Just a Guy’s monthly music article includes the hottest songs of January 2014. The restrictions are simple, the album or the song must have been released during the month in review. So as to encourage musical diversification, we only select one song per album per artist. With all the stipulations out of the way, let’s take a look at the best songs from January.
Bruce Springsteen – American Skin (41 Shots)
Technically not a new song, but the Boss does what the Boss wants. Springsteen released High Hopes, essentially a collection of rarities and b-sides that he reworked into new material. “American Skin” was a haunting song when it was first written in 2000 and has taken on a new meaning today. Clocking in at seven and a half minutes there’s a lot of energy here. It’s probably best to hear the live version, but this version is still powerful and moving.
Bad Things – Anybody
You know the Bad Things even if you’ve never heard them. The band features a very prominent member in Shaun White (yes, Olympic snowboarding legend Shaun White) as well as some other music lifers you might know. “Anybody” is the opening track of their new album and it’s a pretty straight forward rock track. You may be tempted to think this is a throwaway hobby for White, but the album is real good and “Anybody” is a solid introduction to the band.
Switchfoot – Love Alone Is Worth The Fight
“Love Alone Is Worth The Fight” is the the first track and lead single from Switchfoot’s latest album Fading West. Powerful songs with an almost emotional attachment that has become a stable of Switchfoot as a band and “Love Alone” is no different. The song song has a catchy tune with almost ballad-like lyrics, it’s no wonder this was the first song released.
Young the Giant – Teachers
Somewhat of a deep cut off of Young the Giant’s new album, Mind Over Matter, “Teachers” has that signature Young the Giant sound. Almost like driving down a California highway. While the band didn’t necessarily branch out from their debut, tracks like “Teachers” are listenable and enjoyable. Perfect to put on for the coming Spring months.
The Lawrence Arms – You Are Here
The Lawrence Arms have a throwback punk/alternative sound that resembles legendary pop-punk trio Jawbreaker. In that vein, “You Are Here” is a snappy pop-punk song that clocks in at a little under three minutes. It’s a simple song, but a good one at the same time.
The Crystal Method – Emulator
“Emulator” comes from The Crystal Methods self-titled fifth studio album The Crystal Method. Yes, that Crystal Method, who were nearly famous in 2001 because of their hit single “Name of the Game”. Well, they’re still around and putting out songs. “Emulator” is something you would expect from the duo and it’s not bad at reminding everyone that The Crystal Method continues to produce music.
Kid Ink – No Option
Kid Ink is a newer artist with some very pop like rap tracks, which makes for a lot easy to like songs. “No Option” is the best track on Ink’s latest album, My Own Lane, simply because the lyricism. It maintains a steady bass rhythm that seems almost standard fare for rap tracks, but it works for this song.
Casting Crowns – All You’ve Ever Wanted
Casting Crowns is contemporary Christian band who’s been around for 15 years. “All You’ve Ever Wanted” is the first single from their latest album, Thrive. The album and the song have received rave reviews and the numbers back up that raise, as Thrive is the number 1 album sold in the Christian market. “All You’ve Ever Wanted” helps set the tone for the album as an uplifting track on an upbeat album.
Step Brothers – Step Masters
“Step Master”s is the first single from a production collaboration effort by The Alchemist and Evidence on their new album, Lord Steppington. Those familiar with Alchemist, a DJ for Eminem, will certainly enjoy this track, as it’s a funky song with a different feel than those pop songs getting repeated to death on the radio. Evidence is a rapper/producer from the rap group Dilated Peoples.
Against Me! – Black Me Out
“Black Me Out” is the closing track off of the stellar Transgender Dysphoria Blues, which details Laura Jane Grace’s transition into living as a woman. It’s already one of the year’s best releases and “Black Me Out” has the right amount of angst and rage that listeners can relate to, regardless of the situations in their lives.
Did your favorite artist, album, or song not make the cut? Let us know in the comments below. Got a song that you think deserves to make in next month’s list? Hit us up on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ and let us know.