Saturday, December 19, 2015

2015: The Year in Music

2015:  The Year in Music

My take of 2015 in music.  First the positive. 

My Favorite Songs of 2015

These are my six favorite songs that were released in 2015.  To qualify, the song had to either be an album released from December 18, 2014 to December 17, 2015; or it was a single.  There is no order, these are just my favorites.

“Glorious You” – Frank Turner (Album: Positive Songs for Negative People). First of all, given the album’s title, how does Frank Turner know about me?  A loud track where Turner aims to pull the veil and superficial masks from the listener to revel the listener’s true beauty, if only for a moment. 

“I Can’t Feel My Face” – The Weeknd.  (Album: Beauty and the Madness).  I may get some slack for this, but there is a reason why this song was very popular last summer.  The song has a slick beat and the lyrics match the melody well.  The music video is very comedic (or tragic depending on your point of view).  I can only hope that the Weeknd is able to feel his face again. 

“Adventure of a Lifetime” – Coldplay (Album: A Headful of Dreams). I think this is my favorite Coldplay song of their entire catalog song.  The song is colorful and uplifting.  I first heard Adventure upon a recent visit to a coffee shop and I ended up holding off what I was doing.  This song has a message of hope and gives excitement for the adventure ahead.

“Wicked Game” – David Cook (Album:  Digital Vein). Wicked Game was originally sung by Chris Isaak in 1989 and it was wickedly great.  Cook’s cover is also super powerful and he just pulls you into the emotion of the song.  If Cook’s version isn’t part of a dramatic movie, it should be.  Well done, Cook.

“Then Comes the Wonder” – The Landing (Album:  “How Strange To Be”). This is a feel good track, as the lyrics suggest.  The song encourages the listener to life live out loud and to be what they ‘wanna be’.  The melody is well-put together and definitely worth a listen. 

“No Sleeep” (that’s not a typo, the song’s title has 3 e’s) – Janet Jackson featuring J. Cole (Album: “Unbreakable”).  Sleeep is a soulful anticipation of love and promising that when the couple reunites they will get no sleep (they will be too busy making love).  Jackson’s song is a solid jam to kick back to.  The single is 3:26, while the album version includes an interlude by guest rapper J. Cole is 4:21.

Honorable Mentions:

“Aquaman” – Walk the Moon (Talking Is Hard).   The album Talking Is Hard was released December 2, 2014.  Walk the Moon is not only bringing back the New Wave era of the early 1980s, they are making it cool for the 21st century.  Aquaman is a smooth irresistible track. 

“Bad Blood” – Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar (single).  I think this is the revenge track of 2015.  The original track from the 1989 album was good, but Lamar gave the track the extra kick that it needed.  Lamar and Swift combined was gold.  The video was also good (but did they have to put Lena Dunham in the video?  Eeek! Yikes!)

2015 Album of the Year

This is an easy pick for me:  Unbreakable – Janet Jackson.  Each song is a power groove while some having powerful messages.  In addition to “No Sleeep”, “Unbreakable” is a strong first track that I can’t stop listening to.  “Shoulda Known Better” the powerful ballad of learning from the past and asking that we do better in the future.  “BURNITUP!” with Missy Elliot is great dance track.  “After You Fall” is the song you would listen to when life gets rough, anyone signing this to you is your true friend or the family member that sticks by you when you are not on your best.  I also find “Dream Maker/Euphoria” a hopeful track and one I can’t stop listening to.

Now for the earworm, parodies, sin counts, and most annoying song of 2015….

The Earworm of 2015

“Focus” – Ariana Grande (Album: Moonlight, to be released in 2016).  I don’t know she does it: Grande seems to butcher the English language in some parts of the song, and the song seems to be used from template of “Problem”.  Yet Focus accomplishes what it does, it gets us to listen and indeed, focus on Grande.  And her song, especially the chorus (including an uncredited Jamie Foxx) will be stuck in your head. 

The Bart Baker Parody of the 2015: Parody of “Bitch I’m Madonna”

The reception on Madonna’s “Bitch I’m Madonna” has been brutal, despite the original song having two power pop stars Madonna and Nicki Minaj.  Baker, playing as Madonna, acts like she is over the hill and refuses let her youth go.  Tiffany Tynes raps and pretty much nails Minaj’s style.  Unlike the real video, Diplo, played by Roland Lutigaarden has a vocal part.  If you like parodies of song, click here:

(Not for the Faint of Heart.  Sense of Humor required.)

And if you want the official video of Bitch I’m Madonna, here it is:

(I almost named “Bitch I’m Madonna” as Earworm of 2015.)

Best Video Sins of 2015

I am addicted to Sins Media (Jeremy Scott and Chris Atkinson), which has popular YouTube channels Cinema Sins, Music Video Sins, and Brand Sins (hosted by Bobby Burns).   The Music Video Sins channel ( ) launched January 8, 2015 covering Miley Cyrus’ “Party In The USA”.  (“Party In The USA” had Miley before she cut her hair, sprinkled donut sprinkles over her lips, and twerked on anything she could get hands on).  Here are five favorite sins videos of mine:

“Darude” – Sandstorm.  The video has a lot of running, and running, and running, and running…

“Flawless” – Beyoncé.  First, Jeremy introduced Ed McMahon to a new generation.  We also learn what happens at one of the hipster Beyoncé parties.  Gives a whole new meaning to “I woke up like this!”

“Hypnotize” – Notorious B.I.G.  Two reasons why this made list of favorites: the video is so “sintastic”, and I learn what the human centipede is.

“Where Are Ü Now” – Skrillex featuring Justin Bieber.  A gallery, a bunch of pictures of somber Bieber, accompanied by a weird beat: what could possibly go wrong?  Video Music Sins points all the things that do.

“Hotline Bling” – Drake.  Few music video sins videos contain a bonus round, and spoiler alert, “Hotline Bling” includes one.  Let’s just say Drake has been very sinful.

Most Annoying Songs of 2015

“Pretty Girls” – Iggy Izelea and Brittany Spears.  Two grown women who act like bratty entitled teens in this song.  The lyrics encourage people accentuate any and all things superficial.

“Worth It” – Fifth Harmony.  Worth It is definitely a swing and a miss. The lyrics “I’m worth it” and “Gimme” sung so many times the song doesn’t sound empowering but people on being so bratty that hearing nails screeched on chalkboard sound preferable.  The background music is flat. 

(As a rule, I would have probably included a song from Justin Bieber but I go out of my away to avoid his music.) 

What 2015 songs have registered as favorites for you?  Which ones have would you rather never hear of again? 


This blog is property of Edward Shore.  2015.

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