Jake’s Take: Top 40-Songs of the Year (2015 Edition)-Part Four

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Missed part three of the countdown? Click here!

This is it! Here are the 10 best songs of 2015!

5 Seconds of Summer Hey Everybody

(Album cover art property of Capitol & Hi or Hey Records)

10. 5 Seconds of Summer: Hey Everybody!

5 Seconds of Summer kicks off the final part of our countdown! The Australian pop punk band had an incredible year thanks to the release of their sophomore album: Sounds Good Feels Good and their appearances on numerous media outlets such as the American Music Awards, Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Late Late Show with James Corden and On Air with Ryan Seacrest. Their best single from their sophomore album was “Hey Everybody!” While the song sampled Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf,” Calum Hood’s lyrics and the Monsters and the Strangerz’ smooth production made this song a fan favorite.

9. Straight No Chaser: Make You Feel My Love

Ever since Bob Dylan released “Make You Feel My Love” in 1997, countless artists such as Adele, Billy Joel, Garth Brooks and Lea Michele have covered this tune. However, the best cover that I have ever heard of this song was from Straight No Chaser.  The A cappella group’s beautiful arrangement of the tune combined with their outstanding harmonies will instantly give the listener chills.

8. Kiesza: Stronger

Finding Neverland: The Album (Songs from the Broadway Musical) is filled with powerful tracks. However, the best song from Broadway concept album is hands down Kiesza’s “Stronger.” Everyone should listen to the powerful message that is highlighted in the Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy-penned tune. Even though your back is in the corner, you have to power through your obstacles in order to regain your confidence. In addition, Kiesza’s beautiful storytelling transported the audience from the Neverland jungles to a New York City club.

7. Lady Gaga: Til It Happens to You

The most haunting track of 2015 is Lady Gaga and Diane Warren’s “Til It Happens to You.” Beautifully interpreted by Lady Gaga, “Til It Happens to You” centers on the confessions of a sexual assault survivor and how they are struggling to move on from one of the most traumatic episodes in their life. This song is nominated for Best Song Written for Visual Media Grammy and I really hope that the Academy Awards personnel takes a look at this song and gives it a Best Original Song nomination.

Duran Duran Janelle Monae Nile Rodgers Pressure Off

(Album cover property of Warner Bros. Records)

6. Duran Duran, Janelle Monae & Nile Rodgers: Pressure Off

In 2016, Duran Duran will celebrate their 25th anniversary in the music industry! To prepare for the upcoming celebration, the British new wave band released their 14th studio album that celebrated their musical legacy. For their lead single, “Pressure Off,” the quartet recruited funk master Nile Rodgers (whose guitar riffs could be heard throughout the song) and rising R&B superstar (and Kansas City native) Janelle Monae. The results of this collaboration created the ultimate feel good song of 2015 and I cannot wait to hear the band perform this song live when the quartet comes to Kansas City.

5. Darlene Love: River Deep, Mountain High

The award for Best Cover of 2015 belongs to Ms. Darlene Love for her outstanding take on “River Deep, Mountain High.” The music legend brought a ferocity to this iconic tune that I never heard from any artist before.  Ms. Love’s astonishing vocal performance would not only give music lovers a strong case of the goosies, but it is also matched the same standard of excellence that Tina Turner showed when she performed this track at all of her concerts.

4. X Ambassadors: Renegades

One song that I could not get out of my head this year was X Ambassadors’ “Renegades.” This single has taken the world by storm as it peaked at the number one slot on three US Billboard and one Canadian music chart and made it to the top 10 of France, Czech Republic, Italy and Poland’s music charts. What made this song stand out as the ultimate Alternative rock song of the year was the hypnotic melodies and superb production from the Ithaca, New York band and Alex da Kid. I think that it would be fun to watch X Ambassadors perform (or record) this song with one of the biggest pop renegades of all-time: Ms. Cyndi Lauper. It would be a huge hit for both of them.


(Album cover art property of XO & Republic Records)

(Album cover art property of XO & Republic Records)

3. The Weeknd: Can’t Feel My Face

The Weeknd conquered 2015 with his incredible genre defying album: Beauty Behind the Madness. One track that cemented the Weeknd’s reign as the Prince of R&B was the album’s third single: “Can’t Feel My Face.” Written by The Weeknd and several of music’s greatest tastemakers (Max Martin, Ali Payami, Savan Kotecha and Peter Svensson), “Can’t Feel My Face” showcased the Weeknd’s superb falsetto and how he perfectly blended pop, disco and funk into one unforgettable track. In addition to peaking at the number one slot on 10 countries’ music charts, “Can’t Feel My Face” is nominated for two Grammy Awards: Record of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance.


Kelly Clarkson Invincible

(Album cover art property of RCA Records)

2. Kelly Clarkson: “Invincible

In all honesty, the Grammy community chose the wrong Kelly Clarkson song to be nominated for a Grammy Award. “Invincible” is by far the strongest track in Piece by Piece. The original American Idol and three-time Grammy winning singer-songwriter brilliantly interpreted Sia Furler, Jesse Shatkin, Stephen Mostyn and Warren “Oak” Felder’s lyrics and transformed their words into rally cries.  While Ms. Clarkson’s “Invincible” only peaked at number two on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs and number 11 on Billboard’s Adult Top 40, this track was probably one of her best songs that she released in the 2010s.


Adele Hello cover art

(Cover property of XL Records)

1. Adele: Hello

Congratulations to Adele for recording the Best Song of 2015! Since its release on October 22, “Hello” has been viewed 753 million times on YouTube, peaked at the top spot on 34 counties’ music charts and covered by multiple artists such as Alex Boye, Conor Maynard, Demi Lovato, Leroy Sanchez, Miranda Sings and Postmodern Jukebox. So why is it the number one of 2015? Adele and her co-writer, Greg Kurstin, tugged at listeners’ heartstrings from the first note played from the piano.  Adele also perfectly portrayed the heartbroken ex-lover who wants to apologize for her actions. This song has set the standard for other artists from the millennial generation to live up to! Happy Holidays, Adele!

I do not own the clips that are featured in this article. They belong to the artists and their respective record labels.

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar