So here we are, the final list. This has been my favourite to put together and reminds why I do this blog. There is some really great pop music out there and sometimes it becomes a big hit. So, here are, in my opinion, the Top Ten Best Hit Songs of 2015.
David Guetta ft. Emeli Sande – What I Did for Love
This is Guetta’s best track since Titanium. It is well produced, Emeli Sande provides great vocals and the lyrics paint and interesting picture of trying to hold together a broken relationship. Sure, it is nothing experimental for David Guetta but I think that if he keeps going down this route, he could produce something great.
Fetty Wap – Trap Queen
This song just makes me feel really happy. Fetty Wap’s rapping style is just very jovial and easy on the ear and a hip-hop song about how good a relationship is a welcome change.
Sigala – Easy Love
The reason why I like this song, and why it grew on me so much, are very similar to Trap Queen. It makes me feel happy. The Jackson 5 sample is actually handled very well and I like the carefree nature of the whole thing.
Sia – Elastic Heart
This just missed out from being on this list, only because it isn’t quite as good as Alive, but still shows how Sia can create thought-provoking lyrics and some catchy pop music.
The Top Ten
- Carly Rae Jepsen – I Really Like You
This is going to be the controversial choice for this list, but here me out. I think that I Really Like You captures perfectly something that is rarely described in mainstream pop; the nerves about starting a new relationship as you don’t know if your affections are reciprocated. Yes, the chorus is repetitive and annoying, but Carly Rae Jepsen is earnest in her delivery. The production doesn’t get in the way of the vocals or the lyrical message. I think that people just listen to the chorus of this song and think that it is just Call Me Maybe Part 2, but I think there is more than meets the eye here.
- James Bay – Hold Back the River
This is lower than I thought it would initially be because it is easily James Bay’s best to date. The rollick of the track’s chorus just builds and builds without ever losing momentum, even why the song gets quieter in the bridge. James Bay never lets the instrumentation overshadow him and yet still remains understated. I just love the groove to this song and I think that’s why it was so big.
- The Weeknd – The Hills
This isn’t my favourite track from Beauty Behind the Madness, the Weeknd’s 2015 release (that would easily be In The Night), but The Hills is still very good. The creepy atmosphere that is created as The Weeknd starts in his lower range before belting over the top on the chorus. However, is it just me that sees this song as a very biting satire of celebrity culture? In this metaphor, The Weeknd is fame, luring in the innocent before spitting them out after everything private has been revealed about them. Just some food for thought.
- Years & Years – King
This song initially didn’t make much of an impression on me, but has since really grown in my opinion. The song is about being trapped in a relationship that was once good but is no more. The synths surround the vocals and the listener is drawn into the song. I can’t quite put my finger on what really works about this song, but I think it is that all elements just work together. On their own they are nothing exceptional, but they create a great pop song when combined.
- Lunchmoney Lewis – Bills
Lunchmoney Lewis should be the new Cee Lo Green. Sadly, no other song of his got even close to the success of Bills. This song, about having to sacrifice pleasure to get by in life, is so upbeat and fun that you forget what it is actually about. Lewis has a great voice which coupled with the instrumentation, shows how a retro track should be done. This song was stuck in my head for a good two weeks after I first heard it, and I’m still humming it now.
- Walk the Moon – Shut Up and Dance
This is the closest thing we will get to a song from The Killers, and it’s awesome. It fun and lightweight and while frontman Nicholas Petricca doesn’t have the vocal presence of Brandon Flowers, it is still pretty good. The synth-rock aspects of the instrumentation make the song feel like you are listening to it at an early 2000’s party. This is an anthem to fun and I love it.
- Macklemore and Ryan Lewis ft. Eric Nally, Melle Mel, Kool Moe Dee, and Grandmaster Caz – Downtown
I like how Macklemore raps about subjects that generally are never covered and plays them with either the right sincerity or humour to work. Downtown returns to one of his previously explored topics, budget shopping, and he and Ryan Lewis bring along a host of guest stars. The stand out is Eric Nally on the hook and when coupled with Ryan Lewis’s precise production, he is brilliant. The strength of this song is that it never takes itself too seriously or gets bogged down in its own jokes. Sure, some of the lines don’t quite work but it doesn’t matter when the song builds to one of the best choruses of the year. Macklemore here shows why hip-hop needs someone like him, who can do funny and self-deprecating while also showing good lyrical dexterity.
- Naughty Boy ft. Beyoncé and Arrow Benjamin – Runnin’ (Lose It All)
This very nearly didn’t qualify for this list, but I am so glad that it has. The difference between Naughty Boy and other producers of his ilk is that he always puts the vocalists first, this time teaming up with Beyoncé and Arrow Benjamin. Both of them deliver different yet coherent performances and I don’t know why other producers haven’t adopted Naughty Boy’s formula. What more is there to say, this track is just pure awesome
- Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
This really was the song of 2015. What can I say about this track that hasn’t been said a million times? It’s catchy, the production is great, Bruno Mars is excellent and Mark Ronson’s instrumental choices all work. Everyone knows this song, and everyone knows that it is just fantastic. But what could be better?
- Jess Glynne – Hold My Hand
If you have read my blog this past year, you know how much I have enjoyed Jess Glynne’s singles and Hold My Hand is by far my favourite. I love the opening piano riff and Jess Glynne’s vocal range displayed in this song. I also love how this song sounds. The simple instrumentation never feels cluttered but never too sparse. I also love the duality of this song; it can be seen a euphoric or melancholic. It is either a song celebrating a relationship or whishing that they can just cling on together for slightly longer. For me, this is the best hit song of 2015 and I hope that Jess Glynne keeps this quality up.