Dec 302014

The State of Pop Music in 2014

Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate...

Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate…

There is no debate this year. The title says it all. Sure, it would be fun to have another silly “Song of The Year” competition but little else from the pop world came close to matching the sales and ubiquity of Taylor Swift’s music in 2014. Her album 1989 was the only album to sell over a million copies in it’s first week of release. The last album to do that was Swift’s album Red in the fall of 2012. I’m sure the album sales were helped when her record company pulled her music from Spotify and other streaming services before the album’s release. Yet, in a singles driven market where kids get their music from individual downloads and streaming her album sales remain strong. I’m speculating it’s preteens and soccer moms moving the bulk of her units. Now, 5 albums into her career how does the Swift brand of the high school bedroom confessional anthem remain successful?

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  11 Responses to “Song of the Year: Taylor Swift VS. The World”

  1. Brilliant, cliff! “Shake It Off” is also my song of the year – by a landslide.

  2. 2000 Man

    Wow, of all the songs you’ve mentioned I only know that Hozier song, because they did it on SNL when Bill Hader hosted and my wife and I both said, “No one has said anything funny and the music is as bland as strained peas.” I know that Happy song because people put it up on Facebook, but I thought it was something a telephone or greeting card company paid for at first, and not a real song. I haven’t heard any Taylor Swift songs, but I know she’s the biggest fish in the sea.

    I guess for me the song of the year is Head by Lydia Loveless. At least that’s first one I thought of. Could just be my song of the morning!

  3. ladymisskirroyale

    Thanks for getting this year end review going, Cliff. Mr. Royale and I will be doing our annual Top Albums of 2014 in the next day or two.

    Singles: I can think of a bunch of other songs from more “indie” bands, but of the big cross over, mass consumed singles, I would have to go for Pharrell’s “Happy.” I mean, unless Weird Al has parodied it, is it really a #1 song?

  4. ladymisskirroyale

    PS, as a fashion aside, Taylor’s choice of red lipstick to signal her “new” participation in the “pop” scene really bugs me. If she really wanted to be au courant, she’d be sporting a beard for the lumbersexual look.

  5. “Happy” started strong but wore really thin on me by the 8,311,462nd time I heard it playing over store PA systems.

    I’m not even close to an expert on makeup, ladymiss, but I am troubled by Swift’s abundance of the stuff since she’s moved into her new Look. I think it points how how much worse she might look coming out of the shower, freshly scrubbed. It’s important to think about these things when assessing beauty, you know.

  6. cliff sovinsanity

    I think it’s also important to note that the reception of U2’s much hyped album sounded like a balloon deflating. That first single was wretched.

  7. Two family car trips this year with teenage nieces and nephews got me listening to pop I may not have listened to in ordinary circumstances.

    Last month, I made a quick playlist with some Soundcloud freebies and (attention ladymiss!) Grimes leads it off! The aforementioned Sia with an astounding 40 million plays on Soundcloud was a big singalong hit in the car as was Girls Chase Boys by Ingrid Michaelson.

    Sticky sweet!

  8. ladymisskirroyale

    My favorite song of the year was also on one of my favorite albums of the year. Thank you, Eno and Hyde, for a really good one. Here’s “Lilac”:

  9. ladymisskirroyale

    My other favorite song of the year (worthy of plenty of air drum playing and interesting interpretive dances) is Jack White’s “Lazaretto.”

  10. ladymisskirroyale

    Enjoyable mix, Funoka. I have to admit 1. not liking that Grimes song (which she wrote for someone else) and 2. being amazed that The Charlatans are still releasing music. Go, Tim, Go!

  11. My song of the year is “Next of Kin” by Alvvays. Just a really great pop song. Alternatively, “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)” by Run the Jewels, or “Pill” by Ought, from their EP which is the most slept-on release of the year IMO. There were tracks I liked better than any of those, but it seemed like cheating to pick, for instance, “Bring the Sun/Toussaint L’Ouverture” by Swans since it’s over half an hour long.

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