Goodbye, 2017

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I couldn’t let 2017 slip away without indulging one more look back at the year in pop culture. Here are a few things that brought me joy. (And here are a few more.)

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The 2017 Billboard Year-End Hot 100, Ranked in 100% Subjective Order

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The Billboard Hot 100 in 2017 was filled with mainstream and underground hip-hop, emergent Latin pop that straddles language, and sadness. I’ve been listening.

Just like last year, I took valuable time out of my life to rank every song on the year-end Billboard Hot 100 in order of my preference. There is nothing definitive or objective on this list, and I often felt no need to explain my choices. Some things speak for themselves.

I disqualified the following songs because I hadn’t heard them enough to make a “fair” “judgment”: Ayo & Teo’s “Rolex”; YFN Lucci’s “Everyday We Lit”; Blackbear’s “Do Re Mi”; and XXXTentacion’s “Look At Me!”

I disqualified the following songs because I associated them more with 2016, or because they appeared on my ranking last year: The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” feat. Halsey; The Weeknd’s “Starboy” and “I Feel It Coming,” both feat. Daft Punk; Ariana Grande’s “Side to Side” feat. Nicki Minaj; DJ Snake feat. Justin Bieber’s “Let Me Love You”; D.R.A.M.’s “Broccoli” feat. Lil Yachty; Hailee Steinfeld & Zedd’s “Starving” feat. Grey; Shawn Mendes’s “Treat You Better”; Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”; Twenty One Pilots’ “Heathens”; and Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles” feat. Gucci Mane.

Without further ado…

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The Billboard Year-End Hot 100, Ranked in 100% Subjective Order

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I took valuable time out of my life to rank every song on the 2016 year-end Billboard Hot 100 in order of my preference. There is nothing definitive or objective on this list, and I often felt no need to explain my choices. Some things speak for themselves.

I hadn’t heard “Never Be Like You” by Flume feat. Kai, “Antidote” by Travis Scott, “Wicked” by Future and “Middle” by DJ Snake feat. Bipolar Sunshine enough to consider them for this list. I don’t feel too bad about it.

I disqualified the following songs because I associated them more with 2015: “Sorry” by Justin Bieber; “Hotline Bling” by Drake; “The Hills” by The Weeknd; “Jumpman” by Drake & Future; “679” by Fetty Wap feat. Remy Boyz; “Here” by Alessia Cara; “What Do You Mean?” by Justin Bieber; “Same Old Love” by Selena Gomez; “Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd; “Wildest Dreams” by Taylor Swift; “Lean On” by Major LazerĀ & DJ Snake feat. MO; “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” by Silento; “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa and “Perfect” by One Direction.

Without further ado:

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2015 in Review: Top 10 Top 40 Songs

Some of the year’s most popular songs were also some of the best. Below, I’ve listed my ten favorite Top 40 songs of 2015. All of these songs appeared on the Billboard year-end Hot 100 for 2015.

That self-imposed rules means I can’t include what I consider the cream of this year’s pop crop: Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Boy Problems” and “I Didn’t Just Come Here to Dance” and “Run Away With Me” and “All That” and “Let’s Get Lost.” This woman had herĀ 1989 moment this year and America paid no attention. Her manager Scooter Braun now admits something went wrong on his end. Too little, too late. It’s a crime.

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Carly Rae Jepsen: Below the Top, Proudly

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Carly Rae Jepsen isn’t Taylor Swift. She seems perfectly fine with that. And so am I.

In fact, it’s probably better for everyone that her success, and her goals, are more modest. Jepsen probably couldn’t command a stadium or flaunt a Rolodex of famous pals with Swift’s conviction. And she definitely can’t sell albums or singles at a fraction of Swift’s impressive rate.

But she can sing, she can shimmy and last night at the Fillmore in Silver Spring, Maryland, she shined.

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Pop Culture Hopes and Dreams for the New Year

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Before the new year loses its new year smell, here are a few of my pop-culture hopes for the next 358 days. Let’s reconvene in 12 months to see how many of these came to fruition, shall we?

I hope that the third season of Sherlock is every bit as delectable as the first two.

Not much more to say about this riveting series of mini-movies. Love Cumberbatch. Love Freeman. Love the cliffhanger. Bring it on, PBS. January 19th can’t come soon enough.

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