If you missed out on the year that was 2014, all you need to know is that Pharrell Williams , a ponytail-wearing Ariana, gushing sex and retro disco dominated. There just was no stopping Pharrell's fingers, who managed to pull off a solo album and some sizable songwriting on others. For a good second, we saw some of the most entertaining R&B in years. Ariana Grande 's singles soared like Katy Perry when she dropped  Teenage Dream. The secrets from the boudior were spilled all over the formats, even into alt-rock. And what Daft Punk started last year with the cool revival of disco, 2014 kept the gravy train alive. Although there were a number of satisfying rock and country albums released, both formats seemed to have lost some of their swag. Taylor Swift , being the biggest star they've ever had, abandoned her country-pop template for a radical EDM-tempered pop makeover.

Check out HiFi's list of 45 best singles of 2014. And be sure to take advantage of the player next to each listing to get into the groove via Spotify.

Listen to our choices by using the embedded Spotify player.

At the bottom of each page, share your views and opinions with us. Tell us what you think.

Link up with your favorites by checking out their official websites and Facebook pages.

Purchase the music using the links to Amazon and/or iTunes.


Pharrell's hands were busy this year as he explored once again a chance at a solo career, proving to have paid off. He also jumped at the wheel of pumping out his leftovers on others. For UK folk boy Ed Sheeran, known infamously for his AC-hit "The A Team," having Pharrell in his company was the perfect answer to a struggling identity crisis. "Sing" feels like a burst of energy on Sheeran, even if some of his melodic fingerprints can be traced back to OneRepublic's "Love Runs Out."

BUY: Amazon
CONNECT: Website » Facebook


"Mercy Now"

Singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier submitted this warm non-preachy hymn to the table of born-again rocker Mike Farris. In his hands, the song plays like a smooth Staple Singers crossover hit. “We all could use a little mercy now,” Farris sings as if it's a selfless plea for all humanity.

BUY: Amazon
CONNECT: Website » Facebook

( Parlophone UK/Warner Bros.)

A character-less programmed drum machine opens up "Magic" but suddenly finds itself surrounded by a blossoming sophisticated swag ballad. It's dreamy classic Coldplay, highlighted with Chris Martin's wailing falsetto and churning guitar. And then the hook enters the picture and sales the record to the masses. With the inserted "oo-oo-ooh" chants, Coldplay pulls out their infamous "open sesame" trick best represented on all of their big hits. As the old saying goes, if it's not broke, don't fix it.

BUY: Amazon
CONNECT: Website » Facebook

"Never Even Had a Chance"

In the hands of Alabama-bred soul legend Candi Staton, the weariest blues song has new meaning. The Brad Crisler/Cubmie Clay-penned "Never Even Had the Chance" was originally recorded as a country song, but producer Rick Hall reimagined it on Staton and turned this achy ballad into a smoldering event.

BUY: Amazon
CONNECT: Website » Facebook

"Hey QT"
(XL Recordings)

No one wanted to take QT seriously. What is it really? An energy drink jingle or a a super cool demo missing the real vocals Carly Ray Jepsen. Yeah, the vocals are another thing to question – they are punked using Alvin & the Chipmunk-furnished Autotune. But it's so hard to resist such a bubbly, well-crafted pop song. Record label exec A.G Cook and the voice heard (QT) have come up with one of the best "love it-or-hate it" songs of the year. Take away the noise from conservative critics and you're bound to smile when hearing this from beginning to end.

BUY: Beatport
CONNECT: Website » Facebook

Top 33 1/3 Albums of 2012

LISTEN: 45 Best Singles of 2011
LISTEN: 45 Best Singles of 2010


blog comments powered by Disqus