Jan 16

The Freaky Trigger Readers’ Poll 2015: #20-#11

FT16 comments • 877 views

lionel-hello“Hi readers, I’m Lionel Richie’s Enormous Clay Head. You may remember me from the ‘Hello’ video where a visually impaired student nearly sticks her fingers right into my eyeballs – ouch! Just because she’s blind doesn’t mean she has the authority to blind others. Didn’t anyone tell her ‘an eye for an eye’ is not a sound basis for a system of restorative justice? Anyway I’m potentially the only eye witness to my human counterpart’s abuse of his teacher-pupil power dynamic – a lawsuit waiting to happen if you ask me. But wait, what’s that noise? It sounds strangely like the roaring of a kiln… surely they couldn’t be trying to silence me for ever???”

Thanks Lionel Richie’s Enormous Clay Head, I’m sure the Claymation Jackie Wilson will come to your rescue any minute. Shall we say ‘hi’ to our top 20?

20. Hello – Adele

Just before Christmas I watched an old episode of Midsomer Murders, which featured a clairvoyant spooking some unwitting punters (OR WAS SHE LEGIT???) while some suitably mysterious murders happened nearby. I like to think Adele saw it too and decided to write this tribute ballad about being a spirit medium. I don’t think ‘Hello’ is as good as ‘Skyfall’, but its belter of a chorus has ensured the music industry can breathe out for at least another year.

19. Delirious – Susanne Sundfør

The second entry from our Norwegian ice-goddess sees her team up with Sara ‘The Killing’ Lund and Saga ‘The Bridge’ Norén to chase their suspect on a chugging goods train across Scandinavia. The trio corner the corrupt prime minister on the edge of a cliff, amidst swirling snowflakes – only for Sue to pull off her mask and reveal that’s she’s been the killer all along! TO BE CONTINUED.

18. E•MO•TION – Carly Rae Jepsen

This sounds a bit like that Haim song from the other year, i.e. pretty good, although I would have trouble picking it out in a lineup. Jeppers appears to have had a power cut, and while waiting for Netflix to come back on, spends the time wondering what her ex is doing. As a child of the 80s I can still remember which drawer in my parents’ house has the matches and candles in, but I worry that young Jeppers is underprepared for such an event. I hope she stops daydreaming long enough to remember to check if the freezer has started to defrost itself.

17. FourFiveSeconds – Rihanna, Kanye & Macca

Stripped back duet where Rihanna and Kanye have gone on a road trip to the in-laws (?), and seem to be getting on each others’ nerves. If like me you have avoided this baffling-on-paper collaboration all year, DON’T WORRY because it turns out Macca doesn’t actually sing a note! I would rather listen to this than ‘Mull of Kintyre’.

16. Lean On – Major Lazer & DJ Snake ft MØ

Beach-ready summer banger that should be heard while sipping a colourful drink out of a hollowed-out pineapple. The chipmunk bits may get grating for some, but for me it wouldn’t be a proper Major Lazer song without some vocals being put through the mincer. After all, Major Lazer is responsible for all recorded music, so they can do what the hell they like really.

15. Run Away With Me – Carly Rae Jepsen

MORE JEPPERS bloody hell woman, save enough spots for the rest of us innit.

14. Hotline Bling – Drake

Drake is so dreadful that even though this song got stuck in my head for four whole months, I only rated it 5th on my ballot. In an ideal world the perfectly acceptable (and almost meditatively simple) backing would have been released as an instrumental by Metronomy or someone, but we live in an imperfect reality. That gentle cha-cha-cha organ preset is now forever tainted by Drake and his whinging. Truly awful. But very catchy.

13. Bitch Better Have My Money – Rihanna

The song I have heard most playing out of rolled-down car windows this year! Not exactly a banger but absolutely not a ballad. No-one does menace-pop quite like Rihanna. She is so hard-ass that Barry Kent gives her his pocket money.

12. Coffee – Miguel

It will probably not surprise you that there is a RUDE version of this saucefest, which describes an alternative universe where Miguel gets to Pret and there’s only decaf beans left.

11. Flesh Without Blood – Grimes

Grimes has Learnt The Guitar, resulting in what I believe the kids call ‘jang jang jang’. The perky chorus hook is so instantly memorable I assumed Grimes must have nicked it off someone else. Maybe she did! It took me a long time to figure out that ‘Ghetto Superstar’ was actually the tune from ‘Islands In The Stream’ so I can’t be trusted on these matters.

Next up: your Top 10!


  1. 1
    Tom on 14 Jan 2016 #

    This has quite a few things I voted for – Miguel, Carly Rae’s “Run Away” (which I thought might be a winnah!), Rihanna (my #1, I adore what she does with her phrasing in it), Grimes.

    I really can’t guess the Top 10 easily now. Another Carly Rae, another Sundfor maybe. Kendrick surely, probably twice. But that’s only four slots… oh, that Little Mix song everyone seemed to like on the Popular Crystal Ball, I guess! (YOU FOOLS)

  2. 2
    weej on 15 Jan 2016 #

    Adele – [yawn]
    Susanne Sundfør – I was slow coming round to this one, but yeah, it’s pretty great isn’t it? Love the THX audio intro.
    Carly Rae Jepsen – Emotion – Best track on the LP, and the one I voted for.
    Rihanna, Kanye & Macca – Not a disappointment exactly, but keep expecting it to kick off and then it doesn’t
    Major Lazer & DJ Snake ft MØ – Nice enough, but needs more bosh
    Carly Rae Jepsen – Run Away With Me – Third-best track on the LP, not the one I voted for.
    Drake – It’s not so much that it’s hugely offensive, more that it’s a nice sample wasted behind an even more than usually tedious Drake vocal. I entered 2015 not having an opinion about Drake, now I just want him to go away.
    Rihanna – Aside from the shock video, there’s nothing that special here, surely? Dunno, should listen to it without the vid maybe.
    Miguel – It’s the R&B remake of Black Box Recorder’s ‘The Facts of Life’!
    Grimes – On first listen this was “oh, I like Grimes now” but subsequent listens have bumped up the meh

  3. 3

    i am holding out for an entry which i fear came 104th

  4. 4
    Tom on 15 Jan 2016 #

    I have never seen the Rihanna video, I doubt I’ll start now. I think Pitchfork had two separate ’roundtables’ for the song and video. As mentioned above I mainly think the vocal line is terrific on it, she’s honed that harshness she’s always had to really brutal levels, something about the strings of jabbing emphases remind me of 60s Dylan, and the vicious “Pay me what you owe me” hook rolled round my head all year. The backing is pretty energising too, especially in a year where there was so much minimalism around (eg “Hotline Bling”). It was very close though between that and my #2 (which hasn’t turned up yet but I’m 80% sure will).

  5. 5
    Steve Mannion on 15 Jan 2016 #

    The Erykah Badu re-imagining of ‘Hotline Bling’ on her ‘But You Caint Use My Phone’ mix”tape” (retire this term FFS) is so superior to dreamless drippy Drake’s I urge all to hear it.


  6. 6
    Mark M on 15 Jan 2016 #

    Stuff I knew
    Hello – The appeal of the shouty woman from Norwood will forgive elude me, I suspect.
    FourFiveSeconds – Appealingly raspy.
    Lean On – Pleasant noises, good hooks, but never actually made me focus on it or even hang around for the whole song.
    Run Away With Me – Likeable, but not quite sure why sound people were so into it.
    Hotline Bling – I’m with the standard response here – good track but twat on top.
    Bitch – This actually did come into focus for me with the headline-seeking video (which isn’t very good). Shouty and that’s about it.
    Coffee – Still not sure how I feel about this. Veer between thinking it’s a bit meh and rather liking it. Enjoy the way it threatens to turn into True.

    Stuff I didn’t
    Delirious – This is a lot more fun than her previous one on the list.
    E-mo-tion – What I said about Run Away With Me, again.
    Flesh Without Blood – The rhythm track of the first half reminds me of early ’80s Rod or Robert Palmer. The second bit is duller.

  7. 7
    flahr on 15 Jan 2016 #

    FourFiveSeconds istheonly oneofthis lotIvoted for. I almost didn’t because I forgot it was this year. We haven’t had the Jeppo I voted for yet, though “Run Away With Me” is a pretty good shout.

    Hello from the otter slide. I like “Hotline Bling” a lot more than I expected to and in a different year might have voted for it.

  8. 8
    byebyepride on 15 Jan 2016 #

    Carly Rae J and Grimes are both filed in my ‘genuinely don’t get what the fuss is about’ drawer
    Miguel on the other hand I think is great.
    Hotline Bling – I had never heard of this until I heard the Erykah Badu version stevem mentions, in another website’s year-end wrap-up. I had genuinely not noticed Drake’s existence in 2015 until he started appearing in all the polls, which makes me think I must have been very out of touch, but that this may not have been a bad thing.

  9. 9
    Ronnie on 15 Jan 2016 #

    If you can watch the “Run Away with Me” video without wishing Carly Rae was your girlfriend you are a stronger and less lonely man than I.

  10. 10
    thefatgit on 15 Jan 2016 #

    Let’s get on with it then:

    Adele – Adele, can I introduce you to Drake?

    Susanne Sundfør – The audience is listening…to Roxette?

    CRJ’s Emotion – Highly polished, well written and doesn’t do anything for me at all, I’m afraid.

    Rihanna, Kanye & Macca – I forgot about this one, for some reason. And it turns out to be slightly better than I remember it.

    Major Lazer & DJ Snake ft MØ – Was 2015 the year of the Ø? I’ve never been so busy with the copy/paste tool!

    CRJ’s Run Away With Me – This is more like it, but again I wouldn’t be rushing out to buy it or anything.

    Drake – Drake, this is Adele. I’m sure the two of you have plenty to discuss. Now you’ll both have to excuse me, I have some oysters to shuck.

    Rihanna – James May names his tools as well, apparently.

    Miguel – New to me, this. First impression: did I mishear or did he manage to transform “coffee” to “fucking” during the course of this song?

    Grimes – I could easily be transported to some sort of dreamy, dreamy, dreamland and then…inception jolts.

    (I’ll be honest, I would have voted for Adele and Drake and probably Major Lazer as well)

  11. 11
    koganbot on 16 Jan 2016 #

    I looked at my entries and said, “I doubt that any will place,” then decided, “But I always say that, and then several score, so let’s predict two will,” without specifying two in particular. And so far three are on the list (“Whip/Nae Nae,” “Ice Cream Cake,” “Bitch”)! This could indicate that I’m more connected to the Zeitgeist than I realize, but I suspect it’s really just a sign of declining poll participation.

    But to gesticulate Zeitgeistally, I’ll add to Tom’s predictions that there’s room for one more Taylor. Beyond that I’m stumped. I’d think that if we haven’t heard yet from Exid or 4minute or HyunA they’re in the 50s or worse, unless the latter garnered unexpected bullet votes. There’s another Red Velvet that’s gotten as much attention as “Ice Cream Cake,” though I can’t say it deserves to.

  12. 12
    Ronnie on 16 Jan 2016 #

    #1 is obviously going to be “Marvin Gaye”

  13. 13
    katstevens on 16 Jan 2016 #

    @Frank: participation slightly down on last year’s (record!) turnout but still pretty high compared to 2011/2012.

  14. 14
    koganbot on 16 Jan 2016 #

    “Cool For The Summer”? “Can’t Feel My Face”?

    Those are just stabs in the dark.

  15. 15
    jeff w on 16 Jan 2016 #

    Missy? Daphne & Celeste? BOWIE!

    I am planning to go through the rest of life never having heard Hotline Bling. Solid success rate so far.

  16. 16
    Chelovek na lune on 18 Jan 2016 #

    Adele – I can still just about remember when she seemed promising and exciting (or, at any rate, not just Dido Mark II). Seems so long ago now.

    Susanne Sundfør – I adored her track back down at #40. On one listen of this and of that, this is at least that one’s equal. Her voice is stunning, cutting. Torch-singer-esque. Musically I am thinking an updated Electribe 101 or Brucken-era Propaganda, both of which are Very Good Things. Need to check her out some more, this is very promising.

    CRJ “Emotion” – Passable rush-hour commuting Heart FM music, and about as good as that category gets, but no more.

    Rihanna, Kanye, Macca – I can still just about remember when she seemed promising and exciting (or, at any rate, not just Gabrielle Mark II). Seems so long ago now. The vocal absence of thumbs aloft is a relief.

    Major Lazer & DJ Snake ft MØ – proper pop music. The first in the list I voted for, also.

    CRJ “Run Away With Me” – kind of nodding lightly in the direction of New Pop (nice chanted repetition of the title line in the background), and has a kind of 80s party vibe all round, but, still, far from a lifetime classic, while not unpleasant. Strikes me that his dancing is remarkably, admirably, far from the macho posturing that one tends to find in this genre…

    Drake – catchy, yes, agreeably stripped-down too, yes. I apparently know too little about Drake to understand why he is hated, so this is untainted as far as I am concerned.

    Rihanna BBHMM – I can still just about remember when she seemed promising and exciting (or, at any rate, not just Gabrielle Mark II). Seems so long ago now. And when she could release “shocking” tracks (e.g. “S&M”, “Man Down”) that stood on their own feet, musically, regardless of the Shocked and Disgusted headlines. That also seems so long ago now. This is just dull, there is one ear-catching line (the title one) that is used effectively to draw the listeners’ attention repeatedly, and agreeably minimalistic backing, and lots and lots of filler. But, hmm, I don’t think she has released a single I’d care to hear more than once since 2011, which is a pity, as she was fab.

    Miguel – again, quite stripped down (at least until the backing vocals get going), and again very 80s-recalling (despite that). I imagine, having just heard it the once, that this could grow on me. It has a hypnotic aspect.

    Grimes – sub-Foxes, no, perhaps. Style over substance, I fear. (on one listen). Filed as background music.

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