Carly Rae Jepsen's new Emotion is such a good pop album, it's really tough to pick the standouts. After a week with the LP, we've decided that "Your Type" hits on a particularly emotional note as CRJ makes her case to be the ideal type of her dream lover.
The cheerleader-chant has been utilized so often in pop music, it's almost played out. But rising pop tart Becky G mixes bubbly synths and remarkably powerful belts into the mix making this one of the summer's most irresistible earworms.
Justin Bieber's comeback single could have played off his past pop sensibilities, but instead the superstar did the unexpected and went for a laid-back, tropical dance vibe on the pristine "What Do You Mean." He isn't the same boy who sang "Baby," and we're digging him more than ever.
V V Brown has broken away from her initial vintage-pop sound (remember "Shark in the Water"?) for a sophisticated and experimental new sound. New single "Shift" incorporates a spastic combo dance and house elements mixed with an at-times-haunting choirs and yodels.
It's hard to pin down entirely where this song fits, but we do know it's an exciting discovery dive for pop fans of an artist way too often overlooked. Fingers crossed new album Glitch (out September 25) gives V V her due shine.
The U.K. group have the biggest hit of their career on their hands to date with the perfect-pop gem "Black Magic." While they ride its success, they dropped a banger on us with the tribal-leaning "Hair" that sees the girls at their sassiest (they seemingly sing, "He was just a dick and I knew it!" with "dick" getting bleeped out by a cash register ding), telling their gal pals how they need to cut a guy loose and equating that to getting the loser out of their hair. We feel you, ladies.
She might be an Oscar-nominated actress, but Hailee Steinfeld is proving that she's got a super-promising future as a pop star. Debut single "Love Myself" isn't just an expertly crafted synth jam, but also cleverly packages the subject of female masturbation and personal indulgences as Top 40 radio fodder.
After nearly a decade away from the mainstream scene, JoJo is free from her terrible record contract and releasing new music under a new label. The "Too Little Too Late" singer has had a legion of fans following her through her struggles and she repaid them back with not one, but three new singles. The house-speckled jam "When Love Hurts" is the instant standout among the more R&B-leaning singles with all-too-real lyrics and those incredible vocals that blew us away when she debuted at age 13 with "Leave (Get Out)."
LÉON is a Swedish newcomer to watch with not only effervescent pop productions, but spot-on, honest lyrics. Her second official single "Nobody Cares" furthers that with a peppy production backing a story about everyone's given up about a relationship, except for the singer.
We told you we couldn't pick a top favorite off Emotion, so here's another stellar, new Carly Rae Jepsen track. "Let's Get Lost" has a feel-good, '90s production with lyrics that capture a youthful excitement of hoping your crush can turn a car ride into an exciting makeout sessions. Listen up for some irresistible saxophone riffs.
One of K-pop's most beloved groups, Wonder Girls, made a comeback after three years away from the scene with a refreshed lineup (four members instead of five now) and sound (they replaced their '60/'70s sheen with '80s synth-pop). Despite the long wait, the ladies do not disappoint with a meticulous, old-school-Madonna-like lead single "I Feel You" off their Reboot album, that explores all sects of '80s mainstream music.
Even cooler: The girls have been playing their own instruments while promoting the track. Your typical girl group, this is not.
Foxes kicked off her sophomore album with the incredible, melancholy-drenched "Body Talk," and the follow-up cut is similarly strong. The British songbird is once again stuck in a complicated relationship as she begs "feet don't fail me now" as she tries to leave for the final time. Stay tuned till the end for an exhilarating finale.
U.K. X Factor singer Diana Vickers has been making incredible pop confections for a half-decade now and that remains true for her latest. "Chains" is being used in the upcoming British thriller Awaiting, and sees the star utilizing both her raspy approach and powerful head voice for a haunting slice of synth-pop.