Best Songs of 2014 – #4
‘Problem’ – Ariana Grande
If I weren’t such a radio-averse music snob, this would probably be my song of the year. It’s a perfectly crafted piece of ear candy — a whole party in three minutes.
Ariana Grande’s voice goes a mile high and an inch deep, and that’s exactly what this song requires. The staccato horn fills serve as a sublime introduction to the verses, and the whispered chorus is a stellar left-field touch.
Sitting at #10 on this week’s Billboard Hot 100 is Ariana Grande, who has had about as good a year as anybody in the music world.
Having enjoyed her performance for years on Victorious, it’s nice to see her hit it big the way she has. That good will is tempered a bit by the reports of her outrageous diva behavior (such as being carried like a baby from her trailer to the recording studio, which is the latest rumor).
It’s been awhile since I’ve featured Postmodern Jukebox on the blog. During that time, the band has gone from a clever low-budget project for founder Scott Bradlee to a full-on commercial success with a busy touring schedule and dozens of popular YouTube videos.
The production value of their clips has gone up as well. Check out those nifty monogrammed podiums in front of the horn section.
Billboard’s #8 spot belongs to Sia and ‘Chandelier,’ still one of my favorite hit songs of the year so far. And the ninth spot gives us repeat appearances by two artists — Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj.
‘Bang Bang’ is their collaboration with British singer Jessie J (of ‘Price Tag’ fame), who gets top billing here (the song will appear on her upcoming album).
In the seventh spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 is Ariana Grande’s latest single, ‘Break Free.’ Grande has had a song in the top ten for months now — quite a feat for the fourth lead in a Nickelodeon sitcom.
My appreciation for Grande’s previous hit, ‘Problem,’ is well-documented on this blog. It’s my vote for Song of the Summer after a summer that really didn’t produce a clear winner for that title. ‘Break Free’ is ok, but it’s no ‘Problem.’