The 20 Highest Selling Songs Of 2014 (So Far) Reviewed In Under 70 Words


In my former role as editor of The Music Network – the magazine that compiles the national radio airplay charts – I was required to listen to every single song serviced to commercial radio. All of them. As you can imagine, I heard a lot of what the British refer to as “ol’ tosh”, but after about six months, the combination of this aural onslaught and constant chart watching makes it quite easy to predict a hit single when you hear one. So, armed with this expert knowledge, I’ve reviewed the 20 highest-selling songs in Australia this year – so far.

‘She Looks So Perfect’: 5 Seconds Of Summer

5 Seconds Of Summer are the Sydney version of One Direction but with electric guitars, indie cred, and a number in their name like all the great pop punk bands. If there was a Australian version of The OC, this would probably be the theme song, and you’d probably get Josh Thomas involved in a Seth Cohen-type role. This song hit #2 in the US, because Australia is currently the centre of the musical world (it used to be New Zealand).

‘Say Something’: A Great Big World Feat. Christina Aguilera

If you are a beloved TV character and you are dying, this would be the perfect song to go out to. What were songs like this used for before The Voice?

‘Problem’: Ariana Grande Feat. Iggy Azalea

The best pop song that will be released this year. It sold an obscene amount, because everyone who heard it was instantly all, “ADD TO CART”. File alongside: Kelly Rowland’s Work, Amerie’s One Thing, Beyonce’s Crazy In Love, and Ricki-Lee’s Do It Like That.

‘Addicted To You’: Avicii

Avicii’s previous hit ‘Wake Me Up’ was basically ‘Cotton Eye Joe‘, yet it was one of the biggest singles of 2013, which means we are on track for a ‘Macarena’ remake to storm the charts in a few months. It’s funny how if you take any EDM banger with a 4/4 beat and add an acoustic guitar, it turns into a hoedown.

‘Rather Be’: Clean Bandit Feat. Jess Glynne

Spiller’s ‘Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)’ will be retroactively blamed for this one.

‘Magic’: Coldplay

Fun fact: Chris Martin was the first artist in musical history to split from Gwyneth Paltrow and shoot a clip in Newtown within the same calendar year.

‘Shot Me Down’: David Guetta Feat. Skylar Grey

“Fuck no. He’s so gross.” – Lorde

‘Let It Go’: Idina Menzel

The top YouTube comment on this video says: “This song is so relatable because everyone has something that they should let go of.”

‘Fancy’: Iggy Azalea Feat. Charli XCX

Judging from her accent, Iggy must have been raised on the Brooklyn side of Mullumbimby, NSW.

‘Trumpets’: Jason Derulo

Jason Derulo’s first few singles opened with him singing his own name. This song features trumpets, the word ‘trumpets’ is in the lyrics, and there are a lot of trumpets in the video clip. The cover for his album Tattoos has a tattoo of the word ‘tattoo’ on it. His latest single is called ‘Wiggle Wiggle’.

‘Swing’: Joel Fletcher Feat. Savage

Back in my days, DJs were bespectacled middle-age tech geeks who didn’t appear in their videos, hid behind pseudonyms, and released white labels.

‘All of Me’: John Legend

Did you know John Legend was named by Kanye West because Kanye thought he sang like a legend? Fair enough then.

‘Que Sera’: Justice Crew

Somewhere in your city there’s a guy in a rock band that hasn’t played a gig for eighteen months whinging about how Justice Crew are a bunch of manufactured reality show major label bullshit. Meanwhile, these lads are crammed in a minivan pushing through a punishing touring schedule that makes Springsteen look soft: sharing shitty hotel rooms, visiting tin-can radio stations in towns without mobile reception, all the while pretending like they aren’t sleeping with absolutely everyone along the way.

‘Rude’: Magic!

Remember when Snow’s ‘Informer’ came out and everyone was seemingly fine with a white Canadian singing in a Jamaican accent like he’d just been puffing blunts on the beaches of Kingston? Well, this is exactly like that. Seeing the vocalist for the first time is like when you find out Bart Simpson is voiced by a middle-aged woman. Jah bless.

‘Happy’: Pharrell Williams

One day Pharrell woke up and thought, “It’s been a while since I ruled the musical world.” So he hammered out the three biggest songs in the world, all within a twelve-month period. All three were unashamed bell-bottomed, backseat-bangin’ disco throwbacks battling each other for space on the dance floor, even though bell-bottomed, backseat-bangin’ disco throwbacks weren’t at all popular until Pharrell made it so. Also, his hat, his skin, etc.

‘Free’: Rudimental Feat. Emeli Sande & Nas

Is this the first charting single to use the word ‘Pilates’ in its lyrics? There might be a Roy Orbison song that does, but probably not.

‘Brave’: Sara Bareilles

Where are all the pop songs about having realistic expectations, shutting up sometimes, and trusting that fear is our body’s natural response to danger and therefore we shouldn’t try certain things?

‘Geronimo’: Sheppard

The first Australian independent single to reach #1 in close to ten years. It should be on a Milo commercial.

‘Chandelier’: Sia

While South Australia declare a state holiday anytime their sporting teams are going well, Adelaide-born Sia has quietly written most of the big American pop juggernauts of the past few years. Not very footy though, is it?

‘#SELFIE’: The Chainsmokers

Is it possible to punch yourself in the face hard enough to be knocked unconscious, or do you think there’s something inherent that would stop you from connecting with full force?

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