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8 Recent Pop Songs That Should Have Been Singles

1. Do My Thang - Miley Cyrus (2013)

With a pulsating synth beat that is reminiscent of Madonna’s “Girl Gone Wild” (2012) mixed with the trap influences of Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” (2013), this is an electropop banger that truly lives up to the album title from which it comes. The song is infectiously catchy with carefree lyrics that epitomize Miley’s entire persona. Although it probably wouldn't top the Hot 100, it would definitely have been a top 10. “Only thing we think about is turning up”.

2. Legendary Lovers - Katy Perry (2013)

With solid production from Dr. Luke, Max Martin, and Cirkut, this fan favorite features the sexier and darker vocals similar to those found on “Dark Horse” (2013). Trap influences, powerful drums, catchy coral sitar, and a dark baseline form a unique instrumental upon which Katy’s vocals shine. Although the chorus isn’t her catchiest and “Dark Horse” was ultimately a stronger single choice, the song had top 10 written all over it. A good music video could have even possibly made it a third number one, especially if it was released later in 2014. It was certainly a better choice than “This Is How We Do” (2013). “Take me down to the river, underneath the blood orange sun”.

3. War Paint - Kelly Clarkson (2015)

A definite standout from the somewhat bland tracks of the rest of the album, this song shines with heavy and powerful drums, a catchy melody, and a nice, cohesive lyrical metaphor. Moreover Kelly’s powerhouse vocals give power to the song like only she could. The song is vaguely reminiscent of Katy Perry’s “Part Of Me” (2012) but is actually quite unique which is saying something for an electropop song. It may not be the song of the summer, but with good radio promotion and a good video the top 20 or even top 10 wouldn't be out of reach. “Why in the hell do we fight on the front line, when we both know that we’re here on the same side?”

4. New Romantics - Taylor Swift (2014)

With a retro 80′s-inspired sound that should have been more present on the album as a whole, this song actually lives up to the 1989 album title. The lyrical content is very much commercialized Lana Del Rey and the general sound is reminiscent of Tegan & Sara’s “Closer” (2013). This being said, the song is wholeheartedly enjoyable regardless of your opinion of Taylor Swift. Co-writers and producers Max Martin and Shellback did a great job with the catchy melody and solid production. Although nowhere near as strong of a single choice as “Blank Space”, the song has radio potential especially with Taylor’s current mainstream popularity. The song could be a nice top 10 to round out the 1989 era. “Heartbreak is the national anthem, we sing it proudly”.

5. Florida Kilos - Lana Del Rey (2014)

In sharp contrast to the heavy piano ballads that define most of the album, this mid-tempo track from the deluxe version is truly one of her best works yet. The catchy guitar and nautical vibe of the instrumental instantly establishes the song as unique and memorable. Lana’s casual vocals and distinctive coolness as she nonchalantly describes spending a Floridian summer with a coke dealer somehow create a vibe of summertime nostalgia. Although obviously not a radio track, the song could become quite popular among fans of Lana Del Rey and similar indie-pop female artists if she gave it a fun and potentially iconic video - after all, there is so much to work with image-wise with the theme of this song. “White lines pretty daddy gold skin, you snort it like a champ like the winter we’re not in”.

6. Get On Your Knees (feat. Ariana Grande) - Nicki Minaj (2014)

Although not nearly the type of bop that songs like “Only” (2014) and “Truffle Butter” (2014) are, “Get On Your Knees” has a radio friendly mainstream sound despite its sexual undertones. With stellar vocals from Ariana Grande, a “Dark Horse” 3.0 chorus courtesy of Katy Perry and Sarah Hudson (Iggy Azalea’s “Black Widow” also written by Perry and Hudson was “Dark Horse” 2.0), and sleek production from Dr. Luke and Cirkut, the song has all the makings of a hit. Although Nicki doesn’t go as hard on this song as others, her flow and lyrics are as clever and memorable as usual. This song would definitely be a top 10. “Got a bow on my panties because my ass is a present”.

7. Savages - Marina And The Diamonds (2015)

Although Marina quite explicitly and intentionally wasn't making music for the radio with her most recent album, this song was an instant fan favorite when the album leaked earlier this year. Marina wrote the entire album herself and co-produced it with only one producer. This is in sharp contrast to Electra Heart (2012) in which she worked with numerous hit-makers and A-list producers such as Dr. Luke, Cirkut, Diplo, and Greg Kurstin. Marina certainly learned a thing or two about hit songcraft while with them however, because this track sounds like it easily could have been a collaborative effort between her and one of the big name producers of Electra Heart. That being said, it still is incredibly artistic, intelligent, and memorable. Although certainly not the Hot 100′s next big hit, the song would benefit from a fun video that would help give the talented artist some more fans in the indie-pop and alternative spheres. “Underneath it all we’re just savages, hidden behind shirts, ties, and marriages”.

8. Only Wanna Dance With You - Ke$ha (2012)

A fan favorite ever since the demo leaked, this infectious bubblegum pop song has an alternative appeal that makes it a true standout. The guitar reminiscent of work by the Strokes sets it apart from her usual Dr. Luke jams. That being said, the song is still characteristically catchy as hell. Additional production by Max Martin and Cirkut only gives it additional radio appeal. This could have been a big hit for her if it got the proper radio promotion. “You’re all I wanna do, I only wanna dance with you”. 

On June 16, 2013 I was lucky enough to meet Kesha, and till this day I am so thankful for it. My freshmen year of high school Tik Tok was realeased and blew up the radio and I fell in love with the song and had an instant obsession with her. I was always getting shit for liking Kesha, people would tell me she wasn’t talented and didn’t deserve to be famous and all this other crap. But I stuck to what I believed in and I am glad I did. On June 16, 2013, like I said I was lucky enough to meet her. Before the concert everybody who had purchased tickets to meet her was gathered in an area for an hour or two having drinks, talking and just waiting for the moment to meet her. Finally, everybody gathered up and got into 5 seperate lines each line was taken one at at time to where Kesha was at waiting to meet her animals. My line was the last to get taken and we were waiting by this wall and Kesha was waiting on the otherside. Time passed and I saw people walking after they met Kesha with the hugest smiles on their faces. I couldn’t contain myself any longer. And finally… I was next in line, it was my turn to meet Kesha. I turned the corner and I saw Kesha just waiting for me to walk to corner to greet me. The first thing she said to me was “Oh my God! I love your makeup!” and I began to cry, it just didn’t feel like real life. I am meeting somebody who I have looked up to for a huge part of my life. Somebody who would get me through the darkest/hardest times of my life, when I was in the biggest rut and wouldn’t ever get out out. Well she was complementing me, she told me she loved my makeup, and little did she know about everything she had done and had helped me through. While I was crying she was wiping the tears off my face telling me not to to cry because she didn’t want me to ruin my makeup. I began to tell her how much she meant to me and told her about some gnarly stuff that was going on with my brother and she was listening to it all. She cared about it all. She was talking to me for about 5 minutes when everybody was trying to rush her, but I was lucky enough to have 4 minutes longer than anybody else got. She told me to stay strong, she told me that I was on Earth for a purpose and to not let anybody tell me different. She pulled me in for a hug and told me she loved me. I couldn’t believe it. She said, okay now it’s time to pose for a picture. So we got this picture. When I walked away she said to believe in myself, and that everything is going to work out in the end. But I’m not done yet, my mom and dad were with me, and they got to meet her too, they got to talk to her too. The first thing Kesha said to my mom was “your son is going to be in my prayers.” Her and my mom were talking for about 5 minutes also telling her to stay strong and that everything would be okay. She posed for a picture with my parents and was cracking jokes with my dad. It was one of the happiest days of my life. We went back to the common area where people were having drinks and that’s when Kesha’s cousin came up to us and handed us something that Kesha wrote to my brother. It was a backstage pass that said “To John, Stay Strong. Love Ke$ha”. Now did she really have to do that? No. She did it out of the kindness of her heart. There are very few and in between celebrities that would ever do that. And Kesha is in fact one of them. Kesha is the kindest person and one of the most talented artists ever and I wish people would realize that. Even if you don’t like Kesha’s music I just want everybody to read this story and just realize how great of a person she is because she sure as hell is. She has made the bigggest impact on my life, before meeting her yes, but after meeting her even a bigger one. I see how see is with her animals and how much she appreciates us and how she doesn’t sell out to be somebody she’s not. She tells us to be ourselves and that’s exactly what she is doing. She is one of the best role models out there. And the reason why I am telling this story is because she gets so much shit for being a party girl, or having shitty music. But I just want people to know, that she is one of the greatest people you will ever meet. She appreciates every single one of her fans and she is just amazing. June 13, 2013 has changed my life and I am so happy I was able to meet her. I love you Kesha, thanks for being you.