Monday, December 28, 2015

twostepcubchart's Best of 2015: Part Seven - #40 to #31...

Here we go, back to the countdown of the biggest songs on my weekly music chart for 2015. I've tallied the numbers each week, and this is what went the highest and stayed the longest this year. In case you're just getting here, you can click to check out part one, part two, part three, part four, part five, and part six, as well as my Boxing Day bonus of the 25 songs that just missed the list. And away we go as we enter the top-40....

#40 - "Blank Space" - Taylor Swift
          from the album 1989 (2014)
          Highest rank: #13 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart (in 2015): 21 [was on for four weeks in 2014]
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1
          Songwriters: Taylor Swift, Max Martin, Shellback

"The one where Taylor makes fun of her own image." The second single from Swift's 1989 pop departure begins with a "For Your Eyes Only" keyboard tag, then flows like a hip-hop track, as she revels in the crazy, and smartly, it works. Branding in the Madonna fashion, but with wordplay that keeps you hooked beyond the hooks, she apparently has the best of the Martin/Shellback compositions.

Killer lyrics: Saw you there and I thought,
                      "Oh my God, look at that face
                      You look like my next mistake
                      Love's a game, wanna play?"

(Click below to see the rest of the post)

#39 - "Ship To Wreck" - Florence + The Machine
          from the album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (2015)
          Highest rank: #5 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart: 19
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: did not chart ['bubbled under' at #114]
          Songwriters: Florence Welch, Kid Harpoon [Tom Hull]

 Tom Hull is Florence's ace in the hole, co-writing her hits "Shake It Off", "What Kind Of Man", and her collab with Calvin Harris, "Sweet Nothing" (which topped my chart in 2013). This song, which i surprisingly nominated for a Grammy in the pop category, goes the jangle-rock route swirling around her professing how she's ruining her relationship out of her own doing.

Killer lyrics: Don't touch the sleeping pills, they mess with my head,
                     Dredging the Great White Sharks, swimming in the bed,
                     And here comes a Killer Whale, to sing me to sleep,
                    Thrashing the covers off, it has me by it's teeth...

#38 -  "Cecilia and the Satellite" - Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
          from the album Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness (2014)
          Highest rank: #9 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart: 23
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #96
          Songwriters: Andrew McMahon, James Flannigan, Anders Grahn

The former member of the emo band Something Corporate and harder-edged Jack's Mannequin goes it alone with a more electro-pop background with this love poem that soars over the wall of synths for the woman that saved him, as he's only a speck on the expanse of her greatness...

Killer lyrics: Crashed my car, I was 17,
                     My mother in the seat riding next to me,
                     The things I've learned from a broken mirror,
                     How a face can change when a heart knows fear...

#37 - "Black Sun" - Death Cab for Cutie
          from the album Kintsugi (2015)
          Highest rank: #9 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart: 19
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: did not chart ['bubbled under' at #114]
          Songwriter: Ben Gibbard

As the veteran indie-pop band released their eighth album and last with original member Chris Walla, as Ben Gibbard mourns the loss of a love with a bitter pill that feels like the car hitting him in the video...

Killer lyrics: There is a role of a lifetime,
                     And there's a song yet to be sung,
                     And there's a dumpster in the driveway,
                     Of all the plans that came undone...

#36 - "I'm Not The Only One" - Sam Smith
          from the album In The Lonely Hour (2014)
          Highest rank (in 2015): #1 (two weeks) [was also #1 for two weeks in 2014]
          Weeks on the chart (in 2015): 14 [was on for 15 weeks in 2014]
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #5
          Songwriters: Sam Smith, Jimmy Napes (James Napier)

The first of ten songs to go to #1 on my chart in 2015 (current topper "Hello" came in so quickly at the end that it missed my list entirely at #168), this was also the one that started off the year. After his solo breakthrough with "Stay With Me", this strolling observation of his situation, that the object of his love will never be able to return the favor. Been there, done that. Diana Agron's decent into madness is flawless in the music video. [Having spent the final weeks of 2014 at #1, this ended up at #71 on that year-end list.]

Killer lyrics: I have loved you for many years,
                     Maybe I am just not enough,
                     You've made me realize my deepest fear,
                     By lying and tearing us up...

#35 - "Call My Name" - Avery Sunshine
          from the album The SunRoom (2014)
          Highest rank: #9 (one week)
          Weeks on the chart (in 2015): 17 [was on for five weeks in 2014]
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: did not chart

The neo-soul singer from the Philly burbs brought class to my chart with this real reflection on a stagnant relationship, and offering up what is needed to bring it back. Avery's honey-soaked voice was a welcome respite in a year where whined-out rap music dominated R&B radio.

Killer lyrics: Tell me sweet nothing's no more,
                      I guess life has gotten in the way,
                     How in the world could this happen to us,
                     We use to have so much to say...
         from the album 1989 (2014)
         Highest rank: #1 (four weeks)
         Weeks on the chart (in 2015): 14 [still charting]
         Billboard Hot 100 peak: #5
         Songwriters: Taylor Swift, Max Martin, Shellback

Taylor takes a page out of the Lana Del Rey playbook and does it one better, with the epic emotional pinnacle of her 1989 album slowly building from minor-chord rumblings to the booming chorus about loss and not getting over things. The movie-star turn in the music video fit the "bigness" of this whirl of released feelings.

Killer lyrics: I said, "No one has to know what we do, "
                     His hands are in my hair, his clothes are in my room,
                     And his voice is a familiar sound,
                     Nothing lasts forever but this is getting good now...

#33 - "Hold My Hand" - Jess Glynne
          from the album I Cry When I Laugh (2015)
          Highest rank (in 2015): #14 [still climbing]
          Weeks on the chart (in 2015): 38 [still charting]
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #86
          Songwriters: Jess Glynne, Jack Patterson, Ina Wroldsen, Janée Bennett

Jess provided lead vocals for the song at #3 on my year-end chart for 2014 on Clean Bandit's "Rather Be", and that group's Jack Patterson returns the favor by co-writing this uplifting neo-house throwdown that simply was the best of the British dance records of the year. After conquering her homeland, she is finally getting love in America, reaching the top of the Adult top-40 and Dance Radio charts.

Killer lyrics: Don't wanna know that feeling when I'm all alone,
                     So please don't make me wait cause I don't wanna break
                     And I don't wanna fall...

#32 - "Talking Body" - Tove Lo
          from the album Queen Of The Clouds (2014)
          Highest rank: #8 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart: 20
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #12
          Songwriters: Tove Lo, Ludvig Söderberg, Jakob Jerlström

This was a year where women took their sexuality in their own hands, like this Swedish alt-rock siren, who doesn't ask, but demands, her pleasure. In return, "We f**k for life.". Even Stevens. While her "Habits" missed the big 100 last year (due to chart timing), this was the more enjoyable track for me anyways.

Killer lyrics: Day drunk into the night,
                     Wanna keep you here,
                     Cause you dry my tears,
                    Yeah, summer lovin' and fights,
                     How it is for us...

#31 - "Ghost" - Ella Henderson
          from the album Chapter One (2014)
          Highest rank: #5 (two weeks)
          Weeks on the chart (in 2015): 17 [was on for 25 more weeks in 2014]
          Billboard Hot 100 peak: #21
          Songwriters: Ella Henderson, Ryan Tedder, Noel Zancanella, Kenan Williams

Former X Factor UK finalist Henderson ruled the charts in England last year with this song that Leona Lewis would've killed for, and this year made it to American shores. One of eight songs that appeared on last year's countdown that come back for a repeat performance, it's a shame nothing else from the stellar debut album was able to make it on U.S. radio.

Killer lyrics: I had to go through hell to prove I'm not insane,
                     Had to meet the devil just to know his name...

I'll be back tomorrow with a pair from a songwriting ingenue, a pair of neo-soul ladykillers, a pair that finally conquered rock radio, and more.

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