Top 10 of 2015

Published by Rick on Tagged Uncategorized

This was a hard list to put together, not because there was an incalculable amount of shite released this year, which of course there was, but to be fair, I had trouble compiling a bottom 10 as well. There was only a scant few that I can remember liking throughout their entire chart run. This was not a great year for music, but I gotta say there were surprises along the way. Who’d a thought I’d find myself LIKING tunes by Justin Bieber, maybe not enough to list any here, though I was tempted. There’s only three veteran acts represented in my top 10, and perhaps I’ll look at this list in the coming months and think I was being too generous. I also admittedly didn’t pay as much attention to music this year after BBC Radio 1 moved their chart countdown from Sundays to Fridays. My mind was always set on those Sunday afternoons, and recalculating to Fridays hasn’t happened yet. My only consistent exposure to music came whenever I was on the road in the US. Anyway, here are the 10, maybe you’ll agree.

10. FIRESTONE – KYGO feat. CONRAD SEWELL (#8 UK, #92 US) I was torn between this one and “Cheerleader” by OMI, which hit #1 in both countries, then decided the singer on this one was able to repeat the line “We light up the world” umpteen times and still impress me with his voice, so gave it the nod.

9. SHUT UP AND DANCE – WALK THE MOON (#4 UK, #4 US) I’m always intrigued when a Rock band other than Maroon 5 or Coldplay can have a hit single with a certain sing-along-ability. If they’re a one-hit wonder, at least they’ve left something I’ll remember a year from now.

8. JEALOUS – NICK JONAS (#2 UK, #7 US) Like Justin Bieber’s transformation into something resembling an Artist, an even less likely re-invention came from this member of a formerly too-saccharine-for-its-own-good late 2000’s group. A likable pop tune with a bit of funk, that’s not asking a lot, is it?

7. PEANUT BUTTER JELLY – GALANTIS (#8 UK, made US Dance chart) From Sweden, the dance/DJ duo came up with my token stupid tune of the year. Maybe that wasn’t their intent, but my respect anyway.

6. SAX – FLEUR EAST (#3 UK, — US) 2014’s X Factor runner-up probably should have won, but the kids voted for Ben Haenow, whose first single apart from the initial X Factor hoopla only peaked at #21, despite an assistance from Kelly Clarkson. Fleur decided to channel “Uptown Funk,” which she had done a kick-ass rendition of on the show while the song was still new. What worked for Bruno Mars worked for her, as this song had much the same appeal, and the only reason “Uptown Funk” isn’t in this year’s top 10 is because I put it in last year.

5. UMA THURMAN – FALL OUT BOY (#71 UK, #22 US) Gotta respect a tune that pays homage to Ms. Thurman’s character in “Pulp Fiction” while sampling the theme tune to “The Munsters.” Not sure why UK ignored it.

4. ARE YOU WITH ME – LOST FREQUENCIES (#1 UK, Dance chart US) Maybe because the whole song times out at 2:18 is the way they can get away with repeating one verse three times. This is a re-working of a 2012 Country album cut from an artist named Easton Corbin (no idea), and these Euro DJ’s figured out what part of the song would be interesting.

3. LOVE ME LIKE YOU – LITTLE MIX (#13 UK, — US) Like One Direction, they were formed on X Factor out of four soloists who weren’t great enough on their own, but unlike One Direction, they’re staying together and have become brilliant harmonists. I heard them live on the radio last month, and they’re the real deal. This song opens with the line “He may have the biggest car,” and the only way I found that out was by googling the lyrics, because otherwise it sure didn’t sound like that. Apart from that, it’s a very well done interpretation of the 60’s girl group sound.

2. HONEY I’M GOOD – ANDY GRAMMER (#65 UK, #9 US) Another lost in translation song. When I first heard it while driving through California in October, I thought, “At last Maroon 5 has done something funky and quirky,” but that thought was dashed when the next song played was their innocuous “Sugar,” and figured they’re not that much in any radio station’s pocket to be able to swing two in a row. Maroon 5 aside, this song carries the message of a few thousand country songs (“You’re tempting me, but I got something good at home”), and manages to pull it off in a bit of a square dance beat. Maybe it was too country for UK, I don’t know. I listened to it again today and still like it a lot.

1. BILLS – LUNCHMONEY LEWIS (#2 UK, #79 US) Lost in translation in reverse, as the man with the stupidest moniker of the year is an American rapper who we probably won’t hear from again. This is the quirky record I always look for, and I somehow sensed when I first heard it in early summer that it would probably be my favorite record of the year. Job done, Lewis! You’ve made a record we can relate to, though apparently not that many in your own country.

So there ya have it, Happy New Year everyone, and I can’t believe I’m 65 and still follow this stuff!

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