As the year draws to a close, we finally have a few minutes to reflect on the year that was and the songs that kept us going when we needed that extra boost of energy; that made us get up and dance, even when we really didn't feel like dancing. And as is often the case, when one sits back and compiles the songs that have aged well, no matter how many times we've heard them, we find ourselves staring at about 20 tracks — with entries from the worlds of pop, rock, hip-hop all represented — that resonated.
While there is always room for argument, and there are a number of tracks that nearly made the top 10 — an honorable mention list would definitely include Avicii's "Wake Me Up!," Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive," Lorde's "Royals," Drake's "Hold On, We're Going Home" (featuring Majid Jordan), and Janelle Monae's "Q.U.E.E.N." (featuring Erykah Badu) — they pay us to make the tough decisions. Accordingly here are the 10 tracks (presented in reverse order) that shook us in 2013:
10. "Locked Out of Heaven," Bruno Mars
Excluding the chorus, the lyrics and music sound like they could have been a lost Police track from that band's 1980s heyday, but Mars continues to prove how talented he is (and why his career will be a long one) in his ability to meld music that would have topped the pop charts 30 years ago with a modern, pop chorus and give the entire enterprise a fresh, jaunty feel that makes you want to hear more.
9. "Blurred Lines," Robin Thicke (featuring T.I. and Pharrell)
Sure, Marvin Gaye's family is unhappy with the resemblance of Thicke's summer hit to Gaye's "Got to Give It Up" — and considering how popular "Blurred Lines" is, there will be plenty of money to settle with Gaye's family — the track was undeniably made for shaking it at beach parties. Add an unrated video that only added to the track's appeal and you end up with one of the year's most entertaining tracks.
8. "Thrift Shop", Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (featuring Wanz)
This song is all about the flow. Laugh out loud lyrics combine with the hook-iest chorus of the year, horns, and a simple-yet-compelling beat result in a song that you just want to sing "This is f-cking awesome" as often as the artists do.
7. "Pompeii," Bastille
The best song from one of the year's best albums, this song works both as a great rock song and a stealthy dance track (which was emphasized in the Monsieur Adi remix).
6. "Reflektor," Arcade Fire
The title track from Arcade Fire's long awaited fourth album is the longest track in this list (running 7:34) and shorter, radio-friendly versions transform the epic journey undertaken in this song — one that spans two languages as well — into an incomplete, somewhat-incomprehensible mess that feels half-baked.