Wednesday, December 30, 2015

twostepcubchart's Best of 2015: Part Nine - #20 to #11...

We're almost to the end of my countdown of the 100 biggest songs on my weekly music chart for 2015. I've tallies the scores of every song that's appeared on my list week by week, and these have peaked the highest and stayed the longest. You can check out the rest of the countdown if you'd like, including the bonus "bubbling under" chart, by clicking here...

#20 - "I Bet My Life" - Imagine Dragons 
          from the album Smoke + Mirrors (2015)
          Highest rank: #7 (three weeks)
          Weeks on the chart (in 2015): 22 [spent three more weeks in 2014]
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #28
          Songwriters: Imagine Dragons [Dan Reynolds, Wayne Sermon, Ben McKee, Daniel Platzman]

The first single from the modern rock band's sophomore effort may have not done the business that "Radioactive" or "Demons" did from their debut, but it places at a respectable mark on my year-end list. This askance of forgiveness was possibly too real and straightforward to make a big impression, but it did make a lasting one.

Killer lyrics: Now remember when I told you that's the last you'll see of me,
                     Remember when I broke you down to tears,
                     I know I took the path that you would never want for me,
                     I gave you hell through all the years...

(Click below to see the rest of the post)

#19 - "Take Me To Church" - Hozier
          from the album Hozier (2014)
          Highest peak (in 2015): #1 (three weeks) [spent two weeks at #1 in 2014]
          Weeks on the chart (in 2015): 17 [spent 30 more weeks in 2014]
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2
          Songwriter: Hozier [Andrew Hozier-Byrne]

The song that this Irish folk singer/songwriter penned at his parents' house took him to the Grammy's this year, and while the viral video had already gathered a cult following, and landing the song at #9 on my year-end chart of 2014, this year's Grammys came when the song was making strides at pop radio in America.  Still a stunning portrayal of homophobia in the video, and an indictment of the Catholic puritanical though in the actual song.

Killer lyrics: 'We were born sick, ' you heard them say it,
                     My church offers no absolutes,
                     She tells me 'worship in the bedroom',
                     The only heaven I'll be sent to,
                      Is when I'm alone with you...

#18 - "Style" - Taylor Swift
          from the album 1989 (2014)
          Highest rank: #5 (four weeks)
          Weeks on the chart: 26
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #6
          Songwriters: Taylor Swift, Max Martin, Shellback, Ali Payami

The highest of the four songs Taylor put on my year-end list this year was this mid-tempo shuffler that came third in the line of singles from 1989. In this one, she confronts a (possibly) straying lover, and admits she's done the same and resolves they're meant for each other (well, at least for now). This would've been a drop-dead hit single if Kylie Minogue got her hands on it.

Killer lyric: 'Cause you got that James Dean daydream look in your eye,
                    And I got that red lip classic thing that you like,
                    And when we go crashing down, we come back every time...

#17 - "Stolen Dance" - Milky Chance
          from the album SadNecessary (2013)
          Highest rank (in 2015): #12 (two weeks) [spent six weeks at #3 in 2014] 
          Weeks on the chart (in 2015): 26 [spent 27 weeks in 2014]
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #39
          Songwriters: Milky Chance

The indie-folk duo from Germany had an unexpected hit with this song that was at #24 on last years list, and then ended up staying on my list for half the year this time out.

Killer lyrics: Coldest winter for me,
                     No sun is shining anymore,
                     The only thing I feel is pain,
                     Caused by absence of you...

#16 - "Take Your Time" - Sam Hunt
          from the album Montevallo (2014)
          Highest rank: #10 (one week)
          Weeks on the chart: 28
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #20
          Songwriters: Sam Hunt, Josh Osborne, Shane McAnally

This year's country breakout star was a former football player that ended up as the genre's "Drake", with a laid-back, "emo" rap-sung delivery and "squishier" feelings in his songs than the usual hyper-masculine fare in the format (like in rap). With "Take Your Time", he found love from pop stations as well as country, and the video, in which the good guy doesn't get the girl (at least not yet) but does the right thing, was everything Nashville was lacking up till that point. He's nominated for a Grammy for Best New Artist, and has a really good chance with material like this.

Killer lyrics: And I'm sure one of your friends is about to come over here,
                      'Cause she's supposed to save you from random guys,
                     That talk too much and wanna stay too long,
                      It's the same old song and dance but I think you know it well...

 #15 - "Love Me Like You Do" - Ellie Goulding
           from the albums 50 Shades Of Grey (Original Soundtrack) and Delerium (2015)
           Highest rank: #1 (two weeks)
           Weeks on the chart: 25
           Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3
           Songwriters: Tove Lo, Max Martin, Savan Kotecha, Ilya Salmanzadeh, Ali Payami

The trainwreck of a film that was the adaptation to 50 Shades Of Grey did not deserve its soundtrack, with songs from Jessie Ware, The Weeknd, Sia, and this ethereal love anthem from the British songstress that hold up on its own without the backstory. This is much more romantic than any "oaths" could provide.

Killer lyrics: Yeah, I'll let you set the pace,
                     'Cause I'm not thinking straight,
                     My head spinning around I can't see clear no more,
                     What are you waiting for?

#14 - "Ex's & Oh's" - Elle King
          from the album Love Stuff (2015)
          Highest rank: #1 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart (in 2015): 26 [still charting]
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #10
          Songwriters: Elle King, Dave Bassett

I would've never guess a debut recording from the daughter of schlock comic Rob Schneider could win my heart, but, oh, oh, yes but slowly and surely it did. With the loud, booming sound floating an assertive female voice in rock (which is so lacking these days), and owning her sexuality without flaunting it (rather, flaunting the beefcake in her video, thank you very much), Elle had the grrrl-talk track of the year.

Killer lyrics: One, two, three, they gonna run back to me,
                      'Cause I'm the best baby that they never gotta keep,
                      One, two, three, they gonna run back to me,
                     They always wanna come, but they never wanna leave...

#13: "Budapest" - George Ezra
         from the album Wanted On Voyage (2014)
         Highest rank: #6 (one week)
         Weeks on the chart (in 2015): 30 [spent 15 more in 2014]
         Billboard Hot 100 peak: #32
         Songwriters: George Ezra, Joel Pott

Like Vance Joy, a generation of musicians grown up on Dave Matthews come to maturity, as this British indie-folk singer Ezra name-checks the capital of Hungary in random fashion, and made its mark in Europe before catching on in America. The lilting feel of the song punctured by the "I'd Leave It All" tag, left to be misinterpreted by throngs of drunken karaoke singers.

Killer lyrics: My friends and family,
                     They don't understand,
                     They fear they'd lose so much,
                     If you take my hand...

#12 - "Sugar" - Maroon 5
          from the album V (2014)
          Highest rank: #3 (five weeks)
          Weeks on the chart: 27
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #2
          Songwriters: Adam Levine, Ammo [Joshua Coleman], Lukasz Gottwald [Dr. Luke], Kirkut [Henry Walker], Mike Posner, Jacob Hindlin

The lite-disco nugget from the hottest pop/rock band at the moment comes originally from the pen of top-ten singer Mike Posner ("Cooler Than Me"), who donated the song to the band to be jacked up into the chunk of pop cheese that graced pop radio for much of the year. The biggest hit from their fifth album, it only gets dropped a notch in my book only for the totally non-real "reality" video that accompanied it, with weddings "fake" interrupted by the band.

Killer lyrics: I don't wanna be needing your love,
                     I just wanna be deep in your love,
                    And it's killing me when you're away...

#11 - "Photograph" - Ed Sheeran
          from the album x (2014)
          Highest rank: 2 (one week)
          Weeks on the chart: 27
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #10
          Songwriters: Ed Sheeran, Johnny McDaid

The scruffy British singer/songwriter took us into his own childhood with this incredibly sweet video that accompanies this song about lovers apart who use the titular item as a symbol of their love. Meant as a missive to girlfriend Nina Nesbitt, this quiet storm lasted much longer than the relationship did.

Killer lyrics: We made these memories for ourselves,
                     Where our eyes are never closing,
                     Hearts were never broken,
                     And time's forever frozen still...

Tomorrow I'll cap off the year end by going through the top ten songs on my chart for 2015, with some reggae, some Funk, some dance, and some monogamy.

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