2015 was an exciting year in music, and these were my favorite tracks of the year. It was tough to narrow down, but here we go.... my ultimate playlist!
Adventure of a Lifetime by Coldplay from the album A Head Full of Dreams-- I am always excited when a new Coldplay album comes out, Chris Martin is one of my favorite lead singers, there's just so much enthusiasm in everything he does. Lyrically, Coldplay is one of the most complex bands out there and Adventure of a Lifetime continues the complex lyric but with a disco sound that is most addictive.
Body on Me by Rita Ora featuring Chris Brown from upcoming Rita Ora album-- Some collaborations are a match made in heaven and this beauty between Rita Ora and Chris Brown is one of those. Somehow Rita makes Chris sound more mature. The song as well as the video is breathy, sexy, convincing, and passionate. I hope this is not the only time these two work together musically, the chemistry is real.
Break Up in a Small Town by Sam Hunt from the album Montevallo-- Welcome to music Sam Hunt! We love you! Sam Hunt is so country but he is so different. He has a rap/ talk twist, an R&B sound at times. He is the perfect mix of everything I love. The song is everything a good song should be, it hits hard and it is so emotional, it is looking to climb to number one on the country charts.
Can't Feel My Face by The Weeknd from the album Beauty Behind the Madness-- Perhaps on other male artist on this list had a year as big as The Weeknd. The only other person who perhaps had a better year musically was Adele.... Hello!The Weeknd exploded onto the scene last when as a relatively unknown artist in the US he sang a duet with Ariana Grande called Love Me Harder that climbed to the tops of the charts; he hasn't looked back. Rolling Stone called it the best song of 2015, critics have compared his vocals to those of Michael Jackson, and he has earned two Grammy nominations for the song-- Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance.
Confident by Demi Lovato from the album Confident-- I think Demi Lovato, at the ripe age of 23, is one of those artists who keeps getting better as time goes on. I believe her new album Confident is her best yet, it's fearless. The title track, co written by Lovato herself is a girl power anthem.
Cool for the Summer by Demi Lovato from the album Confident-- Called by some music critics maybe the best summer song ever, Cool for the Summer was the lead single off Lovato's fifth studio album Confident. I think perhaps what I enjoyed about it more than anything else is that when I listen to it, it makes me feel like it's summer all the time, not a bad way to feel. Lovato continues to mature on every album and this single is indicative of that-- there's a certain sex appeal and people are loving it.
Die a Happy Man by Thomas Rhett from the album Tangled Up-- Die a Happy Man is just a legit pure love song. Simple music, simple lyrics, strong delivery, and you have a number one country hit from relative newcomer Thomas Rhett. Rhett says the song was inspired by his wife Lauren and the music video is the two of them and was shot while they vacationed in Hawaii. Look for this one to do well when the country music award nominations come out this entire year.
Energy by Drake from the mixtape If You're Reading This It's Too Late-- In 2015, Drake continued to prove that he is the real deal in rap and that he's a force to be a reckoned with for every other rap star out there. The fact that this song got so much play and was only on a mixtape is amazing to me. It's proof that Drake in constantly evolving creatively and I love it. The premise of the video, Drake pokes fun at a lot of other celebs, the song is not aimed at any one in particular, yet the lines of the song mean business.
Heartbeat Song by Kelly Clarkson from the album Piece by Piece-- Definitely inspired by 80s pop, Heartbeat Song marked a returns of sorts for Clarkson who took a short hiatus to have baby River Rose. Kelly revealed that she had some difficulties with her voice and doubted whether or not she would be able to return full voice. This song was proof that she need not worry, her vocals are intact. Clarkson emphatically proves that she is the best American Idol ever, and is one of the best vocalists bar none. The song is nominated for Best Pop Vocal Performance and I just know that she has as good a chance of winning this as anyone else, if not better.
Hello by Adele from the album 25-- Few artists can say they ever had a year like Adele did in 2015. Besides breaking record after record, Adele proved that no matter how long she stays away, her fans will always return. The song has hit number one in numerous countries and look for her to clean up big time at all the major music award shows in the next year.
Here by Alessia Cara from the debut album Know It All-- Alessia Cara says grown men have approached her to thank her for writing "Here". Cara says the song is secretly about people who hate going to parties and social events. I can relate. I love Alessia's sound, and I think what I like the most about her is that she makes being an introvert cool again. It's good to be different is what her song says, and I don't mind singing it out loud.
The Hills by The Weeknd from the album Beauty Behind the Madness-- Sex, drugs, and rock and roll or in this case, R&B. It's pretty much what The Hills is all about. The Weeknd continues on this song to take us into his dark world, and people must really love it because it was his third hit in 2015 and replaced Can't Feel My Face at number one. The Weeknd is only the second artist to do this on a debut album (the other was Rihanna).
Hotline Bling by Drake from the upcoming album Views From the Six-- If anything, this song has been controversial from the lyrics to the video; Drake knows how to make people talk about him and sing along at times. Many feminist critics said the song was slut shaming-- asking your ex why she isn't coming over to be friends with benefits anymore because she's moved on to someone else? And the video, Drake's rap competition made fun of the way he danced saying he made a fool of himself in the video.
How Deep is Your Love by Calvin Harris and the Disciples-- Supposedly, allegedly inspired by his relationship with Taylor Swift, How Deep Is Your Love may just be one of my fave Calvin Harris songs ever! I love the beat, I love the uncredited vocals, and I love that it is literally begging someone to answer the question of How Deep is Your Love. Oh, and for all the guys out there, did I mention the video stars the gorgeous Gigi Hadid?
Lay Me Down by Sam Smith from the album In the Lonely Hour-- This makes it on here because although this was Smith's debut single from 2013, it only charted in 2015 after he re-recorded it and re-released it. This song is a triumphant declaration from the heart. It literally gets me every time, lyrically it's beautiful and vocally, it's perfection. If this is a debut, what comes next? I can't wait.
Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding from the Fifty Shades of Grey original soundtrack-- This was Gouldings first number one hit in many countries. In fact, she almost did not get the song at all because she wasn't interested in doing a song for a soundtrack, and at one point, the song was going to be given to Demi Lovato. Personally, I think Ellie's voice really suits the song and I love that it has received Grammy and Golden Globe nominations.
The Night is Still Young by Nicki Minaj from the album the Pinkprint-- Let me tell you what I love about this song... this song is proof that Nicki is not just a rapper but a singer and an entertainer, this woman has a voice. I also love how she has so much versatility, she can rap about something really serious but then she can sing this light almost romantic song. I cannot wait to see what Nicki does next.
On My Mind by Ellie Goulding from the album Delirium-- Everyone knows I am a big Ed Sheeran fan and he wrote the song Don't about a girl who was going out with who he had real feelings for who cheated on him with someone else. Many say it was about Ellie Goulding cheating on him with Niall from 1D. On My Mind is said to be the answer song to Don't. Ellie describes a one night stand where she was with someone she shouldn't have been with. The music video is fun and very Thelma & Louise, many say it's her best single to date.
Out of the Woods by Taylor Swift from the album 1989-- Described by Taylor as a song that is about the "fragility and breakable nature of some relationships," it's about going through the day in and day out, the ups and the downs and wondering if you're going to get through it or not, wondering if the relationship is going to work. Some say this song is about her former relationship with Harry Styles from 1D. The video to the song premiered on New Year's Rockin' Eve and we may be talking about this song again in 2016 since it looks to climb the charts this year. It would be no surprise to say Taylor has another hit on her hands.
Should've Been Us by Tori Kelly from the debut album Unbreakable Smile-- When Tori Kelly was 16, she auditioned for American Idol and made it all the way to Hollywood week only to get cut. I love American Idol, but hearing Tori's voice now makes me think that they made a huge mistake. Not only does she have a killer voice, but she's also a songwriter which is becoming more and more rare in the music industry. It makes Tori a diamond in the rough. Ignore the horribly pointless video.
Sorry by Justin Bieber from the album Purpose-- The song has already made it to number one, and I have to say, I was never a huge Justin Bieber fan but so many of the songs from this album have so much maturity to them and I am really enjoying listening to these new songs and hearing/ seeing this new side of Justin Bieber. Many fully believe that the song is an apology to former girlfriend Selena Gomez. Justin says the song is about manning up and apologizing for mistakes.
Stitches by Shawn Mendes from the debut album Handwritten-- I think Stitches had the distinction of being the slowest climb to number one of any song. It's one of those songs I kept hearing on the radio for a good portion of the year. Mendes says the song is about feeling heartbroken and beaten up, which I think is honestly something that most can relate to. As a side note, I am loving his duet with Camilla Cabello, I Know What You Did Last Summer.
Style by Taylor Swift from the album 1989-- Rumored to be about her romance with Harry Styles, Style (get it?) was a stylish song that hit right before the summer, and I think it was definitely one of the songs of Summer 2015. Critics loved the song, many said it was the best track on 1989, said it fit like a "cashmere lined leather glove".
Sugar by Maroon 5 from the album V-- Maroon 5 is one of my all time favorite bands ever, and this song is them at their best. Adam's vocals are so on point and perfect, and lyrically, I feel like every woman out there is thinking, Adam is singing to me. The video to the song was inspired by the movie Wedding Crashers and features the band crashing weddings and singing. The expressions from the brides and grooms and their guests are absolutely priceless. The song is up for Best Pop Duo/ Group Performance at the Grammy Awards, and it's my pick to win.
Want to Want Me by Jason Derulo from the album Everything is 4-- Despite the fact that I am unhappy with Jason's latest choice in girlfriends.... Daphne Joy? Really Jason, really?.... I will say that I absolutely loved Want to Want Me. Maybe it's because I am a child of the 80s and this song is so 80s, or maybe it's his ridiculous falsetto that never fails to impress me, but the song was a hit, and every time it came on the radio, I turned it up.
What Do You Mean? by Justin Bieber from the album Purpose-- In year's past, if you would have asked me if Justin Bieber would have appeared on any fave songs of the year post I wrote, I would have told you, you were crazy, and yet, the last two songs on this post are by Justin Bieber and he appeared a total of three times on my list for 2015. What Do You Mean? is all about a more grown up and more mature Biebs; it debuted at number one, and it proves that this kid knows how to make a come back. The song itself is simple but complicated with a super catchy hook, and is a sequel of sorts to the Skrillex/ Diplo song Where Are U Now? So good is What Do You Mean? that I fully believe it will be a candidate for award shows this year as well as next.
Where Are U Now? by Justin Bieber from the album Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack U-- Skrillex and Diplo said that when they decided to release an album they wanted to do something unexpected and working with Justin Bieber was unexpected. The song to me is lyrically an anthem for a love that has broken apart and you desperately need it back, but you want the other person to realize your worth too.