2013 In Review: 10 Idolator Reads From The Past Year You Absolutely Should Not Miss

Idolator Staff | December 31, 2013 10:47 am

STOP THE CLOCK AND PUT DOWN THE HOOCH, POP FANATICS! We can’t let 2013 end without one last post wishing you all the best for a happy and healthy new year. Likewise, we’re a bit worried you may have missed some of the at-times brash, slightly outrageous and altogether entertaining pop music coverage here on Idolator — and so we rounded up 10 of the biggest culprits from the past 12 months below.

From an in-depth view inside Beyonce‘s insanely loyal Hive of fans to a conspiracy theory on the suspicious similarities between Eminem and Kanye West‘s latest lyrics to a sitdown with one of the most listenable (yet extremely underrated) British music producers of the modern era, these were just two handfuls of the highlights of the writing that appeared on Idolator in 2013.

A Look Inside The BeyHive by Mike Wass (@mikewassmusic): Beyonce rules the most notorious and, as I’ve come to learn, misunderstood fiefdom on the net. Not only do the Beys have their own unique lexicon (more about that later), their sting is legendary. A run in with the BeyHive reportedly made one Little Monster delete his Twitter and beg Lady Gaga for a ride in the Born Brave Bus to recover. But there’s more to this fascinating bunch than strange nicknames and crushing insults.

Eminem’s MMLP2 Contains Secret Kanye West Allusions by Carl Williott (@cwilliott): Kanye West has become so ubiquitous, and his influence so unavoidable in hip-hop, that — I believe — the spirit of Yeezus has somehow burrowed into the dark recesses of Em’s brain and he subsequently packaged MMLP2 tracks with secret allusions to past Kanye songs. After West’s rant following the 2009 VMAs emerged, we learned that Kanye was keeping tabs on Slim Shady, and upped his game in response. Is it so crazy to think Em’s been keeping an eye on West, too?

Why Did The Big Divas Disappoint In 2013? by Sam Lansky (@samlansky): The divas disappointed me this year. There was an absence of tension and depth, on Perry’s shallowly inspirational Prism and Spears’ confused Britney Jean, and a deficit of cohesion and clarity on Bangerz and ARTPOP. And pop — that most readily dismissed genre, my favorite genre of all — demands all those qualities to feel anything but disposable.

Giorgio Moroder’s Biggest Music Moments by Robbie Daw (@chartrigger): Giorgio’s longtime collaborator and close friend Donna Summer passed away one year ago today, at the age of 63. The disco queen kept her battle with lung cancer private, but it’s Summer’s enduring legacy of revered songs like “I Feel Love,” “Last Dance,” “MacArthur Park” and “Bad Girls” that lives on. To commemorate the first year since the passing of Summer and celebrate the extensive work of Moroder, we reached out to the producer, who turned out to be as thoughtful as he is candid.

Clueless Soundtrack: A Way Existential Look Back by Alexander Cho (@alexcho47): While we were all busy waiting for our noisy modems to connect to AOL and trying to figure out what the hell a Kato Kaelin was, an unassuming little movie about a Beverly Hills teen with a heart of gold and a fully motorized closet burst into theaters and made an indelible mark on pop culture — and pop music — history.

The Beginning Of The End Of Pop’s EDM Era by Carl Williott (@cwilliott): If 2011 is the year EDM-pop broke out, then 2013 is the year it broke. EDM, dance music, electro, dubstep, whatever you call it, it’s not over, of course. But that particularly exhausting strain of EDM-infused pop — the buzzing synths, wobbling bass and that now-predictable moment of tension before the whole arrangement crashes down in euphoric grandeur — is in steady decline, now a tiresome trope on the level of late ’90s rock singers emulating Eddie Vedder.

Richard X Presents His X-Factor, Vol. 1: The Producer Reflects by John Hamilton (@ForeverHamilton): One part greatest-hits collection, one part Bizarro World NOW! compilation, His X-Factor had nothing to do with the televised talent competition of the same name (a mere coincidence that nonetheless caused record company headaches) and everything to do with forging a new and exciting pop sound.

Pet Shop Boys Discuss Electric, Their Euphoric Summer Album by Robbie Daw (@chartrigger): Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe are in the mood to dance. As Pet Shop Boys, the two have been pairing commentary on the ups and downs of love, nightlife, politics and history with lush pop compositions for nearly 30 years. The quantity and quality of their output is staggering — LPs, compilations, film scores, plays, a ballet, books, one-off singles and production work for other artists fill their vast catalog — and the UK duo’s 12th studio album Electric stands among their best.

Britney Spears’ Pop Report Card: We Grade Her Albums by Jonathan Riggs (@FarleyFlavors): While Britney has shared her secret “album 8 recipe” with us — including its apparently show-stopping centerpiece —looking back on her catalog is making us hungry for that particularly delicious Britney Spears brand of pop. Let’s see how well her previous efforts have stood the test of time.

Madonna’s Ray Of Light Turns 15: Backtracking by Stephen Sears (@xolondon): Madonna had a history of launching albums with killer singles. Ray Of Light arrived on March 3, 1998, and, prior to that, most hardcore fans of the singer can remember where they were when they first heard the oceanic strings and burping synths that lead “Frozen.”

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.