Bare-bones masterpiece, at once grandiloquent and self-effacing.
29. “Dancing On My Own” – Robyn
The throbbing dance beat elevates a simple tale of loneliness and a woman scorned to high tragedy.
28. “24 Hours” – Sky Ferreira
Pop songs can both compress and expand the sensation of time. We have so little, yet it can be so full.
27. “Say Something” – A Great Big World featuring Christina Aguilera
Melancholic pop song about the knife’s-edge of a breakup, elevated by Ms. Aguilera’s beautifully complementary vocals.
26. “I Will Never Let You Down” – Rita Ora
Irresistible invitation to love, sparkling with Calvin Harris’s dance-pop production.
25. “Stereo Hearts” – Gym Class Heroes featuring Adam Levine
Powerhouse pop/rap crossover centered on an adorable metaphor.
24. “Problem” – Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea
Pop songs are usually either about the beginning or the end of love. This one is somehow about both at once. And oh, that raunchy saxophone.
23. “Waiting for the End” – Linkin Park
Stretching toward maturity and realizing you’re not there yet. Rap and rock combined at their most (knowingly) bombastic.
22. “Black Skinhead” – Kanye West
For a mainstream artist, Yeezy spends a lot of time at the frontiers of radio-friendly sound. I love it. Political in the best way.
21. “Cheers (Drink to That)” – Rihanna
Rih Rih samples Avril — Barbados meets Canada. Quite a cocktail, that.