10 Hit Songs We Don't Mind – September 2018
Once again, on our way back from visiting my parents, Steven and I decided to make the time go by faster by listening to the Spotify Global Top 50 playlist, to see what the new hit songs are. And while we found about 35 of the songs really hard to sit through, (Eminem, what are you doing?) we were able to find a good handful of songs that weren’t bad at all, and even a few we that we are truly enjoying listening to. Check out our April 2017 installment of this series here. Here are 10 songs we are actually enjoying from the Spotify Global Top 50 list.
To give some context as to who we are and how we may form our musical opinions, you should know a little bit about what influences Steven and my taste in music:
Steven listens to all genres throughout the day from jazz hop to future funk, to bluegrass and even classical. His favorite pop album of all time is “Thriller” and he has a background in musical theater.
I on the other hand listen to a lot of genres similar to each other in my spare time. Much of it is indie, dream pop, chillwave or electropop. But I also have a huge appreciation for musical theater and all forms of pop from Madonna to Bjork to Patti LaBelle.
Based on our tastes in music we are bound to have an opinion different from yours on some of these. This list doesn’t mean that we judge you if you disagree with us, but we’d probably want to get into a healthy debate over these songs if we ran into you at a cocktail party. Scroll all the way down to check out the full Spotify Top 10 list as of September 12, 2018 so you can tell us what you think!
#10 – “YOUNGBLOOD” BY 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER
Trust me, I too couldn’t believe that we’d have a song by 5 Seconds of Summer on our list. No song of theirs in the past had ever piqued my interest. I’m not sure if it’s the catchy pre-chorus or because I can be a sucker for the millennial whoop, but I didn’t mind this tune at all. My biggest gripe with it however is that the song feels unfinished. Its chorus ends abruptly and gives you the feeling like it hadn’t yet gotten to its peak. And unfortunately, it follows suit with the popular trend of the bridge just being another variation of the verses. Then they end the song by repeating the chorus one more time, and actually leave the song feeling unfinished to say the least. To me, the abrupt ending just didn’t go well with the melodic and heartbroken feelings that had been conveyed the entire way through. And that’s why it falls so low on the list.
By the way, I want to mention that I appreciate that their music video was a storyline of an elderly Asian couple looking back on their youth. Many boy bands feel the need to take every opportunity to show themselves off to the fan girls, but for a hit this big, the music video showed a lot of restraint. Not to mention diversity and a neat peek into the lesser-known Japanese rockabilly culture. If this were a list for the best music videos, this of course would have placed higher.
#9 – “ONE KISS” BY CALVIN HARRIS AND DUA LIPA
For the longest time, Steven and I have been saying Dua Lipa is one of the artists everyone needs to be looking out for. She clearly has great vocals and discernment for good songs and collaborations. We were incredibly impressed with her vocals in Martin Garrix’s “Scared To Be Lonely.” Not to mention Steven really enjoyed “New Rules” and I couldn’t get her song “Blow Your Mind (Mwah)” out of my head after hearing it in those Revlon commercials. So it’s no surprise that this collaboration with Calvin Harris is also impressive and upbeat. However, it did get a bit overshadowed by another Dua Lipa bop that you’ll see higher up on this list.
#8 – “PROMISES” BY CALVIN HARRIS, SAM SMITH, AND JESSIE REYEZ
My guess is that Calvin Harris, ever the musical opportunist, decided to capitalize on the popularity of Disclosure’s “Latch” and produced this club tune featuring Latch’s vocalist, Sam Smith. Because to me, the songs sound extremely similar, from the beat, to the vibe to the identical vocals. And to replace the small voice making the “Aah-aah” sound in “Latch,” we have yet another tiny voice shouting “Tonight!” I’ll admit, I do enjoy Sam Smith’s vocal styling juxtaposed with the house beat, (which is I guess why it’s so successful a second time around;) however, the next time I hear a club beat with Sam Smith vocals, it better sound completely different.
#7 – “GOD IS A WOMAN” BY ARIANA GRANDE
Steven and I are surprisingly huge Ariana Grande fans, which you’ll be able to tell by the time you finish this list. And we rarely dislike any singles of hers. But we always categorize her singles by “Songs we adore” and “Songs that are pretty good.” And for us personally, “God is a woman” falls into the latter. It’s nice to listen to, and we find ourselves singing it while doing dishes or folding laundry, but to us it just was missing the oomf of an Ariana song. It felt like it was forcing itself to fit in with some of the hip-hop songs on the Top 40s lists. Plus, I’m getting tired of all the girl power anthems at the moment. This song is not obnoxious the way “Woman Up” by Meghan Trainor or “Woman” by Kesha were, but it just feels like I’m still getting pounded on the head with a bat that says “Women matter,” when that’s something I already know and believe. I know many will disagree and say they love all the female empowerment songs, but for now I’ll just stick to my favorite by Chaka Khan.
#6 – “BETTER NOW” BY POST MALONE
This is a pick of Steven’s. One of the few popular music artists we feel we can really listen to in our spare time is Post Malone. The lyrics aren’t anything to write home about, and I will probably forget this song in three years. But it’s not obnoxious, it’s not offensive to my senses and it’s catchy and melodic enough to make a car ride to Target a bit more pleasant. I give this a solid pass.
#5 – “NO TEARS LEFT TO CRY” BY ARIANA GRANDE
I unfortunately got introduced to this song through watching the music video on YouTube. And for a minute, the ridiculousness and awkward meme-readiness of the music video was distracting. (I’m not joking, check out the video below to see just how awkward things really get. And if you’re not yet convinced, see the version of the video without any music.) But then, when I listened to it without the video, I realized this is a killer song for Ariana’s impressive growing repertoire. She is really impressing me with how many enjoyable songs she comes out with on each and every album. She is one of the few music artists I make a point to check out when they release new music. And while Sweetener can be hit or miss, this is certainly a hit in Steven’s and my book that we will continue to sing to ourselves on Bart, while vacuuming and anytime we enter our car.
#4 – “BODY” BY LOUD LUXURY AND BRANDO
This is the exact brand of deep house music that I really enjoy. The lyrics are interesting enough to where you can sing along if you know them, but they’re not too sentimental or nonsensical to be distracting. This song understands its goals, fulfills them and doesn’t step out of its lane unnecessarily. Is it a risk taker? No, and that’s why it can’t top our list. And do I wish that the chorus had been more dynamic? Yes. But I’d compare this song to “Roses” by The Chainsmokers, or “Middle” by DJ Snake in that it’s just a simple decent song that I would not mind hearing while in a car or at the club.
#3 – “JACKIE CHAN” BY TIESTO, DZEKO, PREME AND POST MALONE
This song is only on our list because it’s fun to listen to.
But man are these the dumbest lyrics I’ve heard in awhile. I’d almost call them insulting to this song’s audience. Not only are we getting caught up in the mish-mash of non sequiturs that just name off pop culture references (Uber, Calabasas, doing it for the gram,) but we are also going into one of my least favorite tropes of music: Talking about how much you have sex. Half this song just felt like some guy yelling in an empty parking lot “People have sex with me!… Voluntarily!…Frequently!…I’m sexually active!…I swear I am!” Sure, Preme.
And don’t even get me started on most confusing lyric of them all “I just ordered sushi from Japan…Now your bitch wanna kick it Jackie Chan.” 3 seconds into my first time hearing this song, I thought “Oh it’s this kind of nonsense where they’re mixing up Asian cultures because they don’t find them important enough to make distinctions.” At first, Steven and I thought this song might be about trying to get with an Asian girl, but once they described her as looking like Kelly Rowland, that theory got put to rest. And I find it funny that in this society where we are in many ways forward-thinking, cultured and inclusive, that the most influential music artists still write garbage like this. But what can we expect from a man who still uses the term “hoes” in all his songs?
I almost forgot: With this being high up on my list, I’m supposed to talk about why it’s a good song. Well…it’s catchy and upbeat. That’s all.
#2 – “BREATHIN” BY ARIANA GRANDE
This song is my absolute favorite from Sweetener and Steven and I agree that we cannot get it out of our heads! I listen to it on repeat when I’m having a long day at work and things are driving me crazy. In fact, I started listening to it to relieve stress before I even took the time to figure out what she was saying. That’s how well the concept and sound of the song go hand in hand with each other. It’s comforting, like the lyrics are trying to convey. This concept of breathing and remaining calm is not only crystal clear, but well fleshed out, the way concepts in Sia or Allie X songs are many times. Which is a big step up from Ariana lyrics like "I only want to die alive…Now that I’ve become who I really are.” It’s well written, it sounds great, and it’s a good use of her vocals.
#1 – “ELECTRICITY” BY SILK CITY, DUA LIPA, DIPLO AND MARK RONSON
This collaboration song featuring vocals by Dua Lipa made it to the very top of our list for one very important reason: It made us feel really good. It gives us the 90s vibes of joy and love of dance that classics like “Finally” by Cece Peniston do. It made us feel nostalgic for the dance music of our childhoods and for the positive vibes that top 40s hits are many times known for. While it’s gotten close to topping the charts in New Zealand and Scotland, it’s still far from making its mark on the American audience. And that’s a shame. Even Rolling Stone recently wrote that it’s a song you need to know. And for good reason: Electricity is full of, well just that.
What songs do you think belong on the top 50, and which songs did we leave out of our list that you are loving right now? Let us know by leaving a comment.
SPOTIFY GLOBAL TOP 50 PLAYLIST ON SEPTEMBER 12, 2018
“I Love It” by Kanye West and Lil Pump
“In My Feelings” by Drake
“Lucky You” by Eminem and Joyner Lucas
“Eastside” by benny blanco, Halsey and Khalid
“Promises” by Calvin Harris, Sam Smith and Jessie Reyez
“Happier” by Marshmello and Basille
“In My Mind” by Dynoro and Gigi D’Agostino
“Girls Like You” By Maroon 5 and Cardi B
“SICKO MODE” by Travis Scott
“FEFE” by 6ix9ine, Nicki Minaj and Murda Beatz
“Lucid Dreams” by Juice WRLD
“No Brainer, DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber, Quavo and Chance the Rapper
“Be Alright” by Dean Lewis
“Taste” by Tyga and Offset
“Electricity” by Silk City, Dua Lipa, Diplo and Mark Ronson
“SAD!” by XXXTENTACION
“I Like It” by Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J Balvin
“breathin” by Ariana Grande
“Vaina Loca” by Ozuna and Manuel Turizo
“God is a woman” by Ariana Grande
“The Ringer” by Eminem
“Rise” by Jonas Blue and Jack & Jack
“BEBE” by 6ix9ine and Anuel Aa
“Better Now” by Post Malone
“Natural” by Imagine Dragons
“Body” by Loud Luxury and brando
“Youngblood” by 5 Seconds of Summer
“Solo” by Clean Bandit and Demi Lovato
“Nonstop” by Drake
“Moonlight” by XXXTENTACION
“Te Bote - Remix” b Nio Garcia, Casper Magico, Darell, Nicky Jam, Nio Garcia and Ozuna
“Jackie Chan” by Tiesto, Dzeko, Preme and Post Malone
“Fall” by Eminem
“Beautiful” by Bazzi and Camila Cabello
“Thunderclouds” by Sia, Diplo, Labrinth and LSD
“One Kiss” by Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa
“Shotgun” by George Ezra
“Happy Now” by Zedd and Elley Duhe
“No Es Justo” by J Balvin, Zion & Lennox
“Not Alike” by Eminem and Royce Da 5’9”
“God’s Plan” by Drake
“Sin Pijama” by Becky G and Natti Natasha
“Self Care” by Mac Miller
“Jocelyn Flores by XXXTENTACION
“no tears left to cry” by Ariana Grande
“Whenever” by Conor Maynard, Kriss Kross Amsterdam and The Boy Next Door
“STARGAZING” by Travis Scott
“Greatest” by Eminem
“rockstar” by Post Malone and 21 Savage
“changes” by XXXTENTACION