The 20 Best Pop Songs Of 2015: Idolator Editors Pick Their Favorites

Idolator Staff | December 14, 2015 8:49 am


Tina Arena Eleven

The best power ballad of 2015. Sorry, Adele. — MIKE WASS


Kendrick Lamar Alright

2015 was incredibly rough one for us Americans, from multiple mass shootings to the ongoing fate of African Americans due to police brutality. Music has always been a source for comfort, and Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” off To Pimp A Butterfly provided some blissful motivation that we were all searching for.

The opening lines “I’m fucked up, homie you fucked up / but if God got us we then gon’ be alright” sent a jolt of hope that was visible as partygoers gathered together to dance along with assurance. It’s no surprise the song rightfully snagged four Grammy nominations. — BIANCA GRACIE


Justin Bieber Sorry

Bad Boy Gone Good pop star Bieber created a winning formula of masking melancholy over massive dance production with his chart-dominating singles this year. One of the more memorable “Am I supposed to cry to this?” tunes is Purpose’s “Sorry.”

Co-produced by 2015’s musical mastermind Skrillex and Blood Diamonds, this vibrant tropical house and dancehall groove serves as another apologetic plea to ex-girlfiend Selena Gomez (have you checked Bieber’s Instagram lately?). When the singer croons, “Because I’m missing more than just your bah-dee” over a swelling, infectious beat, you don’t have much choice but to forgive him. — BIANCA GRACIE


When I first heard this, I hated it, thinking it was power pop without the power. But repeated listens revealed it’s about finesse, not force. There’s a flurry of activity fueling everything — syncopated crackles, wispy melodies, processed vocals, a remedial guitar line — resulting in a shrunken-down “Since U Been Gone” for the MIDI set. Let this be a reminder to never trust your first impressions. — CARL WILLIOTT


Taylor Swift Style

It happens with every Taylor Swift album: There’s that lone song that manages to bridge the deep ravine between her haters and loyal Swifties. The powers that be didn’t come charging out of the gate during the 1989 campaign with what is arguably the 26 year old’s best pop song to-date; instead, “Style” was unleashed as the third single off Swift’s blockbuster LP.

Sounding like some rare track from the 1980s that remains timeless, and much like a James Dean daydream, this entry in the vast catalog of Taylor’s hits will likely never go out of style. — ROBBIE DAW