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So this might truly be one of the hardest assignments yet.

Jen – our fabulous maestro from Twisted Mixed Tape Tuesday – has asked us what our top five new songs are from last year.

Granted – not NECESSARILY from 2013 – but new to us.

Harder to do as you get older – isn’t it?

That said, please check out other folks who were willing to broaden their musical horizons in 2013 by clicking this here link…


That’s the challenge: that I might appreciate new music.

I’m quite comfy with what I like – thank you ever so!

But I can DO. THIS.

Because I listen to Top 40 radio – to and from work – daily.  Among other things, it helps me add to my running tracks.

So here’s my top five from the last year:

Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball

I have a soft spot for Miley, despite all the … stuff …. and I have liked a number of songs she’s done to date.  But I REALLY like this one.  I was thrilled to discover that there was an “editor’s cut” of the video.  Because, the actual video firmly, in my opinion, falls into the … stuff … which clutters the space around someone who is so obviously otherwise talented.  I figure it’s hard to grow up in the limelight and so we should give young stars a chance when they spontaneously twerk (or do whatever else seems TRULY alien to anyone over 30).  In other news, according to my 4-year-old this is my daycare provider’s “song”.  Given that, I almost want to ask her out for drinks to make sure everything is okay…  But generally, I like the insight, as well as the conversation in the car every time the song comes on.

Eminem Featuring Rihanna – The Monster

In the vein of “giving people a chance”, here’s Rihanna and Eminem with Monster – two artists whom I’ve also always adored despite their drama.

As for why?  This goes back to Miley as well, but basically?  I think we aren’t SUPPOSE to be perfect.  Life is one big mess of figuring out who you are and what your path is supposed to be.  So, as we go through our struggles, we need to SEE the messy in others.  And know it isn’t just us.  And so we need artists to give it to us.  They help us deal with what we’re going through by giving us their pain.  In messy, personal, vivid detail.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – Thriftshop

I love me a nice traditional bump and grind.  Really, like the Foxtrot, it never goes out of style.  So here’s Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ breakout hit (that kinda made me wish I was 20 and in the clubs again):

Avicii – Wake Me Up

I figure if I respond and sing along now at my life stage, I can only imagine how it must resonate a generation down.  It’s got this carefree “seize the moment, just be you!” kinda vibe that makes me want to do just that.  Maybe it has something to do with being at a busy stage of life where I sometimes almost wish to be woken up when it’s over.  Or maybe it’s the transient “what if” yearnings of my 30s (which of course are then placated by the song informing me I was “me” all along).  As for anyone listening to the song who thinks “older with it all figured out” is “mid-30s”?  Hmmmm?  I won’t spoil it for you.  In any event, I love it lots.

Bastille – Pompeii

Hands down: this is my favourite of last year’s offerings.

There are so many reasons I love this song.  Mainly? The scene.  He’s singing about Pompeii, as the volcano is exploding, and asking: “How am I going to be an optimist about this?”  Well!  If ever there was a time and place to be all “glass half full” I’d say that would be it.  It sort of puts my current car issues into perspective.  As the ashes come down the singer asks: “But if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing’s changed at all?”

I’ve also been to Pompeii.  One of my main memories?  Aside from the petrified corpses (because they are pretty unforgettable)?  How they tour us through the brothel.  How do they know it was a brothel? The helpful paintings on the wall.

It’s only one of many examples of how we are just, forever, as we are.  Human.  I love this song for how it makes me think about the larger Shakespearean-like constants of human nature – and, ultimately – in a positive way.  We are, as a species I think, undoubtedly, however flawed, forever hopeful for a better tomorrow.  Despite all odds.  That’s where the song leaves me, so I’m just going to go with it.