Well! Here we go again.
I worked my way through the Top 20 Albums of 2015 last week. And now, it’s time to twirl right through the singles.
This list is always way more fun to put together than the albums because I get to squeeze in more artists, although the ranking starts to feel especially arbitrary after a certain point. Let’s be real: I can’t really tell you the difference between a #38 and a #39 song. The main takeaway is that all of these songs are great, and I hope that you discover some new favorites in the bunch. (And yes, Adele made this list. No need to yell at me, Little Adelecopters.)
For a little refresher: My top single of 2014 was Sia‘s “Chandelier.” In 2013, it was Mutya Keisha Siobhan‘s “Flatline.” In 2012, it was Sky Ferreira‘s “Everything Is Embarrassing,” and in 2011, it was Britney‘s “Hold It Against Me.” I worship all these songs to this day — and this year’s winner will be a perfect addition to the altar.
Away we go. And if you’d like to listen to ’em all at once, subscribe to the playlist on Spotify.
50. Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea, “Pretty Girls”
I mean. Look: B9 is going to be amazing. I just know it.
49. Phoebe Ryan, “Dead”
A dreamy ode to that feeling when things seem way too good to be true by an artist about to make some big noise in 2016. Believe it.
48. Paris Hilton, “High Off My Love”
The Entrepreneurial Empress of Perfume, Purses and Luxury Beach Clubs in the Philippines takes a break from headlining in Ibiza to drop a space-age club stormer. Still #KillingIt, even after all these years.
47. Pia Mia, “Do It Again”
Princess Pia realizes that one night stand might be worth a few more rides and requests a repeat session across an irresistible interpolation of J Boog‘s “Let’s Do It Again.”
46. Tove Styrke, “Ego”
The other Tove supplies further proof that Sweden will forever be three hundred steps ahead when it comes to good pop.
45. Shura, “White Light”
Shimmering synth-y brilliance.
44. Tinashe, “Player”
Tinashe revs the engine before taking us out on her Joyride next year.
43. Kelly Clarkson, “Piece By Piece”
Kelly closes the chapter she began writing all the way back with “Because Of You.” Catharsis.
42. Carly Rae Jepsen, “I Really Like You”
Carly Rae is really (X6) happy to see you in the first, super-saccharine E•MO•TION serving. Tom Hanks approves, too.
41. Fifth Harmony, “Worth It”
The fivesome drop the Michelle Obama shout-outs and gimmicky selfie-speak to serve horn-heavy self-empowerment in their first real, long overdue hit.
40. Jasmine Thompson, “Adore”
Lovely, lightly pulsating bliss from a YouTuber on the brink of breaking big. Vive l’amour.
39. Ciara, “Dance Like We’re Making Love”
Not “Overdose,” but still very good. And that video? Forever giving us the most underrated of goodies.
38. Hilary Duff, “Sparks”
Hilary returns to electro-pop form with a whistle — and FAN DEMANDED arm swings.
37. XYconstant, “Do It Well (feat. Tom Aspaul)”
Not a Jennifer Lopez cover, yet somehow just as good.
36. Erik Hassle, “No Words”
“No Words” is actually Swedish for “disco YOLO moment.”
35. Zara Larsson and MNEK, “Never Forget You”
Two entirely deserving rising superstars join forces for an unexpectedly brilliant meeting of the musical minds.
34. Giorgio Moroder, “Tom’s Diner (feat. Britney Spears)”
Britney dreams of walking into a diner and getting a coffee unnoticed in a robotic take on the Suzanne Vega classic, turning simple diner observations into a melancholy daydream by a superstar longing for normalcy.
33. Ellie Goulding, “On My Mind”
Ellie bites the bullet and dives face-first into big pop production with Max Martin — and it works.
32. Major Lazer and DJ Snake, “Lean On (feat. MØ)”
Diplo and company blend together world sounds to create a groove that feels universally, undeniably cool.
31. Daya, “Hide Away”
One of the Ones To Watch in 2016 kicks off her pop career in pursuit of a good boy. Good luck with that one, girl.
30. Brandon Flowers, “Can’t Deny My Love”
Brandon’s thirst turns aggressive — and it’s pretty sexy.
29. Lana Del Rey, “High By The Beach”
Lizzy kicks back for a little puff puff in solace down by the seaside. No photographs, please — trust me.
28. Janelle Monae, “Yoga”
Janelle breaks out of Android World to become a yoga instructor with a few fierce poses to teach us. Don’t like her newest sound? Get off her areola.
27. Little Mix, “Black Magic”
The ladies of Little Mix prove that when it comes to girl group magic, the UK always does it better.
26. Justin Bieber, “I’ll Show You”
Justin finally shows us his…softer side.
Continue to Page 2, if the spirit moves you…