It’s never easy to sum up an entire year of pop music. Trust us, we’ve tried. But when you’ve spun through all the lists, recaps and reflections, recognize that the way to really review the year in music is to listen to 2011 — all at once. And there’s no better way to do that than with DJ Earworm‘s franchise, “The United State Of Pop”. Listen to Earworm mash up Billboard’s top 25 songs of the year, and read his thoughts on what it all meant. (Fair warning: there’s a lot of Ke$ha). You know you’ve been waiting for this — how does this year’s edition measure up?
The DJ himself sums up the major shift in this year’s pop music themes as articulately as any other pop pundit we’ve seen (and here’s last year’s mix for reference):
In 2010, pop has gone into serious all-out party mode. In 2009 the music was encouraging us to pick ourselves back up after being knocked down again, and to rock out to some great dance music while your at it. This year’s music tells us to keep going now that we’re up and having fun. In fact, the fun seems to be in such overdrive that it borders on recklessness. Usher urges us to ‘dance like it’s the last night of your life”, and Katy Perry wants us to “run away and don’t ever look back”. Even the songs that aren’t about parties have parties in their videos, like this year’s entries from Mike Posner and Lady Antebellum… It’s a great thing about music that you can leave your worries and lose yourself in the moment. In our current world of dance pop culture fantasy, this takes place at a club, where you can drink, meet the most amazing person you’ve ever met, and where as Ke$ha says, “the party don’t stop”.
It’s a work of art — and of course, it’s filled with clever transitions (Ke$ha singing “ain’t got no money in my pocket” into Bruno Mars singing “I want to be a billionaire”, Katy Perry singing “no regrets” into Bruno Mars singing “there’s not a thing that I would change”, etc.).
What’s the best moment for you?