2013 - what a year! We laughed, we cried, we saw parts of Miley Cyrus we can never un-see. Now 2014 is looming and the days are numbered til that Times Square Ball drops harder than a Beyoncé album. The annual scramble to make (or avoid) plans is on, and the last thing you need to worry about is what you're going to listen to, so I've picked out 10 must-have songs for any NYE playlist to get you on the right (sound)track. And, if you happen to be staying in that night, you can catch me doing a much more "family friendly" countdown as I spin and co-host the Teen Nick New Year's Eve special with Nick Cannon.
1. "Dance Apocalyptic" - Janelle Monae
As we delve deeper into the 2000's, we can always be sure that somewhere, someone is claiming this is our last year on Earth. In fact, according to Norse mythology, the Viking apocalypse, formally known as "Ragnarok" will be upon us February 22nd, 2014. That said, we've really no choice but to dance our way through the turn of the year.
2. "Things Can Only Get Better" - Cedric Gervais & Howard Jones
Things can only get better...or at least that's what I like to tell myself every year around December 31st when I make a bunch of New Year's Resolutions I will never maintain. The proverbial "fresh slate" the Universe affords us annually has arrived, so here's to pretending we're going to be completely changed men and women in 2014!
3. "New Year's Eve" - Snoop Dogg ft. Marty James
Though so much of hip hop is celebratory, there are very few songs solely dedicated to the festivities on NYE. Of these few, it seems only fitting that Snoop Dogg would have the most renowned. It's hard to believe it didn't make the final cut for his 2011 Doggumentary album, but I'm glad it managed to surface nonetheless.
4. "Y.A.L.A." - M.I.A.
Dearly beloved, we have gathered here today to say our goodbyes to both 2013 and "Y.O.L.O." The acronym went through the cycle of all things cool- first gaining popularity after Drake's "The Motto" (released at the end of 2011), and slowly making its way into urban vernacular over 2012, naturally spreading next to frat houses, then suburban teenagers, and eventually rolling off the tongues of soccer moms everywhere. M.I.A. cleverly let the end of the "Y.O.L.O." era be known this October with her song "Y.A.L.A." (You Always Live Again), which points out the ridiculousness of the original acronym and reminds us that karma is real - something we could all keep in mind as we head into the new year.
5. "Auld Lang Syne" - Red Hot Chili Peppers
My true favorite rendition of this song is Jimi Hendrix' at his 1969 Live at Filmore East concert, but I put that on my list last year so for the sake of changing it up I thought the RHCP version would do just fine. A few years ago the band took to performing their take on the classic NYE song on a tour through Europe.
6. "Take Me Home" - Cash Cash ft. Bebe Rexha
It's been quite a year for Cash Cash and with their high energy single "Take Me Home" taking over pop radio airwaves, you are sure to hear much more from them in 2014. After a long night of drinking and dancing you might find yourself singing it to someone you've partied with -- or, at very least, a cab driver.
7. "Bound 2 (Solidisco Remix)" - Kanye West
As much as I love Kanye West, I actually prefer this fun upbeat remix of his latest release "Bound 2" to the original. Maybe it's because I prefer not to conjure the mental image of the softcore porn he and fiancé Kim Kardashian tried to pull off as the music video for the song. If there's any time to take the lyrics "Just grab somebody, no leaving this party with nobody to love" literally, NYE is it.
8. "Turn Down For What" - DJ Snake & Lil Jon
Because there is actually no reason to turn down. Ever.
9. "Funky New Year" - The Eagles
Classic song by a classic band. No matter what you do to bring in 2014, may it be funky.
10. "Hallelujah" - Bonnie McKee (Leonard Cohen Cover)
There's just something about hearing this song after a long night of partying. Regarded widely as one of the best written songs of all time, Bonnie McKee (a legend amongst pop songwriters and a recording artist herself) nails this cover of the Leonard Cohen classic released just before Christmas this year. In my experience deejaying I find it goes over swimmingly as a final song, containing both the melancholy feel of a night's end and a familiarity that facilitates an amazing (drunk) group sing-along.