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Cute Butch People w/ Sparklers (Top 60 Singles, 2015)
Those enticed here by the promise of butch and sparklers may be disappointed that the title pretty much only applies to the Dev vid — though I've not looked so thoroughly as to guarantee you won't find butch and sparkle throughout.

"Born To Wub" was another prospective title; it too only really goes with the Dev track.

Next year I'll just post my favorite Dev song, and announce, "Dev Contains Everything."

Was also thinking of calling this, "You Already Know Who It Is"; I've made this list into a YouTube playlist, and those are the words Silentó introduces himself with, on the first track.

And after all, you already knew I was gonna give you Dev, and T-ara, and K-pop. In 2012 I simply called my half-year list, "More Songs From K-pop, Dev, and Cassie." A year earlier I'd called it "Dev Like Cassie."

But there's also wub in Vince Staples' "Norf Norf": wobble that's disembodied from a beat. And there's wub deep in Ash-B's larynx.

1. Silentó "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)"
2. Ash-B "매일"
3. The Seeya with Le "The Song Of Love"
4. Azin "Delete"
5. HyunA ft. Jung Ilhoon "Roll Deep (Because I'm The Best)"
6. Dev "Parade"

7. Rihanna "Bitch Better Have My Money"
8. Crayon Pop "FM"
9. ZZBEst "랄랄라"
10. Red Velvet "Ice Cream Cake"
11. Titica "Você Manda Fogo"
12. Ash-B "What's Real"
13. Daphne And Celeste "You And I Alone"
14. SHINee "View"
15. Ash-B "누구야"
16. 4minute "Crazy"
17. Jason Derulo "Cheyenne"

18. Lil Mama "Sausage"
19. The-Dream "Cedes Benz"
20. BiSH "BiSH: On A Night When Stars Are Twinkling"
21. Momoiro Clover Z vs KISS "Yumeno Ukiyoni Saitemina"
22. Romeo Santos "Hilito"
23. Kendrick Lamar "King Kunta"
24. Pungdeng-E "Ppippippappa"

25. MC Doni ft. Натали "Ты такой"
26. BiSH "OTNK"
27. Jason Aldean "Just Gettin' Started"
28. Christine and the Queens "Christine"
29. Sofi De La Torre "What People Do"
30. Vince Staples "Norf Norf"
31. Feder "Goodbye"
32. Caro Emerald "Quicksand"
33. Exid "Ah Yeah"
34. Lyrical School "Wonder Ground"

35. Lizzy "Not An Easy Girl"
36. Ash-B "달라"
37. Uhuru ft. Wizkid "Duze"
38. All Time Low "Something's Gotta Give"
39. The Weeknd "Can't Feel My Face"
40. Brigitte "J'sais pas"
41. A$AP Rocky ft. Miguel, Rod Stewart & Mark Ronson "Everyday"
42. Kelela "A Message"
43. Drake "Hotline Bling"
44. Demi Lovato "Cool For The Summer"
45. T-ara "So Crazy"

46. Lila Downs ft. Juanes "La Patria Madrina"
47. Maitre Gims "Est-ce Que Tu m'Aimes"
48. Wonder Girls "I Feel You"
49. Serebro "Pereputala"
50. Maliibu N Helene "Figure 8"
51. Young Thug "Best Friend"
52. Richie Homie Quan "Flex (Ooh, Ooh, Ooh)"
53. Young Thug "Check"
54. iLoveMemphis "Hit The Quan"

55. GFriend "Glass Bead"
56. AronChupa "I'm An Albatraoz"
57. Ash-B "I'm Filled"
58. The-Dream "That's My Shit"
59. Vince Staples "Señorita"
60. Oh My Girl "Closer"

I've scattered Ash-B tracks all through the list, like dandelion seeds. Can't find English translations, so the adventure for me is her voice. She begins "매일" with darkly insistent eighth notes, then she's pushing the main beat hard, then she's relaxing into the conversational, which she's then pushing into even more insistence.

There were no Cassie singles, so Sofi De La Torre was awarded the Cassie Ventura Honorary Remote-Achiness Fellowship for 2015.

"Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)" at number 1 demonstrates the influence on this list of the elementary-school gym class. See also "Hit The Quan" at number 54.

See also the fact that this list is three months late.

Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" also scores high in the gym and should be here too, except the single edit adds pointless, chantless Kendrick Lamar verses that undercut the elementary-school incantations.

In his own "King Kunta," Kendrick creates beautiful, perfectly at ease low-impact funk — unless "beautiful, perfectly at ease low-impact" is a euphemism for "boring." So maybe I'm overrating it at 23. Unless I'm underrating it.

Pungdeng-E are no surprise on this list; I put them on last year's too. But Wikipedia tells me that "one of their original concepts was the use of different regional satoori (dialects) where each member uses her own local dialect," a fact that had passed non-Korean-speaking me by. They'd simply seemed like kiddie hip-hop. In this year's vid, though, they go appropriately misshapen and rustic, until going all technological and op art at the end.

I still don't "get" Japanese idol music, but fake idol does well on this list. (See numbers 20 and 26. I don't know what to call numbers 21 and 34.)

The real surprise for me was Jason Derulo's "Cheyenne." He'd always seemed the equivalent of a reserve basketball player who knows how to position himself to get the rebound, score the layup, make the outlet pass, but has trouble actually doing it. I can't say what he's doing that's so different here. It's not that his voice is any more pliable. Maybe it's just that the songwriters, this time, really, you know, get him the ball in the right spot. Or they go back to an old style that touches me. Anyway, plaintive tune, the right swoops and falsetto, managing to deliver some of the echoing anguish and terror of the "Dirty Diana"/"Smooth Criminal" close-out of MJ's Bad. (But for some reason it wasn't "Cheyenne" that hit big for Derulo this year.)

On "King Kunta," Kendrick Lamar re-sings words from "Smooth Criminal." That's according to Wikip, anyway: I don't feel the Jackson in it the way I feel it in "Cheyenne," which is maybe why I never concentrated on the "Kunta" lyrics enough to see for myself. (Not to say that such concentration couldn't flip me, if I get to it.)

SHINee's "View": Light top, deep bottom. Even the first time I heard it, the chorus sounded classic and inevitable. I don't have any insight as to why, though. (From what I can tell, it was written by two Brits, two Americans, and a Korean.)

The producer of my number 45 is teaming up with the artist of my number 1; the worlds here enrich one another. Or consume one another. Or dilute one another. Or still manage to pass one another by. (The teaser seems kind of meh.)

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Chuck Eddy's Top 125 Singles of 2015, until he stopped keeping track

1. Haley Georgia - Ridiculous
2. Taylor Swift – Style
3. Feedtime – Flatiron / Stick Up Jack
4. Brothers Osborne – Stay A Little Longer (Extended Version)
5. Nicki Minaj feat. Drake and Lil Wayne – Truffle Butter
6. Justine Skye – A Train
7. Jidenna feat. Roman GianArthur – Classic Man
8. Grupo Cañaveral feat. Jenny and the Mexicats – Tiene Espinas el Rosal (En Vivo)
9. Imani – Fire Meh
10. Lady Ebony – Food Stamps

11. Ariel Camacho Y Los Plebes Del Rancho – El Karma
12. Leather Nun – Outside My Window
13. Jean Leloup - Voyageur
14. Mumdance – 1 Sec (Instrumental)
15. Dev – Honey Dip
16. Blackberry Smoke – Too High
17. Laura Denisse – Sigo Enamorada
18. Alvin Garrett feat. Ruben Studdard – By Myself
19. Cam – My Mistake
20. Eric Church – Like A Wrecking Ball
21. Victor Manuelle – Que Suenon Los Tambores (Pa’l Mundo)
22. Calibre 50 feat. El Komander – Qué Tiene De Malo
23. Miranda Lambert - Little Red Wagon
24. Echo Palante – A Discussion Between Saxes
25. El Komander – Hoy Toca
26. Delly Ranx – Tek It 2 Dem
27. Lila Downs – La Patria Madrina
28. Maître Gims – Est-cd que tu m’aimes? (Pilue Bleue)
29. Scorpion Child – (Enter The) Twilight Coven
30. Titica – Você Mada Fogo
31. Stevie J Blues – Another Jody Song
32. Colmillo Norteño – La Plebona
33. Mick Jenkins – Your Love
34. Beenie Man feat. Starface – Ride Or Die
35. Little Mix – Black Magic
36. Romeo Santos - Hilito
37. Umbra Et Imago – Get Off
38. Elle Varner feat. A$ap Ferg – Don’t Wanna Dance
39. Demi Lovato – Cool For The Summer
40. 4 Minute – Crazy
41. Uhuru - Doze
42. Action Bronson – Easy Rider
43. AronChupa -- I'm an Albatraoz
44. Kendrick Lamar – King Kunte
45. Cero Emerald – Quicksand
46. Beseech – Highwayman
47. Thomas Rhett – Crash And Burn
48. Momoiro Clover Z – Yumeno Ukiyoni Saitemina (KISS version)
49. Joey Bada$$ – No. 99
50. Toian – Style and Fashion
51. Calvin Richardson – Dark Side Of Love
52. Bryan Adams – Brand New Day
53. Angie Stone – 2 Bad Habits
54. Magma – Di Mahtnër Sahïltaahk
55. Jaye Hammer feat. Donnie Ray – Is She Waiting On You?
56. HyunA feat. Hoon Jung – Roll Deep
57. Feder feat. Lyse - Goodbye
58. Jason Derulo – Cheyenne
59. Oliver Heldens - Melody
60. Lee Brice – Drinking Class
61. Shaila Durcal – No Me Interesa
62. Rocket From The Tombs – Coopy (Schrödinger’s Refrigerator)
63. Los Horoscopos De Durango – Estoy Con Otro En La Cama
64. Imani - Wet
65. Devin Di Dakta – Rri Bam Bi Deng Deng
66. Malibu N Helene – Figure 8
67. Brigitte – Hier Encore
68. Taylor Swift – Wildest Dreams
69. Busy Signal – Bounce It
70. Mustasch – Be Like A Man
71. Charles Wilson – Good Ole Monday
72. Hexvessel – Gaia / Earth Over Us
73. Raven – Destroy All Monsters
74. Laura Bell Bundy – Let’s Pretend We’re Married
75. Carrie Underwood – Little Toy Guns
76. Golden Rules feat. Yasiin Bey – Never Say Die
77. Big Cynthia – I’m Here For You Baby
78. Cauldron – No Return / In Ruin
79. Goapele – Powerful
80. Vektor – Ultimate Artificer
81. Susanne Sundfǿr – Delirious
82. Toby Keith – 35 mph Town
83. Lianne La Havas - Unstoppable
84. Eddie Cotton – Ego At Your Door
85. Tamia – Sandwich And A Soda
86. Dion and Paul Simon – New York Is My Home
87. Avant - Special
88. Ce’cile – Born Wid It
89. Myléne Farmer - Insondables
90. Gentlemans Pistols – The Searcher
91. Toian – Love It
92. Sigala – Easy Love
93. Jaye Hammer – I Ain’t Leaving Mississippi
94. Foxes – Body Talk
95. D.R.A.M. – Cha Cha
96. Chus & Ceballos – They Say Nothing (Extended Version)
97. Alessia Cara - Here
98. Elle King – Ex’s & Oh’s
99. Missy Elliott feat. Pharell Williams – WTF (Where They From)
100. The Rods – Crank It Up 35 Years


101. Daphne and Celeste – You And I Alone
102. Ghost – Majesty
103. M.I.A. - Borders
104. Fleur East - Sax
105. E-40 – Choices (Yep)
106. Dr. Cucho! – Can’t Stop Playing (Oliver Heldens and Gregor Salto Remix)
107. Pitbull feat. Chris Brown – Fun
108. A$AP Rocky feat. Rod Stewart, Mark Ronson and Miguel - Everyday
109. Frankie Ballard – Young and Crazy
110. Rae Sremmurd – Up Like Trump
111. Horisont – Bad News
112. Thomas Rhett – Make Me Wanna
113. Pop Group – Citizen Zombie
114. Bonnie McKee – Bombastic
115. Duran Duran feat. Jonelle Monae and Nile Rodgers – Pressure Off
116. Kacey Musgraves – Biscuits
117. DJ Koze - XTC
118. D. Saunders – Leave Your Loving With Me
119. Marco Flores y La Número 1 Banda Jerez – El Pajarito
120. The Sword – Empty Temples
121. Little Big Town – Girl Crush
122. Zombi – Pillars Of The Dawn
123. Regulo Caro – Soltero Disponible
124. Girlschool – Come The Revolution
125. Kabaka Pyramid – Phenomenon

Chuck Eddy's 75 "favorite" albums of 2015, more or less

1. Nena – Oldschool (The Laugh and Peas Company Deluxe Edition) 16
2. Maggotron – Bug Eyed Monsters (Debonaire) 14
3. Eric Church – Mr. Misunderstood (EMI Nashville) 14
4. Dev – Bittersweet July (Rica Lyfe) 12
5. Jack DeJohnette – Made In Chicago (ECM) 12
6. Membranes – Dark Matter/Dark Energy (Metropolis) 10
7. Android Asteroid – Íkaros (Indies Scope) 6
8. Bohannons – Black Cross, Black Shield (Tiam) 6
9. Defyance – Reincarnation (Minotauro) 5
10. X___X – Albert Ayler’s Ghosts Live At The Yellow Ghetto (Smog Veil EP) 5
11. Toby Keith – 35 MPH Town (Show Dog)
12. Charlie Wilson – Forever Charlie (RCA)
13. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly (Top Dawg Entertainment/Aftermath)
14. King Heavy – King Heavy (Cruz Del Sur)
15. Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra – Cuba: The Conversation Continues (Motéma)

Bryan Adams – Get Up (Ume)
Gabriel Amargant Quintet – And Now For Something Completely Different (Fresh Sound New Talent)
Ata Kak – Obaa Sima (Awesome Tapes From Africa)
Blackberry Smoke – Holding All The Roses (Concord)
Clint Black – On Purpose (Thirty Tigers/Black Top)
Black Space Riders -- Refugeeum (Cargo/BSR)
Black Star Riders – The Killer Instinct (Nuclear Blast)
Blind Idiot God – Before Ever After (Indivisible)
Cam -- Untamed (Arista Nashville)
Cave Of Swimmers – Reflection (Cave Of Swimmers)
Cold Chisel – The Perfect Crime (Cold Chisel)
Corsair – One Eyed Horse (Shadow Kingdom)
Crypt Sermon – Out Of The Garden (Dark Descent)
Dead Sara – Pleasure To Meet You (Pocket Kid)
Laura Denisse Con Banda – Sigo Enamorada (Fonovisa)
Brett Eldredge – Illinois (Atlantic)
Far East Movement – Ktown Riot (Cherrytree/Interscope EP ’14)
Galley Beggar – Silence & Tears (Rise Above)
Gentlemans Pistols – Hustler’s Row (Nuclear Attack)
Ghost B.C. – Meliora (Loma Vista)
Rhiannon Giddens – Tomorrow Is My Turn (Nonesuch)
Hammer King – Kingdom Of The Hammer King (Cruz Del Sur)
Heidevolk – Velua (Napalm)
Helrunar – Niederkunfft (Lupus Lounge)
Mike Hudson & the Pagans – Hollywood High (Ruin Discos ’14)
La Fin Absolute Du Monde – Clarity Amongst The Rubble (Wicked Wonderland Empire)
Brian Lisik and the Unfortunates – Curtisinterrupedus (Cherokee Queen)
Maddie & Tae – Start Here (Dot)
Magister Templi – Into Duat (Cruz Del Sur)
The Mavericks – Mono (Valory Music Co.)
Reba McEntire – Love Somebody (Starstruck)
Melechesh – Enki (Nuclear Blast)
Montgomery Gentry – Folks Like Us (Blaster)
Kacey Musgraves – Pageant Material (Mercury Nashville)
My Dying Bride – Feel The Misery (Peaceville)
Myrkur – M (Relapse)
Fabiano do Nascimento -- Dança Dos Tempos (Now-Again)
Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard - Django And Jimmie (Legacy)
Ne-Yo – Non-Fiction (Motown/Captiol)
Night Demon – Curse Of The Damned (Century Media)
Rae Sremmurd – SremmLife (Interscope)
Raven – ExtermiNation (Steamhammer)
The Rezillos – Zero (Metropolis)
Thomas Rhett – Tangled Up (Valory Music Co.)
Matana Roberts – Coin Coin Chapter Three: River Run Thee (Constellation)
Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen – Hold My Beer Vol. 1 (Lil’Buddy Toons)
Satan – Atom By Atom (Listenable)
Justine Skye – Emotionally Unavailable (Atlantic EP)
The Sonics – This Is The Sonics (Re: Vox)
Subterranean Masquerade – The Great Bazaar (Taklit)
Sumari – Sumari (Unseen Rain)
The Sword – High Country (Razor & Tie)
Pat Travers – Retro Rocket (Purple Pyramid)
Trixter – Human Era (Frontiers)
Venomous Maximus – Firewalker (Shadow Kingdom)
Vhöl – Deeper Than Sky (Profound Lore)
Visigoth – The Revenant King (Metal Blade)
Western Star – Fireball (Saustex)
:Wumpscut: -- Blut Spuker Tavern (Metropolis)
Zero Down – No Limit To The Evil (Minotauro ’14)

Betsy at Asian Junkie recently interviewed Laura Brian, the composer of Oh My Girl's Closer.

By the way, have you come across Caffeine? I suppose you could call them the Kazakh version of Serebro...

Thanks for Caffeine, whom I hadn't heard of. Caffeine's visuals are way more socially ambivalent than Serebro's, or at least seem to be playing opposing signifiers off each other more (rustic versus sophisticated, tacky glamour versus haute glamour, female competition versus female attraction*). I don't think their best songs are up to the level of Serebro's best; but then, Caffeine only seem to have two songs (here's the other).

I gather from the YouTube comments that MC Doni is Uzbeck but raps in Russian (and has Russian singer Natalie as the feature on "Ты такой"; she sings, "You're so handsome with a beard").

From the Laura Brian interview: "I decided that, as a 26-year-old, my chances of becoming a pop star were slim to none." Acch! (Depressing, and probably more true than not, especially for a woman; and the chances of anyone of any age becoming a pop star are extraordinarily slight; but still, she is probably unduly pessimistic. Maybe. Or maybe not. Still, e.g., three of the four Brown-Eyed Girls were 25 when they debuted, and the group didn't really break through until they were 28. If I knew more about current pop maybe I could think of more exceptions, and it's telling that I can't. Fergie springs to mind, but she's a weird case in that she'd been in popular groups early and then disappeared. But she was already 28 when BEP broke through, and she didn't become a star in her own right until her early thirties.)

Fwiw, here's Laura Brian's Twitter page and her SoundBetter profile.

*I suppose we could say Serebro embody a tension between regular tackiness and haute tackiness.

The folks at K-Pendium have published an exhaustive, enthusiastic analysis of Closer -- music, lyrics, choreography, costumes, MVs, etc:
Oh My Girl’s “Closer,” as it happens, is K-pop at that absolute best. It’s good in a way only Korean pop music can be – or, at least, has been so far. It’s a goodness of such meticulous, interconnected detail that to engage with it only in part – as a song, as a dance, as a video, or as a story – is to engage with it only partially. The German word for what typically (poorly) translates to “total artwork,” “comprehensive artwork,” or “synthesis of the arts,” then, is all but our only option when trying to put a word on what makes K-pop like “Closer” such a singular, many-sided achievement.

" a way only Korean pop music can be..."

—said about a song that wasn't initially even intended for Korea. (But that probably doesn't contradict Jakob's point: I haven't read the piece yet.)

I first heard it only a couple of days before I posted this list: was casting around for something I liked more than what I previously had in the final spot.

Edited at 2016-04-10 10:06 pm (UTC)

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