Sunday, January 04, 2015

The 2014-50: No.20 - No.11

No.20: "Rise Up" - Freaky Fortune.

To your trampolines!  Freaky Fortune were probably the most easy-on-the-eye participants in this year's Eurovision Song Contest - well, apart from one particular hottie who will appear in the final instalment of my countdown - but didn't do as well as expected in the final, probably because they didn't get the balance right between professionalism and exuberance  That aside, this is an infectious, extremely catchy dance number.

No.19: "Me and My Broken Heart" - Rixton. 

I don't wanna be lonely no more!  I loved that Rob Thomas song. So did Rixton: they loved it so much that they gleefully lifted the chorus melody lock stock and barrel, and good chaps that they are, they remembered to give Rob Thomas a writing credit for the song.  Whoever's song it is (!) it was a cracking little debut hit and one of the most radio-friendly songs of the year.  By the way, I initially thought they were a Swedish band as I heard the song on Swedish radio long before it hit here.

No. 18: "Love Trigger" - JEM.

Need a Swedish version of the Black Eyed Peas in your life?  Well, look no further than Swedish X-Factor contestants JEM who appeared in Melodifestivalen 2014.  Like most of my other favourite songs from the contest, it didn't make it to the final.  Bright, catchy and contemporary, it went on to become a regular on my iPod over the spring and summer.

No.17: "Maps" - Maroon 5.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, blah blah blah.  We had Rixton paying tribute to Maroon 5, and now we have Maroon 5 paying tribute to Nico and Vinz's "Am I Wrong". (A very good song to borrow from, it has to be said)  Ryan Tedder is among the songwriters of this song, and you can definitely spot his influence here.  "Maps" was a big worldwide hit during the summer and is infinitely preferable to "Animals" which was pretty vile and IMHO the worst Maroon 5 song ever released....

No.16: "Disco and Funk" - Aleksa Jelic.

He's been off my musical radar for a while but I renewed my acquaintance with Mr Jelic this year thanks to this groovy little tune.  As I said back in 2008 when he was cruelly robbed of the chance to represent his country at ESC....I really hope he gets the chance to do it some day.  He's also turned up on the Serbian version of Your Face Sounds Familiar: have a search on YouTube (search TZLP), you will not be disappointed :)) Meanwhile here he is performing on the Serbian final of Strictly Come Dancing:

No.15: "Busy Doin' Nothin'" - Ace Wilder.

Forget the naff outfits, this came very close to killing off seventh-time lucky Sanna's chances; to many, this was the unofficial Melodifestivalen winner.  So we can only wonder how it would have done at Eurovision.  At the time I thought it would do very well, although all these months down the line, I doubt whether it would have bettered Sanna's 3rd place finish.  Taking song contests out of the equation, it's still a killer pop song.

No.14: "Lass Uns Gehen" - Revolverheld.

Forget the numerous World Cup songs, this is probably the most "anthemic" German song of the past year, Uplifting, addictive and commercial, it won this year's Bundesvision Song Contest.  Maybe they should probably have scrapped the German national final and just sent this to represent Germany at this year's ESC?

No.13: "We Are Done" - The Madden Brothers.

One of the more pleasant surprises of 2014.  The return of Good Charlotte's Joel and Benji Madden with a more commercial sound, "We Are Done" is an anthemic protest song ("done with being a silent many").  Although it completely slipped under the chart radar in the UK and Europe - WHY?? - it found a very appreciative audience in Australia and New Zealand where it topped the charts.

No.12: "Am I Wrong" - Nico and Vinz.

Time to rewind, as this is one of my occasional chart anomalies, as it wasn't initially released in 2014. In a past life, this song was released under the name they were previously known by, 'Envy' and I remember this picking up a lot of airplay on Swedish radio back then, but it wasn't until 2014 when this song really took off worldwide and completely worked its way into my heart.  It's one of the few big radio hits from the past year which I can still listen to!

No.11: "Do It Again" -Röyksopp and Robyn.

We've all been waiting a long long time for her to return to making music, and finally Robyn came back in 2014, renewing her musical partnership with Röyksopp and delivering, just as you'd expect, a perfect electronic pop single.  Which, in an ideal world, would have gone to no.1 in the UK chart and would have made a nice change from all the acoustic bores, X Factor contestants, overrated international 'stars' and overhyped dance acts polluting the chart.  But it's not an ideal world, is it?  Please come back soon Robyn.  The music world needs you more than ever.

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