"When We Were Young"
ADELE
(XL/Columbia)

Probably not as engaging on radio as the impossible-to-avoid “Hello,” “When We Were Young” still walks in the footsteps of quintessential Adele. Its dreamy landscape (“You still look like a movie/You still sound like a song”), the aural production and her perfect phrasing gives the song a glorious grace that feels hymnlike.

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"Omen"
DISCLOSURE feat. SAM SMITH
(Island)

Sam Smith reunites with the Lawrence brothers on a song lubed up with urban spunk and galactic synths. It's just as good as “Latch,” minus all the media hoopla.

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"Sound & Color"
ALABAMA SHAKES
(ATO)

The Southern rock-soul band shifted their formidable musical palette into something more orgasmic, oozing and otherworldly on the title cut from their sophomore LP. Unfortunately it doesn't last long, but the experience is bloated with glorious strings and a rapturous finale that comes across as a new-age Prince slow jam.

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"Shame"
TYRESE
(Voltron)

A time portal back to Bobby Womack and Isaac Hayes boudoir soul, “Shame” is anointed with heartbreak depth, smoky production and Jennifer Hudson's spine-tingling backing vocals. It now stands tall as Tyrese's most sophisticated single to date.

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"King"
YEARS & YEARS
(Polydor/Interscope)

Tagged to Olly Alexander's sweet pop vocals, the UK synthpop trio Years & Years dropped a magical summit to dancefloor bliss on their debut disc Communion. It's the kind of stuff that's perfect as a reprise to the previous year's winner, Clean Bandit's “Rather Be.”

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"Want to Want Me"
JASON DERULO
(Warner Bros.)

Blessed with a Michael Jackson-esque falsetto, Derulo – a dancing machine in his own right – makes a big splash on radio with the sing-a-long summer anthem, “Want to Want Me.” Judging by his contagious melodic trances, this might be his definite record so far.

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"Cake by the Ocean"
DNCE
(Republic)

This fresh boy band, a creative offspring of Joe Jonas, rediscovers the recipe of back-in-the-day Maroon 5 on this silly, uptempo rock-pop gem wrapped around Jonas's trippy falsetto, big melodies and incognito lyrics about booty worship.

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"Style"
TAYLOR SWIFT
(Big Machine)

“Bad Blood” may have been gotten all the headlines, particularly for its innovative action-adventure music video, but it certainly wasn't Swift's creme de la crème. “Style” works on every level, elevated by its dreamy synth explorations, sing-a-long chorus and innovative sexy pop inflations.

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"Shut Up and Dance"
WALK THE MOON
(RCA)

With the fun of Lionel Richie's “Dancing on the Ceiling,” Rick Springfield's “Jessie' Girl” as wall poster inspiration and the availability of trusty One Direction beats, this Cincinnati, Ohio-based band pull off a zesty rock pop jam that sure to stand the test of time.

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"You Know You Like It"
DJ SNAKE feat. ALUNAGEORGE
(Island)

DJ Snake, an in-demand producer with a serious skill of creating EDM crossover bait, took an obvious sleeper that felt too wired for the average and reworked it into a terrific remix. Using transparent synthpop and slick club rhythms, Snake's new-and-improved arrangement hyped AlunaGeorge's verses, propped its original chorus as a bridge and loaded an original chorus dressed with sexy, memorable charm.

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