Saturday, May 13, 2017

2017 in Pop So Far: Rallying Cries, Earworms, and STEPS!

How exactly does one cover 5+ months of pop music releases in a single post? Your girl's gonna try. Here's your crash course in what I've been blaring since you last heard from me. Spoiler Alert: there is little to no #KPOP on here. I know.

2017 is a weird time, man.

As always, click on the song titles to hear them for yo' self.

Becky has been a buzzy artist for pop nerds for a long time but she officially won me over with this MNEK-written/produced scorcher.

BETTY WHO - "You Can Cry Tomorrow"
Any pop song that includes the phrase "I bought a bottle of Moscato / You'll be drunk until tomorrow" feels very much on the nose for me at this time in my life. And don't you dare try to come for me and say Moscato is not "real wine". I'm not here for your foolishness.

The sole #KPOP jam that has had any kind of impact on me in 2017. There. I said it. But mostly because it sounds like 2NE1 and 4minute had a pop baby, and considering both groups have called it quits... (And now, I'm sad again...)

What's odd about this is the "Huh!" bits are what really gets stuck in my head. Huh...

Yes, I'm ready for Dua Lipa to be everywhere, please and thank you.

Yes, this is pure filth. The chorus is literally "My punani drips gold". Doesn't make it any less catchy. Your faves could never.
Swedish artist Ionnalee is one in the same from that iamamiwhoami project a few years back (that so many people assumed was either Christina Aguilera or Lady Gaga in disguise). This song is literally what I would have wanted from either of those two ladies but haven't been getting for far too long.

Whooo, na na hey!

Yes, this isn't new. But it speaks to a lot of my inner frustrations and it feels good to scream-sing the lyrics. Go on', Miss Janet.

I mean...

Also recently covered by my a capella faves in Straight No Chaser.

I've got my fingers crossed for Lauren. She has the same kind of reliability to her music that is also vaguely female-empowerment-centric that brought rise to Taylor Swift and Rachel Platten. I'm here for this country-pop-crossover jam. 

Yes, "No More Sad Songs" is great. But "Power" is the best song on the Glory Days album. Try and fight me on this. I want this to be massive

I had mixed feelings about this when it first came out but I've come all the way around. Lorde with a dance smasher? The world is upside down so why not.

When you have a shitty day, turn on some classic 90's R&B. I'm telling you, it works.

MUNA is fighting hard for HAIM's crown for bad-ass girl band that I want to join. The lyrics to this song are poignant and nuanced and it feels like I wrote it when I definitely did not.
I know a lot of people are gonna be mad that with each progressive album, Paramore is getting more and more poppy (with less and less original members) and it all feels very latter-career No Doubt. But hear me out. The After Laughter album is classic melancholic Hayley Williams lyrics mixed with 80's era pop. Could this be classified as pop rock? I wouldn't lean that way but then again many people call Maroon 5 pop rock, so... The album is worth it for the lead single ("Hard Times") alone, but "Rose-Colored Boy", "Told You So", "Fake Happy", "Caught In The Middle", and "Idle Worship" should all become staples for this band. It may not be for the "purists" but good pop is good pop.

Yeah, it's dark. And it has waves of new meaning to me everytime I listen. RIP. I also initially thought Harry Styles debut single was going to be a cover of this and was very intrigued. Then reality hit and I fell asleep listening to his album. #sorrynotsorry

This man is British, which was initially a curveball for me. His real name is Rory Graham. Like...really. Regardless, his vocal performance on "Human" is one of the most soulful things I've heard in a while from a new artist. Bravo.


STEPS - "No More Tears On The Dancefloor"
If we, as pop lovers, can agree on one thing, it should be that late 90's/early 00's pop was a true heyday for great bubblegum music. I've got no qualms with tent-pole artists from that period hitting the reunion circuit -- nostalgia pop from this period is my ultimate favorite because it's the music I grew up on on when I was in middle school. But did I expect UK group STEPS (a group I was only somewhat familiar with as a child -- I'm American and was *NSYNC-obssessed at the height of their European popularity) would come out with one of most fully-loaded pop albums in a very long 2017? That answer is no. It's dealer's choice with great dance songs: "Happy", "Scared of the Dark", "You Make Me Whole", "Story of a Heart" -- they're a modern day ABBA! But my fave is definitely "No More Tears On The Dancefloor", a jam co-written by Darren Hayes, formerly of Savage Garden fame. The levels of 90's pop nerd here are unprecedented. 

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