The Days of Bubblegum Pop Are Over: The Best Pop Records of 2015

10 years ago, when the phrase “pop music” conjured associations of Backstreet Boys and Britney, I would have never even thought to make a pop music list. But we are well into the Internet age at this point (it feels like just yesterday when I was on the Shoutweb message boards, discussing the excellence of KoRn and Slipknot with other pimply faced malcontents, but in reality it was 15 years ago), and the artists that grew up watching TRL and then reading Pitchfork on their desktops have come of age. Pop music has mutated into a variety of forms, only connected through an accessible, danceable, and sing-along quality. You can have the retro-psych R&B of Miguel, the post-modern alterna-pop of Bjork, or the British dancefloor celebration of Jamie XX, and it is all pop. Sub-culture has thoroughly been erased, and that isn’t a bad thing. It just means that individual taste has come to the forefront. You will have a much harder time finding someone who is only into black metal these days, but you might find a girl who has Grimes playing on her headphones sitting at the coffee shop wearing a Darkthrone t-shirt.

The point is, the artists making pop these days are very much artists, and not corporate drones. They by and large love music and are acquainted with at least some form of music history. In the words of Future and Drake, “What a time, TO BE ALIVE!”

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