1. BSBB Round 5: Disclosure feat. Sam Smith, 'Latch' vs. Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne, 'Rather Be'

    December 14, 2014 10:05 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Latch Disclosure feat. Sam Smith Rather Be Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne JEM ASWAD: This is a very tough matchup. In terms of innovation and vocal performance, I've got to give it to DiSmithsure for their artful treatment…

  2. BSBB Round 4: Charli XCX, "Boom Clap" vs. Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne, "Rather Be"

    December 14, 2014 10:03 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Boom Clap Charli XCX Rather Be Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne CRAIG JENKINS: Semifinals are without fail a bloodbath, and this one isn't any different. Charli XCX's single was a ball of joy and a welcome bombshell…

  3. BSBB Round 3: Nicki Minaj, "Anaconda" vs. Charli XCX, "Boom Clap"

    December 14, 2014 10:02 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Anaconda Nicki Minaj Boom Clap Charli XCX DENISE WARNER: “Anaconda” waxes poetic about big butts. “Boom Clap” is a somewhat more sentimental take on falling in love. I’m going with sentiment on this one. My Vote: “Boom Clap”…

  4. BSBB Round 3: Sam Smith, "Stay With Me" vs. Disclosure feat. Sam Smith, "Latch"

    December 14, 2014 10:02 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Stay With Me Sam Smith Latch Disclosure feat. Sam Smith CAITLIN WHITE: It's pretty safe to say the rest of Sam Smith's career hinges on his feature on Disclosure's "Latch." For most of us, the song was…

  5. BSBB Round 3: Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne, "Rather Be" vs. Jeremih feat. YG, "Don't Tell 'Em"

    December 14, 2014 10:02 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Rather Be Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne Don't Tell 'Em Jeremih feat. YG DENISE WARNER: It’s almost a toss-up between “Rather Be” and “Don’t Tell ‘Em”: both are vibrant, engaging and memorable. But what it really…

  6. BSBB Round 3: DJ Snake & Lil Jon, "Turn Down For What" vs. Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea, "Problem"

    December 14, 2014 10:02 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Turn Down For What DJ Snake & Lil Jon Problem Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea CAITLIN WHITE: Ah yes, "Problem," the song on which Ariana sought to finally shed her ballad-and-piano image, trading it in for a…

  7. BSBB Round 3: Taylor Swift, "Shake It Off" vs. Sia, "Chandelier"

    December 14, 2014 10:02 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Shake It Off Taylor Swift Chandelier Sia CAITLIN WHITE: This is a face-off between a fluffy, happy song about fighting off sadness and a sad, trembling song about grasping for happiness — clearly 2014 is full of confusion.…

  8. BSBB Round 2: John Legend, "All of Me" vs. Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX, "Fancy"

    December 14, 2014 10:01 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules All of Me John Legend Fancy Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX JAMIESON COX: I really dislike “All of Me,” a song so generic and plain and dry-mouthed it’s completely devoid of any meaning. John Legend can do better! I don’t quite…

  9. BSBB Round 2: Jason Derulo feat. Snoop Dogg, "Wiggle" vs. DJ Snake & Lil Jon, "Turn Down for What"

    December 14, 2014 10:01 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Wiggle Jason Derulo feat. Snoop Dogg Turn Down for What DJ Snake & Lil Jon JAMIESON COX: I praised Derulo’s “easy debauchery” last round when deciding in favor of his other big hit this year, “Talk Dirty,” and “Wiggle” is…

  10. BSBB Round 2: One Direction, "Steal My Girl" vs. Jeremih ft. YG, "Don't Tell 'Em"

    December 14, 2014 10:01 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Steal My Girl One Direction Don't Tell 'Em Jeremih feat. YG MEAGHAN GARVEY: The sun rose and set on what felt like a dozen supposed release dates for my most anticipated R&B album of the year, Jeremih’s Late…

  11. BSBB Round 2: Beyonce feat. Jay Z, "Drunk In Love" vs. Soko, "We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow"

    December 14, 2014 10:01 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Drunk In Love Beyonce feat. Jay Z We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow Soko MEGAN BUERGER: Three reasons "Drunk In Love" scoops this round: 1.The video, which has 230 million views on YouTube, somehow pairs a honeymoon home…

  12. BSBB Round 2: Nicki Minaj, "Anaconda" vs. Ed Sheeran, "Don't"

    December 14, 2014 10:01 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Anaconda Nicki Minaj Don't Ed Sheeran MEAGHAN GARVEY: Can I be honest? “Anaconda” is obnoxious. It’s not even in the same arena as Nicki’s best singles; the beat is grating, the sample flip is obvious. And it doesn’t…

  13. BSBB Round 1: Florida Georgia Line, "Dirt" vs. Sam Smith, "Stay With Me"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Dirt Florida Georgia Line Stay With Me Sam Smith CHRIS PAYNE: Call Sam too depressing, too old-timey, too male Adele, whatever — this was a damn sincere song with damn great vocals that ruled all sorts of radio in 2014. Pulling…

  14. BSBB Round 1: Meghan Trainor, "All About That Bass" vs. Ed Sheeran, "Don't"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules All About That Bass Maghan Trainor Don't Ed Sheeran CRAIG JENKINS: Ed Sheeran’s push from coffee shop folk-pop to the hodge-podge of styles he occupied on x was lauded as an evolution this summer, but “Don’t” is…

  15. BSBB Round 1: Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora, "Black Widow" vs. Bobby Shmurda, "Hot Boy"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Black Widow Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora Hot Boy Bobby Shmurda CRAIG JENKINS: “Black Widow” began life as a Katy Perry song and, as such, is designed almost entirely to buttress its titanic hook. Iggy Azalea’s just treading water…

  16. BSBB Round 1: Becky G, "Shower" vs. Jason Aldean, "Burnin' It Down"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Shower Becky G Burnin' It Down Jason Aldean CHRIS PAYNE: Jason Aldean has many, many more hits than Becky G, who remains a relative unknown, but “Shower” is just a perfect, undeniable pop hit. It’s got those “Call Me Maybe…

  17. BSBB Round 1: Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj, "Bang Bang" vs. Maroon 5, "Animals"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Bang Bang Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj Animals Maroon 5 CRAIG JENKINS: Maroon 5 is a machine of startling pop efficacy in 2014; “Animals” arranges all the notes where they should be -- without ever making you feel…

  18. BSBB Round 1: One Direction, "Steal My Girl" vs. Tove Lo, "Habits (Stay High)"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Steal My Girl One Direction Habits (Stay High) Tove Lo CRAIG JENKINS: One Direction’s “Steal My Girl” is a throwback to the mannered piano-driven pop of the power ballad-heavy late ‘80s, and like a lot of that stuff, it’s…

  19. BSBB Round 1: OneRepublic, "Counting Stars" vs. Avicii, "Hey Brother"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Counting Stars OneRepublic Hey Brother Avicii KRISTEN YOONSOO KIM: Both of these songs are pretty terrible, but if pressed for answer, I guess I’ll have to go with… OneRepublic. This Avicii track confuses me to no end — the…

  20. BSBB Round 1: Shakira feat. Rihanna, "Can't Remember To Forget You" vs. The Chainsmokers, "#SELFIE"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Can't Remember To Forget You Shakira feat. Rihanna #SELFIE The Chainsmokers KRISTEN YOONSOO KIM: “#SELFIE” is everything I hate about my millennial self put into song form, and this is coming from someone who owns a…

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