Wednesday, December 5, 2018

100 Songs for 2018: Outtakes Day Three (Pop)


Let's talk about pop music!

(1) Cardi B - "I Like It" (feat. Bad Bunny and J Balvin)

Almost definitely the Song of the Summer (TM) 2018, and it's fun, but every time I hear it I just imagine an old man in a suit yelling into his phone, "Look, I don't care what you have to do, just get me another 'Despacito'!"

(2) Ariana Grande - "thank u, next"

I fully support Ariana's ascension to the throne of Biggest Pop Star in the World. Sweetner was a great album, and will be represented on 100 Songs for 2018. I think my lukewarm reaction to this one is that I almost never understand "one taught me love, one taught me patience, one taught me pain" memes on Twitter.

(3) CHVRCHES - "Miracle"

It's weird when your favorite bands don't want the same things you do. I want CHVRCHES to make music for small clubs and headphones. All of my favorite songs ("The Mother We Share," "We Sink," "Empty Threat") fall into that category. It's pretty obvious from Love is Dead, though, that CHVRCHES want to be massive. They want to headline festivals. "Miracle" is a festival song. It's the most popular single on the album, and it has that huge drop that every festival song has to have. And I saw them play it at Outside Lands this year, and yeah, it absolutely works in that context. But that's not really the CHVRCHES I want. I want them to play The Independent again. That's not going to happen.

(4) Years & Years - "Sanctify"

Years & Years make interesting music all their own, which is why it's disappointing that, on their biggest hit, they're trying so hard to be Justin Timberlake.

(5) Kendrick Lamar - "All The Stars" (feat. SZA)

Kinda sounds like it was written for Ellie Goulding and then repurposed for Black Panther. Which is fine, I guess.

(6) Ella Mai - "Boo'd Up"

Anytime The Singles Jukebox likes a song this much more than I do, I assume there's something wrong with me.

(7) Lady Gaga - "Shallow"

Is this in the all-time top five songs by a fictional artist? Having done very little research, I think my rankings would be:

(1) The Wonders - "That Thing You Do!" (That Thing You Do!)
(2) DJay - "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" (Hustle and Flow) (and "Whoop That Trick" is also awesome)
(3) Josie and the Pussycats - "3 Small Words" (Josie and the Pussycats)
(4) Ally - "Shallow" (A Star Is Born) (Side question: Whose album does this song wind up on? I can't imagine it fit on Ally's debut, this is probably a "Jackson Maine featuring Ally" production)
(5) MouseRat - "5,00 Candles in the Wind" (Parks & Recreation)

(If there was a full-length version of Driveshaft's "You All Everybody" from Lost, that would probably be #2 since it's such a shameless ripoff of Be Here Now-era Oasis)

[EDIT: It has been brought to my attention that I forgot about "Scotty Doesn't Know" from Eurotrip, which is an inexcusable oversight on my part.]

(8) Charli XCX - "1999" (feat. Troye Sivan)

Charli XCX was born in 1992. Troye Sivan was born in 1995. You kids know nothing about 1999. Stop appropriating my nostalgia!

At least Bowling for Soup had the decency to invent an age-appropriate protagonist for "1985".

(9) Anderson .Paak - "Tints" (feat. Kendrick Lamar)

Two of the most innovative artists in the world today join forces to make ... a pretty good Bruno Mars song.

(10) Little Mix - "Woman Like Me" (feat. Nicki Minaj)

I'm still a Little Mix fan, but wow LM5 is a terrible album. This is probably the best song on the album, and I'm not sure if it would be in the top ten on Glory Days.

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