When writing about music from 2014, it’s very easy to come to the conclusion that you just hate it all. And that’s fine - a lot of it was really, really bad. There were also some really cool releases from people like St. Vincent, Damon Albarn, Beck, The Black Keys, but the smart, thoughtful music is never the stuff that plays everywhere and is heard by everyone. No, that's the lethal stuff, the earworms that make you sing along and chair dance before you’ve even worked out the name of the song.
The obvious earworms for 2014 were by Beyonce, Pharrell and "Let It Go", but they weren't the only ones. Here are a few of my own favourites (or... at least the ones I found wormiest) from 2014. I do not claim they are all fantastic pop songs - only that they dig their long sparkly highly manicured nails deep in your brain.
So here they are, my 2014 ear worms, in no particular order. Oh, who am I kidding? Of course Tay-Tay goes first.
Taylor Swift - "Shake It Off"
Taylor Swift Shake It Off on Vimeo
Taylor Swift and the Cult of the Awkward White Girl, they called it. Taylor Swift the Hurricane, they said, as she stormed up the charts with "Shake It Off", the first single from her fourth studio album, and the very first to be overtly stated as a pop album. The country super star had been a crossover hit before but never like this. And finally, all those thinly disguised confessional lyrics from her previous albums gave way to a cool, pure, from-the-heart bird-flip to everyone who ever made fun of Taylor Swift, while drawing her fans in closer than ever before. This isn’t Taylor lashing out in anger or resentment, this is Taylor beyond anger and resentment, this is Taylor rising above, while accepting that America’s sweetheart is a great big goof and it’s okay.