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Oscar Songs 2014

When it comes to movies, Jim and Greg defer to the Academy. But, when it comes to music, they aren't as casual. 2014 has been a banner year for pop music in the movies, with three of this year's Best Original Song nominees topping the charts. In fact, this kind of crossover hasn't happened since 1984, when all five nominees hit #1. First, there's Idina Menzel's ubiquitous "Let It Go," from the animated Disney hit Frozen. Written by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez of Book of Mormon fame, it's a flashy show tune—the "Diane Warren power ballad" of Greg's nightmares—that fails to impress our hosts. Not so with "The Moon Song," from the film Her. Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, who co-wrote the song with director Spike Jonze, has since released a duet with Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend. This quiet, intimate tune wins Jim's statuette, even if it's too low-key for the Academy. Greg's giving his award to "Happy" from Despicable Me 2. While Mr. Kot admits to living under a rock when it comes to kids' movies, he considers Pharrell's single, with its layered vocals and handclaps, a pop masterpiece (despite the mediocre lyrics). Jim isn't as happy and thinks that Pharrell phoned this one in. Meanwhile, U2 took a break from ending world hunger to record a new song for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. While the film got little attention in the U.S., "Ordinary Love" has something else working in its favor: the media empire of Harvey Weinstein. His aggressive promotion already won the song a Golden Globe for Best Song, and could similarly sway the Academy…but not our hosts. Despite the noble subject, Jim and Greg just hear standard U2 flag-waving.

JimGreg
Go to episode 431
SeedsSeeds available on iTunes

TV on the Radio Seeds

For TV on the Radio, its 6th album Seeds marks a musical departure from past work and has Jim and Greg at odds. TVOTR has been a consistently interesting band, emerging from the same scene as groups like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Strokes. However many people wondered whether they would make a new album after their bassist, Gerard Smith, died in 2011 of lung cancer. Greg notes that he has greatly enjoyed TVOTR's past albums but found himself missing the“weirdness”on this one. He found the record to be very linear and melodic, and noted the group lost the elements of texture and surprise in these new tracks. Jim couldn't disagree more! He argues there are plenty of surprises with a mix of mourning and hard grooving tunes. Jim even thinks the track "Happy Idiot" is a thinking-hipster's response to Pharrell's "Happy." Greg gives it a Try It while Jim thinks he's just being grumpy and strongly gives Seeds a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 469
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The Best Songs of 2014 - Mixtapes

Before 2014 gets too far back in our rearview mirror, Jim and Greg tackle the timeless art of making a mixtape featuring their favorite songs from 2014. Each host plays a selection of tracks off their mix, but you can stream both in their entirety below.

Go to episode 475