The Top Ten Best Hit Songs of 2016

Top 10 Best Hit Songs of 2016 by Krin.jpg

Top 10 best of 2016 2 tits.jpg

Date Aired
January 28, 2017
Running Time
17:20 (Part 1)
15:56 (Part 2)
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Introduction[edit | edit source]

Todd plays Twenty One Pilots - "Ride"[1] on the piano.

A year-end review

Todd: And welcome back. Now, having finished the worst songs of the miserable year that was 2016...

Clip of Zayn - "Pillowtalk"[2]

Todd (VO): ...I had a lot of people asking me, "God, it was such a terrible year, not just in general but for pop music specifically, is there even gonna be a best list?"

Todd: It's a fair question. 2016 was absolutely not a good year for pop music.

Montage clips of Lukas Graham - "7 Years"[3]; Desiigner - "Panda"[4]; Rihanna - "Needed Me"[5]

Todd (VO): Especially in the summer, when we're supposed to get all the memorable, inescapable mega smashes. Instead, we got Lukas Graham and Zayn. It was rough. But more than that, it was bleak. It is by far the darkest, saddest time in pop music I can remember. It's easier to say this in hindsight, but it almost feels like people knew what was coming. I mean, listen to these songs. "Now we're stressed out. All I know are sad songs. Look what you've done. One more dance before I go." Historians are gonna have a field day studying the music of 2016.

Todd: And weirdly, as the world went further and further down the toilet, I actually started enjoying the songs of the year more and more.

Video for Rae Sremmurd ft. Gucci Mane - "Black Beatles"[6]

Todd (VO): Maybe I'd just caught up with the zeitgeist, but as we move into 2017, I'm actually feeling a lot better about the direction of music. It's the one part of the year that ended better than it started.

Todd: And you know what? You're probably not going to agree with everything on this list. But that's okay. Remember, it's just my opinion. And you know what they say: "opinions are like assholes: everyone has one, and mine is demonstrably superior to yours." To the list!

Clip from DJ Drybones's "Top Pop Songs Of 2016 Mashup (Can't Stop), which serves as the interlude throughout the countdown
Sia: Hit the dance floor, hit the dance floor

Todd (VO): The Top Ten Best Hit Songs of 2016!

Flo Rida: We don't have to
Sia: Hit the dance floor, hit the dance floor

#10[edit | edit source]

Todd (VO): #10.

Clip of Coldplay - "Yellow"
Chris Martin: Look at the stars

Todd: I have a complicated relationship with Coldplay.

Video for Coldplay - "Speed of Sound"

Todd (VO): As in, I really, really hated them from the very first time I heard them. Pretty much everything from their first three albums, I think is unlistenable crap. I hated their boring music which always sounded like a single repetitive loop playing too slow, I hated their stupid meaningless lyrics, I hated Chris Martin's stupid whiny voice...

Todd: [singing "Yellow" in a whiny tone] I drew a line for you, it was a yellow line, it was a yellow line.

Video for Coldplay - "Vida la Vida"

Todd (VO): Weirdly, it was about the time that the public kinda got sick of them that they started making music I liked. They had their last real smash around 2008, but that was the first time I really liked them. [clips of Coldplay - "A Sky Full of Stars"...] And despite them never coming close to their commercial peak in the early-mid 2000s, they managed to stick around, and I've consistently been glad whenever I hear them. [...and their performance with Beyoncé and Bruno Mars at...] Even when they headlined the Super Bowl Halftime Show and got completely embarrassed by the guest stars and were treated like jokes by everyone. Am I the only one who actually liked their performance?

Todd: I like this song.

#10. Coldplay - "Adventure of a Lifetime"[7]

Todd dances along to the song

Todd (VO): No one's ever called Coldplay exciting, but more and more, I find their music just pumps me up. And "Adventure..." [Todd starts getting distracted] And "Adventure of a Lifetime" is the most uptempo song of theirs to date. With that looping guitar riff, and... [Todd is completely distracted by the video filled with dancing monkeys]

Todd: I-I'm sorry...

Todd (VO): ...I had not watched the video for this. Th- this is...

Todd: ...huh.

More clips of the monkeys in the video

Todd (VO): Uh... I think they're trying to make this Coldplay song [clip of...] the Monolith from 2001, which...

Todd: ...okay, the song's not that good, guys.

Chris: Turn your magic on
To me she'd say

Todd (VO): I... I don't know what they're doing here.

Todd: This is just distracting, get the damn dirty apes off my screen!

Clip of the Super Bowl performance
Chris: If we've only got this life

Todd (VO): But yeah, I like it. I've always had a soft spot for rock bands adding a disco groove to their music, no matter how clumsy. It's the kinda thing that Maroon 5 used to do well, [brief clip of Maroon 5 ft. Kendrick Lamar - "Don't Wanna Know"[8]] but with the guts that Maroon 5 haven't had for about eight years now. I wouldn't exactly call it the adventure of a lifetime, but it's the kinda song I'd much rather have than whatever shitfest Adam Levine is putting out lately.

Clip of "Adventure of a Lifetime"

Todd (VO): I mean, can you feel that?

Chris: Woo-hoo

Todd: Woo-hoo

Chris: Woo-hoo

Todd: Woo-hoo

Chris: Woo-hoo

Todd: Woo-hoo

Todd (VO): So yeah, I've come around to Coldplay. I never thought they'd deserve to be this kind of huge...

Todd: ...conquering superstar band, but every time they creep back into our lives...

Todd (VO): ...I'm always happy to have them around.

Todd: Oh, except for "Paradise."

Brief clip of live performance of "Paradise"
Coldplay: Oh, oh, paradise

Todd (VO): That song also blows.

Todd: Screw that song.

Chris: Woo-hoo (woo-hoo)
Woo-hoo (woo-hoo)


#9[edit | edit source]

Todd (VO): #9.

Todd: Speaking of acts it took me a long time to come around on.

Clip of Beyoncé - "Partition"
Beyoncé: Driver roll up the partition, please
I don't need...

Todd (VO): I've been pretty clear in the past that I have just never been a Beyoncé fan. And honestly, because of a lot of the same reasons that most people like her. "She's glorious, she's untouchable, [clip of Beyoncé - "Upgrade U"] she's Queen B." She hadn't had a real radio hit in years. Not because she's unsuccessful, but because she's outgrown the need for hits. She's just so...

Todd: ...far from human, that I've never been able to really feel it.

Clip of "Irreplaceable"

Todd (VO): And I've also never really liked her man-bashing songs. Not because I'm like offended as a guy, just 'cause it always seemed so easy. It was like watching [clip of WWE Raw, with Brock Lesnar F-5ing a cameraman] an overhyped WWE star knock out jobbers and nobodies night after night.

Beyoncé: I could have another you in a minute
Matter of fact, he'll be here in a minute
Clips of Bambi Meets Godzilla in which Bambi gets crushed and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)"
Beyoncé: If ya liked it, then ya shoulda put a ring on it
Don't be mad once ya see that he want it
Clip from The Avengers in which Hulk smashes Loki

Todd: But in 2016, I was finally, finally forced to acknowledge her greatness, because Beyoncé was finally able to test her skills against a worthy opponent. And boy, did she deliver.

#9. Beyoncé - "Sorry"[9]

Beyoncé: Sorry, I ain't sorry
Sorry, I ain't sorry
I ain't sorry
Ni**a, nah

Todd (VO): I was the last holdout. I give up.

Todd: [sighs and bows down] I pledge fealty, my queen. Please don't destroy me.

Beyoncé: Headed to the club (I ain't sorry)

Todd (VO): I actually don't think "Sorry" is much of a single, but Beyoncé hadn't really been a singles artist in a long time. In the context of the album, which I love for the record, "Sorry" kills!

Todd: For those who don't know, Beyoncé is one of the most private celebrities on the planet. [shot of article: "Beyoncé Is Seen but Not Heard"] She rarely gives interviews, she shows nothing.

Todd (VO): So jaws started hitting floors when she released an entire concept album about her husband cheating on her.

Beyoncé: Middle fingers up
Put 'em hands high

Whether this is a thing that actually happened we may never know. Could just be made up.

Todd: But it sure sounded real.

Beyoncé: He only want me when I'm not there
He better call Becky with the good hair

Todd (VO): There was speculation for months about who "Becky with the good hair" was. [images of...] Rihanna? Kate Middleton? Holly Holm?

Todd: I-I think she has good hair. [shrugs]

Beyoncé: I ain't thinkin' 'bout you

Todd (VO): But I don't really care. The point is, her husband is [promo pic of...] Jay Z. Jay Z is...

Todd: ...not replaceable. She could not have another him in a minute.

Beyoncé: Wave it in his face
Tell 'em boy bye

Todd (VO): So when she throws a middle finger up to him, and tells him she's not sorry, and not thinking about him, that's a big deal.

Todd: I mean, I'm thinking about Jay Z most of the time. [clip of interview with Jay Z] "What is he doing? How is he spending his money? Are him and Kanye still on good terms?"

Beyoncé: Now you wanna say you sorry
Now you wanna call me crying

Todd (VO): For his own wife to say this to him and to the entire world, it packs so much more punch than when it's just "nameless douchebag."

Todd: If there was any doubt before, there is none now: Do not. Fuck. With Beyoncé.

Beyoncé: Better call Becky with the good hair
Clip from Mortal Kombat gamplay of Shang Tsung defeating Jax
Announcer: Fatality!


#8[edit | edit source]

Todd (VO): #8.

Clip of Drake - "Hotline Bling"

Todd: Are we all starting to get kinda sick of Drake?

Video for "Hold On, We're Going Home"...

Todd (VO): I mean, I still like him. And one of Drake's most admirable qualities is that he makes songs that are soft as hell, and yet somehow has never let it affect his swagger. [clip of live performance of "Back to Back"] The best line in his hardest song was about how soft he is.

Drake and crowd: You gettin' bodied by a singin' ni**a
Video for Drake - "Marvin's Room"

And the fact is, he makes moody R&B songs, because that's what he's good at. But 2016 seemed to be a tipping point. [clip of Drake - "Controlla"[10]] He certainly seems to be tiring people out now by basically doing the same thing over and over again for his entire career. Even I found it hard to ignore the reeking egotism of his angsty songs lately.

Todd: But you know what always helps with that? Bringing in Rihanna to cut him down.

#8. Drake ft. Rihanna - "Too Good"[11], performance at OVO Fest.

Drake: I'm too good to you
I'm way too good to you
You take my love for granted
I just don't understand it
No, I'm too good to you

Todd (VO): "Too Good" is a song about two people who both feel unappreciated.

Drake: I don't know how to talk to you
I don't know how to ask you if you're okay

I like that. I've always liked songs like that, because with every breakup song, there's always this niggling thought in the back of my mind, like...

Todd: ..."Yeah, that's, that's your point of view, but...

Todd (VO): ...I don't wanna take sides here; I need to hear her/his side of the story before I make any judgements."

Todd: This is a really stupid way to listen to music, for the record. [shrugs] I just wanna hear both sides.

Clip of Gloria Gaynor - "I Will Survive"
Gloria: Weren't you the one who tried to break me with goodbye?
Did you think I'd crumble?

Todd: I-I get you're upset, but what about what he went through? I can't jump to conclusions here!

Rihanna: I don't know how to talk to you

Todd (VO): "Too Good" is kinda brilliant for being a song about a mutually unhappy couple.

Drake: Last night
I think I lost my patience

Todd (VO): I feel like I have the full picture here. And you can see that, like it so often is, it's no one's fault. The couple is just suffering a level of miscommunication, that...

Todd:'s totally Drake's fault. [laughs] I mean, there's no lyric or anything, but let's be real, it's Drake's fault.

Drake: Seems like they're just happier than us these days

Todd (VO): I like to think of it as a sequel to [clip of...] "Take Care," where we find out what happens when Drake actually does try to take care of a clearly uninterested Rihanna.

Rihanna: Baby you just make me work too hard for you

But yeah, I totally buy the two of them as a couple about to break up. Which is funny, 'cause they have great chemistry together as performers. Drake certainly does better work with Rihanna than he does with anyone else, especially Future.

Todd: I've even come around on "Work."

Clip of Rihanna ft. Drake - "Work"[12]
Rihanna and Drake: Work work work work work work
Rihanna: He say me have to
Rihanna and Drake: Work work...

Todd (VO): Hey, maybe that's what this song is about. For why don't these two know how to talk to each other? Obviously, because...

Todd: ...relationships are a lot of...

Rihanna: Work work work work work work

Todd: [laughs] Ha, yeah. Yeah... [beat] Well anyway, next song.


#7[edit | edit source]

Todd (VO): #7.

Todd: There was this one song that came out in 2015 that I was really rooting for; I was like "Please, please become a hit," and it just never did. But then 2016 came around, and suddenly it started picking up, and by the summer, it was everywhere. And I couldn't stand it!

#7. DNCE - "Cake by the Ocean"[13]

Joe Jonas: Talk to me baby
I'm going blind from this sweet sweet craving

Todd (VO): And now at the end of the year, it's on the list anyway. Heh.

Todd: I don't know what to tell you, I'm fickle.

Keep on hoping
We'll eat cake by the ocean, oh!

Todd (VO): This is former Jonas Brother Joe Jonas's band [logo for...] DNCE, which...

Todd: ...I'm sorry, that says [image of a man wearing a hat that says] "dunce." I know, it's an obvious joke, but seriously, it says "dunce." Is that intentional? How do, how do you not notice that?

Todd (VO): [scoffs] You may as well give yourself a name that...

Todd: ...abbreviates to a curse word, like "TITS" or something. Pfft. Lame.

Todd (VO): Now even though Joe Jonas, [image of the Jonas Brothers, labelling Nick "bad," Joe "good," and Kevin "who?"] aka, the good Jonas, is not as embarrassing as his solo act brother, there's still kinda the same stink of desperate attention-seeking here.

Todd: Not just because "cake by the ocean" is the clumsiest of sex metaphors.

Joe: Tired of all this candy on the dryland
Dryland, oh

Todd (VO): Okay, if "cake by the ocean" is sex, the hard candy is...

Todd: ...what? Dinner and a movie? Dry humping? [shrugs]

Todd (VO): But also, it's one of the few songs where the edited version is actually better.

Joe: Let's lose our minds and go fuckin' crazy

Todd (VO): The cursing is so gratuitous.

Joe: You're fuckin' delicious.

Todd (VO): It makes the band sound like unclever 10-year-olds. Like they're trying to dirty up a clean song; it's like [album cover for...] Kidz Bop in the Bizarro World.

Joe: I'll be Diddy, you be Naomi, wha-oh

Todd: Oh come on! Who even remembers [pic of...] Puff Daddy dated Naomi Campbell?

Clip of Ke$ha - "Tik Tok"

Todd (VO): How much is Puff Daddy paying people for these name drops? I know nobody's throwing them in these songs because they want to.

Joe: Talk to me girl
Talk to me baby

Todd (VO): Basically, "Cake by the Ocean" is [brief clips of...] "Uptown Funk" if [...and "Party Rock Anthem" by...] LMFAO wrote it. That's not a compliment obviously, but it's not necessarily a criticism either. Everyone should try their hand at "Uptown Funk," I say. But I'm just gonna pretend it's not trying to be adult or anything; it's just literally about cake by the ocean.

Todd: It's honestly more dignified that way.

DNCE: Keep on hoping
We'll eat cake by the ocean, oh!

Todd: Mm-mm. [image of a beach-themed cake] Tastes like sand.

DNCE: Keep on hoping
We'll eat cake by the ocean, oh!


#6[edit | edit source]

Todd (VO): #6.

Video for Michael Jackson - "Bad"

Todd (VO): At the time, the Michael Jackson album Bad was considered a huge letdown compared with Thriller. In hindsight, that was probably unfair. Bad is actually a really good album, maybe even better than Thriller. But [clip of "Thriller"] Thriller had so much hype that literally anything would've looked like a letdown.

Todd: I kinda feel the same way about...

Video for Adele - "Hello"

Todd (VO): ...25, Adele's follow-up to her humongous breakthrough album. At first, I thought it was a letdown; on re-listen, I actually really liked it. [clip of "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)"[14]] I wish this wasn't the big hit from it though.

Adele: Send my love to your new lover

It's annoying. And I can't tell if it's supposed to sound this sarcastic. Also I keep getting it confused with her other songs and calling it [clip of performance of "Set Fire to the Rain"] "Set Fire to Your New Lover," which would probably be a better song.

Todd: No, if you ask me, this was the highlight of the album.

#6. Adele - "When We Were Young"[15]

Adele: Let me photograph you in this light
In case it is the last time
That we might be exactly like we were
Before we realized

Todd: [with accompanying album covers] 21 was an album about breaking up, 25 is an album about moving on.

Adele: God, this reminds me
Of when we were young

Todd (VO): Ultimately, I didn't like "Hello" because it felt like a retread of [brief clip of...] "Someone Like You," but now that I think about it...

Todd: makes perfect sense.

Todd (VO): "Someone Like You" ends 21, "Hello" begins 25, but "When We Were Young" is a song where peace is finally made.

Adele: It was just like a movie
It was just like a song

Todd: Was it? Was it now? You released [brief clip of "Rolling in the Deep"] a whole album about it, and it does not seem that rosy.

Adele: It was just like a song

Todd (VO): [singing] It was just like a platinum-selling album, where I trash you for 48 straight minutes.

Adele: Can I have a moment before I go?

If I have one complaint about the song, it's that it makes me feel really old.

Adele: We were sad of getting old
It made us restless

Todd (VO): Which is also probably the reason it resonates with me so much.

Chorus: When we were young

Need I remind you, this song is about being [pic of album cover again] 25. Adele is three years younger than [image of...] Carly Rae Jepsen.

Adele: [belting] Young

Todd (VO): Of course, who am I to complain; I started feeling old at age 17. Just like everyone, right?

Todd: That's right, right? Right? [beat] Eh whatever, Adele is still great.

Adele: When we were young

Don't forget to watch part 2!

Record instruction: You've reached the end of side A. Please turn the record over to side 2!


#5[edit | edit source]

Todd (VO): #5.

Clip of The Weeknd - "Can't Feel My Face"
The Weeknd: Woo!
I can't feel my face...

Todd (VO): I still really like this song. I don't think The Weeknd will ever have a song as good as it, mainly because it's one of his few songs [clip of "The Hills"] that doesn't revolve around his persona of "hot evil sex demon man." It's not that he's untalented or unattractive, but he's a squeaky-voiced Canadian with [pic of him] hair like a Hey Arnold! character. For this to work, he needs something to...

Todd: ...add a little more sex appeal. Something like, oh, [pic of Daft Punk on a beach] two featureless robot men. Yeah, that's what the ladies want.

#5. The Weeknd ft. Daft Punk - "Starboy"[16]

The Weeknd: I'm a muhfuckin' starboy
Daft Punk: Ha-ha, ha-ha, ha, ha-ha
The Weeknd: Look what you've done

Todd (VO): This groove is unstoppable, and rightly put The Weeknd right back on the top of the charts. Seriously, I don't know what it is, but those little robot "ah ah ah ah's" add so much. I don't know why, they're not even real lyrics. Although they make more sense than the actual lyrics, which...

Todd: I-I'm sorry, this song is nonsense.

Daft Punk: Ha, ha-ha
The Weeknd: Look what you've done

Todd: What? What did I do?

The Weeknd: I'm a muhfuckin' starboy

Todd: Did... is that what I did?

Todd (VO): I turned you into a starboy? What the hell is a starboy? Is that like [clip of David Bowie performing...] the Starman's kid? You are not Ziggy Stardust, The Weeknd!

The Weeknd: I'm tryna put you in the worst mood, ah

I mean it starts out about how badass he is, but then it goes into weird tangents about movies.

Todd: He's got a weird taste in movies.

The Weeknd: Let a ni**a Brad Pitt
Legend of the fall, took the year like a bandit

Todd (VO): First off, Legends of the Fall sucks! And then, this?

The Weeknd: Star Trek roof and the wraith of Khan
Girls get loose when they hear this song

Todd turns his head sideways in confusion.

The Weeknd: Star Trek roof and the wraith of Khan
I'm a muhfuckin'...
Clip of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
James Kirk (William Shatner): Khaaaaan!!!

Todd (VO): Middle-aged doughy Shatner is definitely an image that needed a sex song. And the pre-chorus is all about his home furnishing.

The Weeknd: House so empty, need a centerpiece
Twenty racks a table cut from ebony
Cut that ivory into skinny pieces
Then she clean it with her face
Man, I love my baby

Todd: She cleans the furniture with her face...

Todd (VO): Does she lick it, or like strap a Swiffer to her head, or... wait, go back.

The Weeknd: Cut that ivory into skinny pieces
Then she clean it with her face
Man, I love my baby

Todd: Cleans skinny pieces of ivory with her [pic of a girl snorting cocaine] Ohhhh!

Todd (VO): Oh, this is about cocaine, isn't it? Of course it is, all of his songs are about cocaine.

Todd: Well if that's what this song is about, this is the mellowest cocaine high I've ever heard of.

Todd (VO): You know what, whatever. I don't care a single bit what this song is about, this is just the greatest beat.

Todd: ...He loves his baby because she does cocaine? [shrugs]

The Weeknd: I'm a muhfuckin' starboy


#4[edit | edit source]

Todd (VO): #4.

Todd: [video in background] I don't think this is the best song of the year obviously, or it would be higher. But I do think that it sums up 2016 more than any other song.

#4. Mike Posner - "I Took a Pill in Ibiza (Remix)"[17]

Mike: I took a pill in Ibiza
To show Avicii I was cool
And when I finally got sober
Felt ten years older
But fuck it, it was something to do

Todd (VO): "I Took a Pill in Ibiza" is a sad song about trying and failing to be happy in the face of horrible depression.

Todd: Yeah, that- that about sums it up.

Mike: You don't wanna be high like me

Todd (VO): I wonder how Posner feels about being launched back into fame with a song about how he doesn't have any fame anymore. And I myself have a kinda weird relationship with this song, 'cause...

Todd: of my viewers told me he was listening to a radio interview with Posner, [brief clip of said interview] and it sounded like he was talking about my review. I have no idea if this is true, I hope not.

Todd (VO): I mean, I just assume that everyone I cover is too rich and famous to notice me throwing tomatoes at them, but...

Todd: [nervously laughs] ...Posner isn't rich and famous; he's...

Mike: I'm just a singer
Who already blew his shot
Another clip of the interview

Todd (VO): So yeah, I don't know if he's seen the review, but he seems like the kinda person who would watch random douchebags on YouTube talking shit about him, so...

Todd: Sorry. [nervously laughs again] If you are watching, Mr. Posner, I like this song a lot.

Todd (VO): For what it's worth, I've seen a lot of critics, including Posner himself, say that making a dance remix of this song completely missed the point.

Todd: These people are wrong.

Todd (VO): I mean, the original, I think it sounds a lot happier, honestly. [brief clip of original] If it is sad, it's a mopey self-pitying sad, where the remix is a lot more pain and desperate.

Todd: Not that I wanna pick on Posner too hard here; he's uh... he's had enough.

Mike: I'm a real big baller
'Cause I made a million dollars
And I spent it on girls and shoes

Todd (VO): I just admire his bravery. Releasing a song like this is a gutsy move. Girls and shoes never sounded more like a sad waste of time.

Todd: Course, if his [clip of...] resurgence of popularity leads him back to making stuff like "Bow Chicka Wow Wow," then I hope he crashes and burns all over again.

Mike: I-I know
Are sad songs


#3[edit | edit source]

Todd (VO): #3.

Clip of a Radio Disney interview with Ariana Grande
Interviewer: I heard the song, earlier today, I was like, "That sounds like Mariah Carey singing the song!"
Ariana Grande: Thanks, no, I-I wouldn't be mad at all, she's the greatest vocalist, and...

Todd (VO): Look, I like Ariana. A lot.

Todd: But she's no Mariah.

Video for Mariah Carey - "Dreamlover"

Todd (VO): Not yet at least. She's just not there. For one, she's a much sloppier singer. She says she's practicing at not sounding like she has a pool ball in her mouth.

Clip of Ariana Grande - "Dangerous Woman"[18]
Ariana: (Don't ya) stop, boy

Todd (VO): She's still got work to do.

Todd: Also she just doesn't have the songs yet.

Ariana: Feel like a dangerous woman

Todd (VO): This one, for example, maybe I should've made it a dishonorable mention. It's basically the female version of Zayn's "Pillowtalk." [clip of Ariana Grande ft. Mac Miller - "The Way"] So what does she have going for her? Just range and power? No, I think there's more to her than just that. It's fitting that Ariana came up as an actress.

Todd: Because she knows how to sell a song.

Video for...wait for it...

Todd (VO): More than any other pop star right now, Ariana Grande...

Todd: ...just sounds like she really loves singing.

#3. Ariana Grande - "Into You"[19]

Ariana: So baby come light me up
And baby I'll let you on it
A little bit dangerous
But baby that's how I want it

Todd (VO): No one plays the role of pop star better than Ariana. She is like what people think of when they think of pop singers. That alone has probably carried her even when she hasn't had the tunes to back it up, but boy did she deliver here.

Ariana: I'm so into you, into you, into you

This was to 2016 what "Cool for the Summer" was for the year before: an unstoppable power bomb of a single from a pop diva at the peak of her powers.

Ariana: Baby look what you started
The temperature's rising

Todd (VO): It's like my previous favorite song of hers, "Love Me Harder," on steroids. She's had far more successful songs, but this to me is always gonna be the Ariana song.

Ariana: 'Cause I can't, I can't wait no more
Clip of "I Turn to You" by...

Now Christina Aguilera, she always wanted to be Mariah too.

Christina: [drawing it out] to...

Todd (VO): But singing always sounded like a chore to her. Like weightlifting. Ariana sounds like she is thrilled to be there.

Ariana: A little bit dangerous (Dangerous)

I mean, no she doesn't sound dangerous. That was the problem with "Dangerous Woman": she's a danger to [clip of news footage of Ariana licking donuts] unattended donuts and that's it. But here I believe that at least she believes it, which is way hotter than if she actually did sound dangerous, honestly.

Ariana: I'm so into you, into you, into you

Todd: God, she's good!

Ariana: I'm so into you


#2[edit | edit source]

Todd (VO): #2.

Video for...
Mr. TalkBox: Tonight
I just wanna take you higher

Todd (VO): Oh man.

Todd: I'm a sucker for retro pastiche. I don't care, play it!

#2. Bruno Mars - "24K Magic"[20]

Bruno Mars: Put yo' pinky rings up to the moon!
Girls, what ya'll trying to do?
24 karat magic in the air

Todd: I feel bad even talking right now, I just wanna listen to this!

Bruno: Pop pop, it's show time (show time)
Show time (show time)

Todd (VO): I, I don't know what to say here. "24K Magic" is just a retread of "Uptown Funk." That's basically all there is to it; it's just "Uptown Funk" again.

Todd: Bruno Mars is just gonna keep remaking that song for the rest of his life, isn't he?

Bruno: Ooh, shit!

Todd (VO): You know what, I'm okay with that. Yes, he's not moving forward as an artist. I wonder if he'll ever make it out of the '80s. Eventually, he's going to become a parody of himself. Eventually, it's going to get old.

Todd: That day, is not today!

Bruno: Put yo' pinky rings up to the moon!

Todd: [raises his pinky up in the air, but brings it down] Actually, it's daytime, so uh... I guess the moon would be in uh... [stretches his arm down to the side of him] that direction?

Todd (VO): I mean, so what if it's another retro jam? We need to get our happy music from somewhere! This year was so depressing, [brief clips of DNCE - "Cake by the Ocean" and Justin Timberlake - "Can't Stop the Feeling!"] that pretty much every happy song seemed to be imported from a different decade. We had to get it from somewhere, so what's wrong with that? And it's not an entire retread. [brief clip of "Uptown Funk"] I mean, it's a little different from "Uptown Funk." "Uptown Funk" was about Rick James and Morris Day, and I think "24K Magic" is supposed to be a little later, something like Cameo or The Gap Band. Something right around when early rap music was really starting to get big.

Bruno: Second verse for the hustlas (hustlas)
Gangstas (gangstas)
Bad bitches and ya ugly ass friends (haha)

By the way, can we give it up for Bruno's backup band? I'm pretty sure Bruno Mars has the single best entourage. In fact, I've found that the best way to sing along to this song, is to only sing along with the backup dancers.

Bruno: Oh they don't know?

Todd: Go on tell 'em!

Bruno: Oh they don't know?

Todd: Go on tell 'em!

Bruno: I bet they know as soon as we walk in!

Todd: Showin' up!

Bruno: Got to blame it on Jesus!

Todd: Hashtag blessed! [beat] I'm not even embarrassed that I just said that! [#YesHeIs]

Backup: 24 karat magic

Todd (VO): I'm not sure where Bruno goes from here. I listened to the entire album, he has run out of '80s. He's gotta get to the next decade any day now, I swear. Ugh, I hope he doesn't ever make it to the 2010s though; then he's gonna have to...

Todd: ...start making pastiches of [clip of "Grenade"] himself! That'll be terrible!

Backup: 24 karat magic, magic

Honorable mentions[edit | edit source]

Todd: And now, for some honorable mentions.

One Direction - "Perfect"[21]

Harry Styles: But if you like causing trouble up in hotel rooms

Todd (VO): I do have a soft spot for this. I think it sums up the romantic appeal of boy band members better than any other song. Also, it's a response to Taylor Swift's "Style," which makes sense because...

Todd:'s the exact same song.

Clips of "Style" and "Perfect" are intercut with each other
Taylor: You got that James Dean daydream look in your eye
Harry: And if you like going places we can't even pronounce
Taylor: And when we go crashing down

Todd: It's exactly the same damn song!

Harry: Baby you're perfect, baby you're perfect

Fat Joe & Remy Ma ft. French Montana and Infared - "All the Way Up"[22]

Fat Joe: I'm all the way up
All the way up

Todd (VO): How is Fat Joe still around? And why do I like this song so much? Is it just '90s rap nostalgia? I don't know.

Todd: I swear to God, I've had this song in my head for weeks!

Sia - "Cheap Thrills"[23]

Sia: Baby I don't need dollar bills
To have fun tonight (I love cheap thrills!)

Todd (VO): "Cheap Thrills" is the perfect kind of pop song. The one that never goes away, and yet somehow never gets old. I've listened to it something like a thousand times now, and it never gets any better, and it never gets any worse! Exactly what I'm looking for.

Justin Timberlake - "Can't Stop the Feeling!"[24]

Justin: I can't stop the feeling!

Todd (VO): Justin Timberlake, I think, was trying for [single covers of Michael Jackson's...] "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" here, and instead he wound up with [...and Lionel Richie's...] "Dancing on the Ceiling." It's not a bad song, but it is exceptionally lame.

Todd: Whatever, it was happy, I'll take what I can get.

The 1975 - "The Sound"[25]

Matthew Healy: Well I know when you're around
'Cause I know the sound, I know the sound of your heart

Todd (VO): This is my favorite non-hit of the year. I have no idea why it wasn't a hit, but it should've been.

OneRepublic - "Kids"[26]

Ryan Tedder: Back when we were kids
Swore we would never die

Todd (VO): Also not a hit, otherwise it would've been pretty high on the list. Like I said, most of the actual hits this year were not good.

Kungs vs. Cookin' on 3 Burners - "This Girl"[27]

Todd (VO): This is a remix from a song from 2009. Like I said, all our happy songs are coming from better years.

#1[edit | edit source]

Todd: Okay, let's get this over with.


Todd (VO): [ominously] #1.

Clip of The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey - "Closer"
Andrew Taggart: Hey

Todd: Hey.

Andrew: I was doing just fine before I met you

Todd (VO): The Chainsmokers being one of the biggest acts in music right now has not stopped being perplexing. I mean, they're just so...

Todd: ...punchable. [Billboard article about them "owning the 'Frat Bro' label"] The kings of frat bros, I was told. Which, man, the EDM scene has changed dramatically since I started covering music.

Video for The Chainsmokers - "#Selfie"...

Todd (VO): I've already both praised them and talked shit about them over the past twelve months. To put it mildly, they've had a mixed discography. But while all the attention went to the obnoxiously smug "#Selfie," the annoying soulless "Don't Let Me Down,"[28] and the ambitious but clumsy and kind of cringey "Closer," people forget that the Chainsmokers [clip of...] launched themselves into respectability with a completely different duet. The singer was called Rozes.

Todd: And the song was called... "Roses."[29]

Rozes: Say you'll never let me go
Aa-aa-aah, aa-aa-aah, aa-aah

Todd: [beat] Screw it. I made "Closer" my #1 anyway.

#1. The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey - "Closer"[30]

Andrew and Halsey: Baby pull me closer
In the backseat of your rover

Todd (VO): "Roses" is a good song, put it on the honorable mentions list, I guess. But "Closer" is my #1. "But what about that blippity bloopity drop?"

Todd: I-I like the drop.

Todd (VO): "But what about all the stupid parts, with the mattress-stealing and stuff?"

Todd: Yeah, that stuff is still embarrassing.

Todd (VO): "And the land rover," yeah. "And you still made it the #1 over Adele and Beyoncé," yeah. I did.

Todd: What do you want from me? It's not like I'm [pics of...] appraising a used car for its resale value. I'm not here to measure each and every criteria for judgement and give you an aggregate score. This isn't a dog show. You make me a judge for a dog show, each and every time the winner is going to be [pic of Amy] my dog, be damned if she can do tricks or not. You wanna know who the best dog is? Mine. You wanna know what the best hit of 2016 was? This.

Andrew and Halsey: We ain't ever gettin' older

Todd (VO): Yes, it's an old-school AOR duet, sung badly by two over-pampered pretty young people, with a glorping synthline for a hook.

Todd: I love it.

Todd (VO): The songs of 2016 were all like "we don't have dollar bills," "we ain't kids no more,"...

Todd: ..."wish we could turn back time to the good old days, wake up, you need to make money." Screw it, I can't take it.

Todd (VO): In a year that I felt so, so very much older, I wanted a song about not getting older. About two stupid kids in love.

Andrew and Halsey: No we ain't ever gettin' older

Todd: Yeah, I know, I know. It breaks your heart.

Gets up and leaves

Video ends

Closing Tag Song: Kiiara - "Gold"[31]


This video is owned by me

Let's hope we're all still here at the end of 2017


Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. #20 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  2. #22 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  3. #12 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  4. 6 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  5. 13 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  6. #19 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100 for 2017, did not appear on 2016 list
  7. #95 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  8. #38 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100 for 2017, did not appear on 2016 list
  9. #71 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  10. #41 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  11. #29 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  12. #4 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  13. #18 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  14. #26 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  15. #83 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  16. #58 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  17. #15 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  18. #36 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  19. #51 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  20. #16 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100 for 2017, did not appear on 2016 list
  21. #100 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  22. #87 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  23. #11 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  24. #9 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  25. Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; never charted on Billboard Hot 100 during the year
  26. Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #96
  27. Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #26
  28. #8 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  29. #27 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  30. #10 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
  31. #52 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
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