Welcome back to another Top 40 Review where I look at some of the most popular songs in the U.S. as I’m writing this. On May 25th in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a black man named George Floyd was murdered by a police officer who had his knee on his neck and back, basically suffocating him. It took a while for the officer and three others to face charges. It was all caught on camera and sparked outrage all over the world, leading to protests and calls for action against a system that enables inequality, police brutality, and white supremacy. Of course, most of the peaceful protestors are met with violence and brutality from the militarized thugs in uniform who were supposed to protect and serve, but have only done so in service to the wealthy and elite, egged on by a president and White House administration that thrives on cruelty. The people who are focused on the riots and looting are missing the big picture of this moment in history. Police brutality against the black community has always been a problem and more of it is now being filmed and shared on social media for the world to see. There’s also the fact that regular working-class people in the U.S. have been given the shaft economically, especially in the wake of COVID-19. George Floyd’s death was just a spark that lit the fire once again of people revolting against the powerful and I hope these protestors keep it up until real change occurs. I know some of you want me to keep it moving, but this was something I couldn’t stay silent about. I want people to be aware of these issues and take action to make a change. And now, to begin our regularly-scheduled program.
#40. Watermelon Sugar-Harry Styles: We start off with Watermelon Sugar, the most recent single from Harry Styles’ last album. It’s no Adore You, but it’s a fine song. I like the soft rock groove of the song and Harry sounds great here. Even though I’m not too crazy about using fruit as a metaphor for sex, the writing doesn’t go too explicit. Overall, it’s not one of my favorites, but it’s good enough. I give it a 3.5/5.
#39. Heartless-Diplo ft Morgan Wallen: So apparently, Diplo put out an album of country music collaborations under his real name Thomas Wesley and Heartless with Morgan Wallen is one of those collaborations. And wow, this is bad. It’s a country trap song where the guitar is drowned out by the overwhelming beat and Wallen’s terrible singing. The writing is just as bad as it’s just a dude whining about a girl being heartless. It’s whiny and cringe, so it’s getting a 1/5 from me.
#37. GOOBA-6ix9ine: As if 2020 couldn’t be anymore of a disaster, we let the rainbow rat himself 6ix9ine make a comeback. I’m thoroughly convinced that the only reason this dude is even a thing is because he’s a walking shitpost. If you set aside the snitching, the crimes, and the overall loathsomeness, there’s nothing to this dude as an artist. Take, for example, GOOBA. Over a minimal piano and beat, he’s screeching once again about killing people, insulting everyone, calling out people who don’t like the fact that he’s successful, and just being a petulant shitlord. He’s not menacing, he’s just obnoxious. When you compare this to his other songs, it doesn’t really stand out. It’s just the regular kind of bad that you’ll forget about after hearing it and seeing its slow and gradual fall week after week, people are starting to catch on. This is an easy 1/5, no debate.
#33. Sour Candy-Lady Gaga & BLACKPINK: A few weeks ago, Lady Gaga released her new album Chromatica, which signified a return to more dance-oriented tracks of The Fame/Fame Monster era and it’s pretty good. The K-pop stans went crazy when they saw that Gaga has a collaboration with K-pop girl group BLACKPINK called Sour Candy. Man, I wanted to like this more, but it’s just okay. I like the deep house production, though I’m not too crazy about the mixing on the vocals and I couldn’t tell which member of BLACKPINK were singing without going to Genius. Plus, it’s another “candy as a metaphor for
sex love” song, which isn’t exactly a new thing in popular music. This didn’t exactly sell me on BLACKPINK and there were better songs on the album that deserve charting success. I give this a 3/5.
#31. After A Few-Travis Denning: It’s alright. Nothing phenomenal, but I’m okay with this. 3/5.
#30. Hard To Forget-Sam Hunt: Oh, I would love to forget about the existence of Sam Hunt, alright. He put out a new album this year and it was fucking horrible. Songs like Hard To Forget are a good part of the reason why. The production takes a Webb Pierce sample and butchers it with a trap beat and squawking guitars. There’s also the writing where Sam Hunt thinks that his ex is playing hard to get since he sees her everywhere he goes and is dressed sexy at a party that they’re both at. Yeah, this is gross and creepy. It’d be one thing if it was played as a joke, but the writing and his delivery doesn’t indicate that, we’re just left with yet another song pandering to the fratboy demographic. I’m giving this a 1/5.
#28. Before You Go-Lewis Capaldi: So Lewis Capaldi has another hit song, Before You Go. Is it better than Someone You Loved? Yeah, but barely. Here, we have an acoustic guitar song where Lewis Capaldi doesn’t screech as much as he did on that other song, but his singing here still isn’t that good. Something else that didn’t improve is the writing, which depicts the aftermath of a suicide and Capaldi’s feelings on it. Making someone’s death about yourself is already in bad taste, but then you titled the song Before You Go, implying someone is still alive. How do you fuck up this badly? No, this is bad. 1/5.
#27. I Hope You’re Happy Now-Carly Pearce & Lee Brice: It’s a pretty good country duet. I like the instrumentation, both Carly Pearce and Lee Brice have good chemistry with one another, and I can appreciate a breakup song where both parties wish the best of each other and not in a petty way. It’s also one of the last songs produced by busbee before his passing late last year. I give this a 4/5.
#26. Party Girl-StaySolidRocky: Another mediocre trap song that blew up on TikTok with a decent piano line, monotonous vocals, and lyrics about a girl who parties a lot. And it’s also way too short with one verse sandwiched between the hook. This is another skip for me. 1.5/5.
#21. Whats Poppin-Jack Harlow: From one trap song to another. At some point, these songs just start blending into one another. To be fair though, there is much more going on with Whats Poppin than the usual. Jack Harlow isn’t that bad of a rapper, the dude’s got flow and presence as he does the usual bragging that many rappers do and talking about a hookup over this piano-driven beat. As I was listening to this song, I couldn’t help but feel that this sounds familiar. Then, I realized that the producer of the song, JetsonMade, also produced the beat for Suge and other songs from DaBaby. Then I listened to Jack’s flow and it sounds VERY similar to DaBaby’s flow. Talk about a ripoff. Overall, this song is okay at best and I’m gonna give it a 3/5.
#17. Stuck With U-Ariana Grande & Justin Bieber: In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been an influx of charity singles coming out this year. Stuck With U is a Scooter Braun creation with two of the artists he managed, Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber. There was a big controversy when this debuted at number one on the Hot 100 as 6ix9ine decided to put Billboard on blast and accusing Grande and Bieber of mass-buying their song all the way to the top. Both artists and Scooter denied the claims and Billboard put out a statement setting the record straight on how they do the final calculations on their charts. That whole situation was a mess, but it’s far more interesting to talk about more than the song itself, which is a bland sandwich where Ariana Grande overshadows Bieber vocally and the doo-wop production is boring as tar. Plus, it’s coming from two people who could donate half of their paychecks to charity and still be filthy rich. I’m glad that this (plus Doja Cat, but we’re not opening that can of worms anytime soon) blocked GOOBA from the number one spot, but I’m not gonna remember this one either. It’s a 2/5 for me.
#5. Rain On Me-Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande: And now for a better collaboration song with Ariana Grande on it, courtesy of Lady Gaga. Rain On Me is one of Gaga’s best songs ever. The upbeat house production has a great build-up that pays off, the vocal interplay between Gaga and Grande shows off their strengths, and the content is pretty good as well, being able to overcome any and all adversities and hardships to keep moving forward. I’m giving this a perfect 5/5.
Rain On Me
I Hope You’re Happy Now, Watermelon Sugar
Hard To Forget
And that was another Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 Review. Stay tuned next month when I do another. This week, I review Scoob.