Welcome back to another Top 40 Review where we look at some of the most popular songs in the U.S. I published my first Top 40 Review on November 10 of 2013, which is five years ago and around the same time I brought this blog to WordPress (it used to be on Blogger; don’t bother looking for it because it doesn’t exist anymore). I don’t like looking back at my early posts. They’re rough around the edges, I don’t like the presentation, and my opinions on certain things have changed (I won’t go through them all for those who are gonna ask). I was getting my feet wet in the world of blogging and reviewing and didn’t know what the hell I was doing, but I’m grateful for those missteps because I was able to get better at this and evolve. I still make mistakes every now and then, but who hasn’t in life? What matters the most is what you learn from them. You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. Anyways, let’s get started.
#39. She’s Got The Best Of Me-Luke Combs: We start off with Luke Combs and his latest hit She’s Got The Best Of Me. It’s an okay song. It has some nice instrumentation with a nice groove and Luke Combs sounds okay as well. Still, the writing is your typical break-up song and I don’t mind it, but Luke Combs has done better songs of this type before. I give this song a C.
#38. Don’t Come Out The House-Metro Boomin & 21 Savage: So while I was minding my own business, Metro Boomin put out another mixtape. I didn’t listen to it because I have better things to do with my time. And going by Come Out The House with 21 Savage, I think I made a good decision. It’s another generic trap song with a dull beat and 21 Savage rapping about all of the things you expect trap rappers to talk about: killing people, money, women, etc. I got nothing from this besides sheer boredom. I give it an F.
#36. Ring-Cardi B ft Kehlani: I was hoping this song wouldn’t show up because it was one of the weaker tracks on Invasion Of Privacy. Ring is about a relationship down the drains (probably aimed at Offset) and it’s not a good song. The production is stale, Cardi kinda disappoints, and I am not a fan of Kehlani’s hook. This sounds like a song tailor-made for radio and Cardi B is capable of better than this. I give it a D.
#35. I’m A Mess-Bebe Rexha: By now, you’ve read my Target Practice of this song. If not, here’s the link. I won’t bother repeating everything I said about it, so I’m gonna go ahead and give it an F.
#32. Beautiful-Bazzi ft Camila Cabello: So after Mine became a hit, Bazzi has teamed up with Camila Cabello for his second hit Beautiful and it’s kinda worse. The production is blocky and slow, Bazzi’s singing is just… there, Camila sounds awkward, and the writing is just another love song. I don’t have much to say about it. I give it a D.
#24. Money-Cardi B: So Cardi B pretty much had a good 2018 thanks to her debut album and appearing on big singles. Then, she puts out this non-album single Money and honestly, it feels like a throwaway. Featuring a trap beat with abrasive piano notes and repetitive lyrics where Cardi is rapping about, well, money. I know she feels comfortable making these kind of bragging songs, but this limits the talent and potential that she has. So for that, I’m giving it a low C.
#23. Sunflower-Post Malone & Swae Lee: First things first, I want to pay my respects to Stan Lee, who unfortunately passed away yesterday at the age of 95. It was a day we knew was coming, but it doesn’t make it less heartbreaking because this dude is beloved by nearly all in pop culture. His contributions (along with those of Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko) to the creation of the Marvel Universe and all of the characters that reside in it has changed the world of superheroes forever. Without Stan Lee, we wouldn’t have heroes like Spider-Man and the X-Men, who would become part of our childhoods (at least mine) and we wouldn’t have the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This man lived a long good life that any of us would love to have and the work he put out would live on forever. Pour one out for a real life superhero.
On a related note, a new animated Spider-Man movie is coming out next month called Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse and in part of the promotion, Post Malone and Swae Lee did a song for it called Sunflower. Let’s just say I’d rather talk about Marvel instead of this because of how forgettable it is. It has a decent beat, but we also have Post Malone and Swae Lee singing an Auto-Tuned hook-up song and there is nothing to it. What the hell does this have to do with Spider-Man? Even if the upcoming movie did try to force a romance plot (which is clear by the lyric music video), it does not fit at all. It’s just a mediocre soundtrack song that I don’t look forward to hearing when I see the movie. I’m giving it a low D.
#21. Breathin-Ariana Grande: So this is Breathin, the next big single off of Sweetener. And honestly, I dig it. The writing is focused on breathing through anxiety, which a lot of us with anxiety can relate to and Ariana Grande has experience in that realm. She really nailed this song vocally, which isn’t surprising since she’s always been great at vocals. It’s not one of Ariana Grande’s best songs, but it’s a damn good single and I’m giving it a B.
#19. MIA-Bad Bunny ft Drake: Another day, another interchangable reggaeton song on the charts. This time, we have MIA with Bad Bunny and Aubrey Graham, the latter being the only reason the song is up this high. Because let’s be clear; there is nothing special about this song. It has a by-the-numbers reggaeton beat, both of these dudes having their eye on a particular woman, and Aubrey singing in Spanish because he’s looking to rip off another culture after his bastardization of dancehall and grime. I betcha his next album will be a bunch of diet reggaeton. I give this song a D.
#14. Wake Up In The Sky-Gucci Mane ft Bruno Mars & Kodak Black: Here’s a collaboration that I didn’t want or need; Gucci Mane, Bruno Mars, and Kodak Black. One of these things is not like the other. As you can imagine, Wake Up In The Sky is a disaster in terms of tone and delivery with weird production that fails at setting a good mood, Bruno Mars sounding awkward and out of place, Gucci Mane doing more bragging, oh, and Kodak Black is here for some unholy reason, talking about his piss. Seriously, what is it with this dude and his obsession with human waste? This shit feels like an obvious attempt at a radio song and it does not work at all. I give it an F.
#8. ZEZE-Kodak Black ft Travis Scott & Offset: And speaking of Kodak Black, this happened. What is up with bad songs in 2018 having two-syllable words with “e” in them? KEKE, FEFE, BEBE, and now ZEZE, which has a limp trap beat that feature a steel drum that ultimately makes the song feel dated. The lyrics are more bragging with Travis delivering an underwhelming chorus and both Kodak and Offset handing the verses. This is some weak shit right here and it feels way out of place since summer just passed. I give it an F.
#1. Thank U, Next-Ariana Grande: After months of mediocrity topping the charts, we FINALLY get a good song at number one and it’s all thanks to Ariana Grande. This is Thank U, Next, the first single for Ariana Grande’s next album. Yep. She’s working on another album. This song is her reflecting on her past relationships and I like the mature approach to the song that shows that she’s learned from these relationships. Initially, I wasn’t too crazy about the production, but it grew on me. Again, this isn’t one of her best songs, but I’m glad this went to number one and I hope it stays there for a while because it’s a good song. I give it a high B.
thank u, next
I’m A Mess
Wake Up In The Sky
And that was another Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 Review. Stay tuned next month when I do another. This week, it’s the Worst Songs of 1968 list.