Tuesday, December 22, 2015

twostepcubchart's Best of 2015: Part Four - #70 to #61...

I'm chugging along with my recap of the biggest songs on my weekly music chart on this here bloggie for 2015. I've tallied up the scores week by week, and have been running down my top 100 (on Christmas there'll be a bonus). You can click over to check out part one, part two, and part three as well. I've also included links to the artist's websites, as well as to Amazon to buy any of the music here.

#70 - "From Eden" - Hozier
          from the album Hozier (2014)
          Highest rank: #9 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart (in 2015): 14 [spent 5 more weeks in 2014]
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: did not chart
          Songwriter: Andrew Hozier-Byrne (Hozier) 

Due attention was paid to the Irish singer/songwriter's chilling "Take Me To Church" video, but the follow-up, which take the Bonnie and Clyde story and adds a child to the mix, is even more of an emotional rollercoaster. Portraying the bond these people take on with an abandoned child, mixing images of bliss amidst armed robbery and a police raid, while Hozier sings about badly influencing the subject of his love/lust, takes your emotions on a rollercoaster. ["Take Me To Church" ended up at #9 on my year-end chart last year, and will make a repeat performance later on...]

Killer lyric: Honey, you're familiar like my mirror years ago
                    Idealism sits in prison, chivalry fell on its sword...

(Click below to see the rest of the post)

#69 - "Drinking Class" - Lee Brice
          from the album I Don't Dance (2014)
          Highest rank: #27 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart: 21
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #53
          Songwriters: David Frasier, Ed Hill, Josh Kear

The country bear had the #1 country airplay single in Billboard this year, and while there really isn't much country in the music per se, all the working man buzzwords are here, and while this isn't his composition, as a songwriter himself he knows how to sell it. And at least this doesn't delve into the pandering that a lot of this kind of track veer into. [Last year the title song from his I Don't Dance album almost made the top 100 at #110]

Killer lyric: We're gonna shake off those long week blues
                    Ladies, break out your dancing shoes...

#68 - "Geronimo" - Sheppard
          from the album Bombs Away (2014)
          Highest rank: #10 (one week)
          Weeks on the chart (in 2015): 18 [spent two weeks in 2014]
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #53
          Songwriters: George Sheppard, Amy Sheppard, Jason Bovino

The six-member band from Western Australia are half siblings who grew up in Papua New Guinea, and the tribal percussion underscores their breakthrough single which finally reached American shores after making the top of the charts worldwide a year ago. The record brings to mind the best of the 80s in Australia, where harmonies and choruses ruled the day...

Killer lyric: When I lost it yeah you held my hand,
                    But I tossed it didn't understand,
                    You were waiting as I dove into the waterfall...

#67 - "Congregation" - Foo Fighters
          from the album Sonic Highways (2014)
          Highest rank: #7 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart: 14
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: did not chart
          Songwriters: Foo Fighters

The band that had Dave Grohl rise from the ashes of Nirvana saw its leader announcing its break-up at the end of the year, but in the meantime they had a busy 2015 with the release of their eighth album Sonic Highways, accompanied by a "reality show"-type series following them recording in various cities. The band took on the Westboro Baptist Church with the best trolling ever, and in Europe Grohl trudged on with a broken leg on stage. They even capped it off with a free EP of songs they had in the bin. On the second radio single from the set, recorded in Nashville with Zac Brown, you can see the effect each man had on the other, with Brown's sweet harmonizing infiltrating this wall of guitar sound, just like Grohl's grunge power fed Brown's #1 rock hit "Heavy Is The Head", both like a musical Reese's Cup.

Killer lyric: The voice upon the stage
                    Is the heart inside a cage
                    And they're singing like a bluebird in the round...

#66 - "Nothin' Like You" - Dan + Shay
          from the album Where It All Began (2014)
          Highest rank: #5 (four weeks in 2015, still climbing)
          Weeks on the chart (in 2015): 15 (still charting)
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #51
          Songwriters: Dan Smyers, Shay Mooney (Dan + Shay), Chris DeStefano, Ashley Gorley

The best Rascal Flatts song in the last few years. But seriously, the two model-ready singers ended up having their first #1 country hit with a little help being out-cuted by a group of adoptable dogs that had the guys chasing (and ending up wet and then muddy), like your best Colt film. But even without the video, this song is one big dessert, all hook and no filler.

Killer lyric: When you're wearing them worn out jeans
                    Purple untied shoestrings
                    You're a light in the dark
                   And you're stealing my heart like a gypsy...

#65 - "Baby Be My Love Song" - Easton Corbin
          from the album About To Get Real (2015)
          Highest rank: #17 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart: 19
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #56
          Songwriters: Brett James, Jim Collins

Another photogenic country singer, Corbin scored in 2015 with the second single from his third album at country radio. The chord changes on this straightforward love song are priceless, and call to mind the soft-rock nuggets of the late 70s. Surprisingly, his biggest success of the year wasn't even this, but his (uncredited but sampled) vocals on the international pop/dance smash "Are You With Me" from Lost Frequencies, from which the original song appears on this album.

Killer lyric: Girl, fast or slow, oh three-quarter time
                    It don't have to make sense
                    And it don't have to rhyme...

#64 - "Dead Inside" - Muse
          from the album Drones (2015)
          Highest rank: #5 (one week)
          Weeks on the chart: 17
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: did not chart ("bubbled under" at #11)
          Songwriter: Matthew Bellamy

With Coldplay possibly going dark after their current disco-pop offerings, British band Muse are left to carry the banner for alternative rock in their neo-progressive way, with the spacey-cold Drones album being introduced with this crawling number that in another dimension is an elevator-music version of a Nitzer Ebb track. With biting lyrics about a relationship that's gone vapid, was this Matt Bellamy's kiss-off to ex Kate Hudson?

Killer lyric: You're free to touch the sky
                   Whilst I am crushed and pulverised
                   Because you need control
                   Now I'm the one who's letting go...

#63 - "Lose My Mind" - Brett Eldredge
          from the album Illinois (2015)
          Highest rank: #12 (one week)
          Weeks on the chart: 20
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #48
          Songwriters: Brett Eldredge, Ross Copperman, [Thomas Callaway (Cee-Lo Green), Brian Burton (Danger Mouse), GianFranco Reverberi, GianPiero Reverberi all for interpolating Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy"]

You know you've got change in country music when a single samples a pop song that itself samples a spaghetti western theme. And that's how Illinois native Eldredge got his fourth consecutive #1 country hit, aiming for the Luke Bryan market and scoring with this foot-tapping nugget that lets him vocally break a little free. [Last year Brett was on my top 100 with "Beat Of The Music" at #65, and he'll be back later in my countdown...]

Killer lyric: You make me crazy and I kinda like it
                   You show me that apple, girl, and I wanna bite it
                   So crazy that I gotta have it
                   And I never wanna get out of this straitjacket...

#62 - "Lay Me Down" - Sam Smith
         from the album In The Lonely Hour (2015)
         Highest rank: #4 (one week)
         Weeks on the chart: 15
         Billboard Hot 100 peak: #8
         Songwriters: Sam Smith, Jimmy Napes, Elvin Smith (Elviin)

The first solo single the Grammy-award winning singer released in his homeland of Britain in February of 2013, where it missed the top-40 there. But as one of two songs Smith sang on Saturday Night Live before anyone knew who he was, there's no denying the stunning performance pushed the way for people to await the album and make him more than the "Stay With Me" guy. In fact, this bittersweet heartbreak song is possibly the best song of the record, with every ounce of longing wrenched from his voice. Add a funeral flashed back to a same-sex wedding in the middle of the video, and you've got 2015 culture in a nutshell, with the joy and pain of love all in one song.

Killer lyric: You told me not to cry when you were gone
                    But the feeling's overwhelming, it's much too strong...

#61 - "Something From Nothing" - Foo Fighters
          from the album Sonic Highways (2014)
          Highest peak (in 2015): #3 (four weeks in 2015) [spent one week at #3 in 2014]
          Weeks on the chart (in 2015): 13 [spent seven weeks in 2014]
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: did not chart ["bubbled under" at #101]
          Songwriters: Foo Fighters

The first single from the Foo's Sonic Highways was supposed to be influence by Chicago, where it was recorded in, but from the beginning, I immediately thought "John Lennon's Double Fantasy!". But the chunky midsection with those funky keyboards which set it apart from their usual fare that highlight Dave's lyrics that bring up images of fire and combustibility in a city defined by it.

Killer lyric: Oh sweet ignition be my fuse
                    You have no choice you have to choose
                    Bid farewell to yesterday
                    Say goodbye I'm on my way...

I'll be back tomorrow with a cowboy in a ghost town smoking some cigarettes, and more...

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