Much like last year I haven’t paid close attention to many of the releases that have come out. I actually had to go over the release calendar from CD Japan, iTunes and my own reviews to see what I did listen to. I don’t have a top 5 of anything to list and I’ll just mention what caught my ear over the past year instead.
The Weeknd – Earned It
The Canadian singer/songwriter/producer has blown up huge in 2015 with his second album Beauty Behind the Madness with both The Hills and Can’t Feel My Face reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
Earned It is one of its album cuts and was featured on the soundtrack for the movie adaptation of the Fifty Shades of Grey novel. It seems like an odd choice given that there is a plethora of goodness from Beauty Behind the Madness to choose from. For me, it’s a reminder of 90’s era R&B balladry with its use of tasteful sexual innuendo and overall feel.
Disclosure feat. Sam Smith – Omen
Omen is the second collaboration between English electronic duo Disclosure and their fellow countryman Sam Smith. It is the second single from Disclosure’s album Caracal and was number one on the Billboard Dance Club songs chart for the week of October 10.
This has that kind of groove that works well with my dance music sensibilities and I found it to be much better than Sam Smith’s solo work from this year. You know, some theme song for a dude named James Bond.
Momoiro Clover Z x KISS – Yume no Ukiyoni Saite Mina
I pretty much forgot that this was released in 2015. I was thinking 2014 for some reason. Anyway, I thought that this was a fun collaboration that combined the best of what both groups do best. KISS’ shameless marketing and Momoiro Clover Z’s willingness to try just about anything musically whether it works for them or not. xD
I’m just kidding, I do like the song and Momoiro Clover Z’s cover of Rock and Roll All Night which appears as a b-side on the Momoclo version of the single.
AKB48 – Bokutachi wa Tatakawanai
Okay, cool and rather senseless video aside (what exactly are they fighting for again?) this is probably the best of the batch of AKB48 singles that were released this year in my opinion. The combination of light EDM type sounds and acoustic instruments made this different from the more conventional (and predictable) material this group is known to put out during their release cycle.
Morning Musume ’15 – Sukatto My Heart
I didn’t necessarily care for a lot of what Hello! Project’s flagship group released this year, but this one song did catch my ear. Hey, I’m a sucker for them disco grooves I guess. And honestly I wish they would do something like this more often instead of milking the Electro Musume cow dryer than they already have.
Gallette – Air Summer
I don’t jump on every idol group that exists since I don’t have the time or resources to do it so I really have no clue who this group is. I took a chance on this song and I’m glad I did. I don’t know if some of you are old enough to remember when Euro dance was cool, but that’s what this reminds me of.
GENERATIONS from EXLE TRIBE – All For You
GENERATIONS’ second album GENERATION EX was just okay and didn’t really leave a big impression on me. This single however did just that. The cover of I Believe in Miracles is a bonus that adds to the goodness of the entire package.
Matt Cab feat. MACO – To You
This is another one of those songs I picked up on blind faith. I knew of Matt Cab due to his collaboration with m-flo but that was about it. To You was a pleasant surprise and was my introduction to another artist I’m currently checking out, MACO.
Lyrical School – I.D.O.L.R.A.P.
This is just great and an example of idol Hip-Hop done correctly. It’s got the old school style party beats and the group stick to what they do best and leave the questionable singing at home.
Missy Elliot feat. Pharrell Williams – WTF (Where They From)
This is just badass. That all I really have to say.