Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Best Of 2013 - part 5

JUMP TO: 100-81 II 80-61 II 60-41 II 40-21 II 20-1

Before we start on my top 20 for 2013, a word of thanks to anyone who's read this blog over the past year and a half (that means you!). Whether you've visited just the once or several times, thanks for your comments and enthusiasm. 

The voice of 2013: Pharrell Williams

And, if you notice any broken YouTube links or expired videos on any of the pages, be sure to let me know so I can fix them. OK, let's get on with it...

Number 20 "Wanted (Dead Or Alive)" by Strange Talk

The second appearance by Strange Talk on this list (we saw them back in Part 3 with "Picking Up All The Pieces"). "Wanted (Dead Or Alive)" is one of the standout tracks on their Cast Away album, which ended up as my favourite album for 2013.

Number 19 "September" by St Lucia

Another artist back for seconds is St Lucia, who were at number 96 with "Elevate". Released at the tail end of 2012, "September" also appeared several months later on the When The Night album - that's when I discovered it, since I was still listening to the group's self-titled EP when "September" actually came out. In 2013, St Lucia also popped up on "Modern Hearts" by The Knocks, which made my number 126 position for the year.

Number 18 "Glorious" by Cascada

It should have been the perfect combination - Eurodance exponents Cascada (famous for "Evacuate The Dancefloor" and a slew of high-energy cover versions of songs that were originally ballads) and the Eurovision Song Contest. Instead, their entry for Germany at this year's competition only ended up 21st (out of 26) and faced criticism that it was too similar to Loreen's "Euphoria" - a quality I don't consider to be a problem at all. In fact, the track had to be cleared of plagiarism charges before it could compete.

Number 17 "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams & Nile Rogers

The multimillion-selling return of Daft Punk gave the French disco pioneers their biggest hit to date - and for a while was the year's top single around the world (no pun intended). It was soon eclipsed by "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke in terms of sales and hype - a fact which made Pharrell Williams, who performed on both tracks, more visible than he'd been in years. Pharrell ended the year with the months-old Despicable Me 2 song "Happy" atop the UK top 40 (and very close in Australia), while Daft Punk didn't really live up to the promise of "Get Lucky".

Number 16 "I Was A Fool" by Tegan And Sara

I've never gravitated towards the music of twin sisters Tegan and Sara Quin before, but on their Heartthrob album, the usually indie-influenced duo discovered pop. Second single "I Was A Fool" was more downbeat than the first (which is still to come on this list) - and although I liked that original version just fine, I was also quite partial to the Monsieur Adi remix. 

Number 15 "C O O L" by Le Youth

Not, as the name suggests, a French act - but the pseudonym of American DJ/producer Wes James. "C O O L" is a reworking of "Me & U", a track originally recorded by mid-table R&B singer Cassie - and the R&B to dance update reminds me of the Booty Luv singles from a few years back. Le Youth's next single is a similar not-quite cover version of TLC's "No Scrubs" called "Dance With Me", which should end up on my 2014 end-of-year chart.

Number 14 "Thursday" by Pet Shop Boys featuring Example

After the career disappointment that was the Elysium album, Pet Shop Boys had a dazzling return to form on 2013's Electric, which was produced by Stuart Price (famous for taking Madonna back to her pop/dance roots with Confessions On A Dance Floor). This fourth single from Electric ended up as a bit of an afterthought, even though it should really have been the lead single. I'm convinced that had it been released when the hype for the album was at its highest, it could've given them another hit, not least of all because of the appearance of Example - an unexpected collaboration that works perfectly.

Number 13 "What's Going On" by Monsieur Adi featuring A*M*E

Unlike Le Youth, Monsieur Adi is actually French, but one similarity between "C O O L" and "What's Going On" is that this track also takes elements from an R&B song and works them into a dance track. The original tune in question is Soul II Soul featuring Caron Wheeler's "Back To Life (However Do You Want Me)", with a number of vocal hooks used in this reinterpretation. For A*M*E, it's her second guest vocal appearance on this list, after featuring on "Need U (100%)" back in Part 3.

Number 12 "On The Metro" by Girls Aloud

Here it is: what's likely to be the final ever appearance by Girls Aloud on one of my end-of-year lists (unless they reunite every few years). Not actually a single, "On The Metro" was one of the new tracks on career retrospective release Ten. Another one, "Every Now And Then", made my end-of-year chart last year, while "On The Metro" found its way onto my chart this year due in no small part to the group's performance of the track during their farewell tour (which you can watch below).

Number 11 "5-HT" by The Good Natured

I was expecting big things for The Good Natured this year. The British synthpop band had featured on my year-end top 100s the past two years (with "Skeleton" in 2011 and guesting on Adrian Lux's "Alive" in 2012), and things got off to a great start with the release of this song early in 2013. Then, the band was dropped by their label and unable to get the masters for their album, Prism, back. Only one other song, teaser track "Lovers" (number 149 on this list), ever emerged. Hopefully they can resurface in 2014. As for the song's title - 5-HT stands for 5-hydroxytryptamine, otherwise known as serotonin.

Number 10 "Count On Me" by Chase & Status featuring Moko

It was only logical that after the '80s revival of a few years back there would be a '90s revival - and this track by the UK drum & bass duo incorporated elements from just about every big dance genre from that decade. Piano house chords, diva vocal, rave synths, sample loops and those unmistakable beats all combine in this dance anthem which sounds like a long lost single from 1991.

Number 9 "Fight The Feeling" by Echoes

My favourite song as 2012 ended was "Echo" by Foxes - and my top track at the close of 2013 is this debut single by Echoes, a synthpop trio from London who could easily be a long lost band from the '80s.

Number 8 "Vocal" by Pet Shop Boys

And, here's a synthpop group who actually are from the '80s - with the best single from their best album since 1993's Very. Released after teaser track "Axis", "Vocal" would have been massive if it had been released in either the '80s or '90s - and I still think it would have made the perfect follow-up to "Thursday" had that been Electric's lead single. Classic PSB with a modern twist, it was a sure sign there was life in the duo still.

Number 7 "If I Could Change Your Mind" by Haim

The single chosen to follow "The Wire" (which, despite being their breakthrough record, only ends up as my number 186) is the second appearance of Este, Danielle and Alana Haim on this list. One of the tracks on Days Are Gone in which the band's '80s influences shine through, it hasn't made its mark on international charts yet - but it's so catchy, it's only a matter of time, right?

Number 6 "Applause" by Lady Gaga

The backlash I've been expecting for quite a while seemed to really take a hold this year as Lady Gaga's third full studio album received a very mixed reaction - and this lead single wasn't the runaway hit we've seen before with "Bad Romance" and "Born This Way". I think "Applause" - and the other singles released from ARTPOP so far - rank among her best releases, but I'm not sold on the album as a whole, and I wouldn't mind a break from all the over-the-top awards show performances and oddball music videos to be able to focus on the music.

Number 5 "5AM" by Katy B

Up until now, I hadn't been fully convinced by Katy B (the B stands for Brien). I didn't mind 2011's "Broken Record", but I've generally found her singles a bit forgettable. But, in this lead track from the forthcoming Little Red album, she really hit the mark. One-off or sign of things to come?

Number 4 "Closer" by Tegan And Sara

You know you've reached a new audience when your song is performed on Glee - and that's what happened to Tegan & Sara with this lead single from Heartthrob. The album was produced by a veritable who's who of big name producers, including Greg Kurstin, who's worked on massively commercial albums for Kelly Clarkson, Pink and Katy Perry over the past couple of years.

Number 3 "Falling" by Haim

We've seen them twice already on this list, and here's my favourite effort by Haim this year. All I have to do now is work out which sister is which...

Number 2 "We Can Be Friends" by Donkeyboy

Judging by the fact that they'd lifted six singles from their debut album, Stereolife, I was looking forward to Donkeyboy doing a similar thing with Silver Moon - but they only ended up releasing three: "City Boy", "Pull Of The Eye" and "Silver Moon". Album track "Drive" made my end of year chart for 2012, and here's another song that could've been a single as my second favourite song for 2013.

Number 1 "Lost & Not Found" by Chase & Status featuring Louis M^tters

I always wonder at the start of a year what will end up as my favourite song for the upcoming 12 months, and I never would've guessed last January that Chase & Status would be the act behind my top song for 2013. Before "Lost & Not Found" came along, I'd only really been aware of the duo's 2009 track "End Credits", which I didn't mind - but this lead single from the Brand New Machine album made me sit up and take notice. One of those songs I loved on first listen and had to replay again and again, it has the perfect combination of beats and melody. Interestingly, as you'll see below, the British act comprised of Saul Milton and Will Kennard were also responsible for my number 200 song for the year.

My top 200 for 2013 in full:

1           LOST & NOT FOUND Chase & Status featuring Louis M^tters
2           WE CAN BE FRIENDS Donkeyboy
3           FALLING Haim
4           CLOSER Tegan & Sara
5           5AM Katy B
6           APPLAUSE Lady Gaga
8           VOCAL Pet Shop Boys
9           FIGHT THE FEELING Echoes
10         COUNT ON ME Chase & Status featuring Moko
11         5-HT The Good Natured
12         ON THE METRO Girls Aloud
13         WHAT’S GOING ON? Monsieur Adi featuring A*M*E
14         THURSDAY Pet Shop Boys featuring Example
15         C O O L Le Youth
16         I WAS A FOOL / MONSIEUR ADI MIX Tegan & Sara
17         GET LUCKY Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers
18         GLORIOUS Cascada
19         SEPTEMBER St Lucia
20         WANTED (DEAD OR ALIVE) Strange Talk
21         SHOW ME WHAT LOVE IS Alphabeat
22         HUMAN RACE Margaret Berger
23         IN YOUR CARE EP Bright Light Bright Light
24         LIVE A LITTLE Florrie
25         MOONSHINE Bruno Mars
26         FLATLINE Mutya Keisha Siobhan
27         TONIGHT Jessica Sanchez featuring Ne-Yo
28         SUNRISE (WON’T GET LOST) The Aston Shuffle vs Tommy Trash
29         LOVE ME AGAIN John Newman
30         CLARITY Zedd featuring Foxes
31         I FEED YOU MY LOVE Margaret Berger
32         DISCO LOVE The Saturdays
33         TURN ME OUT Russ Chimes
34         SKIRT Kylie Minogue
35         TRIGGERFINGER Donkeyboy
36         LOVE IS ENOUGH Parralox
37         HOLD THIS MOMENT Vanbot
39         THE A&R EP Annie
40         DON’T SAVE ME Haim
41         SUN Belinda Carlisle
42         UNDER CONTROL Calvin Harris & Alesso featuring Hurts
43         LIKE HOME Nicky Romero & NERVO
44         BEAUTIFUL LIFE Armin van Buuren featuring Cindy Alma
45         BAIYA Delphic
46         THIS IS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE Armin Van Buuren featuring Trevor Guthrie
47         LIKE A STRANGER Kitten
48         NEED U (100%) Duke Dumont featuring A*M*E
49         FALL The Presets
51         THINK OF YOU MS MR
52         LA LA LA Naughty Boy featuring Sam Smith
53         POMPEII Bastille
54         POP A BOTTLE (FILL ME UP) Jessica Mauboy
55         DO WHAT U WANT Lady Gaga featuring R. Kelly
56         PICKING UP ALL THE PIECES Strange Talk
57         LAURA PALMER Bastille
58         BELOVED Say Lou Lou
59         CUCKOO Adam Lambert
60         RIGHT NOW Rihanna featuring David Guetta
61         GLASSHEART Leona Lewis
62         ONE MORE SUMMER No Doubt
63         WORLD ON FIRE The Royal Concept
64         CARRY YOU Union J
65         CINDERELLA Diana Vickers
66         CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE Axwell
67         REMIX (I LIKE THE) New Kids On The Block
68         WALKING ON AIR Katy Perry
69         BURN Ellie Goulding
70         CLOSURE Owl Eyes
71         HEY PORSCHE Nelly
72         MUSIC TO MAKE BOYS CRY Diana Vickers
73         SATELLITE Little Boots
74         OF THE NIGHT Bastille
75         VENUS Lady Gaga
76         TAKE OFF Conor Maynard
77         NYC Dido
78         LOVING YOU Matt Cardle / Melanie C
79         JUST GIVE ME A REASON Pink featuring Nate Ruess
80         SOOTHE MY SOUL Depeche Mode
81         HOLD ON, WE’RE GOING HOME Drake featuring Majid Jordan
82         ARMY OF TWO Olly Murs
83         HEAVEN / FREEMASONS MIX Depeche Mode
84         BROKEN RECORD Little Boots
85         FANTASY MS MR
86         THE BAIT Electric Guest
87         TAKE BACK THE NIGHT Justin Timberlake
88         REAL Gorgon City featuring Yasmin
89         OBLIVION M83 featuring Susanne Sundfør
90         RIGHT PLACE RIGHT TIME Olly Murs
91         ONLY YOU Hurts
92         BREAK MY HEART Blue
93         LIES CHVRCHES
95         FIRESTARTER Samantha Jade
96         ELEVATE St Lucia
97         TREASURE Bruno Mars
98         WILD Jessie J featuring Big Sean
99         HURT LOVERS Blue
100        GORILLA Bruno Mars
101        IN A WORLD LIKE THIS Backstreet Boys
102        CITY OF DREAMS Dirty South & Alesso featuring Ruben Haze
103        ACID RAIN Alexis Jordan
104        GOODBYE GOODBYE Tegan & Sara
105        DEAR DARLIN’ Olly Murs
106        LIKE A DRUM Guy Sebastian
107        MOVE Little Mix
108        SHADY Adam Lambert featuring Nile Rogers & Sam Sparro
109        U B THE BASS Luciana
110        INSTANT CRUSH Daft Punk featuring Julian Casablancas
111        AMERICAN GIRL Bonnie McKee
112        BEST SONG EVER One Direction
113        BEAUTIFUL Jessica Mauboy
114        REAL SLOW Miami Horror featuring Sarah Chernoff
115        GIVE IT 2 U Robin Thicke featuring Kendrick Lamar
116        SONNENTANZ (SUN DON’T SHINE) Klangkarussell featuring Will Heard
117        YOUTH Foxes
118        TO THE END OF THE EARTH Jessica Mauboy
119        SILENT MORNING Parralox featuring Ryan Adamés
120        MIRACLE Hurts
121        RIGHT HERE Rudimental featuring Foxes
122        RUN RUN RUN Dragonette
123        CHANGE YOUR LIFE Little Mix
125        BROKEN BOY Thief
126        MODERN HEARTS The Knocks featuring St Lucia
127        SHIVER Avec Sans
128        IMAGINE IT WAS US Jessie Ware
129        LET THERE BE LOVE Christina Aguilera
130        WAITING ALL NIGHT Rudimental featuring Ella Eyre
131        SOMETHING’S GOT A HOLD ON ME Jessica Mauboy
132        WALKS LIKE RIHANNA The Wanted
133        LEARN TO LOVE AGAIN Lawson
134        YOU & ME Disclosure featuring Eliza Doolittle
135        MOTORWAY Little Boots
136        MAP Frankmusik
137        LOOK RIGHT THROUGH Storm Queen
138        HEARTS LIKE OURS The Naked & Famous
139        SUMMERTIME SADNESS (REMIX) Lana Del Rey vs Cedric Gervais
140        SHOT AT THE NIGHT The Killers
141        ELASTIC HEART Sia featuring The Weeknd & Diplo
142        THE OTHER SIDE Jason Derulo
143        PERMANENT STAIN Backstreet Boys
144        HIGHER (FREE) All About She
145        BROKENHEARTED Lawson featuring B.o.B
146        HOW YA DOIN’ Little Mix featuring Missy Elliott
147        THE PHOENIX Fall Out Boy
148        FLESH AND BONE The Killers
149        LOVERS The Good Natured
150        I WISH Cher Lloyd featuring T.I.
151        THUNDER Jessie J
152        JUST ANOTHER GIRL The Killers
153        WAKE ME UP Avicii
154        HIDE & SEEK Bertie Blackman
155        I COULD BE THE ONE Avicii vs Nicky Romero
156        RELOAD Sebastian Ingrosso featuring Tommy Trash & John Martin
157        THINKING ABOUT YOU Calvin Harris featuring Ayah Marar
158        TEARS Freemasons featuring Katherine Ellis
159        HAPPY Pharrell Williams
160        HEART ATTACK Demi Lovato
161        COME AND GET IT Selena Gomez
162        SOLDIER Samantha Jade
163        BOOMERANG Nicole Scherzinger
164        LEGACY Nicky Romero vs Krewella
165        A LIGHT THAT NEVER COMES Linkin Park / Steve Aoki
166        AXIS Pet Shop Boys
167        SO GOOD TO ME Chris Malinchak
168        SAFE AND SOUND Capital Cities
169        STORY OF MY LIFE One Direction
170        BEAUTIFUL LIFE Union J
171        WE OWN THE NIGHT The Wanted
172        WHAT ABOUT US The Saturdays featuring Sean Paul
173        CHEATING John Newman
174        #BEAUTIFUL Mariah Carey featuring Miguel
175        MADE TO LOVE John Legend
176        LIFTED Naughty Boy featuring Emeli Sande
177        IT’S MY PARTY Jessie J
178        MIRRORS Justin Timberlake
179        BLURRED LINES Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell Williams
180        ONE WAY OR ANOTHER (TEENAGE KICKS) One Direction
181        ATTRACTING FLIES AlunaGeorge
182        YOU’RE NOT THE ONE Sky Ferreira
183        AFTERGLOW Wilkinson
184        SHOW ME LOVE (AMERICA) The Wanted
185        BLIND Hurts
186        THE WIRE Haim
187        LOVE SOMEBODY / REMIX Maroon 5
188        SAY GOODBYE Gabrielle
189        IF I LOSE MYSELF OneRepublic
190        HEAL Loreen featuring Blanks
191        WHITE NOISE Disclosure featuring AlunaGeorge
192        LOSING SLEEP John Newman
193        TRUE LOVE Pink featuring Lily Rose Cooper
195        ALIVE Chase & Status featuring Jacob Banks
197        CANNONBALL Lea Michele
198        MISS JACKSON Panic! At The Disco featuring Lolo
199        WHAT I MIGHT DO Ben Pearce
200        WORK BITCH Britney Spears

That's it for another year! Join me on January 8 as I start our weekly journey through the ARIA charts of 1989. As promised, I'll also be filling in the gaps in my personal year-end top 100s in 2014 - starting with my top 100 for 2000 some time in January. As always, thanks for reading and Happy New Year!

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Sunday, 29 December 2013

The Best Of 2013 - part 4

JUMP TO: 100-81 II 80-61 II 60-41 II 40-21 II 20-1

2013 was a time of change for me - the first year since 2005 when a series of major events all took place in a 12-month period. I bought and sold a house and, in the process, became addicted to attending auctions. I also wrapped up one long-running job and moved on to a new freelance gig.

Who ever thought these three would record together again?

Most excitingly, I went overseas - twice! Once, to Europe, where I revisited the Amalfi Coast for the first time since 1998. It makes a big difference when you're not on a backpacker's budget. Then, I did two road trips (with accompanying playlists, of course) in the States and Canada. All in all, a pretty satisfying year. But now, on with the countdown...

Number 40 "Don't Save Me" by Haim

Everywhere I went in 2013, everyone was talking about Haim. When I was in the UK in the middle of the year, there was still a fair bit of buzz around the three sisters from LA. Back in Australia, "The Wire" became a massive hit after the girls paid us a visit. Then, when I was in Vancouver in October, the trio were playing a sold-out gig. I might not have gotten to see them play, but I did enjoy their music a lot. "Don't Save Me" is the first of three appearances by Haim on my top 100.

Number 39 The A&R EP by Annie

The A stands, naturally, for Annie, while the R stands for producer Richard X, who's worked on both albums by the Norwegian singer to date. Led by the single "Back Together" (to which there's a link in the song title above), the five-track EP also features a song called "Ralph Macchio" and my favourite, "Mixed Emotions", which you can hear below.

Number 38 "Billion Lights" by JLS

Back in Part 2, I mentioned that Union J had my second favourite boy band song of the year. Here's my favourite. Yeah, I was a little surprised, too. Besides their debut single, "Beat Again", I'd never really got into JLS - and, before I knew it, they'd gone and called it quits. It seems, however, genuine JLS fans didn't care that much for "Billion Lights" since it only scraped into the UK top 20 for the boy band who'd previously managed five number 1s there in as many years.

Number 37 "Hold This Moment" by Vanbot

Like Annie, Vanbot (aka Ester Ideskog) is a Scandinavian synthpop singer who's released a string of singles I've liked - albeit in a much shorter time frame. "Hold This Moment" was one of two new tracks the Swedish artist released in 2013. In fact, I only just discovered the second song, "When My Heart Breaks", when I visited her website now.

Number 36 "Love Is Enough" by Parralox

Australian synthpop exponents Parralox released a new album in 2013 - covers collection Recovery, which featured the single, "Silent Morning" - but it was this track from the Metropolis album that I had on high rotation at the start of the year. While their remakes were pretty good, I'm actually a much bigger fan of their original songs.

Number 35 "Triggerfinger" by Donkeyboy

They had my favourite album for 2012 with Silver Moon, but despite there being multiple potential singles left to release from that (including one track still to come on this list), Norwegian synthpop group Donkeyboy moved on with this new track, which I presume will appear on an upcoming third album. Stylistically quite different to the pure pop of Silver Moon, "Triggerfinger" has me excited for what else the band has been working on.

Number 34 "Skirt" by Kylie Minogue

With her 25th anniversary celebrations behind her, Kylie turned her attentions to her 12th studio album - and her first after signing to Jay-Z's Roc Nation. Released exclusively through Beatport (for which I created an account just so I could download this), "Skirt" was a promotional single for that album, which should surface some time in 2014. A fairly pedestrian EDM song at first, "Skirt" comes alive in the chorus - something Kylie rarely gets wrong.

Number 33 "Turn Me Out" by Russ Chimes

Sampling the track of the same name by Praxis featuring Kathy Brown that made my top 200 for 1995, "Turn Me Out" is the first UK top 40 hit for the British producer/DJ.

Number 32 "Disco Love" by The Saturdays

After five years on the charts, The Saturdays finally scored a number 1 single in the UK in 2013 with "What About Us". They swiftly followed that up with "Gentleman", one of only three singles of theirs (out of 15 at that point) to miss the UK top 10. The yo-yoing continued with "Disco Love" which restored them to the UK top 5 and, as the title suggests, featured lyrical references to the 1970s (as well as to 1999 and "...Baby One More Time"). "Disco Love" was the only one of those three that I loved - but that's nothing new, since my enjoyment of The Saturdays' songs is erratic as their UK chart fortunes.

Number 31 "I Feed You My Love" by Margaret Berger

I was actually in Europe when Eurovision took place this year - but I was on a small island off Spain and nowhere near a TV when it took place, so it wasn't until I got home a few weeks later that I heard this song from Norwegian entrant Margaret Berger (she finished fourth). My second favourite song from this year's contest, "I Feed You My Love" has a dark foreboding vibe similar to the verses of last year's winner (and my favourite song for 2012), "Euphoria" by Loreen and would have made a much better winner than "Only Teardrops".

Number 30 "Clarity" by Zedd featuring Foxes

In the dying days of 2012, Foxes (aka Louisa Allen) slipped into my year-end chart with "Echo". At the same time, Russian-born, German-based DJ/producer Zedd was gaining attention with "Spectrum". A few months into 2013, this collaboration between the two started to take off and would become one of the year's biggest dance tracks (and another of the nominees for Best Dance Recording at the upcoming Grammys). Not bad for a couple of youngsters.

Number 29 "Love Me Again" by John Newman

After providing the vocals for Rudimental's breakthrough hit, "Feel The Love", in 2012, British singer John Newman struck out on his own with this soul/dance track which was just as big on charts around the world. Co-written with one of the writers of Duffy's "Mercy", "Love Me Again" has that same retro-meets-modern feel to it. Follow-ups "Cheating" and "Losing Sleep" haven't done as well, but I'm hopeful John won't emulate Duffy's career by fading from popularity so quickly.

Number 28 "Sunrise (Won't Get Lost)" by The Aston Shuffle vs Tommy Trash

Since landing on my 2009 end-of-year chart with "Need Me To Stay", Australian DJ/producer Tommy Trash hadn't released anything else that had piqued my interest until this year, when he not only collaborated with Swedish House Mafia's Sebastian Ingrosso on "Reload", but he breathed new life into The Aston Shuffle's "Won't Get Lost". Another local act, The Aston Shuffle is a duo comprised of Mikah Freeman and Vance Musgrove, known for their own remix work and Triple J radio show.

Number 27 "Tonight" by Jessica Sanchez featuring Ne-Yo

As an 11-year-old, she'd made the semi-finals on the first season of America's Got Talent, then, as a 16-year-old, she was the runner-up on the 11th season of American Idol - so, if nothing else, you've got to give her points for persistence. Signed to 19 Records off the back of Idol, Jessica released this duet with Ne-Yo, which was quite a change of pace from the big ballads (the standard reality show fare: "I Have Nothing", "And I Am Telling You...", "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing") that she performed in Idol.

Number 26 "Flatline" by Mutya Keisha Siobhan

The original line-up of Sugababes were in Australia when Siobhan's infamous - and literal - flight from the band took place. In subsequent years, I spoke to all three singers at different times and, based on what they said, never would've guessed that over a decade later, Mutya Buena, Keisha Buchanan and Siobhan Donaghy would reconvene to make music together again. They probably didn't, either.
Of course, both Mutya and Keisha also left Sugababes (one voluntarily, one not so much) over the intervening years and their reunion had fanboys in a frenzy during the lead-up to the release of this first single as MKS. I was expecting a UK number 1 or at least a top 10 position for "Flatline", but instead it tanked, peaking at number 50. Whether the disappointing performance was due to the delay in the song actually making it to iTunes (it seemed to take forever) or the fact that interest in MKS was limited to the people I follow on Twitter, I'm not sure. Hopefully, 2014 holds greater things for the trio.

Number 25 "Moonshine" by Bruno Mars

In the lead-up to the launch of Bruno Mars' second album, Unorthodox Jukebox, both "Young Girls" and "Moonshine" were released as promotional singles - but when it came time to choose a second official single (to follow "Locked Out Of Heaven"), it was "When I Was Your Man" that was picked instead. As 2013 comes to an end, it finally looks like both those promo tracks are getting a commercial release - although I championed the Michael Jackson-esque "Moonshine" at the start of the year, since it's my favourite song on the album.

Number 24 "Live A Little" by Florrie

A track used to promote the release of a new pair of Sony in-ear headphones (which feature prominently in the music video), "Live A Little" places singer/drummer Florence Arnold on my end-of-year top 100 for the fourth straight year - and all without her debut album being released yet.

Number 23 In Your Care EP by Bright Light Bright Light

Another British synthpop act who first appeared on my charts in 2010 (with "Love Part II"), Bright Light Bright Light (aka Rod Thomas) hasn't paid a return visit until now (despite releasing his debut album along the way). This year's In Your Care EP is the best thing he's done since then, particularly the track "An Open Heart", which you can listen to below. There's a link to the EP's title track above.

Number 22 "Human Race" by Margaret Berger

Here's Margaret again, with her first post-Eurovision single. Actually, Eurovision wasn't the first time she'd competed on a televised singing competition. In 2004, she was the runner-up in the second season of Idol: Jakten på en superstjerne, or what we'd probably call Norwegian Idol. Both "Human Race" and "I Feed You My Love" should appear on Margaret's upcoming third studio album.

Number 21 "Show Me What Love Is" by Alphabeat

From Norway across to Denmark, and a Scandipop group who've dominated by charts in recent years. "Show Me What Love Is" was the third and final single from the Express Non-Stop album, but seems to have been given a soft release, with no music video made.

In the fifth and final part, we reach my top 20 for 2013, which features two tracks each by three artists I haven't mentioned yet, as well as one of the world's highest-selling songs this year.

1979 II 1980 II 1981 II 1982 II 1983 II 1984 II 1985 II 1986 II 1987 II 1988 II 1989
1990 II 1991 II 1992 II 1993 II 1994 II 1995 II 1996 II 1997 II 1998 II 1999
2000 II 2001 II 2002 II 2003 II 2004 II 2005 II 2006 II 2007 II 2008 II 2009
2010 II 2011 II 2012 II 2013 II 2014 II 2015 II 2016 II 2017 II 2018 II 2019