Summer 2015 in review

Every summer, there are songs, albums and films that catch the attention of the entire country. The summer of 2015 was no different. It was filled with strong artists and cultivating filmmakers. As the summer comes to an end, it is important to look back on what made this summer so great from an entertainment standpoint. Here’s a glimpse at some of the highlights: Songs

Taylor Swift lit up the summer with her remixed single “Bad Blood” featuring Kendrick Lamar. The suspenseful music video—which featured celebrity cameos from Selena Gomez, Lena Dunham and Jessica Alba—helped land the single at the top of the music charts. The song is intense, upbeat and delivers a powerful message to stand up against adversity. It’s no wonder why Swift received the 2015 Video Music Award for Video of the Year at the end of the summer.

Another song from a driven female artist was Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song.” Like Swift, Platten delivered a strong message through her heartfelt and empowered song. It was the summer’s biggest song; an impressive feat for a female artist who was working independently without any billed collaborators. Not only did Platten’s hit reach radios all over the country, but it was also featured in a Ford commercial.

Male artists had many outbreaks this summer as well. Andy Grammer’s “Honey I’m Good” and Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance” became instant hits on the radio fairly early in the summer. The upbeat vibe allowed these tracks to gain widespread popularity throughout the country. These songs were—and still are—the perfect songs to blast in your car on the way to the beach or the mall.

Movies 

Hit movies this summer ranged across genres from action to comedy to documentary. Probably one of the most lucrative films of the summer, Jurassic World, revived the famous Jurassic Park films and reawakened our love for the dinosaur theme park. Action and suspense were driving forces in this film and lead actor Chris Pratt delivered a stunning performance that left viewers on the edge of their seats throughout the film.

Another summer favorite was Inside Out, Pixar’s first movie since Monster’s University. What really drove this film was the creative and extensive world created by the moviemakers. It was interesting to see how an animated film dealt with the visualization of concepts such as personality, abstract thought and dreams. Amy Poehler voiced Joy, the energetic and happy-go-lucky emotion that tries to right every wrong that her polar opposite, Sadness—voiced by Phyllis Smith of “The Office”—creates. Like one of Pixar’s previous films, The Incredibles, Inside Out dealt with complex themes while still being family-friendly.

Trainwreck—written by and staring Amy Schumer—on the other hand, put a quirky take on a rom-com. Portraying an awkward and comedic female protagonist, Schumer allowed the hilarity of the film’s premise to shine through. Bill Hader—portraying Schumer’s boyfriend—helped add to the light and humorous comedy.

Among the action and comedy, moviegoers were also treated to an inside look at the life of Amy Winehouse in the documentary Amy. It celebrated her career, but also showed the hardships she faced. The film featured many of her songs, which meant that viewers could appreciate her hits while learning about her career.

Albums

This summer allowed many new artists and well-known veteran singers to shine. X-Factor 2012 contestant Bea Miller came out with her first album Not an Apology in late July. Her distinct, strong and raspy vocals stand out in songs such as “Fire N Gold” and “Dracula” and are the driving force that makes her unique amongst the throng of modern pop artists.

In a different genre, Pitbull came out with his ninth studio album on July 17. Dale features Spanish singers such as Enrique Iglesias, Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin and Fuego. The rhythmic album is a primarily Spanish-language work, Pitbull’s second such album.