Before we get started, I'm obliged to mention that it felt like everyone passing by a microphone, laptop or iPhone felt the need to underscore the fact that Rihanna and Drizzy's vocals aren't up to par. Thus, there are entirely too many versions of "Stay" and "Hold On We're Going Home" circulating 'round these interwebz. One surprising rendition of "Stay" made my list.
In all, these stellar covers and remixes stole my heart this year. Quite a few of them are better than the originals.
Sam Smith, “Do I Wanna Know,” (Arctic Monkeys cover) Live at Maida Vale. I felt his voice in the back of my uterus. And I thought he was a brother at first. Performance of the year.
30 Seconds to Mars, "Stay,” (Rihanna cover), Live at BBC One. Everybody and their mother covered this song, but sexy grown-up Jordan Catalano Jared Leto absolutely slayed it and its hatchlings. And he’s a very, very, very beautiful man and I wonder what his hair and neck smell like.
CyHi the Prynce feat. B.O.B., “A-Town” (Remix) Repping the South so hard with shouts out to the Braves, red clay, “candy lady” aunties, and I-20 over a bangin’ beat. The audacity! And B.O.B.’s verse had me rolling. You can take a girl outta the country, but...
Elli Ingram, "Poetic Justice” (Retrial--Kendrick Lamar Cover) Who has the nerve to grab a track from one of the most
The Wknd, “Wanderlust” (Pharrell Remix) Should "The Walking Dead" ever happen in real life, I envision the zombie King of Pop slooowly moonwalking straight to Pharrell's house to return the bite. Sexy jam, though.
Artful Dodger feat. Zoe Kypri, “No I Turn You On” (Disclosure Remix) I would be remiss if I didn't include at least one Disclosure remix. The original happened a million years ago, but this version made it club-worthy again. Actually, the original's still pretty awesome.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., “If You Didn’t See Me (Then You Weren’t on the`Dancefloor),” (DATA Remix) It was fun, and I liked the lyrics. Pretty simple.
Taylor Swift, “I Knew You Were Trouble” (Cosmic Dawn Remix). If you're a woman who doesn't like the original or at least this remix, your ovaries are made of the blackest of coal and we can never be friends.
The third and final post of my year-end music series will be posted on Friday. I'll hand out my version of senior superlatives, reveal my favorite new artists, ID the visionaries who should have gotten Grammy nods, and give props to this year's hometown heroes. If you can't name one contemporary D.C. artist other than the one there really shouldn't be much ado about...*cough*...you're slacking.