Happy New Year, Idolator readers! From our Top 10 Albums and Top 10 Singles of 2014, to our reader-selected Albums of 2014, to the Top 14 EPs of 2014 (and yes, even the best butt-baring boys and girls of 2014!), we’ve finally reached the end — and also the best! — part of the list season. Why? Because it’s time to stop looking back and start looking ahead to the future.
We’ve got a ton of promising pop releases to look forward to in 2015, from Rihanna‘s still mostly mysterious, endlessly teased album (dubbed R8) to Kanye West’s Yeezus follow-up to Queen Of Pop Madonna‘s heavily teased (and, disappointingly, thoroughly leaked) Rebel Heart.
Wondering what you should start getting excited for? Check out our 15 most anticipated pop albums of 2015 in the gallery up top, and place your vote for your most anticipated album. Then, let us know what you’re most excited to hear in the comments below. More »
Sure, there were countless moments in 2014 that snatched our wigs, but there were so many more that made us Cissy our Houstons.
Over the last 12 months, music-lovers were treated to quirky delights from Sia and Lana Del Rey and barely survived the painfully basic punch of “All About That Bass” being #1 for umpteen weeks.
Whether you think this was one of the best or worst musical years in history, it’s time to honor those who made it as unforgettable as…well…you know that one singer who was so popular a few years ago…with that one song? What was their name?
Never mind: Idolator’s Floppy Awards are back and ready to crown this year’s kweens and kings of flop! More »
Album sales have dropped precipitously in the last few years, but the format isn’t dead yet, at least when our biggest stars like Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and Justin Timberlake are concerned. But what about a stretch when most of those stars don’t release an album? In a year when Billboard replaced the album with “album equivalent units,” the biggest storyline in pop music was the absence of albums from the likes of Rihanna, Adele, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne. Think back to the buzziest pop moments of the year, and most of them were entirely separate from the album cycle: the “7/11″ video, the Shmoney Dance. Hell, Drake dominated his genre by releasing a few loosies and features.
With this changing role of the LP, the EP has seen a boost in relevance. Once the realm of half-formed ideas, album session scraps, and stopgap material for diehards, the EP is more important than ever as a statement of artistic purpose. For acts fighting to reach that top tier, the EP can help refine an aesthetic or identity, while labels can invest in a viral star and test the waters with an EP instead of rushing to production on a full-length flop for a Kreayshawn scenario.
So big-picture, it may have been a down year for pop, but at the increasingly vibrant EP level, some stellar things happened. Here’s our list of our 14 favorite EPs from 2014. More »
In early November, we asked Idolator readers to vote for their favorite albums from the first half of 2014, and followed that up two weeks ago with a poll featuring LPs released between July and December. And now the results are in, the numbers have been tallied and we’re presenting you with the 10 Best Albums Of 2014, as chosen by you!
Altogether, nearly 74,000 votes were cast for the 40 albums included on both polls, with each album within the Top 10 racking up at least 1,000 of those votes a piece. Two of the albums represented below even wound up on our own 10 Best Albums Of 2014 list, as chosen by the Idolator editors.
Head below to see the results for which 10 albums were voted by you as the best of the best this year! More »
When it comes to one-hit wonder lists, industry critics mainly focus on hip-hop, pop or country hits from the ’80s and ’90s. But what about the true underdogs — the European techno artists? Well today (December 16), that is all going to change! We at Idolator are shaking things up a bit, as we look back at some of the best (and most underrated) euro-dance one-hit wonders from the 2000s.
Save for one exception, the criteria was simple: the artist had to be from a European or British country, and their single had to have cracked the Top 40 of Billboard Hot 100. So throw on some neon glitter, crack open your glowsticks and dance along to our picks after the jump! More »
Truly great albums were hard to come by in 2014, but the land of pop music was flooded with amazing singles over the past 12 months. In fact, we had a field day re-visiting the sounds of this year in order to compile this list, which you’ll find is filled with everything from synthed-up R&B jams to housey club cuts to twangy guitar pop to sassy rap joints.
So let’s just hop to it. Below you’ll find Idolator’s roundup of the 20 Best Pop Singles Of 2014. (Also, if you didn’t already check out our list of the Best Albums Of 2014, it serves as a nice companion piece!) We’ve even thrown in a handy Spotify playlist featuring each track — well, except for the Beyonce one, which we had to substitute with a dodgy, generic “as made famous by” cover version. Enjoy! More »
With 2014 coming to an end, social media networks are taking a look back at the biggest moments in pop culture over the past year, including Spotify and YouTube. (Did you watch the YouTube Rewind yet?)
And today, Twitter’s giving us the lowdown on the highest numbers.
According to new data released by the social network, it’s a great, big Belieber world: Justin Bieber was the most tweeted-about artist of 2014, followed by One Direction‘s Niall, Harry and Liam. (Sorry, Zayn!)
And it’s probably a wise move on the NFL’s part to have Prism princess Katy Perry as their Super Bowl half time show act, because she had the highest growth in followers (13 million!) this year, followed closely by the Biebs and Miss Taylor Swift.
To no one’s surprise, when it comes to stans, Bieber’s wildly loyal fanbase (the Beliebers) also took the crown as the most talked about fan base on Twitter, followed by 1D’s Directioners and, somewhat more surprisingly, Kesha‘s Animals.
Were you one of the ones tweeting or following Katy, 1D and Justin this year? Check out the full lists below via Variety, and sound off about the stats in the comments below. More »
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… Okay, scratch that, because no one is ever going to declare that 2014 was a bang-up year as far as pop music is concerned.
Sure, there were some big releases over the past 12 months. But nothing, save for maybe Taylor Swift‘s 1989, felt like a real moment. Oh, by the way, sorry Swifties — didn’t mean to get your hopes up just now. 1989 didn’t make the cut for our own Best Albums roundup.
What you will find are 10 albums that Idolator’s editors selected from artists who make up both pop’s new crop of talent and well-seasoned veterans. Our tastes proved to be eclectic this year: R&B, house, pop, rock, electro and soul are all represented here, underscoring the fact that while Beyonce and Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry and Rihanna skipped 2014 as far as releasing new LPs goes, there were still some great sounds worth hearing.
So let’s get to them… More »
Synth-pop has never really gone away since breaking into the mainstream with a little help from Gary Numan and MTV in the ‘80s, but the genre has certainly fallen in and out of favor since then.
As luck would have it, we’ve been riding high on a synth spike for about 10 years now, with things really exploding in the late aughts as Passion Pit, La Roux, chillwave, and Lady Gaga helped spark a renewed interest the sounds of noodly keyboards and syrupy hooks.
Modern triumphs for the genre continued to pile up, and soon enough M83’s “Midnight City” accompanied a Victoria’s Secret commercial just as Drive’s ‘80s-mimicking space disco soundtrack amassed rave reviews. At the moment, Chvrches carries the torch for the durable category, but just this year dozens of new acts wielding Moogs, Korgs, Casios, and maybe even keytars entered the fray. So we’ve compiled some of our favorites from this new crop to see what could be on the horizon for the genre. Check out these 14 under-the-radar synth-pop acts we fell in love with in 2014. More »
In 2013, top acts like Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry chucked out their most recent pop albums. Given the absence of those heavyweights — and the fact that Rihanna has taken an unusually long break from releasing music — this past year proved to be a window of opportunity through which many new acts jumped.
Yes, 2014 created a sort of vacuum wherein, if you were an artist who had a solid viral-ready video under your belt, a rabid, established following on YouTube, an inclination for ’90s house music or a connection with, say, Justin Bieber‘s manager, you could mark your territory on the pop landscape — much like the 21 artists we’ve highlighted above did! More »