Not every great song is on a great album, and not every great album has that one song that stands out. They have a strong correlation, but not an exact one, so I decided that in addition to counting down my favorite albums of the year, I would also count down my favorite songs. They largely follow my album list, but there are a few surprises thrown in for good measure. And since there are so many deserving songs, I'm expanding the list to an even dozen. These are the songs that I have endlessly repeated this year, the very best moments of another good year in music.
12. Revolution Saints - You're Not Alone
hard to think fondly of the band now, with what has been in the news,
but that doesn't stop this from being a heck of a song. I love ballads,
and this is dripping with dramatic flair.
11. Blues Traveler - Matador
Traveler's collaborative album didn't always work, but there were a few
remarkable moments. This is chief among them, a dusty country song that
I still think would have been a hit on country radio if it had been
released as a single.
10. Coheed & Cambria - Here To Mars
being a quasi-progressive rock band, Coheed & Cambria isn't afraid
to dip their toe into anthemic pop, which they do here. The chorus of
this song is so big, and so memorable, that it stands head and shoulders
above the rest of what is a good record.
9. Lunden Reign - Mary
is classic rock done the right way. It sounds like the love child of
Heart and Led Zeppelin, and rocks just as much. The way the vocal
strains just enough in the chorus drives home the emotion of the song,
while the hook has a way of sticking with you more than you'd expect.
8. UFO - Sugar Cane
not usually a big bluesy rock fan, but this song is phenomenal. The
riff is just gritty enough, the organ swells are a fantastic touch, and
Phil Mogg proves that he's underrated at any age. UFO has rarely, if
ever, done better than this.
7. Iron Maiden - Tears Of A Clown
best thing about Iron Maiden is that they do the unexpected, like with
this song. It's the most traditional rock song they've written in ages,
and it's also a tribute to Robin Williams. And yet, it's also the best
song on a critically acclaimed album. The way the melody locks in with
the band makes it impossible to forget.
6. Adele - Hello
a reason Adele has broken every sales record. "Hello" told everyone
that the years of waiting were not going to be for naught. This song is
everything that is lacking in pop music, taking five minutes to
absolutely deconstruct and eviscerate everything else on the radio.
5. Orden Ogan - A Reason To Give
Ogan is an excellent power metal band, but they're even better when
they go beyond those confines. This song is a medieval drinking song
that you can easily imagine a horde of warriors singing as they conquer
new lands in the name of their king. It's rip-roaring fun.
4. Karnataka - Fairytale Lies
declare this the best hook of the entire year. The chorus of this song
is so sticky, and so irresistible that you almost forget just how good
the rest of the song is. Hayley Griffiths sells the living hell out of
this, and makes this song flawless.
3. Ghost - Cirice
there is one song that sums up Ghost, it is "Cirice". The drama, the
heavy riffing, the glorious vocals, it's all here. This is their magnum
opus, their defining moment. Ghost transcended their gimmick with this
2. Jorn Lande & Trond Holter - Save Me
to pick a song from this concept album, but ultimately "Save Me" is the
one song that keeps ringing in my head. This unholy duet is grand,
epic, and a number that should be gracing the stage for as long as it
wants to. This is theater at its rocking best, and one of those songs
that makes you stand back and simply say, "wow".
1. Nightingale - Forevermore
the best song of the year is "Forevermore". Nightingale has given us a
song that covers every base. It has beautiful pianos, rocking guitars, a
strong hook, and a mighty vocal performance from Dan Swano. The
non-traditional structure works, because you don't even notice that it
hasn't gone from Point A to Point B. This song is everything I like
about music, and it earns the honor of being the best song of 2015.