kesha*

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”. 

‘’I’ve had a lot of ups and downs. It’s been quite a journey. [With the criticism], I went to a dark place. There was a lot of not eating—and I started to think being hungry to the point of feeling almost faint was a positive thing. The worse it got, the more positive feedback I was getting. Inside I was really unhappy, but outside, people were like, ‘Wow, you look great.'‘’ - Kesha for VOGUE