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Adele. (Photo: Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images)

10. Susanne Sundfør – “Delirious”

This Norwegian singer-songwriter plays Bond girl, singing “You say that I’m delirious, but I’m not the one holding the gun.” The most arresting pop song of the year. – Kevin Wicks


9. Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment – “Sunday Candy”

A hip-hop gospel song with a nod to dubstep? This should sound like a hot mess. But the poignant and spirited “Sunday Candy” would make even the biggest non-believer want to head to church. – Kevin Wicks


8. Missy Elliott – “WTF (Where They From)”

The most memorable part of Katy Perry’s Super Bowl set wasn’t those dancing blue sharks; it was the buoyant comeback of Missy Elliott, whose sheer star charisma totally eclipsed Ms. Perry. After a nearly decade-long absence, we could have hardly predicted that the 44-year-old would bring us the year’s sickest beat (thanks, Pharrell!) and one of her most ebulliently bizarre videos. Welcome back! – Kevin Wicks


7. Kendrick Lamar – “King Kunta”

A song in which one of rap’s most thoughtful and sharp lyricists turns his baleful eye on everyone that ever tried to stop him. And while that’s not the most original topic for a hip hop jam, the sweet bassline and sugary sense of giddy invention brings endless flavor to Kendrick’s haterade. – Fraser McAlpine


6. Tame Impala – “Let It Happen”

The Perth-based band’s last brilliant album, Lonerism, didn’t prepare us for the scintillating depths of their 2015 release, Currents, and this sweeping, surprisingly danceable first single seeped into our consciousness, lingering there for months. – Kevin Wicks


5. Olly Murs ft. Demi Lovato – “Up”

So many pop trends collided in this one song, from the Mumford hoedown to the brand-extending guest star to the pleading apology for a love on the rocks. And yet the song itself remains uncontrived, unsullied and entirely free of stodge. – Fraser McAlpine


4. Adele – “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)”

The most Taylor Swiftish song on Adele’s 25 is not like that by accident. It’s one of her oldest songs, which was given a fresh coat of paint and modern makeover when she took it to supersongwriter Max Martin. He made it fleet-footed and skippy, a rarity for Adele and no bad thing. – Fraser McAlpine


3. Jess Glynne – “Hold My Hand”

She got her big breakthrough singing last year’s (still brilliant) “Rather Be,” by Clean Bandit, and used it wisely, releasing a handful of sparkling pop gems that recall the glory days of house music, while still sounding utterly modern. – Fraser McAlpine


2. The Weeknd – “Can’t Feel My Face”

Much has been made about how much this Canadian-born singer-songwriter sounds like Michael Jackson. But, with the aid of producer Max Martin, he also expertly captures the loopy eccentricity and compelling sense of desperation and paranoia that MJ brought to classics like “Smooth Criminal” and “Billie Jean.” This song made us party like it was 1983, and we loved it. – Kevin Wicks


1. Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”

Very few pop songs achieve such cultural ubiquity that they can be parodied, used for ads, quoted and generally spoofed without having to laboriously explain exactly what is being lampooned and why. “Uptown Funk” needs no introduction, having essentially taken over everything this year with its punishing funk, and caused fans all over the world (i.e. not in the U.S.) to Google “Skippy” in order to find out why it is so smooth. – Fraser McAlpine

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Filed Under: Greatest Songs
By staff