We don’t really believe in guilty pleasures – you can like whatever you like – but even so there’s still the odd song that comes along each year that you love that you wouldn’t exactly post on your Facebook page and announce as your all time favourite. The song that sits uneasily in your immaculate collection, but keeps drawing you back for a love affair that the Germans would call VERBOTEN.
Scroll down to find out whose actually listening to some impossibly likeable pop music burned on a CD that’s labelled ‘SECRET CARIBOU RADIOHEAD MIXES’, here are the songs from 2013 we find it difficult to admit we love. What are your secrets?
One Republic – ‘Counting Stars’
As I write this I’m stuffing Lightning Bolt 7 inches into my ears in a bid to expunge the deceit, but I absolutely love One Republic’s ‘Counting Stars’. If you don’t know, frontman Ryan Tedder basically writes 90% of everyone else’s awesome pop songs (yep, he wrote and produced a portion of Adele’s ’21’) and he eventually saved a belter for his own band. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t buy the album, you’re unlikely to see me down the front at their show, but I will turn it up when it’s on the radio and I will try and replicate the weird, twirly vocal thing Tedder does in the verse at the top of my voice. You may even find me doing it sneakily at Christmas karaoke. Oh God, what have I done?
Greg Cochrane, Editor, NME.com
Luke Bryan – ‘That’s My Kinda Night’
A few months ago my boyfriend introduced me to the unadulterated joy of watching weekly video rundowns of the Billboard Top 20 albums. While it’s exciting to see Lorde at Number One and Chvrches flitting around the teens, my favourite bits by a lightyear are the records by down-home country boys who never trouble the UK charts at all. I’m partial to secessionist lunks Florida Georgia Line and their meat-headed rock, but the jewel in the crown is Luke Bryan and his surprisingly enduring hit, ‘That’s My Kinda Night’. It’s all about getting a lady loosened up with a catfish dinner that he caught himself (!) and then laying her down for some sweet loving on the back of his DISCO-LIT (!) flatbed truck. As a modern woman, I should by rights want to kick that cowboy-hatted ham in the chaps when he squeals, “Girl, hand me another beer, yeah!” but somehow, I have been suckered in by his podunk charm. Also probably has something to do with my love of Nashville, aka the greatest show in living memory.
Laura Snapes, Features Editor
Ylvis – ‘The Fox’
Did you see ‘Baby Monkey (Riding Backwards On A Pig)’? Or ‘Hamster On A Piano (Eating Popcorn)’? They’re viral videos of pop songs about animals for which the internet was made for. Ylvis’ ‘The Fox’ is a classic of the genre. It’s a funny, joyous banger reminiscent of the humour of Spike Milligan or Monty Python that I’m in no way ashamed to love.
Lucy Jones, Deputy Editor, NME.COM
TI ft Lil Wayne – ‘Ball’
Not only did this track feature on the Fast & Furious 6 soundtrack (which I in no way own), it’s also vomit-inducingly sexist. But, no matter how many times I tell myself I despise the hook “This club’s so packed/These girls so drunk”, I couldn’t stop listening to this awful track this summer. It’s so catchy and jingly and it got me through some horrible commutes (on very low volume of course).
Kate Lloyd, writer
willi.i.am – ‘Feelin’ Myself’
Noooooooooo! I hate will.i.am! I hate his cynical cut-n-shut approach to pop music, his dead eyes and stupid hat. Almost as much as I hate berkish walking thinkpiece Miley Cyrus and her tedious take on the good-girl-going-bad shtick. (I have nothing against Wiz Khalifa and French Montana – go in peace, guys). And yet… who can resist a hook that goes “The mirror be like, ‘Baby you the shit, you the shit, goddamnit’? A stronger person than I. We all need more Friday-night-getting-dressed-songs. Goddamnit.
Emily Mackay, writer
Robin Thicke – ‘Blurred Lines’ feat. TI, Pharrell
It’s the year’s defining guilty pleasure, isn’t it? Yeah, Robin Thicke is a sort of grimacing idiot-child constructed entirely from sleaze and outdated ideas of masculinity, and yes those balloons in the video managed to make Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake putting their dicks in a box look positively Wildean in comparison, but… but… “hey, hey, HEY!”
Kevin EG Perry, Assistant Editor, NME.com