This week’s roundup features the return of everyone’s favorite bratty punk-pop princess, some throwback U.K. ’90s house goodness, and a legend-size collaboration from the Queen of Lotuses herself.
1.) Avril Lavigne, “Give You What You Like”
She might not have been as visible as some of the other pop ladies of 2013, but rest assured: Avril Lavigne‘s new self-titled album is legit. Actually, Avril Lavigne‘s one of the best pop records of the year! Not that it should come as a surprise — she’s consistently penned top-notch pop-rock radio anthems and heartbreaking ballads for more than a decade now.
“Give You What You Like” is one of the album’s most devastating, chilly ballads. “Please wrap your drunken arms around me,” Avril starts, “And I’ll let you call me yours tonight.” It’s a bleary-eyed, Evanescence-sounding slow jam (makes sense, ex-member David Hodges cowrote the track) that sees the singer at her most fragile. Prepare for all of the tears.
+ Listen to AVRIL LAVIGNE’S “GIVE YOU WHAT YOU LIKE.”
Listen to more Must-Hear Pop Songs after the jump.
2.) A Great Big World, “Say Something” featuring Christina Aguilera
The Beatles once sang: “Take a sad song and make it better.” This is exactly what they meant. “Say Something,” the tender ballad by NYC-based duo A Great Big World, just got a surprise rerecording by the Legend X herself. Christina Aguilera keeps it surprisingly stripped — taking a backseat and supplying background vocals, mostly — yet unsurprisingly beautiful. This is a song for true lovers of ballads.
3.) Röyksopp, “Running To The Sea (Villa Remix)”
A few months ago, Norwegian electro duo Röyksopp dropped “Running To The Sea” — their luscious collaboration with Susanne Sundfør and one of the year’s best understated electro-pop surprises. After climbing into the Top 20 back at home, the track’s (mercifully) being exported overseas and into the U.K. on Dec. 16.
The newly premiered Villa remix of the song gives the icy original a slight, synth-y disco stomp. It’s still as sad-sounding and haunting as ever, but at least your feet will feel a little bit happier on the dance floor.
+ Listen to RÖYKSOPP’S “RUNNING TO THE SEA (VILLA REMIX).”
4.) Kimberly Cole, “Found Better”
We’ve been buzzin’ on about Kimberly Cole for a while now — remember last year’s summer jam “U Make Me Wanna“? Well, she’s back for more, and this time, she’s pissed. “Found Better” is a reggae-laced EDM kiss-off track that sees Kimberly throwing up the deuces to a dude who didn’t recognize her. “Once you realize you had the best, the best just found better,” she cockily declares above a slapping beat.
+ Listen to KIMBERLY COLE’S “FOUND BETTER.”
5.) Katy B, “I Like You”
An add-on from her 5 AM EP out last week, “I Like You” keeps the throwback sounds coming: “I like you a little bit,” the dance floor diva croons across a slick four-to-the-floor disco beat. For best results, sandwich this one in between Disclosure and AlunaGeorge in your party playlists — you’ll be glad you did.
+ Listen to KATY B’S “I LIKE YOU.”
Bradley Stern is a writer from New York. In his spare time, he enjoys organizing his Britney Spears CD collection in reverse chronological order and writing impassioned letters to Congress urging that Madonnalogy be taught in all public schools. But most of all, he spends his time tweeting and musing daily about pop music on his blog, MuuMuse.
Photo credit: Epic, Wall Of Sound, Astralwerks, Crystal Ship Music, Columbia