2014 in Review: The Best Songs

Any discussion of 2014’s biggest songs has to begin and end with Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” which was inescapable. But unlike her 2012 trifle “We Are Never Getting Back Together,” this was a positive. See, “Shake It Off” bludgeons you to death with exuberance. Swift may have called her album 1989, but “Shake it Off” is more like 1982. It’s basically as inconsequential yet monumentally important as Toni Basil’s “Mickey,” which “Shake It Off” resembles down to its cheerleader-shouted bridge.

“Shake It Off” is also the only song on this list not on Spotify, as Swift is currently wage a war on behalf of “artists,” one that can only be waged by rich people confronted with a future in which they do not continue to get as rich. So here’s the video, directed by Mark Romanek(!) that forced you to clap and dance along, no matter how much you tried to fight it. The rest of the songs can be heard here.

alt-J – “Left Hand Free”
Benjamin Booker – “Violent Shiver”
Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne – “Rather Be”
Coldplay – “Magic”
Constantine – “I’ll Get You What You Want (Cockatoo in Malibu)”
D’Angelo and the Vanguard – “The Charade”
Delta Spirit – “From Now On”
Duke Dumont – “I Got U”
Future Islands – “Seasons (Waiting on You)”
The Hold Steady – “I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You”
Hozier – “From Eden”
Sarah Jaffe – “Don’t Disconnect”
Lecrae – “Good, Bad, Ugly”
Jenny Lewis – “Just One of the Guys”
Old 97’s – “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive”
Robert Plant – “Rainbow”
Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”
Röyksopp & Robyn – “Do it Again”
Run the Jewels feat. Zach de la Rocha – “Close Your Eyes (And Count to F***)”
Saint Pepsi – “Fiona Coyne”
Sturgill Simpson – “The Promise”
Sam Smith – “Latch (Acoustic)”
Spoon – “Inside Out”
St. Paul and the Broken Bones – “Call Me”
St. Vincent – “Digital Witness”
Strand of Oaks – “Goshen ’97”
Sylvan Esso – “Coffee”
Todd Terje feat. Bryan Ferry – “Johnny and Mary”
U2 – “Raised by Wolves”
Vance Joy – “Riptide”
Walk the Moon – “Shut Up and Dance”
The War on Drugs – “Under the Pressure”
Jack White – “Lazaretto”
“Weird Al” Yankovic – “Mission Statement”

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