Remember those cheesy Now That’s What I Call Music album compilations from high school? Thank god that with today’s mashups, you can now listen to all the year’s hottest songs in under five minutes.
DJ Earworm, who used to play the sweaty Cockfight parties in San Francisco, has become the reigning (albeit a little reluctant) king of the pop mashups, with his highly-anticipated year-end “United State of Pop” compilations featuring, for better or for worse, every single song that took the number one spot on the Billboard charts.
Some of the mashups are fitting of the Earworm name and make for an awesome New Year’s Eve party jam, while others are so obnoxious they’re like the musical equivalent of rubbing a balloon with Lysol wipes until it’s all squeaky clean. It’s not Earworm’s fault, of course, and it could be representative of the varying quality of pop music from year to year. After all we’re the ones telling the music industry that it’s ok for Pitbull to keep recording songs.
Make it pop or make it stop? Let’s take a trip down pop music memory lane and rank all the United State of Pop’s from best to… bleh.
1. “Don’t Stop the Pop” (2010) was overall melodious thanks to a musical motif in a form of a catchy candidate: Kesha.
2. If “50 Shades of Pop” is any indication 2015 was an outstanding year for the top of the charts. The Weeknd, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber make multiple appearances, while Drake, Ariana Grande trade verses before the bombastic choruses from Adele and Ellie Goulding.
3. “Blame It on the Pop” (2009) proved that DJ Earworm knew what he was doing with this upbeat mashup that had to include both Pitbull AND the Black Eyed Peas.
4. “Do What You Wanna Do” (2014) is far more textured and cohesive than previous plug-and-play mashups.
5. The 2007 mashup that started it all, and you can tell why this thing caught on.
6. “World Go Boom” (2011) had its best moments whenever Rihanna’s “We Found Love” was somehow involved. Overall, it needed more Adele and less LMFAO.
7. Even though 2016 brought us a lot of memorable music, “Into Pieces” (2016) failed to make and impression. Maybe because it’s DJ Earworm’s shortest year-end mashup.
8. “Living the Fantasy” (2013) made it clear that EDM had become mainstream with the prominent inclusion of Swedish House Mafia.
9. “Viva La Pop” (2008) uses Coldplay as the connecting sonic tissue, which adds a much-needed level of sophistication but overall it’s a rather dull entry.
10. “Shine Brighter” (2012) will forever serve as proof that it was the worst year for pop music. Please stop this pop.