Apologies to Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson: "Uptown Funk" is not on this list. Neither is Adele's "Hello." Enough of them already. Below are 25 cuts that give a picture of the best of pop music in 2015. All 25 are compiled on a streaming Spotify playlist at my blog philly.com/inthemix.
1. "On the Regular," Shamir. Winning electro-rap from Shamir Bailey, the 21-year-old genderqueer North Las Vegas native with a high-pitched tenor whose debut album, Ratchet, is free of genre restrictions. Free-spirited. "Haters get the bird, more like an eagle / This is my movie, stay tuned for the sequel."
2. "Where Are U Now," Skrillex and Diplo present Jack U, with Justin Bieber. DJ producers Skrillex and Diplo do the Biebs the enormous favor of making the often-exasperating post-teen idol hip - by shape-shifting his voice and using it to their own unpredictable ends.
3. "Lean On," Major Lazer featuring MO and DJ Snake. Diplo strikes again. The formerly Philadelphia mixmaster uses his Major Lazer subsidiary to team with French knob-twiddler DJ Snake and Danish vocalist Karen Marie Ørsted on this slithery groove. At 556 million and counting, it is the all-time most-streamed song on Spotify.
4. "Only Memories Remain," My Morning Jacket. Ghostly, diaphanous riff on regret sung by Jim James on the Kentucky rock band's back-on-form album The Waterfall.
5. "Pretty Pimpin," Kurt Vile. Hirsute Philly rocker isn't sure he recognizes the person staring back at him in the mirror. A perfect example of Vile's knack for the effortless rock groove that sounds as though it were written as he rolled out of bed.
6. "Sister Cities," Hop Along. Ripping, climactic track on Philadelphia band's breakout Painted Shut showcases songwriter Frances Quinlan's remarkable, raspy voice.
7. "Flesh Without Blood," Grimes. Chirpy, caterwauling dance-pop from Canadian one-woman band Claire Boucher, from the hyperenergetic Art Angel.
8. "Hotline Bling," Drake. Between a pair of triumphant 2015 mixtape albums and scoring a TKO in his rap battle with Meek Mill, it was a big year for Drake. His biggest song, however, was this much-memed booty-call single.
9. "Phone Down," Erykah Badu. "Hotline Bling" got soul-funk queen Badu so telephonically inspired she made an entire But You Caint Use My Phone mixtape. This tune wrestles with the essential question: What will it take to make you put your phone down?
10. "Lemme Know," Vince Staples with Jhené Aiko. Bouncey love and hip-hop duet between a pair of Southern California rising talents, from the second-best rap album of the year, Staples' Summertime '06.
11. "White Iverson," Post Malone. Entrancing debut buzz single from this Dallas rapper, whose braids convinced him he looked like a Caucasian version of former Sixers star Allen Iverson.
12. "High by the Beach," Lana Del Rey. Dreamy, sun-baked noir from the stylish chanteuse's Honeymoon.
13. "Deeper Than Love," Colleen Green. Her Twitter handle - @ColleenGreen420 - might make you think this California singer is a garden-variety stoner indie-rock act. But her third album, I Want to Grow Up, keeps it catchy while wrestling with adult themes, most satisfyingly on this soul-searcher.
14. "24 Frames," Jason Isbell. Goosebump-inducing rumination with a killer guitar hook from the constantly surpassing himself former Drive By Truckers member's Something More Than Free.
15. "The Blade," Ashley Monroe. Cutting title track to the formidable second album from the country singer who is one-third of the Pistol Annies and up for a country album of the year Grammy.
16. "Nobody to Blame," Chris Stapleton. Burly voiced lifer whose hard work as a behind-the-scenes Nashville co-writer has paid off as he becomes the beardo face of country traditionalism.
17. "I Really Like You," Carly Rae Jepsen. Carly Ray Jepsen worked hard to outrun the shadow of 2012 mega-hit "Call Me Maybe" on Emotion, a follow-up album assembled with a team of au courant producers. The results are short on personality, but with lots of effective earworms like this.
18. "Can't Feel My Face," The Weeknd. Made in America headliner Abel Tesfaye vaulted to superstardom with the help of the 50 Shades of Grey collaboration with Swedish song doctor Max Martin, who also had his hands on many a Taylor Swift hit this year.
19. "Trap Queen," Fetty Wap. North Jersey rapper William Maxwell II made cooking drugs seem romantic on a summer smash with pop-culture endurance.
20. "La Loose," Waxahatchee. Dark tale of obsessive love with a catchy "ooh-ooh-ooh" hook from Alabama-bred, Philadelphia-based indie heroine Katie Crutchfield.
21. "Chinatown," Girlpool. Los-Angeles-to-Philadelphia transplants Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad's voices intertwine enticingly as they ask the coming-of-age-question: "Do you feel restless when you realize you're alive?"
22. "Somebody to Love," Kacey Musgraves. The Texas "Dimestore Cowgirl" country charmer has an affection for kitsch, but also an ability to cut to the emotional core, evinced on this Pageant Material standout.
23. "The Charade," D'Angelo. Black Messiah came out too late in 2014 to make it onto last year's album list and too early for this year's. This simmering, murky funk, though, spoke eloquently in an annum rife with racial tensions. "All we wanted was a chance to talk," the soul man sings. " 'Stead we just got outlined in chalk."
24. "Don't Wanna Fight," Alabama Shakes. A plea for peace from Brittany Howard and the impressively evolving Athens, Ala., soul-rock band.
25. "Alright," Kendrick Lamar. The track on the richly detailed To Pimp a Butterfly that's become the Compton rapper's calling card, a shouted insistence that "We gonna be alright!"