[Music] Top 35 Tracks of 2013 (#35 – #21)

35. Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines [feat. Pharrell and T.I.], Blurred Lines

Available from iTunes

YouTube-Bans-RB-Singers-Video-+18-2As divisive as the track may be, it would be churlish to ignore Robin Thicke’s monstrously successful ode to dodgy dance floor-based ethics when summing up the last year in music. The presence of the currently infallible Pharrell Williams and a warm, Marvin Gaye-aping instrumental – not to mention a notoriously ‘stripped-back’ promo video – combined to create a heady cocktail that had punters checking their social consciousnesses at the door. For better or for worse, “Blurred Lines” is the sound of pure carnal lust left unspoiled by the pressures of political correctness.

34. Britney Spears – Work Bitch, Britney Jean

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It would seem the record-buying public didn’t appreciate the irony of being told to work harder by one of the laziest ladies in pop, which may explain their apathy towards the first offering from Spears’ eighth studio album, Britney Jean. Following the ubiquity of last year’s “Scream & Shout”, launching with a Will.i.am-penned banger was a no-brainer, but no one could anticipate that their reunion could yield a song as devoid of grey matter as “Work Bitch”. What the track lacks in brains, however, it makes up for with the strength of its steely balls. Eschewing any form of tangible structure, relying on only a hard, repetitive beat and Spears’ trademark British accent, the song feels as alien to the wants of radio as the woman singing it feels removed from the wants of the industry, and in that sense it makes for a fascinating listen.

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Letter to an Ex, Part 2

by Robert Gould

I can’t hate you more than you hated me.
Unlike you, he kisses me in public;
I shook when he did it for the first time
in a crowded street, under Christmas lights.
I was afraid of what people would think,
of the contortions their faces would make
when they saw what I had always hidden
behind closed doors, between cold sheets.
He felt no shame in being seen with me,
and yet he couldn’t wait to take me home.

And I don’t care if this lasts forever,
or if it fades as fast as your love did.
It’s enough to know that I can be loved
like I deserve to be – in broad daylight.

Letter to an Ex

by Robert Gould

One day I saw a couple holding hands.
Were it not for his grasp, she would have slipped
on a path encrusted with winter’s sand.
My respect for this stranger slowly dipped

as I thought of all you preached to me
each night in between puffs of something foul
about the dangers of dependency.
I used to hang on every vowel.

For the longest time, I pitied this girl.
I thought of the faith she placed in his care.
It plucked at my nerves, and drove my toes to curl
to think she had the strength to dare,

to trust someone enough to take their hand.
It was a cold day in a lonely town,
and if her heels gave way, she knew this man
would ensure she’d never hit the ground.

Pins

by Robert Gould

A pouch of pins haunts this home of mine.
He does not relent when they pierce the lining,
for light and dark in his head now entwine.

Like mistletoe suckles at the sycamore’s spine,
he’s pretty enough when he’s publically dining.
A pouch of pins haunts this home of mine.

Nobody cares that I’ve married a swine.
My love is a quarry he’s eternally mining,
for light and dark in his head now entwine.

With this house aflame, I know I’d be fine.
My distress bared to the world so that it is shining:
A pouch of pins haunts this home of mine.

To be rid of this man, I would cross every line.
But it is I whose strength is slowly declining,
for light and dark in his head now entwine.

He sits back with a glass of luxurious wine.
I feel pricks in my skin as I watch him reclining.
A pouch of pins haunts this home of mine,
for light and dark in his head now entwine.

Million Dollar Bill

by Robert Gould

You can expect the worst from this woman.
Every day she sculpts the night like clay,
like a bad tour guide with a god complex;
her demands are final and most unfair.
From bar to bar you go with modest hope
that perhaps she will find some kind of mate,
a man with low standards and cash to burn.
But when she pulls, she pulls the veil away,
and reveals her truly toxic nature –
whether he leaves or stays tests his morale.

But her wit makes her hard to fully hate.
Each fight concludes with some clever critique:
“If I’m a million dollar bill,” she barks,
“then you’re the change I get back at the till.”