Wednesday, December 23, 2015

twostepcubchart's Best of 2015: Part Five - #60 to #51...

We're approaching the halfway mark in my countdown of the 100 biggest songs on my weekly personal chart at this here bloggie. You can click over to catch up on part one, part two, part three, and part four as well in case you missed, and as before I've included links to the artists' websites, as well as to Amazon if you feel like buying the track or the album...

#60 - "Like A Cowboy" - Randy Houser
          from the album How Country Feels (2013)
          Highest rank: #7 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart (in 2015): 15 [was on for two weeks in 2014]
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #62
          Songwriters: Randy Houser, Brice Long

The fourth single from the country bear's How Country Feels album came with an epic 7 1/2 minute music video set in the wild, wild west. It also had his most soaring vocals, not sounding as hokey as could've been given another's hands. I guess this is what Toby Keith would be like if he didn't veer into parody. [Last year Houser landed at #96 for the 2014 with "Goodnight Kiss", while in 2013 "Runnin' Outta Moonlight" ended up at #51 as "How Country Feels" just missed the list at #103. All of these were from the How Country Feels album, showing how long "legs" the set had.]

Killer lyric: I keep your picture tucked inside my old hat
                    It brings me luck, I need a bunch of that
                   This midnight winding road runs through my blood
                    I can't give it up, like I said I would...

(Click below to see the rest of the post)

#59 - "How Deep Is Your Love" - Calvin Harris featuring Disciples 
          from the single release (2015)
          Highest rank: #5 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart (so far in 2015): 17 (still charting)
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #27
          Songwriters: Calvin Harris, Ina Wroldsen, Disciples (Nathan Duvall, Gavin Koolmon, Luke McDermott)

We saw the Scottish DJ/producer/Taylor Swift squeeze back at #87 with "Outside", and here is its follow-up, a non-album single featuring Norwegian singer Ina Wroldsen and London trio Disciples (the latter only getting label credit). But it's Ina's voice on those flowing basslines that make this record, perfect for an oceanside party. "Swift Squad" member and model Gigi Hadid plays secret agent in this glamourous video.

Killer lyric: How deep is your love?
                    Is it like nirvana?
                    Hit me harder, again...

#58 - "No Sleeep" - Janet Jackson featuring J. Cole
          from the album Unbreakable (2015)
          Highest rank: #20 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart (so far in 2015): 20 (still charting)
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #63
          Songwriters: Janet Jackson, James Harris III (Jimmy Jam), Terry Lewis

After an eight-year drought, which found her living in the deserts of the Arabian Sea with her Qatari billionaire husband, Janet returned with an album with none other that her Flyte Tyme collaborators that guided her Control album back in 1986. But instead of the in-your-face danceathon that Control was, the first single from her Unbreakable album was more in line with her 1997 Velvet Rope set, with a sensuality that rode on the groove rather than the beat. She may be married, but she sure ain't dead, seducing you with her coo that doesn't reach any sort of climax (yet) until she and her subject are reunited.

Killer lyric: Day and night, I dream of us doing whatever,
                    But I guess I’ll have to wait until that day comes...

 #57 - "Something Better" - Audien featuring Lady Antebellum
           from the EP Daydreams (2015)
           Highest rank: #10 (one week)
           Weeks on the chart (so far in 2015): 16 (still charting)
           Billboard Hot 100 peak: did not chart ["Bubbled under" at #117]
           Songwriters: Nathaniel Rathbin (Audien), Peter Hanna, Taylor Bird

The Connecticut DJ/producer enlisted the crossover country trio to provide vocals on this dance-pop rave that expanded the horizons of both acts. Lady A was having a harder go on country radio this year, deciding to take a break by the end of 2015, while Audien had just scored a #1 club hit with "Insomnia". [The band had two songs on the year end list in 2014 - "Compass" at #77 and "Bartender" at #83.]

Killer lyric: So wait for me; I swear I'll find you
                    Climbing every wall that hides you
                    I know we were meant for something better...

#56 - "Cigarette Daydreams" - Cage The Elephant
          from the album Melophobia (2013)
          Highest rank: #4 (three weeks)
          Weeks on the chart (in 2015): 16 [spent one week in 2014]
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: did not chart ["bubbled under" at #102]
          Songwriters: Cage The Elephant (Matthew Schultz, Brad Schultz, Lincoln Parrish, Daniel Tichenor, Jared Champion)

Last year this Kentucky garage rock band was on the countdown at #16 with "Come A Little Closer", the first single from their Melophobia album. This time it's the fourth single, with their hazy bittersweet recollection of a love that slipped away.

Killer lyric: Funny how it seems like yesterday
                   As I recall you were looking out of place
                   Gathered up your things and slipped away
                   No time at all I followed you into the hall...

#55 - "Riptide" - Vance Joy
          from the album Dream Your Life Away (2014)
          Highest rank (in 2015): #22 (one week) [had gone to #2 for 2 weeks in 2014]
          Weeks on the chart (in 2015): 19 [spent 27 weeks on in 2014]
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #30
          Songwriters: James Keogh (Vance Joy), Edwin White, John Castle

The Australian singer/songwriter, who we saw at #82 with "Mess Is Mine", was high up at #22 on my recap of 2014 with this song, which hung on at different radio formats for almost another five months to pop onto this list as well. The breezy stream-of-consciousness track which alludes to a fly-by-night girl even got exposure from its innocuous appearance in ads without making everybody sick of it.

Killer lyric: There's this movie that I think you'll like
                    This guy decides to quit his job and heads to New York City
                    This cowboy's running from the south
                    And she's been living on the highest shelf...

#54 - "Ghost Town" - Adam Lambert
          from the album The Original High (2015)
          Highest rank: #15 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart: 19
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #64
          Songwriters: Adam Lambert, Max Martin, Ali Payami, Sterling Fox, Tobias Karlsson

Two singles titled "Ghost Town" were released close to each other, and only one made my year-end top 100. No, it's not Madonna, but rather the most famous American Idol runner up after Clay Aiken (hmm, a pattern?). Lambert broke free from his Idol contract obligations and fled to Warner Brothers, where his third album The Original High continued his artistic progression, not afraid to experiment with non-traditional beats and production as this rollicking but non-predictable groove rises to the bridge when Adam just lets loose.

Killer lyric: There's no one left in the world
                    I'm gunslingin'
                    Don't give a fuck if I go
                    Down, down, down...

#53 - "Someone New" - Hozier
          from the album Hozier (2014)
          Highest rank: #7 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart (in 2015): 21 (still charting)
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: did not chart ["bubbled under" at #101]
          Songwriters: Andrew Hozier-Byrne (Hozier), Sallay-Matu Garnett

The Irish folk-rock singer/songwriter, who we saw back in #70 with "From Eden", returned with this sweet little ditty about cheating. With an earnest collection of excuses of a troubadour artist with feelings, how can you blame him?

Killer lyric: There's an art to life's distractions
                    To somehow escape the burning weight
                    The art of scraping through
                    Some like to imagine
                    The darker caress of someone else I guess any thrill will do...

#52 - "Mean To Me" - Brett Eldredge
          from the album Bring You Back (2013)
          Highest rank: #9 (one week)
          Weeks on the chart (in 2015): 18 [spent one week in 2014]
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #44
          Songwriters: Brett Eldredge, Scooter Carusoe

The Illinois country singer, who is also at #63 with "Lose My Mind", had his third #1 country hit with this sweet love song than was the pun on the title. Last year, he was at #65 with "Beat Of The Music", while in 2013 he landed at #88 with "Don't Ya"...

Killer lyrics: Standing here watching you,
                     Turning every head in this crowded room,
                     The lights down low dancin slow...
#51 - "Lampshades On Fire" - Modest Mouse
          from the album Strangers To Ourselves (2015)
          Highest rank: #2 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart: 16
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: did not chart
          Songwriter: Isaac Brock
Indie rock heroes Modest Mouse returned after eight years with a new album and a single that took them to hipster-town with a reggae-like groove that revolves around a party out of control in the lyrics...
Killer lyrics: Our eyes light up, we have no shame at all,
                     Well you all know what I'm talking' about,
                     Shaved off my eyebrows when I fall to the ground,
                     So I can't look surprised right now...
We'll head into the top half of the list tomorrow with an Idol winner, a Disney alumnus, and 2015's album of the year Grammy winner.

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