cyanobacteria“Good morning readers, I am a humble cyanobacteria from the Paleoproterozoic Era! I am responsible for the First Great Mass Extinction Event around 2 billion years ago, when I farted out a bunch of oxygen and wiped out 99% of all life on Earth! Yes that’s right – I’m worse than Hitler. And YOU are breathing the results, haha! Over the last 2 billion years I’ve heard some great pop tunes, but for some reason none of them were by anaerobic life forms? I guess there’s just no market for Now That’s What I Call Peptostreptococcus! in today’s tough industry conditions.”

Thanks Cyanobacteria, without you this poll literally wouldn’t exist. Let’s have a look at #30-21!

30. Sax – Fleur East

Lively debut single from 2014’s X Factor runner-up; sounds less like Uptown Funk and more like itself on each subsequent listen. I judge her rap bit is less good than Neneh Cherry but better than Debbie Harry.

29. The Very Best – JME

The Pokemon/grime crossover single we’ve all been waiting for – it only took 20 years. JME and his shiny Charizard pack in the references, sticking mostly to the original 151. Disappointing that Team Rocket doesn’t get a shout-out though! That reminds me, I should get round to finishing Black 2 before the new game comes out…

28. Sunday Candy – Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment ft Jamila Woods

New to me! Chance the Rapper sings more than raps on this track (so much for nominative determinism), which he apparently wrote about his gran. Musically it veers all over the place, kind of like if all the good Outkast songs were played at once, but Jamila’s lovely warm vocal brings it all together. Do watch the delightful am-dram video, which has some cracking choreography.

27. Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) – Silentó

And there was me thinking everyone had forgotten about ‘Do The Stanky Legg‘ by GS Boys! Silentó rounds up all the half-decent dance moves from the last ten years or so, including a shout out to Soulja Boy. This track was being played for the aquarobics ladies in the pool last night, they were gamely whipping and nae-naeing but the bop-bopping proved a little tricky underwater.

26. What Dö Ü Mean – Justin Bieber

Nothing wrong with our umlaut-loving chum’s vocal here, it’s rather sweet! And the tick-tock backing is very 2005-microbosh, like M.A.N.D.Y with extra panpipes – right up my street. All this is slightly tarnished by the actual gist of the song however: Women Are From Venus, Where There Is Literally Too Much Pressure. But it’s not such a black mark that I can’t forgive Biebs by the time he shouts out ‘Be more straightforward!‘ at the end. Maybe he genuinely is confused about everything? It would explain a lot.

25. Baby Love – Petite Meller

The winner of this year’s Nicola Roberts Award for Dancing Around In A Selection Of High Waisted Pants. For better or worse, Petite seems to be positioning herself as a sort of French Lady Gaga, at least in terms of a) making videos that don’t seem to have been 100% thought through and b) bunging a saxophone on the end of everything.

24. Shut Up And Dance – Walk The Moon

I didn’t DJ at anyone’s work Christmas do in 2015 (not even my own!) but if I had, I would have played this after playing ‘Mr Brightside’. Then afterwards I would have played ‘Mr Brightside’ again. Walk The Moon Dude has a full-on mullet in the video and is intent on hamming everything up to the max. Hard to dislike.

=21. Ice Cream Cake – Red Velvet

Sugary sweet K-pop that has a chorus in a completely different key AND language from the verse, well done everyone. Their fluffy white coats with glowsticks stuck in them look very cosy and are now my #FashionGoals2016.

=21. Sörrÿ – Justin Bieber

More Biebs. I’ve just realised his song with the umlauts isn’t actually in this Top 40 (spoilerz, soz) so my hilarious typography is all for naught. Bieb-o is not actually in this video, so sit back and imagine what it would be like if he had been a faceless ‘ft’ on what turns out to be a pretty banging pop dancehall track, and we only found out what he looked like when Top Of The Pops forced the producers to have a live vocalist.

=21. Style -Taylor Swift

Technically this mid-tempo kiss-off placed 370th in last year’s poll, but had enough ‘impact’ in 2015 that a bunch of people chucked it a vote. Here is where I insert a joke about One Direction’s ‘impact’ this year being less than a bit of snot being flicked across the room I mean I’m sure 1D did very well. Harry Styles probably wears white t-shirts less often since this song came out.

Next week: into the Top 20!