December 30, 2015

Best pop song of 2015

Nominate only one, since there aren't that many to take note of. And no quirky sub-sub-sub-scene songs -- legit pop songs that reflect the general zeitgeist. Here is the year-end Hot 100 Billboard chart.

My pick: "Shut Up and Dance" by Walk the Moon, which ranked #6 for the year, edging out the seemingly indomitable "Blank Space" by Taylor Swift. While the cosplay '80s video is OK, the music stands on its own for evoking maximum Eighties-ness -- upbeat, cheerful, and sincere.

Unlike contempo dance songs where moving your body is overly sexualized and attention-whoring -- basically encouraging everyone in the dance club to act like self-aware strippers, and feeling judged under the spotlight -- this one makes you feel like dancing just to have some carefree wholesome fun and get lost in the moment.

The frontman says it was influenced by "Just What I Needed", "Hit Me with Your Best Shot", and "Jessie's Girl", but I don't hear any of them in there. It's more like Big Country composed a danceable Celtic rock song with a strong drum beat, Howard Jones was invited to bring earnest affection to the vocals, and Joshua Tree-era U2 provided the driving shimmery guitar strumming.

If this can't make the socially awkward Millennials get out on the dance floor and just let their minds and bodies go, then nothing can. Stop trying to act like retarded strippers and just have fun!


  1. Uma Thurman by Fallout Boy

  2. Even though Shut Up And Dance has a cool 1980's vibe to it, it's too blue pill in regards to women for my taste. The Fallout Boy song seems more post feminist and cynical and I dig that We're The Munsters show vibe in the song.

  3. Oh c'mon, *beep boop* lyrics contain insufficient negging of vapid bitches, does not compute, body cannot resonate with the beat.

    The Fall Out Boy song is OK, but if you're talking about lyrics, how emo can you get?

    "Bury me 'til I confess"

    "The stench, the stench of summer sex
    And CK eternity, oh, hell, yes
    Divide me down to the smallest I can be
    Put your, put your v-v-venom in me"


    Why do the red pill types always fantasize about being destroyed by bipolar chicks?

  4. "Why do the red pill types always fantasize about being destroyed by bipolar chicks?" I don't think they fantasize about being destroyed by BPD chicks perse, but they do like to remind themselves how they got to their current understanding of women when they start to feel the dopamine chemistry of being around a new girl who appears to be like she is "the one" again at first... then reality settles back in. As for the song, yeah it is pretty damn emo, but it's so over the top no one can really take it seriously. I thought the actual melody of the song was more memorable than the lyrics whereas Shut Up And Dance is the other way around.

  5. Johnny Caustic12/30/15, 10:06 PM

    I know it's too obvious, and technically it was released in late 2014, but "Uptown Funk" seems to be the song of 2015. Everywhere I go, in the US or internationally, everyone's dancing to it and singing it at karaoke. It just universally gets people off their feet.

  6. Tove Lo was all over the radio in the first half of 2015, even though her record released in 2014. Habits or Talking Body are her biggest hits. Focus is clearly on hedonism in most of her songs. Her album is good.

    For a 2015 release I'd go with Bieber. There is no depth to his lyrics, but he's hooking up with DJs to get a decent sound. Sorry and Where Are Ü Now are good examples.

    I don't agree with your pick. I don't think there will be a resurgence of 80s-influenced songs. The trend is towards singers partnering up with DJs like Calvin Harris or Skillrex and creating some worthless lyrics that go with a good beat. Or a song talking about the hedonistic lifestyle a lot of these kids are living nowadays.

  7. I'm woefully not up to date with recent music, but I liked Adele's Hello.

  8. 'Shut up and dance with me' has got a very 80s feel to it.

  9. Brian Calloway12/31/15, 11:22 AM

    Elle King- Ex's and Oh's

    The modern basic bitch thinking she is a goddess when in reality, she is just every man's favorite whore.

  10. The "Shut Up" singer also looks like he borrowed his schnozz from Colin Hay

  11. Elle King, Ellie Goulding... what it is about Ell- ---ing that makes them use such affected overworked pronunciation?

    That's another great part about "Shut Up and Dance" -- unaffected pronunciation. Just a regular guy opening up, not a hyper-tailored stage persona for some drama queen's Instagram followers.

    Adele is a great singer, but I wish there were more music in her songs.

    Tove Lo can't sing, the beat is boring and undanceable. She's marketing her persona more than anything, and what do we get there? A plain-faced, used-up attention junkie.

    Compare with the fresh-faced, bright-smiling, energetic dancer babe from the Walk the Moon video -- night and day. And not a single twerk or stripper move in the whole video.

    Skrillex meets Justin Bieber trying to sing like a big boy... It's like a dubstep re-mix of a John Mayer song. Latter-day bebop music with latter-day schmaltzy crooner vocals.

    The whole EDM / drum & bass / whatever-step sound -- it's a movement for people who can't move. If you're not in touch with your body, might as well demand music with a beat that's broken, put on pause without warning, sped up, slowed down, jerked here, jerked there... *nobody* can dance to that, so you won't stick out in the dance club as being kinesthetically challenged. Awesome sauce!

    I don't mind if there's not another '80s revival -- as long as we have a few good place-holder songs like "Shut Up and Dance," it's all good until they come up with something newer and better.

    People forget what happened to jazz after the Jazz Age -- it degenerated into cacophonous big-band swing, and then bebop, where the musicians pretend their fingers are possessed by Jackson Pollock's paintbrushes.

    The same is going on with techno / EDM / dumbstomp / etc. It isn't cool or danceable just because it's new and weird. New Wave was new, unusual, exotic -- but solid musically, and body-moving. And unpretentious, not pseudo-intellectual.

  12. This may be a "sub-sub-sub" genre nomination but Father John Misty's (aka Josh Tillman) "I Love You Honeybear" is the only new song I liked this year.

    Tillman is a poz gamma hipster with a punchable shitlib face but he has the best male vocals of his generation. The song gets at the anxiety of our times.


  13. If we're going with hedonistic club music, they're still making some of it that's actually danceable. Once again my guilty pleasure Charli XCX, "Doing It":

    It's got just the right twinge of bittersweet in there to keep it from being just another hedonistic "I'll do what I want" / "fuck the haters" thump-thump anthem. The minor key, the wistful synth bells, the slight break in her voice, all add little touches of sadness, guilt, or regret. I don't hear brattiness like I do in other hedonistic club songs, it's actually a fairly cool, mellow vibe for an early 20's Millennial to pull off. All the harmony and studio layering gives it a sophisticated polish, too.

    Tone-wise it's similar to "Come Undone", the last great song by Duran Duran, although "Doing It" is a simpler composition because it's by a singer-songwriter and a hired team, rather than an organic band. Not too shabby, though.

  14. "Tillman is a poz gamma hipster with a punchable shitlib face but"

    Hey, take a look at Walk the Moon's pictures. Two have flagrant gay-whoosh hair-dos, another has the most surprised babyface I've ever seen, and the singer once wore a hoodie with rainbow colors.

    Probably not straight:

    But as long as the music is good, I don't care if they're hipsters or homos.

    (My ongoing look into who in the entertainment industry is a buggerer is to reveal some kind of gay conspiracy, since they don't make good movies or music, unlike the handful of gay singers from the '80s. They must have been elevated and shoved in the face of mainstream audiences for other reasons -- to subtly condition normal people to accept deviants, to provide sexually non-threatening male characters for a rape-fearing female audience, to serve as warm holes for the gay cabal that runs Hollywood, or some other damn twisted reason.)

  15. Agreed w/ the OP--Shut Up and Dance screams 80s! positivity and is the best pop song of the year.

  16. ", might as well demand music with a beat that's broken, put on pause without warning,"

    This sort of crap is why I don't listen to modern music. Prior to 1992, this kind of cheapo tactic was only used for jump scares in horror movies. Now it's in pop music? It was annoying enough in 90's "alternative" crapola (at least the industrial/techno/nu-metal BS that was being hyped as "grittier" than 80's dance music and 80's metal). That garbage was simplistic, lazy, crudely discordant clear-out-the-room material for an increasingly alienated and paranoid set of late Gen X-ers/early Millennials.

    It just doesn't take talent or effort to make something that's ugly or simple. But when people started mocking the sincerity and creativity of the 80's, what do we expect artists to do? The very things that made art effective from the mid 60's-late 80's are now scoffed at as "dated".

  17. "They must have been elevated and shoved in the face of mainstream audiences for other reasons -- to subtly condition normal people to accept deviants, to provide sexually non-threatening male characters for a rape-fearing female audience, to serve as warm holes for the gay cabal that runs Hollywood, or some other damn twisted reason.)"

    Hate to say it, but the public didn't need conditioning. The Oprahfication of the West began in earnest around 1990, though the public wasn't quite ready to fully buy into it until around 1996 or so. Cocooning really had set in by that point, and crime was beginning to fall. With less genuine danger, fewer suicides or runaways, fewer people becoming homeless, etc., people's sense of wholesome decency and integrity started to whither. I guess it's because in the absence of threats, maybe our normality detector stops working. "Do I want a fag taking my boy on a scouting trip?" In 1987, hell no. In 2000, we can't let anyone's feeling get hurt, right?

    I think the over promotion of homos since the early 90's has created a gnarled mess which many compromised players cannot attempt to fix safely. Because so many gay actors/directors/producers/agents/execs/ have been mutually corrupting/using/blackmailing each other, they now simply can't afford to deny opportunities to many people who may not be very talented or qualified.

    Why do the Ryan Reynold's of Hollywood keep getting big parts? It's because they've got dirt that could destroy whole studios. Ya think Brian Singer is going to get run outta town any time soon. No way. And it goes without saying that California's criminal "justice" system is a complete joke. You'll be nailed if you're broke. But if you've got the right money and connections, you've got impunity. If you want to feel sick, just google "California pedophile ring" or something to that effect to see what happens when rootless strivers, desperate weirdos, gays, and Jews cluster in large numbers.

    There's a great measure of rootlessness, liberal nihilism, and sheer abnormality: the frequency and size of pedo rings.

  18. The song "cool for the summer" by Demi Lovato is catchy in a chilled out way - although its purportedly about two girls dyking out with each other.

    The subject material doesn't ruin the feel of the song,IMO.

  19. More dull and boring than chilled out. You can do a cool, sophisticated summer song with a minimalist instrumentation and vocal-centric sound, but it has come from musicians rather than hack songwriters and pseudo-slut singers:

    "Long Hot Summer" - Style Council

    (Album version is longer and better sounding, if you're going to download it.)

  20. I don't think you *can* separate the dull, heroin-dazed sound of songs like "Cool for the Summer" and their bicurious or otherwise sexually weird lyrics. The same mindset is drawn to self-medication with hard drugs and experimenting sexually.

    They're both forms of avoiding real life and trying to take a shortcut to an emotionally pleasing state, but without having gone through the normal process, it doesn't last and needs to be re-fed so often, leading to joyless addiction.

    I think that's the way to get young guys away from, and ultimately against, these kinds of racy songs and videos. As naive inexperienced Millennials, they think, "All right, if she's so sexually hungry that she's doing chicks, just imagine how horny she must be for the real thing with dudes like me! Effort-free one-night-stand, baby!"

    Back on planet Earth, the bicurious girls are avoiding guys -- emotionally, socially, and physically. They're trying to stay in the warm cocoon of pre-adolescent life where they didn't have to interact with those noisy, rowdy, smelly boys. No different from faggots who think girls are yucky.

    By tolerating and even celebrating the climate where Demi Lovato finds massive success, young guys are sealing their own sexual fate. They get to beat off to girl-on-girl porn videos, instead of getting a normal girlfriend and developing a normal relationship with her, and after meshing with the right one, getting married and starting a family.

    Naive Millennials think that by avoiding normal long-term relationships, marriage, family, etc., they're going to enjoy catting around with babes indefinitely. In reality, they get to whack off or at most watch from the sidelines while two girls make out with each other at a house party or dance club.

    Basically the only kind of guy who can still cat around these days is what girls refer to as "random hot guy". We're talking 1 in 1000 guys, about. Just think back to high school or college -- out of the total male population there, how many did girls find so hot that he didn't need to commit to a relationship and could find *steady* hook-ups (not the hail-Mary, lottery jackpot hook-up)?

    When the original Sexual Revolution began with the Me Generation back in the 1970s, it was just the first steps toward growing degeneracy of sexual norms. In those initial days, "girls losing their inhibitions" meant they were going to hook up with guys rather than get married.

    But now it's 2016, and "losing their inhibitions" means girls are going to remain comfortably, awkwardly stunted in pre-adolescence, avoiding guys, and scratching the occasional horny-time summer itch with another girl.

    As a stark reminder, here's on old but still true post about the declining heterosexuality of young-adult women since the early '90s (data from the General Social Survey):

  21. Likewise, the lyrics for a musically superior song like "Long Hot Summer" are mature and reveal how messy, confusing, and painful the dating-and-mating game can be, but that looking for feel-good short-cuts is a fool's game.


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