Jan 15

The Freaky Trigger Readers’ Poll 2014: #40-#31

FT16 comments • 878 views

daftpunk“Greetings from the future, pop lovers! We are robot pop duo Daft Punk and we’re happy to be kicking off the 2014 Freaky Trigger Readers’ Poll! We’re definitely not bitter about there being no 2013 poll (one excellent human voted for us this year anyway – your place in cybernetic heaven is assured). One more time: we’re not bitter AT ALL. If you want to see bitter, you should see all the red pen on Robin Thicke’s Christmas Card list! Anyway, a whole bunch of you biological entities from around the world voted this year and the list is harder, better, faster and stronger than we possibly could have imagined!”

Thanks Daft Punk! Without further ado, here’s #40-#31:

40. “I Will Never Let You Down” – Rita Ora

Rita Orrr-a, we adore ‘er, doing things in her very special way! When not casting spells on inanimate objects, Rita wears brightly coloured clothes, including a wizarding hat that opens up to reveal a miniature Calvin Harris (and a matching miniature drum machine). I’m not sure where this description is going but the chorus is catchy.

39. “#Selfie” – Chainsmokers

“Who goes out on Monday?” Excellent social commentary over a sub-Benassi vworp with one solitary chord.

38. “Let It Go” – Idina Menzel

The cold never bothered her anyway! If you have small children then it’s likely you know how this goes off by heart; I’ve not seen Disney’s Frozen but thanks to “Let It Go”‘s 52 weeks (!) in the 2014 UK charts I am more than familiar with its excellent ‘fuck the haters’ message. However I’d recommend skipping the last 30 seconds where Idina attains a piercing register that surely would shatter any ice castle she’d magically built in the first 3 minutes.

37. “That’s Not Me” – Skepta ft JME

I can confirm that Skepta’s blorpy bloo beats have trumped Wiley’s in this year’s poll! (Let’s hope this doesn’t cause another Barnet Beef.) This track starts with Skepta announcing that he’s put all his Gucci clothes in the bin and ends with his little bro JME describing their video as having a ‘nostalgic backdrop’. Aww.

36. “Hey QT” – QT

Part of me is pleased that I am not down with the kids enough to understand what the hell is going on with PC Music and its spawn, another part is pleased that understanding PC Music is absolutely not required in order to enjoy it. Disclaimer: I used to watch the Chipmunks TV show on a regular basis.

35. “Problem” – Ariana Grande ft Iggy Azalea

Somehow I managed to miss this one until compiling this poll. Ariana is the little one with the topknot, Iggy is the taller one who can’t pronounce consonants. If it weren’t for Iggy’s presence and the weird C&C Music Factory sax line, I could see Ciara totally bossing this track.

34. “Nobody To Love” – Sigma

The beats on this D’n’B may be of the weaker variety in my book, but the sentiment is unquestionably lovely.

33. “Fancy” – Iggy Azalea ft Charli XCX

Its use on the X Factor bumpers wore me down into liking this, even though there is bugger all to it outside Charli’s chorus hook. Bonus points for the Clueless-homage video and the multiple spellings of ‘Azailea’ received in the votes for this (and “Problem”).

32. “i” – Kendrick Lamar

The scourge of case-sensitive spreadsheet ordering! This has a whacking great Isley Brothers sample, with a beefed up bassline and Kendrick muttering self-improving syllables over the top – a world away from “Swimming Pools (Drank)”.

31. “Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)” – Run The Jewels ft Zach de la Rocha

Wash your mouths out, young gentlemen! For those of you whose rap references haven’t been updated since 1989, Run The Jewels are closer in style to Public Enemy than NWA. This is noisy and very listenable even if you hate Rage Against The Machine.

#30-#21 coming soon!


  1. 1
    katstevens on 5 Jan 2015 #

    I can’t believe I managed to get the Youtube embeds right first time!

  2. 2
    Tom on 5 Jan 2015 #

    Thanks Kat!

    Rita grew on me; I like Skepta, some proper finger-jabbing grime this; I’m immune to the parping pleasures of Ig’n’Ari, let alone Ig on her relative own (is this the last we’ll see of Charli XCX? I’m guessing not); QT sounds better the cheaper the equipment you listen to it on; I witnessed the Let It Go wars at first hand and am too shellshocked to offer opinion now; Kendrick, Chainsmokers, and Run The Jewels I will report back on; and Sigma I voted for but man! that video is DREADFUL, I saw a “Number Ones Of 2014: The Videos” special over Christmas on Smash Hits TV and “Nobody To Love” is somehow completely typical of them and also the worst of the lot…

  3. 3
    Andrew Farrell on 5 Jan 2015 #

    I’m fresh to the wars, and amazed at Let It Go so low, for better or worse (spoilers: better) the tune of 2014.

  4. 4
    weej on 5 Jan 2015 #

    YAY! Been looking forward to this way too much. Doing my own countdown over here of anyone’s interested. Nobody is? Oh.

    On to business then.

    Rita Ora – sooner or later she’s going to get a great song handed to her and I’ll have to give in. This isn’t *quite* it. But nearly.
    Chainsmokers – You can say what you like about Hitler, but at least he isn’t responsible for #Selfie. Worst thing I heard in 2014, and I’m including UKIP Calypso in that.
    Let It Go – My kid has been singing Xiao Pingguo instead, guess that’s slightly better? Maybe?
    Skepta & JME – Yeah, it’s ok, bit concerned that someone has stolen my initials to record something called That’s Not Me though. Is this a dream?
    QT – Agh, why isn’t this in the top ten at least? The next 35 records better be amazing.
    Ariana & Iggy – OTM there with “Iggy’s presence and the weird C&C Music Factory sax line” being the problems. I’d add the the “one less problem” guy’s voice, sounds like it’s from an 80s Calvin Klein advert.
    Sigma – Oh, this is good, oh hold on that’s just the intro. Song itself is, hm, :-/ – would prefer some of the actual good drum & bass music that came out last year, but there wasn’t that much for some reason.
    Iggy & Charlie – What is the point of Iggy Azalea exactly? Find her deeply problematic so far. Charli XCX is great as ever, but her part sounds like it was recorded in a separate continent as she was passing by the studio for a couple of minutes.
    Kendrick – Something just hasn’t clicked with me here. It’s ok, he’s ok.
    RTJ – ok, very good, but Oh My Darling Don’t Cry is superior and I’m willing to bet a tenner it won’t appear in this poll.

  5. 5
    Mark M on 5 Jan 2015 #

    OK, so I voted for Ariana, Skepta and Kendrick – I have many of the same issues others have with Iggy, but find her absorbable in small doses; but I actively like the hook and don’t mind the creepy bloke, and I really like Ariana’s voice. I’m generally vaguely pro-grime but need something to grab me – That’s Not Me certainly does that. Kendrick – great sample used brilliantly… still undecided on his rapping as a whole, but it works here.

    Otherwise: I quite like I Will Never Let You Down – it’s been a near-constant on the pop video channels without becoming an annoyance. Selfie – like the words, not so much the track. Let It Go – as an uncle rather than a dad, at least I’ve only heard it sung by kids a few dozen times – that’s plenty though. QT – I’m baffled. Nobody To Love – sorry, I can’t get with dance AOR at all and the song is as lethally dull as the video. Fancy – too much Iggy, props for the vid though. Close Your Eyes – RTJ have got better stuff than this.

  6. 6
    Jo C. on 5 Jan 2015 #

    I voted for ‘Nobody To Love’ because it took the only bit I like out of ‘Bound 2’ by Kanye West and repeated it over and over and over, but I’m amazed that enough other people thought this was a good idea that it got to number one!

  7. 7
    James BC on 6 Jan 2015 #

    Rita for me is a good example of a perfectly accomplished pop song that has nothing to specifically like about it.

    Should have voted for #Selfie but forgot all about it. Probably there are tons of deserving oversights from the early part of the year – do some people keep a list as they go along?

    Quite surprisingly for a track cooked up in the studio, Sigma was the best performance on the Christmas TOTP this year.

  8. 8
    Rory on 6 Jan 2015 #

    The 2012 poll tipped me off to some great new stuff, so I’m looking forward to this one making up for a year of listening mostly to late ’90s music via Popular. I’m not really expecting many of my own picks to make it onto the list, but fingers crossed for the top two, at least.

    I quite like the Rita Ora track. “#Selfie” is amusing as satire, probably unlistenable after the first few times. At least I’m down with the kids (aged 3-7) enough to know “Let It Go” well, and don’t mind it, although Frozen had other songs I enjoyed more.

    After that… hmm. QT stands out, but I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Ariana Grande looks and sounds a bit like a Tina Arena for the ’10s. Nothing much really grabbing me yet. Let’s see what 30-21 have in store.

  9. 9
    Rory on 6 Jan 2015 #

    #4: Hitler would so have been into selfies. You can just picture him throwing a Nazi salute with an iPhone at the end of it.

  10. 10
    DCM on 6 Jan 2015 #

    Fun fact — Prince was responsible for the “cold never bothered me anyway” line in *Frozen* which, having seen it, I can now say is the best thing about *Frozen* (not bad, not as good as *Tangled* let alone 90s Disney Renaissance or top-shelf Pixar).

  11. 11
    DCM on 6 Jan 2015 #

    WHY DO I SNOPES THINGS AFTER I POST COMMENTS WITH ODDLY PROFESSIONAL LOOKING PHOTOS OF ME ATTACHED TO THEM http://www.washingtonpost.com/express/wp/2014/05/04/no-prince-did-not-help-write-let-it-go/

  12. 12
    thefatgit on 6 Jan 2015 #

    I honestly believed I hadn’t heard enough 2014 tunes to take part in this poll, but surprise surprise! I have heard Iggy/Charli and Ariana/Iggy (I guess Iggy is a Marmite artist for most), Let It Go was unavoidable and I don’t even have young kids (my 27 y.o. daughter loved it), Chainsmokers was one of those that once you’ve heard it it can’t be unheard, and Sigma only entered my consciousness via “Bound 2” so not sure if it counts as one I’m familiar with. The song’s ok/meh but that video doesn’t do it for me at all.

    The rest? Rita Ora’s effort is forgettable. Skepta didn’t do a Beach Boys cover although he sounds like Wiley a bit, maybe? My Grime knowledge is less than nuanced to be fair. I would be pleasantly surprised if Flowdan featured somewhere in the poll (guess we’ll have to wait and see). QT sounds cheap and cheerful, designed to annoy the bejeezus out of people like me, but that just makes me like it more. Like Weej above, I don’t get Kendrick Lamar, but I’m loving that lush funk backdrop. Run The Jewels are new to me. Tempted to investigate further.

  13. 13
    swanstep on 7 Jan 2015 #

    Does anyone else find that that the first half of the Run The Jewels track borrows the vocal rhythm of ‘Gucci Gucci Prada Prada’ from a couple of years back? And isn’t ‘#Selfie’ just a rehash of Knife Party’s ‘Internet Friends’ from the same period? I assume we’ll be hearing a lot more from Charli XCX later – her ‘Fancy’ middle eight ‘let’s get drunk In the minibar’ is fab but Iggy A. herself is a drag.

    Anyhow, ‘Let It Go’ towers over this lot!

  14. 14
    koganbot on 8 Jan 2015 #

    I’ve got two tracks in here, which is already one more than I had in 2012. A great sign that participation in the poll is declining my estrangement from the world is decreasing. I expect one more track to score as well, courtesy of a former Axis power, so hurray!

  15. 15
    koganbot on 8 Jan 2015 #

    I should’ve checked Snopes, er… rechecked the actual 2012 results before posting. The record shows that four of my tracks made the cut in 2012. Hmmm, could a fourth make it this year? There are a couple possibilities out there. My money’s still on three. Also, I think it possible that, if Kat had counted down from 50, another track for which Hitler could take no credit would also have made the grade.

  16. 16
    flahr on 8 Jan 2015 #

    Zero so far, although I made two clangingly obvious choices and think I might even get to three in total.

    “Let It Go” is worthwhile as far as I’m concerned just because of how bitter Jameela Jamil is about it every week.

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