2015 in Review: Top 50 Songs

50. “Gosh” – Jamie xx

I’ve admittedly never been a big fan of The xx, so “Gosh” is something of a revelation for me; it’s the chance to hear Jamie xx unleashed and fully realizing his potential.

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49. “I Really Like You” – Carly Rae Jepsen

Chances are that you’ve heard this song, but have you ever stopped to consider that it’s actually really, really, really, really, really, REALLY good? It is.

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48. “Back to Back” – Drake

“Back to Back” was the punctuated end of Drizzy’s feud with Meek Mill, a freestyle so packed with punches that everyone left feeling winded.

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47. “Untouchable” – Pusha T

Pusha T gets his hubris from mentor Kanye West and the casual flow of “Untouchable” makes the bold, rewarding choice of lining Pusha up against a Biggie sample.

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46. “Bird of Prey” – Natalie Prass

Natalie Prass’ debut album is summed up in “Bird of Prey,” an airy jingle that feels delicately and meticulously crafted.

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45. “B—- Better Have My Money” – Rihanna

Rihanna’s top competition for the title of ultimate pop star is the likes of Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, and she comes to the fight swinging in this abrasive banger.

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44. “Baby Blue” – Action Bronson

Action Bronson is just as much an entertainer as he is a rapper, and “Baby Blue” strikes right at the heart of his humorous tone.

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43. “On The Regular” – Shamir

If you could point to anything as 21-year-old Shamir’s modus operandi “On The Regular” is it, a goofy, groovy hit that’s really only about having fun and not caring what you think about it.

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42. “Sandra’s Smile” – Blood Orange

When 2015 turned Blood Orange’s way with jazz and R&B seamlessly fusing in much of the year’s best music, he came back with “Sandra’s Smile” to prove he can do it with the best.

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41. “Great Big Storm” – Nate Reuss

Nate Reuss was born to write horn-laden stadium anthems, and “Great Big Storm” is reminiscent of some of his best work with fun. and The Format.

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40. “Satisfied” – Hamilton Cast

Picking a favorite Hamilton song is like picking a favorite child, but “Satisfied” stands out because of Renée Elise Goldsberry’s dazzling work as Angelica Schuyler.

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39. “Wanna Be Your Man” – Pokey LaFarge

“Wanna Be Your Man” missed its target audience by a few decades and would feel more at home in a saloon than a coffee shop, but there’s something endearing about LaFarge’s effortless nostalgia.

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38. “Grief” – Earl Sweatshirt

While the pads swell and the rhythm stutters clumsily, Earl doesn’t forget to remind his audience of how barbed and talented he is.

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37. “Hello” – Adele

The year’s biggest song from the world’s biggest voice, “Hello” finds Adele back in her melancholy rhythms, showcasing her legendary pipes at the expense of another painful memory.

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36. “Kill v. Maim” – Grimes

Grimes has perfected the craft of writing a pop song, but tracks like “Kill v. Maim” highlight what her fans love about her: the willingness to never compromise her raw creativity.

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35. “Hollywood” – Tobias Jesso Jr.

In an album full of soft-rock anthems, “Hollywood” stands out as Jesso’s most personal effort, a reflection on both upbringing and growing up.

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34. “Pedestrian at Best” – Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett announces her revival with her intentions laid bare: “Put me on a pedestal, and I’ll only disappoint you.”

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33. “No Cities to Love” – Sleater-Kinney

Sleater-Kinney didn’t change in its hiatus and “No Cities to Love” shows they haven’t lost a bit of edge in melody or poetry.

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32. “Hotline Bling” – Drake

Drake’s respite from feuds and surprise mixtapes comes in the form of a vintage R&B infused single highlighted by a keen awareness of internet culture.

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31. “$ave Dat Money” – Lil Dicky

A brilliant send-up of rap culture, Lil Dicky blends parody and craft in this self-aware ode to thriftiness.

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30. “Light” – Gungor

A lullaby to their daughter with Down Syndrome, “Light” is more of a Gungor journal entry than song.

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29. “Random Name Generator” – Wilco

If Star Wars ranks among Wilco’s most experimental releases, “Random Name Generator” ranks among their easiest to love.

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28. “American Beauty” – Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors

“American Beauty” isn’t sexy, but it does have a strange allure to it, one sort of like looking over the edge of the Rocky Mountains or driving through the hills of the Midwest.

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27. “Apollyon of Blue Room” – of Montreal

Aureate Gloom was a worthy follow-up to Lousy with Sylvianbriar and “Apollyon of Blue Room” stands out as Barnes’ catchiest track since “Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse.”

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26. “Brand New” – Ben Rector

When Ben Rector announced that his new record would be reflective of a renewed joy in making music, the title track cemented itself as one of his best: it’s effortlessly and unapologetically personal.

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