Vada Personal Playlists #4

Daniel Wren

These are my top ten tracks of all time ever, I don’t know how else to introduce this. As a massive homosexual, I tend to stray away from the stereotypical… I am a massive lover of pop music.


P!nk – I’m Not Dead.

If you miss out the exclamation mark, you can expect a slap in the face. She’s the first artist I ever remember loving and I still remember sending my dad out into town to go buy me her first two albums but it was my 13th birthday and I had spare money and bought this album and Tomb Raider Legend and the combination of those two was literally my entire life for the rest of the year. I honestly didn’t listen to any other artist for a year after I heard that album, I just completely stopped paying attention because P!nk just gave me everything I wanted in an artist and transcended every genre. This song remains my favourite though, it was my favourite back then and reminds me of just being happy in my room with the album on repeat. She was the first concert I attended without my mum later that year, this song being a massive highlight and several years later, the first concert I attended alone, she played this song again and those three memories just stand out to me. Then the song’s meaning again I just relate to a few people who I’ve spent waaaaay too much of my life with and we just keep going back to each other no matter what, no matter how long it’s been and we’re still ‘not dead’ to each other. Absolute favourite.

Marilyn Manson – The Beautiful People.

I know it’s like the most mainstream Marilyn Manson song but I felt I could only pick one and fuck, it’s just so fucking good. I was always the kid that went a bit too far so when everyone had their emo MCR days I was like “fuck this, I’m taking it a step further.” So my Marilyn Manson obsession began and that stage never really left me. The first song I actually heard was mOBSCENE, followed by The Death Song so I feel they need honourable mentions. This song has just always been so fucking awesome to me and as I’ve grown up and come to actually understand it and not just quote: “hate every motherfucker that’s in your way,” it just gets better and better to me. If I had a time machine, the first thing I’d do is go to a Marilyn Manson concert in 1997 to see him perform this live. It’s my ultimate anthem.

Lady Gaga – Heavy Metal Lover.

SHOCKINGLY I’m a massive Gaga fan and am so happy that I can one of those snobs that are like “I knew her before she was famous.” I found “The Fame: Part One” video back in September 2008 and read articles about her on and for so long I just thought what the fuck is this? Then my friend on MSN (ah, the good old days) sent me Eh Eh and we just made jokes about ‘cherry cherry boom boom’. Lol. I remember forcing a DJ at that particular friend’s birthday to play Just Dance because, “I promise you, it’s going to be huge.” I’ve been to The Fame Ball, The Monster Ball and The Born This Way Ball and the experience of seeing her evolve from the very beginning to know is incredible and they make up my favourite memories. BUT ANYWAY. This song. Besides those 8 million people that bought that album *swag*, it felt like most people didn’t give this album a chance and I still tell people this track will change their mind. It’s that song that comes on and I just have to stop everything, put both earphones in and just listen. It’s just such perfection. “I want your whiskey mouth all over my blonde south”, “Dirty pony I can’t wait to hose you down”, “Baby, we were born this way,” “Ohh oh oh oh ohh ohh *thump thump*”. Still gives me goosebumps. MOST PERFECT SONG EVER. Also my BFFL calls it Romantic Biker Lover.

Britney Spears – Everytime.

I love Britney. Like, I LOVE Britney. I don’t give a fuck what she does (or doesn’t) do, I FUCKING LOVE BRITNEY JEAN SPEARS. Ten years later and I still purposely misspell everytime because of my love for this song and still sob when listening to it. This is the greatest Britney song ever. At the peak of her career, when she wasn’t such a puppet and she writes this song, plays the piano for it and writes the video treatment. Fucking awesome. When I saw the Circus tour, this was the only song she actually sang live too and for those four minutes the noises I made were only audible to dogs. This song is just the best thing she’s ever produced, proves she once had talent, soul and emotion before she gave the loveable robot she is today and the eerily foreshadowing video is brilliant too. She can do fucking anything, she’s Britney fucking Spears and she put out the best pop songs of the 2000s and this is absolutely one of them.

Avril Lavigne – Sk8er Boi.

HE WAS A BOY. SHE WAS A GIRL. CAN I MAKE IT ANYMORE OBVIOUS? Remember when she was the anti-Britney? It’s weird because just like Britney, I FUCKING LOVE AVRIL LAVIGNE. I remember being on holiday in Majorca and watching Complicated for the first time and I was like ‘SOLD.’ “Dude, wanna crash the mall?” I don’t give a shit that she’s nearly 30 and making the exact same music as when she was 15 and is pretty much all but faded and a has been, I still fucking love her. Honestly I can’t choose her best song between this or I’m With You or Complicated or My Happy Ending or Nobody’s Home or Girlfriend or Rock n Roll but this one’s the timer on my phone which has just gone off sooooo. I pretty much spent all of 2012 in Converse and hoodies and vests just to emulate her. I remember the night before I left for university, driving around my town with my two best friends and us all screaming along to her, she’s literally what bonds us together and everything about this single’s era was perfect and the song’s perfect and oh man, she’s just so good. She taught me to fully embrace my guilty pleasures and I will always be with the sk8er boi.

Beyoncé – Every single song she’s ever created. But more specifically End of Time…or Countdown, or Upgrade U, or Crazy in Love or..NO. NO. End of Time.

Oh mannnnnn Beyoncé. I just…oh mannnn. My best friend will always remind me how I used to not like her in year 8 and by the end of year 9 she’d made me obsessed. We ended up seeing her together (for free, swag) in 2011 and both ran up to her screaming her and, if you ever happen to see it on TV, it kinda looks like I punched her. We cried and screamed and cried and screamed and cried and screamed through every song. She did End of Time twice and…fuck man, she’s so fucking flawless. She’s not even fucking human, she can fucking do anything and everything and do it fucking flawless. She can go have dinner with the president and then take selfies during a concert with a fan and then kick some serious ass at the Super Bowl and then tell everyone to fuck off by singing the American national anthem acapella at a press conference and then do a film and then do an album and then have a baby and FUCK MAN. She’s absolutely undeniable. This is also the ultimate song to dance to when you’re pretend to be her in the shower (‘cause everyone does that, right?) but injuries are highly likely when trying to imitate the dance….or so a friend tells me *cough*

Kelly Clarkson – Catch My Breath.

This was my favourite song of last year. I get such a rush of euphoria listening to it, I love it so much and I love Kelly so much. My best friend (like my best best BEST friend) and I share the greatest love for her and have queued so many hours to see her live. Twice. One of the absolute highlights of my year was his birthday weekend and this came on in the club we were at and it was such a great moment and oh my god I’m welling up just thinking about it and playing the song. I could relive that moment over and over. She’s got one of the greatest voices ever and she’s so fucking funny too and adorable and oh god I love her and I love this song and I love all the memories and this song means so much to me. It’s my song to play on a rainy day to cheer myself up.

Madonna’s Discography.

There’s SO much I could say but it doesn’t really need to be said. You know Madonna. You know her legacy. You know she’s queen. She’s 30 years into her career and still making more money than any other popstar. Here’s a list of favourites: American Life, Love Profusion, Nobody Knows Me, Human Nature, Hung Up, Music, Vogue, Holiday, Like A Virgin, Like A Prayer, Ray of Light, Sorry, Express Yourself, Open Your Heart, Borderline, Erotica, Justify My Love, Material Girl, Papa Don’t Preach, Lucky Star, Burning Up, Frozen, Miles Away, Beautiful Stranger, Don’t tell Me, Celebration, Get Together, I Love New York, Let It Will Be, Jump, How High, She’s Not Me, Girl Gone Wild, Gang Bang, Love Spent, Runaway Lover, What It Feels Like For A Girl, American Pie, Swim, Candy Perfume Girl

Actually, one of my favourite memories was walking into a GCSE English class and our teaching humming along to Papa Don’t Preach. It’s definitely a you-had-to-be-there moment. Anyway, there’s only one queen.

Marina and the Diamonds – Seventeen.

This song didn’t even make an album for fuck sake. I love Marina. I met her on my 19th birthday. I said: “It’s my birthday.” She said: “Oh.” Brilliant. Anyway, her music’s sarcastic and funny and smart and MASSIVELY underrated and she’s crazy talented and her voice and lyrics are amazing. This song is my favourite just for the opening line but again, I just have good memories of playing it and being happy. She shows the curse of the music industry in that if you’re not working with Dr. Luke that you’re never gonna be a hit. Though, even when she did work with Dr. Luke, she still never made it big because she wasn’t getting naked or singing about sex. Her music itself doesn’t necessarily bring anything new to the table but her lyrics do and her voice is unique. I even wrote a story inspired by Hermit the Frog.

Natalia Kills – Television.

Everyone has that one artist they feel like they discovered themselves and don’t wanna anyone else to know about, don’t they? Someone I tragically used to be friends with was tragically going to see Ke$ha and happened to mention that “someone called Natalie Kills, I think,” was her support, so one day I got bored and YouTube’d her and, after YouTube suggested I meant Natalia Kills, not Natalie, I found her song ‘Free’ and was gone. Hook, line and sinker. Then that godforsaken cu*t Will.U.Not had to phone in a feature and ruin half the song. BUT BESIDES THAT her two albums are essentially flawless. She’s one of those artists that really work to make their albums a body of art that take you on a journey for an hour or so and she recently released her second album that is slipping under the radar because, like Marina, she’s singing about something with a bit more substance than your average popstar. I chose this particular song just for it being an amazing album opener and really quite ingenious use of ‘television’ in the song and just one of the songs where you’re like ‘THIS SONG UNDERSTANDS ME.’ Out of all of these, I recommend you listen to Natalia the most.


That almost concludes it but I struggled to keep this down to ten soooo here’s some honourable mentions:

Lorde – Team. I know she’s young and new but this is my favourite song of the year. Brilliant.

Gwen/No Doubt – What You Waiting For?/Spiderwebs – Gwen effortlessly slaying both genres and finding the fountain of youth.

J. Lo – Play. She used to be amazing, this song is a beast.

Kylie – Love at First Sight. Adorable. Love her so much. Also managed to find the fountain of youth.

Lana Del Rey – This is What Makes us Girls. The voice + music = amazing.

Lily Allen – Littlest Things. If I could write any song, it would’ve been this.

Nicki Minaj – Her verse in Monster. I had the most ratchet time at her concert and got hit in the face by her t-shirt cannon.

Paramore – Grow Up. Pretty much my anthem for the year.

Sugababes – Shape. Best formation they had, best album, favourite song.

About Daniel Wren

Vada Magazine staff writer. Interested in travel, news, politics and dating.

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