Wake Me Up,” it is undoubtedly one of the most popular songs for the past year. Avicii took a chance with the whole folktronica thing and it definitely worked, as “Wake Me Up” reached Number 1 in 22 countries, with scores and scores of Platinum certifications, including 2x in the US and a whopping 7x Platinum in Australia.
6. “We Can’t Stop” by Miley Cyrus
What would a list like this be without the 2013 queen of WTF? Recently, Miley has been on a mission to shed the Hannah Montana wig and show the world how grown up she really is. “We Can’t Stop” was the first exposure the world had to her new, in-your-face image, and it was received incredibly well. The pop anthem reached Number 2 in the US, but I think the real power of it was the message that Miley sent to the world and her rebirth into the spotlight.
5. “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams
This song would be the song of the summer if not for another one on this list. This single marked the return on perhaps the greatest electronic music group ever, and it did not disappoint. In fact, it was so good that it gained the attention of many new fans. “Get Lucky” quickly became one of the hugest songs of the year, garnering a nomination for Record of the Year. Its innumerable accolades include 26 total platinum certifications worldwide.
4. “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” by Ylvis
There are few pop success stories in recent years as odd as that of the Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis. The song was never meant to be a success, originally created as a joke for the duo’s Norwegian talk show. However, once the Internet took hold of "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)", there was no stopping the massive success that followed. It reached Number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and received several Gold certifications worldwide, yet, perhaps the song's most impressive achievement is its title as the top trending video of 2013 on YouTube.
3. “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell
“Blurred Lines” was, without a doubt, the song of the summer. Similar to it’s biggest competitor for that title, “Get Lucky,” this song features dynamite production from Pharrell, which shows that the musical giant must be doing something right. A massive success, “Blurred Lines” spent a ridiculous twelve weeks as Number 1 in the United States. Though it has been accused of promoting controversial issues such as misogyny and date rape, the world apparently did not take notice and threw Thicke a Record of the Year Grammy Nomination, 37x worldwide Platinum certifications, and a spot in the pop music history books.
2. “Royals” by Lorde
Of all the songs on this list, “Royals” is irrevocably the one with the most substance. Aside from having an irresistible, hip-hop influenced beat, the lyrics reflect the glamour and angst of her generation in a smart way. Lorde, an incredible artist for someone so young, was propelled to unwelcome superstardom in 2013 because of “Royals.” Some of the landmarks of the song’s massive success are four Grammy Nominations, nine weeks at Number 1 in the US, and a 4x Platinum US certification.
1.“Timber” by Pitbull featuring Ke$ha
What can be said about Pitbull’s latest smash hit other than, “Dalé"? With a textbook dance-pop beat and cookie-cutter chorus, this song is huge. Something funny about it is that it sounds more like a Ke$ha song than anything. While I absolutely cannot stand Pitbull as an artist, I have a weak spot for this song. I mean, c’mon, “It’s going down, I’m yelling TIMBERRR”? That’s the stuff of a marketing genius. It’s currently Number 1 in The United States and probably will be for some weeks to come.
Featured Image courtesy of Tumblr.