In case you're wondering what I've been listening to for the past couple of months, here are ten tracks that formed the soundtrack to my American trip. They are clearly all defining anthems of the highest quality, so don't pay too much attention to the rankings. An honourable mention should go to DJ Khaled's "I'm On One", which I was obsessed with for a couple of weeks before coming to my senses.
10. Say Yes - Nicole Scherzinger (Listen)
After years of throwing around insults like Shitzinger and Flopzinger, Nicole turned out to be a total sweetheart when I met her at a showcase. To make matters worse, "Killer Love" is one of the year's best pop albums and I'm now another crappy, soft porn video away from becoming a Scherzy stan. How fucking depressing! One of the highlights from her stunning opus is "Say Yes" and I probably listened to one hundred times over the past couple of months. RedOne finally gave something decent to someone other than Gaga!
9. Just A Kiss - Lady Antebellum (Video)
I've always had a soft spot for the world's most successful country act but hearing "Just A Kiss" on the radio every day in LA sealed the deal. This gorgeous mid-tempo ballad walks the line between pop and country with the grace and skill of 90s Shania. Bring on the album. I'm sick of waiting!
8. Motivation - Kelly Rowland (Video)
Ms Kelly's fuck anthem was unavoidable in the States. Ladies from Alaska to Alabama are raining over their newly inspired men thanks to the latest jam from the most successful (on the R&B airplay chart) child of destiny. I've already written about "Motivation" but it's still pushing my buttons all these months later.
7. Bang Bang Bang - Selena Gomez (Listen)
All hail Selegend! The thinking man's Disney diva is not only riding the holy cock of Biebus, she's also revolutionising popular music with her triumphant album of Britney rejects "When The Sun Goes Down". While everything Selena touches turns to gold, my favourite song on her third offering is pre-release buzz single "Bang Bang Bang". Sure it rips off La Roux and highlights the fact that 18-year-old multiple Grammy winner (in waiting) has a thinner voice than LeAnn Rimes' bikini body but I dare you not to love it.
6. Let Me Down/Dark Side - Kelly Clarkson
The landslide of Kelly Clarkson demos to hit the net in 2011 is extraordinary. Almost as startling as the American Idol winner's inability to lock her computer when ducking out for a McDonald's run is the high quality of the songs. "Let Me Down" and "Dark Side" are brilliant pop/rock anthems with hit potential. Which makes her decision to go with "Mr Know It All" (AKA that shit Bruno Mars B-side) all the more perplexing. Pray that these tracks make the album.
5. Remind Me - Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwoood (Video)
The best country duet since "Islands In The Stream". Enough said.
4. Lift Off - The Throne featuring Beyoncé
Queen B - most successful artist of the millenium and the slayer of your faves - lends her exquisite vocals to her hubby and VMA defender's joint project "Watch The Throne". I find it a difficult album to get into but "Lift Off" clicked intantly. I love the epic feel, the almost retro 60s vibe that runs through it. And Bey tears up that beautiful chorus like a diva possesed. Rihanna lost her wig just listening to this on the radio.
3. Inescapable - Jessica Mauboy (Video)
Earlier this year I met Jess and told her to stop releasing shit singles from an otherwise great pop album. Instead of throwing a drink in my face, she kind of agreed and said she wanted to release "Maze" but was going with a new song called "Inescapable" written by Dianne Warren. I assumed it would be a ballad but I couldn't have been more wrong. This is pure 80s bubblegum pop and I love every second of it. It's her first song with true international appeal since "Burn". Welcome back, baby.
2. Pumped Up Kicks - Foster The People (Video)
Someone told me this jam is actually about a vigilante killer, which is upsetting because it's my happy song. Hearing this on the radio in America never failed to put a smile on my face. I love the quirky little hooks and the fact that it sounds like it was recorded on someone's iPhone. As for the lyrics, I don't understand them, and to be honest, I don't really care. As far as I'm concerned this song is about wearing shiny new shoes or something equally lame.
1. Gucci Gucci - Kreayshawn (below)
The only femcee worth her fake nails broke big this summer. Kreayshawn made the transition from YouTube sensation to genuine pop star with less fuss than anyone in history. "Gucci Gucci" was unavoidable in America and I'm still obsessed. Time will tell if she's a one hit wonder or the next Nicki Minaj but, for the moment, I'm too busy laughing at her amazing rhymes to care. The basic bitches have been put in their place and for that we should all be very grateful!