Song of the Day Challenge Day 8: KESHA – “Tik Tok”

Song A Day Challenge

Today’s Song of the Day Challenge is “A song that’s a guilty pleasure”, and my pick is “Tik Tok” by Kesha (who also identified herself as Ke$ha back then). The catchy ear worm was co-written by Kesha and producers Dr. Luke and Benny Blanco, and released in August 2009. It took its time moving up the charts, but once it reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 that December, it held the top spot for nine straight weeks. It also topped the charts in Canada, Australia, Germany and 10 other countries.

I love the bouncy, electropop dance beat and hilarious bawdy lyrics about partying, getting drunk and having fun. (Ah, how I fondly remember those days!) Kesha later told Esquire that her inspiration for the song came from her own experiences coming home drunk and stumbling after a night out of partying. The opening line “Wake up in the morning feelin’ like P. Diddy” came from a time where she woke up in a big house (on Laurel Canyon in L.A. where the Eagles recorded “Hotel California”) surrounded by all these “beautiful women”, which led her to imagine P. Diddy being in a similar scenario. And he was more than happy to collaborate on the track, providing his vocals where he responds to her opening line with “hey what up girl“. Kesha’s vocals were heavily auto-tuned, but I think they’re perfectly suited for a song like “Tik Tok”.

On a weird level, the song also touches on female empowerment. In the lyrics “And now the dudes are linin’ up ’cause they hear we got swagger / But we kick ’em to the curb unless they look like Mick Jagger” and later “Boys try to touch my junk, junk / Gonna smack him if he gettin’ too drunk, drunk“, Kesha makes it clear that she and her girls have the upper hand when it comes to guys, and that they’re not gonna give it up to just anyone. OK, I know it’s a stretch, but work with me here!

Top 50 Songs of 2010

In 2010, a wide range of established rock artists, including Eminem, Train, John Mayer, Lifehouse, Weezer, Muse, Cage the Elephant, Phoenix, Three Days Grace, and Alice in Chains produced great songs. New artist Ke$ha had one of the biggest hits of the year with “Tik Tok,” her irresistibly fun “let’s get drunk and party” song. Lady Gaga was back in full force with her album “Fame Monster,” a collection of songs that dealt with the dark side of fame and doomed relationships, including the brilliant “Bad Romance,” easily her best song. And jazz-pop singer Michael Buble’s “Haven’t Met You Yet” was a guilty pleasure and a delightful throwback to the 60s. The Script, The Black Keys, Mumford & Sons, Mike Posner, Neon Trees, and American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert all scored their first major hits. Another newcomer was the incredibly talented Bruno Mars, whose collaborations with R&B/hip-hop artists Travie McCoy and B.o.B. gave us a taste of some great music to come from him.

My pick for best song of 2010 is Country pop band Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now,” an achingly beautiful song of loneliness and longing.

1. NEED YOU NOW – Lady Antebellum

2. HEY, SOUL SISTER – Train
3. TIK TOK – Ke$ha
4. BREAKEVEN – The Script
5. BAD ROMANCE – Lady Gaga
6. HEARTBREAK WARFARE – John Mayer
7. RESISTANCE – Muse
8. HAVEN’T MET YOU YET – Michael Buble
9. LAY ME DOWN – The Dirty Heads featuring Rome Ramirez
10. TIGHTEN UP – The Black Keys
11. TEENAGE DREAM – Katy Perry
12. ALL THE RIGHT MOVES – OneRepublic
13. HALF OF MY HEART – John Mayer featuring Taylor Swift
14. COOLER THAN ME – Mike Posner
15. TELEPHONE – Lady Gaga featuring Beyonce
16. LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE – Eminem featuring Rihanna
17. 1901 – Phoenix
18. ANIMAL – Neon Trees
19. SECRETS – OneRepublic
20. BREAK YOUR HEART – Taio Cruz featuring Ludacris
21. UPRISING – Muse
22. MISERY – Maroon 5
23. (IF YOU’RE WONDERING IF I WANT YOU TO) I WANT YOU TO – Weezer
24. NOT AFRAID – Eminem
25. KINGS AND QUEENS – 30 Seconds to Mars
26. BACK AGAINST THE WALL – Cage the Elephant
27. BREAK – Three Days Grace
28. YOUR DECISION – Alice in Chains
29. LISZTOMANIA – Phoenix
30. LIFE AFTER YOU – Daughtry
31. IF YOU ONLY KNEW – Shinedown
32. IN ONE EAR – Cage the Elephant
33. WHATAYA WANT FROM ME – Adam Lambert
34. DYNAMITE – Taio Cruz
35. DJ GOT US FALLIN’ IN LOVE – Usher featuring Pitbull
36. NOTHIN’ ON YOU – B.o.B. featuring Bruno Mars
37. JUST A DREAM – Nelly
38. SAVIOR – Rise Against
39. ALEJANDRO – Lady Gaga
40. BULLETPROOF – La Roux
41. SOMEDAY – Rob Thomas
42. IMPOSSIBLE – Anberlin
43. HALFWAY GONE – Lifehouse
44. UNDO IT – Carrie Underwood
45. LITTLE LION MAN – Mumford & Sons
46. YOUR LOVE IS MY DRUG – Ke$ha
47. YOUNG FOREVER – Jay-Z featuring Mr. Hudson
48. IMPOSSIBLE – Shontelle
49. MY BEST THEORY – Jimmy Eat World
50. BILLIONAIRE – Travie McCoy featuring Bruno Mars

Top 100 Songs of 2014

2014 was an incredible year for music, especially alternative and indie rock. In my opinion, it was the best year for music since 1990, and I was actually hard-pressed to limit my list to only 100 songs. A number of great new albums were released, including “Ghost Stories” from Coldplay, “Supermodel” from Foster the People, “Turn Blue” from The Black Keys, “X” from Ed Sheeran, “Morning Phase” from Beck, and “In the Lonely Hour” from Sam Smith.

My favorite song is “Love Me Again” from John Newman, an amazingly talented soulful-voiced singer from Britain who has one of the best and most unique voices around today. He sings of the hurt he caused his lover, then passionately pleads for forgiveness to a driving breakbeat with powerful organ, drums and piano. The song is a musical masterpiece that was underrated in the U.S. It was released in 2013, but peaked on the charts during the first few months of 2014, so ends up on my list for that year.

Here is my list of the 100 best songs of 2014:

1. LOVE ME AGAIN – John Newman

2. DO I WANNA KNOW? – Arctic Monkeys

3. COME A LITTLE CLOSER – Cage the Elephant

4. A SKY FULL OF STARS – Coldplay

5. FEVER – The Black Keys

6. HAPPY – Pharrell Williams

7. COMING OF AGE – Foster the People

8. THE WALKER – Fitz & the Tantrums

9. RIPTIDE – Vance Joy

10. TAKE ME TO CHURCH – Hozier

11. POMPEII – Bastille

12. SEASONS CHANGE (WAITING ON YOU) – Future Islands

13. MAGIC – Coldplay

14. BLAME – Calvin Harris featuring John Newman

15. CHANDELIER – Sia

16. PSEUDOLOGIA FANTASTICA – Foster the People

17. RED EYES – The War on Drugs

18. COME WITH ME NOW – KONGOS

19. STOLEN DANCE – Milky Chance

20. BEST FRIEND – Foster the People

21. TEAM – Lorde
22. SING – Ed Sheeran
23. BAD BLOOD – Bastille
24. I WANNA GET BETTER – Bleachers
25. SLEEPING WITH A FRIEND – Neon Trees
26. LOVE RUNS OUT – OneRepublic
27. WHY’D YOU ONLY CALL ME WHEN YOU’RE HIGH – Arctic Monkeys
28. GIANTS – Bear Hands
29. AFRAID – The Neighbourhood
30. STAY WITH ME – Sam Smith
31. BEST DAY OF MY LIFE – American Authors
32. SOMETHING FROM NOTHING – Foo Fighters
33. DON’T – Ed Sheeran
34. COUNTING STARS – OneRepublic
35. MY SWEET SUMMER – Dirty Heads
36. IT’S ABOUT TIME – Young the Giant
37. SOUTHERN SUN – Boy and Bear
38. DANGEROUS – Big Data featuring Joywave
39. LEFT HAND FREE – Alt-J
40. CAR RADIO – twenty one pilots
41. FALL IN LOVE – Phantogram
42. BLUE MOON – Beck
43. LATCH – Disclosure featuring Sam Smith
44. HABITS (STAY HIGH) – Tove Lo
45. WHO NEEDS YOU – The Orwells
46. RATHER BE – Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne
47. BACK TO THE SHACK – Weezer
48. SUMMER – Calvin Harris
49. CENTURIES – Fall Out Boy
50. ALL OF ME – John Legend
51. THUNDER CLATTER – Wild Cub
52. LAZARETTO – Jack White
53. GIRLS/BOYS/GIRLS – Panic! At the Disco
54. I’M ONLY JOKING – KONGOS
55. LA LA LA – Naughty Boy featuring Sam Smith
56. FOOLS GOLD – Fitz & the Tantrums
57. CARDIAC ARREST – Big Suns
58. MIDNIGHT – Coldplay
59. TRUE LOVE – Coldplay
60. THIS IS GOSPEL – Panic! At the Disco
61. WAIT FOR ME – Kings of Leon
62. UNBELIEVERS – Vampire Weekend
63. DIGITAL WITNESS – St. Vincent
64. STORY OF MY LIFE – One Direction
65. RUDE – Magic!
66. AM I WRONG? – Nico & Vinz
67. TIMBER – Pitbull featuring Ke$ha
68. GOTTA GET AWAY – The Black Keys
69. CHOCOLATE – The 1975
70. MAPS – Maroon 5
71. COOL KIDS – Echosmith
72. LOVE DON’T DIE – The Fray
73. SAY SOMETHING – Great Big World with Christina Aguilera
74. AFTERLIFE – Arcade Fire
75. WEST COAST – Lana Del Rey
76. GIMME SOMETHING GOOD – Ryan Adams
77. TALK DIRTY – Jason Derulo
78. ALL THE RAGE BACK HOME – Interpol
79. NOT A BAD THING – Justin Timberlake
80. BOOM CLAP – Charlie XCX
81. DO OR DIE – 30 Seconds to Mars
82. SUPERHEROES – The Script
83. DO YOU – Spoon
84. ALL ABOUT THAT BASS – Meghan Trainor
84. ANIMALS – Maroon 5
86. BURN – Ellie Goulding
87. ONE MINUTE MORE – Capital Cities
88. GIRLS CHASE BOYS – Ingrid Michaelson
89. FLAWS – Bastille
90. LET HER GO – Passenger
91. WEEKEND – Priory
92. HEY BROTHER – Avicii
93. MIND OVER MATTER – Young the Giant
94. TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT – Cage the Elephant
95. SIRENS – Pearl Jam
96. I DON’T WANT TO BE HERE ANYMORE – Rise Against
97. ANGEL IN BLUE JEANS – Train
98. YOUNG GIRLS – Bruno Mars
99. AIN’T IT FUN – Paramore
100. JUST ONE OF THE GUYS – Jenny Lewis