The Best Singles of 2014, #10

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10. Ariana Grande, “Break Free”

Even though the girl displays an incredible knack for poor, lazy enunciation, Ariana Grande has the most potential of any pre-fab American pop star since Kelly Clarkson. Possessing a monster voice, a marketable image, and helped out by some very smart producers – a whopping two dozen of them worked on her 2014 album My Everything – she’s a record label exec’s dream, and better yet, her music is surprisingly not repulsive. Especially “Break Free”, an irresistible electro house tune written by Max Martin (who else?) and co-produced by young phenom Zedd. Perhaps the big reason I personally find the track so appealing is because it’s far more European in its style than American: bright-eyed, sunny, a shameless club banger, and not very far removed from Robyn, sans the lyrical eloquence. Plus, the Barbarella-inspired video is fun. Yeah, she still has to learn how to pronounce her words, but her mush-mouthed singing strangely works well on this track. She has to bweak fwee, and can’t wesist it no mo. And neither can we. Good for you, Awiana. Your appointment with Professor Higgins awaits.

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