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Top 20 Pop Songs of 2013 Part I

Updated on May 28, 2014
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Andrea loves to write about the zodiac and research astrological love compatibility. She's been an online writer for over five years.

These are the top 20 pop songs I define as the most played on the radio and the most iconic zeitgeist of 2013. There are some songs you may think should be on this list, and it isn't about quality -- but overall massive amounts of airtime, viral marketing, and conversation starters. These are songs that really are the glue of 2013 radio. I've split this into two parts since hubs have a hard time when you put too many videos on them.

Coming in at #20 is probably unpredictably:

20. Sail by Awolnation

First of all, what is this song? It dominated the airwaves for a short time, but it's unlike many other big pop driving songs. It's been reappearing on and off on the Billboard Top 100 since 2011. Maybe I shouldn't count it, but it was released in January of 2011 then as it grew in audience popularity went to the charts. Due to its extremely unusual longevity, it has become the only song in the history of the Hot 100 to spend a year on the chart without entering the top 20 first. This song is what we call... a sleeper hit.

19. Still Into You by Paramore

Paramore makes a comeback with "Still Into You." A song reminiscent of 90s girl rock bands and Gwen Stefani. This song in the fall was played almost every time I drove my car -- which is a qualification for this list. This song is infectious and admittedly a true feeling. It's one of the more forgotten gems with its throwback to 90s pop, but I think it's girl rock pop at it's best, even reminding me of animes like Fooly Cooly. In a year of feminine pop artists ruling the FM, Paramore's reign is often forgot. But mark my words, this song will carry forth beyond some of the higher songs on this list that will prove sour like Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On."

18. Let Her Go - Passenger

A more, "aw" worthy song on the list, one of the few ballad songs I put on here. I'm mostly against the ballads of 2013 because they don't really set a unique mark. Though Pink and Rihanna had there's, they paint walls vanilla... I actually forgot them till I was doing some soul searching to fill in the blanks on what songs I needed to fill up this list. The lead singer on this one helps us out with the year with his unique voice. The song was initially released in 2012 (I know...) but came to fame in 2013, especially internationally. It's one of the few soft hearted songs that's relatable and works without you wanting to slit your throats (I'm looking at your "Unconditionally" Katy Perry.)

17. Burn - Ellie Goulding

This song is epic. Not only did the woman work with Calvin Harris this year, or in the past sing for the Queen. But this song will probably play a role in the 2016 Olympics. Let us take a bet on that and see if I'm right. It fits athletics so wonderfully well that I'm betting this song is going to get second life and so forth. It's a song that can be used for a number of motivational video montages from charities to well... the Olympics. I actually think that Ellie herself is a better musician than many of the people ahead of her on this list, but hasn't had quite the marketing and PR to reach their mainstream, insane appeal. She is one of the innocent voices in a time of celebrating salacious nonsense. Her newest album is worth a listen to in all its dream pop glory.

16. The Monster by Eminem feat. Rihanna

Gonna be real honest here for a second and say that I find this song boring. It feels tired and like I've heard it before. Unfortunately, it has mass appeal and will probably continue to since it's a young bee. Previously, Eminem and Rihanna have worked together with success and so I think there's something about Rihanna's bizarre voice matching Eminem's rap. I admit for the first few weeks I couldn't really listen to it, but because it has so much airplay... I eventually caved, therefore it definitely makes sense to be on this zeitgeist pop list. I'm not sure why these two have to keep making music about abuse and torture and these things. Rihanna's "Wo-ho-uh-oh" is honestly what is selling this song.

15. Sweater Weather - The Neighborhood

Now this song, however, I have a crush on. The first time I heard it I was flying back from L.A. to Missouri. I was worried it wasn't going to catch, so I made sure to write down some of the lyrics to find it again. I was vehemently happy hearing it on the radio with more airtime in later months, especially these colder months where I think it makes more sense. This song glides from the more indie movements to mainstream pop -- being able to slide from these two worlds makes for an excellent song. The lyrics are slick, it is an attractive tune, something I can sing to, and really makes me want to have a boyfriend. Because the guys in this are just oozing cool and adorable. But the real nirvana takes place at about 2:37 into the song. The instrumental breakdown is simple but perfect. This song isn't just a California beach, urban sprawl it's a song that can be divvied up to the rest of the country sounding both fitting for summer and winter. This band absolutely lucked out with this song.

14. Work B**ch by good ole' pop princess Britney Spears

This song is meant to be a workout song, right? Britney Spears has had one of the biggest comebacks in music history; with this new album and Femme Fatale, I think people are forgetting her earlier rough spots in the 2000s. She's back to the insane performer, with crisp dance moves, rich tracks, and a stronger voice (though she is heavy on lip synching, but how are you supposed to dance and sing like that?) This song is pure Britney down to her favorite word, the British accent, and the hilarious goofy faces in her music videos. Britney is a changing woman who in her recent documentary finds some of what she did in her 20s to be... scary.

13. Timber - Pitbull feat. Ke$ha (though I think it's the other way around)

If you read through my other hubs, you'll find I'm a pretty big fan of Ke$ha who is actually a perfect SAT scoring genius. Many of her tracks dominate the waves, and they will continue to do so. She'll be a lasting icon, our lady Tic Tok. But what makes this song great? Pitbull's rap? Ke$ha slight yodeling? No, it's the harmonica. It is definitely the best pop harmonica song in the market. Whoever was the genius to put that harmonica into the song was total genius because it's absolute fun and it makes driving fun. It's like the Rainbow Road (no it is not a harmonica happy tune) from Mario Kart, that's how it makes me feel. I hope this song ends up being played live where some crazy old man plays a harmonica next to these two pop stars. Also, keep a close tab on Ke$ha in 2014 for her album that will be coming out with the Flaming Lips.

12. Roar by Katy Perry

From my least favorite Glee episode of all time, the one where they focused on inappropriate wardrobe for high schoolers and made feel really uncomfortable with how they were disregarding modesty, we have the tune that has been a summer tea time buttercup party about lion roaring. In this Glee version, it almost sounds like a jump rope skip along song. The Katy Perry version is a lot better. This song and that Sara Bareilles "Brave" song show an obnoxious need from the radio to play songs about encouraging courage. Okay, I'm sounding terrible but this is a really fun guilty pleasure of a song to wail to win driving 35 mph throughout your suburban hideout. This is also one of the more carefree happy songs from Katy that doesn't feel agenda pushing.

11. Do What You Want With My Body - Lady Gaga feat. R. Kelly

Creepy song, admittedly. But this song is a match made in heaven for Gaga. I think it finally melts her disco tendencies with her guttural repetitiveness. It's a strong in your face song, that somehow is liberating to sing "Do what you want" even there is a slight cringe from me as a listener with the rest of that song. This song screams pop, and I think bring Gaga back to the top of awesomeness she had with her first two albums. This would probably be my highest 80s influenced song on the list. Sometimes all you need for a good song is catchy repetition. And someone who can deliver on that without boring you to tears, to lonely, lonely tears.

Want to know what are the top ten songs? Follow the link.


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