Once again, there isn’t much debate about who reigned the year in pop music. The clear choice is Adele. Other than “Hello”, few songs had such broad appeal and praise this year. Much like Taylor Swift in 2014, Adele swooped in during the last quarter of the year to deliver a song and an album that were considered a must listen. If you couple that with sales unprecedented by today’s standards, all that was missing from the chanteuse was a mic drop. But she’s too classy for that. Leave it to Taylor Swift to mop up all the adulation. She embarked on a victory tour selling out stadiums and surrounding herself with special guests (including rock royalty) in a vain attempt to bolster her brand and her cred. She wasn’t the only one jumping up and down saying “look at me”. One of the biggest songs of the year had a nation whipping and nae-naeing all over social media.
Silento and his hit song “Watch Me (Whip/Nae-nae)” is the modern update of “Land of a 1000 Dances”,albeit a terrible one. At first, I assumed the whole purpose of this song was an excuse to get your grandmother up at a wedding reception to see if she could do the “Duff” or the “Stanky Leg”. Plainly, the songs true message is in the repeated phrase, “WatchMe!” The song seems like a metaphor for these self absorbed times. Yes, watch me Instagram, now watch me You Tube, watch me Vine, now watch me Periscope, etc. You get the idea.
I can’t really comment too much on 2015. For all that I bought a lot of music (despite my perpetual New Year’s Resolution to cut back) very little of it was by any artist under the age of 50.
But I’d like to thank Cliff for his essay and all the links because I did sample most of them and I do know I’m not missing much.
I’ve long stood firmly in the E Pluribus (Mr. Mod, there’s a summons we need!) camp of there being no good music since 1983 (or was it 1982?). And while I recognize that good & bad aren’t really the operative words, I do know that there isn’t much since 1983 that has been geared towards my likes.
One additional comment. I thought the song “Shut Up & Dance” by Walk The Moon had it’s charms (although I didn’t last through the whole performance) one of which was the phrase “discotheque Juliet”.
In all seriousness…
One of my New Year’s resolution last year was to seek out more new music. As it turned out, most of the albums I listened to were from 2014. I haven’t fully caught up to 2015. So far in 2015 I really dug the albums by Nikki Lane, Kurt Vile and especially Courtney Barnett.
Man, I’m glad I don’t have teenage girls in my house. I really hate that shit, pretty much from top to bottom in every way there is to hate it.
That being said, 2015 was kinda slow for me for new music this year. I bought more older things like reissues and “first time on vinyl” kinds of things than I did new stuff. The only two things from this year that I really, really liked a lot are Sleater Kinney and Lucero’s new one. The new Blitzen Trapper is good, too. I’m hoping 2016 is stronger for the bands I like or new bands I don’t know I like yet.
Good stuff! I saw Nikki Lane at Gypsy Sally’s in DC last year and she is the bomb. I liked a couple of the songs on Courtney Barnett’s album too — a little Aussie music is always welcome.
I also liked Gill Landry’s solo album (he’s in Old Crow Medicine Show) and a 2015 record from Lilly Hiatt (John Hiatt’s daughter). I posted some odds and sods from these and others in 2015 here: https://soundcloud.com/funoka123