Dec 292013

I had mixed feelings about pitting three songs up for Song of The Year instead of the usual two, but this was an unusually strong year in pop music. And when I say strong I’m referring to quantity and not quality. Yet, some would have thought that with the breakup of the Jonas Brothers (?) and the lead-ballooning of Lady GaGa’s Artpop and Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience, the four horsemen of the Pop Is Dead Apocalypse would be riding up and down the aisles at this year’s American Music Awards. No, we had respectable, albeit retro “hits” from Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and “Treasure” by the beta version of the hardest working man in showbiz Bruno Mars. That’s where the good news ends because for the most part the radio sliced and served more moronic dancy nonsense like Macklemore/Ryan Lewis’ “Can’t Hold Us”, fey losers Passenger’s “Let Her Go”, and by the numbers collaborations from Pitbull.


Yet, none of those songs could hold an iPhone lamp to the song of the summer (and NSFW video of the year) “Blurred Lines”, which itself blurred the lines between tribute and theft of the Marvin Gaye song “Got To Give It Up”. It was reported that the songwriters, fearing a lawsuit, lobbed a pre-emptive strike against any potential copyright issue coming from Marvin Gaye’s estate. But as we all know good influence can be diluted, especially after being filtered through the soul of the son of that Canadian guy who played the dad on Growing Pains. In the right hands (Pharell should have taken the lead on this one) the song could have been decent. Unfortunately, Thicke handles the song with all the charisma of a pizza delivery man in a porn shoot.

Meanwhile, the trend of the smug acoustic back to earth music that started with Mumford & Sons continued unabated this year with the addition of The Lumineers and Civil Wars to the fold. Another trend that won’t die is the positive affirmation anthem that started a couple years ago with GaGa’s “Born This Way”. Continuing this movement on radio and television in ubiquity were Katy Perry’s “Roar” and Sara Barreille’s “Brave”. Yet there was room for another female voice of power, but no one knew it would come from an unassuming 17 year old from Australia.


  16 Responses to “Song of the Year: Robin Thicke VS. Lorde VS. Ylvis

  1. I wound up voting for Lorde only because as far as I know I couldn’t pick him out of a police lineup. I didn’t know ‘Fox’ was a parody, plus I don’t think that in good conscience and right mind I could ever vote for ‘Fox’ anything. Robin Thicke? Heeesh I’m just too damn old. I have never understood pop music from day one…

  2. I voted for Thicke for the nude women in his video. Also, I though the music was all right. I hadn’t made a direct connection to that great Marvin Gaye song, but I can hear that now.

  3. Suburban kid

    My oh my I had not seen that robin thicke video before now. Catchy song but that guy creeps me out.

    Of the three, Lorde is the only one I’ve heard previously. Can’t deny the hooks, but its too precious for me.

    The comedy clip was impressive and enjoyable up to a point, but I guess I’m just an old grouch as I don’t think I’d bother watching it again. Bottom line is I must abstain.

  4. 2000 Man

    I’ll vote for Robin Thicke because I like the video you linked to. I made it to a full 60 seconds of the Fox song, and it’s too fucking stupid to be funny. I really hated every second of it. The Lorde song is just boring. How did that get popular? It’s like a lullabye.

  5. I couldn’t vote for Robin Thicke because his song is about raping women. I ended up voting for Lorde by process of elimination – “The Fox” is both a joke and unlistenable.

  6. Suburban kid

    Having been blissfully unaware of the controversy, I Googled it. Good summary here:

  7. cliff sovinsanity

    My first draft had a line about the controversy, but decided not to include it hoping to avoid this discussion. But since, Mr. Human brought it up I’ll give my two cents. I always interpreted the lyrics to be about a woman being a tease and sending mixed messages. It’s slimy but at the end of the day it’s a harmless pop song. Still, the song could do without T.I.’s anal sex fantasies.
    I love Thicke’s echoing of Nigel Tufnel when he was quoted saying “What’s wrong with being sexy?”.

  8. 2000 Man

    I only saw the video. Were there words in that song?

  9. mockcarr

    Eh, I voted for Lorde because of that harmony part in the middle. I guess I’m tired of pop stars hollering their songs at me.

  10. ladymisskirroyale

    Out of the 3 choices, I voted for Ylvis – it doesn’t take itself too seriously, like the other 2 do. It’s meant to be enjoyed and danced to, which to me is the essence of pop music.

    I like the beat of “Blurred Lines” but the lyrics are problematic. The good part of the song is the ripped off stuff. I get a kick out of this rejoinder to Mr. Thicke:
    I’m not agreeing with all of the lyrics, but it does point out how sexist his original is.

    Lorde. Meh.

    For me, the best single of the year was Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.” Catchy, retro but futuristic, too.

  11. ladymisskirroyale

    And nice recap of the year in pop, Cliff.

  12. misterioso

    “when I say strong I’m referring to quantity and not quality”

    What does this mean?

  13. Yeah, I think if I could, I’d change my vote to Ylvis. You’re totally right about “Royals” taking itself too seriously, and it also has lyrics that are seriously problematic.

  14. cliff sovinsanity

    I just thought there was a lot of unique and popular candidates for to chose from this year. That’s why I chose 3 instead of 2. Plus the word strong can refer to smell.
    The whole reason why I’ve done this article the last few years is because, whether we like it or not, these were the most popular songs of the year. We could sit here for days trying to debate who had the best album or song of the year, but chances are likely that the average radio listener and music consumer never heard any of our candidates.
    I’ve always been fascinated about what makes a song a hit. Some years it seems there is a lot of quality music that ends up in the top 10. I know that a lot of it is shit. I’ve always said there not accounting for bad taste. But look at the comments some people have found some good in the Robin Thicke and Lorde songs. It’s all down to interpretation.
    Perhaps I’ve gone on too long trying to explain myself, but I thought the line was self explanatory.

  15. I stand with the representative from the great state of California and vote for Get Lucky, if only because of the Nile Rogers guitar work.

    Suit and Tie would have given Get Lucky a run for the money were it not for that lame ass rap in the middle of it. It feels totally slapped on and it’s so clunky. I don’t know anything about rap but I was expecting to be wowed by Jay Z’s “flow”. The rap in Suit and Tie is some phoned-in bullshit.

    That Robin Thicke song really annoys me as does the video. My long standing love of boobs is trumped by the fact that video is just a cheap stunt to get folks to listen to a song, the best parts of which are someone else’s work.

  16. ladymisskirroyale


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