Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. Book coming soon! See my complete profile
Welcome to your weekly dose of pop world musings. Covering all things pop culture, this week I’m hitting you with something new that I hope you’ll really like. Longtime readers know how much I’ve enjoyed taking a look at the Billboard Hot 100; unfortunately, that chart has been ruined by the inclusion of streaming. Now, whenever an album people are interested in hits streaming services, every song from that album ends up charting, regardless of whether the songs are singles, or even something people want to hear twice.
With that in mind, I’m replacing “A Look At The Charts” with this brand spankin’ new concept – 5 Songs on the Radio that Don’t Suck. When you turn on the radio, it can be a crap shoot, but these special editions of Pop Shots will let you know what isn’t crap!
(FYI, I’ll still be doing retro looks at the charts, because those are really fun)
Of course, since this is Pop Shots, you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.
5 Seconds of Summer – Youngblood
When 5 Seconds of Summer debuted they were kinda-sorta viewed as a boyband, despite playing instruments. With the group’s vocals, and lyrical content – and I’m sure a record label’s strong desire to compete against the likes of One Direction, and The Wanted – it almost made sense. That said, calling them a boyband at this point would be a miscategorization – they’re a pop-rock band, and their latest single, “Youngblood,” is a damned good pop-rock song.
It looks like 5 Seconds of Summer will get far more than 15 minutes of fame.
Panic! at the Disco – High Hopes
“High Hopes” is an undeniably great song, but I gotta be honest, the first time I heard it I legit thought it was a Fall Out Boy song. Go ahead, shame me. It’s all good, I can take it.
Being that I like Fall Out Boy – and I’m not afraid to admit this publicly – and I like Panic! at the Disco, nothing about my appreciation of the song wavered once I learned who actually did it. Also, when it comes on at the gym it’s quite the motivator!
CHVRCHES – Miracle
This synth-pop gem doesn’t get a lot of play on Top 40 radio, but if you have an alt-rock station in your area there’s a good chance it has “Miracle” in rotation. Lemme tell ya, I crank this one all the way up every time it comes on. From a song construction standpoint it’s one of the best pop songs of the decade. The build up to the chorus is fantastic, and when those drums kick in … wooo! That’s good stuff, yo!
Bebe Rexha – I’m A Mess
Longtime readers of this column already know I’ve appreciated Bebe Rexha’s work for quite some time. Seeing her live at Warped Tour a handful of years ago only deepened this appreciation. The woman knows how to write damned catchy songs, and choruses that get stuck in your head for days. “I’m A Mess” is yet another great example of this (as is the fact that her “Meant To Be” collaboration with Florida Georgia Line has spent nearly an entire year at #1 on the Hot Country Songs chart).
Ariana Grande – Breathin
When it comes to making great pop music with an R&B influence to it, nobody does it better than Ariana Grande. You already know I’ve been a fan of hers since her first album, which featured songwriting and production by Babyface.
Grande continues to be a grand force in pop music, and I’m happy whenever her music comes on the radio.
And with that, my time is up for the week, but I'll be back next week with more shots on all things pop.