18 December 2015

top 50 traxx of 2015 (50-41)


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50. "Watch Me (Whip/Nae-Nae)" by Silentó

There have been many great hits over the years that have spawned their own dance crazes, but this might be the first time an artist has chosen to amalgamate multiple popular club dances from the last decade into one song. The track ends up serving interesting double duty as both an ode to the neighborhoods from which these dances arose and a call to get your ass on the dancefloor. (By the way -- Silentó is 17. WHAT?!)

49. "Computer Dating" by Eurotix

Eurotix is a duo from Sweden comprising producer Larry Forsberg and singer Dennis Alexis Hellström (who, in the interest of journalistic integrity, has been a friend of mine for about a decade). Their music, though rooted in italo-disco club sounds, is actually quite melancholy. Most of their lyrics pine for lost youth, making the album almost a harbinger of the future of this generation of young gay men with Peter Pan complexes.

This track, however, has nothing to do with being sad about being old -- it's just a cute song about a computer trying to find love on the Internet. Hmmm...maybe they've made a solid prediction for the future here too.

48. "FourFiveSeconds" by Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney

Much like last year's entry from 5SOS, "Amnesia," this is an extremely carefully crafted pop tune written by a gaggle of folks who have made careers living and breathing the stuff, and Kanye West.

47. "Out The Speakers" by A-Trak and Milo & Otis ft. Rich Kidz

I know -- this is a really strange inclusion; I agree. But this song was positively inescapable this year. It was in a Mountain Dew commercial that seemed ubiquitous, and on every dance floor that you spent a night on. It's a solid benchmark for the state of club music in 2015.

46. "Nobody Love" by Tori Kelly

Kelly has flawless control of her beautiful voice, which shines in this tune that is half Jessie J's "Price Tag" and half any of Mariah's catalog from 1994. I would love to hear her sing some Taylor Dayne style soulful synthpop.

45. "Somebody" by Natalie La Rose ft. Jeremih

The production on this is brilliantly minimalist. It barely has a drum track, and what little it does is 95% synth clapping and snapping sounds. It relies mostly on its harmonious synth bass. I also love its origin story, which reveals it to be the product of brilliant pop musicians having fun with each other in the studio.

44. "Sparks" by Hilary Duff

"I'm not a kid anymore, okay?!" is a popular theme on pop albums made by former child stars. Until "you can promise castles, treasures, babies, I don't care," the least subtle "Damn it, I am grown!!" lyric had been Miley assuring us that she can't be tamed. What it lacks in subtlety, though, it certainly has in likability, singability, and whistleability.

43. "Neighborhood" by Strange Names

New wave music is back in a big, big way. Synthpop has never disappeared completely, but for many years it was mostly a cheap imitation of older sounds rather than innovative. These last few years have seen it almost become a continuation of last decade's indie rock movement -- which I love, because new wave music was born out of punk rock. It's almost like this stuff is New New Wave.

42. "Pretty Lovers" by Client Liaison

Rather than repeat everything I wrote about the last track, I'll just note that I happened to like this track a little better.

41. "Player" by Tinashe

Starting off like a cool breeze and never getting overly excited, this track is sultry smoke from a fog machine that you're looking at your boyfriend through on a dancefloor, telling him only with your eyes that you know something -- and he better watch his ass.