This Year Brought To You By:

This Calvin Harris playlist:

And this Ginger Beer:

Reed's Extra Ginger Beer

† Reed’s Extra Ginger Beer

Admittedly, I was inspired by all the dance party shenanigans brought on by “Beauty and the Beat” this New Year’s Weekend when I went in search of a work playlist today. However, I only succeeded in finding it in a “Best of Justin Bieber” playlist that I just wasn’t sure I could commit to. My Bieber fever is too mild to have me listening to 100 of his tracks in a row.

A 49-track Calvin Harris playlist, in contrast, seemed like just the ticket and it did not disappoint. A friend turned me onto his 2009 album Ready for the Weekend back in China. The 80s-reminiscent, dancy-electronic style was one I wasn’t very familiar with or sure of at the time, but I found that album pleasantly palatable. Then… one computer and two harddrives later Calvin Harris was no longer in my iTunes or on my mind until that tiny little track he did with Rihanna.

There are so many things I love about this playlist, not least of which that it led to my discovery that he released a new album (18 Months) this past October that I’m really keen to check out, especially now that I’ve heard a few of its fun and catchy tracks. I particularly loved “Bounce,” which features the mastermind behind “Bossy,” Kelis herself; and “Sweet Nothing,” which features one of my biggest music crushes of the year, Florence Welch. “Here 2 China” and “Drinking From the Bottle” showcase some choice British rap, which I always find entertaining to listen to (they can rhyme different words than American rappers can!). The latter made me think of the scene from Love Actually where the American girls are being charmed by Colin’s accent as they prompt him to say different words.

Of course, there were some cherished throwbacks with their quirky videos like “Acceptable in the 80s” and “The Girls.” There was also a fun live performance and a really well-done Jamiroquai cover. Yeah. I was having a good day in the office. (I imagine it would also be a good running playlist.)

Oh, and why the Ginger Beer? Cuz I’m on a fancy Ginger-Beer/Ale kick, that’s why. And I’m really digging this allegedly Jamaican-style beverage made with a touch of pineapple juice. My year is off to a good start. (Also New Year’s Weekend in New York was superb, but we’ll get into that later.)

One year ago: Bring on Song Ha Ha Ha– What’s Sure to Be a Very Funny Year!
Three years ago: The Year of the Tiger