Wednesday, 31 December 2014

'Better Than 2013': 2014 For Pop Short Year In Review



*This is an updated blog post that replaces the previously deleted version of the same title





2014 will be remembered as the year when new stars emerged, as well as the continuing dominance of female solo artists in the pop scene today.

For me I guess, 2014 in terms of chart and pop music was arguably better than in 2013. 

2013 had its moments, but it just felt at times disjointed in places. I also noticed this year Hip Hop and R&B hasn't been as dominant as it was during the previous year. I was quite disappointed with that; the genre has gone through something of an identity crisis during the last few years. Quite frankly, in 2014 I was hoping that there would be a tiny resurgence, that it would change for the better; thus, I was expecting a lot more from it, but many artists just didn't deliver. That or the songs didn't make much of an impression on me. Or that R&B music currently is still on the verge of slowing dying out from its traditional roots. But I should be focusing on pop, because that is what this post is in reference to: pop music. 

2014 was and is, in many respects, a pretty good year, in spite of what the detractors will say. 

Looking back on the Billboard Hot 100 songs listed, I was less keen and enthused with many of those offerings. I don't really like most of those songs. 

Was 2014 radical? Not really. Has it been innovative? With the likes of Sigma and Clean Bandit, kind of. Well a little. Has the music industry gotten any better as years go by as a business? No it hasn't, and I just can't see that ever happening, like ever. 

But from a pop perspective, songs-wise, I actually liked some of the songs that were released in 2014. 

More surprisingly, the big name pop stars one would expect to dominate the year, i.e. Rihanna, Britney Spears have been noticeably absent and quiet. Even Beyonce, who though released 'Partition', it had taken a while for new material to arrive. Thus, allowing the likes of Ariana GrandeKaty Perry and Iggy Azalea to take centre stage. And when are we going to see 2 or more male pop stars, who will really give Justin Timberlake a run for his money? Unlike their female counterparts, right now, there is a worrying lack of male challengers to the solo pop star throne. 

Above is a playlist of the songs from 2014 that not only did I enjoy listening to the most, these tracks also made the biggest impression on me, as well. It is a mixture of different styles, genres, with some surprising additions. 

Overall, compared to 2013 which gets a 5 out of 10 from me for pop, for 2014, I'd rate it 7.5 out of 10. 

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