Welcome back to another Top 40 Review where I review the most popular songs in the United States’ Billboard Hot 100. The holidays are approaching, a new Star Wars movie is coming out, and every music reviewer is either working on their year-end lists or have already released them. Let’s get started.
#40. Ride-Twenty One Pilots: A
#39. Bounce Back-Big Sean: One of the most frustrating rappers around is Big Sean. The guy can be a really good rapper, but a lot of his big hits are (no pun intended) ass. So you can understand my skepticism when he made and released Bounce Back. Not the worst that he’s ever done, but it’s so bland. You can thank the drowsy production for that, done by Metro Boomin’. Big Sean brings more luxury rap rhymes to the table that we haven’t seen before. This song is just 3 and a half minutes of filler and I have no use for it. I give it a D.
#38. Mercy-Shawn Mendes: I think we music reviewers have all agreed that Shawn Mendes is insufferable. His latest album, Illuminate, was one of the worst albums of the year. Out of this entire album, Mercy is one of the least bad songs. That doesn’t mean the song is good, BTW. The instrumentation is okay, even if it is basic as hell. As for the writing? It’s really ridiculous. I mean, do you honestly believe that you can sacrifice yourself twice? There’s a lot of hyperbole in this song and Shawn doesn’t sell it well. Not bad, but I’ll most likely forget about it after hearing it. It gets a D from me.
#37. Rocking Around The Christmas Tree-Brenda Lee: Since it’s December, we’re gonna see and hear a lot of Christmas songs for the rest of the month. Here’s a Christmas staple from 1958, Brenda Lee’s Rocking Around The Christmas Tree. This song perfectly captures the holiday spirit, mentioning all of the activities one does during this time of year. The instrumentation is what you’d expect from a song of its era, leaning more towards a rockabilly sound. This isn’t my favorite Christmas song, but it’s a good song regardless. I give it a B.
#36. This Is What You Came For-Calvin Harris ft Rihanna: F
#35. Jingle Bell Rock-Bobby Helms: Now for another Christmas staple, Jingle Bell Rock, which was recorded two years before Rocking Around The Christmas Tree. Is it just me or do some of these Christmas songs sound more country than I remember? Anyways, I think this song is just okay. The instrumentation is okay, the singing is okay, and Bobby Helms is just okay. I don’t love this song nor do I hate it. It gets a C from me.
#34. Chill Bill-Rob $tone Featuring J. Davi$ & Spooks: C
#33. All Time Low-Jon Bellion: So I’m currently listening to a lot of albums that came out this year in preparation for my Favorite Albums Of The Year list coming in January and one of the records that I’ll most definitely talk about is The Human Condition by Jon Bellion. It’s a damn good record and I’ll talk more about it in the future. Right now, I’m glad to see Jon have a hit song, especially with All Time Low. This isn’t the best song off Human Condition, but it’s pretty great. The simple organ-based instrumentation is very effective and is a great backdrop for Jon to admit his mistakes to his girl. It is a bit messy and repetitive, especially in the hook, but there’s enough elements in the song that makes me forgive it. I give this song a B.
#32. Can’t Stop The Feeling-Justin Timberlake: C
#31. Don’t Let Me Down-The Chainsmokers ft Daya: D
#30. Blue Ain’t Your Color-Keith Urban: F
#29. Party Monster-The Weeknd: The Weeknd just released his newest album Starboy and while it’s no Beauty Behind The Madness, it’s still a really good record with some great singles. Party Monster is the perfect dark party song with its creepy bass-heavy beat reminiscent of a horror movie. And it fits along with the lyrics dealing with the paranoia of living this hedonistic lifestyle, of not wanting to have his heart broken. Right now, The Weeknd is probably the best current artist doing dark music. I give Party Monster an A.
#28. I Feel It Coming-The Weeknd ft Daft Punk: More Weeknd, huh? Plus, he brought along Daft Punk? That can only be a good thing. This time around, The Weeknd wants a more established relationship outside of one-night stands and is willing to settle down with the one he loves. Along with that, the instrumentation is just superb with a sound that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Michael Jackson album, all delivered by our robot gods Daft Punk. One of the best songs off of Starboy and I hope it sticks around. I give it an A.
#27. OOOUU-Young M.A.: F
#26. Cheap Thrills-Sia ft Sean Paul: B
#25. In The Name Of Love-Martin Garrix ft Bebe Rexha: B
#24. Bad & Boujee-Migos ft Lil Uzi Vert: Me and Pen Reviews have a lot in common in terms of music and one of the similarities that we share is our hatred for Migos. If you ever read my Target Practice for Fight Night, I was not too kind to this trio of idiots. So you can imagine my reaction when they all of a sudden shot up to the Top 40 with Bad & Bougee. Make no mistake, this shit is atrocious. The beat is unnecessarily dark and creepy (and is also produced by Metro Boomin’), the lyrics are your typical trap cliches of selling dope, guns, money, and bitches, and the rapping sucks more than a Hoover vacuum. You thought that was bad? Lil Uzi Vert, one of the human trash cans from the 2016 XXL Freshman list, is featured on this song and he’s just as bad as the rest of Amigos. Hell, he might as well be a member of the group. I give this song an F.
#23. Love Me Now-John Legend: Hey, remember when John Legend had a number one hit two years go? Yeah, I went back to listen to All Of Me and I now find it okay. Not bad, not good, just okay. That’s a feeling that I share with his newest single Love Me Now. The pseudo-EDM production is about 2 or 3 years dated and it’s bland as hell. John Legend is a good singer, but he’s done better vocally in other songs and the writing falls into generic love song territory. This song is harmless for radio filler, but it’s still radio filler. I give it a D.
#22. Unsteady-X Ambassadors: D
#21. Cold Water-Major Lazer ft Justin Bieber & MØ: C
#20. Love On The Brain-Rihanna: Finally, a good Rihanna song is in the Top 20. Granted, it’s no Kiss It Better or Desperado, but Love On The Brain is really good. I already covered this song in my review of ANTI earlier this year, so go check that out for my full opinion on this song. It gets an A from me.
#19. Treat You Better-Shawn Mendes: F
#18. The Greatest-Sia ft Kendrick Lamar: D
#17. All I Want For Christmas Is You-Mariah Carey: B
#16. I Hate U I Love U-gnash ft Olivia O’Brien: F
#15. Caroline-Amine: F
#14. Starving-Haliee Steinfeld & Grey ft Zedd: C
#13. Scars To Your Beautiful-Alessia Cara: C
#12. Broccoli-D.R.A.M. ft Lil Boat: C
#11. Fake Love-Drake: F
#10. Bad Things-MGK ft Camilla Cabello: Anyone remember Machine Gun Kelly or MGK? He was a relic from 2012’s XXL Freshman list whose main attribute was that he was a white rapper who could rap really fast… just like a lot of white rappers who do the same shit, but also have clever wordplay, more charisma, or something that makes them stand out. What I’m trying to say is MGK is not that interesting. Well, it’s 2016 and he has a top 10 hit with Shit Harmony’s own Camilla Cabello called Bad Things and it’s not good at all. The production of this song is really meh for the most part. It feels less like a love song and more like a hangover after a crazy bachelor party. But what makes this song not work is the writing and the performers. This is basically a whitewashed toxic relationship song with as much depth as a puddle, where the couple wants to do bad things to each other in lust, but I don’t buy it for a second and that’s because MGK and Camilla have zero chemistry. MGK sounds like a rapper delivering a generic feature verse for a pop song while Camilla is a REALLY bad singer. It sounds like they recorded their part in different studios without input from each other and that’s where I feel disconnected. I’ve asked this question many times about certain songs, I’m gonna ask it for this one: why do people like this? I give it an F.
#9. Heathens-Twenty One Pilots: C
#8. Let Me Love You-DJ Snake ft Justin Bieber: D
#7. Don’t Wanna Know-The Adam Levine Show ft Kendrick Lamar: F
#6. Juju On That Beat-two bum rappers: F
#5. Side To Side-Ariana Grande ft Nicki Minaj: C
#4. 24K Magic-Bruno Mars: A
#3. Closer-The Chainsmokers ft Halsey: F
#2. Starboy-The Weeknd ft Daft Punk: A
#1. Black Beatles-Rae Dumb & Dumber ft Gucci Mane: F
I Feel It Coming
Bad & Boujee
So those were the Top 40 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 as of December 13, 2016. Stay tuned next month when I do another Top 40 Review. This week, look forward to the Worst Songs of 2016 list and next week is the Best Songs of 2016 list.