January 22nd, 2018
16:31 (Part 1)
18:23 (Part 2)
Todd plays Camilla Cabello ft. Young Thug - "Havana" on the piano.
THE TOP TEN BEST HIT SONGS OF 2017
A year-end review
Todd: [sighs] Okay, I'm finally getting this list out. I mean I did get the list out earlier this year. Still feels like I'm way behind. [sighs again] Anyway...Hey! Remember 2017?
- Montage clips of Imagine Dragons - "Thunder"; Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee - "Despacito"; DJ Khaled ft. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne - "I'm the One"; Ed Sheeran - "Castle on the Hill"; French Montana ft. Swae Lee - "Unforgettable"; Charlie Puth - "Attention"; Ed Sheeran - "Shape of You"; The Weeknd ft. Daft Punk - "I Feel It Coming"; Sam Smith - "Too Good at Goodbyes"
Todd (VO): Not a good year for mainstream music, right? Well, actually I'm not sure how I judge whether a year is good or not. Right when the year is over, I'm like, "Did I mostly enjoy the music this year?" And this year the answer to that is definitely no.
Todd: But the further in the past the year gets, the more I tend to ignore all the shitty parts, and just judge it by how good the best stuff was. And I gotta admit, the stuff I liked in 2017 I really liked.
- Montage clips of Zedd & Alessia Cara - "Stay"; DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna & Bryson Tiller - "Wild Thoughts"; Julia Michaels - "Issues"; James Arthur - "Say You Won't Let Go"; Camilla Cabello ft. Young Thug - "Havana"; Shawn Mendes - "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back"
Todd (VO): Granted that could be because the rest of the year was so samey sounding that the good stuff stood out way more. Or maybe it was just how surprising this year was. No one did what I expected them to do. Acts I hated turned out great, acts I at least respected turned to complete dog shit. Maybe I'm projecting, but it sure seems like there was an upheaval.
Todd: But I will say this. I had extreme difficulty narrowing my favorites down to ten this year. That hasn't happened in a while, so you know what? Hey, maybe things aren't so bad. So let's get to it. We're counting down...
- Clip from DJ Drybones's "Top Pop Songs Of 2017 Mashup (Take It Slow), which serves as the interlude throughout the countdown.
- Charlie Puth: You just wanna
- Ed Sheeran: Love somebody like me
Todd (VO): The Top Ten Best Hit Songs of 2017!
- The Weeknd: When you're alone with me
- Alessia Cara: All you have to do is
Todd (VO): #10.
Todd: Heh. We're, uhh, we're gonna start off this list on a curve ball. [chuckles] Boy, this is, umm...didn't expect this guy to ever be on a list of mine [chuckles again].
#10. Post Malone ft. Quavo - "Congratulations"
- Post Malone: Now they always say, "Congratulations" (uh)
- Worked so hard, forgot how to vacation
Todd (VO): It's not that I dislike Post Malone, it's that I don't get Post Malone. And I think I don't get Post Malone because I don't smoke pot. Just...
Todd: ...not a pot guy. I mean, like [images of fire...] lighting something on fire and [...and fire dancer...] sticking it in my mouth [...and stoner dude] to make myself stupider? No, never. It is not for me. I am anti-drugs [takes out bottle of beer and takes a sip].
- Clip of Post Malone ft. 21 Savage - "Rockstar"
Todd (VO): Or, I don't know. Maybe I don't like him because he sucks. Maybe he just sucks. He makes these droning, monotonous songs. It's like a rap version [brief clip of "It's Been Awhile"] of the guy from Staind. [clip of Post Malone - "White Iverson"] Like this guy claims he's the white Allen Iverson.
Todd: That's one of the harshest things against white people I've ever heard!
- Clip of ESPN interview with Allen Iverson
Todd (VO): Iverson was one of the most talented and volatile basketball players in history. [Iverson + mayonnaise =...] And if you add whiteness to that you get...[picture of...] the lovechild of Jay and Silent Bob?
Todd: Christ, I'm offended on behalf of white people. That's almost hate speech!
Todd (VO): I don't know, man. I heard this song and it just hit me.
- Post Malone: My momma called, seen you on TV
And I'm not sure why. I mean, it's yet another rapper bragging about his success. And Post Malone has only been around for like a year or so, so that can all be gone tomorrow. Maybe he's celebrating a little early, but...
Todd:...I don't know, I feel it.
- Post Malone: Yeah, we made it (uh)
- They was never friendly
Todd (VO): And when most rappers celebrate, you know, they go to strip clubs, and they chug Patrón, and I-I can't relate to that.
Todd: But when I look at the empire I built as a low- to mid-level Youtube celebrity...[images of...] you know, look at my splendorous apartment, my fabulous pre-owned Nissan Ultima. Right? And I hear this song, and I think, "Yeah!"
- Post Malone: Now they always say, "Congratulations" (uh)
Todd (VO): This song is what that success feels like.
Todd: It's not excess or partying, it's just the relaxed satisfaction of Post Malone reflecting on all the work he's done.
- Post Malone: They ain't never had the dedication (uh)
Todd (VO): So I will say it does sound weird for Post Malone to be talking about how much work he does, seeing as he looks like he just got fired from Burger King for [image of girl...] doing whippets at work. Even Quavo seems to wanna be done with his guest verse as quickly as possible.
- Quavo: Huncho and Post (yah, ayy) Malone (ayy)
- I gotta play on my phone (ayy)
- Huncho Houdini is gone (ayy)
Todd: [unenthusiastically] I have never related to a rap song more in my life. Yeah, I made it [checks out his phone].
- Video ends
Todd (VO): #9.
- Clip of Saturday Night Live
- Dwayne Johnson: Once again, Katy Perry.
- SNL performance of "Bon Appétit" with Katy Perry just standing there doing a stupid dance
- Takeoff: Now I ask her, "What's the price?"
- If she do right, told her get whatever you like (Offset!)
Todd (VO): What is she doing? Whaaaaaaaaaat is she doing?
Todd: I don't think anyone would deny this was a bad year for Katy Perry.
- Clip of "Swish Swish"
Todd (VO): Nothing seemed to go her way. Her album bombed, she did [cut back to SNL] whatever the hell this is. Somehow, the woman who was the hottest pop star in the world at the start of the decade became unfathomably mom-lame. I blame the haircut.
Todd: And you could see it coming. Like...
- Clip of Beyoncé - "Hold Up"
Todd (VO): ...there are superstars who have a cult of personality who will be famous no matter what happens, whose fans will follow them around no matter what. You know, like Gaga or Beyoncé. [clip of "Bon Appétit"] But, acts like Katy Perry, who don't really have personalities of their own, they're famous as long as they have the tunes to back it up.
Todd: And not one second longer.
- Video for Katy Perry - "Teenage Dream"
Todd (VO): Even I, the reluctant Katy Perry defender, have to admit that I never really cared about her as a person. Or at least I didn't until 2017, when the Katy Perry persona developed an...
Todd: ...intriguing new layer: deep and thorough self-loathing.
#9. Katy Perry ft. Skip Marley - "Chained to the Rhythm"
- Katy: Turn it up, it's your favorite song
- Dance, dance, dance to the distortion
- Turn it up, keep it on repeat
Todd (VO): It's been obvious for a while that Katy Perry doesn't want to make "I Kissed A Girl," or "California Gurls" anymore. [clip of Tonight Show performance of "Firework"] She just wants to inspire little kids. She wants to make "Firework" and "Roar." But a Katy Perry album needs a big opening single, so this is basically her attempt to make "California Gurls" with a social conscience. How do you even do that? Well, apparently the only way to write a conscious Katy Perry song is to...
Todd: ...make it about how Katy Perry songs are garbage and making the world worse.
- Katy: Yeah, we think we're free
- We're all chained to the rhythm
- To the rhythm
Todd (VO): It's basically self-defeating, and I'm not comfortable with it for that reason. It's like a book called, Don't Read This Book.
- Katy: So put your rose-colored glasses on
It was also the second time in one year that Skip Marley dragged a clueless white celebrity into corporate-approved wokeness.
- Skip Marley: Break down the walls to connect, inspire
- Ay, up in your high place, liars
- Clip of the controversial Pepsi ad ft. Skip Marley - "Lions"
- Skip: We are the lions
- We are the chosen
Todd (VO): Yeah.
- Katy: So comfortable, we're living in a bubble, bubble
- So comfortable, we cannot see the trouble, trouble
In fact, as someone who really loves stupid pop songs, I'm a little insulted. Stupid pop music is the only thing that keeps me going in our current whirlwind of bad news.
Todd: We need happy stupid songs like Katy Perry used to make. [brief clip of Katy's whipped cream boobs in "California Gurls" video] Okay, maybe we don't.
Todd (VO): Look, my first instinct was to dismiss this song. But as the year went on and on, and Katy Perry kept stumbling and looking sadder and sadder with each terrible flop single and embarrassing public appearance, "Chained to the Rhythm" kept sounding just darker and sadder.
Todd: And there were plenty of songs about misery and sadness this year, some of which deserved to be on this list way more than "Chained to the Rhythm"...
Todd (VO): ...but, I don't know. Coating the dread of 2017 in Katy Perry frosting just made it seem even darker than anything I heard this year.
Todd: And to be clear, yes, all of that is totally what this song is about. I'm not projecting. You wanna know how Katy Perry finished the year?
- Video for Katy Perry - "Hey Hey Hey"
Todd (VO): As Marie Antoinette. Yeah, stay tuned for her next single...
Todd: ..."I'm Awful Please Behead Me."
- Katy: Chained to the rhythm
Todd (VO): #8.
#8. Drake - "Passionfruit"
Todd (VO): I know, I know. I'm sick of Drake, too. I'm sick of putting him on this list.
Todd: He hasn't done anything new in years. He's just-
- Moodymann: Hold on, hold on, fuck that
Todd: [tries to compose himself] I-I'm sorry. Uh, we'll wait.
- Moodymann: Hold on, I got to start this mothafuckin' record over again
Todd taps his hands on the piano while he waits for Moodymann to finish
- Moodymann: Ayy, y'all get some more drinks goin' on
- I'll sound a whole lot better
Todd: Are we done? Can we get back to it? OK. Well anyway, Drake is treading water. He [mixtape cover for More Life] dropped another mixtape this year, but I'll be straight with you. I didn't listen to it. I mean, I try. I try to push through it, but it-it's 80 minutes long. [album cover for Views] I listened to the album he released before this that's also 80 minutes long. Jesus Christ, that's two and a half punishing hours of Drake! I don't know if Drake has anyone who wants to [image of two people...] spend two and a half hours with him in real life, let alone on his mixtapes.
- Clip of live performance of "Passionfruit"
- Drake: You got issues that I won’t mention for now
- ’Cause we're fallin’ apart
Todd (VO): But I don't know. Like, no matter how many times I hear him do it, Drake failing at his relationships never stops being compelling to me. Even [clip of...] "Hotline Bling," that most tunnel-visioned, self-centered, head-up-his-ass song in his repertoire has grown on me. And I just like the vibe here. It's like an alternate version of "Hold On, We're Going Home."
Todd: Granted it doesn't have as good a beat or melody, but the lyrics are better.
- Drake: Harder buildin' trust from a distance
Todd (VO): And "Passionfruit" I like specifically because I have also had long-distance relationships and, "Passionate for miles away," sounds very familiar to me. Especially the implied failure to live up to that passionate person.
- Drake: Passionate from miles away
- Passive with the things you say
Yeah, turns out sexting is not a relationship. And speaking as a dude who is also in perpetual meltdown mode...yeah, what can I say? I relate.
Todd: I totally see myself in Drake's moody failures. [Beat; takes another sip of beer]
Todd (VO): Although, I'm not as bad as Drake. Honestly, I don't know why anyone dates Drake anymore. It's like dating Taylor Swift. You have to know what you're gonna get.
Todd: [sarcastically] Oh, he's distant, drunk all the time, and having difficulty connecting? Surprise!
Todd (VO): #7.
- Clip of Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
- Jimmy Fallon: Performing her new song, "Water Under the Bridge," once again, Adele!
Todd: Yes, Adele.
Todd (VO): It is time again to praise Adele. God knows she needs it. Adele needs more praise. Why don't we all give Adele more praise and awards and shit for being so great. Isn't she just great?
Todd: [sighs] God, I'm more predictable than the Grammys.
#7. Adele - "Water Under the Bridge"
- Adele: If you're gonna let me down, let me down gently
- Don't pretend that you don't want me
- Our love ain't water under the bridge
Todd (VO): Look, the album's been out for more than two years now. You know what it's about. It's about reminiscing and trying to rekindle old flames that probably should remain out. It plays out a billion different ways over the course of the album. There was [brief clips of "Hello"...] desperate pleading, [..."When We Were Young"...] there was resignation, [...and "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)"] there was...I think this one was sarcasm.
Todd: But I think "Water Under the Bridge" is a markedly different Adele than one I've ever heard anywhere else.
- Adele: If you're not the one for me
- Then how come I can bring you to your knees?
Todd (VO): I mean, she's still got that booming voice, but she's looser, she's more relaxed, she's...dare I say it, more fun. I mean, I've heard dance remixes of Adele that remind me of Whitney Houston.
Todd: And I feel like a tiny hint of that, that "woo-hoo-hoo."
- Snippet of woo-hoo-hoo
Todd: Like, I hear that and I think, she could totally be a dance diva if she wanted to.
- Adele: [dubbed over with Martha Wash] Everybody dance now!
Todd (VO): I mean that'd be amazing. Imagine it.
- Adele: And who are you hiding from?
Todd (VO): And from what I understand, it's like one of the few songs that she's put out in the last couple of albums that's not about an ex at all. I just kind of assumed it was 'cause that's what the entire album sounds like. But this is [image of Adele with...] actually a song about her future husband.
Todd: Apparently she was anticipating that he'd become a dick, and brutally dump her, and then she'd have material for another few albums.
Todd (VO): And that just kinda never happened. This guy turned out to be the real deal. Well, that's just heartwarming, right? And maybe that's why she sounds like she's having fun for once. Like even though it's mostly a song about fear that she's gonna get destroyed like usual, you can see the rays of hope and sunshine peeping through.
Todd: And God, did we need some sunshine this year. So, thank you Adele.
- Adele: Say that our love ain't water under the bridge
Todd (VO): #6.
- Clip of Reliable Sources broadcast: "The Weinstein Effect" on Sexual Harrassment Coverage
- Brian Stelter: And since then, of course, more and more powerful men have been held to account. They've been accused of some kind of harrassing or assaulting behavior...
Todd (VO): This has been, umm...a difficult year to be a fan of male celebrities, or hear news about them, or just know they exist. 'Cause...
Todd: ...in the back of your mind, you know. You just know.
- Clip of Access Hollywood: "Sexual Harrassment in Hollywood"
Todd (VO): Me personally, I've been dealing with it by [cartoon image of guy...] binge-watching as much TV and movies by dudes I like while I still have time before finding out something about them that ruins it.
Todd: Astonishingly, this wave of accusations has yet to really touch the record industry. So, you can still listen to the radio guilt-free.
- Clip of ABC News: "Russell Simmons Steps Down From Companies"
Todd (VO): But, there have been a couple here and there. And of course the big one happened like...
Todd: ...a year or two before the current wave of sex crime news.
- Clip of Getty Timeline
- Female Voice: Kesha and Dr. Luke going head to head in a legal battle. The pop star claiming years of abuse at the hands of her producer...
Todd: [nervously chuckles] This is a rough one to try and talk about.
#6. Kesha - "Praying"
Todd (VO): Kesha got famous playing a tacky, [image of Kesha from 2010] sloppy, drunken party girl. And she played it so well, that I was certain, I mean dead certain...
Todd: ...that it had to be just who she really was.
Todd (VO): But slowly, we all kinda realized that Kesha had to have more going on. Like there were stories circulating about her having, like, perfect SATs. And there was just like a general lack of embarrassing news about her that you'd have expected. [clip of ET report] And then the rape accusations came out, and that was a whole thing that derailed her career for years while she tried to get out of her contract.
- Kesha: You brought the flames and you put me through hell
And on top of every other unfair thing about this story, I was certain that even after she got out of that contract, her career would be over.
Todd: Like, she built an image, and this completely destroyed it. You can't be a party girl after that.
- Kesha: And you said that I was done
Todd (VO): But the amazing thing was she pulled it off by directly addressing it. Her song is basically a letter to the man who assaulted her, and it is powerful.
- Kesha: I hope you're somewhere prayin’, prayin'
- I hope your soul is changin'
I mean, it is a song about forgiveness. But, like, the really condescending forgiveness that Southerners like to use [image of girl with text bubble: Oh, bless your heart] to remind you that you're a loathsome piece of shit. It's called "Praying" because it is a truly deep spiritual cleansing...
Todd: ...in the sense that, you know being [image of three sinners...] burned alive is.
- Kesha: When I’m finished, they won't even know your name
Todd (VO): Kesha says in this song that she wants the best for Dr. Luke. And I believe it because what she means by that is that she wants him to...
Todd: ...be a completely different person than the piece of human garbage that he is.
- Kesha: I hope you're somewhere prayin’
Todd (VO): The only reason that it's this low on the list is because it's such an intense song. I can only listen to it every so often. It's...a lot. Still, I mean, what a buildup. What a payoff.
Todd: By the end of it, I am sure that Kesha has ascended into godhood.
- Video ends
Go to the second part!
- Audio from ABC Saturday Morning Bumper: After these messages
- We'll be riiight back!
Todd (VO): #5.
- Video for...
Todd (VO): Let us now contemplate Ed Sheeran, who ended 2017 as the biggest, maybe even the only real, pop star left in the game.
Todd: We reached the point where [clip of Taylor Swift ft. Ed Sheeran & Future - "End Game"] Taylor Swift is now leaning on him to add some glamour to her career. How did that happen? [shrugs] Beats the hell outta me!
Todd (VO): Let's be clear; most of his songs this year were bad. Most of his songs period are bad. But, he's still a very talented guy I respect, and "Castle on the Hill" is probably the best song he's ever released.
#5. Ed Sheeran - "Castle on the Hill"
- Ed: But I can't wait to go home
- I'm on my way
- Driving at ninety down those...
Todd: And he released it on the exact same day as [clip of...] "Shape of You." And somehow "Shape of You" was the one that got big. [disgusted] We are a broken people.
- Ed: We watched the sunset over the castle on the hill
Todd (VO): But though "Shape of You" has only gotten worse the more I heard it, I think "Castle on the Hill" is only going to improve. I like everything about this. You know, its soaring chorus, and the guitar work, it's almost like a forgotten U2 track.
Todd: Ed Sheeran is almost never this buoyant.
Todd (VO): And it really elevates the subject matter, which is just him reminiscing about his childhood friends and where they all ended up. I-I assume this is supposed to be them in the video; all his old friends back in their '90s fashion glory. Man, Ed Sheeran was way more attractive as a kid.
Todd: ["Sing" plays in the background] And, I mean, I liked his funky dance...
- Clips of "Sing" and "Castle on the Hill"
Todd (VO): ...songs, too, but those were a goof. A joke. This is the real Ed Sheeran, and it's the most honest and most likable he's ever been. Although, to be fair, I did like this song better the first time I heard it...
Todd: ...when it was called "Summer of 69."
- Clip of Bryan Adams - "Summer of 69"
- Bryan: Those were the best days of my life
Todd: No, I don't. Screw Bryan Adams.
- Bryan: Back in the summer of 69
Todd (VO): OK, fine. Yes, that is Bryan Adams' one singular good song. But I think "Castle on the Hill" at least matches it. In fact, it's practically a requirement that rock stars write one song about nostalgia for their youth and their old friendships...
Todd: ...and it comes out in lots of different ways.
- Montage clips of Bruce Springsteen - "Glory Days"; Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band - "Night Moves"; and Nickelback - "Photograph"
Todd (VO): Springsteen's is blue collar and beer-y; Seger's is about sex; Nickelback's is...constipated. But "Summer of 69" is definitely what Ed Sheeran is going for. You know, the idea that no matter how badly things ended up for everyone, the glory of being young was the part that really mattered. I mean, it makes even the little things feel so big. It's like a fairy tale...
Todd: ...the castle on the hill.
Todd (VO): And "Castle on the Hill" was probably just like [picture of...] a rotted-out dumpster where they'd hang out, but he makes it feel like it was a real castle.
Todd: You know what, Ed Sheeran should probably just go buy them a castle. I mean, he can probably afford it at this point.
- Ed: Over the castle on the hill
Todd (VO): #4.
- Live performance of Frank Ocean - "Thinkin Bout You"
- Frank: A tornado flew around my room before you came
- Excuse the mess it made, it usually doesn't rain in
This is Frank Ocean. Frank Ocean does not make what...
Todd: ...I would call fun music.
Todd (VO): I don't know how I would describe him. You know, laid back, drowsy, not fun, though. [clip of "Novacane"] The most intense I've ever heard him was about being mellowed out on painkillers.
- Frank: Novocaine, baby
He's basically the thinking man's Drake, I guess. And, let's be clear; Drake doesn't have a lot of fun either. So a Frank Ocean dance track is...not something that should really exist, right? Like...
Todd: ...what would that even sound like?
#4. Calvin Harris ft. Frank Ocean & Migos - "Slide"
Todd (VO): Man, I used to really dislike Calvin Harris, but more and more, he's been getting on my good side. Calvin Harris just does such good work these days. [clip of Calvin Harris ft. Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry & Big Sean - "Feels"] He even got Katy Perry a hit this year.
- Katy: Don't be afraid to catch feels
And I liked "Feels" too. I just...
Todd: ...couldn't get past the fact that it was about...[screen capture of meme] feels.
- Clip of live performance of "Slide"
- Frank: Do you slide on all your nights like this?
Todd (VO): Now this is my favorite song of his. I mean, it's definitely the most ambitious.
Todd: I mean, Frank Ocean on an upbeat disco song? Like, good luck.
- Frank: Put some spotlight on the side
Todd (VO): What, is Frank Ocean gonna do the electric slide to it? No, it shouldn't work.
Todd: Honestly, I'm not sure it does work. In fact, I'm...
Todd (VO): ...fairly certain it doesn't work. At all. But it's just such an ambitiously weird combination. Calvin Harris, Migos, and Frank Ocean? Like, I just wanted it to work, and eventually I just...
Todd: ...forced myself to listen to it until it did work for me.
Todd (VO): And it's just that, you know, upbeat, Daft Punk-y groove. Like, I don't even want to think about it, I just want to enjoy it. I have no idea what the song's about. I don't really care.
Todd: I have no idea what this means.
- Frank: [high pitched] I might
- Empty my bank account
- And buy that boy with a pipe
Todd (VO): I had to look it up. Apparently, it's a famous Picasso painting.
Todd: Buddy, you're on a Calvin Harris track now!
Todd (VO): You can't just go dropping classical art references!
- Quavo: Put that spotlight on her face
Todd (VO): Also it has Migos on here. More people who shouldn't work with Frank Ocean, but...yeah this confirms what I've always suspected.
Todd: That if they got less depressing beats behind them, I would totally be into their music.
- SNL performance of "Bon Appétit"
- Katy: [dubbed by Offset] (Offset!)
- Offset: Good gracious
- Starin' at my diamonds
Todd: [stifling a laugh] I had to.
Todd (VO): Look, I don't want to pretend to know anything about why I like this, I just do.
Todd: Can't believe this wasn't a bigger hit than it was.
- Frank: [high pitched] Buy that boy with a pipe
- I might
Todd (VO): #3.
- Clip of Charlie Puth ft. Meghan Trainor - "Marvin Gaye"
- Announcer: Yeah, and now, Charlie Puth
- Charlie: Let's Marvin Gaye and get it on
Todd just facepalms
Todd (VO): This is wrooong.
- Video for...wait for it...
Todd (VO): This is so wrong. How did we get from [brief clip of "Marvin Gaye"] there to here?
Todd: How does that make any sense?!
#3. Charlie Puth - "Attention"
- Charlie: You just want attention, you don't want my heart
- Maybe you just hate the thought of me with someone new
Todd: OK, you know the, like, the bit on...
Clips of two different episodes of...
Todd (VO): ...Family Matters where Urkel, like, alters his DNA to make him not a nerd? And he comes out all smooth and cool? You remember that?
Todd: I-Is that what happened here?!
- Charlie: You've been runnin' 'round, runnin' 'round, runnin' 'round
- Throwin' that dirt all on my name
Todd (VO): The divide between Charlie Puth in 2015 and Charlie Puth in 2017 is so bizarre and extreme that mad science is the only explanation I can think of.
Todd: Though honestly, I did see like hints of this coming.
- Clip of Live Lounge performance
Todd (VO): I caught him and his band jamming out in an awesome jazz lounge version of Calvin Harris's, "How Deep Is Your Love." It's the first time I saw him have any real potential, but...even with that in mind, the difference this year is some real Jekyll and Hyde shit.
- Charlie: I know that dress is karma, perfume regret
Todd (VO): But maybe it's not Charlie Puth at all. This song is all about that bass.
- Brief clip of "Marvin Gaye"
- Charlie & Meghan: Let's Marvin Gaye and...
Todd (VO): No, not...not Meghan Trainor bass! I mean, like, real bass.
- Charlie: You don't want my heart
- Maybe you just hate the thought of...
Todd (VO): Charlie Puth does not deserve that bassline. But, whatever, it's his now. He found it, so he owns it.
Todd: Like, I'd say this makes Charlie Puth our generation's [clip of...] Michael McDonald, another white guy who should've been way stiffer and lamer than he turned out to be. But, I also do like the lyrics. In the battle of the sexes, I feel like the girls have gotten all the good diss tracks.
- Montage clips of Beyoncé - "Irreplaceable"; Taylor Swift - "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"
Todd (VO): Yeah, they've been running up the score in that regard for a long time.
- Charlie: You're not coming home with me tonight
- You just want attention
Todd (VO): Yeah, that's such a cutting line. You just want attention...like a [images of...] bratty child...or a [...and...] cat.
- Charlie: Maybe you just hate the thought of me with someone new
Todd (VO): This can only mean one thing: Charlie Puth has been...
Todd: ...dating Cher Lloyd.
- Clip of "Want U Back"
- Cher: I don't give a, shh, no one else can have you
Todd (VO): Yeah, they deserve each other, too.
- Charlie: What are you doin' to me?
- What are you doin', huh?
Todd (VO): And what this really does is throw Adam Levine's failures into sharp relief. This is basically a Maroon 5 song done right. It's got a funkier bassline, a falsetto that doesn't shatter my eardrums, and I believe Charlie Puth actually wants to have sex with this girl. [clip of "Animals"] Adam Levine sings on and on about hot chicks, but...
Todd: ...I only ever believed he wants to have sex with himself.
Todd (VO): Still, I mean, this is baffling. Like, how do you go from sounding like the Glee version of yourself to this?
Todd: Can we check and make sure that's the real Charlie Puth?
- Video ends
Todd (VO): #2.
- Video for...
Todd: [nervously laughing] Yep.
#2. The Chainsmokers - "Paris"
- Andrew Taggart: We were staying in Paris
- To get away from your parents
- And I thought, “Wow, if I could take this in a shot right now
- I don't...
Todd (VO): I almost made this my #1. I wanted to.
Todd: I wanted to 'cause I hate all of you.
Todd (VO): And I can't think of a quicker way I could express that than making the Chainsmokers my #1 two years in a row.
Todd: You don't tell me what to do!
- Andrew: If we go down, then we go down together
Todd (VO): I had a lot of people tell me, like, "Come on! This is just a ripoff...
Todd: ...of M83's 'Midnight City'!"
- Clip of live performance of "Midnight City"
Todd (VO): And I'm like, "Come on! That's what makes it great!" In general, I like ripoffs, plus...
Todd: ..."Paris" has lyrics I can actually hear and understand.
- Andrew: Let's show them we are better
Todd (VO): See, this song finds the Chainsmokers reminiscing about better times when, I guess, they were studying abroad in Paris with some girl.
- Andrew: On our own, cuttin' class for the thrill of it
- Getting drunk on the past, we were livin' in
And look, I realize that two data points isn't a trend, but this is the second song on the list about nostalgia for better times. Now, we critics are always trying to force our favorite things into the zeitgeist, but I don't really have to explain the relevance of [brief clips of "Castle on the Hill" and "Feel It Still"] a bunch of people all at once thinking about better times, right?
Todd: Like, it's funny. The Chainsmokers work so hard to [shot of article title: "The Chainsmokers Have Replaced LMFAO As Music's Biggest Douches"] look like such assholes, and it doesn't match their music at all.
Todd (VO): Just like Charlie Puth, I'm not sure how we got from where they started to here.
- Andrew: You look so proud
- Standing there with a frown and a cigarette
- Posting pictures of yourself on the Internet
Todd: Oh! So now..
Clip of The Chainsmokers - "#selfie"Todd (VO): ...taking selfies is perfectly fine!
- Alexis Killacam: Let me take a selfie.
You assholes! Hypocrites!
Todd: Hypocrites is what you are!
- Andrew: They'll say you could do anything
- They'll say that I was clever
Todd (VO): And there's like this glamor to it; like this rich, wealthy '80s-esque never-had-to-worry-about-money-in-my-life glamor. Like, living in Europe just to avoid your parents. That's a long ass way from the perpetual brokeness of "Closer."
Todd: [singing] We were staying in Paris, to get away from your parents, we were stealing a mattress.
Todd (VO): And more than anything else, I just love it when the dude hits loose, like...
- Andrew: We breathe in the air of this small town
The guy can't sing, he doesn't try to sing. He's never tried to sing, and then suddenly...
- Andrew: Let's show them we are better
- We were staying in Paris
Todd: [belting out passionately] We were staying in Paris!
Todd (VO): I know it's not Freddie Mercury or anything, but Andrew Taggart straining to hit those...not even high notes, medium notes, is my favorite two seconds of the year. It's like a puppy learning to walk, you know, you did it!
- Andrew: Let's show them we are better
Todd: [fist pumps] And now, real quick, some honorable mentions.
Lil Uzi Vert - "XO Tour Llif3"
- Lil Uzi Vert: I don't really care if you cry
Todd (VO): When people look back on the year, I get the feeling that "XO Tour Llif3" is gonna be the song people remember. I don't think I've ever even heard it once on the Top 40 stations, and I felt like I knew every word. If there's any song that sums up for me what 2017 was like, it's this one.
- Lil Uzi Vert: All my friends are dead
- Push me to the edge
- John Gourley: Ooh woo, I'm a rebel just for kicks, now
Todd (VO): Yeah, I knew it was eventually gonna grow on me. I mean, it didn't sound like anything else on the radio. It was just refreshing.
Todd: Just like the refreshing taste of cool Vitamin Water. [takes out Vitamin Water and takes small sip] Stuff is pure diabetes.
SZA ft. Travis Scott - "Love Galore"
- SZA: Love, love, love, love
Todd (VO): This was the last cut I made for this list, and it was a painful one. Man, imagine getting cut from a best list to make room for Post Malone.
Todd: Now I feel bad.
Sam Smith - "Too Good at Goodbyes"
- Sam: I'm way too good at goodbyes
- I'm way too good at goodbyes
Todd (VO): Sam Smith is getting better, I mean that's a good sign, right? Even Sam Smith is holding my attention? I have to be optimistic.
Shawn Mendes - "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back"
- Shawn Mendes: Oh, I've been shaking
- I love it when you go
Todd: Jesus Christ, who keeps letting artists I hate on this list?!
- Shawn: Baby, there's nothing holdin' me back
Todd (VO): Okay, yeah. This was probably the most upbeat of the year's big hits. It was a truly spirit-lifting song. There was just one thing that was holding it back, and that was the guitar line.
- Snippet of guitar playing
Todd (VO): What kind of weak riff is that?!
Todd: Get some Eddie Van Halen on there or something, jeez!
Jay-Z - "The Story of O.J."
- Jay-Z: Rich ni**a, poor ni**a, house ni**a, field ni**a
Todd (VO): I'm kinda surprised how much new ground Jay-Z has managed to cover this late in his career. Also this song has the greatest three second pause in music history.
- Jay-Z: O.J. like, "I'm not black, I'm O.J."
Haim - "Want You Back"
- Haim: Just know that I want you back
Todd (VO): In the non-hit section of the honorable mentions, I'd like to give a shout-out to Haim, the indie rock Wilson Phillips. [pause] I like their dance moves.
Paramore - "Hard Times"
- Hayley Williams: (Hard times)
- Gonna make you wonder why you even try
Todd (VO): Also I'm not sure why we suddenly were too good for Paramore. This should've been their biggest hit ever.
- Hayley: And I gotta get to rock bottom (Oof!)
Carly Rae Jepsen - "Cut to the Feeling"
- Carly Rae Jepsen: I wanna cut through the clouds, break the ceiling
Todd (VO): And as always, y'all are sleeping on my girl, Carly Rae.
Todd: Come on, people!
- Carly Rae: I wanna cut to the feeling, I wanna cut to the feeling
Todd: And now finally, let's put an end to this.
Todd (VO): [ominously] #1.
Todd: I've had people ask, you know, why do I do the top ten lists of just hit songs. Well, you know, I didn't listen to all the music last year. If I said, "Such and such was [image of globe with headphones] the best song in the entire world this year," I'd feel like I'm lying. Plus it keeps me from being too much of a [image of...] snob, you know? It reminds people that there are good popular songs. And what even counts as a hit? Well, I define it as anything that made it to [screen shots of...] the Billboard Year-End 100, or if it placed somewhere on the Top 20 at any time. My #1 song just barely qualifies in that regard. I'm really stretching the definition here. But, fuck it. I heard it get airplay once or twice, so I'm counting it! Let's go!
- Clip of "Royals"
- Lorde: I've never seen a diamond in the flesh
Todd (VO): My big problem with Lorde, and as much as I admire her, was her smug teenage righteousness. That sense that she had it all figured out at age 17. I mean, arrogance is usually a good thing for pop stars, but what with her minimalist vibe, it was like she was saying she was too good to even try. It felt like a starting point for more interesting destinations.
Todd: And I figured she'd just keep getting darker and more heavy, end up somewhere like Florence + The Machine or Tori Amos. I was way off!
#1. Lorde - "Green Light"
- Lorde: I'm waiting for it, that green light, I want it
- 'Cause honey I'll come get my things, but I can't let go
- I'm waiting for it, that green light, I want it
- Oh, I wish...
Todd (VO): I guess it kinda fits that, when Lorde finally stopped being too good for pop music, pop music decided it didn't need her.
Todd: Well, pop music got it wrong. It desperately needed her.
Todd (VO): And despite the song and album not really catching fire, I think this is one that's going to linger in the memory. The [shots of article titles: "GRAMMYs Snubs and Surprises: Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift Snubbed While Lorde Earns a Surprise Nomination!"; "Lorde's Melodrama scoops UK music mag NME album of the year award"] shock Grammy nominations, all the critical acclaim, yeah this one is gonna grow in hindsight.
Todd: And to be clear, even though it sounds like a dance song, it's actually a really, really bitter breakup song.
- Lorde: Thought you said that you would always be in love
- But you're not in love
Todd (VO): Apparently, she got her heart broken for the first time, and this song was the result.
Todd: I mean, she's stalking her ex and his new girl on social media like she's Drake or something.
Todd (VO): She's still obviously very young; she's got those teenage blinders on.
- Lorde: She thinks you love the beach, you're such a damn liar
See, here's the thing...
Todd: ...maybe he does like the beach...he just didn't like being at the beach with you. [whispers] Sorry.
- Lorde: But I hear sounds in my mind
Todd (VO): But apparently, the breakup set her free. She just sounds so much more alive, more fun than she did on her first album. And I've always been a fan of [poster for End of the World Party] partying at the end of the world. And this isn't really about that, but it feels like it is anyway. It's...
Todd: ...partying in spite of.
- Lorde: But honey I'll be seein' you down every road
- I'm waiting for it
Todd (VO): And really that's...what I really wanted from music this year in the end. Like, the parties are still happening, we're still having fun, even if it has to be really angry, spiteful parties.
Todd: I'm enjoying myself, fuck you!
Todd (VO): So despite what Katy Perry might think, pop music isn't blinding us to the miseries of reality; it's giving us relief from it. So, thank you, Lorde. You especially.
Todd: Man, isn't it great you got those Grammy nominations and Ed Sheeran didn't? That rules! Go you!
Gets up and leaves
- Lorde: I'm waiting for it, that green light, I want it
Closing Tag Song: Childish Gambino - "Redbone"
This video is owned by me
Sorry not sorry
THANK YOU TO THE LOYAL PATRONS!
- ↑ #96 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #51 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #2 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #12 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #40 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #15 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #22 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #1 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #34 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #77 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #17 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #18 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #29 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #11 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #23 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #10 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #56 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #59
- ↑ Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #46
- ↑ #73 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #65 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #88 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #67 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ # 40 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #71 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #74 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ # 22 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #42 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #13 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #45 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #80 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ # 77 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ # 23 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #23
- ↑ Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; never charted on Billboard Hot 100 during the year
- ↑ Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #90
- ↑ Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; never charted on Billboard Hot 100 during the year
- ↑ Not on Billboard Year-End Hot 100; peaked at #19
- ↑ #25 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100
- ↑ #47 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100